Discussing the things we do for health today, both weird and wonderful. What do you do on a regular basis to improve your health?
As much as I love food, I love feeling fit and healthy just as much. Or at least close to as much.
As a woman in my late thirties, I’ve started to notice the dreaded signs of aging… Sun spots, post-workout aches that take much longer to disappear, general fatigue, and then of course “fluff” as I like to call it, around the midsection.
My natural response it to fight back hard with healthy eating, intense workouts, anti-aging serums, supplements, lasers, weapons of mass destruction, and so forth. However, something deep within me cries for balance. I want to age gracefully, not look like an overstretched canvas. And I want to enjoy my life… and my food.
Don’t get me wrong, I do still use anti-aging moisturizer and take some supplements. I do try to make sure my family is eating healthy on a regular basis. I do still workout.
However, I do not want to torture myself (much) for the sake of vanity. And I certainly don’t want to obsess about aging. I want to make healthy choices for the right reasons. To live a full and active life, and be around to play with my grand babies one day. Balance is tricky business.
Over the years Dan and I have tried nearly every health trend to come down the pipline for the sake of curiosity. We always wonder how different eating habits, or lifestyle changes might effect us. We feel it’s important conduct personal experiments to see what works best for your body and your life.
So today I’m going to share some of the weird and wonderful things we’ve done or do to improve our health. You’ll have to test them out yourself to know if they will work for you.
The Things We Do for Health
My latest healthy habit is to drink essential oil detox water first thing in the morning. My mom and sister turned me on to Young Living Essential Oils, which are highly concentrated nutrients from various plants that have medicinal properties. For thousands of years people have been using essential oils as a natural way to cure and ward off all sorts of things. You can inhale them, use them topically, and ingest many of them.
I’m not against modern medicine, mind you. I just feel if there is a natural way to cure something, it’s worth trying. After all, for as much good as modern medicine has done, it has created loads of problems as well. Nowadays people pop prescriptions like candy, leading to uncountable issues. Whereas, you never hear about a tragic death caused by essential oil addiction.
You can find essential oils nearly anywhere these days, yet this particular brand guarantees the highest level of purity. (P.S. If you buy other brands of essential oils DO NOT consume them unless they are labeled “food-grade”. Often brands aren’t required to list the chemicals/fillers they add.)
So here’s my detox water recipe. This combination of essential oils supports digestion, lowers stress, and wards off hunger pangs.
- 1 tall glass of water
- 2 drops grapefruit oil – antidepressant, diuretic, and appetite suppressant
- 2 drops lemon oil – antioxidant, antiviral, and promotes proper digestion
- 3 drops bergamot oil – supports digestion, emotional balance, and skin tone
- 1 drop peppermint oil – calming, relieves headaches and inflammation, freshens breath
Simply drop the essential oils in a glass and fill with water. The oil will rise to the surface a bit, but that’s ok.
I also like to add a drop of frankinscense and myrrh oil to my daily moisturizer. Both of these “precious” oils are known for their anti-aging and healing properties. Scientists are now testing frankinscense in cancer curing experiments… Ahem, as it has been used for thousands of years.
(If you want to sign up as a member with Young Living Oils, you get a significant discount on product. Sign Up Here.)
The Scottish Shower. (AKA Hydrotherapy.)
The idea of using hot and cold water to heal and shock your body has been around for thousands of years as well. We still use this principal with hot-cold compresses for injuries. Yet, most of us retreat at the idea of being submerged in cold water. Just remember, if pro athletes are willing to take ice baths on a regular basis, it must hold some value.
The Scottish Shower (or James Bond Shower as some like to call it) essentially means you start out in a very hot shower. Scrub down. Then rinse yourself in the coldest water you can handle. If you can manage to stay under the cold water for 2-5 minutes, that is optimal. If you can’t, work up to it.
The idea is that the cold water running over your skin, after a hot shower, offers many shocking health benefits.
A Hot-Cold Shower…
- Closes your pores and hair follicles for improved skin tone, and stronger silkier hair.
- Bumps up your metabolism.
- Increases circulation.
- Improves your immunity.
- And helps you sleep better at night.
You can read more on the benefits of hydrotherapy here, here and here. I’m certainly not an expert, but I do feel it works. When I practice this regularly I feel more alert in the day and sleep better at night. Plus my skin starts showing improvement after a few days. It’s hard to keep up with, because no body likes to be cold. Yet the more you do it, the faster you get used to it, and you really do feel amazing when up step out of the shower.
Detox teas are blended herbal teas that are great for post-meal bloat. When I’m traveling and eating all sorts of wonderfully delicious naughty foods, I always drink detox tea in the evening so that I can fit back into my pants the next morning. Detox teas naturally eliminate water retention… and some even address gas issues as well. FYI.
Here are some of my favorites:
You can also buy pure dandelion root tea that has the same effect as the blends. I think it’s important to switch them up on occasion, so they still effect on your body as desired.
Supplements We Take
With such a high world-wide population, our soil has taken a beating trying to feed everyone. Although it’s still very important to eats lots of raw produce, our natural foods aren’t necessarily giving us all the nutrients we need, like they once did.
Our family uses these products on a regular basis to supplement nutrients.
Greens+ – A superfood green powder you can take as liquid shot or blend into smoothies. This potent superfood blend is non-gmo, non-soy, non-dairy, gluten free and loaded with ridiculously healthy ingredients that boost your immune system and balance bodily functions. Dan has intense seasonal allergies and this product alone has decreased his allergy attacks significantly.
Arbonne Protein Powder – Some days we just don’t want to make breakfast. This protein powder is a great way to pump a morning smoothie full of plant-based protein, to help curb cravings throughout the morning.
Fizz Sticks – Another fabulous Arbonne product that replaces energy drinks and gives you a boost in a healthy way. I add these to water before a hard workout, or if I hit an afternoon slump.
(If you are interested in trying Arbonne products, you can sign up as a “preferred customer” on their site and get up to 40% off.)
Ok… this one is new to me. A health blog I follow recently started cranking out articles on the benefits of intermittent fasting. After reading a couple of them, I started digging around online to determine the validity of this concept and was surprised at what I found.
The idea of intermittent fasting is that your body needs more rest between meals than we westerners allow. From the time you stop eating in the evening, it takes 12 hours for your body to reach a fasted state where all processes related to food have ceased. Apparently many benefits come from giving your body time to rest in that fasted state: fat burning, growth hormone production (HGH), natural healing, increased immunity, and so on. Many believers skip breakfast and reduce the amount of hours they eat on a daily basis. This is not calorie reduction, per se, it’s just reducing the time in which you consume them. You eat the same healthy diet you are used to, just in a shorter window of time, 7-8 hours on average. You drink water all morning, then have lunch, snacks if needed, and dinner.
Giving your digestive organs the extra rest time in the morning goes against the grain of traditional “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” thinking, yet it’s worth looking into. Remember, although it’s popular at the moment, fasting is something our ancestors have been doing for thousands of years for health and spiritual purposes. This is a re-discovery, not a trend.
Here are some of the articles I found:
We have tried nearly every workout available: spin, hot yoga, circuit training, tabata, interval training, and on and on and on.
I find what makes the greatest impact (on me) is to do three short hard muscle-burning workouts a week that include weights and tabata. Then to get outside and do two longer cardio workouts like a long walk, hike, or jog. When I’m consistent I can feel and see the difference.
However, it’s important to know your body and pay attention to shifts. Be willing to change things up when they don’t work like they once did.
Here are a couple of our past workout articles to help you get motivated!