The No Coffee Experiment

Well, I’m on day ten of drinking tea instead of coffee to see if it would affect the burgeoning joint pain in my fingers.  I decided to try this because my mother has some bad joint deformity in her fingers at 81 years old, and I noticed that my pointer finger knuckle was looking like it was about to take the same journey. I can’t say I have pain necessarily, just some swelling and tenderness if I squeeze it. I am not giving up caffeine, just the coffee. However I estimate I’ve gone from 500 mg of caffeine a day to about 150 mg, which is the equivalent of about 1 cup of brewed coffee.

So on day ten I’m about to throw in the towel, because I’m not noticing one bit of difference in my hands. I did a blood test last year that didn’t show any inflammation from coffee, but I know not all inflammatory markers are measured in every test so I did the elimination to see if it made a difference. Coffee is listed for exclusion on autoimmune protocols, and since I know I can’t consume nightshades, gluten or dairy I figured it would be worth a try.

I haven’t noticed any improvement in sleep and I mostly just feel more tired at the end of the day. My digestion is the same. No miracle skin improvement or energy boosts. For the most part I’m just sad because I can’t have my coffee. I don’t like tea and half the time it upsets my stomach. Therefore in the spirit of not depriving myself further joy, I’m going back on the juice! Upside is I’ve greatly decreased the amount of caffeine I have to have, so I’m going to stick to just one cup (12oz size) of the magical java daily for now.

 

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The Magic Pill is Real Food – So you’ve decided to be healthy. Now what?

So much information, so little time. We all want to be healthier, but with so many experts telling you what you should be eating or what supplements you should be taking it can be confusing. I say strip it down to the basics. Just eat real food.

What is real food as I define it? Sustainably raised meat, poultry & eggs, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds. What isn’t it? Processed food like bread, pasta, cereal, or pretty much anything with a label. Most of what’s in the grocery store actually. Typical SAD (Standard American Diet) food. Does it mean you can never have a treat again? No. Once you make improvements in your health, you can have occasional splurges. For me personally, my digestive health and overall wellbeing improved so much typical SAD food isn’t even tempting. I’ve become a much better cook and I’ve learned to genuinely enjoy whole food based treats.

I’m not a nutritionist and have no medical credentials, so what I offer here is not in any way medical or nutritional advice. I think of myself as a whole food facilitator. When you have decided to make improvements in your diet, it is hard work. Most of us are so entrenched in our food preparation and eating habits we don’t even know where to start. I’ve been down the path and regained my health. I no longer rely on allergy medicine, heart burn medication, Nsaids or acetaminophen to feel operational. My migraine frequency continues to diminish.  So I want to help you if you want to try it out! If you are ready…dive in.

STEP 1: Clean the crap out of your kitchen. Box up unopened SAD food and take it to the food bank. If it is opened, throw it out. This includes cereal, bread, crackers, chips, anything with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils-canola, soy, safflower, corn, etc. JUST GET RID OF IT! This is not negotiable. If it is in your house, you will eat it. Set yourself up for success.

STEP 2: Meal plan. This includes making shopping lists and cooking several meals for the week. Plan on at least five hours to get yourself set up for the week. The upside is you’ll have free time during the week because you’ll have planned so well. No need to spend a bunch of money on cookbooks to start off, there are plenty of free resources to get you started.  Here are some great links for recipes and information on real food eating:

http://www.thepaleomom.com/    http://everydaypaleo.com/    http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/                                                   http://nomnompaleo.com/recipeindex

STEP 3: Sleep. At least 8-9 hours a night. This is not negotiable. Get a sleep mask and earplugs if it helps.

STEP 4: Get more sunshine & increase your activity. Find a walking/workout buddy. If that isn’t an option, use a website like http://www.meetup.com to find other people in your area that have the same health and fitness goals. Make plans, not excuses.

That’s all I have for now.  Hope it helps! If you have questions or need tips or encouragement, e-mail me at: haclife@outlook.com

Confessions of a Beautycounter Consultant

I have a confession to make. I signed up to sell Beautycounter before I even tried their products.

Beautycounter lured me into the life of sales with their strong message of education and advocacy. Their belief that each consultant has the power to share the message of safer beauty and personal care products is empowering. Their work in Washington D.C. to actually make this happen is admirable. When I heard their mission statement- “Our mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone.”- I was sold.  It is powerful in its accuracy and simplicity. How many of you know how safe the products you are putting on your body are? I wasn’t aware that the U.S. only bans 30 ingredients out of 80,000 that are used in personal products before I went to a Beautycounter social. Did you? The E.U. bans 1400 and Canada 600. This bothered our CEO Gregg Renfrew and she decided to do something about it. Beginning with a list of 1500 ingredients that Beautycounter will never use. More importantly, she along with a few other beauty industry executives are sharing the need for stronger regulations in their own industry with members of Congress. Why does this matter you ask? You could currently be slathering on known carcinogenic (cancer causing) or endocrine disrupting (hormone levels) products in the form of soap, lotion, shampoo or makeup on your body. Beautycounter helps provide alternatives that are safer and if you don’t want Beautycounter they will provide you with resources to determine what other brands might be safer. Personally, I’ve never used any safer products that perform as beautifully as Beautycounter’s do.

Another quality I enjoy about Beautycounter is that it is a B Certified Corporation which means it values people, planet and profit equally. Working for a company that believes it can help solve social problems, help the environment and voluntarily meet higher standards of transparency (you KNOW what is in BC products), accountability, and performance is inspiring.

I’m delighted to be a part of a company that values my health and wellness and provides me with the opportunity to share and educate family and friends about the products they use. I’m part of a movement through Beautycounter to educate, advocate and provide fantastic beauty and personal care products. And I like it. 

 

My Beautycounter Life So Far

Dew___Tint_Skin

It has been three months since I joined the ranks of Beautycounter  as a customer and  consultant and I wanted to briefly share my experience.

In one word it has been positive. The improvement to my skin through the use of their Essential Nourishing line and their No.1 Brightening Facial Oil has been extremely encouraging. I’ve learned to love facial mists and oils, two products I never knew existed.  I’ve been using the makeup from their Flawless in Five collection and have never felt so put together in my life. The best part about all of these products is that they last. Beautycounter has made safer beauty super high performing so it takes a small amount to get results. I am still using all my original purchases three months in and from what my mentor is telling me I can count on around six months for most of the products in my regimen.

As a consultant I feel encouraged, valued and empowered by Beautycounter as a company and the mission they are on. Yes it is direct retail, because they feel their message is best shared one on one. Honestly as soon as I started using their products and learning about how much vigilance goes into the procuring and testing of ingredients, I wanted to share it with my family and friends. Having a little extra income is great, but knowing that I am helping to spread the word about using cleaner & safer personal care products gives me a sense of satisfaction. Doing drop offs so people can use before they buy is fantastic. Seriously, once you use these products you’ll be sold.

The best part about Beautycounter is their belief in the importance of transparency in regards to their ingredients. You should be able to find out from companies before you use their products if they avoid using ingredients linked to cancer. While it seems like common sense, companies are allowed to use endocrine disruptive and toxic chemicals in personal care products you use every day. Beautycounter is working to change that and has created a Never List to demonstrate that devotion to selling safer beauty & personal care products.

 

The Magic Pill is Real Food – So you’ve decided to be healthy. Now what?

So much information, so little time. We all want to be healthier, but with so many experts telling you what you should be eating or what supplements you should be taking it can be confusing. I say strip it down to the basics. Just eat real food.

What is real food as I define it? Sustainably raised meat, poultry & eggs, fish, dairy, vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds. What isn’t it? Processed food like bread, pasta, cereal, or pretty much anything with a label. Most of what’s in the grocery store actually. Typical SAD (Standard American Diet) food. Does it mean you can never have a treat again? No. Once you make improvements in your health, you can have occasional splurges. For me personally, my digestive health and overall wellbeing improved so much typical SAD food isn’t even tempting. I’ve become a much better cook and I’ve learned to genuinely enjoy whole food based treats.

I’m not a nutritionist and have no medical credentials, so what I offer here is not in any way medical or nutritional advice. I think of myself as a whole food facilitator. When you have decided to make improvements in your diet, it is hard work. Most of us are so entrenched in our food preparation and eating habits we don’t even know where to start. I’ve been down the path and regained my health. I no longer rely on allergy medicine, heart burn medication, Nsaids or acetaminophen to feel operational. My migraine frequency continues to diminish.  So I want to help you if you want to try it out! If you are ready…dive in.

STEP 1: Clean the crap out of your kitchen. Box up unopened SAD food and take it to the food bank. If it is opened, throw it out. This includes cereal, bread, crackers, chips, anything with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils-canola, soy, safflower, corn, etc. JUST GET RID OF IT! This is not negotiable. If it is in your house, you will eat it. Set yourself up for success.

STEP 2: Meal plan. This includes making shopping lists and cooking several meals for the week. Plan on at least five hours to get yourself set up for the week. The upside is you’ll have free time during the week because you’ll have planned so well. No need to spend a bunch of money on cookbooks to start off, there are plenty of free resources to get you started.  Here are some great links for recipes and information on real food eating:

http://www.thepaleomom.com/    http://everydaypaleo.com/    http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/                                                   http://nomnompaleo.com/recipeindex

STEP 3: Sleep. At least 8-9 hours a night. This is not negotiable. Get a sleep mask and earplugs if it helps.

STEP 4: Get more sunshine & increase your activity. Find a walking/workout buddy. If that isn’t an option, use a website like http://www.meetup.com to find other people in your area that have the same health and fitness goals. Make plans, not excuses.

That’s all I have for now.  Hope it helps! If you have questions or need tips or encouragement, e-mail me at: haclife@outlook.com