Body

Endangered Species

On guard, defend yourself, we shall overcome Where did you get that funk from? They’re spoiling the fun Shoot them with the bop gun

Lyrics borrowed from Bop Gun (Endangered Species) by Parliament

I haven’t been able to run for a while. An injury, issues with my blood sugar and an out of commission treadmill converged on me all at once. Not running isn’t good for me. Running, or in my case run/walking is my first line of defense against all sorts of things. Diabetes. Depression. A sleep disorder called periodic limb movement syndrome (Think restless leg that affects my whole body) and the crazed hormone-induced feelings that come from celibacy. I NEED to run! I can live without it but I am far less pleasant to be around when I can’t or don’t. I haven’t wanted to be around me for about 6 weeks now so I can only apologize to my friends, family and co-workers for what I imagine has been taxing to say the least. I’m sorry y’all. Truly.

I recognized the trend when my doctor ran the numbers. Damn! How did I let myself get that far off track? Even as a Health Coach I sometimes fall victim to the Cs. I got CAUGHT up in my day-to-day stresses. I got a little Complacent and COMFORTABLE and just COASTED through my days. The problem is that my days turned into weeks and weeks into months and the next thing I knew. BOOM! Blood sugar was too high. Mood was too low and everything was off balance. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t think straight and the thought of having to make the necessary changes to get back what I had lost was daunting.

A Local gym ran a sign up special and my daughter A’Liya and her childhood friend Aiesha encouraged me to join with them. Having someone to go with me who was counting on me to get up and get it in was all I needed! And I am back in the saddle again. Just 6 weeks late my blood sugar is now back within normal ranges most days but the trend is moving down and that normal range will be my new normal again.

A good friend, Angela Crawford of CherieNia Health & Wellness (http://cherieniahw.com/), who is a personal trainer in addition to being a Health Coach insisted I had to put more focus on strength training much to my chagrin. Like many women I’m not a big fan of weight training. Many women don’t like it because they fear it may bulk them up and make them look less feminine. They don’t want muscles. That’s not really my issue. I don’t mind being strong and muscle trumps fat in my opinion so bring on the muscle. No. My problem is different. I just plain don’t enjoy weight training. I LIKE to run. I LIKE Zumba and aerobics classes. Heck I like almost anything I can do to music. And I will do most things I genuinely LIKE to do. And I will do them consistently. I don’t like weights. It’s boring. It’s…well…it’s…for me it puts the WORK in WORK OUT.

But I’ll tell you what I do like. I mean really, really like. I LIKE not having to take diabetes meds. Coach Angi told me to get over myself and get some weights if I really wanted to see improvements faster. Yes. I knew this but I have spent many years controlling mine predominant with cardio and endurance activities. I didn’t want to change my routine. I think I may have thrown a virtual temper tantrum over Google Hangout (Sorry Coach) but she just persisted. I guess she knew the tantrum wouldn’t last long and as if the universe were conspiring with her my mailbox kept filling up with articles like this one written by Dennis Thompson Jr and medically reviewed by Pat F Bass III, MD, MPH and published by EveryDay Health:

A Weight Training Routine for Diabetes

Diabetes and Exercise: The Benefits of Strength Training

Studies have found that strength training can help people with diabetes by improving the body’s ability to use insulin and process glucose. This occurs because:

  • You experience an increase in lean muscle mass, which boosts your base metabolic rate and causes you to burn calories at a faster rate. Burning those calories helps keep your blood glucose levels in check.
  • The ability of your muscles to store glucose increases with your strength, making your body better able to regulate its blood sugar levels.
  • Your body fat-to-muscle ratio decreases, reducing the amount of insulin you need in your body to help store energy in fat cells.

Even better results have been observed when people with type 2 diabetes combine a weight training routine with regular aerobic exercise. The two forms of exercise work together to create better health benefits than either does on its own.

http://www.everydayhealth.com/diabetes/type2/managing/weight-lifting-get-strong.aspx

or this one from Diabetes In Control and written by Kristina Sandstedt, MS, CDE, CPT, ACSM ES which states:

Increased muscle mass developed through weight training aids in the management of diabetes. Muscle is a major clearance site for circulating blood glucose. In type 2 diabetes, the body loses sensitivity to the blood glucose regulating hormone insulin. Blood glucoses build up within in the blood and as a result the stage is set for the development of complications. As lean body mass (e.g. muscle) increases, greater amounts of blood glucose are cleared from the blood. The greater the muscle mass the more calories burned at rest, equating to greater amounts of weight loss. It is important to note that the abdominal fat mass lost during weight training is the key behind the improvements in insulin sensitivity.

http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/tools/64-feature-writer-article/2174&Itemid=8

So I have embraced the dumb bells, bar bells, the resistance bands, the kettle balls and the machines in spite of my original chilly feelings about them because cardio and weights are the perfect one-two punch to battle my chronic health issues. Diabetes is no joke. The ish is real. It maims, debilitates and kills people. I really, really like not having to take diabetes meds. I’m tired of being an endangered species. So I got to get over the hump. Especially the ones I create for myself.

Watch me get over the hump, ha,

hey babe I got to get over the hump,

I got to get over the hump I got to get over the hump,

I got to get over the hump I got to get over the hump,

I got to get over the hump I got to get over the hump,

I got to get over the hump I got to get over the hump,

I got to get over the hump

We got to get on by the hump

Eat Well! Move Well! Be Well!

Ensuring the Health and Wellness of Your Pride!

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Body

Let’s Sweat!

Sweat

“Come on let’s sweat, baby Let the music take control Let the rhythm move you Sweat, sweat Let the music take control Let the rhythm move you

Everybody dance now …”

*Chorus from Everybody Dance Now by C+C Music factory*

Everywhere you turn these days people are offering better health and touting the benefits of a detox or a cleanse, including Be Well Lioness! We offer a number of detox options for our clients and for several good reasons. Some are meant to prep for weight loss programs or other lifestyle changes. Others are meant to eliminate foods or behaviors that are problematic for the client. Detox has become an all encompassing catch phrase that sells any number of “health-related” programs, products or packages. By definition a detox is a metabolic process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances in order to allow toxins to become less toxic or more easily eliminated from the body.

From a nutritional standpoint detoxes may include herbal supplements to help with digestion and (ahem) elimination of the offending substances from the body. Ideally, they also include ingestion of a very clean diet made up primarily of dark leafy greens and other organic (not chemically treated fresh produce) eaten or liquefied into smoothies or juices. Breaking down the toxins in your body is one part of the process. Elimination is another. If you don’t pass them through they would simply be re-absorbed. Numerous trips to the bathroom may be annoying but they are necessary.

Some coaches, and other health care professionals suggest sauna or steam bath to get you to sweat. If you’re going to be on a cleanse or detox your goal is to eliminate toxins. Your skin is the largest organ in your body & the largest outlet for toxins. It makes sense to sweat it out.

Light to moderate exercise will do that as well in addition to burning calories (If you’re interested in that sort of thing.) and according to the CDC 35% of adults could stand to lose a few extra pounds with another 33% defined as obese. But not to digress. Exercise will help you sweat.

And after a good work out or sauna or whatever it is you do to work up that sweat you probably drool at the thought of a good bath or shower, which is a great way to shower away all those purged toxins. But what good does it do to eliminate all those toxic substances from your system if you’re just going to put more in by means of chemically laden, synthetic hormone filled personal hygiene products?

Several companies have come up with less toxic and therefore less offending options. I urge you to check out the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group’s) website at www.ewg.org and do a bit of research on their Cosmetics database. They call it skin deep and it is well worth bookmarking it!

Another option is making your own personal hygiene products using essential oils and other natural ingredients that will care for, nourish and moisturize your skin without adding to your toxic load. It’s simple and surprisingly inexpensive.

Here… let me get you started:

Mane2Tale Moisturizing Body Wash

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup liquid castile soap
  • 2 teaspoons oil – avocado, jojoba, sweet almond
  • 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • 50 drops essential oils (I use a combo of lavender, rose, geranium and frankincense.)*
  • 10 drops of optional essential oils (I’m using a combo of grapefruit, lemon and wild orange)*

 

Directions

The product will last longer if no water is added but I tend to make mine in smaller batches and add some water because the thicker it is the more water it takes to wash it all off and I prefer a lighter lather. Squirt top bottles work best. Shake gently before each use.

Checkout this site to purchase your essential oils http://www.mydoterra.com/bwl/

 

 

  1. be-well-lioness.com

http://www.mydoterra.com/bwl/

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Body, Toxin Free

Pardon the Interruption…Uh Disruption

Many of the chemicals in our personal environments have been proven to be endocrine disruptors. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences defines endocrine disruptors as “Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.” This system literally affects every aspect of a human’s existence and should be of particular importance to those raising children.

The WHO (World Health Organization) informs us that pregnant women and small children are the most vulnerable members of society to environmental toxins and anything that stands between us and the proper functioning of our hormones. Affecting healthy growth, neurodevelopment and maybe even causing them to be more susceptible to non-communicable diseases. http://www.who.int/ceh/risks/cehemerging2/en/#

Last Saturday I woke up in a potion making mood. There was cleaning that needed to be done but I don’t ever want to add to the toxic load in my household. I desperately want to protect my growing nieces, my elderly dad and my adult offspring whenever and where ever possible.

My nieces are six years old and still have a lot of growing to do. I feel compelled to do all I can to make their home as toxin free as possible. Insulin, leptin and ghrelin are all hormones that affect appetite and metabolism. We have a family history of diabetes and obesity. I don’t want history to repeat itself.

My adult daughters may want to reproduce at some point. I don’t want to contribute to the toxic load they may already be dealing with and I know that one of the key ways to “DE-tox” is to prevent or hinder as many new toxins as possible from entering them and causing road blocks to their wellness.

Environmental toxins are also a danger to my sons and son-in-law. According to the Men’s Journal, prostate cancer may be triggered by the chemical BPA which is probably the most well known endocrine disruptor. In addition to cancer causing BPA, other toxins have been shown to affect male reproduction. Before you decide reproduction is only a female issue…think again. In 40% of those couples dealing with fertility issues it is a joint problem or the man’s fertility is the primary dysfunction. http://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/health/toxins-the-environment-and-your-health-20140319

And then there’s my dad. He’ll be 78 in August. The website for Centre for Studies on Human Stress states “Older adults’ bodies contain a lifetime’s worth of environmental contaminants, many of which can remain in their systems for decades. Elderly people are highly vulnerable to these toxins, because their brain has a reduced capacity to compensate for impairment, and because they have been longer exposed than younger adults.”http://www.humanstress.ca/stress-and-you/elders-and-stress/environmental-toxins.html

I know I can’t protect them from every chemical they may come in contact but I can certainly do more to control what toxins are in our home. So Saturday I went to the kitchen with my potion making supplies in hand. And with one twin on each side of me I made up a batch of Pride Lands All Purpose Cleaner. In addition to being a cleaner non-toxic product, making my own gives me an opportunity to use essential oils that lift my mood and energize me which is just what I need when I’m cleaning since it’s not my favorite thing to do. Come to think of it just knowing I’m protecting my loved ones, my Pride, improves my mood too!

Pride Lands All Purpose Cleaner

1 tsp borax

1/2 tsp washing soda

1 tsp liquid castille soap

Essential oils* – (I find that citrus oils work best…lemon, orange, grapefruit or some combo)…14 drops plus 4 if you like your clean scented.

2 cups of purified warm water

Add to spray bottle (preferably glass as citrus reacts to plastic over time).

Cover bottle and shake well.

Use as needed.

Works well in bathrooms, kitchens and other solid non-porous surfaces.

 

 

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Body

First Do No Harm

The words translated “First do no harm” have been attributed to Hippocrates but there has been much debate as to whether this quote came from him, from his “Hippocratic Oath” or from some other source. Quite frankly, as a Wellness professional, it matters very little to me when, where or who spoke the words. The concept is sound. And it is for that reason I am a proponent of Holistic wellness, natural and integrative approaches to health care.

Most prescription pharmaceuticals and OTC (over the counter) products have a host of side effects and contraindications while taking the drugs and another set that may occur as you try to wean yourself from them. Some cause symptoms that may require you to take yet another drug to deal with the symptoms caused by the first drug.

Dr. Mercola’s website lists these 26 “terrifying” side effects:

  1. Drainage, crusting, or oozing of your eyes or eyelids
  2. Swollen, black, or “hairy” tongue
  3. Changes in the shape or location of body fat
  4. Decrease in testicle size
  5. Sores or swelling in your rectal or genital area
  6. Blue lips or fingernails
  7. Purple spots on your skin
  8. White patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
  9. Irregular back-and- forth movements of your eyes
  10. Enlarged breasts in males.
  11. Unusual risk-taking behavior, no fear of danger
  12. Extreme fear
  13. Hallucinations, fainting, coma
  14. Fussiness, irritability, crying for an hour or longer
  15. Paralysis
  16. Thoracic Hematoma (bleeding into your chest)
  17. A blood clot in your lung
  18. Liver damage
  19. Kidney damage
  20. A lump in your breast
  21. Decreased bone marrow function
  22. Congestive heart failure
  23. Shingles
  24. Nerve pain lasting for several weeks or months
  25. Bleeding that will not stop
  26. Coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/04/12/the-terrifying-side-effects-of-prescription-drugs.aspx

Let’s take depression for example. This is a condition that is becoming more commonplace in our fast-paced and stressful lives. Most folk feel a little blue now and again and some suffer from depression. Many doctors will prescribe depression meds for what may be relatively mild cases. A common drug prescribed is Cymbalta®. Possible side effects from the drug are:

Worsening depression, other psychiatric conditions, suicidal thoughts or actions, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile actions, impulsivity, severe restlessness.

Admittedly depression can be very debilitating and it isn’t something anyone would want to deal with in the long term. It can be a chronic condition not just an occasional mood disturbance. We are talking about more than the blues. And in many cases an allopathic medical intervention is called for but there are much more natural, holistic approaches that can be considered to lessen the need for or the amount of medication taken.

  • Exercise is a tremendous help and it doesn’t have to be strenuous Iron man type training. Regular aerobic type for 20 minutes per day at least 3 times per week will do the trick.
  • Meditation activities including Tai Chi, guided or mindful meditation, yoga or repetitive prayer.
  • A personal spiritual practice has been found to reduce stress that may cause or exacerbate depression.
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Body, Brain

Slide Some Oil To Me!

“Slide Some Oil To Me”

Slide some oil to me Let it trickle down my spine If you don’t have S.T.P. Crisco will do just fine Slide some to my elbows And to my fingers if you would Slide some oil to me, girl Whoo! Don’t that feel good! Slide some oil to my feet, look I got toes again Come on and slide some oil to my knees And let me see if I can bend Slide some oil to me I’m beginning to feel just fine Slide some oil down my throat And let me lubricate my mind Slide some oil to me Go ahead, hit my shoulder blades Those who don’t have to lubricate Sure got it made Slide some oil to me Let it slip down my side Laying there in one position Sure does make me tired Now watch me dance! And let me lubricate my mind

 

From The Movie “The Wiz” as taken from the website http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/dianaross/slidesomeoiltome.html

 

Shhhhhhhhh! I have a confession to make. I am relatively new to how amazing and vast the uses of essential oils are. Don’t get me wrong there are a few I’ve been using for years with great success but I just never thought of how many there are or how many other things they could be used for.  A lot of the wellness coaches and alternative health professionals I work with have been using them for a long time for therapeutic uses. Many have found them to be very effective with little or no side effects in their own practices. I’m not sure why I wasn’t on this bandwagon sooner. I can’t recall anyone ever telling me just how beneficial they could be for health and wellness applications. Maybe everyone assumed I already knew. But I’ll admit it. I didn’t know the extent of the wonders of oils. But now I know and I want to share what I’ve learned.

There are quite a few big and complicated definitions of essential oils with big multi-syllabic words that are all accurate but…well…big and complicated. So let’s go with this more user-friendly one:

Essential oils are the natural compounds that come from the bark, roots, seeds, stems or flowers of plants that give them their distinctive aromas. These oils just happen to have some remarkable properties other than their smells. You are probably already familiar with a few of the basic citrus based ones if you have ever squeezed a lemon to make lemonade or peeled an orange before eating it. That clear shiny liquid on your hands was the essential oil of those fruits. They are called oils but they are in fact not oily like the animal fats or like the cooking oils most of us are more familiar with.

Essential oils have been in use for millennia and two of the most famous are frankincense and myrrh. Christian tradition tells us that these oils were brought to the bedside of Jesus when he was a babe and given to him as a sign of deep respect. They were a precious gift even then, expensive and rare. We know that the Egyptians used them for their antimicrobial properties during mummification to preserve the bodies of the honored dead as well as for their healing and curative properties. Alabaster jars containing trace amounts of many of the oils used have been found in tombs largely unchanged from when they were originally stored thousands of years ago. The uses of these oils were passed on to later civilizations such as the Greeks and Romans in turn. Ancient Asian cultures in China and India and in many ancient cultures in Africa used essential oils widely and have continued to do so.

It has long been established that scent is a powerful force in our mood and on our sense of well-being. In our modern world we are bombarded with artificial fragrances in every aspect of our lives from our cleaning products to our personal care products. These substances are synthetic hormones meant to make us “feel” good so we’ll choose one product over another but there are consequences to allowing ourselves and our hormone receptors to be manipulated by these synthetic products and those consequences are NOT better health or more wellness.

Now that we are faced with a world where so much of what touches us daily is toxic, many wellness professionals and Integrative medical doctors are turning to these natural products to solve many of our issues in ways that won’t add to our toxic load. That’s the part that matters most to me since one of the key ways I assist my own clients is in dealing with all the aspects of their wellness. After all it makes very little sense to me “Eat well” and “Move Well” in an attempt to “Be Well” if we don’t address the damage being done by subjecting ourselves to toxins.

Now that I’ve told you why essential oils excite me I would like to extend an invitation for you to join me over the next couple of weeks for a discussion of what essential oils can do for you and your family and some ways of bringing more of these amazing benefits into your home and your life. Maybe once this series is complete you’ll want someone to “slide some oil” to you too.

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Body

When To Do It Yourself and When to Call For Back Up

I try to keep a real balance in my life. I eat as cleanly as possible most days. I work out moderately (although I plan to step that up in preparation for completing my 3rd half marathon at the end of the year). I try to adjust my schedule in order to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. 8 would be optimum for me but until someone develops a 30 hour day I don’t see that happening.

In an effort to increase my chances of reaching the optimal health I’ve been working toward I have also begun decreasing my exposure to chemical toxins such as the ones in the class called obesogens and other hormone disruptors. Obesogens are a class of toxins which affect us in such a way as to make weight loss more difficult or that may contribute in some part to weight gain in the first place. Hormone disruptors are chemicals which prevent the normal functioning of hormones within the human body.

Hormones are responsible for most of the functions within you. They are the keys that unlock and the messengers that tell your body’s functions when to start and when to stop. Puberty, reproduction, metabolism, growth and sex either would not or could not take place without “go” orders from your hormones.

The changes I have made so far have been modest:

I still transport my “away from home meals” in plastic containers for safety but I don’t microwave in those containers. (I’ll leave the microwave discussion for another time). Instead I use glass bowls or paper plates.

I have begun the switch to more hormone friendly versions of toiletries and personal care items. I make the switch as current products with questionable chemical foundations run out. While I would prefer to just toss what I already have I admit to being on a budget like most of the country. The non-stick pots & pans are going the way of the dinosaur as fast as I can get rid of them.

Many of the changes I have made in the course of my wellness journey have been things I was taught by others such as my growing knowledge of environmental toxins courtesy of Ms. Lara Adler http://www.laraadler.com/ or they have been outsourced outright to someone else such as my little urban farm courtesy of Meredith Sheperd and Love & Carrots www.loveandcarrots.com. But some things require something else.

Sometimes it’s good to call for backup. I do this in areas where I know a little something but despite my best efforts I just can’t seem to wrap my mind or my body around it enough to make to reach the goals I have set for myself. In this case I’m talking about designing a physical fitness routine. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my treadmill, my hand weights, resistance bands and yoga mat. And DVDs are my friends but I don’t have the expertise to design a cohesive plan to get me to where I want to be. I just don’t. But…I know who does, a Personal trainer. 

 

Personal trainers can design, help you implement and hold you accountable if need be to the goals you set for yourself. A personal trainer can jump start you or help you over the hump of an annoying plateau. You can find them in gyms and fitness centers or catch one that freelances to get truly “personal” training. 

 

When choosing a trainer for yourself, keep these things in mind:

  • Education: A personal trainer should be certified through a reputable personal training organization. An exercise science or other related college degree isn’t necessary, but the more education your trainer has, the better your workouts will be.
  • CPR: your trainer should have an updated certification in CPR and/or first aid.
  • Experience: Make sure your trainer has experience, especially in relation to your goals. For example, if you’re a bodybuilder, you want someone knowledgeable in that area.
  • Specifics: If you have a specific medical problem, injury or condition (such as being pregnant, difficulty getting pregnant, heart problems, diabetes, etc.) make sure your trainer has education in these areas and will work with your doctor.
  • A good listener: A good trainer will listen closely to what you say and make sure he understands your goals.
  • Attention: A good trainer will be focused only on you during your sessions.
  • Tracking progress: A good trainer will regularly assess your progress and change things if necessary.

Excerpt from: http://exercise.about.com/cs/forprofessionals/a/choosetrainer.htm

Yes. I have learned a lot since I turned my attention to my own personal wellness and since I trained to be a Certified Health Coach and I intend to learn even more but I don’t feel any burning need to become a PT myself (at least for now). So I’ll work on the toxins, nutrition, hormones etc and when it comes to physical training for my bod…I’ll call for backup.

Keep Up With The Pride at www.Be-Well-Lioness.com or www.BeWellLioness.com

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Contact me at CoachNia@Be-Well-Lioness.com

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