Eat Less Naturally With Intermittent Fasting’s “Eating Window”

We’ve all been there. Counting calories. Tracking macros. Exercising daily. Weighing way too often to track progress…and so on…

Hey, I get it. We as 40-somethings are just trying to shed those irritating extra 10 pounds that are stubborn as all get out!

If you’re ready to take a break from all the tracking and are considering other options to losing weight “naturally”, then intermittent fasting might be a solution for you.

Intermittent fasting is basically choosing certain times for eating each day, or “eating windows” that allow for longer periods of non-eating, which allows the body to process food more efficiently.

Because you consume your calories within a certain time frame, you tend to eat less in a 24 period. Once you get your mindset clicked into the intermittent “eating window”, it gives you freedom.

Freedom from all the tedious calorie counting and exercise tracking. Freedom to relax into your life, enjoy the food within your “eating window” and the freedom to stop all the stress and self-judgement having to do with food and counting calories.

Intermittent Fasting is Not Starving Yourself

Intermittent fasting is NOT a way to starve yourself and just eat as little as possible. It is important and necessary to still be eating an adequate amount of calories for your body, it just happens to be within a shorter eating window.

Many people start with the 16/8 schedule where you fast for 16 hours, and eat for 8 hours. This still gives you a good amount of time for 2-3 meals and a snack or two.

Keep your meals within this shortened window, and you will notice that not only do you tend to eat less overall, but your body adjusts your hunger and fullness levels to this window as well.

Have a Kitchen “Closing” Time

Another simple way to shorten your eating window with intermittent fasting is to have a kitchen cut-off time.

Just like a restaurant, this is a time during the evening when your kitchen is closed, and you no longer run back for more snacks or nighttime treats.

People who like to stay up late, watching TV or burning the midnight oil with work projects, are more likely to go and grab those late night snacks. While there is nothing wrong with it, it could make it harder to burn calories naturally and make it harder to sleep with digestion issues.

Research has shown that having a 3 hour window of non-eating before bed, allows the body to have optimum digestion and metabolism for higher quality sleep. This may prevent problems like heartburn at night and even insomnia.

Mindful Eating

Learning how to adapt intuitive and mindful eating into your lifestyle can be a big game changer. Start to observe how your body feels during different times of the day.

Do you get light-headed or brain-foggy if you go too long without eating? Do you have a habit of snacking when you’re bored instead of being actually hungry? Do you get sweet cravings every afternoon?

The more you understand about your body and what motivates you to choose certain foods, the easier it will be to follow these cues and choose the best foods to eat during your “eating window”. You can also determine what the best time during the day to plug in your “eating-window”.

Every woman is unique. You need to find what works for you. It is good to begin by modeling a time-frame that is generally successful for most people like the 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule.

But…It is important to find the best time frame that works for you and your lifestyle. Maybe you shift hour lengths a little longer one way or the other. It is also important to determine how to place your eating window within your day so you can have the best benefits from it.

Remember small changes can add up to big results. Move forward with love for yourself.

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4 Surefire Ways To Reduce Stress To Positively Effect Your Diet

When you start looking at ways to reduce your stress levels, you probably focus on how much work you are doing, what your daily responsibilities are, and whether or not you practice good self-care. These are all very important, but don’t forget about the simplest choices you make every day that could be impacting your stress.

A common one has to do with your diet, where some foods can protect the body from stress, while others may add stress to the body’s function. In fact, your diet has a much larger impact on your stress levels than you might expect, and your stress can determine what your food choices end up being. This is a continuous stress-nutrition cycle that starts with focusing on proper nutrition to fuel your body.

Defend Against Nutritional Deficiencies

The first thing that can happen if you have a diet with nutritional deficiencies, is that your body will not be prepared to deal with stress. These deficiencies can affect not just your physical health, but your emotional health as well.

For example, did you know that a lack of folate, a B-vitamin that is needed to make red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, can affect your mood and lead to extreme tiredness and lack of energy? You can get folate from foods like eggs, asparagus, spinach, and avocado.

Some other nutrients you need to help balance your mood and fight stress naturally are:

Omega 3 fatty acids – Healthy fats are still important! You can get your fatty acids from healthy sources of fats like salmon, tuna, walnuts, and olive oil.

Vitamin D – Do you know why you feel more energized and happier during sunny days? It is the vitamin D from the sun’s UV rays. IF you live somewhere that is cloudy and rainy a lot, or it is the winter where there isn’t much sun, you will need to supplement vitamin D through your food. You can get it from foods like fatty fish, eggs, dairy, and fortified cereal.

Fiber – For more fiber, eating more fruit, avocados, and whole grains is usually a good place to start.

Calcium – While many people get their calcium from dairy and yogurt, you might not be someone who can eat a lot of dairy. In this case, you can get it from foods like almonds, sesame seeds, tofu, and kale.

Iron – You also want to make sure you have enough iron. Iron can help with your mental health, as well as balance your energy levels. Get iron from red meat, turkey, some nuts, and seeds like pumpkin seeds and almonds, broccoli, and dark chocolate.

Protein – You get protein from many of these same foods, including meat, poultry and fish, dairy, cheese, eggs, and nuts.

Life is About Choices – Emotional Eating

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Another link between stress and nutrition is that you can often “help” the stress and emotions with food. The problem here is that many people go for more unhealthy foods. Food can be a drug that helps one instantly feel better at the moment but may have long-term negative effects. If you know that you are an emotional eater, try to fill your pantry and fridge with foods that will build you up nutritionally, rather than pull you down. Rather than having donuts in the pantry ready for a stressful binge, try to replace them with a healthier sweet treat, like a protein cookie, or chocolate-covered nutrition bar. If salty snacks are your “binge food” get single-serving snack bags, to help you control the amount you eat when under a stress snack attack.

Be Mindful of Unhealthy Habits from Stress

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Having a glass of wine at the end of a long day to de-stress is ok! It is when it turns into a bottle, then a bottle every night that you might need to determine if there are other ways to de-stress before you grab the glass of wine.

We all know having too much stress in life can further encourage unhealthy habits. When you don’t get time to de-stress, it is easy to dive into “not caring” because of feeling overwhelmed. This can not only lead to vitamin deficiencies and emotional eating, but eating unhealthy foods, not getting enough exercise, sleeping too much or too little, excessive alcohol, smoking, or abusing drugs. Life is about moderation. If you see yourself having excess in any of these categories, it may be time to step back and re-think what method you are using to de-stress.

The Healthy De-Stress Cycle

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Stress eating can be a vicious cycle that is very hard to get out of. Once you start going to unhealthy foods to deal with your stress, you may feel that temporary “food high”, but it is hurting your body and mental health in the long term. The best thing you can do is notice when you fall into the cycle. Recognize the triggers that send you to stress-eat or stress-drink. Try to get a plan for those moments when “you just don’t care” and fall into the unhealthy stress cycle. Have your healthy stress food ready and avoid even having the big-time junk foods around.

Adding any form of physical exercise to your life can help reduce stress. Exercise can re-set your body and mind, and give you a different perspective. If exercising seems overwhelming, start off with just a 10-minute walk once per day, then increase it by 5 minutes each week. You might also try meditative breathing or basic yoga to let go of built-up stress. Within a couple of weeks you can easily build a de-stress routine into your life that will give you multiple health benefits.

4 Powerful Strategies To Move Forward and Accomplish Your Goals

How often have you set a goal for yourself, something you wanted to follow through on or accomplish, but then stop short of completion? Maybe it was in the form of a New Year’s resolution, or a weight loss goal, or maybe it was just a weekend to do list. No matter how big or small a goal, as long as it is realistic, healthy, and achievable, there are a few things that you can do to help motivate yourself to complete it.

Clearly Define Your Goal

When you set a goal, it is important to understand exactly what you intend to accomplish by fulfilling your goal. If the goal is unclear or murky, you may not be able to see how or why it should be accomplished. Try writing down your goal and clearly state it to yourself. Work on the wording and make clear parameters. If the goal is too vague, you will not feel a sense of accomplishment, because you may not be able to track when it is done.

For example, stating a goal that says, “I want to lose weight”, but not having any other defining structure to it, makes that goal tough to follow through on. However, a goal stated, “I want to lose 1 pound a week for 8 weeks”, is a goal that causes you to set up action steps to move forward with that goal. This type of goal is very defined and you would be able to track the progress and completion of the goal.

Determine Your Micro-goals

So, how do you get from point A to point Z. Once you have defined and determined the goal’s priority in your life, then you can decide the micro-goals, or steps, you need to take to accomplish you goal. A micro-goal is one tiny goal that moves you forward towards the goal completion. Everyone has different ways of viewing goals, so you will need to decide how many micro-goals you want or need to keep your motivation elevated towards goal accomplishment. An example of a micro goal, might be taking the stairs instead of the elevator everyday for a week to help in your journey towards better health. Every time you take the stairs, you have accomplished a micro-goal. Each micro-goal that is achieved will give you a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small. This type of motivation is extremely important to keep you moving forward and on the right track.

Give It Priority

With each goal, whether a micro-goal, macro-goal, or dream goal, you need to determine its priority in you life. If it is very important for you to accomplish the goal, then it needs to jump to the top of the priority list. Be sure that your goal has realism built into it. If it is a goal that totally disrupts your life and those involved in your daily routine, then it may be difficult to accomplish. If your goal is a big one, such as a diet overhaul, make sure that those affected by your goal are aware and onboard too. Making plans for success of your goal, can keep you moving forward.

Keep A Positive Mind-Set

As you are traveling on the journey towards your goal, it is important to keep a positive mind-set. Whether you achieve every micro-goal or not, during your day, celebrate the victories rather than focusing on the failures.

There is a term called “Stinkin’ Thinkin’”. It is when your self talk becomes negative and results in grumbling, which can tumble into a downward spiral of “failure” thinking. Monitor your self talk and make sure the inner voice is staying positive. There is always a positive thing that can be said about any situation. If you fail at a micro-goal, try to avoid the inner voice going into “stink in’ thinking’” and instead find the positive and encourage yourself. There is enough negative in the world, your inner voice doesn’t need to be negative too.

See How Much You Can Accomplish

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Lastly, you will notice that you can accomplish so many more goals than you ever thought possible. There is a wonderful domino effect that happens when you start crossing items off your list and celebrating your micro-goals during your journey. Each time you do this, you see what you are capable of. You will feel excited and inspired to get through the next stage.

Trust in yourself more by staying positive, having faith, and working really hard to hit each micro-goal. The more you do this, the more your mind-set will start to change and your goals will get accomplished.

Top 5 Foods That Cause Bloating

Feeling bloated?… There are foods that can trigger your gut into “bloat mode”. Some are on all the “bad-food” lists, however, some of these foods are actually healthy and nutrient-dense. Many women can have sensitivities to certain healthy foods when it comes to their gut.

Every gal is unique! What works for one person, may not work for another.

Here are some foods that have been shown to throw many guts into disorder. Your challenge is to determine which foods may be affecting you and decide, for yourself, which should be avoided, minimized, or just eaten in moderation.

Processed Foods

Processed food – the big bad wolf.

Processed foods can be quite sneaky. Obviously, the sweet roll in the vending machine is processed food. But is an organic nutrition bar in the vending a processed food too?

How do you know it’s processed? Typically, anything packaged, boxed, wrapped, or frozen, has at least some processing done to it.

However, just because it has been processed, doesn’t mean it’s to be avoided. Reading labels is your best defense against processed foods that contain preservatives, allowing the food item to exist in their package for years.

If there are ingredients that you need a science degree to understand or there is no “best by date”, then the food most likely has preservatives that are not beneficial to your health.

Tip – Read the labels of any bagged, boxed, or frozen food that you eat for the next week. If there is an ingredient that you have a question about, look it up and read about it. You might be surprised about the things that go into food (even food that says natural or healthy on the package).

Fried Foods

Fried and fatty foods can also be really hard on your stomach. Many people don’t have an easy time digesting them, leading to gas, bloating, and stomach cramps. If you have medical conditions like gastritis or acid reflux, these high-fat foods can cause a lot more discomfort for you.

Tip – Save your fried foods for the occasional treat, not as a regular occurrence.

Artificial Sweeteners

If you have ever eaten something that claimed to be “sugar-free” chances are high that it used artificial sweeteners. Even “natural” lemonade in the healthy section of the grocery store, may contain un-natural or artificial sweeteners.

Some alternative sweeteners are more natural, like Stevia and Monk Fruit, and might be very gentle on your stomach. But, it is important to avoid sweeteners like sucralose, sorbitol, maltitol, and aspartame.

“The body reacts to artificial sweeteners differently than it does to sugar — the healthy bacteria that live in the gut, for example, change when these compounds are around.”

– Alice Park

Tip – Choose the versions of sweets with real sugar or natural sweeteners, instead of “diet” or “sugar-free”.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Wait…I thought cruciferous vegetables were good for me?….

You might be wondering why cruciferous vegetables are on the “naughty list” in terms of bloating and digestion…

Even though these vegetables are a genre of food that is nutrient-dense and usually good for you, they may not always kind to your gut.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it… these veggies may give you gas, make you bloated, and cause abdominal pain, especially if consumed raw. However, this is the puzzle that you need to figure out for your own body. Do what works for you.

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, watercress, and radishes.

These veggies contain raffinose — a sugar that remains undigested until bacteria in your gut ferment it, which can produce gas and make you bloat.

The other day a friend of mine was telling me she didn’t understand why after she ate raw veggies – “a healthy food” – she became super bloated and felt yucky. If a cruciferous veggie was in the mix, then it was most likely the culprit.

If you have a lot of gas and bloating, monitor to see if there is a relationship between eating these types of vegetables and bloating. If you see a connection, try eating cruciferous vegetables in moderation.

Every gal is unique, so do what is right for you and your digestion. If a certain food makes you bloated, avoid it. There are a lot of foods out there that can take the place of the food that are causing you digestion issues.

Just because you may have been raised with an adult telling you to “Eat your broccoli!” doesn’t mean you have to now. Carve your own path, mama.

Spicy Foods

Lastly, let’s chat about spicy foods.

Again, spicy foods aren’t necessarily bad for you, but if you have gut issues and cannot figure out the cause, notice how you feel after eating something spicy (especially at night).

Capsaicin is an ingredient in hot chili peppers which has its pros and cons.

Studies have found that capsaicin can increase your metabolism, which increases the rate at which you burn fat stores. It has also been shown to promote heart health.

However, it is also linked with digestive issues. Ingesting too much capsaicin can lead to irritation of the mouth, stomach, and intestines.

Tip – Try lowering the spice in your food slowly, gradually moving from hot to medium, then mild.

Not only does following this list of good and bad foods for your gut help your digestive health, but it can help you have a more balanced diet.


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5 Easy Grounding Techniques To Reduce Stress

Grounding is a technique that helps you balance your physical, emotional, mental energy and reconnect them to bring you into a present, calm state. It allows you to make some space between yourself and any stress that may be bottled up or anxiety that has been lingering.

Sometimes grounding is also called earthing, which is a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth. Practicing grounding typically engages one or more of your 5 senses but focuses mostly on physical connection with the earth.

Here are some easy grounding techniques using the 5 senses to help reduce stress, ease anxiety, and bring a sense of balance to your beautiful self.

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Sound

What sounds bring you peace and calm?

Sound can be a grounding technique, as it can shift you into a different state of mind, allowing for a clearer perspective.

The sound might be white noise like the sound of your bedroom fan or maybe the sound of water. Listening to the rain, a creek, waves crashing, or even a fish tank circulating water can help to soothe the mind and bring calm to the body.

There are also many noise machines available that can mimic sounds of nature and white noise. Some women find these especially effective in their nighttime-sleep routine as they wind down and allow the mind to release the stress of the day.

Other people prefer music for their grounding, but make sure it isn’t loud or too fast-paced, as this may actually increase a stressful mind or worsen your anxiety.

Sight

Sight can be used for grounding by looking at a peaceful, or inspiring nature scene.

This can be something you are actually able to look at or just something you can imagine in your mind. You don’t need to hike a mountain to look at beautiful nature. Sometimes just stopping and focusing on a grouping of plants, the bark of a tree, or the details of a blooming flower can bring your mind into a state of grounding.

Not able to get outside easily? No problem. Try visually diving into artwork on the wall (it doesn’t have to be in a gallery), a nature scene on your computer, or even something that is colorful (such as a cool coffee mug) near you. Getting yourself visually into another mindset and allowing your mind to have the freedom to think differently for a few minutes can have a grounding effect.

Smell

Smell is an easy way to reduce anxiety. It can instantly change your mood and bring you into another frame of mind. Anchoring with a scent or a smell that you find calming, by using aromatherapy with oils or candles, can be very effective. Many scents are known for soothing the senses and helping with anxiety, like lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang.

Try experimenting with different blends of essential oils specifically designed to reduce stress and anxiety. Aromatherapy candles can awaken the senses of smell and sight, through the flickering for the mesmerizing flame and the scent of the essential oils within the candle.

Try to put candles or oil diffusers in different areas of your home and office so you can access them easily.

Taste

Wake up your taste senses by tasting something invigorating like tart lemon, briny pickle, or spicy pepper. To use taste for grounding purposes, it needs to be something that immediately awakens this sense, brings you into the present, and pulls you away from your stress for a moment.

As you allow the taste of the food to bring you into the present, give yourself permission to dive deeper into the experience of the taste. How does it feel and what thoughts are coming into your awareness? Be sure to breathe and let yourself absorb the moment and feel the change of your state from the taste.

Touch

Touch is one of my favorites when it comes to grounding. Standing or walking on the earth is an easy way to practice grounding, through earthing, and begin to relax your mind and body. If you can, get outside on your bare feet, stand or walk on either dirt, grass, or sand so you are touching the earth.

Connecting to the Earth’s natural electric charge has been shown to stabilize physiology, and reduce inflammation, pain, and stress. It has also been said to improve blood flow, energy, and sleep. Many people experience a greater sense of well-being after they have spent time grounding.

Other great options for touch include touching any object near you, feeling warm or cool water, touching natural things such as a tree, grass, or rock.

Remember that you can take small actions to ground yourself and the results can add up to a better sense of calm, less stress, and reduced anxiety in a short amount of time.

3 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress & Anxiety Through Journaling

Have you ever felt like you were so filled with stress and anxiety that you literally could not make any decisions to move in any direction? Many women find that using journaling is an effective tool to decompress and allow some of the pressure and “steam” to release.

If you have considered journaling, but it seems like “one more thing to do”, or it appears complicated and confusing, or maybe you just have questions on how to even do journaling effectively…

…Do you write whatever you are thinking? Is it meant to be used as a diary? Do you write about gratitude or use writing prompts?

The answer is: yes to all of it!

One thing that can help you decide what type of journaling will work for you, is to figure out what kind of stress or anxiety you have, and how it is affecting you.

Do you have moments of extreme stress that are trigger-based? Or a general sense of dread when you think about certain things or the future?

Certain forms of journaling can help a lot with different issues relating to your stress and anxiety.

Brain Dump for Generalized Anxiety

If you find yourself super stressed out by the end of the day, due to stress build-up, or waking up at night, then using journaling at the end of the day, may help reduce your stress and calm anxiety.

Doing a brain dump or stream of consciousness style of journaling can be an effective practice when you’ve had a day full of multiple stress triggers, or if you just feel worn out.

A Brain Dump is where you get just write about whatever is on your mind. Let your thoughts flow to the paper, bouncing around to different topics as often as you want to. You can even add doodles if that helps express your feelings or thoughts.

For many women, generalized stress or anxiety is worsened when they bottle up anxious thoughts and hold them inside.

When thoughts can be put onto paper or electronically ( if you journal on your computer or iPad) it can provide a relaxing and freeing feeling.

Scripting About Your Future Plans

If your anxiety or stress has specific triggers, especially when it comes to venturing into the unknown or moving forward to achieving enormous goals, then scripting is a great way to write in your journal.

This is often used in the Law of Attraction and manifesting, but you don’t need to have that as a goal or be spiritual to benefit from scripting.

Scripting is a type of writing where you write down what you want to achieve, but as if you already have it.

If you want to buy a house, you don’t write that you want to buy a house but write a journal entry as if you already bought your dream home. Where is it? What is it like? How big is it? How do you feel now that you have it?

Daily Journaling for All Forms of Stress

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Regardless of what type of stress you have, whether it is a job, family, co-workers, financial, or health-related, daily journaling can be a welcome relief. Some days you might feel like doing a brain dump, other days you might be inspired to write about a specific experience you had that day.

Remember, that however you journal, your writings are for you. Write without judgment, journal with love for yourself, and allow yourself to have freedom within your writing.

5 Tips To Lose Weight Without Obsessing!

Most women are on some type of diet, whether it was to lose weight, gain muscle, for health reasons, or just out of curiosity to try the newest eating trend.

If this is you, you might also have experienced the obsession that often happens.

Obsession with the “right” ingredients in the foods you eat, obsession with weighing and measuring, obsession with numbers and burning the right amount of calories through workouts, and the list goes on…

But is it possible to lose weight without all the obsession?

Yes! But you need to have the right mindset going into it, and avoid some of the obsessive habits that tend to occur when you want to lose weight.

Wherever you are at in your health journey, remember that you have everything inside of you to accomplish your health goals!

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Remember that small changes can add up to big results over time! Harness your inner power, Busy Beauty!

Becky Dyroen-Lancer
HealthGuruGal.com

3 Healthy Habits That Decrease Stress & Boost Gut Health

There are some amazing daily habits and rituals that can help decrease your stress levels and improve your mental health that are easier than you may realize. But did you know that decreasing stress can also help out your gut health? Stress can actually reshape your gut’s bacteria composition which may affect digestion and what nutrients the intestines absorb. Adding to the drama, stress can also increase gas production within the gut. Ugh!

It’s time to reduce stress, Busy Beauty!

Check out these 3 habits that can help reduce your stress and bring your gut some relief.

Exercise…but not what you think

Let’s get this one out of the way… stress levels decrease with exercise.

There, I said it. Before you sigh and skip ahead, let me say that you do not need to have a rigid workout routine or do exercise that you dread in order to check this box.

Your daily exercise habits can make an actual difference in how much stress you hold onto on a daily basis, BUT the type of exercise your chose to do needs to fit into your life and be something you actually look forward to. It is difficult to sustain exercise if you hate it or it causes a bunch of stress within your schedule.

Exercise needs to decrease your stress, not cause more of it!

If you dread working out, then you have not yet found the right workout for you. We are made to move and there is an exercise out there that will fit into your life. Its just a matter of finding it.

“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.”

– Sakyong Mipham

Look for an exercise that reduces your anxiety, helps release stress, and allows you to clear your mind, either during the exercise or during the cool down.

Do what is right for you, without judgement. Even if it is not “typical exercise”, if it gets your body moving and fits into your life, then that is the exercise your should stick with. Rotating types of exercise can also keep you from workout burnout.

Perfectionism is not Perfect

Stressed black woman using a laptop

Nobody is perfect. Many people joke about how they are perfectionists and everything needs to be done exactly how they envisioned. But when all is said and done, if you are a perfectionist, you might find that it may be negatively impacting your life.

Now is the time to be aware if your expecting perfection or feel like a failure just because you didn’t accomplish everything on your list or do it exactly perfect.

Flexibility is key, because no human being is perfect. We don’t live in a black or white world – we live in a world of colorful hues. Try to find your balance. Give yourself permission to explore a comfortable place where you know you work hard and have responsibilities, but you also let yourself be open-minded about the results. Beating yourself up over imperfections can be a major self-inducted stress bomb.

Give yourself a break and let the “inner-coach”, not the “inner-critic” have a voice.

Stress lowers serotonin availability in the body, which regulates mood and emotion. Although serotonin is known as a brain neurotransmitter, it is estimated that 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. More stress equals less serotonin. Ladies, we need our serotonin levels up! So, let some of the perfectionism go.

Avoid Overuse of Social Media

While using social media definitely has its merits, it can also be a addictive habit that might be actually causing stress and chipping away at your healthy mind-set.

If you are someone that just checks in every once in a while or when you get occasional notifications, it’s probably not a negative habit for you. If you check social media throughout the day and get notifications constantly, this may be causing stress that can build up by the end of your day.

Try taking a few days to reduce the time you spend on your social media, just to see if it changes your stress levels. Give yourself a time frame to spend each day on social media.

Depending on your regular use you can decide what less time would be. For example, if you spend time on social media throughout the day, maybe try just checking in for a 30 minute allotment during the day, rather than a having constant interaction. Or try setting a timer and giving yourself a set amount of time to scroll through your social media, until the timer goes off. This will also help give you a sense of the amount of time you spend as you get pulled into the social media vortex.

You can also try to silence your alerts, so you don’t have your social media grabbing you attention throughout the day.

Remember that small changes, over time, can add up to big results. Reducing your stress, even by a little bit throughout the day, can minimize your overwhelm, support your gut health, increase your positive mindset, and allow you to live a healthier life.

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Top 10 Gut-Friendly Foods For Super Busy Women

Have you dealt with digestive issues, bloating, difficulty losing weight, heartburn, fatigue, or brain fog? These are symptoms that many women have experienced dealing with an imbalanced gut.

There are many factors that play into the health of your gut, however, the easiest place to begin improving your gut health and gut microbiome, is with what you eat (or don’t eat).

The gut plays a large role not just in your digestive health, but is also interconnected with your other major systems, such as your immune system. 70% of your immune system is housed within the gut.

There are strong links between your gut and your brain, so if you struggle with fatigue, brain fog, or focusing issues, it might actually be starting with your gut.

Ready for 11 of the best foods that you can eat for your gut and digestive health?

By adding these 11 foods into your diet can help you create a healthy, well-balanced diet that makes you feel amazing, gives you energy, improves your immune system, helps reduce bloating, supports weight loss efforts, and minimizes brain fog all at the same time.

The best foods for your gut contain higher amounts of nutrients, like fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, protein, and many different vitamins and minerals. Of course, some foods on this list you might still be sensitive to if you have conditions like Crohn’s, IBS, or gastritis, so add the foods that work best for your body.

Yogurt

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If you are not allergic or sensitive to dairy, yogurt is one of the best foods to add to your daily routine. Look for yogurt with live cultures, such as Greek yogurt, as it contains a good amount of probiotics to help your gut microbiome. Just a small serving of yogurt a day is all you really need, and you will get that gut-friendly bacteria along with calcium and protein as an added bonus.

Tip – Get the unsweetened varieties of yogurt, then sweeten it yourself with honey or another type of natural sweetener. It will be less processed and you can avoid unhealthy sugars.


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Kimchi

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Next up is another type of probiotic in kimchi. If you have never heard of this before, it is a type of fermented vegetable that is popular in Korean cuisine. Many fermented foods will help to balance out of the good and bad bacteria in your stomach and improve your digestive system. Plus, it has many other vitamins and minerals, and a good amount of fiber.

Tip – Kimchi tastes great when served with meat or fish. If you are not a big meat eater, try it with your eggs.

Apple Cider Vinegar

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“Apple cider vinegar has long been a staple in recipes and in home remedies. Some believe it is an age-old secret and a fountain of youth ingredient that you already have in your kitchen.”

Amy Leigh Mercree

This has become a trending topic in recent years, so it’s probably something you are familiar with. There are numerous health benefits to apple cider vinegar, which is why it is so highly regarded, especially in the alternative and natural health space. But for gut health, it also has some unique benefits.

Apple cider vinegar can help create more hydrochloric acid, which is a type of acid in your gut that allows you to digest carbs and fats more effectively. It is also great for people with GERD or acid reflux.

Tip – Take a shot of apple cider vinegar every morning, mixed with a small amount of water, to get your digestion on track from the start.

Sauerkraut

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Another type of fermented vegetable that is amazing for your gut health is sauerkraut. It is made from cabbage that is fermented and can be put alongside many dishes, like sausages, meats, even other vegetables. It provides probiotics and is also a good form of dietary fiber. Sauerkraut contains vitamins C and K, potassium, calcium and phosphorus.

For best results, be sure to grab the raw sauerkraut in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Canned sauerkraut will still be able to provide some benefits, however, heat used in the canning process does kill the good bacteria living in your sauerkraut, it only happens at 115°F (46°C).

Tip – Top any savory dish with some sauerkraut. I even like to eat it right out of the jar!

Fish and Fish Oil

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Both fish and fish oil are really good for your gut, and the rest of your body. If you have been dealing with digestive issues, adding a serving of fish to your day can help tremendously. You can also use fish oil supplements if you prefer and aren’t a big fan of eating fish.

In addition to the gut benefits, fish and fish oil also contain omega-3 fatty acids, and protein, all of which are great for your health.

Tip – Enjoy salmon or another fatty fish a few days a week to increase the fish oil in your diet.

Ginger

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If you have ever tried Ginger-Ale or ginger tea for an upset stomache?..

Then you are already aware ginger can be great for nausea and gut issues. But in addition to helping when your stomach is already hurting, ginger also helps digestion on a more regular basis. Ginger comes in many forms, such as fresh, sliced, pickled, powder, tea, frozen, and in supplements. This makes it easy to add to your diet.

Tip – Have a cup of ginger tea each evening to settle your stomach.

Almonds

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When it comes to nuts, most of them have a good amount of vitamins and minerals, but almonds are best for your gut. They contain probiotic properties, therefore a handful of almonds or almond butter is going to improve your digestive health.

Tip – Dip your apples in almond butter as a healthy snack.

Kefir

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Next to yogurt, kefir is probably one of the healthiest and best forms of dairy for your gut health. It is a cross between milk and a liquid yogurt, with many different live strains of good bacteria to help improve your digestion.

Tip – Improve your gut health by using kefir for your morning smoothie instead of regular milk.

Sprouted Grain and Sourdough Bread

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When it comes to bread, you don’t need to skip it entirely to improve your gut, unless you are sensitive to wheat or gluten. However, you do want to choose the right varieties to help your digestion. This includes both sprouted grain bread and sourdough bread.

Sprouted grain bread is much less processed and contains more of the actual whole grains it promises. It is much gentler on your stomach than other types of wheat bread. Sourdough bread is ideal if you have a sensitive stomach, but still want bread. Many people with IBS can still eat sourdough.

Tip – Enjoy a piece of sprouted grain bread with avocado and egg for a well-balanced breakfast of carbs, fiber, fat, and protein.

Bone Broth

It’s time to start trading the regular broth for bone broth! This is so amazing for your health, containing dozens of vitamins and minerals, and collagen to help your bones and skin. You can use bone broth in your soup and other dishes, or just heat it up and drink like you would regular broth.

Tip – Add bone broth to your gravy or soup to make it more flavorful and nutritious.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

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Lastly, there are foods that are known for being anti-inflammatory, which can also help your gut if you struggle with gas and bloating. An anti-inflammatory diet focuses on fruits and vegetables, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and spices.

Some anti-inflammatory foods already mentioned include almonds and fish oil. More anti-inflammatory foods that are good for your gut include:

Walnuts
Tomatoes
Peppers
Berries
Grapes
Flax seeds

So enjoy adding these gut lovin’ foods into your diet bit by bit. Remember that small changes can add up to long-term big results. You’ve got this, Busy Beauty!


Do you want some shortcuts to reduce bloating (that actually work)?

How To Naturally Bolster Your Immune Health and Feel Confident

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If you have been feeling like you want to bolster your immune health recently, you’re not alone. Many gals still feel exhausted from the first wave of COVID hitting our world, but now there are the more contagious variants.

Now, more than ever, you can build your immune health with many productive and effective methods. If you’re trying to make moves away from playing “defense” with your immune health practices and want to move toward natural, pro-active methods that can actually make a difference in your preventative health, then focusing on adding in easy and natural practices to improving your immune health is a smart place to start.

Immune Boosting Herbs

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There are an abundance of herbs that have a plethora of immune health benefiting characteristics.

Herbal supplements are considered as foods, not drugs, by the FDA. This means they are not required to have the same rigorous testing, manufacturing, labeling standards or regulations as over-the-counter or prescription drugs. So check your labels to make sure your are getting a quality herbal product.

Some herbs are known to be “pro-active medicine” to help your body fight off viruses. Other herbs give you some relaxation to wind down at the end of a long day, which indirectly supports the immune system.

Products made from plants which are used to treat diseases or to maintain health are called herbal products or botanical products. A more technical term is phytomedicines. A product made from plants which is used primarily for internal use is called an herbal supplement.

Herbs come in many forms: dried, chopped, capsule, powder, bath bomb, or liquid, and can be used in many different ways to promote and enhance a healthy life. You can start by adding just one herb into your life, whether it be through a supplement, topical, or diffuser, and see if you like the effects.

Some of the herbs that are at the top of the list for natural immune health include Elderberry, Echinacea, Ginger, Garlic, Ashwaganda, Reshi, and Holy Basil.

Elderberry is a very popular herb that has risen into the spotlight in the past few years due to its immune boosting properties. The berries and flowers of elderberry are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that are known to help support your immune system. Today, many women take elderberry supplements to treat cold and flu symptoms and help bolster their immune systems.

Elderberry is a powerful berry high in vitamin C, but it also features unique antioxidants that support our immune health.

– Dr. Axe

Another well known immune booster is Echinacea, also known as the coneflower. It stimulates the immune system to produce natural killer cells and other sickness-fighters. Many women take it at the first signs of a cold to help reduce symptoms.

It is fairly easy to add ginger and garlic into your favorite dishes to get additional immune support with your meal.

Ashwagandha and reishi both stimulate your infection fighting white blood cells. While holy basil activates the immune system and also fights viruses.

Take Your Vitamins (But Buy High Quality)

Lets face it, it is challenging to get all the immune supporting nutrients from our daily food intake, even while following a superfood plan. Getting the optimum vitamins and minerals that you need just through food is a lot of tracking… who has time for that?…

Taking high quality and super effective vitamins and minerals is the easiest way to be sure that you are getting all the nutrients that your body needs to reach an optimum, natural, and super-charged immune system.

But which vitamins and minerals are really important?…

Start with a high powered multi-vitamin, and then go from there to meet your specific health goals.

If you’re looking for anti-inflammatory remedies, try turmeric with black pepper to tame inflammation or Glucosamine Chondroitin for joint health.

For a brain boost try B vitamins like B6, B12, and B9 (folic acid), which all play a role in brain health. You can even add green tea into you day which naturally contains both L-theanine and caffeine, as well as antioxidants that may help your brain power and physical well-being.

Take a good look into the ingredients on the vitamin labels to be sure there are not a bunch of extra additives or sugars in the vitamins you’re considering.

$$ Value TIP $$: Check out the amount of vitamins per bottle and the daily recommended dosage. For example, a bottle of 80 gummy-vits may seem like a good deal, but they may have the daily dose at 4 gummies per day, so it is really only 20 days worth of supplement!

Essential Oils For Immune Health

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Essential oils can be used for so many things, from getting better sleep, to improving your immune system, to reducing your anxiety… all which support your immune health.

There are also blends that are great for your skin, treating minor cuts, promoting relaxation, and also enhancing the immune system.

My favorite “go-to” essential oil for stress relief and relaxation is lavender. I use it in many areas of my life to give me a moment while I inhale the lavender aroma and let go of any built up stress. I’ve even added it to homemade playdough to keep the kids peaceful as they play.

Another one of my favorites is Thieves oil for immune support. I use this in my oil diffuser to fill my environment with health promoting scents. I even dilute it and spray it on my face mask before I go into public environments. The smell is soothing and I feel like I have a little extra protection in crowded public spaces.

If you would like more shortcuts to better immune health, grab my IMMUNE HEALTH Cheat Sheet. This FREE cheat sheet will give you 6 smart strategies to help you bolster your immune system and help your body naturally fight viruses! Click HERE to get it today!

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