Tag Archives: healthy living

Simple & Healthy Summer Supper

iGnite-SummerSupper2_JunePick2016

Summer Supper Menu:

Wild Alaskan Salmon “Burgers” – purchasd at Costco

Homemade Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Avocado & Walnut Romaine Salad

Homemade Baked Sweet Potato Fries

FullSizeRender-2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 30-40 minutes
Serves 4
Ingredients:
2 large organic sweet potatoes
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Pepper
Directions: Preheat over to 400. Wash, peel and cut sweet potato into fry-like size. Place fries in a bowl. Toss and coat with 2-3 TBSP of olive oil. Spread fries on pan. Bake for 15 minutes, then toss and flip fries over. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until fries are crispy.

Avocado & Walnut Romaine Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette

IMG_6581
Prep Time: 10 -15 minutes
Serves 1-3
Ingredients:
One Organic Romaine Heart – chopped
Red Onion- 2 Tbsp – 1/4 C chopped
1/2 Avocado- chopped
1/4 C chopped walnuts or pecans
Optional: 1/4 C chopped strawberries, 1/4 C feta cheese
Vinaigrette:
1/4 C Olive Oil
1/4 C Balsalmic Vinigrette
1 tsp honey (raw and local prefered)
1 tsp dijon mustard
Directions: Combine all salad ingredients in bowl. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients on stovetop, simmer on med/high heat. Stir with wisk, remove from heat and toss on salad.

 

Advertisements

Something for You, and Only You

What’s Love Got to Do With It, Part IV

Feb14_2016_Priority

Point to Ponder:
When was the last time you did something for you, and only you, without guilt, obligation or anyone else in mind?

iGnite Neissa

Neissa Brown Springmann

When was the last time you did something for you, and only you, without guilt, obligation or anyone else in mind? Your answer may vary based on your season of life, your ability to say “no” or “yes” as well as whether or not you are a people-pleaser or easily give into peer pressure.

For women, making a commitment to do something specifically for you and only you, with no one else in mind, is and can be terribly complicated, conflicting and hard. Why? Because we are wired to think, care and always be in service of others, and very often it takes lengthy and agonizing steps just to do what we want to do for us, like get a haircut!

Lets face it, if you are married, have kids, and/or have a pet, it is YOU who is responsible for making sure everyone and everything get taken care of, has food, has rides, and any other arrangements that need to be made prior to you doing for you. Or, if you aren’t married, have no children or pets, very often it’s work or your daunting to-do list that trips you up and keeps you from experiencing maximum enjoyment, adventure, relaxation, education, or whatever it is you are truly wanting. Either way, too often guilt and a lack of worthiness are the culprits which cause what we want to be placed on the back burner.

For me, I’ve become terrible at neglecting my wants. I’ve forgotten about me because it takes extra effort and designated alone time to think about me. And, when I am alone the last thing on my mind is what I want. Instead, when I do get alone-time, my focus is on two things: fulfilling my work and life responsibilities (funny how you can work on both of these 24/7 and neither get any smaller and I am never making myself a responsibility). Instead, almost always my time and decisions are based on the consideration of my family or other people. I’m okay with this because my life isn’t about me only, however I have let the pendulum swing waaay to far to the other side. I’ve now reached the point of neglect, which will soon lead to resentment, lower energy and added stress, depression and poor health (it’s a scientifically proven progression).

Despite Yahoo’s turbulent landscape and massive layoffs, a few years ago I read an interesting article on their very young and ambitious CEO, Marissa Mayer. During the time of the article, not only was she the CEO, but she also had a newborn, so there’s no doubt that her life was extremely exhausting and very high-stress. While reading, what struck me the most was that she said she took a long three-day weekend every other month. When I read this my jaw dropped. My first two thoughts were envy and skepticism with some judgement thrown in. Of course she can take a three day getaway, she’s making millions and she has nannies and homes and personal assistants. But then I thought: how in the world does she have time to take a three day getaway every other month. None-the-less and very wisely, she identified that in order for her to be effective and productive in all areas of her life (at home and at Yahoo), it was essential that she have balance and allow herself to get away from time to time.

Finally, just last night I read an exceptional devotional by Glynnis Whitwer. She compared our overly busy lives to trying to fit one cup of milk in a half cup measuring cup. It’s impossible right? The result is it overflows and makes a giant mess. Well, our lives are no different. If you are like me, you try to fit way too many to-do’s, expectations, accomplishments and needs of others into your cup and the result is an emotional, mental, physical and spiritual mess. Your relationships, health, work, etc. —everything is negatively effected because you have failed to neglect your basic needs, which is to engage and participate in things that YOU and only YOU want to do.

Doing something special for yourself does not have to require money, it simply requires you loving yourself enough to make you a priority, just as you do to everyone and everything else. Your “thing” can be something as simple as a quiet, prayerful and meditative walk, reading a book, hiking, joining a Bible study or book club, taking a photography or art class, exercising more, seeing a movie once a month, have a monthly dinner with friends or significant other, or as it relates to iGnite, treating yourself to Amy’s delicious yoga workshops this Saturday or in April, joining us for our upcoming Mini-iGnite Weekend Escape to Port Aransas or splurge by joining us on our Summer Escape to Banff, Canada. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter WHAT you do for yourself. Instead, what’s most important is that you love yourself enough to identify your wants, bring them to the front burner and start taking action.

Action Item:
Love yourself enough to identify your wants, move them to the front burner and take action.

You May Also Like:

We Can CHOOSE to be Self-Confident

“Being healthy is a way of life. It’s not just about what you feed your body, it’s about what you feed your mind and the social environment you keep. Make healthy food choices, exercise your body and brain, and choose your friends wisely”
-Dr. Steve Maraboli

Point to Ponder:
Would you consider yourself self-confident?

Action Item:
Practice at least one of the 5 confidence-boosting exercises:
1. Meditate
2. Be grateful
3. Think small
4. Sleep, exercise & share
5. Practice power positions

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

To say that we are products of our past is certainly valid. There’s no doubt that many of our conscious and unconscious thoughts, behaviors and actions are a result of our upbringing and current social environments. Humans are easily influenced, and as children we had little control over the people we spent time with and who shaped our thinking, both positively and negatively. Now, as adults, we have all of the control and are either choosing to put ourselves in nurturing and healthy environments, or not. Either way, according to The Confidence Code, our environment and the power of habitual thinking have proven to play key roles in our confidence.

According to The Confidence Code, research proves that we are genetically born with more or less confidence. But the good new is that our confidence is malleable, and even as adults it can be altered despite our genetic wiring, pasts and memories. The best news is that we do not have to be products of our pasts, and just because our parents didn’t build us up, we had negative experiences in P.E., got dumped by our prom date or were told we couldn’t achieve a dream….these events do not have to define us or limit our level of confidence.

For adults, confidence really is a choice and like anything, finding it does not happen overnight. If we want it, we must practice using it everyday, and fortunately, there are scientifically proven confidence-building exercises that can create new confidence pathways in our brain. They are:

  1. Meditation: A calm brain is the ultimate confidence tool. MRI results show that the fear center of the brain (the amygdala) actually shrinks when meditation is routinely practiced. Meditation increases your ability to control your emotions and to be clear and calm. (Remember, meditation looks different for everyone. It can be prayer, quiet time alone, a walk/run around the neighborhood or lake, etc.)
  2. Be Grateful: New research shows that gratitude is one of the keys to happiness and an optimistic mindset. Believe and be grateful for the kind words said about you. Simply saying “thank you” will transform your mood and make the compliment-giver feel good.
  3. Think Small: Rather than focus on daunting challenges/daily tasks, break them down into tiny goals. Accomplishing them will give you a confidence boost.
  4. Sleep, Exercise & Share: A lack of sleep and exercise produces an extremely anxious brain, and anxious brains are less confident. Being close and sharing with friends boosts our oxytocin levels, which also increases confidence!
  5. Practice Power Positions: Abs in, chin up! Sitting up strait will give you a short-term confidence boost.

After finishing reading The Confidence Code, I am convinced that our confidence is part of our overall health and wellness. Why? Because our daily habits like what we eat, our exercise, the people we surround ourselves with, and the positive or negative information we choose to listen to and/or read all affect our happiness and confidence, ultimately influencing how we treat others and live our life.

 

You Might Also Like:

Power Off & Look UP

“When you’re too busy looking down,
you don’t see the chances you missed.”

This is a quote from this viral, MUST-SEE inspirational video, which passionately proves why we need to power off, look up more and contemplate our amazing lives.

So without further adieu, check out the video (warning: there is adult language), power off, and spend more time with the people you love, doing what you love.

Video not showing up? Watch it here on YouTube

You Might Also Like:

“One of Mother Nature’s Most Perfect Foods”

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (Organic, Raw & With The ‘Mother’) a.k.a. “One of Mother Nature’s Most Perfect Foods”

One of the many components of our twice yearly 7-Day Healthy Re-Boot is incorporating apple cider vinegar into the daily diet.  This may catch you off guard at first, but once you find out the benefits it has on your system we don’t think you’ll hesitate to try it out yourself.

The Goal:

Dilute 1 TBSP of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water each day. (Can add stevia or honey for preferred tonic)

The Purpose:

Apple cider vinegar helps break down the body’s fat, mucous and phlegm, helping improve the health and function of your liver, bladder and kidneys. It also helps thin the blood, which helps prevent high blood pressure. It promotes digestion, and the assimilation and elimination processes. It helps detoxify the body of harmful elements. It has been said that if you take a mixture of cider vinegar and water before a meal it will help prevent diarrhea or digestive upsets and aids in weight loss.

Additional Benefits & Uses:

  • Improves your skin and scalp health (helps treat acne without drying out your skin)
  • Good toner: put in a spray bottle with equal amounts ACV and water
  • Sunburns: Again, equal parts ACV and water to splash over skin. Or better yet, soak in a bath with 1-2 cups of ACV in the bath water. It is good to follow with aloe vera gel in the case of severe sunburn.
  • Bug bites: apply directly to the bite
  • Deodorant: A natural alternative to the commercial deodorants that contain aluminum, with no smell upon drying
  • Aids in joint pain and stiffness
  • Aids in heartburn and acid reflux
  • Aids in weight loss (helps to break down fats)
  • Anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal: naturally helps fight germs, viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Aids in mouth health: Gargling with ACV helps remove toxins which helps relieve sore throats and laryngitis and maintain healthy gums
  • Food poisoning relief
  • Alkalinizing: helps to maintain the proper body ph levels for a healthy alkaline state. (particularly important if you drink a lot of coffee or wine)
  • Non-toxic cleaning spray for fruits and vegetables
  • Can be used on your hair for improvement of dandruff and itchy scalp.
  • Full of potassium, a mineral that is often times lacking in adult diets. This mineral is key for growth, building muscles, transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity etc. It also helps to prevent brittle teeth, hair loss and runny noses.
  • Rich in acetic acid, which is said to slow the digestion of starch which can help to lower the rise in glucose that commonly occurs after meals.
  • A few lab studies have found that ACV may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.

Why “With the Mother”?

The ‘mother’ is made up of strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules with living nutrients and bacteria.

 

Interested in participating in our 7-Day Healthy Re-Boot?
Materials are available for purchase year-round, simply shoot us an email at hello@igniteyourlifenow.com and we’ll get you everything you need.

 

You Might Also Like:

 

 

What Everyone Needs To Know About Sweeteners

by Dr. Jeff Ulery, D.C., Whole Body Health

by Dr. Jeff Ulery, D.C., Whole Body Health

I think it is extremely important to start out on the right foot, so to speak. I teach nutritional lifestyle in my practice with a focus on identifying toxic foods and transitioning to eliminating the offending foods. Therefore, there seems to be a generally accepted opinion that my diet is perfect — even though I frequently share with my patients and class attendees that it is not. To that point, I will begin with my nutritional story to emphasize my imperfect dietary history.

Jeff’s Story

Growing Up a Sugar Addict

Let’s be frank! My greatest weaknesses are sweet things. I have spent most of my life consuming large amounts of sugar. I grew up eating the obviously sugar-laden Captain Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Dolly Madison Sweet Rolls and Donuts for breakfast, something made with Ms. Baird’s white bread, McDonalds, Wendy’s and Burger King with a large soda for lunch, Hamburger Helper for dinner. I typically snacked on chips, Oreos, Chips Ahoy or, of course, a Snickers bar. I was an addict without  knowing any better.

In hindsight, I see how this dietary lifestyle contributed to my intense hypoglycemia, adrenal exhaustion, recurring injuries in sports and other various symptoms as a youth. After graduating from college and striking out on my career as an educator, I made minor changes to my diet in an attempt to eat healthier. I changed from putting sugar in my tea to using Sweet & Low and eventually NutraSweet. I changed my morning meal to Toaster Strudel, an extra large banana nut muffin or an occasional donut, my lunch stayed about the same with the addition of fried chicken and then dinner was whatever delicious meal my lovely wife prepared. (Did I tell you that she is from Southern Louisiana?) The only motivation for diet modification in my life was physique and, at the time, my metabolism was such that I could stuff myself at an all-you-can-eat-buffet 6 days a week and not gain a pound …not so now.

Making Changes for the Better

I grew up in a household that utilized almost only Western medicine with my mom being a registered nurse and my stepfather a family physician. It wasn’t until I retired from teaching and went back to school for my Doctorate in Chiropractic that I learned what healthy eating was all about. I would like to say that we made changes because I was motivated by the higher ideal of living to my highest potential, but the truth is that my oldest daughter was experiencing bizarre rashes and illnesses. So, like many parents, I was motivated to find a solution to our child’s illnesses that were not adequately being addressed by Western medicine.

The more classes and seminars that I attended, the more we implemented healthy lifestyle practices in our home and life, and the better we all felt. Within a year’s time, I gave up fast food, a diet soda habit (roughly 6 per day), most of my concentrated sweets like candy bars and candy, and transitioned to more real foods. Around 2006, after years of being told I had a gluten sensitivity, I finally committed myself to eliminating gluten from my diet (my mom had colon cancer, and I decided that I would like to be around for my kids and their kids) and, a short time later, I eliminated most dairy as well.

Today, I usually start the day with a smoothie of kale, cucumber, ginger, lime, beet, 8 oz. of pomegranate juice, a handful of berries, vegan or egg white protein and water and on the weekends I usually indulge with a vegetable omelet sans cheese. Pretty amazing journey from  where I started!

ad_wbhlifeclass

The Truth about Sugar & Sweeteners

Based on what I hear from my patients, staff and what we experience in our own home, November through the New Year is the most difficult time of the year. Even for the most diligent healthy-eater,  we all tend to give in to the “holiday cheer” and indulge in the starch-rich foods, sugar-laden goodies and maybe a little more alcohol than usual. What is the answer? What are the healthiest choices you could make? Are sugar-free sweeteners the answer? Are sugar-free sweeteners really safe? Let’s answer all of these questions, as well as some that you might have thought to ask.

A Sugar Epidemic

The only concentrated sugar that early man would have had access to was honey. But observational research of modern-day hunter-gatherers shows that the average honey consumptions was minor—maybe four pounds, or three percent of total calories, over the course of an entire year. (1,2)   At the turn of the last century, the typical American consumed an average of 158 pounds of sugar per year (this is more than 1 cup/day!). High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was a huge breakthrough in the sweetener industry because it is twenty times sweeter than cane sugar, cheaper to produce and smaller amounts need to be used to achieve the same sweetening effect. “HFCS is now nearly the exclusive caloric sweetener used in the soft drink industry, and it is also used in juice, condiments, jams, and wine but is not available for home use. Presently, HFCS dominates the sweetener industry, accounting for 55 percent of the market and $4.5 billion in annual sales. In 2003, Americans consumed sixty-one pounds of HFCS per person.” (3)

The multiplying factor for most people is the hidden sugar in their food supply. Most processed foods contain sugar.  Even foods you would not expect to have sugar are heavily laden with it, including salad dressings, medications, sauces, cereals, alcohol, peanut butter… and just about everything that comes in a box, bag or a can. Sugar is an inexpensive flavor enhancer and bulking agent used by food manufacturer companies. My patients often tell me, “I don’t eat that much sugar!” …but they are usually only considering candy, cake, ice cream, candy bars, hard candy, etc. They are typically not considering all of the different sources by which they take in sugar (HFCS and other refined sugars are considered sugar in the context of this article).

The Dangers

You can certainly do your own research, but a few of the well-documented health risks include increased risk of:  diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, depression, allergies, Candida, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, arthritis, hormone imbalance, food allergies and much more.

“In 1986, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a report on American sugar consumption and its harmful effects on health. One of the conclusions (based on published studies) was that diets containing 25 percent or more of their calories as sugar could result in one or more of the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Behavioral problems
  • Mineral deficiencies
  • Gallstones” (3)

“Western nations are in the midst of the worst obesity epidemic to ever hit the planet. There are record numbers of cancers, heart attacks, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. One of the primary culprits is our craving for sugar, combined with the convenience and affordability of many processed foods that contain it.” (3)

It seems that logic would dictate that a simple solution to the problem of trying to reduce sugar consumption would be to use artificial sweeteners. In fact, Americans consume twenty plus pounds of artificial sweeteners per day per year without any effect on the exponential rates of obesity and other chronic degenerative diseases.

If you’re interested in the science behind it all, this is a great video explaining how sugar affects your brain:

Alternative Sweeteners: Saccharin, Aspartame and Splenda

The big three alternative sweeteners, Sweet & Low®, aspartame and Splenda® were all  accidently discovered. Saccharin was developed in the process of working with the toxic chemical Toluene, aspartame was originally developed as a drug to treat peptic ulcer disease and Splenda® was originally being developed as an insecticide. There is much debate over each of these products, their safety and their alleged health benefits.

My personal experience with aspartame side effects came from my ten-year diet soda habit. I began to struggle with focus and concentration which grew alarmingly worse over time. After I began chiropractic school, I was struggling with memory and focus. A classmate of mine asked me if I ingested products containing aspartame. I told him of my love for diet soda and chewing gum (loaded with artificial sweeteners) and he recommended that I quit. He also recommended I research aspartame more deeply. After three days of discontinuing my diet soda and chewing gum habit, it felt like my brain came alive and my focus and concentration issues became a thing of the past. I have seen similar responses with my patients. Specifically, Brent scheduled a nutritional consultation appointment asking me to load him up with any and all supplements that could improve his failing memory and focus. I inquired to his aspartame intake, discovering that he also was a diet coke addict. I suggested he quit the diet soda and contact me in a few days. He called me two days later excited that his brain was working again!

Is aspartame an effective weight loss product? There is research that shows that aspartame may actually cause people to gain weight. The amino acids in aspartame have been shown to cause a rapid release of insulin and leptin, which signal the body to store fat. Large doses of the amino acid phenylalanine can decrease serotonin, a critical neurotransmitter that helps the body with satiety, the feeling of being full. (3)

Regarding Splenda, “’The FDA’s final ruling noted that no adverse health effects were attributed to sucralose given to animals at doses hundreds of times higher than maximum estimated intakes in humans. However, most of the taste research scientists interviewed for a recent article on sucralose refuse to eat it. One of them commented, ‘I look at that structure and have an irrational fear of it. I’ve seen the safety studies, and you feed it to rats and mice forever and nothing happens. But it scares me.’ – Burkhard Bilger, reporter for the New Yorker Magazine” (4)

Healthy Sweetener Use Guide

Sweeteners to Avoid

(Sweetener data in this chart was adapted from Sweet Deception3)

Where do I go from here?

As I shared with you at the beginning of this article, I have struggled mightily with my sugar addictions, and when not controlled well, I notice many negative symptoms associated with my sugar intake. Most natural caloric sweeteners are simple sugar carbohydrates that will cause elevated blood sugar levels and over time can lead to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome (elevated triglycerides, cholesterol, low HDL, central obesity, hypertension), obesity and diabetes. Some sweeteners are safer than others, and the general rule is: the less-processed, the better. It is critical that you do your own research to help you decide which sweeteners are best for you. Lastly, when you use sweeteners, artificial or natural, you begin to lose your sensitivity to sweetness, requiring you to use more and more to achieve the sweetness you desire.

Even when I am eating “God’s diet” (a diet with foods that are mostly unaltered by man), my ultimate personal goal and my recommendation to patients would be to limit intake or eliminate all sweeteners from your diet. This goal may seem overwhelming and unachievable, but when you are eating a diet that your body was designed to eat, sugar cravings will almost always be significantly reduced or even disappear.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Dr. Jeff Ulery, D.C.‘s practice at Austin Whole Body Health aims to identify the underlying cause of patients’ pain and allergies, instead of merely treating symptoms. Whole Body Health believes in a holistic, functional and alternative approach to health, and provides chiropractic care, acupuncture and supporting adjunctive care that aligns with these principles.

Resources:
Whole Body Health for Life Class: a nutritional makeover class for cleansing,detoxing and transitioning to a healthier nutritional lifestyle at home for your family, shopping and eating out. http://www.AustinWholeBodyHealth.com
Free Nutritional Typing to determine how to eat for your specific body type: http://products.mercola.com/nutritional-typing/
If you would like to learn more about how sugar effects the body, alternative sweeteners, the discovery and politics behind artificial sweeteners like Sweet & Low®, NutraSweet®, Splenda® and more, read:
  • Sweet Deception Why Splenda®, NutraSweet® and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health by Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Kendra Degen Pearsall
  • 76 Ways That Sugar Can Destroy Your Health from Lick the Sugar Habit (Avery Publishing Group, 1996) by Nancy Appleton, PhD, http://www.nancyappleton.com
  • Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic by H.J. Roberts, M.D.
NOTES
• B. Meehan, Shell Bed to Shell Midden (Canberra, Australia: Humanities Press, 1982).
• K. Hawkes, K. Hill, and J.F. O’Connell, “Why Hunters Gather: Optimal Foraging and the Ache of Eastern Paraguay,” American Enthonologist 9 (1982): 379-98.
• J. Mercola and K. D. Pearsall, Sweet Deception Why Splenda®, NutraSweet® and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health (Nelson Books, 2008).
• Burkhard Bilger, “The Search for Sweet,” New Yorker, May 22, 2006.
 

OTHER ARTICLES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:

View Your Life as a Bank Account

Image

If you allow people to make more
withdrawals than deposits in your life,
you will be out of balance and in the negative.
Know when to close the account.
-Christie Williams

Okay, okay. It’s quite possible we’ve sent mixed messages. Last month we encouraged you to say “YES!”, and this week we are urging you to say “NO!”. However, we think you know what we mean. Definitely say “yes” to the things that you really want to do, but for sure start saying “no” to the things that you really don’t want to do. For clarification and inspiration, check out our BFF, Brene Brown, as she describes her brillant “No saying” strategy…

Tell us what will help you get the courage to say ‘Enough!’ when it’s right for you. (Your comments can be anonymous)