A few years ago, whenever I got stressed and too busy I used to do this thing that blows my mind now.
I used to be in the “ignore it and push through it” club. By that I mean, I’d take the stress/overwork hit, but just keep going.
I’d tell myself: “I’ll deal with this later.”
And I was super proud of myself – because you know what? I could take it.
But even though I was able to handle the actual work … I didn’t always manage the stress.
Well … guess what?
Eventually, one way or another, you end up having to deal with it.
You can end up getting sick, having headaches, getting injured, or feeling burned out.
If you’re also in the “push through it” club … you may want to consider jumping over into the “self-care club” instead … because that’s where the real power is.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have a pass on your responsibilities … it just means you’re listening to your body and managing your stress levels along the way.
Here are 7 things you can do to help you not only stay on track… but do it in a more sustainable way:
- Take a breath.
When you’re stressed/busy, taking just a few minutes for controlled, mindful breathing can help your body’s stress control system do its job. I use essential oils paired with deep breathing and it's like magic.
- Move your body.
This is one of the best stress-relievers out there! Exercise works on a hormonal level to help you feel calmer, less stressed, and more relaxed.
- Get a new perspective.
Studies show that spending time in nature (just a few minutes) can help cut stress.
- Upgrade your nutrition & hydration.
Stress can make you crave high-calorie foods that contain a LOT of sugar and fat. This can make you feel tired, blah, and sluggish. Upgrade your choices to include nutrient-dense whole foods that help you feel better. Adding a shot of NingXia Red can help support blood sugar levels as well as provide massive antioxidants.
- Make time for recovery (aka sleep).
When you sleep, your body is helping you recover from yesterday so you can be rejuvenated to tackle tomorrow. Make sure to go to bed early enough so you can get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
- Build a support network.
Having people around you (in-person or virtually) who hold you accountable is everything! (Our FB group can be a good place to start: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wellnesswithcolleen/ )
- Feed your mind.
Make sure you get a steady diet of positive input – whether it’s listening to inspiring podcasts and audiobooks, reading self-development books, or learning about fitness & wellness … it can keep you motivated and moving forward. Also try meditating for at least 5 minutes a day.
It’s the little things you do every day that will have the biggest impact on your energy, resilience, fitness, and health! I'd love to hear if you do any of these tips OR if you are going to try a specific one.
Talk about an accidental discovery ...
I’ve got a client who went on a trip to Europe a few years ago.
She ate differently than she did here in the US – basically less processed foods and more whole foods (veggies, fruits, proteins, etc.).
Can you guess what happened?
After a few days, almost every one of her everyday aches and pains went away.
Pains she had gotten used to – a sore knee, a tight low back, etc. – were pretty much GONE.
And this happened even though she was MORE ACTIVE all day, walking and sightseeing. Not to mention sleeping on strange beds.
It made such a difference that when she came home, she decided to keep it up – staying away from all her favorite go-to’s for snacks and weeknight meals.
She learned a valuable lesson: Sometimes, making a slight change in your lifestyle or everyday diet can have a HUGE payoff.
There are a lot of foods out there that can increase inflammation in your body.
And as you probably already know, inflammation is linked with aches & pains (especially if you have arthritis), but also obesity, diabetes, and a long list of other diseases.
I’ve put together a list of foods that are directly tied to inflammation, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
- Sugar. Processed sugars can trigger the release of inflammatory messengers in your body called cytokines.
- Trans fats. These can cause systemic inflammation. Even though they’re banned, trans fats can still be found in fast foods and some processed items. Check ingredient labels and avoid items with partially hydrogenated oils.
- Omega 6 fatty acids. Your body needs a healthy balance of omega 3s and 6s, but most of us get way too much of the 6s, which can lead to inflammation.
They’re found in salad dressings, mayo, and many vegetable and seed oils like corn, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, and peanut.
- Refined carbs, aka “white” carbs. White flour, rice, pasta, bread, crackers, cereal, etc. can spike your blood sugar and lead to inflammation.
- Alcohol. Moderate drinking (1 drink a day for women; 2 for men) may have some health benefits for many people. However, studies show the more alcohol people consume, the higher their level of inflammatory markers in their bodies.
- Processed meats. The methods used to prepare these meats create AGEs (advanced glycation end-products), which are linked to inflammation.
Some people also find they get aches and pains from foods they are sensitive to, like gluten, dairy, and even some vegetables.
I’m not suggesting that you go on a big kick and throw out all of those foods. That can be hard to sustain.
But sometimes making just one or two changes can start you on the road toward feeling your absolute best.
We can also assist our bodies through supplementation. I personally take these three everyday to support my body:
1. Ningxia Red: massive antioxidants to fight free radicals in our body.
1. Ningxia Red: massive antioxidants to fight free radicals in our body.
2. BLM (Bones, Ligaments & Muscles): helps joint mobility with collagen, glucosamine, and essential oils
3. Vitamin D: powerhouse for immune system and inflammation.
Reach out if you have any questions!
Have you ever gone on a trip and found out you’ve been UPGRADED?
Maybe it’s for a flight, car rental, or even your hotel room.
Everything feels like a treat … better seats, better ride, better sleep.
Well … that’s what your body feels like when you UPGRADE your food choices.
When you STOP feeding it ultra-processed food and START giving it food that’s flooded with benefits (more fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.), your body feels like it got an upgrade!
Basically, it’s all about SWAPPING out things that block you from your results …
and replacing them with foods that move you closer to your goals!
Here are just a few examples of upgrade swaps to try:
Chips → Nuts
Why upgrade? Potato chips contain very little in the way of positive benefits for your results or your health. They’re high in sodium, usually contain unhealthy fats, and their refined carbs can send your blood sugar up.
Meanwhile, nuts contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, and micronutrients your body needs.
Fun fact: people who regularly eat nuts are 14% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease and 20% percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease!
TIP: Portion control is everything. One serving of nuts equals about 1 oz., or about ¼ cup (38 grams). Savor each and every bite!
Cookies/Cakes/etc. → Dark chocolate
Why upgrade? You’re swapping out all the unhealthy refined ingredients (sugar, white flour, unhealthy fats) … and you’re replacing it with an ingredient that actually helps you!
The cocoa in chocolate contains flavanols, which (among other things) can help lower your blood pressure and improve how your blood vessels function.
Again, it’s all about moderation – 1 ounce (30 grams) equals 1 serving.
Soda → Herbal Tea
Why upgrade? Most of us already get way too much added sugar.
The American Heart Associates suggests that women get no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar (24 grams) a day, and men, 9 teaspoons (36 grams).
But ... get this!!!
A single 12-oz serving of soda contains 7-10 teaspoons of sugar. GROSS.
Not only that, but studies link diet soda to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
Herbal teas are a MUCH better choice. Some (like chamomile) can help you relax, others (like peppermint) can energize you, and some just plain taste great! I also drink my Ningxia Red daily. I like to mix with club soda for a boost of natural energy and massive antioxidants!
Steak → Salmon
Why upgrade? You’re swapping out saturated fats for healthier fats that protect your health.
Steaks, burgers, and hot dogs are all high in saturated fat that can raise your level of LDL (“lousy”) cholesterol that’s linked with heart disease.
But fatty fish like salmon and albacore tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which most of us don’t eat enough of. These healthy fats lower how much fat is in your blood and cut back on plaque buildup in your arteries.
Pasta/Rice/Potatoes → Veggies ... Especially Green Veggies!
Why upgrade? For starters, most of us don’t eat nearly enough veggies.
If your diet is heavy on starchy carbs (like pasta, rice, or potatoes), one of the easiest ways to get more is to swap out a serving (or 2!) for vegetables.
Starchy carbs contain a lot of calories for how many nutrients they contain. Plus, they can raise your blood sugar.
By swapping in veggies instead, you can boost your micronutrient intake AND reduce inflammation that contributes to disease.
TIP: To add a little more snazz to your veggies, experiment with the recipes in my Tasty Sauces, Marinades & Salad Dressings Recipe eBook! If you missed it, here's the link: https://colleenriddle.com/landing/tasty-sauces-marinades
As you can see, upgrading your food choices has nothing to do with deprivation. It’s all about foods that taste great … and have great benefits.
Small changes really can make a big difference in your results, and in your life.
PS: If you’re ready to create a real change in your life, let me help you kickstart your journey with my 28-Day Total Body Transformation Program. For less than a cup of coffee a day, you will get a proven success plan including meals, grocery lists, community support, workouts, coaching, and more! Check out the details here. Our next group starts September 13th!
Did you know what you eat (and what you don't eat) can affect how you age?
I have a little assignment for you today that might lead you to a delicious project!
Go into your kitchen and look inside your pantry ... and then open up your fridge and take a look in there, too.
What’s inside can make a BIG difference in how you age.
A lot of times people talk about what you SHOULDN’T eat – like sugar, processed foods, etc. – because they are linked with a higher risk of disease.
BUT there are actually foods that help FIGHT a major factor in aging. Plus, they can reduce aches and pains.
There’s a process in your body that plays such a huge role in aging that it’s actually been called “inflammaging” – inflammation + aging.
- Research shows a key sign of aging is having more inflammatory markers in your bloodstream.
- Inflammation is your body’s immune response to toxins as it tries to remove them from your system.
- It can cause aches and pains – and over the long term it can actually trigger chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease & strokes, mood disturbances, and it’s even linked with Alzheimer’s!
- Low-grade inflammation is highly influenced by your gut microbiome … and by what you eat!
Science shows that changing your diet to include more anti-inflammatory foods can help slow, stop, or maybe even REVERSE low-grade inflammation.
Here’s your anti-inflammatory food checklist:
- Veggies – a colorful array that includes tomatoes & leafy greens
- Fruits – strawberries, blueberries, oranges, etc.
- Nuts – tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, etc.) are a good source of healthy fats
- Fish – especially fatty fish (like salmon) that contain omega-3 fatty acids
- Whole grains – contain important vitamins and fiber
If you don’t have many of those foods in your kitchen, think about adding them to your grocery list for this weekend!
Then … experiment with some fun recipes: here are some to check out: https://www.eatingwell.com/gallery/12952/anti-inflammatory-recipes/ )
Together, these foods provide antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, prebiotics, and polyphenols to help your body function optimally.
Another possible add-on that research shows might help: probiotics – but be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about supplements before you add them to your routine! This is what I have found to be extremely effective: Life 9
Another daily addition I personally add is 2-4 ounces of Ningxia Red. This delicious whole-body nutrient is packed full of antioxidants to combat oxidative stress, support normal cellular function, and promotes natural energy levels! It fills in the gaps I might be missing from my food.
As you can see, it’s not only what you don’t eat that matters for your health – it’s also what you DO eat!
We’re all about creating REAL sustainable transformation and change. Reach out if I can help you in any way.