1. Hydrate: We hear it often…DRINK PLENTY OF FLUID. How much fluid is enough, and what counts? As a general rule, drink half your body weight in ounces of fluid. That means about 65 oz of fluid for a person weighing 130 lb (130 lb / 2 = 65 oz). Highly active people may need more. If you don’t want to count ounces, monitor your urine. A well-hydrated person expels clear, light yellow urine every couple hours throughout the day. That’s right, you should be peeing every couple hours!
The most supportive liquids are pure water, fresh juices, herbal teas and mineral broth. They provide valuable nutrients to your cells, tissues, organs and muscles. Drinks high in sugar, artificial sweeteners and caffeine can act as diuretics (pulling fluid out) and rob the body of nutrients. Dehydration puts added stress on the body and causes spikes in the stress hormone cortisol.
2. Balance blood sugar: This is a topic of its own. Suffice it to say, unbalanced blood sugar stresses the body and leads to poor health. Skipping meals; waiting too long between meals; consuming too much sugar, caffeine, alcohol or fruit; eating too little fat or protein; getting too little sleep; even too much exercise can put huge stress on the body. Repeated cycles of blood sugar spikes and dips can lead to irritability, fat storage, cravings, fatigue, brain fog and poor decision-making.
Create meals that consist of whole, unrefined carbohydrates balanced with fat and protein. Proportions and amounts should stabilize blood sugar for 4-5 hours. This means eating at least three main meals per day and, for some people, two or three snacks. Honor your meal times and keep balanced snacks on hand to guard against blood sugar dips.
3. Balanced meals: Our bodies need a mix of carbohydrates, fat and protein. Skimp on any one of these macronutrients and the body moves into a state of stress.
As the body’s primary energy currency, carbohydrates are critical for brain function. They help regulate fat and protein metabolism, too. Eat a variety of colorful leafy, crunchy, starchy vegetables; fresh seasonal fruits; and whole grains. Pile your plate high. At least 50% of the food you consume in a day should come from this category, with an emphasis on vegetables.
Regardless of your preferred source of protein (plant or animal), it’s important to get an optimal amount each day. Protein is a building material for growth, repair and maintenance, and it is necessary for healthy immune function. Recommended sources include wild fish, organic or pastured meat and poultry, eggs, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. While “optimal” is different for everyone, a good place to start is 2-4 servings/day (1 serving = 3 oz animal or 6 oz plant protein).
Without fat, our bodies don’t function well, and a poor functioning body heightens the response to stress. We need fat for proper metabolism, to make hormones, to transport vitamins, and especially for brain function. Healthful sources of fat include avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, olive oil and ghee. It doesn’t take much. As little as 2-5 tablespoons of fat per day will keep your body happy.
We can’t totally eliminate the stressors that life presents, but by staying well hydrated, balancing blood sugar and eating a good mix of carbohydrates, fats and protein, you can keep your body strong and your immune system resilient for when it’s needed most.
Julie Thenell, BS/MS/NC, believes good health is as close as your kitchen. Her nutrition practice is based on nutrient-dense, whole foods and lifestyle choices that support health and wellness, especially during times of high stress and transitions. Julie’s role is to educate, guide and support individuals who want to break the stress-induced cycle of depletion and regain control of their health. For a free 15-minute phone consultation, contact Julie at 303-442-2492 or email@example.com. Learn more at www.jtcnutrition.com.
Is Stress Hindering Your Digestion? 3 Ways to Help by Jen Marshall, CNT
Got tummy troubles? Digestion disturbances are so common we think it’s normal. But your gut should be a smooth running assembly line: food in, nutrients extracted, and wastes out, repeat three times a day. However many things can go wrong with this process resulting in gas, bloat, pain, constipation, diarrhea, burping, bad breath, and heart burn. Stress is one big factor that can halt the digestion assembly line.
Do you feel like you’re constantly on the run? Jugging work demands with responsibilities at home, speeding to get to your I AM class on time, racing to pick up your kids, and squeezing in summer fun? Well, who’s not? Our culture feeds this lifestyle. The problem is that this “on-the-go” schedule disrupts digestion. It has to do with your nervous system and the stress response.
Your body’s stress response is programmed from ancient times – running away or fighting off the Saber-toothed tiger. When the brain receives the stress signal (“Tiger!”), hormones respond setting actions into motion to send all energy (nutrients and blood) to your arms and legs to fight or flee. Since it’s more important to survive the imminent threat than to digest lunch, all energy is shunted away from the digestive tract because it’s needed elsewhere (“Danger! Run away!”). This is perfect during an actual life-threatening event, but in our modern world “tigers” pop up constantly: traffic jams, an email from an irate boss, financial worries, deadlines… you get the picture. Your nervous system cannot distinguish between an actual threat and just a worry. It responds the same each time.
If you’re eating while on-the-go, you’re not digesting and that can lead to other symptoms downstream.
3 Ways to Maximize Your Digestion
These steps of mindful eating reset your nervous system into “rest and digest” mode and out of “fight or flight” mode.
1.Slow down: sit and eat, and only eat. Don’t multi-task. Take a break from work, leave your desk, and sit somewhere else. Trust me you can take a 15 minute break. You’ll be more productive afterward. Don’t eat while driving. Your nervous system thinks that operating a 3,000 lb. metal object while avoiding other moving objects is stressful.
2.Breathe: take 5 deep breaths before eating. Pause to express gratitude: for your body, the farmers who grew your food and something good about your day. Before jumping up to your next task, take 5 more deep breaths to finish.
3.Chew: not a novel concept, but are you chewing? Chewing stimulates saliva which starts digestion in the mouth. Chewing breaks down your food to make it easier on your stomach. Chewing helps you eat slowly. Try this: take a bite and put your fork down. Chew your bite 10 times. Experts say you should chew each bite 30 times. I say start with 10, it’s a challenge enough.
Families that say grace before eating are spot on.
Bonus benefit: eating slowly stimulates hormones that create satiety and enables you to absorb more nutrients. You’ll be less inclined to reach for a snack later.
Ok, let’s be real for a minute. This won’t happen at every meal, every day. Start with committing to 3 meals per week and see how that feels. Then try a few more.
Further Trouble Shooting Your Digestive Distress
If you’re meditating every day and chewing each bite 30 times and you still have digestive distress, there are other things that can be going on:
Microbiome imbalances – good bugs in the wrong place or too many bad ones
Functional nutrition analysis and testing can help you get to the bottom of it.
Reduce your daily stress and maximize nutrient absorption by slowing down, breathing and chewing. Happy digesting!
As a functional, certified nutrition therapist, Jen Marshall specializes in digestion and its connection to the rest of your body. Your gut is the source of your nutrients and fuel, home to most of your immune system and where inflammation can originate. Immune imbalances such as seasonal allergies and autoimmunity also stem from your gut. Jen sees clients at the Louisville Wellness Center and as an I AM Premium Perks Partner offers a 20% discount on initial appointments to I AM members.
Who doesn't love a good massage? But sometimes the expense and time it takes to get one is less than motivating. Here's a fun list to inspire you.
25 Reasons To Get A Massage...TODAY!
1.Relieve stress 2.Boost immunity 3.Reduce anxiety 4.Manage low-back pain 5.Help fibromyalgia pain 6.Reduce muscle tension 7.Enhance exercise performance 8.Relieve tension headaches 9.Sleep better 10.Ease symptoms of depression 11. Improve cardiovascular health 12. Reduce pain of osteoarthritis 13. Decrease stress in cancer patients 14. Improve balance in older adults 15. Decrease rheumatoid arthritis pain 16. Temper effects of dementia 17. Promote relaxation 18. Lower blood pressure 19. Decrease symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 20. Help chronic neck pain 21. Lower joint replacement pain 22. Increase range of motion 23. Decrease migraine frequency 24. Improve quality of life in hospice care 25. Reduce chemotherapy-related nausea
Massage is good medicine!
In 2012 Janice Owens took a giant leap, moved on from a 20 year career as Director of Education at a non-profit in Palm Beach, Florida and landed in Boulder, Colorado. Along the way she became licensed in massage therapy with certifications and training in oncology massage, Structural Energetic Release, Reiki, Raindrop Therapy and continues to grow, learning and collaborating with others in the community.
Janice believes that therapeutic massage is beneficial for everyone’s general health and well-being. Her intuitive touch assists in providing a massage to assist in reducing your aches, pains and negative stress. Seeing a client totally let go during a massage session is most rewarding.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to." "I don't much care where –" "Then it doesn't matter which way you go.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Without direction, it doesn't matter much what we do or how we train. We need a beginning point and an end point.
The Courage Corner is a place where you can focus your thoughts and efforts, while on the road of all purpose conditioning, to hone in on one particular aspect of fitness or health.
You KNOW you need to work on this one thing, but maybe you've been putting it off.
Maybe you ran the Bolder Boulder one lousy minute slower than you'd hoped, so this will be the year of improving your running speed. Maybe you've always wanted to do an unassisted pull-up/chin-up. Maybe your goal is to learn everything you can about getting 8 good quality hours of sleep! Personally, I was inspired by Hugh Jackman, who is my same "tender age" of 46, and his entry into the *1,000# club. So I looked up what the women's equivalent to the club entry is (600#) and thought that may be "fun" to work toward for myself.
Whatever your aim is, no doubt it will take some courage to stay true to that objective. Set an intention. Share your ambition with like-minded people at IAM. Cheer on others reaching for their best selves. Join me in the Courage Corner this June and beyond!
Christine Neff Elevate Conditioning
*the 1,000# club is the sum total in pounds of three lifts, the bench press, the squat, and the dead lift. All three must be completed within 3 hours.
Working out isn't always something we are motivated to do. However adding a buddy reaps more rewards than simply giving us a reason to show up.
Working out with a partner has also been shown to:
Help us perform better during aerobic tasks. (as proven by studies at Michigan University)
Be more likely, even from a simple phone call each two weeks to boost the amount of exercise you do by up to 78%. (as proven by studies at Stanford University)
Maximize motivation when paired with someone about 40% more fit than you are.
Keep you working out more consistently longer. In fact a study at Indiana University showed that couples who work out together had a 6.3% drop out rate, and those who worked out independently had a 43% drop out rate.
Beyond studies, it's common sense that it's simply WAY more fun to have a buddy or group of fun and inspiring people to support you. That's why we love the classes at I.A.M.!!
- Add bananas, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla to blender. Blend for at least 2 minutes. - Heat pan to medium heat and add about a tablespoon or so of coconut oil - Once oil and pan are heated, pour mixture directly from blender into pan to create about 2-3 inch pancakes (I fit 4 in a pan at a time) - Let cook almost all the way through before flipping. They will bubble through and should not be too hard to flip. Note that they will be darker than “regular” pancakes - Once all pancakes are made, toss the sliced fruit in the heated pan and stir frequently until fruit is heated. Serve ontop
These sweet, spicy, slightly salty nuts make a great snack, appetizer and garnish for salads and desserts. Once cooled, they'll keep in an airtight container for a week or two, and they are dairy and gluten free!
Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk sugar, salt and spices in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk egg white until light and frothy. Add nuts and toss until evenly coated with egg white. Sprinkle sugar and spice mixture over nuts and toss to combine well. Spread nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until dry, 40 to 50 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.
Per serving (About 1 oz/31g-wt.): 170 calories (120 from fat), 13g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 5g protein, 10g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 0mg cholesterol, 180mg sodium
Ingredients: 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated skim milk 3/4 cup egg whites 1/2 teaspoon salt 1-2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (depending on your spice preference) 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/3-2/3 cup Stevia or your sweetener preference (depending on how sweet you want it)
Directions: - Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. - Pour into 9-inch pie pan sprayed with cooking spray. - Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes; reduce temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for 45 minutes more. - Pie is done when knife inserted into center comes out clean.
Our grand opening was amazing!!! We had a great turnout and raised $1,700 for the Bridge House!!!! Holy cow! We are humbled and grateful for all those who came to help support us and the Bridge House. We LOVE what we do and are SO grateful to be doing it!