Monday, November 17, 2014

Tips for Fighting Illness this Season You Might Forget

So over time we form lots of habits. Research has shown it takes 2 weeks to form a bad habit, yet it takes months to form a good habit that sticks for life. That's why I offer a 6 month holistic health counseling option. 

Instead of running to the doctor for constant colds, the flu, stomach issues, and more wouldn't it be great if you had some tried and true practices in place to avoid a lot of that illness?!!! I mean I'm not promising you that you'll never get sick. In fact a short cold once a year or so can strengthen your immune system. 

What I'd like to offer you in this post are a few tips I share with clients so they they can be healthier, more productive, happier human beings, as well as their family members. 

I have friends who sadly it seems every time I turn around that they or their family members are sick. I ask you, WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT? Wouldn't you rather spend your time feeling healthy meanwhile doing some prep work here and there to stay that way. I think you're worth it, and that's the better option...what about you?

Things We Think Save Time

I just want to touch on two practices in our culture that keep our illness rates high.

The Fast Food Drive Thru

I know, I'm a mom, I've been there done that...picked up the kids from school or from homeschool co-op, ran to the store quickly afterwards, then you hear it, "MOOOOM, I'm hungry" 50 thousand times! You look at the clock and you know you forgot to put the chicken in the crock pot this morning, you're doing times tables practice in the car, AND  in 30 minutes is karate! That fast food drive thru looks oh so inviting. It's fast, you don't even have to get out of the car, and it will quiet the noise for at least the remainder of the ride.

Is it really a time saver though? So maybe you're fortunate enough to zip thru at dinner time, but what are you really paying for in that bag or box handed to you thru the window? Look, you're an intelligent person, I know you know the food in that box or bag is not really food. Let me reiterate to you's not really food. It is conventionally grown, GMO, chemical filled junk! There is absolutely, positively no nutrition in that meal you just tried to be ever so conspicuous about shoving down your throat at the red light.

I know $12 doesn't seem like a lot to feed a family, and you know what, you're absolutely correct. It should bother you that they just cooked your meal in under 120 seconds, and charged you so little. If they are a business, and managing to make a profit off of that small amount they charged you, then doesn't it make you wonder why real, whole, healthy foods at the farmer's market cost more? Ok, I'm not trying to beat you up. I do want you to see that you are throwing your dollars away though. 

So if there isn't any nutrition in what you just fed your child, is it any wonder they just asked for food 30 minutes later? Yes, our children are growing, but when they don't eat a balanced meal, with lots of plant foods (it's healthy fiber that fills you up by the way), good clean protein for the brain and muscles to work properly, and lots of healthy fats (especially for boys) their bodies cry for more.To compound that lack of nutrition also come a door wide open for illness. When we don't eat well with healthy, clean foods full of nutrition that we need to function and operate well, we tear down our immunity. So there we are plopped down in middle of the doctor's office sharing germs with infants there getting a check up...oh joy, or picking up worse infections from other children...lovely. 

Also when we create a habit of eating foods out it teaches our children to live their own lives that way. Cooking, sadly, has become a lost art. There's not too many things more satisfying than providing our families a really delicious. healthy, balanced meal. I am a single mom, so believe me, I know this may not happen everyday, but let's try to form a habit of making this the status quo. It's a life skill that everyone should have. Eating out all the time is also very expensive. If you saved that money, and put it into healthier food choices, and you learn how to shop for healthy foods the smart way, then you reap a beautiful harvest.

Okay so what if you're like, Marie, I hate to cook. It takes too much time, nothing I make turns out right, yada yada. I'm reminded of a friend as I write this sentence :) First ask yourself, why? Yes, why do you hate to cook. Is it simply because you don't know how? Is it not that you don't like to cook, but the underlying reason is you don't like to grocery shop? Is it because of all of the ungrateful small or sometimes big people walking around the house that when you spent time preparing a meal they turned up their noses? 

I want you to try again, please, do this for yourself, and your family. I have some fussy ones in my house too. I have decided that I am not a short order cook, and neither are you. Obviously, it's much easier the younger they are to make changes. I feel like if I make a somewhat tasty, healthy meal, and it's on their plate, or ready for the taking, and they don't want it, then they are not that hungry. If you're married, and your hubbs falls in that group, well I'd say compromise, and make sure at least one thing he loves or likes somewhat is ready to go. Oh and if you have older children, this includes boys, get their tails into the kitchen. there is no reason why those teens and in some cases pre-teens can't be making dinner 2-4 nights a week. Get them involved in the meal planning, and find healthier solutions for their favorite foods.

The Microwave

Here is another American standard in the US. I used to use my microwave everyday! I think I removed the microwave about 5 years ago.  You know what happened when I took it out, I actually started to cook as well as eat a ton more of raw foods! Things have never been the same.

This I realize may cause a feud in your home, so I'm certainly not advocating starting a war. Do a test, perhaps make it a game or a contest in your family. So here's a challenge for you and your kids. For 30 days I want you to unplug the microwave, maybe even, I know it's scary, but move it into your garage, or into a closet. Show everyone where the pots, pans, skillets, blender, a good knife, cutting board, and toaster oven is in the kitchen. Make it a competition. Come up with a really good prize (that doesn't involve food) for the whole family to enjoy for participating. If someone cracks, then they don't get to participate in the prize.

Print out some really simple, healthy recipes, say from my blog, or other food sites/blogs. Tape them onto the front of your kitchen cabinets, or put them in a binder that's easily accessible for all cooking. Just see what happens. Yeah, you might get complaints for about a week or two, but I bet at that 2 week point everyone will start to adjust. At the 30 day point you will have begun to establish a cooking routine. It will start to become doable.

I challenge you to unplug the microwave for several reasons. I understand your time is limited, so is mine. It concerns me however that something that normally takes over a hour to cook in the oven takes 60 seconds in the microwave. That heat level and radiation is totally transforming your food into an unidentified object. Read here what Dr. Joseph Mercola has to say. Also what I'd like you to do is consider what food really smells like, and then what it smells like after coming out of the microwave. If you use it often enough you may not even realize the grand difference. When I walk by newly microwaved foods they make me nauseous due to the smell. Maybe you won't become that sensitive to the smell, but who knows?

Eat, Cook, Live, Grow

My hope regardless for you and for those in your family, if you are married, or have children, is that you will grow closer by learning or re-learning new skills that will improve your health and wellness as well as relationships. If you are single, all still applies. Take time to reconnect around the dinner table while you eat. Connect by discussing the new recipes or kitchen tools you are trying, as well as other topics. Live well by eating wholesome real foods. Grow as you learn what is good for you as well as tastes fabulous, and what is not good. This is called engaging both primary foods (our relationships: personal, work, and spiritual), and secondary foods (what we eat) to create balance then equaling good health.

Be healthy and blessed! Helping you to be a good steward with your health!~Marie A. Ligorria, HHC

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