The Most Important Asset Of All… Is This

Guest Post By Karen Landriau

When Nathalie posted  “Accounting is Sexy”, I knew I had to read it because it triggered a “Whaaaat?” reaction in me.  If this got you curious too, you can read it here. She mentions the two (2) most overlooked parts of business and I’m adding what I believe to be the MOST overlooked, the SEXIEST of them all: You.

Without you there is no business.

Taking care of yourself  is actually an integral part of your business and that contributes to its growth.

If you don’t put yourself as a priority in your business it will suffer.  When your health is optimal EVERYTHING is easier.

Good news, bad news

The good news is, your body  & mind usually don’t break down overnight.  The bad news is … well, they don’t usually break down overnight.  And this is one of the reasons we keep putting ourselves last on our list.  It isn’t one mishap but the daily little actions that we take that make us healthy or not.  Whether your overload of toxins produces symptoms such as headaches, weight gain, bloat, acne, cough, pains & aches or moodiness, they all play a role in how your business is doing.

When you keep ignoring them over time, they start affecting your business slowly slowly until you can’t do it anymore because that cold has got you glued to your bed, your foggy mind can’t focus on that deal/strategy and you just can’t decide what the right thing to do is, you get impatient with a major client and blow that relationship, you get burnt out and just lose your drive.   This isn’t why you started your business.  Okay, maybe a bit melodramatic but you get the point and these things happen at different degrees.

As a business owner, everything is your responsibility.  Isn’t it even more important to be at your optimal health since everything is dependant on you?  If your mind is not totally focused, clear, and able to handle the challenges how long do you think your business will last?

Now, I know.  You‘re super busy and things really need to get done so what’s a driven entrepreneur to do?  Here are 3 easy strategies that you can implement today without thinking about it too much to keep you and your business healthy.

Go for quality over quantity

You have children and/or tight deadlines and schedules and can’t go to bed early enough so, at least make it count when you close your eyes at night.  Have that room completely dark.  I mean pitch black dark, “can’t see your hand in front of your face” dark.

The darkness  allows your body to produce the hormone melatonin needed to help the internal natural rhythm of sleep.  Disruption in melatonin production may affect how your body stores fat and potentially lead to weight gain.  There are studies that even link the lack of melatonin with premature aging, cancer & heart problems. Now, does any of that sound good for your business?

Here’s how you can maintain darkness during sleep:

  • Get blackout curtains or a sleep mask
  • Put a towel on the floor at the bedroom door to prevent the light from the other side/hallway to come through under it
  • Cover your digital clock and put a towel over it

Ok, maybe the mask is not the sexiest for your partner but definitely the sexiest when you wake up looking all refreshed and not snapping at anyone.

The Trifecta effect

IMG_3091This one is not talked about enough.  Did you know that the air inside your office or home is most of the time more polluted than outside?  And if you wonder how that affects your health, just ask someone with asthma or someone that had mold in their house how much quality air is important? You don’t need those major problems for quality air to affect you.

When you stay indoors for long periods of time you keep breathing the same air.  That air becomes stale. Your body needs fresh air to be fuelled. When you get more oxygen to your brain, the clearer your mind becomes.

Over time,  if you keep breathing in stale air you may get various symptoms like headaches, tiredness, sluggishness.  Also, fresh air is essential for keeping your immune system strong, so without it, you may get frequent colds.  I’ve never heard of increased productivity at work during  a cold, have you?

Going outside and getting some fresh air is the 3 in 1 perfection.  The fresh air provides oxygen to your brain & every cell in your body.  And, you’re probably not just standing around breathing, hopefully you went around the block for a short walk,  you moving a bit contributes to increasing your blood flow and that means more energy & oxygen and more oxygen helps your brain operate better!   The third benefit is that you get some sunshine at the same time, even if the skies are overcast, it’s still triggering your skin to produce some Vitamin D which is good for the immune and nervous system and the brain.  Makes me want to step outside right now!

Last but not least

IMG_2824How can I not talk about hydrating properly when it has such a big affect on your energy, your hunger, your skin, your digestion, you immune system & your mind!

Your impaired mental abilities are the first symptoms of dehydration. Do you think your business runs smoother on a dehydrated brain?

Although we all know we should drink more we don’t always do it.

So the best way, the easiest way to incorporate this into your daily life is to start your day with 8 to 16 ounces, room temperature water, as soon as you wake up!

Whether you put the glass on your nightstand, the counter in the bathroom or the kitchen counter right in front of the coffee machine,  drinking water first thing just helps your body and mind get started in the morning.

Bonus points if you added fresh lemon juice to it (no plastic juice please!) but not necessary.

Progression versus perfection

IMG_3854One step at a time.  You won’t be perfect every single day.  It is the daily little actions that count and make a big difference. So choose one strategy, just one, choose the easiest for you to integrate during the week and do it for one week and see the benefits for you and your business in only 7 days.

When you’re healthy, you have a happier disposition, you see things differently, you make different choices and you can handle the challenges better.  When you’re in your optimal health state you are the next level of you.  So tell me, how can your business not be affected by that?  How are you not the most important & sexiest asset in you business?  Do yourself and your business a favor and start treating yourself like the sexiest, most important asset that you know you are.

Wishing you prosperous health & wealth!

IMG_4546Karen is a holistic health strategist and the creator of the KLANDAR,  a tool that guides her clients from where they are now to where they want to be.  She supports men & women who have put themselves on the back burner long enough and are ready to take their health to the next level.  She is the support whisperer for a healthier lifestyle.   Her approach is pretty different than what most people are used to.  It’s not just about food.

karenlandriau.com

 

5 Inventive Ways to Use Herbal Teas

 Byline: Dr. Tonia Winchester

Dr. Tonia Winchester, on tea, self care and nourishmentI love tea. As a naturopathic doctor I often recommend my patients include certain herbal teas as part of their treatment plan. Teas contain amazing plant molecules (geek alert: called phytochemicals) that can support the body’s immune function, hormone balancing, and digestive processes. Also, non caffeinated teas can be included as part of your water intake for the day.

I think there is something really special about preparing a cup of tea for yourself. It’s nourishing to the soul, and nutritive to the body. That’s a double whammy of goodness.

Sometimes people can get bored of just drinking tea. Especially the same tea over and over again.

I’ve come up with inventive ways to get the nutrients of the tea, without having to “drink” the tea in the typical way. It’s like tea accessorizing. Fun eh?

5 Ways To Enjoy Herbal Teas

1. Instead of drinking it hot, drink it cold

This is especially great on hotter days. Often I’ll add lemon to my leftover tea from the night before and drink it first thing in the morning.

2. Freeze it as ice cubes (or popsicles)

This is another good one for the summer, but can be done at any time of year. Where do we typically put ice cubes? Well, in beverages of course. But also smoothies. Toss the tea cubes in there, and blend. Mint and ginger teas are great for this. Add them to stevia sweetened lemonade.

3. Add tea to your smoothies as the liquid base

This is another great use of last night’s left over tea. Instead of nut milks or juice, use tea for your smoothies. Fruity teas work well here, but you can also use green tea, and rooibos. Here’s a trick of the trade. If you want the antioxidant benefits of the green tea without the caffeine, steep it below 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees Farenheit).

4. Include tea when you’re cooking grains

Combine it with water to make, rice, or quinoa, as examples. Savory teas are great options here. Make a tea out of your favorite culinary herb. Try parsley, sage, or oregano. Actually anything in your cupboard will have medicinal properties. Most are antimicrobial (they kill bugs). Rosemary is particularly good for the brain and liver. I call it the herb of remembrance. My husband calls it the herb of chicken. Lemon balm (a member of the mint family) tea is a great way to cook your morning oatmeal. Both plants are very soothing to upset digestive systems especially when the symptoms (pain, discomfort, gas, bloating, diarrhea, IBS,) are related to stress and nervous tension. Soothing to the body and mind.

5. Combine with water or stock to use as the base for soups or stews

Culinary herbal teas are a great fit here too. Chop up garlic finely and boil in a covered pot for 20 minutes. You’ve just made a decoction – a tea made from harder parts of plants such as roots and bark. Include your garlic tea in the soup pot instead of sauteing the garlic (you can also use an onion). If we’re being technical, all stocks are really just decoctions, so you can get creative here.

I promised you 5, but I’m giving you a bonus. All the above options were for consuming tea. But there is another great way to use tea – as a compress. It’s a way to get the medicinal benefits of the herbs into the body through the skin.

How to make your tea compress

  1. Make tea
  2. Dip clean face cloth (or fabric) in tea
  3. Wring out cloth
  4. Apply to area of concern

Compresses can be done hot or cold. Just make sure you don’t burn yourself!

4 examples of tea compresses:

  • Use a lavender tea compress at the shoulders and neck to reduce tension, induce calm and relieve headaches
  • Apply comfrey tea compress to wounds, sores, injuries
  • Place a chamomile tea compress over abdomen to calm down an irritated belly (great in combination with your lemon balm oatmeal
  • Drape a thyme tea compress over the chest for coughs, colds, and built-up phlegm

 

Dr. Tonia Winchester, naturopathic physician, self care activator, healthy and purposeful living revolutionaryDr. Tonia Winchester believes that healthy, happy people doing what they love, contributes to a more peaceful world. As a Naturopathic physician, mind-body healer, and self-care revolutionary she teaches busy, super-women how to make time for what is important by teaching them how to look after themselves. She’s been featured on local news and radio programs, and joyfully edutains her audience about healthy and purposeful living at drtoniawinchester.com

5 Tips for Living Gluten-Free

Byline: Samantha Elkrief

I’ve been living gluten-free and sugar-free for a few years now. And let me tell you, I’ve learned a lot along the way! I’ve had lots of great guides, and lots of blunders, too (have you learned the difference between coconut powder and coconut flour? they are definitely not the same!).

Here are some of my favorite tips that helped me along my journey. Some of them I’ve heard a million times, but sometimes you just need to hear these things again and again.

1. Know Your Stuff

The first thing we learn are the basics; gluten can be found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. But, for whatever reason, gluten is hiding in a lot of what you think of as innocuous places. Soy sauce was one place I definitely didn’t expect to find wheat. Who decided to put that there? And that’s one of the tricky things. The food industry doesn’t always make sense. Which is why you are now charged with learning the information for yourself.

Another thing many people overlook as they begin to cut out gluten is that a lot of batters contain gluten. That includes the panko crumbs on your sushi or coating on your fish or chicken. Make sure to read ingredients. This is how you’ll learn.

Vitamins are another culprit that can contain hidden sources of gluten. When buying vitamins, you want to look for a section that says that there is no gluten or wheat in the product. There a number of lists online that detail what to avoid, and some retailers, like Whole Foods, keep lists of their gluten-free products. Remember, it’s up to you to know your stuff. And tip #2 is my advice to you as you work your way there.

2. Stand proud

Making the switch to living gluten-free can be a stressful transition, whether you have celiac disease or a food sensitivity. The most important thing to do at this point is to stand proud of your choice and know that you are doing it for your well being. People may make fun of you, or think it’s a drag to try to find a place to eat, but that’s their problem, not yours. You’re about to feel so much better, and that’s what this is about.

When you’re proud, you aren’t embarrassed to ask questions. Ask your waiter what is in the food you want to order off the menu. You can even call restaurants in advance to ask them if they can accommodate you. Be that person. It’s your life, it’s your health.

3. Explore and Experiment

Over the years I have discovered so many awesome recipes, products and people through changing my diet. And, believe it or not, every year it just gets better and better. Experimenting in the kitchen can be a lot of fun, and there are tons of bloggers that specialize in gluten-free food. Including baking. To tell you the truth, I was never a baker until I went gluten-free, and now I find it to be a ton of fun. You can make crackers, breads, cakes and cookies in ways you never would have imagined. Going gluten-free is just like any new skill. You’ll learn from those who came before you and through trial and error.

4. Get support

If you’re anything like me, you might feel like you can do everything on your own. Well, I won’t argue with you there! You definitely can. But it is so much easier and more enjoyable with others. Let people know what you’re up to so they can support you. Join a meetup or facebook group where you can chat with other gluten-free folks. Who knows, you may even make a friend or two!

Keep in mind that some people won’t support your lifestyle changes. The people you want in your life will support you, especially if your goal is to feel your very best. Just like it takes time to find recipes and restaurants that work for you, it may take time to find the right support network. It can also take time for friends and family to come around and support you. And, it will get better and easier over time.

5. Be ready

I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry, I get moody. Apparently there is even a word for it – “hangry”. Since going gluten-free, finding food when I’m in this state has become harder. So, I prepare. You can keep almonds and chopped fruits in your bag, a prepped salad or dehydrated flax crackers.

It’s also important to make sure that you’ve got a pantry full of gluten-free goodies, so you don’t have to scramble when you get home. Keep hard boiled eggs in the fridge, and hummus and chopped veggies like carrots, zucchini or celery. And when you find a meal that you like, write it down. Over time you’ll build up a super diverse menu that doesn’t include pasta every night, and your friends will all be jealous of your meals. Who said gluten-free had to be boring?

I hope you’ve enjoyed my 5 tips on living gluten-free! If you’ve enjoyed these tips, check out my website and jump on my newsletter, I have tons of tips and tricks for those who struggle with less than optimal digestion and want to improve their health through diet and lifestyle.

 

IMG_6045

Samantha Elkrief is a Social Worker and Holistic Health Coach committed to talking about everything and anything other people are embarrassed to talk about. As a health coach, I specialize in supporting people with less than optimal digestion find ways to live happier and fuller lives. For information about working with Samantha and upcoming classes, visit www.SimplySamanthaNYC.com.

Top 5 Foods To Eat Every Day For Glowing Skin

Byline: Jill Therese

I’ve always been obsessed with beautiful skin.farmers market loot

I had pretty bad acne growing up and was never very happy about it so “skin stuff” was always on my mind.

I tried every pill, every cream, every random “new fad”, saw countless dermatologists, took hormones… you name it, I tried it.

Until one day, when I was 24 years old (I had been struggling with my skin since I was 9, so a full 15 years ) I had a particularly awful dermatologist appointment and decided that something needed to change.

I finally figured out how to clear my skin through food and have learned so much.

Thankfully, now that I have clear skin, I get to focus more on eating foods that help me *glow* a bit more. While there are many different types of foods you can eat for glowing skin, I wanted to share my 5 favorites with you so that you can glow a bit brighter today too!

My Top 5 Raw Foods For Glowing Skin

1. Avocados

Often referred to as “mother nature’s skin moisturizer”, avocados contain a large amount of vitamin E, which is a strong antioxidant that prevents aging.

Quick tip: I take my avocados, mash them up with lemons, pepper, add a dash of salt and then dip some carrots in. Healthy guacamole = best guacamole.

(You can also use avocado as a mask which is totally fun and leaves your skin oh-so-soft.)

2. Green Juice

Full disclosure here: I basically feel that green juices are the holy grail of glowing skin. They’re super anti-inflammatory, have a ton of vitamins, help tremendously with digestion, and lower the overall acidity in your body.

Make sure that any green juice you grab has at least a 2:2 ratio of veggies to fruits, so that you’re not taking in too much sugar (which can wreak havoc on your skin.

3. Pomegranates

This fruit is super fun to eat (kinda weird too?) and can have an amazing effect on your skin. The antioxidants in the fruit help to lower overall inflammation and fight free radicals.

Pomegranates also have two powerful ingredients; hydrolysable tannins and anthocyanins – which are pretty powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.

4. Pumpkin seeds

One of the biggest reasons pumpkin seeds are so good for your skin is because of the crazy high amounts of zinc they have. Zinc protects cell membranes, helps to maintain high amounts of collagen and can really help if you have acne (acne sufferers often have chronically low levels of zinc in their systems) because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Blueberries

Many of the vitamins in blueberries may calm/neutralize the levels of oil in your skin and help to maintain collagen and elastin, which can help keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay (#bestever- right?).

I try to have a serving (handful) of each of these raw foods daily for maximum skin glowy-ness- give them a try today!

Jill Therese is the founder of Heal Your Face With Food and is dedicated to helping you heal your acne naturally, from the inside out. If you’re interested in acne clearing recipes, please click here to take her 14 Day Acne Clearing Jumpstart challenge!

Raw Food Plan To Help Calm Acne Breakouts

Byline: Jill Therese

Growing up, I can’t tell you how many times I left the dermatologist in tears.

juicing stuffsI’d sit in their office, hoping beyond hope and crossing my fingers and toes that this doctor would be the one.

This doctor would be understanding, sympathetic, kind.

This doctor would get it, give me some magic pill to help with my skin, I’d be beautiful, it would be great and I’d never have to think about acne again.

But it never worked like that.

They’d usually look me over, ask me what pills and creams I had tried… and just throw more pills/creams/all-the-scary-things at me. (And then I’d leave crying. Again.)

As I got older, however, I started asking one question at every appointment that eventually changed my life:

“Do you think it’s what I’m eating?”

“No. The food you’re eating has nothing to do with your acne”.

Persistently asking that question (and getting that frustrating answer) ended up ultimately changing my life.

Because I finally got to the point  (after my final dermatologist appointment when I left in tears, again) where the only thing- the only thing – I hadn’t tried, was food.

So I went on a mission.

I bought every book there was on nutrition, holistic healing, acne clearing and after 6 months of some intense life changes followed by a super strict 30 day acne clearing jumpstart, I healed my skin. For good. With food. (Ahem, doctor dermatologist are you reading this?)

Now, while I think every person’s body needs different remedies to heal their acne, I do think that there was one step that I took that you can take to help drastically heal any acne issues, and that is to start eating raw foods.

Raw foods completely changed my body and skin but the most important and noticeable effect they had was that they lowered the overall inflammation in my body.

Inflammation (on a cellular level) impacts almost every system in your body, including acne. In fact, research has shown that people with acne have higher levels of inflammatory chemicals in their bloodstream and can also often suffer from very low zinc levels – a powerful mineral and anti-inflammatory.

Raw Food Plan To Calm Acne Breakouts

Because I totally believe in the power of food to heal, I wanted to share the raw food anti-inflammatory plan I follow every day, try it for some relief with your persistent acne issues!

1. Start the morning off with something alkaline and low sugar.

A green juice is the best idea here.

Try this recipe: cucumber, green apple, kale, celery, lemon and parsley. All of the raw veggies here are super anti-inflammatory and can really help you remove some acidity from your bod.

2. Have a huge salad with at least 5 veggies in it, every day.

One of my acne clearing rules is that I try to have 10 fruits and veggies a day, but sometimes that number can seem overwhelming.

However, when you have a huge raw salad with 5 raw veggies, you’re halfway there.

I keep it really simple. Here’s my usual: romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and an avocado. I add a simple vinaigrette and I’m good to go!

3. Eat 1 handful of raw, mixed nuts every day (but avoid peanuts!)

Here are two great types of nuts that can be really helpful for your acne:

Brazil nuts: These nuts contain selenium, which can improve the skin’s elasticity and even fight infections/bacteria associated with acne. They also have vitamin E and fatty acids (super important here) which help to hydrate the skin while allowing the sebum in your skin (aka oil) to have a better consistency. Ultimately reducing acne inflammation.

Pistachios: Pistachios naturally contain vitamins A, C, E, zinc (ding-ding! super anti-inflammatory!) and folic acid. One study found that pistachios help to control blood sugar, which then lowers the amount of insulin in your blood stream (a good thing for acne clearing).

Try to grab 1 green juice, at least 5 veggies, and a handful of pistachios and/or brazil nuts every day. Over time, you may start to see your skin calm and rejuvenate, from the inside-out:)

Jill Therese is the founder of Heal Your Face With Food and is dedicated to helping you heal your acne naturally, from the inside out. If you’re interested in acne clearing recipes, please click here to take her 14 Day Acne Clearing Jumpstart challenge!