Health and Wellness

Health and Beauty Tip: 7 Reasons to Drink More Water

Ahhh, the power of water.  After reading the article in Good Housekeeping, written by Lisa Mulcahy, I learned some new things about the importance of drinking H2O.  I’m hoping that we can come together and commit to increasing our daily water intake. Whaddya say?!

Reason number…

  1. Water boosts our mood.  When researchers asked study participants to increase their daily intake from 5 cups to 10 cups per day, they reported feeling calmer and more satisfied with their life after about 5 days.  🙂

2. We may heal faster.  If we get a cut, treat the wound and, then sip 16 ounces of                   water.  Drinking water ‘improves microvascular circulation in our skin – important           for healing – in just 30 minutes.’

3. It can lower our odds of a stroke.  A study conducted at Johns Hopkins Hospital                   showed that 44% of people whom suffered a stroke were found to be dehydrated.               Being dehydrated can cause our blood to thicken, making it harder for our blood               to pass through our blood vessels.  Recovery was better for these stroke patients                 when they were hydrated.

4. We won’t ruin our workout.  According to the American College of Sports Medicine,            having water before, during and after our workout can prevent problems such as              heat stroke and painful muscle cramps.

5. It can quiet a headache.  The next time our forehead starts pounding, let’s drink                 anywhere from 1 to 6 cups of water.  We could be pain-free in as little as half and               hour!

6. We’ll drive better.  When we drive dehydrated, we are more likely to make more                 mistakes behind the wheel.  It’s a good idea to sip 16 ounces of water before take-off           and have another 7 ounces every hour we’re on the road.

7. It increases our brainpower.  ‘Even mild dehydration can suppress blood vessels in           our brain.’  ‘This will result in short-term memory problems, poor attention and                 slow reaction times.’

Learn something new?  Hope so!  🙂

Happy agua drinking,

Lisa

 

Health and Wellness, Organic, Skincare

Beauty Tip: Identify the Problem and Read the Ingredients for the Solution.

Ever wish you knew exactly what ingredients to look for so you knew exactly what product to buy, targeting your specific skin and beauty issue(s) and desires?

I know, for me, ingredients of a product will either make me want the product or not. They must be pure (nature-derived), healthy and organic (or, mostly) for my skin.

So, now, after reading an issue of Cosmopolitan, we’ll have this handy go-to list as a resource for when we’re in need of some beauty help.  🙂

Here we go!

For…

  • uneven texture – use retinol to boost cell turnover for a healthy complexion
  • discolorationphytic acid – fades everything from sun spots to acne scars and niacinamide to prevent future pigmentation
  • oily skin moisturizerhyaluronic acid – creates balance
  • dry skin moisturizerceramides – cocoon skin, leaving it feeling silky-smooth
  • moisturizing body wash – sulfate-free
  • face oil – rich in vitamin C, rosehip and sea buckthorn berry – evens skin tone and boosts firmness
  • body oilmacadamia and avocado – makes skin glisten!
  • SPF for the face – 50 and sweatproof
  • SPF for the bodyzinc – amazing at preventing burns
  • dry skin cleanserjojoba and aloe – face won’t feel tight post-wash
  • oily skin cleansercharcoal – ‘sucks gunk from pores’ and salicylic acid ‘zaps zits’
  • A.M. eye treatmentpeptides – plumps thin under-eye skin
  • P.M. eye treatment – pop on eye patches
  • brightening maskAHA and glycolic acid – resurfaces the skin, leaving a glow
  • wrinkleshyaluronic acid and collagen – repair skin damage
  • acneadapalene (a retinoid) – regulates cell turnover to prevent clogged pores and reduce redness
  • at-home peelgentle fruit acids for 14 days and then, something rich in glycolic and salicylic acid for 14 days
  • lip-plumping – restylane and restylane-L – allover volume; restylane silk – subtle enhancements; juvederm ultra XC – a ‘plush, pillowy effect’; juvederm volbella XC – defines the lip line and treats fine lines around the mouth

So, there you go.  Let’s go for the natural healthy beauty products with great ingredients!

Love,

Lisa

 

Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness Tip: What to Eat and What Not to Eat When We’re Bloated

It sure isn’t fun when we’re feeling bloated and uncomfortable, especially, if we’re out at a dinner party, and, all we want to do is get into our yoga pants and, get comfy.  What was it that I ate this time?

Our hormones are to blame.  And, us women, are ‘hit hardest by “functional” gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, such as IBS and acid reflux’.  “Estrogen and progesterone may make women more sensitive and cause their systems to work more slowly,” says Kyle Staller, MD, a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

But, then, it’s also the foods…another culprit…”FODMAP” foods…’an acronym that stands for a group of rapidly fermented, poorly absorbed carbs and sugars that can wreak havoc in our gut’.  ‘The bacteria in our gut will ferment the raw sugars and carbs, which can lead to bloating and discomfort,” says gastroenterologist Brian Bosworth, MD, chief of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Steer away from these guys to combat ‘gastro drama’:

  • apples and pears – stomach no likey the fructose and sugar alcohols
  • artificial sweeteners – these only stir up bloating and gas
  • snack bars –  the ‘fermentable fiber additives’ will do it
  • garlic and onions – high in FODMAP carbs

Instead, let’s eat these!:

  • raw carrots – has soluble fiber, which is easier to digest
  • peanut or almond butter – protein, healthy fat, and nearly zero FODMAP sugars
  • cooked vegetables – cooking any veggie helps to break down the toughest fibers
  • oatmeal – soluble fiber and low in fructans, a type of sugar that the belly doesn’t like
  • sourdough bread – before baking, the bacteria and yeasts eat up most of the fermentable carbs
  • ancient grains – quinoa, millet, amaranth, and sorghum, rather than pasta
  • berries – strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are low in fermentable carbs
  • lean, whole proteins – fish and turkey, low-fat cuts of beef, if that’s the craving
  • sweet potatoes – rich in nutrients; 1 cup has 4 grams of soluble fiber

Ladies and gentlemen, for those of us that didn’t know any of this, we can do this!  We will combat our bloating episodes!  😛

Love you lots,

Lisa

P.S.

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Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness Tip: Let’s Breathe the Right Way to Combat Stress and Anxiety

Did you know that 9 out of 10 people would probably get a near failing grade on one of the most basic of functions: breathing?  Crazy, right?!

After reading the article “Breathe to Beat Stress” by Danielle McNally, I now know what to pay attention to when I’m using a tactic that gets me through those highly stressful, anxiety-inducing times.  lol.  You know what I’m talking about!

It turns out that most of us are ‘shoulder breathers’ – when we inhale, our shoulders rise, ‘engaging the upper back muscles’.  By breathing this way, we’re only making room for air to enter in ‘the narrowest, tippy-top part of the lungs’.  It also sends the wrong message to the nervous system, spiking our stress hormones…the complete opposite of what we need!  This can even include those times when we’re reading the jokes I post (:P) to watching a favorite comedy series, and, we’re laughing hysterically.  If we’re only making room for a small amount of air to enter our lungs, our bodies will think it’s stressed.  But, we’re laughing!  Interesting.

We weren’t always ‘vertical breathers’.  Prior to entering elementary school, we were considered to be ‘horizontal breathers’ – when we’d inhale, it would look like there was a balloon in our bellies – air was entering and expanding the biggest part of our lungs.  But, once school started, and, we began developing bad posture from slouching in our seats from sitting all day, we were crushing our diaphragm muscle and were blocking our lower lungs from expanding.

Let’s get back to being ‘horizontal breathing’.  Let’s let our ‘vagus nerve’ tell our brain to get into ‘rest-and-digest mode’.  We’ll feel ‘less tense, sleep better, have less stomach drama, and fortify our immune system’.

Here are three breathing exercises, from Andrew Weil, MD, founder and program director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine:

When we’re…

  • angry…we’ll try breathe counting – we’ll sit in a comfortable position with a straight back, head slightly forward.  We’ll close our eyes and take a ‘few deep, natural breaths, counting from one as we exhale each time, up to five.  We’ll start over and continue for up to ten minutes.
  • tossing and turning…we’ll try the 4-7-8 breath – we’ll put the tip of our tongue against the ‘ridge of tissue just behind our upper front teeth.  We’ll exhale ‘completely through our mouth, making a whoosh sound.  Close our mouth and inhale slowly through our nose as we count to four.  Hold our breath for the count of seven.  Exhale, making a whoosh sound, and repeat for a count of eight.  Repeat the cycle three more times.’
  • nervous…we’ll try the 4-8 breath – for some of us, holding our breath for 7 seconds can cause anxiety.  So, with this strategy, we want to eliminate the holding of air. Let’s place our tongue against the ridge of tissue behind our upper front teeth, inhale slowly through the nose and exhale, making the whoosh sound.  Repeat three times.

Good stuff, right?  We’ll be expert breathers before we know it!

Love you bunches,

Lisa

Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness Tip: 12 Ways to Spike Your Happy Hormones

You ever feel like it’s just so hard to find your “happy place”?  That life is taking a toll on you?  That in order to be happy would require something BIG to happen in your life?

Good news is, is that our “fruit” is low-hanging, ready for us to “pick”, right at our fingertips.  Here are 12 ways that will get our happy hormones goin’:

adrenaline

Go skydiving, etc.  Do something ballsy, something that has you feeling scared, that gets your palms sweaty and pulse racing.  The feeling when the mission gets accomplished makes it all worth it.

dopamine

Eat a chili pepper.  Embrace JOMO (joy of missing out), buy coffee for a stranger, go skydiving, exercise.  Our brain is craving variety.  When we try a new dish or make a change in our weekly routine, our bodies are “high-fiving” us with dopamine.  When we create bonds through our random acts of kindness, we are getting the joy flowing, spreading throughout our skies…ahhh :).  When we get our tushes off the couch, our reward of a dopamine flow is apparent and welcomed.  😛

endorphins

Do something that releases muscle tension…hop, skip, jump…anything that causes us to belly-laugh and jiggle your insides.  Practicing acupuncture will also stimulate and get your endorphins going.  It’s the needles that do it.  Eating something a bit spicy, that has heat (and, ooh, pain) will also get the endorphins flowing.  Stand up straight.  Go to a concert.  The shared energy will be powerful.  When you’re exercising, and, you’re feeling the burn, whoa, yeah, endorphins.

gaba a.k.a. natural Xanax

Spend time in your head – taking ten minutes (or just 1) to meditate can help override anxiety, replacing it with chemicals of calm.  If you choose to try acupuncture, that quiet space will stimulate gaba.

oxytocin

Interacting with a furry friend, venting, doing something nice for someone else, hitting up a concert and exercising will all spring into action this lovely hormone.  There’s something about looking into the eyes of our trusted animal friends that triggers our bonding instinct.  A venting session is a ‘precursor to a positive mind-set’, even if what we’re feeling is negative.  Knowing that someone sees the situation the same way you do, helps to develop a bond, which brings out our oxytocin.  Attending a concert will do the same…creating a bond with thousands…that’s magic.  Exercising with a friend is also another way to develop a bond with another.  Therefore, oxytocin, naturally.

Last, but, not least –

serotonin

Feeling confident about yourself will unleash this neurotransmitter.  Venting, embracing, taking time to do something different, something that brings on joy, standing taller, doing a random act of kindness, hitting a concert, going skydiving and exercising are all ways to get this hormone goin’.

Do your hormones need a little spike?

Love you,

Lisa