Healing What Ails You

Healing What Ails You

Admit it…all of us have something wrong with us that we are trying to change.  And this may not be a sickness–but it is something that bothers us and we think about it all the time.

For some of us we may think we are: too tall, too short, too thin, too hippy, no hips, big chest, little chest, thinning hair, hair in places you should not have hair…

But for others of us we have pain in our backs, our joints, our neck. We are tired all the time and irritable. We get headaches, our allergies flare up–and not in a pretty way. We feel like the flu is coming on or maybe a cold. We are just not sure but we know something is wrong–so we go to the doctor.

And the doctors run tests, they check us over and they give us the diagnosis:  there is nothing wrong with us. Perhaps we are just over tired, stressed out. Get some exercise they say and try to eat better and they send us on our way.

Sometimes we believe them and go home–relieved–that we don’t have anything–even though we feel like we have something.

Sometimes we don’t believe them because we feel so lousy. So we go for a second opinion, or we seek out a nutritionist, a health coach, a trainer to whip us up into shape again.

There is a whole industry around fixing what is making us feel sick–but we overlook the most basic healer of all–ourselves!

We are the ones that made ourselves–and sometimes our families–feel sick. And luckily, according to the doctor, we are not sick–with a real diagnosable illness yet.

But if we keep doing what we are doing we are certainly headed for the lifestyle diseases:  diabetes, heart conditions, allergies, obesity, IBS, etc.

Some of us have these things but not to a level that shows up on the tests yet–just to a level in which makes us feel miserable because we know exactly what we are doing to our bodies.

Why did we do this to ourselves?  Well because it is easy and because it becomes an addiction.

Look in your pantry–if it looked anything like mine a few years ago–it is probably filled with boxes and bags, cans, jars and bottles. An abundance of food for our in a hurry, have to run out the door, lives.

If we start reading the labels on this abundance we will begin to realize why we feel so bad. And when I say we are addicted, I am really not kidding.  

We are addicted to sugar, to caffeine, to salt and a host of other things–including an addiction to getting our meals on the table quickly so we don’t have to waste time.

And these addictions are bad, because not only are they hard to break, but day after day, they contribute to even higher and more instense desire for the stuff that makes us feel sick.

This is what I did to get on the road to recovery in 2 steps, this was not easy and I struggle still but I am really starting to see the benefits.

1) I cleaned out my pantry and my refrigerator.

This happened in waves.  First and easiest–I took out everything that was expired or had been opened and abandoned and had gone bad.

Second, and to my shame, I ate the foods that were still good until we were out of them. I just could not throw things out.

Third, I stopped buying the stuff that is not good for us.  I started with chips and cereals, cookies, processed, boxed and canned goods etc. You get the picture.  

This process took me about 18 months. Mostly because there would be days when the sugary, processed, crunchy, salty fake buttery goodness stuff would find its way back into my home.

2) I started buying and making good foods.

The hardest part and my continued struggle today is finding good ideas for good meals that are interesting and tasty and easy to make.  For example, eggs are good for us and I love eggs but I cannot have eggs in every meal.

Plus I still like easy, fast meals to prepare and eat on the go!

I am continuously learning about nutrition to incorporate the best balance for me and my family.  

I have discovered protein drinks and shakes (and after trying everything on the market I could find–found a brand that works well for me!)

Now I am reworking all my recipes, and watching my portion size.  I’m still in Step 2.

But already I feel (and see) the benefits of these changes. I feel better, I have lost weight, I have more energy–many of my aches and pains have gone away.

And I did this myself!  I am healing myself by learning and changing for the better.  It did not happen overnight, but it did happen–I did it and so can you!

What challenges do you have in making the dietary changes you need to change the symptoms that ail you?  Drop me a comment or send me an email at emptynestsavvy@gmail.com.

We only have one life–Have fun!  

The Extremes

The Extremes

If you have been following my blog you know that I am on a journey to make my life the best it can be…faster, smarter and better…and hopefully give you ideas for your life as well.

Along this journey I have been examining life have have learned a great deal about myself, others and life in general.

Part of what I am digging into is human nutrition–me being the main human I am examining. I mean really, how can we live our best life if we are sick and tired all the time?

I for one was sick and tired of being sick and tired–so I was ready for the changes I am making and up to now am happy and better for it.

With that said I want to talk about changes–and when they go wrong–and that usually happens when we mere people take things to an extreme.

Most–but of course not all–people make nutritional changes to their diets because they want to lose weight. We realize we cannot continue on the upward trend the scale is making.

So we go on a diet–and we lose weight–and then we go back to our merry lives and we gain it all back and more…so we go on another diet.

I know…I’ve done it this myself and so we conclude that those diets don’t work.  Are the diets to blame? Or the dieters?

In my opinion it is neither. Here is what I mean:  We start a nutritional program and we are committed to it and we lose weight.  Both the program and the person are successful UNTIL we encounter something that doesn’t fit in the program.

Like donuts brought in by a generous coworker, an invitation to a baby shower or a birthday party.  Or Thanksgiving and Christmas come around again–and the diet is broken.

The real reason this happens is because most diet programs and the people following them–yes, including me–take them to an extreme.

If the program calls for no sugar, we try to cut out every drop of sugar in our entire lives. A no carb diet? We kill ourselves making sure we have not one gram of carbohydrates. Low fat? We cut out anything with any kind of fat–even the good fat that our bodies need!

Then there are the fad programs that call for eliminating everything but one component in order to lose weight: The grapefruit diet: only grapefruit; the coffee diet: black coffee 3 times a day! The banana diet–well you get the picture.

These ideas are not sustainable and they are not healthy!

Some can be very dangerous because it changes the functions of the body and can cause major problems–especially if you are seriously cutting back on carbs or not getting enough vitamins and minerals needed for healthy functions.

However, I do believe that all diets or nutritional programs have good ideas that can be used to make lasting change.

And change is the hardest part of all of this.  Instead of going to extremes each one of us needs to find the nutritional program that works for us–stop making excuses and then just make the life changes we need to be healthy and happy.

No extremes, no excuses.  Make your life better–faster and smarter.

Send me your comments on how your nutritional plan is going (or not going!)  or email me at emptynestsavvy@gmail.com with your thoughts and questions! We are all here to share and help each other!

 

To Diet or Not to Diet

To Diet or Not to Diet

As I have been studying and learning and experimenting with different “diet” options–I have come to a profound conclusion:  Diets don’t work.

I know, most of you knew this already.  That is not to say that all the diet books and experts and suggestions are wrong. Diets don’t work because people that try them–me–do not take our lifestyles into account.

Diets are part of our lifestyles–and our cultures.  As Americans we embrace food like–well hot dogs and apple pie! We celebrate the diverse cultures in this nation by going to Chinese on Tuesdays and Mexican on Thursdays.

In between we eat all the “stuff” we buy at the grocery store that is so convenient and instant and tastes so good because it is processed and full of chemicals that mimic salty, sugary, soft, crunchy, flavorful yummy stuff.

Never mind that most is artificial and full of preservatives so they can sit in the warehouse, then the store, then our pantries–until we are ready to eat them.

And yet, we want  to be healthy and fit. So we go on a diet, we join the gym and we rock it! We lose 10, 15, sometimes 20 pounds–look great–feel great, and then stop. We go back to eating all the things we “gave up” during the diet, we stop going to the gym.

Slowly but surely the pounds come back and sometime they bring additional friends–making us heavier and in worse shape than before.

What we forgot was our lifestyle–not the foods. Our diets are not something we can do for a while and then we can stop when we reach a specific goal. Diets were never meant to be “a temporary eating phenomenon”.

A diet, by definition, is the sum of the food consumed by an organism or group. A noun.  Dieting–the verb–is the deliberate selection of food to control body weight or nutrient intake. So we verb the heck out of ourselves!

The question becomes are we happy living like this? In a constant argument with ourselves about our food choices. Feeling bloated and swollen and uncomfortable in our own skin.

I was not. So I have been experimenting with all kinds of diets to see which one “fit”. Of course, they didn’t “fit”–not for long anyway.

If you are in your 40s or 50s, like me, or beyond you know this will not work–because we have been experimenting like this most of our lives.

What I failed to admit to myself (because I am pretty sure I have known this all along) is that is not the food–it’s the lifestyle. The lifestyle brings with it the food.

As part of the master plan I have been working on is a major change in lifestyle. I have decided that I will eat a scientifically researched and proven healthy diet of what my body needs to function and thrive, in the amounts that it needs and nothing more. The optimal word is NEEDS.

Some, I know, are with me on this journey–they have already accepted and embraced–what I am coming to know as truth. Others know this to be true–but are just not ready yet. Its ok…

Having this lifestyle means that I am going to respect my meal times, the portion sizes of my meals and the foods I will include in meals. And everything else is unnecessary.

My lifestyle has to change, so my foods will change, so I can live the healthy and fit life I want to live.

In the next few posts, I will take you through part of my journey and why this lifestyle sounds better and feels better each day!

Don’t forget to love yourself today! And have fun!

Changes, Changes, Changes

Changes, Changes, Changes

I knew  once I was an “empty-nester” that everything would change. That I would change. And that things needed to change.

Change is inevitable–it happens everyday and sometime we don’t even know we are changing.  Most of the time change is for the better–sometimes though we don’t change or we resist change with all of our being and I wonder why we do that?

2018 is my year of massive change–from accepting that my birdies are becoming independent, to decluttering the house of past “stuff”  (and I am in no way from being finished!), to rethinking my future plans, and generally trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up!

Who knew all this change would feel so good?  If I had known I was going to enjoy it so much–I would have changed many things, many years ago!

I am meeting new people and having new experiences and generally just having a ball.  Who knew?

And so I wonder why we, as humans, resist change so strongly.  Why we push back when things change, and why we generally have a bleak outlook that somehow “change” will be bad.

Imagine if nothing had changed in the last 30 years.  I certainly would not be writing a blog right now–since it would not exist. Nor would you be reading anything like a blog on a smart phone, laptop or tablet.

Communication between people would still be, well–unchanged!  We would be talking on a telephone that is ATTACHED to a wall–by a CORD! And we would only be able to talk to one person at a time–getting a busy signal if you tried calling a phone number that was already engaged!

By the way, all our phone numbers would be written down in this little alphabetical diary called a Phone Book–not saved in Contacts!

(For those who are young enough to have no idea what I’m talking about, suffice it to say that you are living in a spectacular time of amazing technology!)

Things have changed so much! And we mere humans have changed with the things–whether we wanted to or not, or whether we consciously noticed we were changing in the first place.

Who would have thought 30 years ago that we would be buying bottled water!  We used to drink it right out of the tap–without filtering it! And now we don’t even think twice when we plop down $1.25 for a bottle of WATER!  

I used to pay 10¢ for a cold Orange Fanta in a glass bottle!  Ah, those were the days–but these days are phenomenal!

Change is everywhere and it ensures that our minds are engaged in learning everything that is new. It opens new horizons for us that we never thought possible.

We are better informed and better able to locate information than ever before!  If we don’t remember something, don’t know something or need a step by step video on how to do something we can just go out into the internet and “Google” it!

Even if we are unsure what to type in to find the right result–we could just ask SIRI–and she’ll be happy to find it for us!

Yes, change is good! It’s exciting and dynamic.  Everything that is not changing or resisting this natural change is being left behind, falling apart or doing severe damage to the people it affects.

Embrace the changes in your life–it is good,  it is necessary and it’s fun!

What changes are you enjoying the most? What changes have been the most challenging? What do you wish had not changed, and why?

Comment below!  Join FB and Pinterest and join the change!

Have a SAVVY New Year!

Have a SAVVY New Year!

Happy 2018! The New Year brings with its very name the promise of a fresh start, a new beginning, an opportunity for change.

If you are an empty nester, a soon to be empty nester, or if you are a one person or one couple family, the beginning of the year gives us an open door to start formulating THE PLAN.

THE PLAN is what I call “building a new life”.  Not that the old life was bad in any way–it is just time for a change.  And creating a new life takes time–much more than one year–so our resolutions should put us on our way to that new life…not just change one aspect about ourselves.

Here are 4 things I am going to implement and that I think you should think about as we make New Year Resolutions or begin THE PLAN:

  1. Have a reason for the change
  2. Make changes in your life that can be measured
  3. Understand that a change in one part of your life will change other parts of your life…and
  4. Begin:  take that first step and keep moving forward!

So my -every year in most recent memory- resolutions have been:  

  1. Lose 10 pounds
  2. Get in Shape
  3. Be a better listener
  4. Organize my house
  5. Get my finances in order

My resolutions never had a reason behind them. And so, year after year, I failed to reach the resolutions I had set for myself.

Why do we do this to ourselves?  I really don’t know.  What I do know is that we can be better in choosing resolutions/plans that will actually help us meet our real goals. We can set ourselves up for success and happiness instead of setting ourselves up for failure!

Following the 4 steps I outlined above, my resolutions look much different:

  1. Be the healthiest ME I can be
  2. Organize my life so I have more: space, time, money and happiness.

Easy right?  Probably not–but they are clear ideas of changing the somethings in my life to make my future life better.  It is a simple way to guide yourself to where you want to be.  Find the reasons you want to build your life the way you want it.  If  you actually have a reason to change–then change is more likely–and it will lead us to the freedom to create the life we want!

Freedom after all is what will help us to build a better life, faster and smarter.The key to that freedom is within us.  

Turn the key, open the door and take that first step toward the life you want.

What changes do you want to make this year that will lead you to your ultimate life?  How do those changes fit in together? Comment below and tell me what you think!

And join me next time, when we will examine the power of PERSPECTIVE!

As always visit my Facebook page and Pinterest and have some fun!