Creating A Mindset of Health

So much of health is all about habits and actions, but where do these all stem from? What if we don’t have to make as many changes as we think we do? What if there was one powerful thing that makes a lot of difference?

That thing is mindset.

Mindset is sometimes called “the story we tell ourselves.” It’s our attitude toward things in our life. And we have control over our mindset.  What story are you telling yourself about your health and wellness?

I have told myself many stories such as I can’t run more than one mile and then I shifted my mindset, trained and ran a half of marathon. Or the one where I said I could never give up cheese because it made food taste better. I haven’t had cheese in over 10 years and now without the cheese food makes my taste buds dance.  I also use to tell myself I could never meditate because that was for monks or people who could quiet their minds. Now I meditate everyday for at least 10 minutes. I could go and on and on, but et’s take a look at what research is saying about mindset.

Research is showing that mindset may be far more powerful than we thought.

Very interesting health mindset study

Here’s a quick story about a fascinating study.

Researchers at Stanford University looked at a bunch of people’s health and wellness lifestyle habits, as well as health markers.

What they found was that the people who thought they were a lot less active had a higher risk of death than the general public. And, they also had up to 71% higher risk of death than people who thought they were more active. Even if they actually weren’t less active!

How is this even possible that people who simply thought they were less active had higher risks, even if it wasn’t true?

There are a couple of ideas why. One is that maybe if we feel like we’re less active, it may make us feel more stressed. And stress isn’t good for our mental or physical health. Second, there may be a bit of a mind-body connection where the body embodies what the mind visualizes.

Researchers don’t know why, but what matters is that there is a good mindset. So, let me give you a couple of strategies to boost your mindset for health.

Health mindset strategy 1 – Aim for good enough.

Almost no one eats perfectly seven days a week. It’s inevitable that obsessing over the quality and quantity of everything we eat or drink isn’t necessarily a great mindset to have.

It can bring on binging, shame, and guilt – none of these are great ways to get healthy. We want to get healthier by making better choices and building better habits. And these are usually best done incrementally – one step at a time.

So, instead of having a black and white approach where everything is good or bad, why not try aiming for good enough to empower ourselves to make better choices, instead of perfect choices.

Health mindset strategy 2 – Stop making tradeoffs

When you try to earn a gluttonous weekend by eating clean during the week, you’re making a tradeoff. You’re telling yourself that, as long as you’re good most of the week, you can go wild on the weekend.

And that’s not awesome because the mindset is jumping from one extreme to the other. You’re controlling what you do all week, and possibly thinking about how to indulge over the weekend. Just live as though you’re trying to do well every single day. Like you care about your health and wellness. You’re doing your best, and that’s good enough.

Conclusion

Mindset for health can be a powerful tool for better physical health. There’s a proven mind-body connection that research can measure.

Thinking positively, and dropping the black/white and good/bad labels, can help you reach your health goals.

How is your mindset for health? Which of these tips resonate with you the most? How are you going to implement them in your life? Let me know in the comments below.

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mind-over-matter-how-fit-you-think-you-are-versus-actual-fitness-2017081412282

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/making-health-decisions-mindsets-numbers-and-stories-201112123946

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/weekend-overeating

 

My Essential Oil Blend for 2018 – Grounded and In the Flow

In my previous blog, My Words for 2018, I wrote about the four words I choose to represent my soul desires and how I want to be in 2018. The four words are Purposeful, Presence, Pleasure and Playful. I created the following essential oil blend to go allowing with my words. The essential oils blend has doTERRA Passion blend, Ylang-Ylang, Tangerine and Frankincense.  I named the blend  In The Flow. The oils in this blend represent the following:

doTERRA’s Passion Blend  has  Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger, Clove, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Vanilla and Damiana. This blend ignites creativity, vigor and purpose. It helps us to see the possibilities on how our purpose can benefit the collective whole. doTERRA’s Passion will also help ignite feelings of excitement, passion, and joy.

Ylang Ylang – This sweet and tropical oil is known for its aphrodisiac qualities. It stimulates sexual energy and enhances relationships. It has the ability to reunite emotional and sensual aspects of the self, allowing us to experience pleasure and joy. It’s also thought to be the oil of the inner child, helping us connect to our own sense of inner joy and being in the moment. It brings back the child-like wonder of life and opens us up to playfulness

Tangerine –  The fresh, citrusy scent of tangerine uplifts our mood and replenishes our creative juices while bringing qualities of playfulness and cheer to our work. It can help to increase playfulness and happiness. It’s an oil which can get us out of our heads and help us live more spontaneously with light-hardheartedness.Tangerine also nourishes the sacral chakra which is all about pleasure and playfulness.

Frankincense – . This is considered the king of oils and is my favorite oil. Hence why I was drawn to add this to the blend. Frankincense has many physical, emotional and spiritual benefits. This is a high vibrational oil, which is commonly used in meditation and prayer. Frankincense lifts the spirit and focuses the mind, allowing us to find perspective and move into consciousness. In helps ground us and reminds us of our connection to Spirit and to others. Keeping us present.

The roller bottle recipe for In the Flow is

  • 10 drops of doTERRA’s Passion Blend
  • 7 drops of Ylang Ylang
  • 12 drops of Frankincense
  • 15 drops of Tangerine

Place all essential oils in a 10 ml roller bottle and top with fractionated coconut oil.

As you can see these oils are a wonderful combination to energize my 4 words for 2018. I also going to examine what crystals I can add to this blend that will support these words. Stay tuned!

What essential oils go along with your words for 2018?

Want to learn how to create your own special blend to go along with your words for 2018? Email me at cassandra@zestandharmonycounseling.com

 

My Words for 2018

It’s 2018! Did you set resolutions, goals or intentions for the year? In the past, I set resolutions and goals for the year. My favorite, which was a goal I made almost every year,  I will go to the gym three times a week. Like many people I would go 3-4 times a week for most of Jan and by Feb I stopped going. Sometimes I might last till March or I would start back in the summer because I looked at my finances and realized I was paying for a gym membership and was not going. How many of you can relate? Well for the last several years instead of resolutions and goals I have set intentions and have chosen words for the year.

I usually choose about three words which I want to represent me, my desire and how I want to be for the year. Last year my words were Grounded, Inspired, Expansion. I also have an essential oil to go with the words which last year was Frankincense. Inhaling the essential oil while repeating the words helped me to connect to my emotional self and supported me in feeling grounded and inspired which had ripple of expansion in all areas of my life.

This year the four words which resonate with my soul desires for 2018 are…

Purposeful, Presence, Pleasure , Playful.

I am part of a 30 day writing program with Andrea Hylen of Heal My Voice. She recommended the following exercise when choosing your words.

  1.  When you choose your word(s) for the year, first begin by reading definitions of the words and getting clear on what the words means to you.
  2. Look at the opposite of the words. This is a clue as to what will be highlighted so that you can embrace the words throughout this year.
  3. Begin unraveling and dissecting the words to embrace and understand them more. What intention are you really setting in place for the year?
This  is what bubbled up for me doing this exercise with my four words.
PURPOSEFUL – having useful purpose, intentional.
 
Prior to the start of 2018 I was doing something that I felt was very purposeful and I thought to myself in 2018 I want everything I do to be purposeful.
A question I will ask myself is how does doing something purposeful feel in my body and when I am doing something from a more aimless place where do I feel that in my body? This is something I will ponder over the next month.
 
PRESENCE – being present
Initially one of my words was going to be connection, but when I explored it a little deeper I realized it was more about being present in all my interactions and in all I do. To really connect with others from my heart space and to be open to listening and receiving. 
 
Over the next month I will ponder what inhibits me from being present as well as what allows me to be more present. I know the one thing that helps me be present in taking a deep breath. I am curious to notice what else can support me in being in the present moment. Also are there activities, people or places that help me to feel more present? I am also curious where does presence show up in my body?
 
PLEASURE – Feelings of happy satisfaction and enjoyment
 
This year I want to nurture my feminine energy and one of those ways is allowing for more pleasure in my life. I have decided to do more things that bring me pleasure and if it isn’t pleasurable I will ask myself why am I doing it?  If I am feeling a strong dislike or aversion I will also ask myself  how can I make this experience or task more pleasurable?
 
PLAYFUL– the quality of being lighthearted and fun.
I appreciate the synonyms of this word which are cheerful, flirtatious, lively, and spirited. All of which I want to bring forth each and everyday.

Being playful, like pleasure will help nourish my feminine energy and sacral chakra.  My daily question is how can I bring more play into my daily activities?

I intuitively created a beautiful essential oil blend to go with my words. The blend is called In The Flow, which I probably will change to the 4 P’s.  It has doTERRA Passion Blend, Tangerine, Ylang Ylang and Frankincense in it. Click here to read the blog on how these oils support my words and my souls desire for 2018.

I would love to know what your intentions or words are for 2018. Please comment below on what your word(s) or intentions are for the new year.

 

Where are the feathers?

I am very excited because for the last 9 months I was part of an amazing writing project through Heal My Voice, which was founded and lead by Andrea Hylan.  Today is the release of  the book which I was one of the authors –  Innovative Voices: True Stories by Women Awakening a New World.

The thirteen stories and collection of poems written by the women in this book are about a personal internal awakening. A moment when they had a new awareness and began to make different choices to change the external situations in their lives. Just like peace on earth comes from each of us cultivating peace within ourselves, the innovative ideas and actions the authors are making to awaken a new world, starts with an inner awakening.

Here is an excerpt from my Story:

Where are the Feathers?

Affirmation: I trust that my highest good and greatest joy are unfolding now. #ZestandHarmony

I was in a 4 week, Mindset Makeover class, and as part of that class we were asked to focus on seeing feathers. There were over 4,000 people in this group from around the world. The purpose of the exercise was to show how when we focus on something it expands. Like after you buy a car, you see several of the same car driving on the road. Two weeks into the class I started questioning my ability to manifest because I had not seen any feathers. I started saying to myself, “See, this doesn’t work for me. Why is it sometimes I can manifest, but other times I can’t? I just don’t get it.”

One Saturday night, I listened to the recording for the third week of the class and the leader of this course said, “I know some of you are questioning your ability to manifest. You think you haven’t seen any feathers, yet all of you have seen feathers because you are part of this Facebook group. Everyone is posting pictures of the feathers they are seeing. So, you have seen feathers.”

She challenged us to take a step back and see what our expectation of seeing a feather was. Well my expectation was to see an actual feather, on the ground, from a bird. She encouraged us to look at it differently. That is when the light bulb went off in my head. That morning, while on my deck, I saw a family of geese walking in the distance. I even had taken a picture of them and posted it on Facebook. WOW! There it was! My flock of feathers. Not just one feather, but an abundance of feathers. I laughed because God is always showing me abundance; it was just my expectation that was limiting me. If I limited myself with how a feather should show up in my life, how else have I been limiting myself? This was the start of me taking a step back and looking at how abundance, blessings, creativity and things my heart desired, have shown up in my life. I didn’t always see it because I was looking for a different color wrapping paper. It’s about changing the way I look at things. It was about seeing what has been here all along.

To read the rest of my Story go to Amazon to purchase the book: Innovative Voices: True Stories by Women Awakening a New World. Click here

 

Why I love the oil pack and so should you.

I am in love with the castor oil pack. Many years ago I learned about the castor oil pack from one of my amazing Bellydance teacher. I immediately wanted to learn more.  

I began researching about the benefits of the castor pack for eliminating toxins. I was simply hooked. I recommend all my detoxers do this as well as my clients. I love these ancient techniques that can still be used to support the body today. They are super easy, and you can put them together on the cheap.  

While a lymphatic massage or a trip to the sauna might be nice, they can also be costly. I’m telling you – all you really need is to buy castor oil and get an old t-shirt, flannel, or towel. 

Let’s talk simple benefits first. The castor oil pack can flush your lymphatic system {your sewage system}. The lymphatic system must get flushed daily to reduce digestive issues, edema, inflammation, the common cold, weight gain and allergies. This detox tool has been used for centuries.  

This amazing detox tool can support your circulation, remove toxins and help stimulate digestion. I was hesitant to use this pack but ever since I tried it and felt the benefits for my own body, I have never stopped. I could feel my digestion stimulated, decrease abdominal cramps, more relaxed and I had a better sleep.  

I am always on the lookout for natural ways to detox my body in the comfort of my own home. It really is key for my health. I look at the castor oil pack as an awesome detox tool that boosts my immune and is excellent for disease prevention.  

We all have some toxicity – why not support your body to get rid of it? 

How to Make Your Own Castor Oil Pack: 

  • Take an old shirt or flannel and cut it into 12 x 18 inches in size and fold it into 3 thicknesses.  
  • You want it to be about the same size as the heating pad you will be using so that the pad heats the entire pack but does not touch your skin.  
  • Put the shirt in a pan, such as a large disposable baking pan, and pour in enough castor oil to cover.   
  • NOTE: I recommend that you discard of the pack after use because toxins from your body have been eliminated onto the shirt. Some say you can reuse the pack many times. When not in use, store your pack in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. 

 

The Simple Castor Oil Pack:  

You can also put castor oil directly onto your stomach and upper abdomen. Then, wrap your stomach and upper abdomen with saran wrap and sit for 45 minutes. This is a simplified version and quite effective.  

 

Usage Guidelines: 

  • Use the pack in the evening before bed. Fold a towel (dedicate an old towel for this use as the oil is almost impossible to wash out completely). Take the cloth cover off of a heating pad and place the heating pad on top of the towel. It is important to heat the pack before you put it on your body. 
  • Lie down on your back on a towel. Place the pack on your abdomen with the heating pad on top and the towel on top of that. The pack should be on the right side of your body, extending from a little bit above the bottom of your sternum (breastbone) to about 4 inches below your navel. The pack should wrap around the body on the right side, from the navel as far to the side as you can get it. Keep the pack on for 45 minutes. Use the pack for 3 days in a row. Then take a break for 4 days, and repeat. 

Remember, the castor oil pack is a natural and inexpensive way to rid the organs of toxicity and that’s why I love it. Remember the less toxic you are the more Zest and Harmony you will experience in your life.
Please share your experience below regarding the castor oil pack.

If you would like more ways to have improve digestion, boost your immune system,increase your energy and slim your waistline, join me for my upcoming webinar on 10/26 at 7:30 p.m. EST – The Secret to Autumn Wellness.
Register here

 

Here’s How to Make Cooking More Fun

If you don’t love cooking, maybe I can help to make it more fun for you?

There was a time in my life when I didn’t find cooking to be all that fun. In fact, I told the guy I was dating at the the time, if we got married, he would have to cook or we would have to go out to eat because I wasn’t cooking.  Now I love to cook. It is fun and brings me a lot of joy. If I now find cooking fun so can you.

That’s why I’ve listed my best “fun” cooking tips for you.

Fun Cooking Tip #1

Check out new recipes.

Sometimes just seeing the beautiful food photos and reading the recipe can spark some inspiration and fun in your kitchen.

You can head to your local bookstore. Or look up your favorite nutritionists, chefs, bakers, and other online foodies. Maybe do a quick search on Google, Instagram or Pinterest to see thousands of new ideas.

Seeing these pics is like food porn for me.

You can check out my instagram page where many times I post pics of my food and recipes. https://www.instagram.com/zestandharmony/

 

Pro Tip: Searching through recipes can be so fun and inspiring, and can also end up taking waaaay longer than planned. So, consider setting your timer when you start browsing. The last thing you want is to take too much time looking, that you don’t leave enough time for cooking.

 

Fun Cooking Tip #2

Make grocery shopping fun and inspiring.

When you’re at the grocery store, try something that you haven’t had in a while. Is there a seasonal fruit or vegetable you haven’t had for months? What about a childhood favorite? Did you come across something totally delicious at a restaurant or get-together lately?

Or, browse around the store looking for something you haven’t had before; something that is completely new to you. Be adventurous. Then you can go to tip #1 to find new and inspiring recipes when you get home

Fun Cooking Tip #3

Keep it simple!

Sometimes when I see a great food picture, I immediately get inspired to make it. But if I look at the ingredients or instructions and they’re too long, I stop. While there are times when I’m inspired and dive into a new great recipe; when I don’t have a lot of time, I need to keep things simple. And you know us Busy Professional, Real-Life Superwomen have be mindful of our time.

A few ways to keep things simple are to:

  • Search for recipes with 10 or fewer ingredients, and five or fewer instructions;
  • Search for recipes that can be made in one pot or pan; My favorite is InstaPot or CrockPot Recipes. Especially in the autumn and winter
  • Buy ingredients that are ready to cook with (pre-washed salad greens, diced squashes, frozen vegetables, etc.
  • Have a prep day where you wash and chop veggies, cook beans and grains for the week and store them in fridge

Fun Cooking Tip #4

Put on some music and invite someone to join you.

Do you have kids that need to learn the critical life skill of cooking? Perhaps your partner would love to join you? What about having a “cooking party” where everyone brings something and pitches in on the process?

Maybe you don’t like other’s in your kitchen. That is understandable. Do what I do and put on your favorite playlist and dance while you are creating your new recipes. Now this will really ignite your sacral chakra. Dance + Creative Cooking +Fun = A happy sacral chakra.

Fun Cooking Tip #5

If none of the other tips work for you, invest in some kitchen swag!

Having proper kitchen tools makes cooking so much easier and faster. When’s the last time you sharpened your (or bought yourself a new) knife? Could dicing carrots with a dull knife be draining the fun from cooking? Or is blending a smoothie with a crummy blender, leaving it too chunky to enjoy, making you feel less excited to try new smoothie recipes? I know it does for me. Investing in a nutribullet was one of my best  investments.

Bonus Cooking Tip

See how many colors you can use when cooking a meal or dish. The more colorful foods you use, the more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients your body will receive. I try to get the entire rainbow in all my dishes. I look at it as rainbow eating.

Pro Tip: Buy produce that is in season.

 

Conclusion

You know that cooking is key to healthy eating which is essential to healthy living. And, yes, it can get boring from time to time.

Try one (or all) of my fun cooking tips to inspire you to get over to your kitchen and cook yourself some great dishes.

You already know your health will thank you.

Please share the tips you plan to try or some of your favorite fun cooking tips.

When I need an extra dose of comfort

Over the last month or so there have been a number of natural disasters –  Forest Fires in California, Flooding in  South Asia, Hurricane Harvey in Houston,  a number of Earthquakes in Mexico, Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and Florida, and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Lives have been lost and people’s homes and livelihood have been destroyed. I am saddened and my heart is heavy. Sending money does not feel like enough and at times this heaviness and sense of hopelessness can become overwhelming. I think to  myself mother earth is not happy and I understand why.  We as a nation have shown a lack of reverence for the only natural home we have. This not only saddens me, but angers me because for many years we have disrespected this home with our overuse of natural resources and the increase in our carbon footprint.  Now mother nature must balance things.

When  I start to feel these mix of emotions – sadness, hopelessness, disheartened, and anger , I allow myself to feel the emotions. I don’t get stuck in the emotion instead I let it flow through me.  I also say a prayer for peace and comfort and I use one of my favorite dōTERRA blends ~ Console®

When I am in need of an extra dose of comfort I apply, the dōTERRA Console® Comforting Blend, to my wrist and heart area and I breathe in the aroma while saying a prayer. Afterwards I meditate and listen to inner guidance on how I can assist those in needs as well as how I can be more reverent to Mother Earth.  The dōTERRA Console® Comforting Blend, uses gentle floral and tree essential oils to help renew my hope and dispel heavy feelings of sadness.

In times when your emotional strength is wavering,  I encourage you to turn to dōTERRA Console to dispel hopelessness and lighten your burdens. Once your energy has shifted I encourage you to give thanks to mother earth and  ask what YOU can do to assist those in needs as well as to honor our natural home –EARTH.

Please share what you do when your heart is feeling heavy from all the natural disasters that have impacted so many lives.

Want to know more about this essential oil or other essential oils to support your wellness? Click here to schedule a free 30 minute wellness consultation.

 

 

Are your emotions like a roller coaster ride?

Do you feel like your life is a whirlwind of ups and downs, like your emotions are about as stable as a roller coaster ride? I don’t like roller coasters and I surely don’t like when my emotions are like a roller coaster ride. So you might be saying, Cassandra, what is the solution cause I don’t like when my emotions are up and down either.  The solution to your woes might not be as complicate as you’d imagine. In fact, there’s a simple way to stabilize your mood, fight off depression and anxiety, balance your hormones, and help you feel more focused and on your A-game as a Busy Professional, Real-Life Superwoman.

It’s not a magic pill or anything crazy… it’s actually just going back to how humans ate for hundreds of thousands of years… Getting rid of foods with added sugar. Yes, you read it right. Eliminating sugar from your meal plan. I am not talking about natural sugar which is found in fruits. I am talking pastries, candy, bagels, muffins, vitamin water and even some protein bars.  There are many ways that sugar can negatively impact you from feeling your best.

Sugar and Depression

Just by getting rid of sugar from your diet you can experience the peace of mind you long for. Various studies have shown that sugar consumption suppresses activity of BDNF a hormone low in people with depression and other mental health problems. In countries with higher rates of depression, there’s typically higher levels of sugar consumption too. How much sugar did you eat today?

Sugar and Memory

Too much sugar makes it harder to remember things and potentially cause permanent damage. Results of a study conducted at the University of Southern California has shown that adolescent rats that freely consumed large quantities of liquid solutions containing sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in concentrations comparable to popular sugar-sweetened beverages experienced memory problems and brain inflammation. Got brain fog issues? Could be related to your sugar consumption.

Sugar and Mood Swings

Mood swings and endless ups and downs are caused by a hormonal imbalance, which sugar exacerbates. When you rely on sugar as a main energy source you become a slave to blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar results in emotional lows while high blood sugar makes you feel, well, high on life, but not for long as the cycle inevitably repeats itself. As a former sugaraholic I am very familiar with this cycle and let me tell you those lows were no fun.

When you get off the sugar roller coaster your blood sugar levels stabilize and you start to feel happier and more in balance. The little things don’t get to you quite as upset and you become more resilient to life’s surprises. Yes, you can feel this amazing by getting rid of sugar.

Want even more great tips to help you release weight, increase your energy and end your sugar addiction once and for all? Join me September 20 at 7:00 p.m. EST for a free online workshop – The Connection Between Sugar Cravings and Emotions.
Click here to find out more and to register.

Is Everything You Think You Know About Healthy Eating, Wrong and Making You Fat and Tired?

Oh my goodness – nutrition and diet info is everywhere!

And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you. Right?

Well, maybe…

Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it’s certainly not the “holy grail” of health.

Let’s focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.

What you eat and drink

The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don’t get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you drop some pounds but that’s simply not the only factor for long-term weight release and maximum energy for everyone.

When the intense focus on how much we ate didn’t work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn’t we?

You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat if that has been working for you, but don’t forget to also pay attention to what you eat.

Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods). This simple concept is paramount for weight release,  increase energy, improved mood and overall health and wellness.

Every day this is what you should aim for:

  • A colorful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. This will provide the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that you need.
  • Enough protein with each meal. This can be animal or plant base protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).
  • Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” – you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads . Healthy fats and oils included  extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil,  coconut, avocado, olives, nuts and seeds . You don’t need to overdo it here. Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.

How you eat and drink

Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.

Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.

As a Busy Professional, Real-Life Superwoman, are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues?

When it comes to how you eat let’s first look at “mindful eating”.

Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.

This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.

This can also help with weight release because eating slower often means eating less. Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?

Thought so!

We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

And don’t forget about drinking your food.

Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.

Don’t get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal. In fact, I have one every morning. – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack. And don’t gulp it down too fast.

If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds. Another helpful hint is to use avocado instead of banana and add a scoop of protein.

 

Summary:

Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.

 

 

References:

http://summertomato.com/wisdom-wednesday-salad-dressing-is-your-friend

https://authoritynutrition.com/20-reasons-you-are-not-losing-weight/

http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2

 

 

Let’s Talk Men’s Health

In honor of Men’s Health Month, I wanted to do a blog especially for the men and for the women who love them. Most of my community are busy professional women, so I encourage the women in my community to read this article and share the tips (lovingly) to your man or men you might know.
I want to talk about a health topic that isn’t discussed much, LIBIDO. Now if you are a woman you might be saying my man doesn’t need anything to boost his libido, it’s me who needs a boost. Many of the tips described below you can also use.

If you are a man who is feeling frustrated by your diminished sex drive and want some natural tips to enhance your libido or if you are a women who is longing to connect with your significant other sexually, but his libido seems a bit dampened, this blog post is just what the doctor ordered.

Libido is such an interesting (and complex) experience. Because of this it can be affected by so many things. And we’re not just talking about the obvious sex hormone testosterone here.

Although testosterone levels can have a big (yes BIG) effect on sex drive there are a lot of subtle things that can be going on too.

In this post I’ll dive into a bunch of key nutrition and lifestyle factors that have been shown to increase testosterone and libido and share a bonus tip.

Body fat:

Did you know that low testosterone is linked with high body fat?

Particularly visceral fat which is associated with a large waist circumference. You see, with more fat there is more of an enzyme called “aromatase” that converts testosterone to estrogen. And what you want is to keep that testosterone not convert it.

Releasing excessive weight and keeping it off has so many health benefits including increased libido!

Nutrition:

Certain nutrient deficiencies can contribute to low testosterone. Not only zinc and vitamin D but if you’re not eating enough protein and healthy fats that can also have a negative impact too.

Not to mention eating way too few or way too many calories. These aren’t going to help you in the bedroom department either.

So make sure you’re eating enough food to sustain your resting metabolic rate (RMR) and that you’re getting enough protein and healthy fats; not to mention the essential vitamins and minerals too.

Top foods to boost libido are

  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Watermelon

Exercise:

Did you know that men can experience increased blood levels of testosterone after a bout of intense exercise?

For some reason this doesn’t seem to be the case after endurance exercise and endurance exercise may actually reduce the levels of circulating testosterone. Nor do women seem to have this increased testosterone after a workout.

For a temporary boost men can try some weight lifting or a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout. This is my favorite type of workout for busy professional men, who don’t have a lot of time because they can get the benefits by doing a HIIT workout for 5 minutes.

Sleep:

Sleep is critical for just about everything our bodies do. Yet, it’s something most busy professionals don’t  set as a priority.

How much sleep did you or your partner get last night? Did you awaken refreshed or tired?

If you’re not getting 7-9 hours each night you’re going to want to prioritize that for your health (and sex drive). Try it. You just may thank me.

Stress:

No one can deny that your moods can affect your sex drive, right?

Too much stress, sadness, and worry can take over your mind and push that drive for sexual connection right to the backburner. So you want to try to minimize that stress hormone cortisol.

How about some tips? Make time to do things you love, workout, spend quality time with your family and friends, meditate, relax with a great book, or take a long shower. And don’t forget to laugh.

Consider maca:

Have you heard of the Peruvian herb called “maca” (Lepidium meyenii)?

It’s a plant in the cruciferous family (think: broccoli) and its root has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac. It’s usually ground into a powder and dried.

Believe it or not there are a few studies that actually show an increased libido for those who supplement with it. Scientists don’t know exactly how it works, but it seems to work for both men and women and it doesn’t seem to impact your hormones (not even testosterone).

Maca is an antioxidant and seems to be protective of mens’ prostate. New research suggests it may also be helpful for our brains and bones.

It has a bit of a “earthy” flavour so most recipes don’t call for the same amounts as in the supplement. If you’re considering supplementing you should know:

  • Maca (as do many supplements) interacts with some medications so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking maca supplements.
  • Because it can affect your moods you should be very careful taking maca if you have anxiety or depression.
  • It’s not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

BONUS TIP

Essential oils for penile health and strength

I know you are thinking, Cassandra how can essential oils boost penis health? Well research has shown regular penis massage with a carrier oil such as almond or olive oil as well as essential oils can support the overall health of your penis and boost your libido.

Ayurvedic Cure says “Almond is one nut that whether taken internally or externally had loads of benefits for the body solely because it is highly rich in minerals especially zinc that is perfect for penis health as well..
Using almond oil on the penis each day is going to help you reach the goal in an ideal way. Massage it for a while to help it get absorbed by the penis skin and muscles for maximum benefits.”

Sandalwood – One of my favorite essential oils because it helps ground and calm you and is great at nourishing the root chakra. It also enhances the blood flow to the penis and has been shown to increase sperm count.

Ylang Ylang – Relaxes a nervous partner and stimulates the senses. Long used to calm anger, anxiety, fear, frigidity and improve self esteem. Ylang ylang has also been shown to improve erectile dysfunction, and orgasmic ability.


Cinnamon – Invigorates the senses, calms the nerves and improves circulation. Cinnamon increases desire, creativity and can improve erectile dysfunction and frigidity. Studies on a group of male medical students found that the smell of cinnamon buns increased blood flow to the penis. Never use undiluted on the skin

Geranium- Aids in opening up the heart and improving communication in the relationship. Also helps alleviate nervous tension and stress helping you to be more connected and present with your partner.

Be Erotic Massage Blend

  • ¼ cup almond oil or fractionated coconut oil
  • 2 drops geranium essential oil
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil
  • 1 drop lemongrass essential oil
  • 1 drop peppermint essential oil

Place all ingredients in a glass bowl or container. Mix well. This blend can be lightly applied to the genitals. It will help to reach and prolong the climax.

Want to know what essential oils best support men’s health, schedule a 30 minute wellness consultation with me. Click here

Please share below your thoughts about these tips.

 

References:

  1. http://www.precisionnutrition.com/doctor-detective-low-libido
  2. http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-testosterone
  3. https://authoritynutrition.com/8-ways-to-boost-testosterone/
  4. https://examine.com/supplements/Maca/
  5. http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=1903&lang=eng
  6. https://www.ayurvediccure.com/best-oils-for-stronger-penis/