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Recipe for a Happy Life

I know that I typically use this blog to share food ideas and recipes so that you may be healthier  and feel good in your life. But I have learned that optimal health is not just dependent on what you put in your body, the key to a truly healthy body goes deeper than just what you eat.

As Thanksgiving gets nearer I am always reminded that this is a wonderful time to express appreciation and gratitude. But why limit it to just one day. The key to a happy life, to feeling good, to being truly healthy in mind body and spirit is enhanced by the daily practice of appreciation. And it feels great!
The physical benefits are multiple and include; strengthening the immune system, less aches and pains, lower BP, lowering stress and stress hormones and better sleep, just to name a few. If you practice gratitude you will feel more alive, alert, more joy, optimism and pleasure. Need I say more?
So how can you make appreciation a habit? For some of us, it actually takes a lot of practice so I suggest a few simple techniques. Firstly, when you wake up in the morning, before you get out of bed, think of three things that you are grateful for. You can do this at night before you go to sleep as well. It can be as simple as the feeling you have in your toes, or the sensation of the sheets on your body. Next, as you take your first bite of food or drink, take a moment to appreciate the source of your food, did it come from the earth, who took care of it before it reached your table, imagine the energy it took to grow. When you bite into your food, be grateful for the way the flavor bursts in your mouth and enjoy every bite. Think of all the nutrients that your body is receiving with every morsel and be thankful that you have such rich, nutritious food at your finger tips.
You can actually practice gratitude and appreciation all throughout the day. There is always something to be thankful for in every moment. I tell all of my patients that maybe every time they look at their phone, to use this as a reminder thoughout the day to express your gratitude. You can just think about it, you can journal it, even keep a gratitude jar in your home so that you can visualize all that you are grateful for as the jar continues to fill up. Notice how your heart expands and your life begins to improve and feel better the more that you engage in this magical practice.
Appreciation is a wonderful gift that you can give to yourself before thanksgiving and all year round. When it becomes the way of living, when we practice noticing the little joys in life, everything in our lives appreciates!
In Gratitude…
Alison
 
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Posted by on November 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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1 minute of your time = a calm, radiant, healthy you

meditatingSince New Year’s eve I vowed to make time daily to ‘look within’ and stay connected with myself. I was listening to the Dalai Lama speak about health and wellness and he kept repeating, ‘calm mind=healthy body”. So although I usually focus my blogs on food and how it relates to health, He clearly reminded me with his strong message that body mind and spirit are very connected. So today commit to a 5 Minute Meditation. I have made it easy, so no excuses!

Find the time today to make your mind calm and a healthy body will ensue…if 5 minutes feels daunting give yourself one minute. Just one minute-you can do it! Let me know how it goes? If it feels delicious to you, please share and pay this message forward to someone you love….

1-5 Minute Meditation

Stop.

Sit stand or lay down in a comfy position.

Set your cell phone timer for 1-5 minutes.

Close your eyes.

Take a nice deep breath.

Breathe

Breathe

If your mind wanders, that is ok, when you catch it, just relax and go back to breathing

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Digest Well and Stay Chill Tips for this Xmas

With the holiday season in full bloom, food intake typically increases, healthy choices typically decrease, and lets face it, family events, big dinners and relatives can also be a tad bit stressful. All of this can increase your cortisol levels (the stress hormone), decrease DHEA, the hormone of well-being thus leading to decrease chances of a calm mind and calm tummy.
 
Here are some tips to create a healthy balanced Xmas;
 
1. Have an apple cider vinegar “shot” before your dinner
Apple cider vinegar is one of Nature’s gems health secret. It is fermented so it contains beneficial bacteria to help ease tummy woes. It contains plenty of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and salts to keep the body balanced, to aid in easing digestion and assist in washing away toxins from the body. Have 1 tsp in 4-6 ounces of water.
 
2..Stay well hydrated.
Nourishing and refresh your body by keeping yourself well hydrated this evening. I suggest for every glass of alcohol have a glass of water or a shot of coconut water to balance your system. This will help give you the energy you need to stay uplifted and feel vibrant.
 
3. Eat plenty of fiber; vegetables, fruits, flax seeds 
Veggies and fruits are low in calories and fats, but high in dietary fiber, which means they will provide you the nutrients needed to keep your GI system moving and healthy.
 High-fiber veggies include: avocado, beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, chickpeas, garbanzos, eggplant, kale, collard, lima beans, mushrooms, potato, pumpkin, peppers, rhubarb, spinach, sweet potatoes and of course don’t forget flackers!
 High fiber fruits include: apple, avocado, banana, berries, figs, raisins, guava, kiwi, orange, pear, prunes.
 
 4. Keep some digestive enzymes and probiotics on hand
 Digestive enzymes help our bodies break down the food we eat. They are found in our saliva, stomachs and small intestine. Receiving the proper amount of enzymes will help prevent gas and bloating and will make you less tired. Probiotics are “good” and “friendly” bacteria that live in our intestinal tract. they keep the environment of our digestive system fertile and thriving. They keep our pH levels conducive for absorption, as well as digestion. They also support in peristalsis, the muscular contraction that moves food and waste through our digestive tract as well as providing a “boost” to the immune system.
 
Breathe….

Stay calm by reminding yourself to take a few deep breaths every hour. Deep breathing lowers your cortisol level and increases the release of dhea so that you feel better, more balanced and calmer.
 
And finally, if you get to a point where you still feel anxious or frustrated or overwhelmed just remember how lucky you are that unlike some people, that you are blessed to even have the chance to celebrate, have crazy amounts of food, friends or family and /or furry friends near you!
 
Happy Holidays!
 
 
 
 
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Posted by on December 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Need to De-Stress? Try a little Zest!

Last night I was working in the crazy busy urgent care and I needed a second to recuperate, so I went to dictate a few charts, peeled myself a beautiful orange/mandarin for some good ol fashioned nourishment and within an instant the stale room that was filled with four other doctors and years of who knows what kind of aromas, was suddenly replaced by the wonderful fresh, refreshing, uplifting scent of this glorious orange. Within seconds I felt revitalized and I had not even taken a bite yet!

Ah the glories of the citrus family! In the world of essential oils, citrus is known to improve mood, decrease appetite and lower anxiety. So many reasons to sniff a mandarin or orange peel if you are feeling down or having a gloomy day.

So today, if you are feeling a little anxious or just need to de-stress, try a little zest! Studies have shown that scents can help you to de-stress. Linalool; a substance found in lemons for example, not only has anti-inflammatory properties but may also help to reduce the flight-or-fight stress response. Other scents like basil, juniper, and lavender have also been found to lower stress as well.

So sniff and eat I say! Cause not only do citrus fruits wake up your sense of smell but they are packed with vitamin C, which brings high stress hormones back to normal levels more quickly. Vitamin C also helps lower blood pressure. Blood pressure can rise in response to stressful situations. Eat an orange as a snack on the days when you anticipate extra stress at home or at work. Doing so about an hour before a stressful situation can help you stay calm.

So go and find your favorite citrus fruit, bring it along with you today and enjoy your calm fabulous day…

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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