Category Archives: Attitude

Is Your Health Boat Sinking?

By Melissa Blair, RHN

Imagine being in the middle of the ocean. The boat you’re in has sprung a leak. The water is deep, the shore is distant and your boat is filling up fast. You quickly start to feel afraid and desperate as you search for a bucket to bail the water out.

You think a bucket will save you, but a bucket will only do so much. Sooner or later the water will come in faster than you can bail it out. You’re about to hit rock bottom. This crisis can exhaust you if you stay fixated on the effects of the hole. Or it can make you realize that if you want to stay afloat, you need to fix the hole in your boat.

There’s something in this boat sinking analogy, because when life gets difficult, or a health crisis hits. many people get caught up trying to mask, hide or control the symptoms rather than fixing, balancing or eliminating the cause of the issue. The problem is that if you waste energy, money and time trying to bail out the “raising water line” but never fix the hole, your boat will sink.

It’s important to listen to your body’s signs and symptoms of being overstressed so that you can support your mainframe immune and nervous systems. Practicing a daily fitness program, eating a nutritious diet and incorporating adaptogens are three great ways to support your body before stress, illness or injuries occur and will help quicken recovery when a crisis does occur.

As an example, it’s not a matter of if but when someone in your world of friends has a cold or flu and you feel totally doomed that you will catch what they’ve got. The people who expect to get sick usually do. I used to actually avoid sharing air with family, friends and clients who had a cold or flu to prevent getting sick from their germs. That was before I adopted a holistic health routine. Now I no longer am afraid to get sick when others around me are sick, because I armor up my immune system daily with proper sleep, proper food nutrients and add adaptogen products such as PURICA Immune 7, Complete 360, Vitality or Prevent and Prevail with some added oil or oregano depending on the severity of the germ attack. When you build your health from the inside out, you can confidently thrive in the outside world.

So next time you feel your health ship is sinking with stress or illness attack, listen to your body, don’t try to mask the fever, headache, mood swing or lack of energy, but instead support the area that needs support from the inside out. It’s the best way to keep your boat afloat.

Melissa Blair, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of Purica Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. For more information, check out her website or email her.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At Purica, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

Ensuring a “Healthy” Relationship

Ah, when you were single…you had a fixed routine of getting up, working out, making meals for yourself and getting to bed early for a good night sleep. The good old days…

Then you met someone, started eating out, drinking more, exercising less and before you knew it, the pounds crept up and settled in.

What happened to encouraging and inspiring one another to be more fit and healthy? How did you let their bad habits become yours? When did every Friday become pizza night rather than your favourite fitness class?

We all have the best intentions in relationships but the fact is, oftentimes couples enable each other’s bad habits and fall into a rut.

The good news is there are easy steps you can take to get back on track and become a stronger couple in many ways!

If your partner seems unsupportive when it comes to your health, it’s important to have an honest conversation and get to the bottom of why. Sometimes partners can feel threatened or jealous when you have a life outside of them. If they resent you for having fun without them, the easiest solution is to invite them along! Find a couple of activities that you both enjoy and sweat it out together.

When it comes to cooking and eating healthy, you can build a real closeness by cooking together or trying new restaurants together rather than defaulting to their favourite spot or yours.

Sometimes, as much as we want our partners to be as interested in everything that’s important to us, it just doesn’t work out that way…pardon the pun.

If you love getting up early, hitting the gym and starting your day with a nutritious breakfast and your partner prefers to sleep in and skip eating until noon, don’t give in to that.

Stand up for yourself. Get up, get ready and hit the road, without criticizing them for not having the same routine. The best way to inspire someone is through your actions not accusations. Be honest with your partner and let them know that your health and theirs is a top priority because you want to live the best life together. Always ask if they want to join you or if they have anything that they would like you to support.

Relationships should be holistically healthy. If you find yourself in a destructive, relationship or one that’s causing chronic stress that is limiting your body from building, remind yourself you don’t have to be.

Make sure you’re with someone who fits you! Or at least lets you be the healthiest you possible!

How to Add Perserverance To Your New Year’s Resolution

Many of us made a healthy New Year’s resolution; maybe to lose weight, quit smoking, drink less or workout more. Unfortunately by mid January more than 95% of New Years resolutions will be abandoned. So what can you do to make this year different than last year’s failed attempt at change?

First you must be honest, with yourself. If you don’t have the courage to ask yourself “Where do I need to change?” and then break the barrier of pride to make that change you are setting yourself up for failure. If you’re not sure what you need to change to achieve success are you willing to ask a coach or the people closest to you, “Where do I need to change?”

Once you’ve set your resolution to change take starting measurements and do a behavior assessment on day one to honestly evaluate where you are and know what you need to do. This is an important step because you can only manage what you measure. If you don’t know the measure of your health, you can’t develop and grow in health. You can only manage what you measure.

Here are some effective strategies to start a resolution any time of year and stay strong when you get the urge to splurge or hit the snooze button instead of the gym.

1. Start with just one thing. If you want to change your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

2. Write your goals down and include their due dates to keep you accountable. People who put their goals on paper are up to 86% more likely to achieve them than those who merely think them. It’s also important to record your progress in any goal in a journal. If you’re going to set some health goals or any kind of goal, record your progress throughout the year so you can measure your growth and celebrate your success.

3.Don’t be a loser. Rather than saying ‘I’m going to lose ten pounds’, set behavioral goals like ‘This week I’ll go to the gym three times, take the stairs at work, and bring a healthy lunch every day rather than eating out. Focusing on what you will do rather than what you don’t want gives you an action plan to follow at times when willpower fades.

4. When you feel discouraged, remind yourself how much you’ve accomplished in the past to remind yourself you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it.

5.Treat any failure as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether. Perseverance is the key to success.

How To Combat Feeling SAD

During the winter months we tend to eat more sleep more and experience more ups and downs during the shorter days. Winter can cause some people to experience weight gain and a lack of energy but it can also bring on a form of clinical depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Research by the Mayo Clinic reports SAD is diagnosed more often in women than in men, but men may have more-severe symptoms. Young people have a higher risk of winter SAD than older adults. Living far from the equator and having family history of SAD or other forms of depression may increase your risk of seasonal affective disorder.

Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:

  • Cravings for sweets and starchy foods
  • Weight gain
  • Heavy feeling in the arms or legs
  • Noticeable drop in energy
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Oversleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating at work and at home
  • Irritability, Constant agitation and anxiety
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Increased sensitivity to social rejection
  • Hopelessness (including suicidal thoughts)

Don’t brush off these seasonal feelings as simple “winter blues” that you have to tough out or just shake off. Here are some effective remedies to keep your mood, motivation and movement up throughout the winter.

  • Exercise regularly, even in cold weather. A brisk walk outdoors can improve mood and help combat weight gain.
  • Physical activity helps relieve stress and anxiety.
  • A healthy diet rich in Vit D, E and B
  • Light therapy is a common treatment for winter SAD. Light box therapy mimics outdoor light and can improve mood in as little as two weeks.
  • Decreased sunlight hours can lead to a Vitamin D deficiency. Supplementing your diet with a high quality Vitamin D3 supplement can help regulate mood.
  • Mind-body therapies that may help relieve depression symptoms include: Acupuncture, yoga, meditation, Guided imagery and Massage therapy

It’s normal to have some days when you feel down. But if you feel down for several days or weeks at a time and you can’t get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, be sure to see your doctor.

Winter Lifestyle Practices

Winter is the season with the least amount of light, coldest temperatures and very skin drying conditions indoors with furnace heaters etc. Your skin might need more moisture and your body might crave more sleep to keep a healthy glow. Waking up in the dark to go to work and then not having time in the sun after work can create a natural tendency to feel introverted and can trigger feelings of depression or you might naturally want to eat warm, hearty comfort foods. To prevent hibernation pounds from creeping on this winter season here are some Winter Lifestyle Practices to help your health radiate!

  • Stay hydrated and add warming spices such as ginger, cloves and cinnamon to your herbal teas and recipes rather than sugary lattes or dehydrating caffeinated beverages.
  • Increase your fat intake slightly with healthy essential fatty acids found in avocado, raw nuts, fish or chia seeds to nourish supple skin and provide a grounding feeling during the dark cold months.
  • Incorporate more root vegetables such as, yams, pumpkin, squash or sweet potato rich in beta-carotene that will keep skin nourished and bright from the vitamin A conversion.
  • It’s tempting to curl up and not want to move when it’s cold outside, but the combination of dark days, cold temperatures and non-activity is the perfect combo to weaken immune function and contribute to depression. You must stay active! There are thousands of great DVD’s, online programs and apps that you can do at home to avoid the cold and still honor your workout time.
  • If you are limited to the amount of sunlight exposure I suggest taking a high quality Vitamin D3 vitamin, such as the Vegan D3 gummies by PURICA to help keep immune function string, balance moods and maintain healthy bones.
  • Honor your body’s natural tendency to want to stay in and sleep more. A nice relaxing evening in, sipping on some warm Effervescent Magnesium while enjoying a hot bath will help support muscle relaxation, improve your quality of sleep and increase your overall level of wellbeing.

Prime Time IT (Internal Talk)

When you want to achieve optimal fitness success, you need some daily Prime Time to condition your Internal Talk.  What I mean by “prime time” is you need mental preparation time to set your intention for the day and insure your internal talk supports your set goals.

The first thing to do during prime time is identify any self-defeating words or labels you use to describe yourself. These can be words like lazy, fat, or weak. Or they can be limiting belief statements like, “I’m never going to get fit” or “I won’t ever be able to keep up with these healthy habits”, or a very common one, “ I hate my body. “ Dig deep and be honest to discover what self-prophesying internal talk you’ve been trapping yourself with. This step still applies to you even if you’re already fit because we all can create imaginary ceilings that can leave us with “trouble spots” or unconsciously stuck.

Step two is; identify and derail the scenarios that trigger the negative internal talk. For example, if you go to bed saying “ I can’t be a morning person” and you set your workout time to be a six am sweat session, the chances of you fulfilling the self-defeating statement, “I’m never going to get fit” is pretty high. Your subconscious mind is working 24/7, which is why you need some prime time to recondition your intention.

Step three of Prime Time is where you change IT! Changing your internal talk from the thoughts that have been keeping you stuck to ones that perpetuate positive change is how you convince your body to do a workout, even when you don’t “feel” like it.  This can be as simple as replacing the word can’t with can the moment it’s trying to leave your lips. This little swap transforms the statement “ I can’t be a morning person” to “I can be a morning person.” After a couple weeks of Prime Timing your IT, you will build the new positive belief  “I am a morning person.”

If you don’t think such a simple change can create the change you crave, I challenge you to fully commit to applying your new positive self-talk to your daily walk. That’s right walk the talk and refuse to let a bad day change your prime time perspective. Take control of your subconscious and deliberately choose your thoughts. Be intentional with your words and relentless with your actions. Refuse to let your potential life be buried and let your optimized self shine!

Decide. Do. Delete.

In your life, it’s up to you to decide what you want to happen. You have that power.

If you want to make things different, you have to make different decisions, do different things and delete old habits.  Just because you are where you are now doesn’t mean that you can’t make changes. Your current situation is the result of choices made up until this point. If you are unhappy with your current weight, fitness level or energy level, you are fully capable of making better choices from this moment onward.  These new choices will lead you toward your optimal weight, health and fitness level.  In fact, you are the only person capable of making the decision to change your ways.

If you take the time to specify what you want to achieve and why, you can then make a plan of attack and apply successful strategies from other areas of your life to strengthen the area in which you want to improve. You can strengthen your willpower through visualization and by reminding yourself regularly of why your goals are important to you.

Changing behavior isn’t easy and positive change rarely happens on a whim. You already know what giving up feels like. I want you to see what happens if you don’t.

The importance of planning your own development will be the key over the coming weeks, months and years. Success will require saying “yes” to any external influences that move you forward in your aims and saying “no” to anyone and anything that will slow you down or lead you off track.

This is where moderation comes into play, not! Moderation might be the most overused word in the entire nutrition and fitness universe because people like the idea of not restricting themself and being able to eat anything they want so long as it’s not “too much.” The problem with moderation is that it’s a fantasy, not a strategy. Without clear boundaries, old habits will always win.

Behavioral research shows that the more specific an action is, the more likely you are to actually do it. So decide what you need to change and be single minded. Focus fully on the chosen behavior and tune into all the opportunities that will take you there quickly. Be consistent with the little things and the big change will happen. Nobody can talk you into your future but you. Don’t let fear talk yourself out of your full potential. If you can talk yourself out of going to the gym or making healthy food choices, you can talk yourself into it. Delete old unhealthy habits by building new healthy ones.

Words only work when you work them. A plan only works when you work it!

How to Handle Stress Better

Giving your body nutritional and supplement support it needs is only part of the solution to be better at handling stress. When you start feeling anxious and stressed out, ask yourself “Am I in imminent danger?” simply taking a moment to realize that the true answer is no, is often enough to turn off your “ fight or flight” response and allow your adrenals to relax. Much of the sugar cravings, exhaustion and irritability that are so common these days stem from adrenal exhaustion. To get well and feel less stressed long term; try these healthy habits to help you handle stress better. Continue reading

Managing Your Mood

We all experience ups and downs as we live through life. How you feel from day to day depends not on the outside factors such as your job or relationships, but on how you perceive them. Truth be told, you have little control over what happens to you.   You do have complete control over how you react and pre-act to bring about positive mood changes and make coping with stress, loss, life changes or family worries easier to handle rather than making them an insurmountable obstacle. Continue reading