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Six Immune Boosting Tips

Six Immune Boosting Tips

Top 6 Immune Boosting Tips

Need some every day things you can do to help boost your immune system? Right now pretty sure we ALL do! The six things below are great EASY ways to help. And the best part is most of us do these things already.

1 – Hydrate and add some Vitamin C

Hydration is something we should ALL focus on each and every day regardless of a pandemic situation. Hydration keeps our cells healthy. It helps our digestive system our circulatory system our stress response our bodies ability to filter things out (aka bad stuff). It helps with our metabolism function too. Vitamin C is also showing some promising ability to help fight coronavirus and rightly so. It has always been known to be a immune boosting supplement and something we all need to stay healthy. It helps reverse and decrease inflammation within us due to its potent antioxidant compounds. You can find some facts on that here.

Something that helps you get both HYDRATION AND VITAMIN C is Liquid IV and it is something I use everyday. Find out more about it here.

2- Sleep

We all know sleep is important. However do you realize how important it is for our immune health? Sleep is the time when our body recharges and detoxes the most. You know how when you are sick you tend to sleep more? It is because your body is fighting inside of you to knock down the illness. That is the time when you really want to rest because it helps your immune system do its job and you are not taking energy from it by doing other things. You actually do a reset if you will when you sleep. You want quality sleep though as it is not all created equal. Aim to get 7-8 hours a night. Right now should be a rather easy time to get it done too. I mean lets be honest, most of us do not have a whole lot on the to do list right now. It also helps decrease stress which in turn decreases inflammation which can help us ward off invaders if you will. 

More on sleep? You can read about that in my older blog – Don’t skimp on sleep

3- Wash your hands

If you have not heard recently the importance of this you may be living under a rock. But washing hands is the prime way to protect yourself. Warm water. 30 seconds or sing happy birthday or abc’s one or two times through. Washing hands also helps not eliminate ALL bacteria (remember some is good for us) unlike alot of hand sanitizers do as they’re harsher. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html

4- Eat Real Food

Real food = organic (if you can) fruits, veggies, non farm raised fish, grass fed/organic meets and eggs. Real food is more packed with nutrients and vitamins our body needs. The vitamins and minerals help our immune system stay strong and fight off things we are worried about right now. These foods nourish our bodies vs. cause inflammation and harm most processed ones do. When our body is able to work at optimal capacity we are able to stay strong and fight off “invaders” better. 

Here are some facts on inflammation fighting foods in an older blog I did. Inflammation Fighting Foods

5- Exercise

Exercise keeps us healthy! This does not mean we have to go all out and super hard with workouts. Simple movement can help too. It just depends on you. A rule of thumb I like to tell clients is that working out should make you feel better not worse. If you are taxed for a day or two after a workout you went too hard. Find something you enjoy, or find someone that can help you. 

If you are interested in learning more about working out and inflammation fighting check out this blog – Key to lowering inflammation through your workouts. 

You can also tryout my four week at home program and save $10 with code CHANGEUP at check out. (head to the link below)

6- Add in quality supplements to fill in the gaps

Supplementation is exactly that. Supplement your diet, supplement your body and add in what you may be missing. Quality is key here though. The best ones for immune health tend to be Vitamin C, Zinc, Magnesium, Daily Nutritional Support (with all vitamins you need) , Glutamine is great, Elderberry and Oregano Oil. 

Here is a list of my faves. Favorite Supplements for Immune Health. 

 

 

 

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Tough Times Call For Pivots

Tough Times Call For Pivots

When I hear the word pivot for some reason it gives me slight anxiety and excitement…. Not sure why but it does. To be completely transparent I don’t think I really even knew what it meant until recently (in terms of business/life).

Looking in the mirror now though and what life has become the past month, it is a very weird reality. How in the world did we get here? When did everything just stop? When did life as we know it stop? It all happened so fast.

I watch people on TV and think… wow look how close they are…. I mean really? Who would have thought I would watch a movie or tv show and relate it to social distancing.

Everyone has been hit hard. Some harder than others. My husband just got furloughed today actually and it sucks. But thankfully he will still have a job to go back to after all of this and his company has been pretty supportive. Then there is my job, and were pivoting really comes in. I go from working primarily with clients 1 on 1 to not even seeing some of them and others I train via facetime. Not to mention income has gone down substantially. I am now working on pivoting to make some extra in some way in hopes that this stimulus bill helps more want to train in some way again. Like so many others we have had to postpone payments and things we NEVER imagined ourselves doing. We were about to put money down to build our dream home literally right before this happened, thankfully we did not. There is the weird reality of not even going out or seeing friends except via facetime or zoom. No restaurants, dinners in are the only option now. Not even able to go see our parents because they are older. No movies, alot of parks are closed, no sports, no school, no graduation, no vacation.

 

 

Then there are the things in every day life we have changed, for the better.

Like living on a budget

Reading more

Investing in learning more and really thinking about business and how to grow.

Chad and I have been praying together. Yall that is amazing I never thought I would be strong enough to pray with someone out loud. Just ask anyone who has ever been to small group with me…. I was always the one who would pass on praying out loud for everyone. I would in my head…. just not out loud. Nope. This is a major step.

I am speaking to friends more.

Sleeping more.

Cleaning more. (I hate cleaning)

Cooking at home more.

My dog is the happiest.

I go on more walks.

I feel more at peace in a sense…. stressed sure, but at peace at the same time.

 

 

ITS SO SURREAL.

I am not writing this to complain, I am writing to also share what I think are some positive pivots if you will.

You see I truly believe this is all happening for a reason. It is all teaching us something. The whole world may have been going in the wrong direction and we needed to come together. The only way to do that is to stop everything, level the playing field in a sense and then build back up with brand new attitudes that I think we all will have. Just envisioning the day when I can see my family and friends again at a restaurant or plan a vacation seems surreal now. I wonder what it will be like, how excited I will be.

 

 

These challenging times are unprecedented but I believe we will get through this. I am thankful to have stayed pretty healthy and my family has too and hopefully it stays that way. I just want to emphasize to all of you who have experienced the virus first hand my prayers are with you. To all those who are working the front lines, my prayers are with you. You all who are out doing good right now… thank you.

Lets keep our head up, stay focused on the good we can find each day. And keep pressing forward. C

And if you want some help getting going and keeping with goals during this time. Set up a time for your FREE consultation with me. 

 

Hormone changes and our workouts – how they can work to benefit each other

Hormone changes and our workouts – how they can work to benefit each other

I may have found a new obsession, and that is involving researching and learning more about how cycle syncing for women can truly help us lose more weight, regulate hormones which can help with decreasing inflammation, and help us feel better, decrease period symptoms and increase our metabolism AND improve workouts!

You may be wondering what the heck is cycle syncing?

I had no idea until I discovered Alissi Vitti’s book “In the Flo”. 

Essentially you are working to support your cycle. Your cycle meaning the 28 day or so period we are supposed to rotate through. (here’s your biology talk)  It is made up of four phases; Follicular, Ovulatory, Luteal and Menstrual. Each phase consists of a few days where our sex hormones should fall and rise (hormones meaning estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone mainly among others). The first half is composed of the follicular and ovulatory cycles which are aimed more at increasing estrogen and testosterone to help prepare for ovulation when they are at their peak and to make us ladies fertile. The second half consists of the luteal and menstrual phases where progesterone starts to rise and the other two start to drop before menstruation where the lining sheds if no egg is fertilized.  With our hormones fluctuating our bodies are going to need different nutrients and things to support them at different times. We should also have highs and lows of energy at different times depending on this. For example it is better to rest during the last part of your cycle (Menstrual) vs. the beginning when you have more energy (Follicular phase).

Cycle syncing works to support these changes we should go through each month.

But what if you are irregular, have been diagnosed with any sort of disease like PCOS, amenorrhea or endometriosis to name a few.  That is even more of a reason to try this method. By supporting your cycle when these hormones should rise and fall with foods, the right workouts and movement and self care we can optimize getting these things regulated. We want to get regular, we want to reduce PMS symptoms, by doing so we will increase our ability to optimize our metabolism function among other things.

 

So now to the good stuff, how does it work with our metabolism and how can our workouts help us???

When our hormones are regulated and working efficiently we are able to absorb the right nutrients, burn more fat, and feel better with less stress on our bodies. We know that less stress leads to less inflammation like I have talked about many times before.  If we can get our workouts to aide us in this by timing them correctly within our cycle (or when we should be at x part of our cycle) then we should be able to recover better and get more out of them when timing is right.     Here is the low down on that- each phase should rotate between different focuses/energy output for the most part to help alleviate excess stress on us at the wrong times or when we are lacking certain nutrients to recover. Follicular Phase : During this beginning part of your cycle estrogen and testosterone should be on the rise so should you have more energy, meaning you can do more HIIT and intense heavy lifting. This is a time to work harder and push yourself more because you will be able to recover better. Ovulatory Phase : This is when everything is at its peak so you can really work harder here.  Luteal Phase: The first half of this cycle (it is longer almost 10 days) can be harder workouts but when hormones start to drop towards the end that is when you want to start doing more yoga, active recovery like long walks, stretching, non intense cardio to preserve your energy. Menstrual Phase – There is a reason sometimes you are fatigued during this part of your cycle.. You have lower levels of everything as your lining may shed (bleed) and if you push yourself too hard then in turn you will feel even worse during this time. Really try to use this time to lay lower doing low intensity stuff and really resting your body. When you preserve your body during this time it will allow you to have even more energy next phase (follicular) where you can go harder again. Try things like stretching, infrared sauna, gentle yoga, easy walks, massage etc. So how can you start implementing this? Easy if you are regular, just pay attention to where you are in it and start adding in these types of workouts accordingly. But what if you don’t know?? If you are like me and are irregular or have been or on birth control and have recently stopped and have no cycle then go with the moon…. yup I said moon… no this is not crazy stuff there is research behind it oddly enough. You can sync with the moon phases (follicular – first quarter , ovulation – full moon, luteal- third quarter , menstrual – new moon) and do week to week and follow those guidelines. I am working with this as a guide, and I am going to be sharing my experiences so stay tuned! Next up will be how foods affect your cycle and what can help 🙂  So if you are going to try this lets aim to have patience, start slow and work on adding in things versus restricting. Keep stress low!

If you want a free guide to help you know the right workouts for the right time of your cycle – get it below!

 

Sugar. What it actually does to your body.

Sugar. What it actually does to your body.

I have a sweet tooth, and I am not ashamed to admit it. Give me cookies, and I could probably eat a dozen easily if I lacked any will power. However, I do have will power that I have developed over time and part of the reason for that is knowing what sugar actually does to my body when I ingest it. Primarily added sugars, or manufactured sugars.

So what happens exactly when you eat sugar? And what is it?

Sugar when eaten is broken down by your digestive enzymes into glucose and fructose. Glucose is something our body uses for energy, but too much of it can cause harmful side effects. We are going to go over what each is, how it impacts our body, and what we can do to help avoid the bad side of it. (Remember everything in moderation is key).

  • Glucose’s role
    • As it is absorbed (from foods or drinks we consume) initially causes our pancreas to release insulin which in turns takes the glucose to your cells to be used as energy. However too much insulin can cause the blocking of leptin (the hunger hormone) which makes you feel hungry even though you just ate… this can also cause your body to be tricked to storing glucose as belly fat because it thinks it is in starvation mode (when you don’t eat).
    • It can also cause serotonin to be released which causes sugar crashes because false indicators are going off to the brain. The crash comes because serotonin is also one of your sleep regulating hormones.
    • Too much insulin can also cause your body to not release enough dopamine over time (dopamine is the feel good hormone)… this can also lead to cravings and can cause addiction because you get a short jolt after consuming sugar, so you keep going back for more. (btw this is also what happens by the brain when you do cocaine ).
    • Over time your bodies cells can become resistant to insulin which causes an overload of it in your blood stream which leads to different forms of diabetes.

Sugar

  • Fructose
    • Acts and is absorbed in a similar manner to glucose but is metabolized in your liver
    • Your liver can easily be overwhelmed if you eat too much fructose containing foods and cause fat to grow within it…. aka fatty liver disease
    • It also can cause your “good” cholesterol to lower (HDL) which in turn increases triglyceride levels. And that fat can actually be carried to your arteries from your liver which leads to increased heart attack and stroke risk

Inflammation can stem throughout our body as a result of too much sugars being released and not used optimally in our body.

So what can you do to help yourself not get any of these side affects?

 Pay attention to labels –

SOOOO many of processed foods contain both forms of sugar. About 74% of packaged foods contain added sugars.

If you look at a food label (you can read more on how to do that here) you can see just how much sugar something contains. It says straight up sugars and added sugars. The added sugars are really what you want to consume as little of as possible. These are not natural to the product and are what really lead to inflammation and the issues mentioned above.

You can also look at the ingredients – (there are about 61 types of added sugars (most are chemicals btw) that can be listed here. The most common – dextrose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, barley malt, rice syrup, and sucanat. You really want to avoid these. You can read more of the others here.

Eat more NATURAL AND REAL WHOLE FOODS

This doesn’t mean whole foods don’t contain sugar, most fruits and veggies do! BUT they are natural sugars without the chemicals or processed junk that your body cannot process. We do not want that on top of too much sugar.

A good rule of thumb is to stick to more lower glycemic (meaning lower sugar fruits) like berries and cherries and only have the others sparingly.

Aim to load your meals with more veggies (green, red, orange colored ones) and lean proteins. Healthy fats are good too of course but be sure to look at labels of things like nut butters as they can be high in added sugars too! Some of my favorite low sugar brands are – 88 acres (seed butter) and Maranatha .

DRINK YOUR WATER!

It is PROVEN that the more hydrated you are the LESS you will crave sweet things. Read more on that here.

Also try to DECREASE your consumption of higher sugar foods for 3 weeks. When you do this you will notice a difference in your cravings start to decrease.

In a nutshell…..

Every day we each have choices to make. We can choose to opt for healthier stuff eating out, we can opt for not processed junk at the grocery store but YOU>>>> No one else has to choose to do these things. I promise the more we take that step to make smarter choices, the easier it will become and the better we will feel.

 Our bodies are machines and fueled right they will look and perform right, fueled wrong and they will perform like crap and look like crap. Just like you wouldn’t put cheap gasoline in a Ferrari, you shouldn’t put cheap stuff in your body either ;).

Have more questions? Be sure to comment below or shoot me a message.

If you are interested in any of my online programs then be sure to head on over to the virtual training page to see how I can help you 1 on 1 or in a more group setting.

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Sources :

http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S0002-8223(10)00644-9/abstract womenshealthmag.com http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/4/850S.full

The Key To Lowering Inflammation Through Workouts

The Key To Lowering Inflammation Through Workouts

What do you think of when thinking of ways to lower inflammation?  Getting a massage? Eating less processed foods? Taking supplements? What about working out? Does working out help? The answer is yes. Many types of work outs are proven to lower the bodies overall stress response and in turn can lower inflammation levels. However not all workouts are created equal.

When we think workouts that can help us lower inflammation we want to think more moderate exercise. Like a long walk, or something to get you moving for 20- 30 minutes.

In fact one study showed that just 20 minutes a day of exercise can prove to be beneficial in lowering inflammation in the body (again this is moderate exercise not super high intense stuff).  The reason being is it promotes our sympathetic nervous system, doing so can help fight off the overwhelming amount of TNF cells our body has. These guys aren’t necessarily bad, they help with our natural immune response when we are sick or get cut, etc. However due to chronic inflammation and us being exposed to so much they can be in overdrive and causing harm to us.

Moderate workouts can help.

Another study found that after following some mid aged individuals for 10 years who worked out only 2.5 hours a week they were able to decrease their inflammation levels by 12%. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3890998/

Why wouldn’t you want to do something more challenging??

The answer is because if you are already inflamed, if you already have too much stress in your life and in your body whether it is physical or mental, the last thing you want to do is add more stress to that. Intense workouts like crossfit, HIIT classes, really long runs, are just a few that can do more harm than good for some people. This is NOT to say no one should ever do them, but if you are working to lose weight and have not been able to for a while regardless of the work you are putting in, if you are stressed, not sleeping, etc, then you need to take a step back for a few and then you can rebuild yourself to be able to enjoy those more intense workouts again if that is your thing. You don’t want to add more stress to an already stressed out body!

 

So what types of workouts are recommended??

  • Walking – outside if you can – taking a decent pace can not only help those who are getting into working out moving but also those who work out hard can use a long walk as a reset to their taxed muscles. Walking promotes the lymphatic system to move and drain to help get rid of toxins and inflammation as well as blood circulation, and heart rate goes up!
  • Body weight or lighter resistance workouts – once you have a foundation built doing lighter weights or moderate resistance workouts can be great for helping the joints get more mobility and the muscles to get active and working properly. Always start slow and progress your way up. This is why I always start clients with a foundation building phase. It is something I learned over the years from some of the great people I work with at CYB Atlanta but it really does help in the long run to ensure you are moving and doing right for your body.
  • Yoga and/or mediation with deep breathing – deep breathing is my go to for everyone. Be it fitness professionals, every generation, pre and post natal women, I could go on. It promotes relaxation in the body by really turning on the right responses, It therefore decreases stress all over – hence inflammation decreases. Yoga incorporates this so you can do two things at once. If you are not into yoga then just simply practicing deep breathing 5-10 minutes a day can make a big difference, add in mediation if you can to get even more bang for you buck. See more on that here
  • Foam rolling and stretching may not be a “workout” for most but it should definitely be part of your workout program. Your muscles need to be loved and worked on. Foam rolling is great way to do just that and to not have to spend tons of money on massages every week.
    • Not sure what this is? I got you-
Overall working out is a benefit to us. No matter what our fitness level or goals. Moving a little bit each day can really go a long way. Putting ourselves as a priority and taking care of ourselves through working out, rest, and movement will pay off for not only ourselves but others around us too.

You can get a four week workout program and save $10 with code CHANGEUP by going here. – WORKOUT PROGRAM

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