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Motivation for Lifestyle Change

Several years ago I ran across this formula for success in making lifestyle changes:

Importance + Confidence = Motivation

The definition of motivation is “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way”.  “Acting” and “behaving” are what this is all about because we may find our actions and behavior don’t support what we know we should want to do.  That word “should” can hang over our heads and even send us on the downward guilt spiral.  

There is nothing worse than lacking motivation.  “I don’t really want to do that”.  “I don’t want to give up my favorite foods”.  “I don’t want to wear spandex and sweat.”  “I don’t want to give up tobacco”.  “I tried before and I just ended up quitting after a few days”.  If motivation is a zero on a scale of 10, with 10 being very motivated, then I will agree with you that you shouldn’t undertake trying to make changes.  Anything less than a motivation of 8 out of 10 is not likely to be find much success.  

The good news is that you can increase your motivation.  A good place to start is to think about a time when you were doing what you wanted – feeling proud, feeling strong.  Where did your motivation come from then?  What strengths were you using to help move you forward?  If you’ve done it once, you can do it again.  The other tactic is to at least begin noticing information on why lifestyle changes are important and thinking about how those relate to you.  

Stay tuned as I’ll talk about the ingredients of motivation (importance + confidence) in later blogs.  

Allergy Relief

It’s allergy time in Texas and a ‘discouragin’ word is being heard by many people who are feeling stuffed up right now.  Maybe cedar isn’t an issue where you live, but likely something in the air is causing you or someone you know despair.

I am always telling the nasally challenged about quercitin and I usually get a perplexed look like I’m speaking a foreign language.  Quercitin is simply a plant based compound from foods such as leafy vegetables, broccoli, red onions, peppers, apples, grapes, black tea, green tea, red wine, and some fruit juices.  Quercitin stops the release of histamine from certain immune cells, and since histamine can make you sneeze, tear up, or itch, limiting its release is a good thing.  For hay fever, take 300 – 400 mg twice a day.

The formula I use when allergens are very high is “BCQ” from Vital Nutrients.  The initials stand for boswellia, curcumin, and quercitin.  Curcumin is a component of the spice turmeric (curry) and has been found, per one research report, to have the  capability of improving nasal airflow and modulating immune response in patients with allergic rhinitis (runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes).  Boswellia, or frankincense, has been studied in laboratory animals and clinical trials showing that this herb can reduce certain inflammatory conditions.

Another herb that is helpful to add to an allergy regime is Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica) which was found in a prospective, double-blind, comparative study to have significant benefit.  Stinging Nettle helps to control histamine. According to one source, the recommended dose is 300–500 milligrams of stinging nettle supplements daily, but those taking lithium, sedatives, blood thinners, or medication for diabetes or high blood pressure should check with their health practitioner to avoid adverse interactions.

Not to be forgotten is the simple, but miraculous, Neti pot (or other method of washing the nasal membranes with salt water).  A Neti pot can be easily purchased and provides a system for washing the offending pollen off of the nasal membrane to prevent an allergen from creating misery.  

So “at home on your range”, here’s hoping there are no “discouragin’ words” due to allergy symptoms, and that even if the “skies are sunny all day” and the pollen is high you can still feel good.

Stop Flu from Bugging You

So, I just had the flu.  I got off of an airplane on Sunday, started to feel a tickling in my throat on Monday and had chills and fever by Wednesday.  I’m disappointed in myself because I didn’t do all the things I meant to do to prevent getting sick.  I never did open the bottle of Black Elderberry that I bought for its immune supporting properties to prevent flu.  Normally I would take some extra vitamin C after being on an airplane (2,000 or more milligrams is good) and take Airborne at the first sign of feeling bad.  Airborne only works if you take it at the first sign of sickness, the Chinese say it keeps the evil wind from settling in.  But did I take it when I first started feeling bad?  The answer is NO.  

I am glad that I had my bag of tricks available once I got sick.  Even though I was being cocky about how I never get the flu, I did fill the prescription for Tamiflu that my functional medicine practitioner insisted I take.  I also researched and found that Black Elderberry helps not just to prevent flu, but is also helpful with flu symptoms.  I opened my bottle of Black Elderberry for myself,  and gave it to my husband as a preventative measure and so he couldn’t blame me for giving him the flu.  

Determined not to let the flu take me down, then I brought out my homeopathic arsenal.  Homeopathy is widely misunderstood as being the whole area of wholistic health, but actually it is a very specific method of preparing substances that was originated by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.  The theory is complex and often leaves people doubting, but when you experience the right remedy it’s wonderful.  My 103 year old mother told me recently that she took a homeopathic cold combination remedy that I sent her and was amazed that she immediately felt better.  One can find these combination remedies for colds, flu, etc. at a health food store or Flu-Tone is available from my on-line store (wellevate.me/Abby-Wilson-Kurth).

I wish you a flu-less winter, but you now have some tools if needed.  

TEA FOR FLU AND COLDS
Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • ¼ cup of fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons of organic honey
  • 2 inches of organic ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

Directions

In a sauce pan, combine water and ginger and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 30 minutes (simmer for up to 1 hour if you prefer a spicier beverage). Remove the sauce pan from the heat and discard the ginger slices. Add honey and stir until dissolved. Then add the lemon juice. If you prefer a sweeter drink, add more honey to taste.

If you are drinking this as a hot tea, serve immediately. 

Source: The Organic Center

Don’t Make a New Year’s Resolution

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Don’t do it.  Don’t make a New Year’s resolution. All of us have made a resolution in the past, and probably most of us have failed.  The problem is not you, but rather needing to go about making changes in the way that works.

First off, you probably have many good reasons why you want to make a healthy New Year’s resolution.  What may be lurking in your sub-conscious brain is why you DON’T want to make healthy changes.  Understanding any barriers to the resolution you want to make is important.  For example, eating out with co-workers fills a social need, but hinders a goal to lose weight.   If you find a barrier, you can begin to find ways around the barrier, or can begin to change the “con” to a “pro”.  

Secondly, a whole year is an impossible time to set a goal.  It is much better to set a ‘First Two Weeks of the New Year Resolution’ and evaluate your progress then.  This utilizes the SMART goals, which are indeed smart. 

  • “S” stands for setting a specific action, for example, “I will walk for 20 minutes 3 times per week”.  
  • “M” brings in the measurement – 3 times a week is something you can actually count or check off on your calendar. 
  • “A” means action-based (some use Achievable) so set a goal that has you doing something.  People often want to make their goal “to lose weight”, but the actions that make that happen will involve healthy eating and an active lifestyle.  For example, an action based goal might be to decrease soda intake by 2 sodas per week or to add 60 minutes of exercise per week.   
  • “R” is realistic and I have had to encourage people to decrease their goal to something more attainable.  It is better to set a goal you feel confident you can achieve and enjoy the feeling of success than to set a goal that leaves you feeling like a failure.  
  • “T” is where we bring in the 2 week resolution instead of a yearly resolution.  You can evaluate your progress after 2 weeks and if you have at least done what you said for those two weeks, you won’t approach the next New Year reproaching yourself because you didn’t do what you said you would do the year before.

I hope this truly helps you have a Happy New Year and move yourself toward the health that you are wanting.