Getting over my caffeine addiction: my personal health journey part I

Welcome to part one of my personal health journey!

I don’t know about you but thanks to the COVID-19 going to the grocery store has been a completely different experience.

Due to this my husband and I have fallen back into the processed food/unhealthy diet rut. We have been here before and have gotten ourselves out of it using each other as a good support system.

I plan on using my personal health journey to help busy people achieve their health goals in the most effective way possible: one step at a time.

I know this works because I have done it before but the only main difference between this time and last time is that my husband is trying to gain weight while I am trying to lose weight. I know that this will be more challenging for me, and look forward to showing you all how to make this work!

Personally I am easily affected by caffeine, and I have a bad habit of drinking energy beverages. I know! Horrible right? I do not like the taste of coffee and tea does not have the kick that an energy beverage does šŸ™‚

But here is the real reason I know I need to stop the caffeine. After having some I will start to sweat, talk really fast, and snap more easily.

So knowing this gives me a clear action step to take as the first part of my health journey begins. At the moment I am drinking green tea in the morning and an energy beverage after work. I have removed energy beverages from my diet before and its not an experience I am looking forward to. So my goal here is to decrease the severity of headaches that are going to come with this change.

Note: I will not be removing green tea from my diet. Green tea has some amazing health benefits and I love to nice warm drink to start the day. Plus a cup of green tea has about 36mg of caffeine compared to 150mg of coffee. So my focus will be on removing the energy beverages and this will be challenge enough.

Quick tip: Add a little bit of lemon juice to your green tea to help you absorb all the wonderful antioxidants!

Kicking caffeine

Day one

This day is the easiest! Your body doesn’t know your going to stop so you get no side-affects. But knowing that caffeine headaches are the worst I replaced the energy drink with a caffeinated kombucha drink. This has significantly less caffeine, organic, and packed with probiotics so not only is it going to help me with my headaches but it will also help me with my gut health.

Quick tip: When actively trying to remove something from your diet that you know you are addicted to start off small. Cutting it out completely is not as sustainable as slowly, overtime, taking small steps to removing it from your diet.

Day Two-Three:

I woke up with the beginnings of a caffeine headache. I continued to have Green tea in the morning and kombucha in the afternoon. The headaches lingered but are not those massive I have to stop everything and hold my head kind.

Day Four:

No more headache in the morning! Now I get to remove the kombucha drink.

Day Five:

Woke up with a more intense headache than before. I placed two tea bags into my green tea this morning to help alleviate the headache so I could make it through work. It helped and I was not bothered until I arrived back home at which point I took one ibuprofen.

Day Six:

I had a lingering headache throughout the day but kept to one tea bag in my green tea. This is the point that I have reached as far as I am going to go at removing caffeine out of my diet.

Day Seven:

No headache and life is great!

If you have ever tried to remove caffeine from your diet before you will know what type of headache you get from it. A full blown caffeine headache is incredibly painful and can make going through your day unbearable.

I knew that trying to remove the energy drink from my diet was going to give me that type of headache so I focused on decreasing the overall pain until my body adjusted. To do that instead of completely removing the energy drink I replaced it with a drink that had significantly less caffeine. Then I simply paid attention to my body and adjusted as I went with the ultimate goal being no headaches.

Getting rid of something you are addicted to like caffeine is a step by step process. If you try to stop cold turkey the pain you go through makes it hard to concentrate and therefore you need to relay heavily on pain medications. Or give up entirely. So the goal should be to go day by day and remove a little bit at a time until you are where you want to be.

If this process seems daunting to you but you are interested in limiting you caffeine feel free to contact me! You can sign up for my newsletter for more health tips and even set up an initial health coaching session with me on my website www.rejuvenateinschoharie.com.

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It’s time to enjoy the little things

As things continue to progress with COVID-19 its time to stop and take a breath.

Relax, focus on the good in life, and what makes us happy.

Turn off the news channel, take a break from work, and just remember why you are here, what keeps you going, and who you truly appreciate in life.

When I do this my mind goes through pictures like these:

These are the cute moments in my life that keep me upbeat! It really does not matter what I am going through that day. If I simply open my phone up to take a quick scroll through my photos I have all these wonderful reminders that things really are not that bad. They are amazing!

Take time out of everyday to truly appreciate the little things in your life. Value what you have now and your happiness will always grow!

Water and Digestion

I learned something pretty interesting.

Do you know that its actually not recommended that you drink water while eating a meal? I know weird right?

A nutritional biochemist Libby Weaver in her article ‘3 ways better eating habits can improve your digestion’ explains the importance to holding off on drinking water while eating. She recommends to not drink 30 mins before or after your meal.

The science behind this is simple.

Our stomach is typically around 1.7 pH. This level of acidity is important for proper digestion. A typical glass of water is around 7 pH. So if you are drinking a full glass of water during your meal you have the ability to bring your stomach’s acidity down and this will actually impede digestion.

That coupled with not chewing your food properly can greatly increase the incidence of things like irritable bowl syndrome, GI discomfort, or other GI related issues. It will also decrease the overall amount of nutrients you are able to get out of the food you are currently eating.

So what do you do about this?

Simple, keep your water intake to in between meals and if you really need to have water use lemon or apple cider vinegar to increase the acidity of your water slightly so you can lessen the impact.

Check out my other post on Water! for other benefits of this wonderful element!

If you are having GI problems and are looking for other options I would suggest you sign up for a free initial health consultation with me to discuss your health goals! You can also sign up for my monthly newsletter for wonderful health and wellness content!

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Entertainment During the COVID-19

This was the first weekend that I really felt the affects of the COVID-19

Social distancing, people being afraid, grocery stores sold out of whole aisles, and everything shutting down. All of this has made it impossible not to feel worried, and a little stir crazy.

So how did you deal with this over the weekend? Did you do a little spring cleaning? Start a project you have been putting off for months? Learn something new? Start a new T.V. show?

I did a few things. I varnished the Pennywise painting for my husband, started a new painting (see below) for my Dad, and started learning how to play the Mandolin. My goal was to stay focused on anything other than what is going on in the world.

Granted this does not mean that I was not aware of what the new changes were. I just gave myself outlets to allow for peace of mind during this process.

My goal next weekend will be to develop a better meditation practice, transfer the horse painting onto a canvas, and learn a new song or two on the Mandolin. During the week I will be working out, adding to the horse painting, and finding new/fun ways to create meals out of what I could find at the store.

I challenge you to find something to keep your mind busy during this Pandemic. Would cooking something new be fun? Trying your hand at some creative project you have always wanted to try? Reading a new book? Whatever it is make it fun and enjoyable.

If you are looking for new and exciting content sign up for my monthly Health Coaching newsletter ‘Rejuvenate Health Coaching’!

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Let your Creativity Shine

Things have been a little crazy lately during this pandemic.

Right now people are practicing social distancing and staying home to avoid contamination. Anyone else going a little stir crazy right now?

My suggestion is to find your creativity in this trying time. Find something you love to do that you can lose yourself in for hours at a time.

For me this is painting. I LOVE seeing a painting come together. I can literally lose myself in this for hours without noticing the time going by. Below are the stages of a painting I have done for my husband. He loves ‘It’ the movie, and I really enjoyed putting this together for him.

Creativity is an amazing way to keep your brain from focusing on the problems in the world. Instead of parking yourself in front of the T.V. to be exposed to all the negativity in the world. Connect with your inner child! Paint, draw, scrap book..anything that you find fun that you might not have done in a while.

Whatever it is make it fun, and try to make the best out of whats going on in the world today! Enjoy!

Reference photo: Pennywise the clown in the 2017 film It. (Photo: New Line Cinema)

What I look forward to everyday

Everyone has something that they look forward to everyday. Something that makes them happy, and reminds them to smile or laugh. For me, its my puppies. No matter how I am feeling that day they can always cheer me up.

Of course sometimes its the opposite. Like coming home to finding out that Nancy destroyed something I was stupid enough to leave where she can get it. Or Sid taking on a Skunk and losing.

But for the most part seeing their happy faces at the end of a work day is the best thing about that day. Here are some cute pictures of these little guys.

As you go through today stop and think of what gets you through the day. Is it your fur baby’s? Your children? Your significant other? What ever it is give thanks to the universe for it everyday! Enjoy!

Beans!

Beans are an amazingly powerful source of protein.

Additionally, they are also packed with fiber, iron, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

They are low in calories and have been known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

Bean have a bad rap though. Mainly surrounding the GI discomfort that comes from eating them. But there a some great ways to minimize these issues and still enjoy the benefits. It really all comes down to preparing your beans correctly.

Follow the instructions below and you can enjoy beans without the problems.

Rinse your beans

Be sure to rinse your canned beans under cool water until you do not see any more foam/bubbles. With dried beans rinse them and make sure to remove any foreign objects like small rocks from them before cooking.

Soak

Dried beans should be soaked for about 8-12 hrs before cooking. You can check if they are done by cutting a bean in half. If you see that the center is still opaque then you should keep soaking them. Rinse the soaking water off the beans before you cook them.

Cooking

Cover the beans with water and once it boils remove the foam off the top then cook for the desired time. You can add bay leaf, cumin, fennel, kombu, or anise to help digest them with no discomfort. Adding salt or apple cider vinegar to the beans at the last ten minutes of cooking will also help.

If you want to speed things up you can boil dried beans for 5 mins and let them soak for about 4 hrs.

Using canned beans negates the need for soaking them just make sure to really rinse them before you use them to help with GI discomfort.

Adding this wonderful plant based protein is an amazing way to get more nutrient dense foods into your diet. Like with anything new start small! Let your digestive system get use to them before you start eating them in high quantities. Here are some simple ways to use beans in your everyday life.

  • You can make a salad with beans, cut up veggies, and a vinaigrette.
  • Make bean soup by blending cooked beans with a range of spices for a nice warm wholesome meal
  • You can make a dip with pureed beans and spices
  • Put some beans on top of your salad

If are still curious about beans and are looking to make better health food choices feel free to set up a complimentary initial consultation at www.rejuvenateinschoharie.com or email me at pleonard1422@gmail.com.

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Two Tricks to Relax

Anxiety and Stress are two huge problems in the U.S.

Our lives are going so fast we have a hard time relaxing, and prolonged stress will lead to health problems in the future.

There are two tricks I use to deal with stress in the moment. These techniques are effective in forcing your brain from the Sympathetic Nervous system (SNS) “fight or flight” to our Parasympathetic Nervous system (PNS) “rest and digest”.

Someone with anxiety, typically, is in a prolonged state of SNS with a constant release of cortisol. This will eventually lead to adrenal fatigue with symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, body aches and sleeplessness. SNS is needed to keep us safe but PNS is not essential to overall body functions. Your body will never actively force a state of PNS. So you have to activate it. Practices like Yoga and Meditation give you the tools to maintain a healthy defense against stress. The two tricks I use help in the moment and stop SNS from taking over.

Trick one: Diaphragmatic Breathing

The diaphragm sits at the bottom of your lungs and when you inhale it will drop down and push out allowing for a bigger volume of air into the lungs. As babies we breathe this way. But as we grow older we eventually teach ourselves to breathe using our upper chest and shoulders. Never allowing for a truly deep breath.

By breathing deep our heart rate and blood pressure decrease. This effectively tells our brain that we are in a safe place and its time to activate PNS.

The next time you are stressed take three diaphragmatic breaths allowing each exhale to be longer than the last. In through the nose and out through the mouth.

Trick Two: 5 seconds

Seems simple right? But how many times have you reacted to something immediately and regretted it? Do yourself a favor and count to 5 in your head when you are stressed. Adding deep breathing to this will increase the effect. But overall the idea is when you concentrated on counting your brain focuses on that simple task. This decreases your heart rate and deepens your breathing.

The next time you feel stressed try one of these techniques. See if they work for you! If they do please share with me your experience. I would love to hear it!

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Valentine’s Day!

Today is the national day to remember to show your love to the person you are with.

It is always a good thing to have a day specifically for love but this should not be the only day you celebrate it!

Sure Valentine’s Day comes with all that wonderful candy, flower displays, and commercials for buying expensive jewelry that remind you to appreciate this day. But do you ever feel stressed or pressured to make this day stand out? To do something that will always be remembered by the one you love? To top the year before?Or to simply just remember to stop by the store buy some candy and flowers?

Stress should never be associated with a day set aside for showing your one and only how much you care about them.

Love is not built on grand gestures. Sure, they help! But its about the little things.

Remembering to brush your love ones car off before they have to go to work. Doing the dishes. Making sure to kiss your significant other before they leave the house or go to bed. A shoulder to cry on and a cheerleader when they step out of their comfort zone to do something better. I could give you so many other examples of what love is built on.

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Love is not materialist. It’s the want/need to be with someone without grand gestures.

So if your significant other forgets to get you a card with some flowers today do not get upset. Go give them a hug and tell them you love them. Remind them that you are always there to support them. That. Right there. Means more than any other materialistic thing they could ever want!

If you want to be a truly happy person. Stop looking for the materialistic gifts. Focus on the way they show their love to you, and you will live a happy life. Enjoy!

Positivity Vs. Negativity

PMA Vs. NMA  

A couple of days ago I started to read ā€˜Success Through a Positive Mental Attitudeā€ By Napoleon Hill. The first part of the book spends a lot of time talking about PMA vs. NMA. PMA stands for positive mental attitude and NMA stands for negative mental attitude. The author describes these two as two sides of the same coin. One can get you anything you have ever desired and the other will repel anything good that can come into your life. Its all about how to approach things. After reading ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by the same author I already had a good idea that to get head in life I need to fix my mental structure.

I think a lot of us have to do that. We spend every day with negative things thrown at us from every angle. Just pay attention to the news anytime you need to see how negative the world can be. Every story has been sensationalized to draw attention, and people are attracted to the negative things in life. Who got shot the other day, who is to blame for all our political issues, what court trails are happening, or who made what mistake and how its affecting everyone. Go take two minutes to look up how caffeine affects you. You will see just as many negative affects as you will see positive. No matter what, to be a positive person in this world takes hard work.

So by channeling the PMA side of the coin. You are essentially making a decision to approach life with an open mind. Now you will start seeing possibilities instead of problems. Seriously, its as simple as that! Once you focus on the good you can see more good around you. Ever notice that when one bad thing happens and you react negatively towards that you are generally rewarded with more bad things? That is what is happens when you switch to PMA! Give it a try! You never know what might happen!

If you find this difficult and are in need of a guide to get through this please contact me. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach I am trained to help people find the good in their life and to stick with it. For more information check out my website at www.rejuvenateinschoharie.com.

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