5 Natural Ways to Fight the Flu!

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Hello Flu Fighters! I ran across this list of ways to avoid illness this winter: the natural way! Thanks to Meghan Telpner!

Vaccinations are a hot, hot, and very heated topic. We all want to be healthy and we all want to do our best for ourselves and our family to maintain great health throughout the winter season.

Many people believe that vaccines are the way to go, while many others are adamantly opposed.

I wish I could tell you what to do and then your inquiring mind would be settled and you could just carry on your merry way. The challenge is that it is our personal responsibility to do the research and make the decision that we are most comfortable with. No one else can or should do that for you.

My best approach is to do all I can to keep the terrain, my body strong and healthy, and focus on prevention strategies.

5 Ways To Fight Flu Season:

1— Sleep: Optimal sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system.
2— Keep it clean: Wash hands regularly, and use a netty pot to clean out the sinuses.
3— Take the right supplements: Immune modulators like Reishi mushroom is super for ensuring a strong and healthy terrain. Lactoferrin is another powerful immune modulator. It is advisable to take both in supplement form throughout cold and flu season as well as during periods of intense stress.
4— Avoid Sugar and Eat Well: Glucose and vitamin C compete for uptake. The more sugar we eat, the less we are able to absorb vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the activity of our white blood cells including antimicrobial and natural killer cell activities. High dose on immune enhancing foods like red peppers and cucumber- both rich in vitamin C, and culinary mushrooms like shiitakes.
5— Manage Stress: There is no greater hinderance to our health than stress. That’s where stress reduction activities come in. Watch a comedy, go for a walk, sit in a sauna, stretch and breathe deeply and boost your immune function. Mindfulness meditation has been shown in studies to increase circulating antibodies. (reference)
Whether you choose to get vaccinated or not, the above strategies will only work in your favour.

And if you do opt to get a vaccine, be sure to do your research and know exactly what is in that cocktail that is being injected into your blood stream. The recipe changes all the time and it is our right to know what we are being given.

Real Life Fuel Efficiency

True Confessions: Life is hard.

The Universe does this cute little thing sometimes where it just throws a million things at you to see what you can catch and juggle.  One of the things that I was dealt lately was moving all of my belongings from the garage of one of my dear friends to my new apartment.  The best thing that came out of this was two days with my two favorite souls in the world. Then came the hard part: Driving eight hours in a U-Haul when I’ve never driven anything bigger than a hatchback ford focus. Ha!

When I got in the truck and started driving, I noticed that one of the gauges on the car was measuring fuel efficiency. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had something like that for our lives: Something to measure not only the quality of what we’re putting in, but also how we were expending the energy that our nourishment gave us?

Personally, I know that I would be living in the red zone lately.  Firstly, because of my crazy schedule it’s been so hard to make the time be eating well.  I’m living in the 20% (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read this!), and let me tell you this: MY BODY FEELS THE DIFFERENCE.  It knows, and it’s not happy.  I have no energy, I feel puffy and bloated, and just completely drained and sad.

So, then, when I’m not putting good fuel into my body to begin with, how can I manage how efficiently I’m using the “energy” that it is giving me? Working a number of jobs with about 6 hours of sleep a night and a smaller than desirable amount of veggies: RED ZONE. An endless cycle of puffy, tired, sad red-zone-ness.

The moral of this story, my friends, is that our bodies know the difference between eating good, live, nutritious food and fast, easy, sugar and chemical filled “food.” Here’s a post about why eating live food is so great! And it knows when we’re treating it well or not. When we’re buying regular unleaded or premium.  And while you might not see a big difference in how your car run, you WILL in your body.  Or are you treating your car better than you treat your body?  QUIT IT!  Get enough sleep.  Do things that make you happy! Remember how short life is and really think about how much the things you’re stressing about will matter in a month.  In a year? In 10 years? Be FUEL EFFICIENT!

Hope that everyone is eating lots of veggies and keeping up with all the things they have to juggle! Life is hard, but falling into the trap of easy, crappy eating will NOT make it easier!

Are you struggling with poor eating? Or are you trying to eat well, but still having digestive or weight loss issues? Shoot us an email at support@hhfusion.com to snag one of Monica’s FREE strategy sessions to finally solve your problems!

Best source of nutrition?

Just so I don’t keep you hanging: It’s fruits and vegetables. Gotcha. : )

If I haven’t made you mad enough to keep you from reading the rest, I’ll continue…

So, I was walking by a Walgreens/CVS/Duane Reade type of store this weekend and saw an end cap labeled “Nutrition” through the window. I was scurrying along, so I slowed my average NY speed walking to catch what they had displayed in such an important category, and it turned out to just be a bunch of diet bars.

Wouldn’t it be brilliant if, instead of bars and supplements and shakes miracle pills, on a shelf labeled “Nutrition” is where stores kept things like fruits and vegetables and quinoa?

Now I don’t mean to be a debbie downer about all bars. In fact, in times of crazy schedules and general life madness, they can be helpful in a crunch! What concerns me are silly diets that have people only eating bars and drinking shakes to be “healthy.” Huh?

My favorite bar right now is the Good Greens bar. They are made by a Cleveland based company, so when I was attending school in Cleveland, they were readily available and so great to keep me going during my ridiculous college schedule! They are vegan, gluten free and boast to provide 100% of your daily fruits and vegetables.

Also, they’re freakin delicious.

BUT! I’m afraid that some people who eat things like this think that they are an alternative to eating REAL food.

They’re not.

So, in a PINCH, feel free to reach for your bar of choice (after researching the real nutritional value and what they will really be doing for you), but don’t let the convenience keep you from planning ahead to prepare/cook real, whole foods with a actual fruits and vegetables. These are still processed foods, and are not to replace the real, whole, good ole natural FOOD.

Live food is the best food. Check back for more on this later in the week!

And, while you’re waiting for our next enthralling, informative blog, why not shoot us an email for a shot at a FREE strategy session with Monica to figure out what is the best plan of action to help you reach your health goals and FINALLY overcome your struggles with wellness and/or weight loss. It will be totally worth it, I promise!
support@hhfusion.com

Are you lacking Vitamin L?

You know how sometimes you stumble across something that at JUST the right moment?  This is something real that’s going on with me right now, and I love that Kris’ (check out crazy sexy life) blogs always remind me of what’s good about life and where to focus my energy!

Even as life is overwhelming and you don’t even feel like there’s time to breathe, remember to be totally head over heels in love with yourself.  And if you aren’t, why not? And why not do something to change it? These are things I ask myself every single day!

So, I wanted to share this newsletter with you.  I hope it hits home for someone as much as it did for me!!!

Liberation Lovers,
Today I was reminded that not only do I write for you, I write to remind myself. Like you, I am busy. And sometimes busy gets the best of me! Why do you think I’ve been focusing on love so much recently? Because stress truly sucks (the beat from my heart). And I just hate that feeling. You know the one — depletion. Well, since we last connected I let myself slip-slide. My “I love you” mirror still sits on my desk, but this week she’s draped in dust. As a result, I’ve experienced a depletion in vitamin L. Love. I don’t know if your doctor has mentioned this to you, but a depletion of vitamin L is very dangerous. It makes you snappy and unstable.

But as I said last week, you/I have the power to choose our attitudes. Enter my zippy assistant Lauren who proceeded to send me a pile of the kindest, brightest, most attitude-shifting and caring love vitamins from my readers. It’s funny how the simplest gesture can have such a profound effect.

Check out this love vitamin from Susan: I am a 2-year breast cancer survivor … yay!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kris! I took your advice, and told myself “I am totally in love with my life,” then I told myself, “I’m going to start looking for 5 things of beauty every day.” Well, this morning, on my beautiful early morning run, in the course of an hour, I had already found all 5 of them! Now, my whole outlook has changed … there is beauty everywhere! I thank God for you and your books! I love life!

Susan, you reminded me of one of the greatest teachings my grandmother ever shared with me: “See the details, find the beauty, notice the majesty, awaken to the brightness … it’s everywhere.”

This week, make a mental note of the lovely in the rocks, flowers, wind, birds, dappled light and so on. Now THAT’S a vitamin!

Peace + vitamin L,

P.S. Last night I went on a great adventure. At 9 pm, I cracked. No AC and, aye chihuahua, were we hot! Rather than moaning + cursing the July flames, we hopped in the truck and zoomed to Walmart to purchase a tent. Lola stood guard all night, we star + moon gazed, and this morning I awoke to a sweet, breezy sunrise with my beautiful family.

Get Some SLEEP to Help Lose Weight!

Americans are so silly.  We cram our schedules, and our kids’ schedules, full of activities, and scurry around from place to place all day exhausting ourselves.  Then once we’re home, we take time to unwind, and next thing we know it’s midnight and we’re still awake, and we have to be up at 6:00 tomorrow morning to get everything going for the nest day! That makes MAYBE 5 hours of sleep.  Maybe.

So, ok, why is sleep so important?  Well, we all know that while were sleeping our body is working to repair and heal and recover for the next day.  It’s a time when your body doesn’t have to think about digesting or anything else to keep it busy (unless you had a giant snack/meal before bed and your body is trying to figure out what to do with it, so it just sits around (like when you turn off the dishwasher in the middle of the cycle)).  Your body NEEEDS this time to recuperate.

Sleep debt is like any other kind of debt, it builds up.  Your body will continue to “pay” with high interest rates until you catch up! And if you don’t, your account, your body, YOU, will shut down!  Who wants that?  And if your body’s playing catch up just to be able to function normally, how can if be thinking about good, healthy weight loss? Plus, we all know that when we’re sleepy we’re so much more tempted to reach for those caffeinated drinks and bad, fatty, snacks foods that make us “feel better.”

But here’s something I didn’t really know about how sleep effects weight loss: Hormones!  The body restores hormones at night, and the two that have to do with weight loss are ghrelin and leptin. Grehlin is the hormone that tells you when to eat. When you’re sleep deprived you have more Grehlin– so more eating! Leptin does the opposite: tells you when to stop eating, and you have less of that when you’re not getting enough sleep.  So, more of the hormone telling you TO eat, and less of the hormone telling you to STOP eating… Could be a weight-gain culprit that you didn’t even suspect! Plus, your metabolism is slower when you’re sleep deprived.  Just badness all around.

So, the good news is that, in theory, this should be a pretty easy one to fix!  People usually need about 7.5 hours of sleep to strike a healthy balance.  That’s 10:00 pm-5:30 am, 11:00 pm-6:30 am… You get the picture.

Make sleep a priority! And while you’re making some good, healthy changes, why don’t you shoot us an email for a chance at a free strategy session with Monica?  support@hhfusion.com  Talk to you soon!

3 Healthy Dorm Room Recipes + Tips

Ok, so, yeah, eating healthy when you live in a dorm room on a college budget ain’t easy, BUT there is hope! You can do a few things that make a big difference!

1. Use the awesome recipes below to give you a healthy yummy break from the dining hall!

2. In the dining hall, grab larger portions of the healthy foods and “try” the unhealthy foods. The mac&cheese, greasy hamburgers and fries are hard to resist, so don’t. Just grab a bit and know you can always get more later in the week. There’s no need to over-indulge because they serve fries every day, don’t they? Opt for the green stuff, fruit, and nuts; and add some roasted, baked or boiled protein instead of fried yuckiness.

3. Always, always, always keep healthy snacks around to keep you from grabbing whatever is in the vending machine. Try carrots and hummus, apples and peanut butter (natural, 100% peanuts), almonds, celery and cottage cheese, grapes, even those Thai rice noodle packets aren’t so bad!

4. Beware the alcohol! If you over-indulge, limit yourself to a couple of days a month. One of the worst things you can do is drink your calories. This leads to many problems including a toxic liver, bad skin, weight gain, heart health issues, and of course, occasional embarrassment. Try having a drink or two, preferably beer or wine. (Added bonus: money saved!)

5. Avoid the crazy dieting! If you go from over-eating to under-eating, your body will freak out and store fat. Keep your metabolism happy and eat nice sized meals regularly. Eat until you are satisfied, not full! If you want to drop a few pounds, decrease your portion sizes, eat smaller healthy meals more frequently, and exercise 3-5 times per week. (And don’t forget that alcohol thing.)

Ok, on to the awesome recipes…

1. Whole Wheat Pita Pizza: Take a whole wheat pita, tear or cut it into two flat pieces. Add pasta sauce (try to find one without added sugar- especially without high-fructose corn syrup). Add your favorite toppings such as tomatoes, olives, bell pepper, mushrooms, etc. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in toaster oven at 350˚ for 5-7 minutes.

2. Whole Wheat Quesadilla: Take two whole wheat tortillas, add your favorite veggies and cheese. Bake in toaster oven at 350˚ for 5-7 minutes.

3. Whole Wheat Pita Sandwich: Cut a whole wheat pita in half. Stuff the pita with hummus, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, black olives, and whatever else suits you (Add tahini sauce if you can find it).

Put these healthier habits into play so that when you choose to live it up, the effect is not so harsh! You’ll find that you feel better, do better in class, and you’ll keep the dreaded Freshman 15 at bay!

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