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signs that you are toxic

Inevitably there will be times in our lives when we will be toxic. In fact, it’s probably no coincidence that as I write this blog, I, in fact, am toxic. You see, we are human, and during our very human moments we do things like eat too much pizza (because it’s quick and cheap!), speak on our cell phones too much, or expose ourselves to too many chemicals, like household cleaning products. Because I’ve been on this “learning path” for a while now, I’m pretty aware of when things are not working for me. My body screams at me like it’s been doing for the past two weeks. Not a fun time! After quite a healthy run, I’ve been experiencing severe digestive issues, sinus headaches, increased allergies, and painful back aches. YIKES! Right now, I’m TOXIC, and I’m slowly making those shifts I need in order to get back to my optimal state.

 

Do you know when you are toxic? 

As you may know, I’ve been blogging about the book by James Jordan, Your Health is in Your Hands. We’ve covered becoming your own health detective, the importance of nutrients, and this week, we cover the nasty role that toxins play in our health (or lack of health!). There is such a wealth of information in Jim’s book. I HIGHLY recommend purchasing the e-book ($6.99 on Amazon) so you can get into the granular, amazing information he provides. Oh, and did I mention this is a quick and easy read? No encyclopedia here! It’s a wonderful reference for everyday folks like you and me. What I hope to do in this post is offer a few simple ways to understand what can make us toxic, and a few simple steps you can take.

 

What’s a Toxin?

Jim defines a toxin as any substance that creates irritating or harmful effects, undermines our health or stresses our biochemistry or organ function. The three primary categories of toxins we get exposed to daily include chemicals, heavy metals and radiation. And, this really caught my attention:

 

Basic Maxim

Your rate of detoxification must exceed your intake of toxins or you will age faster, 

develop chronic illnesses and die prematurely. 

This must be understood if you are serious about taking charge of your health.

 

How do we Detox?

I’ve already highlighted a few of these in my earlier posts, but I’ll list them again, and refer to them as S.H.E.A.D.:  SLEEP, HYDRATE, ELIMINATE, ASSIMILATE & DIGEST.  Not too complicated, right? Get enough sleep (this was a big one when I blogged about Ariana Huffington’s book, Thrive, last summer), drink about 4 oz of water every 30 minutes, eliminate (I’ll say it like a Mommy…. GO POTTY REGULARLY!), get  your nutrients, and support digestion by eating the right foods and getting your nutrients. Here’s a fun fact: We really do need our 8 hours of sleep! Getting our Zzzz’s helps our brains clear away the waste that is responsible for diseases like Alzheimer’s, and other neurological disorders! 

 

 

How do we lessen the duration and quantity of toxins we are exposed to? 

My answer? One small step at a time. We are exposed to thousands upon thousands of chemicals daily. Let’s try not to get overwhelmed by this thought, but make a few SMALL and SMART decisions that are within our control. For example, cleaning products. Part of the reason I am experiencing some of the symptoms I have right now may be due to the fact that I had to fire my cleaning lady! As a result, I am doing lots of heavy lifting around the house and making contact with lots of chemicals. One step I intend to take immediately is to purchase natural cleaning products. Other chemicals we often don’t think of, which can suppresses our immune system, poison our nervous system, and can contribute to health issues like cardiovascular disease, and ADD, include: refined sugar, MSG, sulfites (in wine!), all fake sugars, and BPA from plastic bottles! Keep it simple…use non-refined, organic or natural sweeteners, and use BPA-FREE bottles. You don’t have to stop the wine, but consider buying organic, sulfite-free wine. I do!

 

Heavy metals are another source of yuckiness! Most heavy metals come in the form of pollution. They, literally, are heavier versions of lead, mercury, arsenic, and many others. These pollutants get into our foods and can be found in our medications, vaccines, antibiotics, and in dental fillings and crowns! I was not aware of the latter until I had my first consult with Jim. I had so many mercury fillings in my teeth, and that’s one of the first things I did—remove all my mercury (amalgam) fillings. And get this…

 

(According to a study) On average, 81% of the symptoms (many!!) were cured or improved after amalgam removal!!!

 

Because heavy metals can decrease the normal activity of our enzymes to a mere 5%, the result is our compromised health. One of the common health issues many experience today is called Leaky Gut Syndrome, which causes inflammation (the cause of most illnesses today!), pain, and irritation to the immune and nervous system.  Aside from removing our amalgam fillings, a few other simple steps we can take include: doing a heavy metal detox program at least once a year (resources in Jim’s book), take regular clay baths, eat cilantro, chlorella, coconut oil, and medicinal mushrooms, like shiitake! And probably the best simple step….SWEAT (via exercise and sauna), which appears “to be a potential method for elimination of many toxic elements from the human body.”

 

The last toxin we’ll cover is radiation. One of Jim’s mentors, Michael Coyle, shared with Jim that (non-ionizing) radiation will be the number one environmental factor affecting our health in the 21st Century. Non-ionizing sources of radiation include our cell phones, microwaves, computers, electrical appliances, and more. Excess exposure to these can cause fatigue, headaches, foggy thinking, depression, sleep disturbances, ADD, ADHD, and increased risk of certain types of cancers (brain) for high volume cell phone usage. Now, I’m not any more willing than you (most likely!) to stop using all of my convenient, shiny, productive electronics. But, I can say that I can see the potential affect it is having on me and my son, who now uses a tablet for all his school work. This is the challenge of the future. Some of the simple steps we are taking include: keep our electronics at least one foot away from our bodies (especially during sleep…no phone under your pillow!), limit our microwave use (don’t stare at your food while it cooks!), use our cell speaker phones as often as possible (or a headset), take detox baths often, and get our nutrients (helps to rid us of toxins as I mentioned in my last post).

 

I hope you’re a bit more enlightened, as I am! What I love about Jim’s book is that although it’s very technical in providing all of the science behind what our bodies do and don’t need and the effects on our bodies (potentially very dangerous over time), the solutions truly are very simple. With a bit of dedication and patience (and lots if intention), we really can be smart detectives and change agents for ourselves and those we love.

 

Now, go detox, folks!

It’s your life, lead it well!

 

Namaste,

Mo

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I consider myself a lucky girl to have received the new Fitbit Charge for Christmas. I see so many people wearing one or a similar device, and of course I was intrigued! And as a personal leadership and wellbeing coach I have to admit I was experiencing a some FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)!

So how has this magical device helped me, and how can it help you? Here’s what I’ve learned and loved so far:

1. Say goodbye to being sedentary! Did you know that the majority of Americans are considered sedentary? One of my favorite wellness books, Eat. Move. Sleep. by Tom Rath details this very clearly for us. Pay attention folks! People who walk fewer than 5,500 steps are considered sedentary, and the average American falls below this sedentary line!!! Being sedentary brings on a host of health issues which we won’t get into today, but 10,000 steps are considered a good target for overall activity and equates to about 5 miles. With Fitbit you can set a daily steps goal, and the minimum recommended to get us above and beyond that sedentary line is 10,000. In comparison to Americans, Australians average 9,695 steps per day. Their obesity rate is just 16% compared to our 34%! I don’t know about you, but I want to beat those Aussie’s!!

2. Say hello to accountability! The online Fitbit Dashboard and App gives you a multitude of ways to hold yourself accountable. First, you can find friends who also own one and challenge yourself to take more steps than they do daily! With the Fitbit you also can set alarms to remind you to get up and move. Also according to Tom Rath, and as I have learned as well, you can easily achieve 3,000 steps by just taking a daily lunch break and walking/climbing steps. Since I work on a beautiful campus, this allows me to not only walk, but achieve my mindful goal, which I love to do via walking and sensing the world around me. Oh, and, I just love that Fitbit sends me all these badges when I’ve achieved something super cool! (I love recognition!!)5 ways the Fitbit has rocked my world!

 

3. Here comes motivation! Let me be really clear. Achieving 10,000 steps daily is no easy feat. You have to want to do it, and you have to strategize how you’re going to do it. If you spend a lot of time in your office and on the computer, it’s almost impossible to achieve! Without a tool like Fitbit to be an ever-present reminder you’d need to create another source of accountability. As you begin to use it and visit your dashboard daily, you begin to understand the best way to achieve 10,000 steps or more each day. For me, if I’m not able to get out for lunch, I know that I need to get across campus for some reason, like visiting a colleague. Or, perhaps I will need to fit in an evening walk around my neighborhood, or a Zumba class. I also know that I have to take a break from sitting every hour, even if it means just getting up for a stretch, glass of water, or a short walk across the hall. Anything to not sit for so long. Bottom line, once you understand how you can reach 10,000 each day, and how very critical it is for your health, your motivation skyrockets!

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4. Wellness as a whole increases! We know that there are other strategies that we can use to help keep us healthy, like logging what we eat, our daily exercise, and how much water we drink. You also can do this on Fitbit’s dashboard. It’s a one stop shop! As the saying goes, what you focus on becomes a reality! Entering and looking at this data daily definitely helps you achieve a sense of wellbeing in a variety of areas.Screenshot 2015-01-12 10.48.11

5. Bring on the Zzzzs! One of the main reasons why I was interested in the Fitbit was it’s ability to track my sleeping patterns. As some of you know, over the summer I blogged about Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive. In the book she identifies sleep as one of the metrics for success and wellbeing. In it she states that just 30 more minutes of sleep will immediately improve your health, creativity, productivity and sense of well-being. (I agree!!) She recommends to either go to bed earlier, get up later, or take 2 short naps a day. In the book, Bill Clinton admitted, “Every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I’ve made because I was too tired.”

I believe that each of us intuitively knows what those health levers are for us. Over the years I have realized that for me, sleep is critical. It is also one of the areas most challenging for me to improve. The Fitbit tracks the number of times I am restless or awakened while I sleep, therefore giving me a true picture of the total number of hours I am actually at rest. Well, it’s kind of scary! With this information, I’m able to better understand my sleep patterns and continue to make adjustments to help me figure out the very best way for me to get a minimum of 7 hours of true sleep each night.

And just to throw in one extra PLUS… for those of you who have been trying not to sleep with your phone next to you, but have to because your alarm is your phone, well the Fitbit takes care of that! I no longer rely on my phone to wake me. My Fitbit gently buzzes me when it’s time to wake, and it also notifies me when I receive a call. So, I’m no longer a hostage to my cell! BONUS!!!

I don’t sell Fitbits and I don’t make a commission off of them! I simply love sharing products or resources for busy people who want to make their wellbeing a priority.

How has Fitbit or another tool help you achieve your wellbeing goals? I’d love to hear from you.

It’s your life. Lead it well.

Monique

 

SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 13

 

Welcome to Week 13 the final week of Summer of Well-Being! Our guest blogger today is Michelle Alva, an Energy Healer at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach. Today, she demonstrates 5 quick and easy tips to de-stress and energize ourselves in our daily lives. Watch her video and leave a comment below!


Mary P
Michelle Alva
Michelle Alva Integrative Healing and Wellness 
Michelle, who works as an Energy Healer at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach combines her 18 year background as a physical therapist, yoga therapist, belly dance teacher, and energy medicine practitioner to bring a very safe and effective approach to healing and wellness. Michelle bridges the gap between modern science and ancient wisdom approaches. She writes weekly on her blog, and has been published in national publications. She creates inspirational videos on her You Tube Channel, all designed to empower and educate individuals on how to heal, de-stress, love more and energize from the inside out.

 
 
 

We did it! We made it to the final week of Summer of Well-Being! As I type these words, though, I’m reminded of one of my favorite song lyrics by Kenny Loggins (yes, I’m dating myself a bit!):

This is it! Make no mistake where you are! What’s left to provide?
You think that maybe it’s over .
Not if you don’t want it to be!

Here’s what I know for sure…our well-being is a daily, life-long process. And more than just a process, it’s a decision. A decision we make every moment of every day.

I’ve so enjoyed bringing you on this journey during our summer. Please know that the journey is not over! On Thursday, you’ll hear from our final guest blogger, Michelle Alva, who is an Energy Healer at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach. She’s going to wrap up our awareness program very nicely. And, I’m so excited to announce that on September 1st I’ll be sharing with you a way that you can continue on this journey with me and with many others, as I launch my new 6-Month Group Coaching Program: Journey to Well-Being! I can’t wait to share this opportunity with you, and I hope you will consider remaining in our community and growing in your well-being every day.

Today I want to write about one of my favorite things…creativity! One of my top 5 talent themes as defined by Gallup’s Strengths Finder is Ideation. I just LOVE ideating and getting new ideas going and growing! Because it’s one of my strengths, I know that leading with this strength each day, even if only a little bit, gives me so much energy! But even if it’s not a natural talent for you doesn’t mean that you can’t employ it to boost your well-being. They say that if we spend too much time nourishing our logical reasoning, we in fact starve our non-linear, right-brain functions. As a result, we only half live!! bigstock-Thinking-Smiling-Woman-With-Qu-46191085

Research shows that stimulating our right-brain helps to relax us, lower our blood pressure, reduce migraine headaches, and generally increase our harmony. Of course, this can be attained via activities such as mindfulness, or guided visualizations, which we’ve covered during Summer of Well-Being. They help to quiet the rational “thinking” brain. However, there are other ways to spark the right-brain and transform the way we think, learn and operate.

As an example, just this month our team had a retreat that was based in ideation. We wanted to get outside of our boxes and come up with as many innovative ideas as possible (without being logical!), so we used Improv techniques to help us do this. Not only was it a lot of fun, but it truly helped us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, which often is a requirement to operating in a right-brain kinda way! If you had a chance to view our Summer of Well-Being guest blogger last week, David Suarez, then you know what I’m talking about.

To take it one step further, I want to share five tips for thinking laterally, as Edward DeBono, Ph.D., calls it, or as I like to call it, “Sideways” thinking!

1. Get Random Input: Instead of relying only on what we think or know, we can take our question somewhere else for input, like a mall, or museum, or neighbor, or random book, etc. DeBono says that “A random input from outside can serve to disrupt the old pattern and allow it to reform in a new way.”

2. Quotas: By imagining that there is only one right answer, we limit ourselves. By using quotas, we challenge ourselves to come up with a minimum number of alternatives. We can take this deeper by setting a deadline.

3. Rotation of Attention: Sometimes when we try to solve a problem we focus on just one aspect of the problem, thereby limiting our solutions. One example is losing weight. Perhaps we only focus on the diet and the specific food item we need to reduce or eliminate. Another way to look at it, thereby sparking our right-brain, is to make each factor in the problem (or question) the focus of attention and learn as much as we can by examining it as if it were the only factor in the problem.

4. Reversals: Turn a situation completely upside down! By doing this we are changing our point of view. For example, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what it is we want, but it may be interesting to ask ourselves what it is we don’t want! To determine what well-being is for us, we may learn a lot by asking ourselves what we know for sure that it is not.

5. Cross Fertilization:  It’s natural to avoid those opinions that are not like ours. It’s often uncomfortable to think and feel in a way that’s not natural to us. However, by forcing ourselves to get input from those who often see and feel things differently than we do, we are allowing ourselves to expand the possibilities. This is especially useful when we are stuck and can’t see a way out. When it comes to our health and decisions that we may need to make, this can be a great solution and opportunity.

When it comes to our well-being, sometimes we just need to get a little sideways! For some of us, activating our creative side can juice us up with lots of energy that we can apply to various aspects of our lives, and it can transform our relationships and environments by allowing us to be more open. And for others, thinking laterally can really help us make some important life and health decisions.

Give it a try and let me know what it does for you!

It’s your life. Lead it well!

Monique

SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 12

 

Welcome to Week 12 of Summer of Well-Being! Our guest blogger today is funny guy David Suarez, also the founder and lead facilitator at Interactive Training Solutions. Today, he teaches us a few quick improv comedy tips to unlocking the humor that’s within us. Watch his video and leave a comment below!


Mary P
David Suarez
Founder of Interactive Training Solutions, LLC. 
David Suarez, MBA is the founder and lead facilitator for Interactive Training Solutions, LLC, a corporate training, teambuilding and executive coaching firm utilizing improvisation, experiential and applied learning.  An expert in business communication, Mr. Suarez has worked with many organizations and professionals to create and implement customized corporate training, team building, and coaching solutions to address critical challenges and needs.

 
 
 

SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 11

Welcome to Week 11 of Summer of Well-Being! Our guest blogger this week is Ellenit Serrano. Read her blog below to learn about the transformation effects of focused breathing, and don’t forget to share your thoughts!


“We must live fully before we die.  We must generate sufficient energy to realize

ourfull potential. The journey to our core is arduous; 

only pranic energy can take us there.”   —B.K.S. Iyengar

 

Before you begin reading this blog, I want you to breathe.

REALLY BREATHE…..

Take a deep, slow inhale through the nose and envision breath and energy filling your body.

Feel the expansion in your chest and oxygen filling the lungs as you deepen the inhale.

Retain that breath for as long as you can then just as slowly – exhale and feel the release.

Notice how your belly hollows out and empties in the process.

Repeat this a few times before you continue reading.

 

How do how you feel?  Do you notice a change from just a few moments ago?  Were you able to calm SOMETHING down?  Maybe you were able to calm your thoughts, your nerves, your physical pain or your stress just for a moment after taking a few short conscious breaths.  The good news is that you have the ability to become conscious of your breath (as opposed to involuntarily just breathing) and control it during any and all activities of your life.

We often take it for granted when someone says “just breathe”   but when you really think about it, your breath, in each moment, defines the span of your life.  Once it’s gone your life on this earthly plane ceases.  In yoga we speak about “prana”, the energy that permeates the universe at all levels many times referred to as our “Life Force”, or the “Breath of Life”.

Your next breath is the most powerful opportunity for transformation that exists.

In fact, in this moment your next breath is the beginning of the rest of your life!

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At the beginning of my yoga classes I often tell my students that if they do nothing else but focus on their breath, with awareness, for the duration of the class they are getting the full benefit of the practice.

Of course it’s OK to just breathe unconsciously after all it means we are still alive!  But magic happens when we slow down, become conscious and influence the flow of our breath.  As we inhale, we breathe in fresh oxygen and energy into the body converting and merging it with our physical form.  In essence, we breathe spirit into the flesh; we are in union (yoga) with the divine energy of the universe.

As we retain the breath we allow that energy to nourish every cell in our body allowing healing to occur.  We use the exhale to get rid of toxins and to consciously let go of thoughts and energies that no longer serve us. We create space for the new.

For me, breath work started as part of my yoga practice years ago.  I learned to become aware of my breathing; allowing it to keep me centered and to empty my mind.  With practice this has become almost second nature.  It’s easier to pick up on certain signs such as shortness of breath, lack of focus, or anxiety building up that reminds me I need to take a moment and come back to the breath.  Sometimes that’s all it takes right before a big presentation, in preparing for a response to a child, or to get perspective on wandering thoughts.

There was a time in my life when I had to put a huge reminder on my office white-board to “BREATHE”.  Now it’s just a technique I more often than not, use in my personal and professional life.  When I do it has direct, positive outcomes and always makes a huge difference in the way I feel.

With practice we are able to calm the body and mind at will.  We learn to create space in between our thoughts to allow new ideas and new opportunities to emerge. We learn to listen to our inner voice, turn the outside world on mute and be led by our Truth.  What materializes is transformation and growth in ways unimagined.

 

Just Breathe…


jdiaz-medium

Ellenit Serrano
SBL LAC Strategy, Analytics and Integration
Global Products and Solutions of MasterCard Worldwide

Ellenit is a certified Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga instructor and Reiki level 1 and 2 Healer. Becoming an instructor was an unexpected part of her personal evolution given that she has a full-time career with MasterCard. As such, she  uniquely integrates the yin and yang of her corporate and yoga roles into her teaching and practice. In her classes she seeks to inspire her students through music, affirmations, aromatherapy and lighting, creating a full sensory experience.
Facebook: facebook.com/ellenit.serrano
Email: Namastelle7@gmail.com

 

Running my Internet marketing firm means I work very long, hard hours.  I lead our sales efforts, drive our creative teams and oversee program quality.  I work tirelessly on the processes we use and people we hire to become more efficient and less dependent upon me.  My hope is to work myself out of a job over the next several years.

It’s easy to mistakenly say to yourself, “When I accomplish all these things and achieve all these goals, I’ll be happy.”  That’s not the way happiness works.

A speaker at a men’s prayer breakfast I attend shared a quote that sheds some light on this.  It says,

The ego says, “Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.”

The spirit says, “Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.”

 

I’d like to convince myself that once my business gets streamlined and funded and I become successful (whatever that means), I’ll be happy.  I’ll be making more money.  I’ll have more freedom to travel and more time to spend with my loved ones.  “Of course I’ll be happy, right?”

The problem is this is it assumes you can control your way to happiness.  In this make-believe world, happiness comes to those that achieve.  You know what? I make an income today that in my twenties was far beyond my definition of filthy rich.  I now run the business I could only dream of running when I was younger.  I’ve accomplished a lot.

Yet my success to date hasn’t brought me happiness.  What does make me happy is sharing tapas and dinner with my wife of thirty years, family and friends.  It’s sitting down with my daughter to discuss a job offer she’s just received.  (She actually confides in me and asks for my input.)  It’s realizing my youngest daughter who’ll be off to college is well prepared and excited about leaving the nest and taking on this new challenge.  It’s helping an employee with a paycheck advance she’ll be using to purchase her first home.

Notice it is NOT the accomplishments that bring me happiness.  It’s the place my head is at that enables me to appreciate what happens in my life’s journey.  It’s based on awareness and the nurturing of relationships with people I love.

 

Here’s a word picture for you.  Happiness does 505697585NOT come from focusing on my mobile device GPS map thinking of the happiness I’ll feel when my car arrives at my destination. 

It comes from:

  • Opening the car windows,
  • • Feeling the rush of the wind,
  • • Holding the hand of the lady next to me who’s been putting up with me all these years,
  • • Appreciating the moon rise in front of us which I would typically miss and
  • • Keeping my mind free from tomorrow’s to-do list and mental clutter so I don’t miss out on the happiness of my situation.

 

My Uncle Max passed away recently and I shared a few moments with his daughter Adriana after the burial.   I don’t see her often because she is now a sister in the Mother Theresa order of nuns serving the poorest of the poor in Mexico.

My uncle had a sly sense of humor and really appreciated the ironies in life.  My cousin lives a very basic life with zero in the way of worldly possessions.  She explained to me the irony of riding in a black limousine to the cemetery.   A friend of hers joked about taking a picture of her in full nun garb sitting in the driver’s seat of the Porche 911 parked next to the limo.  We all smiled because we knew how this would all strike Uncle Max.  “I’m sure Dad’s cracking up right now,” she said.

 

Happiness comes when you least expect it and from the least likely of things.  Don’t miss out.

 


jdiaz-medium

Jorge Lazaro Diaz
Founder/Chief Internet Marketing and Technology Officer of Larry Jacob Internet Marketing

Jorge Lazaro Diaz is the Founder and President of Larry Jacob Internet Marketing. His expertise comes with strong marketing, copy writing and technology skills delivering Internet Marketing, Infusionsoft Automation and Website Design solutions that deliver results to small and medium sized businesses.