Tag Archives: Attitude

Survive, Revive and Thrive Through Your Coffee Breakup

Here’s Melissa’s second cup of tips to help you take a break from coffee and the side effects of caffeine.

If you brewed some inspiration from our recent blog on Managing Your Cup(s) of Coffee which was designed to help you take a break from coffee or even break your coffee habit for good — you will be happy to know that we’re following up here with some great tips and life hacks to help you survive the withdrawal, revive your energy and thrive through your coffee break.

It’s really all about avoiding the withdrawal symptoms!

The symptoms of caffeine withdrawal can sometimes be so overpowering that you can easily give in to your body’s need for a caffeine shot or two. Despite all the benefits of quitting caffeine, it requires a lot of will power to persevere through the common symptoms of headache, dizziness, constipation, irritability, lethargy, low concentration, confusion, and even depressed mood.

Here is what you can do to ease the withdrawal symptoms:

  1. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Replace your favourite coffee mug with a new favourite water bottle that you can refill with water or herbal teas to refuel your energy and eliminate headaches caused by dehydration.
  2. Bullet Chicory Tea: This was my own saving grace on days 5 to 15 and continues to be my morning kick-starter!Recipe: Brew some Chicory Dandelion Dark Roast tea. In a high-powered blender, blend 1 tablespoon MCT oil with ½ teaspoon PURICA Cordyceps or PURICA Chaga powder with 1 cup strong brewed tea to increase energy and help regulate bowel movement.
  3. Sleep Better, Perform Better. Giving up caffeine might initially cause fatigue but with time, your sleep will improve along with your energy, mood, digestion and clarity of your skin. As you become less dependent on caffeine to boost your energy, your nervous system will recover from being constantly stimulated into overdrive and start feeling more energetic from better quality sleep and lower cortisol levels and inevitably, your performance will become better than before.
  4. Move it to lose it. Light exercise like walking and running can work wonders to boost your energy levels, improve mood and curb your caffeine cravings. You can also reduce your stress levels with healthy activities like yoga and meditation.
  5. Eat regular meals instead of gulping acidic coffee as a means to fill your stomach. Having low sugar, high fibre protein based meals and snacks will prevent your blood sugar level from falling dangerously low and help you thrive throughout the day. My clients love the new PURICA Purola granola bars and the equally new PURICA Power Vegan Protein Powder infused with Chaga mushrooms, which makes for great shakes and even simple water smoothies. They’re both great to use to replace mid-morning and afternoon coffee to revive their energy between meals.

The good news is the physical withdrawal period is relatively short. Based on your daily consumption of caffeine, the withdrawal symptoms may only last between 2 and 15 days to resolve. It can be tough, but it’s worth it!

Managing your cup(s) of coffee

Here’s a news flash: Caffeine is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. If you’re like many who adore it via a delicious cup of coffee, I’m here to share with you some reasons why you may want to kick your coffee habit…or at least cut back on your caffeine intake.

I know it’s a sensitive topic because so many of us drink coffee as routine and we’ve done so for years. Yet only through eliminating coffee was I able to see the effect it had on my mood, energy, weight management, sleep and skin. Sometimes it’s hard to connect the dots between food and mood until you commit to an elimination and replacement nutrition plan. The good news is that the benefits of quitting caffeine become evident soon after you restrict your intake.

Here are a few ways in which saying goodbye to caffeinated foods and beverages can help you…

Balance Your Hormones

A bad diet is a key reason for hormonal imbalance. Caffeine causes the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. Taking caffeine out of your dietary regime can help lower blood cortisol levels, increase the circulation of HGH and prevent insulin resistance. Balancing your hormones improves your overall health.

No More Headaches

Caffeine is one of the most common causes of headaches. Sometimes it’s hard to connect the dots around what causes you to have a headache, anxiety or an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. In my experience over the past 15 plus years as a wellness coach has shown me that most people don’t drink enough water. Since coffee is a diuretic, it isn’t so much the removal of caffeine but the increase in water that helps reduce and in some cases eliminate headaches, lower blood pressure, heart rate and feelings of anxiety. Drinking more water will also help with weight loss and improving the health of your skin!

Weight Loss

If you load your coffee with cream and sugar or regularly order blended coffee drinks, the average number of calories per cup ranges between 250 and 650 calories (depending on what you’re loading into your drink)!  These hidden sugars lead to an increase in body weight and a drop in blood sugar levels, which in turn will typically zap you of energy and increase cravings for a second cup. By cutting down on these caffeinated sugar bombs, you can attain your ideal fitness goals faster than you thought.

Clearer Skin

If you think caffeine might be affecting your skin adversely, you’re probably right!

Caffeine increases your body’s stress levels and triggers the fight or flight response to the adrenal glands to pump out stress hormones. Increased levels of cortisol can cause acne and breakouts. Replacing dehydrating coffee with pure water and fresh lemon will help hydrate the skin and purify the liver to clear your complexion from the inside out.  Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your skin.  Simply replace your morning coffee with a bottle of water and when you sit down to start working at your desk, reach for water instead of a second cup of coffee and you will notice an improvement in the texture of your skin within the first couple weeks.

Quitting caffeine is not easy, but it is possible. My next Blog will cover how to avoid irritability and depression that can come with withdrawal so you can persevere and see the benefits of quitting caffeine kick in.

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!

Your Metabolism and a Healthy Lifestyle

Contrary to popular belief, your metabolism doesn’t have to slow as you age.

It’s true that we experience a decline of between 2 and 4 percent in our resting metabolic rate with each passing decade after the age of 25. On average, we drop about five pounds of lean body mass per decade from age 25-65.

Yet it’s also true that these declines can be prevented by changing a few simple lifestyle habits. That’s because a slow metabolism is not age related; it is lifestyle related.

A decreased metabolism simply stems from a decrease in activity. That means an increase in activity can help increase your metabolism.

By making physical activity part of your daily regime, along with other smart lifestyle choices, you can rev your metabolism, keep your energy up and maintain an optimal weight and body composition late into life.

The more lean muscle mass you have, the better, especially later in life. When it comes to building and maintaining lean muscle mass, think of the saying “use it or lose it”. Performing a weight bearing routine 3-6 days per week stimulates your metabolism because muscle is metabolically active. You are not made to sit all day; so start moving and don’t blame weight gain on a slow metabolism.

It’s also smart living to support your active lifestyle with a balanced whole food diet. Many people are in fact undernourished and overstressed with fast food. If you’re feeling exhausted, rather than reaching for a caffeine or sugar fix to push through, try slowing down and supporting your cardiovascular system with some deep breathing before your meal to support proper digestion and micronutrient absorption.

The bottom line is: Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.

Do your best to stop filling up on empty calories and start loading up on alkaline and nutrient rich whole foods. If you have cravings, it’s because your body is starving for vitamins and nutrients. The quickest way to add vitamins to your diet is to eat produce.

If a food comes from a plant eat it. If it is made in a plant, don’t.

NOTE: I recommend you consider taking a metabolism-supporting supplement. High on my list are Carnitine and natural formulations such as PURICA Trimactiv Weight Control, PURICA Vitality Adrenal Support and PURICA Provascin Cardiovascular Support.

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.

10 Habit Hacks to Achieve Healthy Weight Loss

How can you shape or engineer your environment so that maintaining a healthy weight is easier?

You have to put your mind to it, but the good news is that simple changes made to your home or workspace can help make achieving weight loss easier. The key is to surround yourself with nutritious foods and supportive messages while reducing the number of influences that will challenge your commitment to better health. Make these simple adjustments to boost your chances of weight loss success and improve your health:

  1. In the home, get rid of stuff that you’re likely to eat too much of. Overeating is obviously a leading culprit in weight gain.
  2. One step towards improving eating habits is to change the contents of your shopping basket. If you never buy chips, they will not be in the cupboard to tempt you.
  3. Have a snack before a meal, something such as a small serving of protein. This will help you avoid over-indulging later.
  4. Stay away from alcohol before starting a meal. There’s evidence that alcohol stimulates appetite and leads to overeating.
  5. Serve your dinner meal from the stove or counter rather than serving your plate right off the table. Studies show you are likely to eat 19 percent less food with this healthy habit.
  6. Serve salad first rather than bread at mealtime. You’re three times more likely to eat the first food you see than the fifth.
  7. Replace 12-inch plates with 10-inch ones. People tend to eat about 60 extra calories per meal when they eat off of larger plates.
  8. Avoid the TV and Computer When Eating. It’s easy to lose track of what you’ve eaten when you are not paying attention. Try to remove items that will take your focus off of eating, such as the computer or a television at mealtime.
  9. Celebrate your healthy meal by sitting down, relaxing alone or with family. Take the time to slowly enjoy your food. Creating a special mealtime ritual will help you to feel satisfied with the experience of eating. This is better than looking in the cupboard and fridge before mealtimes or snacks to see what is there.
  10. Physical activity is more important for weight maintenance than for weight loss. What matters most for weight loss is controlling calorie intake. However, doing things such as walking to the local market or parking far from the grocery store door will support weight loss by increasing total daily steps and calories burned. Adding daily exercise is the key to improving your mood, protecting against disease. It boosts energy during the day and improves sleep quality at night.

The Peak Performance Creed

Peak performance in life isn’t about succeeding all the time or always being happy. It’s truly about doing the best that you can with what you have right now.

Peak performers are not necessarily the most talented. They just are just more committed to be their best every single day. There will be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do. One of the biggest differences between an average athlete and an elite athlete is that the elite “do” what most other athletes “wish” or “hope” for. Continue reading

Five Must Do’s For Optimal Heart Health

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, 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. With our focus on heart health during Heart Month, here’s Melissa’s blog on some basic guidelines to keep your heart happy.

If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease…if you have had a heart attack or stroke…or if you have family history of cardiovascular disease, you may want to follow these guidelines to help protect yourself and prevent future problems.

The first five things you must do are:

  • If it has been more than a year since your last doctor visit, book your annual check up now.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • If you are overweight, lose weight (make small changes in your lifestyle; they’ll make a big difference with respect to your weight).
  • Begin a program of regular exercise (taking one step at a time, but getting out there).
  • Eat heart healthy foods daily.

Do’s

  • The foods you choose are critical for good cardiovascular health. Having high-nutrient dense foods will help keep your heart healthy and disease risks lower.
  • Be sure to include magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, potassium, B vitamins, soluble fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Consider taking a high quality multivitamin or cardiovascular supplement such as Provascin.

Don’ts

  • Skip dried fruit, fruit juice, and alcohol if you have high triglycerides.
  • Skip grapefruit and grapefruit juice if you are on cardiac medication.
  • Avoid eating foods high in saturated fats, trans fats, salt, cholesterol, and refined carbohydrates.

Life’s a journey. Make it a heart-healthy journey by taking some of these suggestions to heart!

For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email PURICA Ambassador Melissa Tucker at melissa@melissatucker.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

Combining the demands of training and family

Adam O'Meara - PURICA Ambassador
Adam O’Meara
PURICA Ambassador

Adam O’Meara, a Victoria-based professional triathlete, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors who are committed to promoting positive lifestyle solutions, including healthy eating and training tips. Here are some of Adam’s suggestions – as a father and husband – on how to balance the demands of a training lifestyle with the responsibilities of family:

You don’t have to be a high performance athlete like myself to understand that it’s not easy to combine the rigours of working out and training with the responsibilities of family life.

A father of two recently told me that the fondest memories his children (now aged 12 and 8) have are of the times they’ve experienced together.

I understand that myself, having transitioned from living in my own little world as a professional triathlete to married life and now being a father of our four-year-old Max.

For me, the biggest challenge in the last 5 years has been finding the balance between family life and my long-distance triathlon career.  It’s not so much getting the training done, even though it is tough going. The hard part is making sure that my wife and Max get the time they deserve; especially when I have to head out and close the door behind me while Max is idling for attention.

Here’s how I’ve kept up with my training while not missing out on my family and the memories of our time together. I hope these tips help you make the most of your active lifestyle and your quality family time:

  • Communicate your plans and needs to your spouse / partner, children, other family members and friends;
  • Learn what works best for you as an individual when it comes to your training approach. We are all different, for example – you may not be a morning workout person, so be present and engaged with the family at that time of day;
  • Plan outings, events and other activities with your family and friends. And then make sure you stick to that plan;
  • Know your spouse / partner and respect their needs. This is vital.  It doesn’t happen very often but sometimes I have to make a decision to simply not do the 2nd or 3rd workout of the day because I see my family needs me;
  • Remember that a missed workout here or there does not affect your overall fitness, health and wellbeing. The most important thing when it comes to training and exercise is consistency over long periods of time;
  • Listen to your body: If you are feeling overly tired and not motivated to perform your planned workout then change it to the next day, put it out of your mind and make the most of your new found time and spend it with your family and/or friends;
  • Include family when you can. Max has run a few kids running races over the past few years and it has been an absolute blast for him;
  • Become time efficient. I save this point for last because it’s a skill that needs to be developed. It isn’t that tough to do; it just takes practice.  For example, combine the stops to the gas station, grocery store, library or chiropractor with when you are going to be travelling to and from the gym or pool or run location.  Every time you run an extra errand it takes time; time which you could be spending with your loved ones.

For more information, check out www.adamomeara.com or email PURICA Ambassador Adam O’Meara at adamomeara@gmail.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness.

Say No-No to the Yo-Yo

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, 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, such as this roadmap to avoiding the ups-and-downs of weight gain and loss:

Does this sound familiar to you: “I have tried every ‘diet’ out there and exercised, but nothing works”.

You’re not alone if it does. Thousands of people end the year with a New Year’s resolution of losing weight. Unfortunately, jumping in with New Year’s routines that are restrictive and extreme is overwhelming and ineffective. This is why resolutions are popular on December 31 and often abandoned by January 31.

The yo-yo pattern of going on and off restrictive diets or strenuous exercise routines is a no-no.

By adopting habits that you are willing to carry out for the rest of your life, you are focusing on making lifestyle changes. The small changes allow you to learn and incorporate new behaviors and habits to reach short-term goals along the way. Habits are the way to go.

You will feel happier and get better results with progressive and positive lifestyle changes such as: increasing movement and replacing unhealthy foods with more nutritious balanced foods on daily and weekly bases. Your confidence will grow with your sustained commitment and accomplishments of managing your weight and health. By the end of the year, you will have learned to make your life a healthy life for the long term instead of drastic short-term changes that you quit in less than a month.

As you work on the goals you have resolved to make come true this in 2015, be sure the new things you are doing are realistic. You want your new habits and routines to be things you can do day-in and day-out most days for the rest of your life.

If what you have started is too much and too overwhelming, reset and restart with smaller steps until your strides lengthen and consistency strengthens. Be sure breaks and vacation days are scheduled throughout the year to celebrate your success!

For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email PURICA Ambassador Melissa Tucker at melissa@melissatucker.com.. And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness.