Healthy Food Can Be Nutritious and Delicious

Healthy food doesn’t have to feel like chewing through a box of cardboard.  Long gone are the days of boiled veg and stewed meat.  Today is all about healthy eating and actually enjoying it.  What is healthy eating and how may we include it in our everyday lives without feeling we are being deprived?

The Lean Belly Breakthrough
The Lean Belly Breakthrough

HEALTHY FOOD ALTERNATIVES

Bad habits are easy to fall into, with many giving the excuse of being too busy to eat healthy food.  However, there are quick, healthy meals that are extremely scrumptious, and they wont break the bank.  Cutting back on the following, will help towards an improved diet:

  • high calorie foods like processed fast food
  • Fat
  • Salt
  • Sugar

  

NOURISHING SNACKS

Don’t panic and throw everything away, instead make small changes.  Start by replacing unhealthy snacks with alternative healthy food.

Stop buying the potato chips and anything with a high amount of fat, salt and sugar. Instead try dried fruit or vegetable chips.  When visiting the grocery store, ignore false advertising like “all natural” and “healthy”. Take the time to read the ingredient list.  Here is an example of a nutritional label and some healthy targets:

  • Sodium should be under 5 % per
  • Sugar – Under 5g
  • Saturated Fat Under 5g
  • Trans Fat 0g

 

BENEFICIAL BREAKFAST

To have a healthy food start to the day, be sure to eat a breakfast.  Not only does it kick start the metabolism, it will stop the raiding of the cookie jar mid-morning.  Remember these key nutritional facts:

  • Protein promotes feeling fuller longer
  • Fiber, helps the digestive track
  • Natural probiotic yogurt is a great way to keep the gut healthy, as well as give a boost of calcium.
  • Turmeric is the golden choice of root these days, with researchers claiming it has antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral/bacterial. An example of its use is:

SPICED GOLDEN TURMERIC MILK

  • 1 cup of milk (try almond or coconut for a healthy alternative)
  • ¼ tsp of ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp of ground turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp of honey
  • ¼ tsp of coconut butter

Warm the milk slowly in a pan, adding in the cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, honey and coconut butter.  Once the milk is warm, strain and consume.  This delicious drink is the perfect, hearty way to start the day.

WHOLESOME LUNCH

The Western world has morphed into a fast talking, fast moving, and even faster eating place. Slow down and reassess the basis by planning ahead. Then there is no excuse not to have a healthy food lunch.

 

Forget the white breads, pastas, fats, and sugars and instead shop the alternatives. Try dark rye bread, like German brand Mestemacher (available in the international isle of the grocery store) or Ezekiel bread, which is made with sprouted whole grains, legumes, and seeds. Both of these breads are filling, high in fiber, protein, and absorbable vitamins.  If bread is not a preference, replace it with lettuce leaves.  Stuff the leaves, with a favorite filling and be surprised at how delicious and fresh this alternative can be.

 

STOP THE COLD CUTS

Cold cuts are delicious but deadly.  Stuffed with fat, sugar, dyes, and salt. The nitrates found in these meats have also been linked to cancer.  Instead, go for healthy proteins like:  eggs, salmon, tuna, legumes, or skinless chicken.

 

TASTY DINNER WINNER

After a long day of deadlines, kid’s activities, dog walks, and the odd workout, what super human can be bothered to cook? Pouring a little imagination into the shopping list can magically transform dinner.  Chuck out the convenience food with their high amount of salt, sugar, and fat and go for fresh and real food like:

  • Eggs
  • Salmon (if not fresh tinned is fine)
  • Turkey or chicken mince (perfect for a bolognaise or meat balls)
  • Tomato Puree and sauce (make sure low in sodium and no added sugar)
  • Garlic (great stomach and circulation)
  • Onions
  • Frozen broccoli rice and cauliflower rice (these are a great addition into sauces and if there is a fussy kid in the household, a perfect way to sneak in the veggies.
  • Fresh Fruit and green vegetables
  • Sweet potato
  • Brown rice
  • Rice pasta or Quinoa pasta
  • Buckwheat noodles
  • Walnuts, a great addition into pasta, vegetables and rice by adding protein and healthy fat.
  • Mix with Greek yogurt, garlic and cayenne pepper for a yummy dip.
  • Salad
  • Kale
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Selection of dried herbs

HOME HEALTHY CHEFS

Cutting back on sugars, bad fats, red meats, and sodium will lead to a better diet.  With an exciting healthful food movement sweeping over the web, nutritious home kitchen chefs, like Healthy Hub are coming up with some revolutionary, tasty recipes.  They will erase the memory of the fatty, sugary fueled days of yesterday, and embrace the healthy yet decadent food revolution of tomorrow.

 

For more information on healthy living, please visit GetThrive!

 

RESOURCES

Eating too much sugar increases the risk of heart disease

Medical News Today

American Heart Association

CanaGel Melts

 

Exercise is Not a Choice, but the Good News is You’ve Got All Day

You really have to consider exercise every day of your life. Remember, your heart, joints, muscles, brain cells, and pretty much everything that thrives requires some form of exercise to keep your body in a healthy state. So, basically, in a circular argument, it all rounds out to exercise is a must.

So, you want to work out in the morning but you’re a night owl? How do you think you’re going to reconcile that? Well, sorry, but you can’t. As some of our former blogs have informed us on “GetThrive.com”, your circadian rhythm is ultimately going to guide you. If you’re a night owl, you’re not getting up at 5:30m to workout, but, the upside is that you can still get a great, customized workout at even 9pm!

Many heart-conscious experts recommend early morning for the best results for weight loss. One study showed that when women returned from a morning workout, they were less apt to crave fattening foods than if they had not exercised.

On the other hand, trainers who work toward muscle building prefer that clients have a nice portion of carbs (perhaps potatoes) and protein (eggs, bacon) before their workout. This way, carbohydrates are spent building muscle and burning fat, and the protein allows the excess carbs to act as fuel for energy.

Using your lunchtime to lift some weights or to take a nice stroll has shown to reap positive effects throughout your afternoon hours. Even a 20-minute walk can increase creativity, productivity, stamina, and reduce stress. But what happens if you can’t eke out 20 minutes or more at any specific, given time during your hectic day?

Here are some fun tips to work your “exercise” into your day without even thinking about it. (We realize you may feel embarrassed by some of these, but what’s more important? Your health or how others may “judge” you?

Let’s face it ladies: one of the best things about aging is that you care less what others think . And truly, deep down, others will be envious that you have the good silliness to be taking care of yourself and exercise!

Skip down the street: You may feel funny and look a bit goofy, but kids do it all the time! It will make you smile and your heart will get a quick pick-me-up. (Oh, don’t do this in heels.)

Deep squats: You can do these standing behind your desk, at home holding a kid, or in the bathroom waiting for the hot water to arrive in the shower. Using your quads (your largest group of muscles) will warms up your entire body and the squatting action will keep your booty in fine shape at any age.

Tricep toners: While standing, make your arms perfectly stiff and straight, with fists. Keeping your arms close to your body, just do little, tiny lifts behind your back. At the highest point back, stop, hold your arms there, now bend your elbows in and then back up, in and then back up.

A few of these puppies and you can reduce that part of your arm that waves involuntarily when you wear sleeveless shirts. Do this anytime, anywhere.

Lunge to Lunch…or to breakfast, to the market, to the movies. Instead of just boring walking 100 yards to your car in the parking lot, lunge there. Take your time, and use your legs to create a long, deep, forward move. Just a few and these will strengthen the muscles around your knees. Your heart rate will increase a tad, too.

Get Creative with Exercise

Incorporate anything that you can move on your body into any part of your day. Balance on one foot waiting in line to strengthen your core. Do the old take-the-stairs thing. Do crunches while sitting at your desk or waiting for your coffee to heat. The sky’s the limit and your body is a temple. Exercise and Enjoy it all.

 

 

Running from Cancer, Did You Know that you can Significantly Reduce Your Risk of Getting 13 Types of Cancer?

Are you getting at least an hour each day of physical activity? How about 30 minutes of moderate-level activity five days a week? Or at least 20 minutes of intense workout three days a week? If yes, congratulations! If no, then you are not meeting the recommended minimum weekly exercise requirements—just like more than half of the American population.

Exercise boasts results such as: mood improvement, weight loss, hormone balancing, increased metabolism, clear skin, lower blood pressure, and the positive list goes on. But now, researchers have discovered that the more often you exercise, the less likely you are to develop 13 different types of cancer.

The National Cancer Institute conducted a study over the course of approximately 11 years. Researchers focused on 1.4 million participants, how much they exercised, and whether they had been stricken with some form of cancer over the duration of the study.

JAMA Internal Medicine recently published the findings: over 186,000 cases of 26 different types of cancer had evolved. Here’s the good news—the people who exercised more frequently had a lower risk of getting 13 of those recorded cancers from the study.

The greatest reduction of risk (in those who worked out a good amount of time and with moderate intensity) was in esophageal cancer. A person who exercises regularly has a 42% less chance of getting it than someone who doesn’t exercise enough.

Other types of cancer where the risk was lessened was: liver, lung, kidney, colon, bladder, and seven others—including breast cancer, which had a 10% reduction risk.

The study also concluded that even taking yoga classes or walking quickly counted as forms of exercise. As mentioned, the researchers remained focused on physical activity as a possible deterrent to certain forms of cancer. Whether the participants smoked, drank, or engaged in unhealthy eating habits were not factors regarded in this particular trial.

The Centers for Disease Control want to remind the public that although 150 minutes of exercise per week may sound like a lot, it’s closely equivalent to the amount of time spent watching a movie or an evening of television. And, the upside is that workout time can be spread throughout the week (as long as some vigorous movement occurs at least three times or more.) Move with energy, stay healthy.

 

Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Your Willpower

Feeling slightly determined, but don’t have enough willpower to get the job done? Every commitment we make requires motivation and follow-through if we expect to be successful. Maximizing your willpower is possible, and the following guide can help you achieve your goals.

 

Where There’s a Willpower, There’s a Way!

The American Psychological Association describes willpower as the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals. It’s basically, “the psychological science of self-control.” So, if you can keep yourself from giving in to something that distracts you and stay focused on the big prize, you’ll be set!

 

How Can I Maximize My Willpower?

In order to meet your goals, you need to get motivated to take action. Motivation is compelled by emotions. You can have thoughts about what you want to do, but in order to get jazzed up, you really have to feel it.

Find your motivation and you’ll find the core of your willpower. Most often “reward” is the most powerful motivator. You can feel rewarded from:

 

  • losing weight
  • quitting smoking
  • buying something new
  • getting a promotion

 

along with a plethora of other positive goals.

Willpower is a muscle. You need to practice and work it. Picture your goal and visualize your ultimate aim. Learn to ignore temptation and distraction. What will your reward be?

Keep in mind, the reward for exercising self-control has to be more important to you than indulging in the immediate behavior.

 

Get Ahead with The Ultimate Guide

Is your lack of willpower affecting your productivity? Do you feel that if you could maximize your willpower that you would be more successful—in all areas? Then check out the following tips:

 

  1. Research suggests that willpower can be strengthened with practice. If something tempts you (like a chocolate bar), practice not eating it. Next time the same scenario comes up, it will be easier for you to resist. You will have gained willpower strength.

 

  1. Exerting self-control regularly increases willpower strength. Try and exert self-control throughout your day, everyday. Without regular practice, your power decreases.

 

  1. Make your goals specific and clear. For example, “I want to give up drinking alcoholic beverages for one month,” or “I want to be promoted to manager within a year,” or “I’d like to buy a new SUV in two years.”

 

  1. Make a list of what motivates you. Do you enjoy eating? Then, if you know you are allowed a dessert if you workout, you are more apt to go to the gym that day. Do you want to earn more money? Then, you may work extra hard at impressing your boss and colleagues. Figure out what you want and then hopefully you will be rewarded with it after your efforts of self-control and willpower.

 

  1. Make a list of temptations and distractions. Identify your weaknesses. If you love social media but have a work deadline, turn off your phone. If you love iced-flavored coffee drinks but you’re trying to shed some pounds, make coffee at home. Figure out your temptations and be proactive in avoiding them.

 

  1. Constantly remind yourself of the rewards if you stick to your plan. Practice an “if” and “then” philosophy—implement a behavior with intention. For example, you may say yourself, “If I exercise daily, then I will increase my weight loss and muscle tone.” What is the “if” that you have to do to meet your goal?

 

  1. Find meaning in your motivator. When you have a “purpose”, you’re more likely to take action. People want to feel as if their behavior and accomplishments have value. Will your actions “make a difference”?

 

  1. Eat well, sleep well, and exercise. These three are essential to optimum mental health. And after all, willpower requires brainpower.

 

Practice resisting desires that steer you off the path towards your ultimate goal. Congratulate and reward yourself when you succeed in implementing self-control. Before you know it, your willpower will strengthen and you’ll be able to achieve the maximum!

 

Sources:

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-willpower-20151107-story.html

https://getthrive.com/tag/motivation/

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/willpower.aspx

Dan Ariely—Ted Talks

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/willpower-workouts-productivity

 

 

 

Most Effective Healthy Eating Tactics for 2018

“I really want to eat healthy this year!”

Most of us have made this proclamation. But, eating healthy, as most of have experienced, can be a considerable challenge. Fret not, however, because we have assembled the most user-friendly, effective, and successful healthy eating tactics for 2018.

The Three W’s of Healthy Eating

The concept of healthy eating is not necessarily about dieting. Dieting connotes a goal of weight loss. Eating healthily entails a commitment to your overall fitness, which also includes a series of behaviors along with certain types of foods. They are:

  • When to eat
  • What to eat
  • Where you eat

These are the three W’s. Each of these “W” categories incorporates tactics that will make your healthy-living mission most effective.

 

“When” Tactics for Your Eating Plan

The word breakfast literally means to “break” the “fast” that you’ve endured while you were sleeping. Eating within your first waking hour is important because you need to stabilize your blood sugar. Additionally, you are essentially refueling to start your new day. Would you begin a road trip with an empty tank of gas?

Many nutritionists suggest eating every three to fours hours to keep blood sugar levels from dropping too low; no one wants to get “hangry.” One suggestion is to apply a 1-to-10 scale to your level of hunger. A grumbling tummy with a lack of mental focus and low energy would be a 1, 2, or 3. That would mean it’s time to eat.

Feeling bloated or like you have to take a nap right after eating might count as an 8, 9, or 10—meaning you ate too soon after your last meal or too much food. The goal would be to maintain a feeling somewhere between a 4 and a 7. Try not to wait too long between meals or snacks so that you don’t risk over-eating or eating “junk” once you get a hold of some food.

If you want to have a good night’s sleep, you probably shouldn’t go to bed on a full stomach. Have your last meal or snack at least three hours before turning in. If you feel peckish and it’s late, have a full glass of water with a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange or an herbal or flavored decaf tea. That’s a far better tactic for healthy eating than sneaking a midnight snack.

“What” is Included in My Plan?

The most effective habit you can incorporate into any health plan is to educate and surround yourself with nutritious foods. Knowing the difference between the truth about certain foods versus marketing will help you make better decisions about what you store in your home and what you ingest.

Here are some prevalent truths:

  • We need fat in our diet (as long as it’s monounsaturated or polyunsaturated). This would include olive, coconut, and avocado oil, salmon, some nuts, and seeds, etc. Trans fats and saturated fats are unhealthy (beef, margarine, corn oil, palm oil, vegetable oil, cake mixes, non-dairy creamers, microwave popcorn, some frozen dinners, etc.)

 

  • “Eating 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day could significantly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and early death” (Imperial College London Study, published February 2017.) If you can shop organic, it’s preferred, as you will be subjecting yourself to less toxins in your produce such as pesticides and fertilizers.

 

  • Sugar intake significantly increases health risks such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancers. Sugar in your pre-packaged foods can be listed as: fructose, corn syrup, and cane sugar. None of them will benefit your health or waistline.

 

  • White potatoes, bread, and rice will not help you if you’re on a healthy eating course. Instead, choose whole grains, sweet potatoes, and wild or brown rice.

 

What you stock up on at home is what you will eat.

Effective tactic: Shop wisely and avoid purchasing or bringing home foods that are unhealthy. It’s that simple.

 

“What” Else?

Portion control is a huge (but, keep-it-small) element in healthy eating. Snacks are tiny meals aimed to tide us over until we have our next meal. A meal should be proportioned, balanced, and focused on nutrition and providing energy. Just because you’re eating healthy foods doesn’t mean you should eat a ton.

 

Best “Where” Tactics

Healthy eating can absolutely be successful while dining out. You just need to keep a few things in mind beforehand. Where you go, and how you act when you get there, is all up to you. But you’ve got this!

Most effective tactics for healthy eating away from home (aka as in a restaurant):

  • Peruse the menu before you get there. See what you should/can or should not/cannot eat in advance.
  • When the server asks if you want bread or chips, say, “NO. Thank you. J)
  • Beware of yummy sauces and dressings. They are most likely filled with bad fats and sugar.
  • Keep it simple and delicious. Grilled is a great option, as long as it’s with olive oil, not butter or vegetable oil. Salt, pepper, and garlic in moderation is awesome for flavoring and your health.
  • Side dishes: order the veggies (as long as they’re not drowned in butter), or the fruit. French or home fries, mashed potatoes, salad with a ton of dressing, or slaw with mayonnaise are not productive choices.
  • Order an appetizer instead of a meal. Often, that portion is enough.
  • Order water instead of a sugary or alcoholic beverage.
  • If they serve you too much food, get a to-go box. Don’t force yourself; leftovers are awesome.

 

2018 needs to be a year of success for you and your family. Healthy eating practices are not difficult once you understand which foods will benefit you most and how you can include them into your diet habitually. Hopefully, with our guided tactics, your quest will be simply attained and managed.

 

Sources:

https://www.bodminsou.com/how-often-should-i-eat/

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13869/13-tips-to-stay-healthy-when-eating-out.html

https://www.livestrong.com/article/410350-does-eating-every-three-hours-really-raise-metabolism/

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000747.htm

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/homepage2/ten-portions-fruit-vegetables-study/index.html

 

 

 

 

Weight Loss Quiz: Do You Know What’s Working and What’s Not?

It seems like a never-ending process. You try to lose weight, and no matter what you do, the pounds just don’t shed the way you’d like. It’s possible that what you think you’re doing right, may not be right for you—or your waistline.

Check out the Weight Loss Quiz below. Peruse the Answer Key afterwards to see how you might be able to up your game and lower your weight by making a couple of informed adjustments.

 

1.) The best way to start your day is to…

  1. a) Skip breakfast
  2. b) Eat a large meal to tide you over until lunch
  3. c) Drink coffee to wake you up and thwart your appetite
  4. d) Eat a balance of protein, good fat, fruit, and/or whole grains

 

2.) Carbohydrates are…

  1. a) Poison
  2. b) OK if they are complex
  3. c) Best derived from bread and pasta

 

3.) The perfect amount of sleep for me is…

  1. a) Six hours. I’m not too cranky, but I can still function
  2. b) Somewhere between four and seven hours
  3. c) Between eight and nine hours

 

4.) A good source of fat is…

  1. a) Tortilla chips and potato chips
  2. b) Almonds, peanuts, and walnuts
  3. c) Olives and dark chocolate

 

5.) On the subject of fiber…

  1. a) Fiber is found in oatmeal and wheat products
  2. b) Vegetables and fruit contain tons of fiber
  3. c) Fiber is only for people who are prone to constipation

 

Answers:

1.) It seems like a no-brainer, but many of us, even knowing what’s best, opt for a different choice. Answer “d”—Eat a balance of protein, good fat, fruit, and/or whole grains makes sense and aids in a weight-loss program. Ideally, to shed pounds, you cut out “bad” foods. Believe it or not, you can slim down simply by mixing and matching the “good” foods—along with exercising.

Starting your day with a hard-boiled egg, a small serving of plain Greek yogurt with berries, and a spoonful of almond butter or a slice of organic whole grain wheat bread will keep your brain and body functioning at peak performance. You won’t feel like snacking (and if you do, have some carrots or celery), and you won’t feel deprived.

If you answered “a”, skip breakfast, you are setting yourself up for weight gain (because you get so hungry you binge eat or eat the first thing you see, which is often on the naughty list of foods.) If you answered “b”, eat a large meal, you’d be acting counter-productively. Your body would expend all its energy on digestion rather than the tasks you have at hand.

2.) Carbohydrates are not the devil or poison. (If they are full of saturated, trans fats, or GMOs, then they are unhealthy and can actually make you sick and/or gain weight.) But, healthy carbs are absolutely necessary to balance your blood sugar levels. (You can find these in fresh fruits and other natural sources.)

So, the answer “b” is correct in that complex carbohydrates help extend the energy you need to access, especially when balanced with protein. (Some excellent choices are: oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes.) Option “c” (bread and pasta) are fine if they are 100% whole grain organic. Otherwise, toss them to the curb, along with corn and white potatoes.

3.) It’s been proven (and it’s obvious), that lack of sleep makes us irritable. We do not make the most rational choices with limited rest time. If you answered “b”, 4-7 hours of sleep per night, there is no way your body or mind will allow you to lose weight. Researchers have found that people who sleep less than 7 hours per night have a harder time losing weight, and, unfortunately, actually gain more weight over time.

Less sleep has also been linked to lessened behavior control. If you’re tired, you’re more apt to say, “ What the heck!” and treat yourself to a fattening or an unhealthy meal or treat.

Less sleep also means more stress—which means your body holds onto fat because it’s in fight-or-flight mode. Between 8 and 9 hours of sleep are ideal if you want your body to process the nutrients you’ve ingested in the most beneficial, relaxed way.

4.) If you chose chips, you’re in big-time denial. Corn and potatoes are huge sources of sugar, which will never lead to weight loss (or optimum health, for that matter.)

Answers “b” and “c” are both correct. Nuts are an amazing source of good fat. We need it! In moderation, and in conjunction with other food sources, good fats such as olives (and olive oil), avocados, and even dark chocolate (because of its prebiotic benefits) can actually boost metabolism, helping us to lose the weight we want gone.

5.) Some studies report that eating 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily assist with weight loss as well as helping to lower blood pressure. Fiber is found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. You can reap a bountiful fiber intake from eating a balanced diet from fresh and unprocessed foods.

Higher fiber diets have been shown to prevent type-2 diabetes. That proof suggests that balanced blood sugar (because of proper fiber intake) can help with weight loss and maintenance of a healthy body weight. If you answered “a” and “b”, you’re on the right track. If you’re constipated, it may be quite possible that fiber is lacking in your diet (which would make it understandable why you’d choose “c”.)

 

There is a deluge of information (and also speculation) on how to lose weight. Our bodies, however, will respond, each time, to proper nutrition and exercise. This is the inevitable fool-proof way to see lower numbers on the scale and shorter measurements on the tape or on our clothing size. Above and beyond the desire to shed pounds, the mission should be towards attaining optimum physical and mental health. Losing weight is one thing, but adding years to our lifespan is a greater, positive step.

GetThrive.com! offers many more articles and blogs centered towards living a healthy, clean lifestyle. For more information on weight loss, health practices, and tips for long living, check out our site. And while you’re there, feel free to sign up for our weekly Newsletter. You have nothing to lose, and only a healthier, happier life to gain.

Sources:

https://healthyeater.com/carb-protein-fat-rich-foods

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/sleep-weight-loss

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/making-one-change-getting-fiber-can-help-weight-loss-201502177721

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Could You Be Suffering from Adrenal Fatigue?

Have you been feeling chronically tired, achy, weak, and apathetic? Perhaps your depressive feelings are a result of a particular hormonal imbalance. It may be possible that you are experiencing adrenal fatigue.

I Never Heard of Adrenal Fatigue!

There are several reasons why many of us have only recently begun to suspect adrenal fatigue as the culprit for our low stamina and lack of overall well-being. (It is also known as hypoadrenia). The primary reason is that adrenal insufficiency is not commonly recognized as a medical diagnosis. Another is that some physicians may be treating just one symptom as opposed to treating the entire body as a collection of systems that needs re-balancing.

What are the Adrenals?

The adrenals (also known as the suprarenals) are endocrine glands. They are found above the kidneys. Adrenal glands produce hormones, which include: adrenaline, aldosterone, and cortisol. They work in conjunction with the hypothalmus and pituitary gland to help regulate countless body processes including: mood, digestion, the immune system, and energy levels.

Symptoms of Adrenal Insufficiency

Nothing in this article suggests that you should self-diagnose. In fact, for some of the symptoms listed below, you may want your healthcare provider to run blood tests to rule out more serious ailments. For those who believe adrenal fatigue exists (and can be treated), here are some of the symptoms a person may experience:

  • fatigue
  • unexplained weight loss, or, conversely, storing extra fat
  • low blood pressure
  • joint aches
  • muscle weakness
  • low stamina
  • decreased tolerance to cold
  • depression or apathy
  • lowered resistance to infection
  • a thyroid condition (ie. hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s)

What’s Happened to My Adrenals?

This may not be your situation, but for some, their adrenal glands cannot keep pace with the chronic production and influx of coritsol and adrenaline. These particular hormones are stimulated by fight-or-flight states of being; this basically means ongoing, heightened stress. The adrenals can’t make enough hormones to keep you feeling good and strong when your body is in an almost constant “fight”, “fear”, or “anxiety” mode.

Many holistic physicians believe that all humans experience hypoadrenia at one point in their lives or another. Any conditions that continuously place strain and high stress on an individual can cause adrenal fatigue over time. Excessive stress, nutritional depletion, chemical or metal toxicity, irresolvable financial pressure, etc. are some of the major factors that lend to adrenal weakening.

Additionally, some situations that increase risk from suffering from adrenal fatigue can be:

  • caretaking of an elderly or incapacitated family member
  • new parents who also work outside the home
  • students in college or post-graduate school
  • those in constant fear of physical or emotional abuse

How Can I Found Out if I Have Adrenal Fatigue?

Straight-up, run-of-the-mill blood tests aren’t often sensitive enough to detect small declines in adrenal function. (Large declines are noticeable medically, and your doctor can address other causes and treatments for such hormonal discrepancies.)

One simple test a physician can perform is called the Ragland Sign. For this test, the healthcare provider takes your blood pressure while you are relaxed, lying down. Then, shortly after, you get up suddenly, and the doctor takes your blood pressure right away, again. The numbers should go up. If they don’t, it could be a sign of weak adrenals—especially if you instantly feel weak, dizzy, or shaky upon jumping up. This is, of course, a crude test, but it’s a start toward deducing and identifying…

Something you can try at home in preparation for your doctor visit is another rudimentary test. Take a salad fork and gently run the spikes up the inside of your forearm. Within about 10 seconds, you will see little red streaks (lines). If you do not, it is possible your adrenals are weak. Please do not dig the fork deeper into your arm if you don’t see desired results the first time.

Ways to Reverse Your Adrenal Fatigue

Whether your physician recognizes or identifies your symptoms as caused by adrenal overexertion, you can always treat yourself in safe, healthy ways. The key will be diet, lifestyle, and gentle detoxification.

Again, please never self-diagnose from Wikipedia, an alternate medical Internet source, or even this article. The aim here is to inform and increase awareness. If you’re not feeling what you know to be your best health, there’s no reason why you can’t take several safe steps to improve your overall wellbeing—regardless of any diagnosis. Here are some tips:

  • Reduce or discard caffeine consumption. Stimulants damage the adrenal glands.
  • Sugar is a stimulant and erodes adrenal function. Try to eliminate it.
  • Alcohol is your adrenals’ enemy. Reduce or eliminate intake.
  • Believe it or not, anger and raging (inside or outside your body and mind) are stimulants. Practice mind and body techniques such as yoga and meditation.
  • Add coconut and olive oils to your diet
  • Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12
  • Load up on green, leafy veggies and other nutrient-dense foods
  • Get at least 8 hours sleep per night—at least

Whether your doctor accepts or discards adrenal fatigue as a cause for your symptoms, you can still always boost your health by boosting your adrenals.  As mentioned, your adrenals are part of your endocrine system. Check in to see if you are treating all your organs and other bodily systems properly with best health practices. For tips and up-to-date info on these and other health topics, please peruse other articles here on GetThrive!

Sources:

https://draxe.com/3-steps-to-heal-adrenal-fatigue/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothalamic%E2%80%93pituitary%E2%80%93adrenal_axis

www.drlwilson.com/articles/adrenal_burnout.htm

https://draxe.com/adrenal-fatigue-diet/

 

 

 

 

Am I at Risk for Colorectal Cancer (even if I’m 25 or 30)?

Medical providers generally suggest a colonoscopy for those 50 years old and above. There has been, however, a noticeable increase in rectal cancer for those in their 20’s and 30’s. What’s more worrisome is that the increase is not due to genetics, but perhaps, rather, environmental factors.

Spiking Rates

“Someone born in 1990 would now have twice the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer than at the same, had they been born in 1950,” according to researchers at the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

Frighteningly, colorectal is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer.

How Could It Possibly Be Me?

Doctors and researchers cannot absolutely pinpoint the cause of this growing trend of younger people being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. One hypothesis is that someone in his 20’s is less likely to suspect that signs and symptoms of the disease are pointing towards cancer.

Screenings for this type of cancer, as mentioned, are not recommended for those under 50, unless they’re in a high-risk group. High-risk might include someone with Crohn’s, IBS, or an Autoimmune disease such as HIV. And because younger people aren’t paying attention to symptoms, and not getting tested, often the colorectal cancer is finally detected at more advanced stages.

Not having access to health insurance can also thwart someone from getting screenings or seeing a specialist.

Better if You’re Older

Because of suggested screenings, rectal cancer in those over 50 is often found at an early stage. Back in 1985, approximately 225 people out of 100,000 (over age 50) were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. As of 2013, those rates changed to 116 out of 100,000.  That’s a significant drop in numbers.

Additionally, when a 55-year old notices blood in her stool, she apt to question its origin more than a 25 year-old would. Often, blood found on toilet tissue is mistaken as a sign of bleeding hemorrhoids. Obviously we shouldn’t panic over certain signs, but there may be some that are worth discussing with a physician.

Some symptoms are:

-unusual sustained bloating

-unintended weight loss

-chronic constipation

-blood in stools

Keeping Calm

Yes, newer studies and data are showing increased numbers in younger people diagnosed with colorectal cancer. However, the truth is that the rate of people in their 20’s getting the disease has only increased by two cases for every 200,000 people per year. In 2013, the research showed that approximately 8 out of 100,000 adults under 50 were diagnosed positive for the cancer.

And although the colorectal cancer rates are rising slightly in the younger set, the mortality rate has not increased. Younger people are not dying at higher rates. It’s still fairly uncommon to be diagnosed if you’re under 50, but the rates are rising—and quickly.

Lifestyle, Environment, and Behavior

There is an increased risk of getting any cancer, amongst any age group, when “healthy, mindful living” isn’t part of one’s habitual daily life. Sure, there are folks who smoke, are obese, never exercise, and never get cancer. But, that might be called a “fluke” or “getting lucky.”

How we treat our bodies reflect how well it treats us. And sadly, there, too, are folks who get diagnosed with cancer who’ve taken great care of themselves all along. That unlucky roll of the die is most likely attributable to the toxins in our air, water, and soil.

Regardless, you can decrease your risk, overall, if you are mindful of the foods you eat, the air your breather, the water your drink, and your body’s stress levels. High fiber, low fat, organic foods can help keep your digestive system functioning at optimum capacity. Daily exercise also lends to expelling toxins, increasing oxygen-rich blood, and experiencing less tension and stress. All of these behaviors can certainly keep you healthier than if you didn’t practice them.

Sources:

http://www.clickorlando.com/health/born-in-the-90s-your-colon-cancer-risk-could-be-rising

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-and-symptoms.html

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2017/03/01/doctors-warn-of-colon-rectal-cancers-spike-in-young-adults/