Thursday, February 18, 2016

Measure Your Mental & Physical Health by Looking in Your Trashcan

I learned the difference between garbage and trash early in life having grown up on a small farm.

Garbage consists of things that will naturally decompose such as apple cores, banana peels, and vegetable trimmings – basically, anything that comes from the kitchen that will naturally decompose is garbage.

At our house garbage was also defined by things that the chickens and pigs would eat. Everything else was considered trash. If you are someone who composts for your garden, then you know the difference between garbage and trash.

So how can looking in your trashcan help you determine how mentally and physically healthy you are? It’s simple - you are what you eat. This phrase originated in 1826 by French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote:
“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”

He was stating that the foods one eats have a direct correlation to one’s state of mind and health.

More recently, Dr. David Perlmutter explains in his book Brain Maker that a sick gut flora affects not only the immune system but mental health as well. Dr. Perlmutter believes that microorganisms in the gut have been undervalued by traditional medicine. Some scientists are now calling the intestinal flora the “second brain”.
He goes on to explain that he believes poor gut flora is the cause for the rapid increase in neurological diseases including ADD, ADHD, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
So what does this have to do with your trashcan? Everything! If you’re eating a healthy diet jam-packed with fruits and vegetables you will find that your trashcan consists of more garbage than trash.

Although most of us are aware of the importance of good nutrition, too many of us allow our busy schedules and easy access to fast foods to get in the way of eating properly. If we want to be healthy, stay healthy, or improve deteriorated health, then it’s important to look at several factors including stress levels, exercise, sleeping habits, and proper nutrition.

It’s unfortunate that the typical American diet is loaded with unhealthy fats, sugars, artificial flavorings and colorings, and preservatives. It’s important to understand that whatever you eat gets processed through your digestive tract moving through your bloodstream and into all parts of your body.

We’ve become a nation addicted to the quick fix: everything from calorie free drinks so that we can enjoy ourselves and not suffer the consequences of calories to relying on pharmaceuticals to fix the problems that we ourselves create by not taking care of ourselves. It’s time we start taking responsibility for our own health.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

― Hippocrates
ca. 460 BC – 370 BC
I challenge you to look in your trashcan and compare the amount of garbage versus the amount of trash. If your trashcan is filled with empty boxes, processed food containers, and bottles and cans from beverages filled with artificial sweeteners, colorings, and flavors then your health is at risk. It’s time to turn that around and it’s never too late to start. If your diet is completely out of control and you think you may need help you should contact a nutritional expert. There are also several great books available. Here are a few recommendations:

Brain Maker by David Perlmutter

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar - Your Brain's Silent Killers by David Perlmutter

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger

No Grain, No Pain: A 30-Day Diet for Eliminating the Root Cause of Chronic Pain by Peter Osborne

The End of Diabetes: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes by Joel Fuhrman


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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Your Doctor May Be Keeping You Sick

As a Health and Wellness Coach, I have numerous conversations with others concerning Western medicine. There are some who strongly believe that the majority of Western medicine is a conspiracy to keep us sick for the sake of profits especially when it comes to the pharmaceutical industry. I do not believe this is true. I believe that the majority of our medical and pharmaceutical community deserve our respect.

Let’s consider the fact that some patients would damage their health even further or even die without medical and pharmaceutical intervention. If I have a heart attack or break a bone I want to be taken to the hospital. If I suffered from an illness such as epilepsy, high blood pressure, or diabetes I would rely on my medication to help keep me safe.

The problem as I see it is that many believe Western medicine has all the answers when in fact they do not. As someone who helps people recover from chronic health conditions I explained to my clients that when a doctor tells them there is no cure, it doesn’t mean there isn’t one. It simply means medical science has not found one yet.

In my opinion, it is a mistake when any medical professional steals hope from a patient. When a medical professional embeds the idea into a patient’s mind that there is no cure or that they only have a few months to live they are helping to keep the patient sick or even die.

Many of us are familiar with the placebo effect. This is when a substance such as a sugar pill has positive effects as the result of the "patient's perception".  But have you heard of the nocebo effect? The nocebo effect is when a detrimental effect on one’s health is produced by a psychological or psychosomatic factor such as negative expectations of treatment or prognosis. And this is exactly what happens to many patients when their health care professional’s words rob them of any hope of recovery.

Medical science is exactly that - a science. Science is the study of a particular subject through observation and experimentation. Science accepts or rejects ideas and draws conclusions based on the evidence. Most likely, if you are diagnosed with a terminal condition and you ask your doctor what your chances are, the answer you hear will be based on statistics. And that’s fine. Personally, I would prefer to hear the truth. However, I would love for my doctor to instill some hope no matter how minute. Even if there were less than a 1% chance of recovery, I would welcome the words, “There is a chance for recovery – There is hope.”

I am reminded of when my 79-year-old mother was diagnosed with cancer. Her doctor told her she had six months to live. In my mother’s mind the priest and the doctor were never wrong. The seed had been planted. We visited a second doctor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, one of the top cancer treatment centers in New York City. The doctor was young and I recall watching as he tried to give her a glimmer of hope, but it was useless. The doctor whom she had trusted for nearly 20 years had already planted the seed and it was growing quickly. The words of her doctor became a self-fulfilling prophecy. My mother died nearly six months to the day of that diagnosis.

I wonder how things may have been different for my mother if her doctor had told her, “It could be six months or it could be six years.” Unfortunately, we will never know the answer to that.

Time, sympathy and understanding must be lavishly dispensed, but the reward is to be found in that personal bond which forms the greatest satisfaction of the practice of medicine. One of the essential qualities of the clinician is interest in humanity, for the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient.

— Dr. Francis W. Peabody 
Although I require few medical visits, I have noticed that when I make an appointment to see my doctor, I immediately begin to feel better. I’ve experienced times when I began feeling so much better while driving to my doctor’s office that I wondered if I really needed the appointment after all. Then I read about a powerful placebo effect, the power to heal that comes from a caring and compassionate doctor, in the book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin M.D. What I read in Dr. Rankins fascinating book was nearly a word-for-word description of what I experience  just by making the appointment with and driving to my doctor – a doctor that I believe truly cares about me. I am fortunate to have such a doctor.

What does this mean to you? It means that having the right doctor can make a huge difference in your health and recovery. There may be times when choosing skill over compassion is the right choice, but if you can get both then choose both.

How do you feel about your doctor? And how does your doctor feel about you? Choose wisely.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Do Affirmations Leave You Feeling Hopeless?

Affirmations have been touted over the last century by many of the most highly respected thought leaders.

Even as far back as 1937, Napoleon Hill recommended affirmations as a way to achieve dreams, goals, and desires in his famous book, Think and Grow Rich

Today, Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Abraham-Hicks and even Tony Robbins (just to name a few) recommend affirmations as an effective way to change your life.

It is believed that repeating a positive statement over and over can shift your reality and help you to attain the life you desire. But for some, they simply do not work.

Don’t worry, you are not broken. The reason affirmations don’t work for some people is simple. There is a deep-seated subconscious belief that is contrary to the affirmation.

Dr. Bruce Lipton, a developmental biologist best known for promoting the idea that genes and DNA can be manipulated by a person's beliefs tells us that the subconscious mind operates at 40 million bits per second whereas the conscious mind operates at a mere 40 bits per second. Consequently, your subconscious mind is driving the train of your life.

Despite all the best intentions, massive amounts of desire, and attempts to use physical effort, you are simply doomed to fail if your subconscious is working against you. This often leads to feelings of complete hopelessness causing one to simply give up.

Dr. Lipton also tells us that there are ways to literally change our pre-coded DNA and shift those unwanted subconscious beliefs! You are not doomed to a life driven by deep-seated unwanted subconscious beliefs, nor are you a victim of your DNA.

One of his favorite methods for changing subconscious beliefs is a process called PSYCH-K® which he writes about in his book, The Biology of Belief. Although PSYCH-K has been available for 25 years, I just discovered it in the spring of 2015.
 “PSYCH-K represents one of the most important, efficient, effective, and rapid change processes that is available on this planet today.” – Dr. Bruce Lipton, PSYCH-K Online Facilitator’s Conference 2014

So what exactly is PSYCH-K®?

According to the originator, Rob Williams, PSYCH-K is:
  • A non-invasive, interactive process of change with a proven record of success!

  • A simple, yet powerful process to change subconscious beliefs that are self-limiting and self-sabotaging.

  • A process that transcends the standard methods of visualization, affirmations, will power, and positive thinking and is especially effective in the areas of behavioral/habit change, wellness, and stress reduction.

I have been able to transform my own life as well as the lives of my clients since learning PSYCH-K® and because of this, it is my intention to introduce this powerful process to as many people as possible;
  • to anyone who feels as though they just can’t get out of their own way,

  • to other coaches and facilitators dedicated to improving the lives of others.

This is why I’ve decided to bring PSYCH-K to my hometown in North Carolina. I will be sponsoring a Basic Workshop the first weekend in March 2016. If you are interested in learning more about PSYCH-K or would like to attend a workshop, simply click this link.

Let’s get people healed!

Other recommended reading: PSYCH-K... The Missing Piece/Peace In Your Life