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Natural Ways to Boost andTake Charge of Your Metabolism

Natural Ways to Boost and Take Charge of Your Metabolism

Metabolism is a process. It’s the way our cells change the food we eat into energy we need to breathe, move, think and do… everything. It keep us, as it keeps all living things, alive.¬†

Basically, metabolism is the process your body uses to convert calories into energy. Whether you know it or not, your body is always burning calories. Even when you’re sitting around watching Gossip Girl for the third time, your body is using energy to run the inner show that goes on behind the scenes – stuff like keeping your ticker running, blood circulating, repairing your cells, breathing, and the list goes on. We are all born with a metabolic rate that suits our body and disposition. Some people are naturally fast burners, and some are naturally slow burners, but that doesn’t mean we have zero control. We do have some authority over the rate at which we metabolize food and use it for fuel. Here we look at some key ways to access that power.¬†

The greatest wealth is health.

Subtitle

Stay well hydrated –¬†Try to consume at least half your bodyweight (lbs) in ounces of water per day. Recently, a study done among overweight children found that consuming the recommended amount of water increased their metabolism by 25%.¬†

Stay rested –¬†Clocking at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night keeps your metabolism running strong. When you’re chronically sleep deprived (consistently getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night), your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. This uptick in cortisol throws your hormonal balance out of whack, which can slow down your metabolism. Plus sleep deprivation increased your appetite for carbohydrate-rich foods, like sweets and snacks, making sleep loss a double whammy for weight gain.¬†

Eat an appropriate amount, and make sure you get protein –¬†lets start by stating that eating five to six small meals throughout the day is not helpful for your metabolism. This was a fad that had it’s time in the spotlight, but it doesn’t give your body the break it needs to digest and utilize nutrients. Grazing throughout the day means your body is constantly releasing insulin, the fat-storing hormone. This also means that the body will become less dependant on carbs for fuel, which allows your blood sugar to stay steady. This results in less cravings, better energy, mental clarity, and a sense of control. Having a steady blood sugar also supports an efficient metabolism.

Don’t¬†skip meals –¬†When you skip meals, you actually allow the body to dip into its protein-aka, the muscles-for fuel. So, not eating lunch when your body is asking for fuel isn’t going to strategically pull from, that soft pocket of fat in your inner thighs like your hoping. In fact, it may make your body hold onto it for longer. When you trick your body into worrying that it might not get fuel for a while (or when it needs it), your metabolic rate slows down, so you hang onto your calories longer in case you need them for an emergency. In other words your fat stores will be the last to go.¬†

Build muscle –¬†Thirty minutes of weight-bearing exercises 3 to 4 times a week can help you increase and maintain muscle mass, which keeps your metabolism running high. A pound of muscle burns about 6 calories a day whereas a pound of fat only burns 2 calories a day. So the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism.

Reduce your stress level –¬†Maintaining a healthy metabolism is also connected to our levels of stress and overwhelm. So if you want to lose the weight and keep it off, then stress reduction practices, like meditation, breath work, exercise, talk therapy and other self-care strategies, are important parts of your overall plan.¬†

Try cold exposure and heat therapy –¬†Many studies suggest that cold water immersion has a consistent effect on raising the metabolic rate in humans. If immersing yourself in cold water seems daunting or maybe not accessible, a rinse in the shower will do. I am personally a huge fan of alternating hot and cold water in the shower. You can start with smaller spurts of cold water and work your way up, but it’s always a good idea to end on cold. On the other end, heat us another way to boost your metabolic rate. A hot, relaxing, salty bath or a sit in the sauna can purge your pores while boosting your metabolism.¬†

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How to Prevent MASKNE

How to Prevent MASKNE

The MASKNE is real.

Is the coronavirus mask now officially apart of your daily outfit? If so (I sure hope so), then it might be causing irritating skin breakouts you’ve never had to deal with before. Masks provide a layer of protection (obviously), but they can irritate sensitive skin and clog your pores to then flare up acne. The maskne is REAL (ugh). If you’re like us then you are experiencing little pimples around your chin, jaw line and nose (gross). With that being said, we’ve come a long way in terms of mask options to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 . We now have more breathable options made with antibacterial fabric, thanks to all the wonderful companies and their technology we can protect our communities and our skin.

Cancel Maskne 2020. Do we agree?

Let's fight COVID-19 & maskne at the same time

  1. Cleanse and¬†moisturize your skin daily.¬†Keep up with your daily skincare routine now more than ever. Washing your face with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser before and after wearing a mask is key – It’s not just in the morning and at night anymore.
  2. Skip the¬†makeup when wearing a mask.¬†Beneath a mask, makeup is more likely to clog your pores and lead breakouts. If makeup is necessary, use only products labelled “non-comedogenic” or “won’t clog pores.”
  3. Avoid trying new skin care products that can irritate your skin. Wearing a mask for even a short time can make your skin more sensitive. To reduce skin problems, avoid trying harsh products, such as chemical peels, exfoliant, retinoid, for the first time.
  4. Wear the right mask.¬†Wearing a mask that offers a snug, but comfortable fit helps to protect you and others from the coronavirus. ¬†A snug, comfortable fit also reduces skin problems. If the mask feels too tight or slides around on your face, it can irritate your skin. You’re also more likely to adjust a poorly fitting mask. When you touch your face, you can transfer germs to your mask and face.
  5. Wash your cloth masks. Many health care organizations now recommend that you wash a cloth mask after each use. Washing it also removes oils and skin cells that collect inside the mask, which can lead to skin problems.
  6. Consider buying a mask chain.¬†Buying a mask chain that you can wear around your neck is not only convinent (where’d I put my mask??), it also helps reduce ¬†the amount of germs and acne-causing bacteria spread by tossing your mask ¬†on a table or inside your purse.
  7. Apply a zit cream on your problem areas under your mask. Find a zit-removing product that works best four skin and apply it under your mask to protect your breakouts from getting worse. No one will notice!
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Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy While You Work from Home

Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy While You Work from Home

A list of activities to keep those kids out of your hair while working from home.

It’s almost month number 8 since our world has been rocked due to the pandemic, I know a lot of our careers have been moved from in office to at home for the remainder of the year and maybe longer. Well for some of us (the people with no kids) may LOVE this new transition (professional up top and pyjamas on the bottom), it can be rather difficult for the mama’s who have young children at home. If you fall in the category of needing to get work done, but struggling because the children are home too, then this big list of activities is sure to keep them busy for hours while you concentrate.

Activities List

Creative Activities

When children’s imagination is sparked, they will happily play In a world of their own for hours on end, giving you time to get some work done. Here are a few activities to get your children’s creativity flowing:

  • Create a living room fort with sheets, blankets, and pillows. This space can be perfect for reading, playing pretend with dolls and stuffed animals, or watching a movie.
  • Saved cardboard shipping boxes for a few days and then hand them over to your kids to become forts, rockets, or houses for stuffed animals or dolls. Throw in some markers or crayons and your kids will be happily entertained for hours and even days – building you valuable work time.
  • Ask your children to create a play to perform fro you after dinner. Provide them with puppet supplies, a song playlist, or costumes to dress up in.
  • Build a city with legos or blocks. Challenge the kids to use every single lego piece to build their own city.
  • For all the little girls a tea-party with their dolls will be perfect. Fill a pitcher filled with a special drink and some crackers or cookies and they will be set for the day.

Active Activities

It doesn’t take long for children to start bouncing off the walls when they are cooped up inside for a long period of time. Here are a few activities that will allow your children to burn off all that energy:

  • Have a dance party
  • Play a kids yoga/zumba video
  • Set up an indoor hopscotch in your hallway. Use masking tape to create the boxes and numbers on the floor and use a soft beanbag or whatever soft object you have laying around as the rock.
  • Create an indoor scavenger hunt. For a fun scavenger hunt that doesn’t require a lot of set-up, tell your kids to collect or take pictures of objects around the house that start with the letters of the alphabet.¬†

Quiet Activities

When you’re working from home, it can be difficult to find some quiet time until the kids go to bed or take a nap. These activities will give children the time to chill and you time to get some work done…peacefully.

  • Audio books are a great way to entertain children of all reading levels.¬†
  • Some parents feel guilty entertaining their children with screen time, but I say go for it! Whatever works best for the family – no judgement here. Throw on an afternoon movie, and to make it extra special you can lay down a picnic blanket and treat your kids to a yummy snack.¬†
  • Colouring is a great quiet activity that all kids are sure to enjoy. Allow them to pick out a colouring book the next time you are out or print some pages off the internet to save some money.

 

 

Hopefully these activities will help find you some time to yourself to focus on work, while allowing for the children to be fully entertained in productive ways. 

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The Mind-Gut Connection

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DIET BOOK

The Mind-Gut Connection

by Emeran Mayer, MD

Combining cutting-edge neuroscience with the latest discoveries on the human microbiome, a practical guide in the tradition of The Second Brain and The Good Gut that conclusively demonstrates the inextricable, biological link between mind and the digestive system.

Synopsis-From Author

We have all experienced the connection between our mind and our gut-the decision we made because it “felt right”; the butterflies in our stomach before a big meeting; the anxious stomach rumbling we get when we’re stressed out. While the dialogue between the gut and the brain has been recognized by ancient healing traditions, including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, Western medicine has by the large failed to appreciate the complexity of how the brain, gut, and more recently, the gut microbiota-the microorganisms that live inside our digestive tract-communicate with one another. In The Mind-Gut Connection, Dr. Emeran Mayer, professor of medicine and executive director of the UCLA Center for Neurobiology of Stress, offers a evolutionary and provocative look at this developing science, teaching us how to harness the power of the mind-gut connection to take charge of our health and listen to the innate wisdom of our bodies.

Our Thoughts

The Mind-Gut Connection is a revolutionary new holistic view of what keeps us healthy, ranging from the food choices we make to the ways we can train our mind, with the ultimate goal of attaining optimal health. 

The Mind-Gut Connection describes:

  • How gut microbes are active participants in the communications between your brain and your gut.
  • How mode of delivery, breastfeeding and early life stress interact to program your gut brain axis.
  • Why a diet that is optimal for your gut microbes is also best for your brain health.
  • How to “listen to your gut” and be mindful of the signals your body is sending you.
  • 10 simple steps you can take towards optimal health

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Hacks to Live in the Present Moment

Hacks to Live in the Present Moment

Living in the present moment means no longer worrying about what happened in the past and not fearing what will happen in the future. It means enjoying what’s happening now and living for today.

One of the best, unforeseen consequences of simplifying our lives is it has allowed us to begin living our lives in the present moment. 

There is only one time and place where you can be and have any control over. The present moment. Most of us spend a lot of our regular days lost in memories, reliving a sunny vacation or many more commonly repeating an old conflict of negative situation over and over in our thoughts. Or maybe we get lost in scenarios about what could happen in the future and our thoughts can become split or unfocused between several different tasks. Choosing to live in the past or the future not only robs you of enjoyment today, but it also robs you of truly living. The only important moment is the present moment. 

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not too mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

The easiest way to explain living in the present is to start by explaining what it means to not be present, since this is the state we have become habitually used to. When you aren’t being present you become a victim of time. Your mind is pulled into the past or the future, or both. You thoughts are of the past: what has been, what could have been, what you thought happened vs. what actually did happen. Or, your thoughts are of the future: what will be, what could be, and what might be.¬†

Our routine, our habit, is to be off in our heads somewhere mulling over negativity and struggles of the past, or becoming anxious and fearful of the future. Rarely are we fully “here”; neutrally centred to see through life’s lens with clarity and awareness – a state that assists us in finding contentment and understanding in ourselves.¬†

Preparing physically, mentally, and energetically is critical. Proactively approaching our day with a sense of sacredness will channel your body and mind to respond as such. 

How to Live in the Present Moment

1.) Remove unneeded possessions

Minimalism forces you to live in the present. Removing items associated with past memories frees you and allows you to stop living in the past. Once the past no longer has power, you can begin to live in the moment.

2.) Stretch your muscles

Muscles contract overnight, and starting your day with tense once certainly won’t help with any energetic blockage. Use your body as a tool to leave behind yesterday baggage, and clear your mind for a new beginning. Yoga increases blood flow to organs and relaxes muscles and tissues. 

3.) Consume soul-nourishing foods

Sattvic foods, including almonds, honey, and whole grains, are known to promote calmness and mental clarity. Food’s correlation with brain health means that a poor diet can make you feel less energetic and more depressed. How do you expect to bring your A-game to a Monday morning when your energy flow is working against you. 

4.) Think beyond old solutions to problems

Our world is changing so fast that most of yesterday’s solutions are no longer the right answers today. Don’t get locked into a “but that’s how we’ve always done it” mentality. Yesterday’s solutions are not today’s solutions and they are certainly not tomorrow’s solutions.

5.) Take mindful breaths

Incorporate intent and energy into your breaths to restart your mind. Sit cross-legged and place your right hand’s middle and index fingers on your forehead and your thumb on your right nostril. Inhale deeply through your left nostril and release the thumb, exhaling thoughts from your right nostril.

6.) Connect with nature

Picnic outside, walk barefoot on grass, pick some flowers. Even if it’s five minutes of sun exposure, it helps us feel one with the universe, and any thoughtful interaction we have with Mother Earth will help ground us. Reach out to nature – the most inexpensive remedy- because nurturing your soul is essential for a strong, clear start.

7.) Block negative energy

Be selective about who and what you let into your life and enforce this every day. Don’t permit negativity to enter your space. Put your guard up when you sense danger, bad intentions, and anything that may distract you from your desired path.

8.) Let go

Letting go of something that happened years ago is important, but so is letting go of yesterday. Let go of your need to control the past, and don’t tie yourself to an object, person, or idea. 

9.) Stop worrying

You can’t fully appreciate today if you worry too much about tomorrow. Realize that tomorrow is going to happen whether you worry about it or not. And since worry have never accomplished anything for anybody, redirect your mental energy elsewhere.

10.) Dream about the future, but work hard today

Dream big. Set goals and plan for the future. But working hard today is always the first step toward realizing your dreams tomorrow. Don’t allow dreaming about tomorrow to replace living in the moment. Dreaming about the future is only productive when combined with action taken today.

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The Family Upstairs

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Suspense, thriller

The Family Upstairs

by Lisa Jewell

The Verdict: A dark, twisty, engrossing family saga.

Synopsis from the author

Some family secrets should never see the light of day.

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighbourhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well-and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a crying baby. When they arrive, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone chilling suspense” brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangles families living in a house with the darkest secrets.

Our Thoughts

How rare is it to find a book that completely defies your expectations but does so in a truly thrilling way? The Family Upstairs¬†is a fresh, inventive take on domestic suspense; effortlessly traversing intimate family secrets and vast, far-reaching conspiracies, Lisa Jewell’s newest release is a masterclass in psychological thriller plotting. Come for this book’s eye catching cover and twisty plot, stay for its genuinely surprising and original variations on a story of family secrets and interpersonal suspense. An excellent 2019 release that offers psychological thrillers.¬†

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What’s a Toxic Relationship and Are You in One?

What's a Toxic Relationship and Are You in One?

The mind-body connection, in all it’s interconnected glory, explains why the stress of toxic relationships is so detrimental to our overall wellness.

The mind-body connection, in all it’s interconnected glory, explains why the stress of toxic relationships is so detrimental to our overall wellness. When we are in a healthy relationship with another person, we feel supported, loved, respected, and cared for. We feel that no matter what challenges we face in life, we have a teammate, a best friend, and a lover to go through it all with. A healthy relationship has an incredibly positive impact on both our physical and emotional health. Strong relationships are shown to to strengthen immunity, increase lifespan, and offer us a safe space to grow.¬†

 

“Bad relationships are like a bad investment. No matter how much you put into it you’ll never get anything out of it. Find someone that’s worth investing in.”

We all encounter toxic people, but not all will remain trapped within the unhealthy dynamic. The term “toxic relationship” probably makes you think of a narcissistic ex or a high-maintenance friend. But bullies, whose power comes from hijacking your emotions, exist everywhere- within families, social groups, the workplace, and out in the world. All too often, it is the sensitive, empathetic personality types that gets pulled into the drama. Most toxic relationships start off as whirlwinds of passion and excitement, and we use the memories of these early moments of lust and intense joy as a reason to stay when things start to take a turn toward the unhealthy side.

Here are some signs that may indicate you are in a toxic relationship.

  1. Possessiveness: When someone is jealous to a point where they try to control who you spend time with and what you do when you’re not with them.
  2. Isolation: When someone keeps you away from friends, family, or other people.
  3. You notice a significant change to your behavioural patters: Your performance at work is affected as the relationship is causing you distress or taking up all of your focus and energy. You feel more tired, unmotivated, and disinterested in life outside of your relationships.
  4. You experience fear around expressing your own feelings or opinions.
  5. You are repeatedly lied to and made to feel that you are being “crazy” when you question their actions. This is also known as gaslighting.
  6. You¬†don’t feel safe to be yourself in your¬†relationship so you begin to mold¬†yourself into what you think your partner wants you to be.
  7. Belittling: When someone does and says things to make you feel bad about sometime you say, do, or your achievements. 
  8. Volatility: When someone has a really strong, unpredictable reaction that makes you feel scared, confused or intimidated.
  9. You find yourself trapped in repetitive negative cycles.
  10. You lie to your friends and family about the details of your relationship to protect your partner and their ‘integrity’.
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The Wives

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Mystery/Thriller

The Wives

Tarryn Fisher

Derivative and shamelessly manipulative but still a lot of fun. Fisher delivers a pulse-pounding, fast-paced suspense novel that will leave you breathless. A thriller you won’t be able to put down!

Publisher Synopsis

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket-an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another one of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretences, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you are. Then Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, na dhow far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life? And who is his mysterious third wife?

Our Thoughts

As an overall work, this novel was spectacular if you are into suspenseful thrillers, but a particular point of strength was the author’s narrator. And more specifically, how this narrator evolved and changed throughout the course of this novel.

Our protagonist – who we come to know is actually named Thursday – was somehow both exceedingly likeable and incredibly unreliable.

Ultimately, it was the unreliability that made this story shine. It created a situation in which the reader feels unable to find solid footing, leaving you constantly on edge and unsure of what the next page will bring.

This unreliability, like so much in this novel, came as a total surprise. At the start, Thursday seemed like a trustworthy, likeable woman caught up in a bad situation.

She seemed totally normal Рalbeit understandably damaged. 

I trusted her. I felt bad for her. But, as the book went one it became more and more clear that this chick was not the type who should be trusted. 

This discovery left me feeling wronged in all the right ways.

Bottom line – I couldn’t put it down. It was twisted in so many ways, which made the whole book so unpredictable.

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Untamed

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Biography/autobiography

Untamed

Glennon Doyle

In her most revealing and powerful memoir, you will explore the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others’ expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us.

Synopsis

Packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live.

It is a story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness of wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member’s ability to bring her full self to the table.

And it is a story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honour our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There She Is.

Our Thoughts

Glennon is a terrific storyteller, whether discussing her children, challenging conformity, confronting life’s challenges, or standing up to ¬†religious individuals whom hold different opinions than she does, her goal as a person is to defy expectations and to help others break out of their cultural cages so that everyone can find their own version of humanity. Filled with hopeful messages and a drive to encourage women to reject the status quo and follow their intuition. This testament to female empowerment and self-love, with an endearing coming-out story at the centre, will have all the readers feeling hopeful and satisfied.

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How to Recognize Your Triggers

How to Recognize Your Triggers

Awareness is the birthplace of possibility. Everything you want to do, everything you want to be, starts here.

It’s easy to say something triggers us. “Triggered” is essentially a hashtag when it comes our generation these days, and it’s true, many things are triggering, especially with the widespread dispersal of information via social media. But not everyone is triggers by the same things. We are all shaped by our own emotional response and past traumas.¬†

Why do we all have triggers? In short, some believe it is correlated with when we were children. When we were growing up, we inevitably may have experienced pain or suffering that we could not acknowledge or deal with sufficiently at the time. So as adults, we typically become triggered by experiences that are reminiscent of these old painful feelings. As a result, we typically turn to habitual or addictive ways of trying to manage the painful feelings.

Learning to identify your triggers is an important skill, and even a tool to manage your emotional well-being. Understanding what can set us off into an unproductive spiral can help to eliminate what doesn’t serve us or allow us to be our best.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Franklin

The hardest part is maintaining awareness when we find ourselves in the midst of an emotional episode. It’s important to be very honest with yourself about your triggers and how you react to them. Even if this approach feels harsh initially, it will help you learn to be more compassionate with yourself. Sometimes your emotional responses can be incredibly physical, such as shortness of breath, panic attacks, nausea or indigestion, sweating, and more. It’s key to try and notice when you are triggered by paying attention to when you start to feel that flooding of emotion or identify where you first begin to feel it in your body.

Here at Flourish Health we  encourage you to pause at the first feeling of sadness and anger and take five deep breaths the best way we can, in through our nose, and out through our mouth. This is a great practice of mindfulness Рwalking away from what we are doing for a moment to take time to gather our thoughts and feelings, identify them and decide how to proceed in a healing way. Thoughtfully communicating our way out of the response, even if that communication is within ourselves is such a powerful way of practice.  

We know it’s not possible to avoid every situation that may emotionally trigger us, and that’s not the goal. We want to be aware of our triggers so that we can be emotionally sound in the face of real-life issues in the future, and to work through the issues, learn, and heal. Recognition is important to take actionable steps and develop true intuition. If we only learn to avoid triggers instead of acknowledging them, we will end up avoiding the real issues that trigger us, which becomes unhealthy suppression.

The goal is to protect our mental health, garner strength from within, and navigate through the muck of life with minimal collateral damage. We must protect our energy at all costs in order to be the best, most powerful, and productive version of ourselves, so we can serve our own joy and others.

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