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10 reasons to eat healthier that may surprise you!

reasons to eat healthier plate of foodYou’ve heard a thousand reasons to eat healthier by now, surely. It’s almost become a social or fad thing.

Well, I consider myself a bit of a rebel. Not a conformist. Not a fad follower. And not a lover of those things mainstream.

But, I do eat quite healthily. Mostly because I am tired of all the allergy and sinus struggles for so many years. After tons of money spent looking for easier answers and then probably several near punches in my face from my holistic doctor, I caved and decided to follow her “orders” to change my diet. (She has never even rolled her eyes at my ridiculous arguments, never mind ordered something.)

I eat 95% gluten and dairy free, with limited grains, and still take some natural supplements and products. But I’m not taking any over-the-counter or prescription meds. And the past couple of years, I have been much less congested with fewer migraines.

So now I have to keep from rolling my eyes as I hear stories from friends and family members who suffer chronic symptoms, or have constant doctors’ visits, but still won’t try changing their diets to see if that helps.

A’hem. I know where you all are coming from. I do. But please learn from my stupid rebellious mistakes before your health gets worse. Or before you become a cancer or other statistic. Or so your kids will have a chance at better health.

These good reasons aside, I’ve learned, the hard way, 10 reasons to eat healthier that may surprise you. Which can you relate to? “I should eat healthier:

10. to save money. What, you say? Organic, healthy stuff costs way more than other stuff. Try Trader Joe’s, Lucky’s Market, some local markets or vitacost.com, for a few. Even if you do pay more, you may buy less and therefore eat less, which may not be a bad thing. You may eat out less often. And imagine the oodles of money saved with fewer doctors’ appointments and medicines.

9. to increase fertility. Many factors besides diet play into fertility. But your body could be sensitive to gluten or gluten cross-reactors without obvious symptoms. Sensitivity to these foods can mess with your hormones, which can include thyroid function and fertility.

8. to sleep better. Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Not 6. And children need even more. Check out National Sleep Foundation’s latest recommendations broken down into age brackets. Sleep helps your body repair itself and prevent stress and anxiety. So healthy diet >> better sleep >> better health all around. Sleep is key.

7. to reduce arguments with your kids. Sound crazy? First, MSG has been linked to temper tantrums. Food dyes (e.g. Yellow 5, Blue 1, Red 1, etc.) can cause aggressive behavior especially in kids. Remove the junk. Bonus, if you enforce healthier eating over time, you surely won’t hear “but do I have to eat this?” or “I’m not eating this” so much because you have changed your lifestyles, period.

6. to improve concentration. Upset stomachs, irregular bowels, anxiety and so many more symptoms can distract you or cause “brain fog”. These same symptoms can mess up your sleep, which will make you less focused during the day. It’s a vicious cycle!

5. for better gut health. Aren’t the effects from electromagnetic fields, pollution and daily stress hard enough on your body? Eat healthy, anti-inflammatory foods that let your body digest foods without working so hard. Good gut health can help prevent heart disease, cancer and you name it. Plus, it can help you maintain a healthy weight.

4. so I can breather easier. Friends in St. Louis, we live in one of the worst cities for pollen and mold allergies. Wherever you are though, eat less inflammatory foods and your sinuses may be less inflamed! Breathe easier. Maybe even watch your asthma disappear!

3. so my skin will clear up. Hives, rashes, fungus, acne. All things skin.

2. to help correct behavior problems. Medical expenses, infertility issues, brain fog, gut issues, chronic sinus problems or lack of sleep? Of course these could cause depression, anxiety or anger. But some foods can physically cause aggression, depression, irritability, fatigue or non-stop talking. Find more about foods (even healthy ones) and the symptoms they can cause on page 47 of my book, Digested – eating healthier made easier 3 ways.

1. because I can. When I asked my then 3-year old boy why he asked so many questions, his smile-filled response was “because I can”. He could. He should. And he still does. Likewise, the #1 reason to eat healthier is because you can.

If you need help getting started, read my book, visit my Facebook page, check out some other articles in my blog or sign up for my free monthly newsletter.

Refuse to be the rebel here. Just eat healthier. Because you can.

 

*This blog is intended for use as a source of information and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. 

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5 keys to allergy relief and feeling better naturally

Are you looking for allergy relief that comes more naturally? Or maybe just feeling better in general is your goal?

You can begin to achieve both with these 5 action items. I know from experience.

I love being outdoors – it’s like that morning coffee for coffee lovers. Ironically perhaps, my body is sensitive to pollens and mold.

natural allergy reliefI long to be outdoors without fearing the severe stuffiness, headaches and nausea I sometimes get, and without taking prescription meds that wreck my body even more over the long-term.

I hate being sick. But I’ve desperately wanted to get a cold that actually ends in the normal 7 to 10 days, without a trip to the doctor.

I crave waking up without a blocked nose or phlegmy throat and with energy and well, a pulse!

That’s not asking too much, is it?

What does allergy relief look like to a chronic sufferer?

For more than 20 years, I’ve wrestled with chronic allergies and fatigue, and an immune system that is not up to snuff. I’ve been through many tests, doctors and treatments.

Now for more than 10 years, I haven’t taken prescription allergy medicines. Just 2 times over the past 16 years, I have had to take antibiotics.

Finally this winter, I did have a “normal” cold. And I did wake up 4 or 5 days being able to inhale and exhale freely through my nose and feeling truly rested. Hallelujah!

So I’m still a work in progress. But I have taken huge steps forward. And I’m hoping to help you do the same by sharing my top 5 keys to allergy relief and better health.

How can you start down the road to relief?

Seek care from a holistic care provider in addition to your traditional doctor. Without my holistic doctors, I would have never found the other key factors to healing my body with fewer drugs.

4 Avoid antibiotics, and take more natural remedies as needed. Even studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have revealed that antibiotics in the U.S. are over-prescribed. I used to take antibiotics 3 to 5 times a year for sinus infections before realizing they also kill the good bacteria in my guts, too.

This article by expert Chris Kresser says that 1 course of antibiotics may permanently change your gut flora. And many doctors today keep prescribing more when the first round doesn’t work!

I can’t stress enough how damaging antibiotics can be. They have a place in medicine, but they should be our last resort. A holistic care provider will help you find a homeopathic remedy, herbal supplement, essential oil or other treatment to help heal your body more naturally instead. My doc even does kid-friendly chiropractic adjustments that help alleviate ear infections and other sinus-related issues. The non-Rx possibilities are many!

Use sinus rinse daily with distilled, filtered or previously boiled water and packets of salt mixture designed for this purpose. I use the NeilMed bottle to blast out my nose twice a day – in the morning and before bedtime – because I’ve never been able to get the Neti pot to work.

Get good, restorative sleep. If you need allergy relief, ditch the pillow-top mattress that’s likely holding lots of allergens captive and get something comfortable and hypoallergenic.

I’ve written lots of article and ebooks about mattresses and sleep, and now know just how critical 7 to 9 hours of sleep (more for kids) is to good health. I finally decided on an organic Dunlop latex mattress despite hating the smell of everyday latex. We love it and have invested in the same mattresses for our growing kids.

Now I also notice if I get just 6 hours of sleep a couple of nights in a row, I will pay for it, usually by feeling super congested, lethargic and prone to migraine headaches. You just can’t put a price on quality sleep.

Eat a healthier diet. Even if you think you already eat healthy, assume you have room for improvement. Aim to make 50% of your diet vegetables, ideally organic.

I could write a book about the reasons and ways to eat healthier, even if you have a million excuses. And about how even healthy foods could be countering your efforts for allergy relief and better health.

Well actually, I did write this book. It’s called Digested – eating healthier made easier 3 ways. It’s a simple and quick read aimed to help you gain allergy relief, feel healthier all around and likely even lose weight.

I wrote this book because changing my diet has produced the most results. Now I have more manageable allergies with a better quality of life – even outdoors and without traditional medicines.

Without changing my diet, my inflamed nostrils would not have allowed the NeilMed to do its job.

Without changing my diet, inflammation in my guts would not have allowed L-glutamine and other natural supplements to repair as needed.

Without changing my diet, even the most pure, luxurious mattress would not give me the quality sleep I need. Now instead of wasting energy constantly battling the foods it sees as enemies while asleep, my body can use that energy to truly restore itself, like it’s supposed to.

To sum it up, without changing my approach from eating reactively to eating proactively, I’d still be rotating through many prescription allergy medicines, wrecking an already over worked body, hiding from the amazingly beautiful outdoors and simply surviving through all my kids’ outdoor adventures and games.

I’m not looking to survive or get by. I’m on a mission to live.

Come along for the ride, but please take the shortcut!

 

 

*This blog is intended for use as a source of information and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice.