|—||Dr. Gabor Mate, When The Body Says No|
Great article that discusses how kids are bombarded with sugary treats… that are no longer treats, junk food is now the norm. Have shared a little bit of the article below.
“Healthy snacks should be the default, especially now that teens are developing coronary-artery disease and children under age 10 are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he said.
Close to a third of Canadian children aged 5 to 17 are overweight or obese, Statistics Canada reported in 2012. Type 2 diabetes, once considered an adult-onset disease, is increasingly common in children. A 2010 study published in the journal Diabetes Care estimated the minimum Canadian incidence rate to be 1.54 new cases per 100,000 children under age 18.”
-Stress is normal, and some kinds of stress are good.
-You CAN learn how to better manage stress.
-Chronic stress can affect every physical and psychological system.
During my final year living in Toronto I was working full time with a Marketing Agency and taking night classes studying nutrition. Needless to say, it was an extremely stressful time in my life. Not to mention attempting to fit a social life in the mix. It was very overwhelming. After a recent class, a student asked what I do to help with personal anxiety and stress. I didn’t realize how many little things I did to keep myself grounded during that crazy time in my life. These are things that I continue to implement today.
The most important thing to remember is that we each handle anxiety and stress differently. The scary part about it is how everything is interconnected within our bodies. So although the stress you are experiencing stems from workload, worry or unhappiness, it appears in other places in our bodies. Below are some symptoms and warning signs of anxiety and stress:
- Shallow breathing
- Weight on chest
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Difficulty concentrating
- Racing heart
- Muscle tension
This list is just scraping the surface of different ways that anxiety and stress can manifest itself. Recognizing that you are feeling overwhelmed and your “symptoms” is the first step. The second step is to find what works for you to help alleviate these symptoms and calm your mind and body.
Deep breathing. One day driving home from work, I realized that I was barely breathing, only using the upper part of my lungs. After noticing the shallow breath, I soon realized that it was a common habit I had that came with my anxiety. From that day on, I made a point of taking deep breaths, allowing my lungs to expand, pushing the diaphragm and belly out. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to bring myself down from a high stress day and prepare for evening studying, by simply taking a few deep breaths on the drive home.
A cup of tea. There is something about the experience of drinking a cup of tea that helps to sooth the mind. The aroma and warmth of the experience calms the body and mind.
Journaling. When we allow ourselves to write out thoughts, it gives us the opportunity to express our true feelings in the situation. It is a way of getting our thoughts out to the Universe so our mind no longer needs to focus on the situation.
Light a candle. By dimming the lights and lighting a candle, we are able to create a calm environment to find relaxation in. I used a lot of aromatherapy during the hectic time in my life and was particularly attracted to scents that I later learned were all associated with calming the mind and body. Some of my favourites include lavender, ylang ylang, orange and chamomile.
Take a walk. There is something about getting fresh air, moving your body and tuning into your favourite jams. The great thing about a playlist is that you can pick/create one that is appropriate for your mood. Walking outside we connect with nature, get fresh air, vitamin D and promote circulation that supports relieving tension in the body.
Magnesium. During particularly overwhelming times, when my entire body felt exhausted and tense, I would take a magnesium supplement that helps with relaxing muscles and calming the body.
Yes, there was more than one Saturday night during that time in my life when I could be found getting home from a walk, putting the kettle on, burning aromatherapy and sitting down to write in my journal. This was my way of coping with that part of my life and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn and grow during that tough time. And yes, can still be found simultaneously doing each of those things.
The most important thing when it comes to anxiety and stress is to find what works for you. If we are experiencing anxiety and stress, we are not able to fully show up in the moment and therefore not able to give our best selves in work or to our family. Take care of yourself during the tough times in whatever way feels right to you.
Does going to the gym or out for a run feel like a chore to you?
The reality we all know is that it is crucial to move our bodies. On a cellular level, movement and exercise facilitates the breakdown of old tissues and regeneration of new cells. Our entire body is made of billions of cells, so new cellular regeneration supports the growth of new tissues. This process is essentially making our bodies younger and more efficient as we are encouraging and facilitating renewal.
The benefits of movement are well known as well, but just to be sure we know how good it is for us, see the list below:
- Improved mood
- Decreased stress
- Enhanced concentration
- Higher self-esteem
- Strengthen and toned muscles
- Controls weight
- Combats health conditions and diseases
- Promotes better sleep
- Supports the immune system
The fact of the matter is that we need to move our bodies, daily, for our entire lives. So find the fun in movement! Instead of going on that same running route you’ve been doing for the last 2 years, head to the woods for a hike. As you send your kids out on their bikes, why not join them for a ride? Remember how much fun badminton was in school? Why not find a friend to play a game. Enjoy a good dance party? Try a Zumba class. A game of tag with your kids is great cardio! Ever considered rock climbing? There are indoor gyms in most big cities. Or did you play a sport growing up? You could join up for a league in your local sports and social club.
Set a goal. Setting a movement goal provides you with an incentive on those days that you might not feel like getting off the couch. It could be a reward that you need to train your body to prepare for, such as a ski vacation or hiking the Rockies. It could be an adventure goal of exploring all the trails in your community or exploring your community by foot or bike. It could be a challenge goal of participating in a race such as a half marathon or biking tour. It could be a daily goal of walking the stairs every day at work. It could be the goal of setting up a team to join the local soccer, basketball, volleyball or whatever sport you like league.
The point is – find what you love to do when it comes to movement! Knowing the importance of physical activity for your health and that you will be doing it for the rest of your life, find the fun in movement! Feeling and maybe even looking young isn’t such a horrible side effect. So be creative, try new things, go play, get adventurous and move your body!!!
- In the 1900s the average person ate 15 grams of fructose (fruit sugar) per day. The average person today eats 70-80 grams of fructose, with teenagers eating upwards of 120-150 grams!!!
- Per person we eat about 150 pounds of sugar per year
- Sugar is addictive! You can experience bingeing, withdrawal and cravings.
- Fat free means that it is loaded with sugar. A 2 lb bag of sugar is fat free in nature. But when consumed insulin turns sugar into fat in the body
- Soda and other sugary drinks are the largest source of calories in our diet. – 2010 Dietary Guidelines of Americans
- An extra sugary drink each day increases a child’s risk of obesity by 60%. – The Lancet 2001
- One or two sugary drinks a day increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 25%. – Diabetes Care, 2010
- The sugars and acids in soda promote tooth decay. – Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health, 2000
- Diabetes is the cause of more than 60,000 amputations a year. – U.S. Centers for Disease Control
- Your risk of obesity increases by 41% for each can of diet soda you drink a day.
- There are over 50 ways to list sugar as an ingredient on a label some including: fructose, barley malt, caramel, corn syrup, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, maltodextrin, molasses, rice syrup, evaporated cane juice… and the list goes on!