Boost Your Immunity and Be Awesome In Your Body!

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This year’s cold flu season has proven to be one of the worst, resulting in several deaths around the country. With this news comes the great debate of ‘to flu shot or not to flu shot’. There are so many reports, numbers, statistics and stories, that it can be stressful to even know what to think about it all.

Regardless of belief and decision, there is one thing everyone can be doing, now and always, and that is to boost your immune system. The human body comes with its own defense system, which sadly gets taken for granted, ignored, medicated and abused. When this happens too often, it doesn't respond as readily as it could, resulting in illness.

I am not saying this is a cure or a magic pill against the flu or any virus for that matter. However, this body is the only one we are given in this lifetime, so it’s probably a good idea to pay it some respect. Even those who are immune suppressed due to illness, whether acquired or congenital, can give their already fragile immune systems a boost.

So, how do we start?

First, stop panicking. Fear of ‘what if’ is certainly not going to help your chances of NOT getting ill. Fear creates stress and stress lowers the immune system. Negative thinking in general affects the cells in our body. As Caroline Myss says in her book, Anatomy of the Spirit, your biography becomes your biology... if you let it. I know, easier said then done when you read/watch the news or cruise social media. Well, here is an idea: Stop. Turn off the news and take a social media break for a week.

Get 6-8 hours of sleep per night. That means, go to bed by 10:00p. If you are reading this and say you can’t fall asleep before midnight, it may be because you have the TV on or are on your mobile device… right? Well, now that you are on your TV/Social Media fast, you can now focus on shutting down for the night earlier than usual. If you need something to fill the technology void, try going to your local library and taking out a book (an actual one with pages) and read by a little book light.

Clean up your diet. Chances are, if you open your fridge and pantry, you are bound to find convenience meals with sugar, gluten, dairy and a multitude of preservatives. I know that eating clean can seem like a pain in the neck, but it’s really not. It’s a choice. My husband is not very good at this, so I pack his breakfast and lunch every day to avoid the chances of him buying a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich (I love them, too, but they are not terribly immune boosting). So, every morning I pack a small cooler with a hard-boiled egg, a coconut yogurt and a banana, which serves as his breakfast. Lunch is usually leftovers from whatever I made for dinner the night before or a sandwich on sourdough bread (which is good for the gut bacteria). There are loads of ideas for easy snacks and lunches that you can find online!

Make bone broth. Another pain in the ass suggestion, right? It’s really not… it’s just boiling bones with some veggies for about 24 hours. Don’t have 24 hours?? No problem. Get yourself and InstantPot and you can make it in two! Doing this will yield about 6-8 quarts of broth (depending on the size of the vessel you make it in), which you can freeze and use in all sorts of dishes, including soups and stews. The benefits of bone broth are vast, being that it is rich in minerals that support the immune system. The healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline, help to heal the gut lining and reduce intestinal inflammation. I know you can just buy some from the store, but seriously, just make your own!

Use essential oils. I diffuse during the day and at night with various oils that have anti-microbial chemical properties. Also, personal inhalers are easy to make and a great way to use oils 'on the go'. They fit into pockets easily and since you are the only one who can smell them, they do not bother anyone around you! Check out this video on how to make a personal inhaler from my teacher, Andrea Butje. There are various places to get essential oils, but be sure that the ones you purchase are pure therapeutic grade, with a GCMS report that shows their chemical make up and proof of purity. I get my oils from both doTERRA and Aromatics International, both of which sell only pure therapeutic grade oils.

Wash your hands. Do I really need to explain this one?

Floss. Seriously... dental hygiene can make or break your health, not just in the immediate, but long term!

Add immune boosting supplements when you feel anything coming on. I have heard rave reviews on the incredible healing benefits of adding Colloidal Silver and Elderberry Syrup to your arsenal should you come down with symptoms. I am still learning about these two remedies, but I have friends who swear by them. To read up more, check out Dr. Axe's page on both: (Colloidal Silver: https://draxe.com/colloidal-silver-benefits/ Elderberry Syrup:: https://draxe.com/elderberry/)

Get outside! I live in Florida, so this is easy for me. If you also live in a warm climate with sunshine year round, take advantage of this incredible natural resource by taking a walk for 10-20 minutes, no sunscreen, no sunglasses. This will provide enough radiation to get up to 10,000 IU’s of the vitamin. Not only has research shown that sunlight may reduce the risk for disease, but that it also has the hidden benefit of boosting your mood & reducing depression… which, as you have already guessed, depression lowers your immunity. Check out this research paper to learn more about how responsible exposure to the sunshine vitamin may prevent disease: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/

Of course, if you live in a climate where you are freezing cold and don’t see the sun for about 5 months, try this happy lamp to at least keep your mood boosted!

MELT! Add MELT to your self-care regimen!! Health is found in healthy fascia, which means it is fluid, hydrated and buoyant. Daily living causes this tissue to become dehydrated, like the old dried out sponge on your sink. Not only will this make a body feel old, achey and stiff, but will also result in body wide inflammation which causes problems with sleep, digestion, hormone balance, mood and metabolism, which, if left unaddressed, can result in disease. Just 10 minutes a day of MELTing can combat ALL of that! Don’t know what MELT is or how to get started? Contact me personally or go to the MELT Method Website to learn more, get the gear and start MELTing immediately!

You can also make yummy teas that help reduce inflammation. The one I make is simple. In a mug I squeeze half a lemon (I love Meyer Lemons), a tablespoon or so of raw orange blossom honey dashed with about a teaspoon of tumeric, two droppers of ginger extract and topped with boiling water. 

I then use the remaining boiled water in a neti-pot with a saline packet to keep nasal passages clean. Of course, let the water sit to a comfortable temperature, but boiling the water removes toxins and bugs, which you really don’t want to put in your face. Many of you reading may say ‘NO WAY!’, but if you can get over the squeamishness of it and remind yourself you are indeed not drowning, the benefits are worth it.

Stay active, hydrated and well rested. Maybe ease up on the booze and supplement it with Kombucha or the yummy tea mentioned above. Cook wholesome, nutritious meals and invite friends over to enjoy them with you. Laughter is a fantastic immune booster, so if your friends aren’t funny, get new ones (just kidding). Watch funny movies and surround yourself with things, people and places that bring you joy.

Of course, there are dozens of other things that you can add or do instead of what is listed above... this is just a few of the things I do and so far, I have been spared of illness for well over a year or so now.

Although I wrote this in response to the immediate flu crisis, in truth, boosting your immunity and being good to your body is super important. I am NOT saying to leave fun out of life or never have a cheat day... Do all of those things while remembering that compound interest works in both positive and negative directions. Make positive investments in the one body you have while you are alive... Be Awesome In Your Body!

 

 

Not Dead Yet!

 

I was pretty sure I was either going to pass out, vomit or die last Saturday in Rhodie Lorenz’s morning spin class at JoyRide.

My name is Amanda and I am a Fitness Professional.

A very out of shape Fitness Professional.

Recently I re-energized my commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Next Monday I am starting Marie Forleo’s B-School and I need/want to be alert and strong as I go through the rigorous program. I am also 45 and have a middle-age wine belt around my waist that I would like to take off… which also means reducing my wine intake.

In the past I was a marathon runner, swimmer, personal trainer, rower and all around fitness lover. The thought of re-energizing this commitment, which had collected dust on the shelf of resistance for over two years, seemed a challenge, but one that I was confident I could conquer with grace and ease. After all, I MELT regularly and recently started once a week workout classes at Orangetheory Fitness. I was doing pretty well with those, I thought. How bad could a spin class be?

Here’s the truth: Regular lack of consistent exercise, where you elevate your heart rate, step way outside your comfort zone, challenge your endurance and strengthen your body acts a lot like compound interest, and according to Einstein, "Compound Interest is the most powerful force in the Universe."

A great concept when applied in a positive manner with money or just good habits. Not so much for a 40 – something who delighted in the pleasures of wine with lunch over a run in the park because she could.

No, left to time, the lack of regular exercise, in whatever form, will result in nothing short of decline and deterioration. The interest on the interest in my case was sizeable.

As I mentioned, I almost died on Saturday.

Ok, maybe that is a dramatic statement, but I will say that is how I felt and feelings are never wrong.

Not for a minute could I keep up with the class. I was embarrassed and felt that I had no business being in that class. During the warm up my heart rate spiked to vfib levels. Defeated within the first 5 minutes, I sat back in the saddle and loosened the resistance.

Thoughts of self-deprecation rolled through my head:

‘Surely the bikes to the left, right and back of me are mocking me'

‘Oh, please don’t see me being so LAME, Rhodie!’

‘I suck at spinning! I suck at bikes in general!’

'Slow twitch muscle fibers… that is all I am made up of.’

‘HOW IS EVERYONE BUT ME DOING THIS??’

‘Shit… I think I may pass out…’

‘WHY did I have two margaritas and a glass of wine last night??’

Then I actually LISTENED to Rhodie.. all along she was talking (and riding… WTH??), encouraging her room of riders to great heights. Every word was full of belief, love and pride for her morning flock. One thing she said would get me through the remaining torturous half-hour of class: “Your attitude is everything. Whether out there or in here, what you think is what matters. You got this”.

Well, I didn’t really have it, but I did decide on the spot to change my attitude and my internal dialogue:

'My legs are still moving!'

'I’m not dead yet!' (and yes, said exactly like Monty Python)

'I am so grateful to be here!'

'Rhodie is AMAZING! Her energy is INFECTIOUS!'

'If everyone in here can do it, I know one day I can too!'

'No where to go but up, because any lower is death!'

Ok, the last one is not really so positive, but you get the gist.

What I love about JoyRide is their philosophy of no judgments… just empty your mind, get lost in your body and be full of JOY! The only judgment was the judgment I put on myself to feel bad for being so weak.

I made it out alive, thank goodness, and made a decision that I would be back. It may not get easier, but I will get stronger, and that is really the goal.

Since Saturday, I have MELTed… a LOT… and kicked my own ass at Orangetheory yesterday morning.

Later today I will MELT even more because tomorrow morning I am signed up for another JoyRide class.

Pray for me.

 

Oh my bloated belly…


This is what I get for falling hard off the health wagon nearly a year ago.

This time last year, I challenged myself with a 30-Day Isagenix Cleanse. I was very focused on the cleanse, determined to rid my toxic body of all the booze, sugar, fat and gluten I had consumed for months. My bedtime was no later than 10pm and I religiously clocked in 8 hours of sleep. Exercise was regular, MELT was a morning routine and three liters of water a must.

On the plus side, I got in great shape and my body felt amazing. My mental clarity was like nothing I had ever experienced in adult life. On the negative side, by day 20 I was day dreaming of steaks and red wine, pizza and beer, Guinness stew, margaritas, CHEESE….

As soon as my penance was over, I went right back to all the things I veered away from for 30 long days (actually, I think I threw in the towel at day 27).

Now granted, I was still in massage therapy school at the time plus working a full time job and also getting more involved with MELT. Surely indulging my palate and senses was not all together horrible… right?

Cut to today. This morning I took a photo of my bloated belly.

It may not look like much to you, but if you saw it in real life, you would make a pained face and say something like “ooooooh”.

I made the decision months ago that following the Super Bowl, I would once again give the 30-Day Isagenix Cleanse another go. This time, however, I am more determined than ever to stick with it and even keep on with the healthy eating habits following. Why? Because I am a bloated gassy stink bomb mess.

It is apparent that my body is not happy with me right now. Being chronically distended in the gut is NOT normal and neither is chronic gas. This may seem to be a TMI thing for me to put out, but I share with honesty my experience in order to educate myself and others, while also healing what is in disrepair.

Tonight, I will cheer on the Giants and eat Super Bowl food and drink beer and like it. Tomorrow morning I will have bodily regret and forgive myself by beginning the toxic purge. My kidneys and liver will finally rest, my gut will cease it’s current temper tantrum and the cells within my fascial web will rejuvinate … there will be joy and celebration with in this body which has been entrusted to me by my maker.

Along with this resolution, I also resolve to write about my journey and track my progress, so that I may be held accountable by anyone who chooses to waste a few minutes reading this pitiful testimonial. I will hopefully be able to post a photo of my deflated belly within a week or two. Until then… GO GIANTS!

(pitiful) Confessions of a Fitness Professional

I am out of shape, drank too much this summer and am turning 40 in November.

If it sounds as though I am being dramatic and fishing for compliments, believe me, I fish not.

Let me begin by clarifying that it is not that I drank too much in one sitting night after night, just more than I have normally (or at least since I turned 30).  A six-pack of Corona looked like such a tasty treat at the grocery store, that I almost always put it in my cart along with my vegetables and fruit.  In the summer it is a guarantee that margaritas will be my craving and sipping a beer while sunbathing on a Saturday…and Sunday…is not beyond my reality.  I usually don’t drink at all during the week, yet on some days I could be found patting myself on the back for going a couple of nights sans cervesa.

As for turning 40, I am not opposed to getting older, but I must admit that the actual number looks ominous to me…Like it doesn’t belong next to my name or go with my hair. 

I get many an eye roll when I shamefully admit being in horrible shape.  People assume that being thin means being in good physical condition, and I am here to tell that could not be further from the truth.  At present, I am weak as a kitten and have the endurance of sedentary sloth. 

This fall, I am putting an end to this nonsense.  My battle plan has already been put into action and consists of the following: 

To start, I am doing a very mild cleanse called New Start which I got from www.mercola.com.  I love Mercola’s products, especially the Krill Oil which is the best Omega-3 anti-inflammatory I have ever taken.  The cleanse is one that is done at dinner time and ‘works while you sleep.’  I was initially worried that I might soil the sheets at three in the morning or have some unpleasantly momentous morning.  None of this has happened thankfully and I am a week in to this 10-day system.  However, I find that I think of food almost constantly.

With that, I put myself on the wagon so the cleanse can effectively do its job of making my liver happy again. 

My meals are frequent and healthy, including eating two apples a day! 
The lights are out no later than 10:30pm (although some nights I am done and asleep by 9:00p… don’t judge me).

My skin is even receiving a new routine with the Roc Multi-Correction Skin System (www.rocskincare.com/multi-correxion).  I can’t sense a change as all I see are the flaws, but maybe someone else can.  I do feel satisfied when my skin tingles after I apply the night cream, confirming that wrinkles are being stopped before they can begin!

Drinking up to three litres of water a day has been a standard for a while, but for some reason, it seems to taste better these days.  I have a BPA free Nalgene on my desk that I fill three times a day.

Getting my fitness routine back in has been quite humbling.  I began by taking a Cardio Kickboxing class at the East Coast United Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & Boxing in Fairfield, CT (www.ecuffld.com).   In truth, I had no business taking this class that was taught by Alex, one of the owners (and an accomplished fighter), who is not too far removed from Ivan Drago.  If you don’t believe me, check out their site for proof (and the amazing class schedule for adults and kids): Needless to say the class kicked my hide and I had difficulty walking the following week.  I saw Alex yesterday and told him I was coming Tuesday: “Blah, blah, blah… I believe when I see… you are a wimp!”  I did not disagree with the ‘wimp’ accusation but assured him I would be there Tuesday (please pray for me…).

Along with that, I have given hot yoga a try at Fairfield Hot Yoga... just because I can.  I like the sweat effect and they offer Vinyasa, which is perfect for me.  The facility is really cool and there is quite a variety of different classes to try:  (www.fairfieldhotyoga.com).

I have not made as much of a habit at hitting my regular gym, (www.theedgefitnessclubs.com), but plan to add that to my weekend schedule… in between teaching MELT, laundry, homework, cooking, cleaning and football (watching, not playing).

Of course, I MELT and I have made it part of my morning routine, whether I want to or not.  I can talk myself out of just about anything, including MELTing, which is just plain silly considering how great it makes me feel.  Recently, I became an Advanced MELT Instructor by getting trained in the MELT Strength Series, which integrates proper muscle timing along with hip and shoulder stability.  I have made a point of incorporating various Strength routines into my morning MELT to get me through a 9.5 hour day of sitting in a chair and typing at a computer.

November 26th, 2010 begins a new decade for me, and at that point I plan to be, if not at the top of my game, at least 80% of the way there.  The tricky part will be staying there once the cold rolls in, making my desire to nest in my little apartment all the stronger. 

Consistency is one of the keys to longevity.  My short term goal is really intended to be the long term goal of approaching 90, looking and feeling great.  Unless I get hit by the proverbial bus, living to be a hot & healthy elder is where it is at for me.

Happy Fall!