"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" - Hippocrates
Back in school, we learned that our ancestors were hunter-gatherers. They moved around based on food availability. As they transitioned from hunter-gatherers to farmers, very early on they discovered that fermentation and the use of salt and smoke were great ways to preserve food. Slowly but surely, they developed the basic methods of modern-day agriculture and thus the evolution of food began. Nowadays, because of the high-paced world we live in, the food industry has evolved into the processed “food” industry.
Thanks to this evolution, processed foods have become widely available and since this form of “food” fits into the “ready in 5-minutes or less” category, for many, it’s become a very convenient way of getting their next meal.
But what happens to your body when you put convenience above health?
With so much contradicting information out there, it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed about what to eat and what not to eat. In the next couple of paragraphs, you’ll discover 3-Hacks to Eating Better that will help you feel confident about your next meal.
HACK #1 – Use your brain!
Even though food has evolved so quickly over the last century, the human body has not caught up. Meaning, our bodies have not adapted to consuming processed foods. Our ancestors ate mainly fresh, locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and meat when available, for over a million years. Modern-day agriculture is only a little over a century old. When taking all of this into consideration, it’s not surprising to see a rise in chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and even cancer.
The human body makes sense, but you have to use your brain! Now, I’m not saying to go out there and collect fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds for dinner. But, the next time you’re getting ready to reach for that frozen pizza (even if the box says it’s made with organic ingredients, paleo-friendly, etc.), ask yourself, “did my hunter-gatherer ancestors eat the ingredients listed on this package?”.
HACK #2 - Would Great Grandma eat it?
If Great Grandma were around, you could bet a hundred bucks she would stay away from aisles like the frozen food section, cereal, chips, soda, and even run away from products labeled “low-fat” or “sugar-free”. Why? Well, because she would not recognize ANY of those items as “real” food.
The idea behind creating processed foods back in the 50’s was to extend shelf-life and make food widely available. The only way to achieve this was by using chemicals and genetically modified ingredients. Sadly, during that time because of the increased sales in the processed foods industry, there was hardly any emphasis made on the long-term effects these foods had on health. It isn’t until recently that studies have shown just how detrimental the consumption of artificial ingredients, GMO’s, and chemicals really is to the human body.
HACK #3 - It’s ALL about your brain.
Your brain is command central and your nervous system acts as a pathway to get messages out to every organ, cell, and tissue in your body. Food is the only way to nourish your body, and just like exercise, eating the right foods can improve your brain function and your overall health. But, when you’re feeding your body artificial ingredients, food that contains dyes or GMO’s you’re high-jacking the communication between your body and your brain.
What does this translate to? It means that feeding your body unnatural ingredients will cause your body to slowly stop functioning correctly. This is where chronic illnesses come into play. Despite efforts of Western medicine, not only are chronic illnesses in the adult population on the rise, but it is also on the rise in young children.
Your body was created to thrive. Just like a computer, your body has the power to reboot and heal itself given the chance.
It’s unfortunate that we live in a world that’s always giving us mixed messages about how and what we should be eating. There’s always a “new miraculous” diet being put on the front cover of magazines giving people false hope. Because of this, so many have opted to not trust their own body’s capacity for healing.
All it really takes is looking at the hard and simple facts about how our bodies were designed and how they were truly meant to function. It doesn’t take a scientist to tell you that the more whole foods you include in your diet, the better your chances are of living a healthy and happy life.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the 2nd part of this article. We’ll dive a little deeper into the most common fad diets and clear up any confusion around them by using the 3-Hacks to Eating Better.
"Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws" - Barbara Kingsolver
Being a mom is such a rewarding life experience. One of its greatest perks is watching your kid(s) grow, learn, overcome obstacles, and achieve their personal goals. No other feeling compares to the butterflies in your stomach when your child says, “I love you mom”.
But being a mom is also a full-time job that often leaves you with little to no time to care for yourself. At Tenino Chiropractic Wellness Center we understand the daily struggles and challenges many moms face. From dropping kids off at school, going to work or running a business, driving kids to and from after-school activities… With such a crazy schedule it may seem like there is no time in between to take care of yourself, and if there is, the feeling of guilt makes it easy to say “NO” to treating yourself to an iced cold mocha, or even a yoga class.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we've created a list of 5 super easy self-care hacks for Moms!
1. Make a healthy breakfast on-the-go overnight! – If you haven’t heard about overnight oats, you’re in for a treat! With just 5-minutes of prep time (literally!) overnight oats are a great way to start your day with healthy whole grains. Check out these 8 Classic Overnight Oat Recipes – they’re a great alternative to sugary cereals and practical to have on hand when kids are running late for school. Just grab and go!
2. No time to go to a yoga class? – No problem! Click here to check out Yoga With Adriene’s ''Yoga Quickie" playlist on Youtube. These 5-10 minute videos are sure to get you through your day feeling good and strong. As Adriene Mishler says “a little goes a long way”.
3. 10-minutes in nature is all you need – Whether it’s 10 minutes watering your garden, walking the dog, or simply going for a walk at a nearby park, scientific studies have shown that spending just a few minutes in nature helps restore mental energy, reduce inflammation, improve focus, and relieve stress. So, what are you waiting for!
4. Essential oils – Having them on hand at home, in your car, or in your purse can be a lifesaver! If you’ve always wanted to dive into the world of essential oils now is the time. Check out this beginner’s guide to learn more about how you can incorporate essential oils into your daily routine.
5. Let Your inner Wonder Woman Shine – It’s no secret that body language is a direct expression of how we feel. Now, imagine if you were to spend 2-minutes every morning standing in “Superhero Pose”. Studies show that when we stand tall, open our chest, keep our arms unfolded and breath slowly and deeply we boost our confidence and our overall mood improves. So, the next time you’re standing in front of the mirror getting ready for your day, take two minutes to let your inner Wonder Woman shine!
From all of us at Tenino Chiropractic Wellness Center, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
Measuring your progress is important if you want to achieve long-lasting lifestyle changes.
In a previous blog post - Discover why making a lifestyle change is important to you- we talked a little bit about the importance of your goals being in line with your needs and motives.
Evidence shows that when we commit to a goal that comes from our own motivations we’re twice as likely to achieve that goal versus if we set a goal for external reasons – like pleasing your boss, your partner, family members, etc.
5-Easy Ways to Track Your Progress
- Quantify your goal – No matter the hoal, one of the keys to achieving it is identifying the HOW and the WHAT. For example, if your goal is to save money, determine HOW much you want to save (i.e. $100.00) and in WHAT time-frame you want to achieve that goal by (i.e. 30, 60 or 90 days.)
- Stay on course – Use an app on your phone or a calendar on your fridge to break down your main goal into sub-goals or milestones. For example, if you’re goal is to lose 10 pounds in 30 days, set a day at the beginning and half-way through the finish line to do a weigh-in and to take your measurements. This will help you identify if you’re on track or not, and if changes need to be made to ensure you reach your final goal.
- Record, record, record – Use an app on your phone, or keep a written journal of your daily progress. This will give you something to fall back on in case you aren’t on the right track to achieving your goal. For example, if your goal is to exercise 3x a week you can use the calendar app on your phone to record what day and time you worked out.
- Check off your achievements – After creating a SMART plan for your goal, you'll identify what actions need to be taken. Put these actions into a Check-list format and as you complete them, mark them off. This is a great way to stay motivated and boost your confidence, as well as give you a visual of your progress.
- Celebrate your achievements and learn from your mistakes – Each time you successfully reach a milestone, reward yourself! You’ve worked very hard to make it to this point. Soak in the positive emotions that come with achieving each milestone. This will help build your confidence for the remainder of your journey.
If you happen to not reach your milestone or your main goal, it’s OK. It’s not the end of the world. On the contrary, moments such as these are what build up our character. Rather than seeing it as a “failure”, tell yourself that “this is a teachable moment”.
Go back to your logs and identify what could’ve caused you not to reach your milestone. Once you’ve discovered that, you will be able to modify your plan as needed and continue your journey.
If you'd like to read more about how you can achieve long-lasting lifestyle changes visit our blog by clicking here!
"We become what we repeatedly do" - Stephen Covey
Making life-style changes isn't hard like most of us think. We only think it's "hard" because we haven't learned how to effectively make new habits work for us.
"Negative habits" have a tendency to sabotage our desire for change. To replace these negative habits for positive ones, some introspection is needed.
In his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", Stephen Covey establishes that in order to change any given situation, we must first change ourselves and to do that we must be able to change our very own perceptions. We live in an era where everyone is looking for the next quick fix, but despite the hundreds of "quick fixes" out there the result is always a short-term solution.
Creating New Habits
To create new habits that'll work for you, first you must be aware of:
- Current habits that will stop you from making the changes you want.
- The situations that trigger your current habits (old habits).
- What new habits do you want to create?
- How will you reinforce your new habit when a specific situation triggers an "old habit"?
Consistency is KEY to Making New Habits
After a few days of following through with your goal(s), it can feel easy to say "I've done great all week, so I will skip today..." - Whatever you do, DON'T SKIP A DAY! By doing this, it makes your new habit formation harder.
Studies show the “What the Hell Effect” occurs most often after the first slip up. People give up believing that the work isn’t worth the effort. We all mess up; but when you do, instead of giving up—figure out what derailed you and plan ahead for how you'll deal with it the next time and start again!
Anchor New Habits to Your Daily Routine
This is the easiest way to make a new habit work for you. Rather than trying to change your daily routine to fit your new habit, make your new habit fit into your daily routine.
For example, if your goal is to walk 20 minutes after work 3-days/week for 30 days and your current routine is to come home, feed the dog and sit down to watch T.V.; try leaving your walking shoes next to the door the night before, so the following day you can come home, feed the dog, put your shoes on and walk back out the door.
Once you've had a couple of practice runs trying out your new habit, take a few moments to determine if this is working for you. If the answer is yes, KEEP AT IT! If the answer is no, ask yourself, "what needs to change in order for me to follow through with my new habit?" and make the change!
A strong support system strengthens your resilience and commitment to stick to your goals.
Define what support you need.
Once you've chosen a simple, specific goal that you're confident with, it's time to pick your cheerleaders. There are people around you who want to see you succeed. So, ask yourself, "who in my circle of family, friends, co-workers, etc., best meets my needs?"
Before rushing over to your best friend or co-worker to ask for their help, you need to determine what kind of support you need from them. For example, do you need help brainstorming ways to handle challenges? If so, does your best friend or co-worker meet that need? Or would somebody else be better for the job?
Ask for the support you need.
After defining who your cheerleaders are, let them know what you're up to and ASK FOR THEIR HELP.
You'll need to be specific with them. Saying, "can you help me" doesn't give your cheerleaders the information they need to actually help you achieve your goal. Let them know you need help keeping yourself accountable, that you need them not to do or say things that can trigger you in a negative way, etc.
Remember, even the best players need help from their team members.
Here’s an example:
GOAL: I will replace my mid-afternoon sugary snack with a piece of fruit for the next 30 days and log what I eat on my phone.
WHO AND WHAT I NEED: I will ask my co-workers not to break out the chocolate in front of me; my husband to buy fruit and vegetables at the store each week for my snack, and my best friend to text me every week to see how it’s going.
If anyone is unwilling to help, remember there are seven billion other people on this planet to choose from!
In our next blog post we will reveal the SECRET to achieving long-lasting lifestyle changes.
A slow, steady approach builds long-lasting change.
Trying to change too many things too fast without having clear, realistic and measurable goals dooms most people to give up on their resolutions after the first few weeks. It has been shown that people who explicitly define their goals are 10 times more likely to reach them.
Here are 4-easy steps to help you set your goals.
- Step 1: Break it down. If your goal is a major lifestyle change, break it down into smaller steps or goals. For example: If you haven't worked out in quite some time and your goal is to "Exercise 60 minutes/5 days a week", start with something smaller like "Exercise 30 minutes/3 days a week for one week".
- Step 2: Make it yours. Choose a SIMPLE goal that feels good to you and that you feel VERY confident about. Don’t go for something you think you “should” do. For example: Ask yourself - "Can I safely and reasonably accomplish working out 60 minutes/5 days a week?" If the answer is no, set a smaller, achievable goal until you can answer yes with confidence!
- Step 3: Be VERY specific. Your resolution should be SMART, meaning - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Vague goals make it hard to define and commit to the steps needed to achieve them. For example: "I will add a half cup of vegetables to one meal each day for 30 days while keeping a daily log on my phone".
- Step 4: Measure your progress. Define a way to log and measure your progress. It helps you track, reinforce and celebrate your successes. For example: Use a notepad app on your phone or a journal to log your progress for the day.
By following these 4-easy steps, you'll be set up for success! Remember, making a change in your life not only requires commitment, but it also requires planning and organizing yourself.
Keep an eye out for our next blog post! We will be talking about the importance of creating a support system to help you achive your goal.
Figuring out WHY you want to make a lifestyle change is an important part of the process.
Before setting goals to achieve long-lasting lifestyle changes, you need to do a bit of soul-searching first.
Understanding your own big picture and highest motivations will help you define what first steps you need to take to get started.
To begin the soul-searching process, ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers in a journal or notebook.
- What will my life look like if I make this change? - Imagine your life after making the lifestyle change of your choice and embrace the sense of happiness and positivity it brings you.
- If I don't make this change now, what will happen to me? - Bring awareness to the consequences and negative feelings of not making the change. Being mindful of this will help you stay on track.
- What do I hope/dream to experience or do by making this change? - “By becoming more active I will have more adventures and fun with my kids (or grandkids)", "By changing my eating habits I will have more energy and vitality”.
- Do I desire to make a change because I truly want to or because I think I should? - When you make changes based on what you think you should do rather than what you really want to do, there is a tendency to fail. Get clear behind the real motivations of the change(s) you want to make.
- Do my current beliefs in what I “should do” work for me or do I need to redefine them? - If you have been trying to make the same change or achieve the same goal for a while, maybe it's time to look at things from a different perspective. Do a bit of research, ask a close friend or a loved one who has succeeded at making their own lifestyle changes.
- Does my vision of change strongly motivate ME to take action? - Be completely honest with yourself. If your answer makes you excited and happy, GREAT! If you feel even just a tiny bit unsure of your vision or motivation, it's OK. Change is scary. The important thing here is that YOU feel confident in what you want to achieve. Make the necessary adjustments to help yourself get comfortable with the idea of making a lifestyle change - maybe it's starting with an even smaller goal, or talking to your spouse or loved one to get a clearer picture.
You are the most important person in your life, and as such, by making one small positive lifestyle change at a time your life will transform into the one you've always dreamed of.
Stay tuned for our next blog post! We will be giving you a step-by-step guide to successfully achieve your goals.
This list of 10 proven keys will help you succeed!
At first glance, some of the keys may seem too simple and you may even be tempted to skip some of them. But remember, each key is a significant part of making a successful lifestyle change.
The 10 keys to change are just as important as the goal(s) you've set for yourself.
Trust yourself and fully COMMIT to the process; not just in your head or half-heartedly. Commit to making the effort and taking the time to do each of these 10 keys.
- Key 1: Make an effort to find what feels good to you.
- Key 2: Set your intention - understand why YOU want to change.
- Key 3: Change one behavior at a time - define a specific, realistic, measurable goal and write it down.
- Key 4: Trust Yourself – from the beginning.
- Key 5: Find your cheerleaders - ASK for their support.
- Key 6: Visualize your success.
- Key 7: Keep a daily log to track your progress.
- Key 8: Acknowledge & reward every small victory.
- Key 9: Learn how to make NEW habits work FOR you.
- Key 10: Identify obstacles and triggers that may stop you from reaching your goal - brainstorm ahead of time how to work around them.
Stay tuned for our next article, where we'll go over what you need to do first before you start tackling your goal.
Remember, it's never too late to make positive lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime!