Coast Lifestyle

INTERMITTENT FASTING: THE SCIENCE OF GOING WITHOUT

Intermittent Fasting: Feature Photo

If you’ve recently had a conversation about dieting and weight management, then you’ve probably heard talk of intermittent fasting. But what is intermittent fasting? And is it healthy? Currently, this is quite an under-researched topic, with limited research in humans.

In other words, the answer is a little complicated, but let’s break it down together.

The Science of Going Without

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It’s a way to manage your weight and promote overall health, not by limiting what you eat, but by limiting when you eat.

There are several different intermittent fasting methods, such as:

  • Daily intermittent fasting: 16-hour fast followed by an eight-hour eating period each day.
  • Alternate day intermittent fasting: Cycle between 24-hour periods of eating and fasting.
  • The 5-2 method, eat regularly for five days during the week and restrict food during 2 days to about 500 to 600 calories during the fasting days.

How does intermittent fasting work? To put it simply, when your body is digesting food, it’s in the “fed state.” This typically lasts three to five hours after your last meal. During this state, your body doesn’t burn fat as efficiently because your insulin levels are high and you are getting needed energy from food.

But if you don’t eat for around eight to 12 hours after your last meal, your body will enter the “fasted state.” Your insulin levels are low because your body has stopped absorbing food and, as a result, your body burns stored food energy (fat) more easily.Intermittent Fasting: Scale

The Pros and Cons

So we know what intermittent fasting is and what it does, but the real questions are—is it healthy? Is it safe? Is it something you should do?

Your body is unique. And so is everyone else’s. Many people have tried intermittent fasting with great results, and they happily want to share their success with others.

But for many people, intermittent fasting is not the answer they’re looking for. For some people, it could even be a danger to their long-term health.

Let’s look at just a few of the many possible pros and cons of incorporating intermittent fasting into your daily life.

Pros:

  • Promotes health and weight management. Some studies show intermittent fasting may be a promising way to lose weight and improve metabolic health.
  • No calorie counting. With intermittent fasting, you don’t have to change what you eat in order to stay under your daily calories. By controlling when you eat, you have the freedom to eat what you want.
  • It’s simple. Intermittent fasting makes your day simpler. When on a fasting program, you plan for and cook less meals. Some people find this simplicity liberating, as they have more time to devote to other activities they love.

Cons:

  • Dropout rate is high. Recent studies show people may be more likely to quit an intermittent fasting routine before it can provide any real benefit to their health.
  • You could develop bad eating habits. Intermittent fasting can be very stressful for some people. This, coupled with a lack of satisfaction, means they end up eating much more than they should during non-fasting periods.
  • Dangerous for people with certain conditions. While safe for most people, intermittent fasting can have negative effects if you have diabetes, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or take certain medications. Make sure to always consult your physician before introducing any fasting routine or change in diet as part of your everyday life.

The Choice Is Yours

Intermittent Fasting: Plate

At the end of the day, there is not yet enough scientific evidence to prove or disprove intermittent fasting as superior to traditional dieting, nor to prove or disprove it promotes long-term health better than counting calories. On the flip side, there also isn’t any strong evidence it’s harmful to average adults, either.

If you have the willpower for an intermittent fasting routine, then more power to you. If not, there’s nothing wrong with a more traditional method of weight management.

Research is ongoing and, hopefully, we’ll soon know the benefit of intermittent fasting. Until then, the best diet is one you can maintain consistently—along with plenty of exercise.

 

Click here for more fun and useful articles on proper nutrition and healthy dieting.

Coast Lifestyle

Intermittent Fasting: The Science of Going Without

Intermittent Fasting: Feature Photo

If you’ve recently had a conversation about dieting and weight management, then you’ve probably heard talk of intermittent fasting. But what is intermittent fasting? And is it healthy? Currently, this is quite an under-researched topic, with limited research in humans.

In other words, the answer is a little complicated, but let’s break it down together.

The Science of Going Without

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It’s a way to manage your weight and promote overall health, not by limiting what you eat, but by limiting when you eat.

There are several different intermittent fasting methods, such as:

  • Daily intermittent fasting: 16-hour fast followed by an eight-hour eating period each day.
  • Alternate day intermittent fasting: Cycle between 24-hour periods of eating and fasting.
  • The 5-2 method, eat regularly for five days during the week and restrict food during 2 days to about 500 to 600 calories during the fasting days.

How does intermittent fasting work? To put it simply, when your body is digesting food, it’s in the “fed state.” This typically lasts three to five hours after your last meal. During this state, your body doesn’t burn fat as efficiently because your insulin levels are high and you are getting needed energy from food.

But if you don’t eat for around eight to 12 hours after your last meal, your body will enter the “fasted state.” Your insulin levels are low because your body has stopped absorbing food and, as a result, your body burns stored food energy (fat) more easily.Intermittent Fasting: Scale

The Pros and Cons

So we know what intermittent fasting is and what it does, but the real questions are—is it healthy? Is it safe? Is it something you should do?

Your body is unique. And so is everyone else’s. Many people have tried intermittent fasting with great results, and they happily want to share their success with others.

But for many people, intermittent fasting is not the answer they’re looking for. For some people, it could even be a danger to their long-term health.

Let’s look at just a few of the many possible pros and cons of incorporating intermittent fasting into your daily life.

Pros:

  • Promotes health and weight management. Some studies show intermittent fasting may be a promising way to lose weight and improve metabolic health.
  • No calorie counting. With intermittent fasting, you don’t have to change what you eat in order to stay under your daily calories. By controlling when you eat, you have the freedom to eat what you want.
  • It’s simple. Intermittent fasting makes your day simpler. When on a fasting program, you plan for and cook less meals. Some people find this simplicity liberating, as they have more time to devote to other activities they love.

Cons:

  • Dropout rate is high. Recent studies show people may be more likely to quit an intermittent fasting routine before it can provide any real benefit to their health.
  • You could develop bad eating habits. Intermittent fasting can be very stressful for some people. This, coupled with a lack of satisfaction, means they end up eating much more than they should during non-fasting periods.
  • Dangerous for people with certain conditions. While safe for most people, intermittent fasting can have negative effects if you have diabetes, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or take certain medications. Make sure to always consult your physician before introducing any fasting routine or change in diet as part of your everyday life.

The Choice Is Yours

Intermittent Fasting: Plate

At the end of the day, there is not yet enough scientific evidence to prove or disprove intermittent fasting as superior to traditional dieting, nor to prove or disprove it promotes long-term health better than counting calories. On the flip side, there also isn’t any strong evidence it’s harmful to average adults, either.

If you have the willpower for an intermittent fasting routine, then more power to you. If not, there’s nothing wrong with a more traditional method of weight management.

 

Research is ongoing and, hopefully, we’ll soon know the benefit of intermittent fasting. Until then, the best diet is one you can maintain consistently—along with plenty of exercise.

Coast Lifestyle

Is It Safe to Ingest Essential Oils?

Contributed by Dr. Joshua Yorgason, MD – Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon)
Member of doTERRA Medical Advisory Board 

Introduction

 

Each type of oil contains a mixture of natural chemical compounds unique to that species of plant and to the environment in which the plant is grown. For thousands of years, humans have ingested plants in the form of food as well as plant parts and extracts as herbal health products and teas from leaves and flowers, which contain essential oils.

One could argue that it should also be safe to ingest essential oils in small quantities, just as we have been doing when ingesting plants containing essential oils. Because they are produced naturally by plants, essential oils are found in naturally balanced mixtures. Then why is there an ongoing concern about the internal use of essential oils? Internal use can not only be very effective, but is also safe.
Local Tissue

Oils first have an effect on local tissues. The local effect may be felt more strongly when applied internally compared to when applied to the skin because the nerves in the mucosa are closer to the surface, often more numerous, and can be more easily stimulated compared to the nerves in the skin. Although the skin is thicker and seems to be less fragile than the mucous membranes, the reality is that similar to the skin the mucosa has many features that are protective, and therefore conducive to the use of essential oils.

Like skin, the mucosa has many layers designed to protect the body against disease and toxic exposures. And similar to skin, the mucosa has an ability to constantly restore itself and to regenerate after harmful exposures, such as trauma from teeth or heat from foods that can cause ulceration.

The mucosa heals an open sore very quickly, so it can resume its protective function. The mucosa also has thousands of mucous glands that secrete mucous to create a protective film over the tissues. The mucous is continually being produced and continually migrating as the cilia beat, limiting any local exposure.
Mucosa Absorption

When essential oils contact the mucosa, they are absorbed to some degree at the initial point of contact, but much of the oil will be continually diluted by the mucous. Rapid absorption and constant dilution allow the oils to have a dramatic yet temporary effect, which explains why any sensation you have in the mouth or throat from essential oils taken internally is temporary. Because the mucosa is designed to be protective, essential oils can be safely used internally.

The premise of all of these discussions is that essential oils could be harmful when taken internally. However, studies suggest just the opposite. Essential oils may actually be protective to the mucosa. Many studies show that essential oils can have a positive effect when there is a problem with the stomach’s mucous membranes.* For example, limonene, found in citrus oils, was shown to help protect the stomach mucosa in a preclinical study.This protective effect was shown without affecting normal stomach acid secretion, gastrin enzyme secretion, or antioxidant glutathione production.3 Many other studies have also demonstrated similar effects.1–6*

Avoiding hot oils that may be irritating to the mucous membranes, using small single use amounts, or using less than the maximum daily amounts recommended, are all safe practices that can help us have confidence in using essential oils internally. If we are using the oils for a local effect, such as to soothe the mouth and throat, then the oils can be appropriately diluted. Internal use of essential oils may be the best method to help improve function of the gut and improve digestion, because the oils can get to the area of need.
Conclusion

Taking essential oils internally may be a very effective method to get the oils to be absorbed into the body to promote health and wellness, for an overall soothing effect on the body, and for a calming effect on mood. Using the appropriate amount of oils in Veggie Caps or prepackaged in the appropriate amounts in softgels can be an effective way to take essential oils internally so that they can be maximally absorbed by the gut for a whole body effect.

East Coast Life Solutions has two Wellness Advocation who are ready to serve you any time, if you have questions and need assistance in ordering.

Pop on over to our Upcoming Events pages and have a look at our regularly scheduled 101 Essential Oil Education class in our local area.

Healthy Cove

Boost Your Confidence with 4 Summer Skincare Tips

4 Summer Skincare Tips: Summer StuffYour Instagram feed is bursting with sunbathers, pool parties, and warm hiking trails. Snapping plenty of summertime selfies is great until you’re too self-conscious to post anything because your skin looks like a juicy tomato instead of a radiant glow.

Radiant and Protected Is the Ultimate Skin Goal

As you enjoy summer days, your skin can suffer from too much sun exposure. Skin damage appears as discoloration, a change in texture, and even blisters or dark blemishes. Our skin protects us, but it’s a fragile barrier we need to nourish.

Although a sun-kissed glow makes skipping makeup a breeze, it doesn’t mean you should get lax with your skincare routine. Soak in these four summer skincare tips to keep you glowing and help you maintain your beautiful selfie skin.

The Good, The Bad, and The Sunshine Vitamin

Sunshine can feel invigorating and brighten your mood thanks to the powerful vitamins in its rays. Vitamin D enriches our bodies with so much goodness there’s a reason it’s called the sunshine vitamin.

That being said, your skin can easily get burned, flushed, and irritated from the dangerous side effects of the sun. Going on a date, or giving a presentation at work, with your face peeling or flaking is sure to make anyone self-conscious. There’s even an increased risk of skin problems, and possibly skin diseases, if your skin is exposed to too much sun over the years.

4 Summer Skincare Tips: Lady with hat

Make sure you’re using a moisturizer in your summer skincare regimen with at least a 15 SPF to keep your skin moisturized and protected each day. The skin on your lips is ultra-sensitive to the sunshine, so pick up a chapstick or lip balm made with UV protection to keep them kissable. If you use a product with a higher SPF, you won’t need to reapply it as often.

Get Shady to Save Your Skin

I have very fair skin that freckles rather than tans. Just 15 minutes outside with my skin unprotected, and I get sunburned. If you forgot to apply sunscreen before heading out the door, there are several hideouts for your skin if you’re caught outside without UV protection.

Keep your skin glowing while still enjoying the fresh air.

  • Keep a wide brim hat or baseball cap in your trunk
  • Choose umbrella-covered seating
  • Host a dinner party under your covered patio
  • Wear light-weight, breathable cotton long-sleeved shirts

Your skin can keep its summer glow if you’re careful about how long it’s in the sunshine.

Hello Hydration, Goodbye Lackluster Skin

4 Summer Skincare Tips: Water Bottle

No one wants to look like a dry piece of coral at the beach. While you’re out enjoying the long summer days, remember to keep hydrated . Your skin loses moisture more quickly when there’s a heat wave. If your skin loses moisture, it’s bound to look older and lackluster.
It can become so dried out and flaky you may want to hide behind oversized sunglasses and a scarf all day.

Drinking plenty of water is easier than you think. Pack plenty of H2O to take to with you on summer activities. Throw a few water bottles in your beach bag or pack a small cooler the next time you spend the afternoon soaking in sun rays. By staying hydrated, you’ll have more energy to enjoy the day—and look good doing it.

Get Summer Strong

Summer is the perfect time to change your daily workout scenery. Go for a jog around the neighborhood, bike to the park, or hit up your local tennis or basketball court. I love going to my local water aerobics class to exercise outside. Your skin will probably sweat a little more in the higher temperatures. I always joke with my friends that I “sparkle” May through July. But if you’re drinking extra water as a part of your new, outside summer skincare routine, you’ll likely keep your supple summer glow.

4 Summer Skincare Tips Infographic Get #SkinConfident

Rub in your SPF, drop some lemon in your water bottle, grab your tennis racket, and take on this summer with simple skincare tips to keep you glowing. By taking care of your skin, your body will shine with vitamin D and you’ll rock this summer with stellar confidence.

Snap all those selfies! Show off your summer skincare tips for glowing skin in the comments or send us a pic via USANA social.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Healthy Cove

It’s Raining Men’s Health Tips, Hallelujah

 

June is Men’s Health Month.  And sometimes us manly-men, guy’s guys have trouble acknowledging our health issues or that our bodies need different care as we get older.

And unfortunately, rubbing some dirt on it or a stiff drink can’t solve all our ailments.

That’s why it’s so important to recognize men’s health and the issues we may face and how to help ensure a lasting, healthy life.

Our dad’s or that special hunk in our lives are so important to us and just being conscious of the health risks men face as they get older can make a difference.

I personally can’t wait to be a dad, mainly to drop some corny dad jokes.

Knee slappers such as:

“Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere.”

Or “I’ll call you later. Don’t call me later, call me Dad.”

And the classic, “Dad, did you get a haircut? No I got them all cut.”

Phil Dunphy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

So during this Men’s Health Month, here are a few tips to keep in mind to support a healthy, rugged, manly body and lifestyle.

Testing, Testing

Taking a visit to the doctor’s office or hospital usually isn’t considered a one way trip to fun town, but when it comes to checkups and exams, it can be extremely vital to your health.

Father's Day Mens Health Tips: Doctor's Visit As a man in his younger years, I don’t visit the doctor that often. I even try to avoid them most of the time. People of my ilk think we are invincible and don’t need to waste our time at the fancy doctor’s office. But I am not invincible (probably), and I know that when I get older and eventually have a wife and kids to take care of, going to the doctor for tests and examinations is absolutely crucial.

Starting around the age range of 40–50, it is considered very important for men to get tested. Specifically for things like high blood pressure, cholesterol, colon cancer, prostate cancer, glaucoma, and skin cancer. I know what goes in (literally) to some of these exams, and it sounds scary, to be honest. But having the peace of mind of good health makes it all worth it.
And maybe, if you’re good, the doctor will give you a sucker when it’s all over.

Kicking the Habit

We all know that smoking and heavy drinking are never ever good for us. The consequences of those actions can catch up to us real fast as we get older.

Quitting smoking can be one of the hardest things to do, but the health benefits of doing so are quite impactful on the overall health of your body.

Your blood pressure, heart rate, risk of heart disease and stroke all have the possibility to be positively impacted when you quit smoking.

It’s always a good idea to drink in moderation. Having one to two drinks like red wine every so often is thought to even have some positive health benefits. But it’s important to remember — especially in social settings — to not drink excessively. The consequences of doing so could be detrimental to your health and your morning the next day.

Do You Even Lift, Bro?

Getting sufficient exercise is a necessary step in staying healthy. But throwing around huge weight becomes more difficult and could be harder on your body as you progress with age.

Father's Day Mens Health Tips: Weight LiftingOne key thing to remember when you work out, is to focus on getting the technique. A perfect technique helps prevent pulling muscles and damaging joints. There are many articles and YouTube videos to help teach you the safest and most effective ways to do an exercise.

Another area for aging men to focus on while working out is doing isolation exercises. These are lifts that prioritize one area— like bicep or hamstring curls. Isolation exercises can help with your technique and aren’t as strenuous as bigger lifts, so you can do more reps.

Lastly, change it up! Doing anything from using weights one week and resistance training the next, or something as small as changing your grip, stance, or rep scheme — can be enough to help prevent injuries and increase muscle growth and activity.

Whether you are a father of human children —or like me — the father of furry animal children, I hope you have a great Father’s Day!

Healthy Cove

Self Care for Healthy Moms

My Mother and Her Garden

The heavy smell of wet soil, prickly vines brushing against my tiny fingers, running up and down row after row of green sprouts stretching toward the summer sun. These are some of my earliest memories. All because my mother raised me and my brothers out in the family garden.

As I grew older, the garden grew larger. She planted and pruned many fruit trees and bushes of tart raspberries and blackberries that would stain your fingers purple no matter how much you licked them. By late summer, she was filling musty cardboard boxes with everything she needed to make batches of fresh salsa, spaghetti sauce, raspberry jam, peach syrup, strawberry rhubarb pie, spicy garlic pickles, and much more.

My mom would frequently pull carrots out of dirt and hand them to me to eat. Yeah sure, I ate them and they were good, but it wasn’t a Snickers bar or a Twinkie. Still, she was persistent and continued making dinners using as many fresh fruits and vegetables as she could. And my body couldn’t resist—with time I grew to love eating vegetables, tomatoes in particular.

The Mother’s Lifestyle

Many of you are, or plan to be, mothers. And every day you may be asking yourself how you can balance the task of raising a family and also taking care of yourself. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve begun to realize just how challenging and stressful it was for my mother to raise four boys, care for her massive garden, and keep her health strong.

For all mothers, it’s a daunting challenge full of responsibility and tried patience. It’s not just like a job or hobby where you get to go home every day and have weekends off. It’s a lifestyle—a way of living. And it’s a lifestyle that doesn’t always respect your health and wellness.

small survey showed that 43 percent of new moms only get about 5.5 hours of sleep per day and that roughly 62 percent of women under 50 who gave birth last year are also in the workforce.

Another study showed that 8 of 10 moms described parenting as “exhausting… but fun.” And that many millennial mothers feel that parenting has become increasingly competitive. Perhaps due to the rise of social media, 3 out of 4 admitted that it’s important to try to be the “perfect” mom.

On top of it all, mothers are also the primary decision-makers when it comes to their family’s health. While the times are a changing, they are still the primary grocery shoppers and meal preparers in the family.

Care for Yourself and Carry On

It seems crystal clear—if you’re a mom, then not only do you work harder than most, but you deserve a break more than most. Even with kids running around the house, your health is still important. After all, how can you care for those who matter most to you if you don’t care for yourself?

Here are a few ways moms have been able to care for themselves:

  • Get together with friends or plan a mom’s night. Many moms struggle because they feel isolated. So get together with your friends and just talk and have a good time. It might be best to arrange for someone to watch your little ones. That way you can leave the house for a bit and go somewhere fun and relaxing. But if you can’t, then just have your friends come over. Who cares how messy the house is and how crazy your kids are? You can all talk, laugh, and realize you’re not alone.
  •  Take a class each week. Maybe you want to do yoga or take a spin class or finally learn how to paint. What matters is that you continue learning and chasing your personal goals. If you can, arrange for a way to attend a weekly class. You’ll be able to meet new friends, do new things, and keep your body and mind engaged.
  • Enjoy the small things. Little reminders to have joy and feel calm can go a long way. You could end your day with a hot cup of tea or by reading a book. Maybe you love taking short walks or sitting on the front porch. Find those little things that make you smile and make time for them each day.
  • Count your blessings. It’s official, being grateful may actually make you a happier person. So instead of thinking about what you don’t have, take time to reflect on the good things in front of you. Right now, make a list of five things you’re thankful for. Then add five more things to that list each day. Soon, you’ll have a hundred reasons to smile and hold your head high.
  • Ask for help. This can be tough. No one wants to feel like they’ve failed. And sometimes asking for help can make us feel like we’re giving up. But the simple truth is, there are probably many people in your life who would love to help you out. Ask your family, friends, community organizations, and maybe even co-workers for support. Maybe with some help, you can arrange to go out with friends or a significant other and have a refreshing break.
  • Care for your health. Being a mother is both mentally and physically demanding. You must take time each day to take care of your health. Have an evening routine that is calming for everyone. Maybe that way you can get to sleep early. Don’t skip meals and try to eat as healthy as you can. And you may be exhausted, but make sure you’re exercising a little bit each day. Nutritional supplements can also help fill in the gaps between what your body needs and what it gets on your busy schedule.

Building a Legacy of Health

Last weekend, my wife and I started digging and planting our own garden. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it will be worth it. We really want to make our own fresh salsa and spaghetti sauce. If my mother hadn’t surrounded me with fresh fruits and vegetables when I was a kid, I doubt we’d be putting so much time and effort into growing them for ourselves. And I can’t wait for the day when my children take their first bite of a juicy, tangy tomato grown in the very garden that they play in.

It’s really that simple. My mother passed her healthy habits down to me, which I hope to pass on to my children. That’s how health comes full circle. And it can all start with a mother’s example.

USANA provides a number of premium supplements that can help you build your legacy of health and wellness. Prenatal CellSentials™ is a great way for expecting mothers to get the vital nutrients they need. Body Rox™ and Usanimals™ are perfect for helping your teens and little ones get vitamins and minerals they need for healthy growth and development.*

Check out our Specials to see our USANA Mother’s Day Gifts at http://www.eastcoastlifesolutions.com .

“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”

Coast Lifestyle

HOW STRESS AFFECTS YOUR WEIGHT

stress affects your weight

Your work meeting ran late. Your car wouldn’t start immediately. You’ve hit every red light on the drive home. You realize you have no groceries at the same time hunger hits.

Surely, you’ve experienced a night like this and didn’t handle it gracefully. That’s because when you are experiencing stress—no matter how insignificant—the demands on your mind and body have exceeded the resources you have to cope with them. It’s hard to deal with each stressor when you’re standing at the crossroads of eight different frustrating scenarios.

Some nights like this might be unavoidable. But it’s important to learn about the long-term, negative impacts of stress so you can keep yourself healthy, well, and whole.

A common concern with ill-managed stress is an impact on the ability to maintain a healthy weight. There are a lot of factors that explain how stress affects weight. Your body’s response to stress—the hormones it releases—can impact fat storage. Stress can cause shifts in your microbiome. And, on top of that, the stress eating—turning to comforting, unhealthy foods—used to cope can compound the issues.

Below, you’ll get in-depth explanations of these bodily responses and the vicious stress cycle. But before you explore the impact, let’s discuss the different types of stress and your body’s response to it.

Types of Stress

Short-term stress happens quickly, over a short duration of time. It could be bad traffic or a long line at the store when you’re in a hurry. A short-term stressor might be small, but it’s something you’re able to handle without much difficulty.

Long-term stress is an ongoing battle against your stressor(s). It can be repetitive, continuous situations or conditions that feel insurmountable. For example, a lot of people struggle with crippling debt or maybe going to a job they hate. These types of looming stressors can last for months and even years.

Your body handles these stressors differently. From chemical pathways to behavioral changes, a lot can happen in response to stress. Let’s explore your body’s response to stressors to better understand how you can stay healthy while overcoming life’s obstacles.

The Short-Term Stress Response

Short-term stress happens when your body reacts to a risk, whether it is real or perceived. Let’s say you’re home alone and you hear an unfamiliar sound. Your brain may process this as a risk. You might assume it’s an intruder, even if the sound is not.

Before you determine the sound was just the washing machine, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode. And your adrenal glands secrete the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine.

These hormones make your body prepared for survival mode, should the need arise. Increased hormone levels elevate your heart rate, blood pressure, and they increase the rate at which fat and carbohydrates in your system are broken down. Basically, these hormones are changing your metabolism to fuel this heightened state to be ready to fight or run away. Once the threat is eliminated, your body can return to its normal state.

The Long-Term Stress Response

Since the exposure to the “risk”—again perceived or real—is prolonged during long-term stress, your body can be strained physically and psychologically. Instead of short-lived spikes in the flight-or-fight hormones, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol, the primary stress hormone.

Cortisol’s presence doesn’t wreak havoc on the body. The strain comes from elevated levels for a prolonged period of time. The body becomes accustomed to these levels, establishing a new baseline tolerance. Consequently, if high stress levels are maintained, the secretions will continue to increase.

High levels of cortisol stimulate your appetite. On top of that, it can influence a rise in insulin levels. Insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar. As the insulin level raises, blood sugar levels drop. This can create cravings for especially calorie-dense foods to regain a reasonable blood sugar level.

The Vicious Cycle of Stress & Weight Gain

The sequence of events above may not seem that harmful on the surface. However, if cortisol continues to course through your system for days, weeks—even months—on end, a vicious cycle is born. Elevated cortisol leads to increased insulin levels, which leads to lower blood sugar, and finally sugar cravings.

It’s not surprising that if you experience stress without relief, you might reach for “comfort foods” to sustain you. These foods are aptly named. They often supply a lot of energy in the form of refined sugar. They’re rich in fat to boot. And your brain experiences a calming effect from these foods.

In a way, comfort foods provide a short respite from the stress response. But this positively reinforces the frequent consumption of comfort foods. When you experience this relief, it’s likely you’ll reach for a similar food the next time you’re stressed and hungry. If the cycle continues long-term, there are implications for weight gain.

But there’s more to it than the cycle of stress eating. Cortisol activates lipoprotein lipase (LPL), an enzyme responsible for depositing and storing fat. A group of researchers found a correlation between high cortisol levels and central fat accumulation (distribution of fat around the midsection).

The group studied women at rest and subjected them to stress tests. Measurements of participant cortisol levels and psychological responses were taken after each rest or testing session. The researchers found that these correlations back up the existing hypothesis that long-term stress and “stress reactivity” can lead to greater central fat accumulation.

The Impact of Stress on Your Microbiome

A recent study in mice reiterated that stress has physical implications too, not just psychological ones. The researchers took a group of mice and fed half of the male and female mice a high-fat diet and then exposed the entire group to mild stress for a prolonged period of time.

The most notable finding was in the group of female mice not on the high-fat diet. After the stress period, their gut microbiota had changed. Though they were not eating a high-fat diet, their microbiome told a different story. Over time, the bacteria in their gut shifted to resemble that of the mice fed a high-fat diet.

Though this study was conducted in mice, the lessons and implications are clear. First, the biological effects of stress are far-reaching. It affects how you feel emotionally. But stress also changes the body physiologically. Second, the conclusion also implies that eating well alone is not enough to keep your body as healthy as it could be. While diet is important, so is your response to stress.

Tips for Managing Versus Coping with Stress

While they may sound similar, managing and coping with stress are two very distinct behaviors. Management involves planning ahead and building systems of support before stressors become overwhelming. Coping implies a sense of survival or just scraping by during an episode of stress.

Creating a stress-management plan doesn’t have to be stressful—it can be simple! It takes a little bit of forethought and planning, but once in place, it can help you through a hectic day. Consider the list below and think of how to personalize each for your life.

  • Create a support system. You likely already have a network of family and friends. But it’s helpful to pinpoint exactly who in your web can help you and when. And don’t just name them—write them down. It’s easier to reach out for support when a name and number are ready to use.
  • Block out alone time. This actually means time spent alone—free from distractions and visitors. You’re encouraged to physically block out these times on your calendar, too. This way colleagues or family can’t schedule over your time to recharge. If you’re a busy person, don’t give this up if you don’t have a free hour. Even five minutes alone can help.
  • Prioritize your tasks. It’s always gratifying to check off items on a to-do list. But often the easiest tasks get checked first, leaving the larger, more important tasks waiting for too long. Be honest with yourself when creating and prioritizing your list.
  • Make time for self-care. This doesn’t necessarily mean treating yourself in the way of bubble baths and bon-bons. It means actually taking care of yourself by eating balanced meals, sleeping well, and exercising, to name a few. Taking care of your body shouldn’t be a luxury, so make these self-care pieces a priority.
  • Be active! Exercise can intimidate some, but it can be enjoyable if you tailor it to your interests. Whether it be a leisurely walk or a vigorous game of soccer, both are valid options for getting your body moving. Research has shown that regular exercise can lower cortisol levels and boost endorphins.

Thanks to Ienna Templeton

 

Healthy Cove

Fluid for Life – Water

water

It provides no nutritional value, yet it is the probably the most important substance that we consume.

Water! Without it, our other nutrients are useless.

It’s essential for transporting nutrients to cells and wastes from cells. Without it, cellular metabolism and proper chemical functioning do not exist. 

We don’t talk about it enough. And you may have heard lot of “facts” about it that aren’t entirely true.

Have you heard that the body is 2/3, or around 70% water? An infant’s total body water (TBW) is typically as high as 74%. However, due mostly to loss of relative lean body mass, an adult female is closer to 47% water, and an adult male 56%.

Have you heard that other drinks, such as juices and coffee, do not count toward your daily water intake? That is not true either. On average, about 20-25% of water consumed is from food, and 75-80% is from all beverages.

What about the fact that caffeinated beverages don’t count, or that they can be dehydrating? That, again, is mostly inaccurate. Regular consumers of caffeinated beverages suffer no negative effects on hydration status by drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages.

How much fluid do you need to replace when sweating? How much fluid should I be getting based on my size and activity levels? For these answers and other important information on water, the following is a great resource.

Hydration: Fluids for Life
The North American branch of the International Life Sciences
Institute (ILSI N.A.)

http://ilsina.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2016/06/HYD-Hydration-Fluids-for-Life.pdf

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Why Diffuse Essential Oils?

 

petal-diffuser-e1490036656284_large

At doTERRA we recommend using essential oils aromatically, topically, or internally depending on the properties in each individual oil. Nearly every oil and blend, with the exception of HD Clear® and Immortelle, can be diffused. Diffusing an oil helps us take advantage of its most noticeable characteristic—it’s scent. By learning more about how much of a role smell plays in our lives, the impact of essential oils can be understood on a deeper level.

The Power of Scent

Our sense of smell is one of our most powerful senses, and you have probably noticed in your own experience that some scents are more positively associated in our minds than others. Your body contains over 1,000 receptors for smell—more receptors than for any other sense. Dr. David K. Hill D.C., Founding Executive points out that even though our noses are not as acute as a bloodhound’s, “you can still detect thousands of varieties of odors in infinitesimal quantities.”

By putting essential oils directly into the air we breathe, we can influence the feeling of our environment, and, more powerfully, our own emotions. The doTERRA Emotional Aromatherapy® System contains six blends formulated to address specific emotions, but any oil can have this impact. We know that citrus oils, for example, are uplifting and energizing to your mood, while scents like Lavender or doTERRA Balance® are calming and grounding.

Other Uses and Benefits

While smell is a great tool, there are other reasons that diffusing essential oils can be beneficial to you:

  1. It can purify the air in your home. Juniper BerryLemonLimeMelaleuca (Tea Tree), and specific blends like Purify and doTERRA On Guard® are useful for this purpose.
  2. Some oils can help maintain feelings of clear breathing and open airways. For example, doTERRA Breathe®Douglas FirLavender, and Eucalyptus all have this ability, among other oils.
  3. To minimize the effects of seasonal threats. Specifically Arborvitae and doTERRA Breathe help here.
  4. Only a small amount of oil needs to be used if you’re using it in an ultrasonic diffuser. This means you can use one bottle of essential oil many times before you’ll need more.

How to Diffuse

The best way to diffuse is either nebulizing (cold air) or ultrasonic (water) diffusion. Heating oils to diffuse them can alter their delicate chemistry. Most of the diffusers doTERRA offers are ultrasonic diffusers, meaning that they use water to disperse the oil into the air.

To diffuse in an ultrasonic diffuser, put cool tap water to the fill line and add at least two drops or more to the water. Then, choose the time setting you desire and let it run. Diffusing in a nebulizing diffuser is waterless: take the cap and orifice off of your bottle of essential oil and attach it to the diffuser and choose your settings for time and amount at a time.

If you don’t have a diffuser, there are other ways to enjoy the benefits of diffusing. Try adding a few drops of essential oil to your palms and cup them over your nose while you inhale deeply. This is an easy technique especially when you’re on the go. Or, add some drops of oil to a glass spray-bottle with water and spritz around the room.

The combinations of essential oils you can diffuse are endless. And, like each of you, they are as unique as you would like them to be. Check out our post on creating blends to see what scents go well together, or follow us on FacebookPinterest, or Instagram for more ideas.

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5 Ways to Feel More Self-Love

Self-Love: heart

Let’s face it—feeling self-love is much easier said than done. Especially when we live in a society obsessed with Snapchat-filter perfection. We constantly see others obtaining status, owning the latest and greatest technologies, going on dream vacations, and living in a big house on a hill with the perfect family.

It’s no wonder we often feel like we don’t measure up.

Even worse, we begin to tell ourselves lies. We start to think that we’re weird, poor, ugly, awkward, not smart enough, or even too smart. In short, we feel like we’re never enough.

But what if we’re wrong?

What if you were good enough, just the way you are? In this very moment?

When it comes to love, it’s often easier to give it to others. But showing yourself love is just as important, maybe even more so. Here are five ways you can start showing yourself some much-needed love today.

1–Make a List of Your Positive Attributes

How often do we take the time to praise ourselves? If the answer is “rarely” or “I don’t even know what self-praise is,” let’s fix that, pronto. Try writing out a list of your positive attributes and take time to reflect on it every day.

When putting together your list, instead of being super generic in your attributes, try to be specific and have a little fun with this. (And then get really wild and add one or two new attributes to the list every week.)

For example: “I always give genuine compliments to others.” Or: “I’m non-judgmental and I always try to see things from another person’s point of view.” Or: “I have a nice singing voice and my husband/wife/next-door neighbor/puppy (woof!) loves it when I sing loudly when doing the dishes.”

Self-Love: Gratitude

Another tip? Along with the positive attributes list, try making a list of the things you are grateful for. Showing gratitude can go a long way into helping you out of self-defeating and negative thinking patterns.

2–Take Time for Yourself

Maybe you’re a super busy mom with adorable but rambunctious children. Or maybe you’re a hard-working sales rep putting in 60 hours+ of work each week. Your time can start to feel like it doesn’t belong to you anymore, and far too often you may feel like stretched taffy pulled too thin.

But how can you fully give to your children or to your job if you haven’t given anything to yourself?

This may mean taking extra time for yourself to meditate. It could mean curling up with a good murder mystery for a half hour before bed or indulging in the latest episode of your favorite guilty pleasure (if you love The Bachelor, I’m right there with you). It could mean making it to your daily CrossFit class or going to a weekly yoga class. It could even mean making a delicious snack for yourself and not sharing it with your kids!

Self-Love: Reading

The bottom line: fill your own cup first before you share with others. And don’t feel guilty about it. Just do it.

3–No More Negative Self-Talk

Another way to show love for yourself is to quit with the negative self-talk.

Seriously, stop. When you call yourself a name or criticize yourself, you are shrinking yourself from a human being of value down to a single element of yourself that you don’t like.

This can be a hard habit to quell, but it’s one that can have truly astonishing results. Think about it. You wouldn’t tell a 5-year-old that their crayon drawings look terrible. You wouldn’t tell your bestie that they’re hopeless for not knowing how to do their taxes online. And you certainly wouldn’t tell your loveable Grandma that she’s a basket case every time she smears pink lipstick on her teeth. (At least let’s hope you’d never do this.)

Yet how often do we berate ourselves and think negative thoughts like “I’m so stupid” or “I never get anything right”?

Instead of thinking of yourself as a total dumb-bat, rephrase the way you think about things. Try this instead: “Okay, so I don’t know how to relight the pilot light on my furnace. But there are YouTube videos that can probably teach me how to do this.”

4–Don’t Compare Apples to Oranges

Everybody is different. You don’t look the same, act the same, speak the same, or have exactly the same mind and heart and experiences as anybody else. You are a unique individual. Embrace it.

Self-Love: Apples and oranges

This is one I can certainly work on. For instance, I know that I’m kinda weird. I have a bizarre and irrational fear of birds (I’d never survive at Hogwarts with all the owls), I secretly cling to the hope that aliens and mermaids are real, and I’m addicted to reading young adult fiction that teenage girls obsess over, even though I’m a 32-year-old man. It’s like I’m becoming a crazy cat lady, but with books instead of cats. But I’m slowly learning that it’s okay to embrace your quirks. It’s okay to be different. Be weirdly you and own it and love it. And remember that no one is perfect, and perfect is boring anyway. Be flaw-some instead.

To make my point, let’s look at fruit. Say you are an orange. You are tangy-sweet, smell like a citrus-flavored candle, and are round with a thick skin. As an orange, why would you compare yourself to an apple? Or if you’re a strawberry, why look at a kiwi and think you’re somehow less? Every fruit has a little something to bring to the fruit salad. Likewise, we all have something unique to bring to the table.

5–Leave the Past in the Past

If we’re being real, life isn’t always hunky-dory and chances are you might have some old emotional wounds or negative memories lingering on the surface in the present moment. If you find yourself dwelling on an old memory you’re not too fond of, catch yourself and say, “I’m not that person anymore.” Because truthfully, you aren’t. You don’t have to be defined by mistakes or incidents from the past.

Another thought—try accepting where you are right now, in the moment. Sometimes we give ourselves a hard time simply because we are feeling emotional. We feel like we need to be stronger. But it’s okay if you might be feeling a little down about something. Instead of beating yourself up for feeling down or emotional, give yourself permission to feel the feels for a bit. And then let it go and move on to greener pastures.

Allow Self-Love into Your Life

Self-Love: Love yourself

Self-love isn’t something you arrive at overnight. But by taking small, daily steps, you can begin to truly appreciate your uniqueness. You absolutely can love yourself just the way you are (and I sincerely hope you will).

After all, you’re pretty flaw-some.