How to Reduce Stress Naturally?

How to Reduce Stress Naturally?

I hope you’re having a great week! I’ve got some fitness advice for you this morning when it comes to relieving stress.

If you’re like many people I talk to, you might take this advice as extra stress and added pressure … but NO WORRIES! I have your back, 100%!

One of the very best things you can do to cut stress is to add some aerobic/cardio exercise to your daily routine. It’s been proven in numerous clinical trials to be an effective treatment for depression and anxiety.

That’s because it works on a hormonal level in two different ways…

First, it lowers the level of stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline, which I’ve talked about a lot lately).

But it also helps your body produce more endorphins, which are your “feel good” hormones that help boost your mood, and also are natural painkillers.

That’s not even talking about all the other health benefits you can get from doing cardio, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of many chronic diseases.

The reason I said this news stresses some people out is that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that most of us get 150 minutes of moderate cardio exercise a week.

But don’t let that number scare you.

That’s only 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. And that 30 minutes doesn’t have to be done all at once – you can rack it up in shorter bursts of activity over the course of the day.

I know for some people (especially those who have been inactive or are coming back from illness/injury), even 30 minutes over the course of a day can seem like a lot.

I’ve got a good rule of thumb you can follow so you don’t end up doing too much, too soon and end up feeling overwhelmed and overtired (and overstressed!).

What you want to do is just start doing some form of cardio exercise. Walking is a good bet, but so is biking, dancing, swimming or any other exercise you enjoy.

Depending on your experience and fitness level, you can start out with 5-10 minutes, and not worry too much about how hard you are working – although if you’re new to working out you definitely do NOT want to be pushing so hard you get winded to the point you can’t hold a conversation.

You can start out with just a few sessions of cardio a week, and then build up over time.

The 10% Rule

The 10% rule that has been used for decades to help people improve their cardio fitness.

Here’s how it works: if you’re working out for a total of 60 minutes a week (15 minutes, 4 times a week), you would add 10 percent to that (6 minutes), so you are spending a total of 66 minutes working out the next week. You can break that up however you want: you could do 3 x 15-minute sessions and 1 x 21-minute session, or whatever works for your schedule and how you feel.

Once you get to the point where you are able to go for 20-30 minutes at least 3 days a week without getting too tired, you can start adding little intensity boosts to your routine.

Basically, you just start walking/cycling a little faster for a set period of time and then slow back down so you can recover.

One of my favorite ways to add intensity bursts to my cardio is to load up a music playlist with some of my favorite “pump me up” songs, and every time the songs get to the chorus, that’s when I pick up my pace!

It makes it fun – and that’s always a hallmark of a good workout!

Depending on your history with exercise and current level of fitness, you might notice in a few weeks, you will notice you’re able to ramp up your time a little faster than you could the first week or so.

To your radiant health, with love

 

How to Have A Stress-Free Holiday Season

How to Have A Stress-Free Holiday Season

Happy November!!

It’s here. We’re officially heading into one of the busiest times of the year!

Before everything ramps up … let’s take some time to get prepared NOW.

A little bit of effort now will help you cruise through the holidays without the stress.

It all starts with taking care of YOU.

When life gets hectic, one of the first things to drop off our to-do lists is our self-care routine. Which is ironic, since taking a little time for yourself each day will help you do everything else better.

Here are some tips to stay ahead of the game:

1. Try to make a simple meal plan each week during the holidays, so you can avoid too many on-the-go meals. Holiday treats are notoriously high in salt, fat, and sugar, which will just leave you feeling bloated and awful.

But more importantly, eating sugary foods affects the good bacteria in your gut (that helps you fight off cold and flu viruses), which obviously can have a negative impact on your immune system. It also inflames the delicate gut lining. It will cause glucose (blood sugar) spikes followed by insulin spikes, which is pro-inflammatory.

What are some easy meals you can throw together at the last minute? My go-to’s are turkey burgers and veggies, scrambled or hard-boiled eggs (yes, even for dinner!) and sweet potato, pre-roasted veggies with some grilled chicken.

2. Don’t compromise on your exercise time. Keep your immune system happy and get in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (like a brisk walk) most days of the week.

One study found that women who walked for a half-hour every day for a year had 50% fewer colds than those who didn’t. That’s because regular walking appears to lead to having more infection-fighting white blood cells.

Not only that, but exercise can help you fight stress. When you work out, your body releases more feel-good, mood-boosting hormones.

3. Make a list (or two!). If you have a hectic holiday schedule, start planning NOW so you can do as much ahead of time as possible. Running around at the last minute trying to get everything done is the absolute worst!

Put together a checklist of everything you have to do, and then do it (even better, delegate it!).

4. Relax. Make time for family and friends and enjoying old traditions or making new ones.

Let go of expectations of how you think things “should” go and enjoy them as they are! It’s often the things that happen out of the ordinary that we look back on with a smile.

If you’re going to be alone or working over the holidays, make time to mark the occasion! Watch a movie, eat a special meal, or treat yourself to a spa session.


RECIPE

Homemade Chai Tea

Ingredients

8 cups Water
5 servings Cinnamon Stick
2 tbsp Cardamon Seeds
2 tbsp Whole Cloves
1 1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns
2 tbsp Ginger (peeled and thinly sliced)

Directions

Combine ingredients together in a large pot and simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes and then strain. Serve. Add milk and honey (optional). Enjoy

Keep an eye on your inbox, because I’ve got great recipe ideas and stress-free holiday tips coming your way over the next few weeks.

I’ve also got something special coming up…

To your radiant health, with love

Dr. Ilona

PS! If you would like to receive more information on how to create healthier holidays join our Facebook group, the amazing sisterhood.

Why to balance Omega-6 and Omega-3

Why to balance Omega-6 and Omega-3

Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about different kinds of oils related to inflammation. We learned what is healthy and what are the inflammation fueling oils. In case you didn’t have a chance to read my previous email I highly recommend going back to do so.

The western diet is full of inflammation-causing oils (vegetable oils) including places where we don’t expect them. Thinking about oils we think of fried food, baked and cooked meals, processed and prepackaged meals. Right? I am here to tell you inflammation-causing oils are lurking in cookies, cakes, pastries, candy bars, energy bars, etc. where I wouldn’t expect them. Do you agree?

How can we diminish the harmful effects of those oils?

By increasing Omega-3 fatty acids.

Let me explain. Omega -6 essential fatty acids (EFA) have pro-inflammatory effects versus Omega-3 EFA have an anti-inflammatory effect. It’s important to keep the two in balance. Our body needs a small amount of Omega -6 EFA for brain and muscle functions, hormone productions, etc. In high amounts, they will inflame our bodies. Omega-3 EFA will neutralize the inflammatory effect. The ideal ratio should be Omega-6: Omega-3 should be 1:1 or at least 4:1 for optimal health. Our problem is that this ratio is skewed, big time to 12:1 and even 25:1. That is one of our huge health problems folks!! We are an inflamed nation!! Many of us are walking with a bomb ticking inside of us, ready to explode at any time (hint stroke, heart attack, memory loss, etc.).

We can lower the harmful oils by not eating them, not using as cooking oils and avoid buying foods that contain them.

This could be the hard part. We like cookies, chips, fried food. Don’t we? They are comfort food.

Adding more Omega-3 is the easier part. Adding cold water wild fish to our diet at least once a week is not that difficult. The most popular is salmon. Please let it be wild-caught salmon (farm-raised is one of the most toxic food).  In case you are vegan, or vegetarian is mindful of the fact that our bodies convert poorly plant-based Omega-3 into more potent forms such as EPA and DEA.

Supplementing with fish oil or krill oil is a great idea for everyone.

So, let me answer the question of how much Omega-3 we need, it depends on how much Omega-6 we are ingesting. Remember, we want to achieve a balance of 1:1.

Food high in Omega-3
  1. Wild Salmon
  2. Sardines
  3. Mackerel
  4. Bluefish
  5. Grass-fed butter
  6. Grass-fed beef
  7. Chia seeds
  8. Flax seeds

Be aware of nuts. They have a lower amount of Omega-3 and much higher amounts of Omega-6. Eat them in moderation!!

SARDINE SALAD

Make your own favorite salad and add chunks of sardines. It’s that simple. I like to use mixed greens ( baby spinach, arugula, baby kale). Sometimes I add a tablespoon of mayo (Primal kitchen; the healthy ones) and top with sardines. This recipe works well when time-restricted. You can take cans of sardines while traveling. Beside Omega-3 sardines have bones also and this form of calcium our body can readily use for bone-building purposes.

To your radiant health, with love

Dr. Ilona

PS!!! I am still offering a free consultation for sisters who are cancer survivors or going through the treatment while I am writing this email. This is my act of generosity, paying it forward. Take the offer!!

Here is the link to my calendar to schedule our Virtual Coffee

https://my.timetrade.com/book/6ZDTG

Five Reasons Why Vegetable Oils are Bad for Our Health

Five Reasons Why Vegetable Oils are Bad for Our Health

From soap making to our plates…

Hi…

Can you guess what I am talking about?

Let me give you some more hints. The American Heart Association recommends them. Maybe even your doctor told you also to use them for cooking as part of a heart healthy lifestyle.

I am sure by now you know I am talking about industrial seed oils such as: canola, soybean, corn, sunflower, cottonseed, safflower, etc.

Latest researches are indicating they are not as healthy as it was thought. They are harmful for our bodies, making us sick.

Let’s go back into history briefly. Industrial seed oils were used originally in the soap making process.

The question is how did they end up on our plates?

Proctor and Gamble came up with the idea to create a new type of soap by using vegetable oils. That was cottonseed oil. It was known as a toxic waste in the industry. In the process of soapmaking they   discovered that the oil could be changed via a process of hydrogenation, turning it into a solid cooking fat resembling lard. That is how oil classified as toxic waste ended up on our plate.

The price we pay today for that is epidemics of chronic inflammation, obesity and chronic diseases. Of course, vegetable oils are not the only cause; diet rich in highly processed carbohydrates, toxic laden food, lack of exercise and lack of sleep are also contributing factors. Keep reading….

Five reasons why vegetable oils are bad for our health.

  1. They raise Omega-6 fatty acid levels, changing the Omeag-6 to Omega -3 ratio.
  2. They are unstable and oxidize easily
  3. Contain harmful additives
  4. Derived from GMO crops (soy, corn, sunflower etc.).
  5. When repeatedly heated, even more toxic byproducts are created.

This is what we know so far.

  1. Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory (via arachidonic acid; including Prostaglandin E2 and Leukotriene B4. Omeag-3 fatty acids such as ALA, EPA, and DHA act anti-inflammatory. For maintaining optimal health Omega-6 and Omega-3 has to be in balance. The ancestral ratio was 1:1. Today, with the SAD diet 10:1 or even 20:1. This imbalance is causing chronic inflammation that contributes to many chronic diseases.
  2. Vegetable oils are very unstable and oxidize easily upon exposure to light, heat and chemicals. Under those circumstances two harmful substances are being created: trans fats and lipid peroxides. Known to cause heart disease, diabetes and harmful effects on DNA, proteins and cell membranes.
  3. They are full of additives. Since the vegetable oils are unstable synthetic antioxidants are added to prevent oxidation and turning rancid. Unfortunately, the synthetic antioxidant (BHA, BHT, TBHQ) have many side effects (endocrine disrupting, immune-disrupting and carcinogenic).
  4. They come from GMO plants (another long conversation).
  5. When repeatedly heated more toxic byproducts are being created.

How vegetable oils are making us sick?

Vegetable oil consumption is associated with many health problems.

  1. Asthma
  2. Autoimmune disease
  3. Mental health and cognition
  4. Obesity and diabetes
  5. Heart disease
  6. IBS and IBD
  7. Inflammation
  8. Infertility
  9. Osteoarthritis

How to avoid them?

Simply get rid of bottles of canola, corn, cottonseed oils in your kitchen and don’t eat processed food.

Oils you should be using in your household:

  1. Extra virgin olive oil
  2. Coconut oil
  3. Butter and ghee (grass fed)
  4. Pasture lard and tallow
  5. Duck fat

PS!! Make sure to incorporate plenty of healthy fats from whole foods into your diet. Soaked and sprouted nuts, avocado, wild-caught fatty fish, coconut, grass fed meats, organ meats, wild game are great sources.


RECIPE

Black Olive Salsa
Serves 2-4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white onions, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can salt-free diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 10-12 black olives, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh pineapple cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Vegetable chips, Organic corn chips, Cassava flour chips etc.
  • Optional: 1 cup leftover roast chicken, chopped or canned tuna (drained and rinsed) or canned, cooked Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed)

Sauté the onions with the olive oil in a medium frying pan until slightly translucent. Add the tomatoes, honey, garlic, and oregano. Continue to cook on medium heat. If using, add the chicken or tuna or beans and cook until juice has evaporated. Remove from the heat and add the olives and pineapple. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.  Place the mixture in the center of a plate and place the chips around it.  Serve while still warm.

Tips:

  • If the pineapple in the recipe does not appeal to you, then eat if just before the meal or just after to get the digestive benefit. Mango or papaya will also work in this recipe.
  • Use vegetables chips, organic corn chips, cassava flour chips etc.
  • If you want to consume some raw garlic, then only use one clove while cooking and add the other when the mixture has finished cooking on the stove, at the same times as the black olives and pineapple.
  • Olives are green first and then ripen to become black olives
  • You can make your own vegetable chips by cutting vegetables and dehydrating them.

 

To your radiant health, with love

Heart Disease and Inflammation

Heart Disease and Inflammation

Hi….

Are you confused with so many different information, study results, recommendations out there?

To tell you the truth, I used to be. So many contradictory information!!!  Do you remember the coconut oil “saga”.  Not to mention cholesterol. For decades it was blamed for heart attack. The low fat/ no fat diet craze took over the world and hijacked our health.  Look at the food pyramid!! Recommending inflammation causing food!!

I could go on and on (trust me on that).

So how can we sort out what information to accept as “the truth” or study result as acceptable, what recommendations to follow? The answer is simple. Depending where is the information coming from. Is the source trustworthy, serving our best health or maybe motivated by profit (you know what I mean; prescriptions, a lot of them).

After many years studying human body, pathology and disease my latest focus in my work is on INFLAMMATION. It is the root cause of many chronic diseases of our modern time, including heart disease.

I would like to share a study with you that gives us hope. Especially for us who have heart attacks in our family history.

INTERHEART study (conducted in 52 countries) revealed that approximately 90% of heart diseases could be simply prevented by diet and lifestyle changes. That means 9 out of 10 cases of heart disease can be prevented without drugs. This is huge!!!!

This is a phenomenal news, because it gives us empowerment and hope that we can change our current situation. So, if you are awake late at night wondering are you going to die of heart attack just like mother did this is a great news for you. No more sleepless nights.

To understand the changes we need to make, let’s examine what are the causes. We know so far, it’s not cholesterol. The two most important causes are

  1. INFLAMMATION and
  2. OXIDATIVE DAMAGE

The top four causes of inflammation and oxidative damage are:

  1. Diet
  2. Stress
  3. Physical inactivity
  4. Smoking

Focusing on reducing the factors that contribute to inflammation and oxidative stress we can create better health and a different reality for ourselves. We can feel empowered and take our health in our own hands.

Let’s explore our diet.

The SAD (Standard American Diet) is inflammatory, making us fat and starving our cells at the same time. It is loaded with chemicals (many of them harmful), voided of nutrients, providing empty calories.

What is in SAD?

  1. Highly processed carbohydrates
  2. Sugar and HFCS
  3. Gluten
  4. Casein
  5. Vegetable and seed oil
  6. MSG
  7. Aspartame
  8. Chemicals (emulsifiers, preservatives, colorings etc.)

No wonder why we are inflamed, sick, overweight and overmedicated.

Food should be our medicine. It should make our bodies thrive, create health and longevity. Whole, nutrient dense food gives the right information for our genes (yes, food is information), provides building blocks for our cells, energy and support for our cells to thrive.

In the next email we will explore more in detail food that calms inflammation.


RECIPE

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Serves 1

  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup canned, light coconut milk (carrageenan free)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds, chopped raw walnuts, or chopped raw cashews
  1. Mix the chia seeds with coconut milk and nutmeg in a small bowl and let sit for one hour. This can be done the night before.
  2. Place the cooked quinoa in a medium bowl and add the chia mixture. Mix together.
  3. Mix in the orange pieces and raspberries.
  4. Drizzle the maple syrup on top and top with seeds or nuts or choice.

To cook the quinoa:

  1. Rinse 1/4 cup of dried quinoa in a sieve.
  2. Place in a pot with 2 cups of water and 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt.
  3. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer and cook until the quinoa reaches the desired texture. Normal instructions for cooking quinoa would say only use double the amount of water for the quinoa, but for quinoa, time and temperature are key to preventing the quinoa from being crunchy. Adding extra water allows you to cook it to the texture you like best.
  4. Rinse the quinoa after cooking. This can be prepared ahead of time and the quinoa stored in the refrigerator, or the quinoa can be cooked at the same time as the rest of the meal but start the quinoa first as it will take 25-30 minutes.

To your radiant health, with love

PS! I am still offering free consultation for breast cancer survivors this month. Sign up using this link: https://my.timetrade.com/book/6ZDTG

 

 

 

 

 

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