You Are Your Own Best Resource

You Are Your Own Best Resource

You are your own best resource. What the heck does that even mean?  Well, it means that if you don’t take care of you, who’s going to take care of the important things that you do? The kids, the job, the dishes, walk the dog. Whatever it is your doing there are folks or fur babies that count on you to be there for them on a regular basis.

It doesn’t mean that you put your head down and put your nose to the grindstone.  I’ll work harder, longer, faster and so on and so forth.  Rather there are ways to use positivity to motivate us to take care of ourselves better.  I’d like to use weight loss as an example of how we can take care of ourselves as a resource.   Let me rephrase THE resource.  You are the only you, you have to take care of you so you can take care of the things and the people you love.

There are positive ways to better take care of ourselves besides listening to the negative criticism in our head. We have tools that we need to use that are underutilized. In these next few paragraphs, I discuss these tools we can use to help ourselves.

Visualization

Visualization is a powerful tool. You Are Your Own Best Resource- EmbracingAging

Visualize yourself being successful every day.

Visualizing the successful events of our day can go a long way in making them a reality.  Take five minutes of the first wakeful moments of your morning and think about how you want your day to go begin with positive images of accomplishing your goals at your job or the gym. Decide to be happier as you go about your day. You’ll be pleased with the outcome that visualization can give you.

Making a List of Your Accomplishments Daily

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Making a list of your accomplishments is very motivating. Sometimes this works better than a to-do list.

I use a to-do list like a  lot of people use. But I also use an accomplishments list and to be perfectly honest, my accomplishments list is my secret weapon when it comes to getting things done.  I would rather write down my accomplishments than using my to-do list every time I have to keep track of things that need to get done. I am more motivated and gain more momentum for getting things done by making an accomplishments list.

Regular Exercise

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Regular exercise gives you the energy for taking care of the people and the things you love.

If you are not already doing some form of regular exercise, you should start a routine that works for you. Exercise is key to growing older gracefully.  Carrying groceries inside, opening jars, performing regular household chores like cleaning and yard work will be easier for you to do if you get some regular exercise.  As you do regular exercise it helps you maintain muscle and muscle memory, like riding a bike

Regular exercise helps you sleep much more soundly and wake up with more energy to take on the day. “Carpe diem,” I say.  Walking is always great, and if you need to start by just walking to the end of your driveway then that’s ok, it’s a start.  You can build up to a walk around the block and the next thing you know you will be walking a mile and maybe even two.

Keeping Properly Hydrated

You Are Your Own Best Resource- EmbracingAging.us

Hydration is far too important to neglect. So drink up buttercup.

I can not say enough about good hydration.  Your body needs water and electrolytes. It needs water for energy, for mental clarity and you should know that your body needs proper hydration for healing.  Healing wounds and illnesses and disease.  We make a substance called plasma and its vital to our health and the quality of our plasma is enhanced by good hydration.  So run, don’t walk to your nearest refreshing water resource and drink up.  Your body needs it and you’ll be so much better for it.

Good Nutrition

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Grilled salmon with lemon and rosemary. Good nutrition is delicious

Everyone needs an occasional pizza but not all the time.  Fueling your body with healthy fruits and vegetables is one of the most powerful ways to save your health.  Fruits and vegetables give you not only vitamins but they are also a good source of water.  Yep, that’s right, they can help you hydrate your body.

Make sure you incorporate a variety of colors. Each of the colors of the rainbow represents different vitamins and minerals.  Red= lycopene, Orange = Vitamin C,  Yellow = Vitamin A,  Green = iron and fiber,  blue=powerful antioxidants,  purple=reservatol and so much more. This is only a small example of all the nutrients you need for vitality.

If you think you have room for improvement in your diet, you get to start with your next trip to the grocery store and browse the produce aisle for fruits and veggies that you enjoy and should try to incorporate into your diet more often. You’ll be glad you did. Remember when you are busy consuming healthy fruits and vegetables your less likely to want to eat the junk food that offers you nothing but momentary relief from a sugary or a salty craving.

Proper Rest and Relaxation

Don’t forget to rest. A good bedtime routine and regular bedtime help you feel rested after 6-8 hours of sleep at night. I know it’s so easy to sit on the phone past bedtime.  I myself am guilty of staying up typing on my blog.  Writing and thinking about what I want to share and how I can inspire others to Embrace their Age and live a life of vitality.  You are your own best resource. When you are in good working order, things around you and the things that you take care of will be better.

Make yourself a priority.  You deserve to be energetic, vital and bright.  I encourage you to try to do what you can to feel your best.

That’s all for today friends.

Finally, this post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on and happen to purchase one of the products links, I’ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

I hope you enjoyed this discussion. Please share your thoughts and, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

 

 

 

What Clean Eating Means: Here Are Some Ideas to Get You Started

What Clean Eating Means

So, what does it mean when someone says they are “clean eating?” Honestly, it’s different for everyone. What’s normal for one, may not be for another. What’s healthy for one may be a disaster for another.  These are some diets or styles of eating that are often considered clean eating styles.

Kiwis, Lemons, and Oranges What clean eating means. EmbracingAging.us

Clean eating can include fresh fruit for quick energy

Some fruits and vegetables aren’t compatible with some medications.

The following is a list of clean eating styles

  • Soy-free
  • Gluten free
  • Low Carb
  • Dairy-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Ketogenic
  • Vegan
  • Paleo

Then there are the foods you may NOT have due to religious views, allergies, or diet restrictions

  •  sweeteners
  •  sugar
  •  pork
  •  red meat
  •  processed foods
  •  shellfish

I’m sure you get the idea. There may be a combination of diet restrictions that constitutes clean eating for different people for different reasons.  Someone with type two diabetes is going to eat very differently than someone who is not diabetic.

Food and drug interactions

Let’s not forget how medications can also play a very prominent role in clean eating.  Someone on blood thinners is not going to be eating food that promotes clotting (foods high in vitamin k)
Grapefruit is very problematic for all different kinds of medications, always check with your pharmacist or doctor to see if there are any foods that would be best avoided when beginning a new medication.

About the time I turned 47, I learned that I have a sensitivity to dairy and gluten.   Could I say I was very strict about avoiding these foods?   Perfect, I’m not.  PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a condition that improves when avoiding dairy and simple carbs. (I wish I could say there was a cure but there isn’t one)  This is just a sample of how eating clean for me is probably different for you.

Fitness styles affect the type of foods you may need

Furthermore, there is so much to consider for different body types and styles of fitness that the science that goes into figuring out what each individual needs on their journey is enough to make one’s head spin.

Different types of athletes will eat different ways according to their protein, calorie and fat demands.  A bodybuilder isn’t going to eat the same way as a lean cyclist. A long distance runner may not eat the same way as a female who goes to the gym 4-5 days a week trying to obtain an hourglass figure.

Wheat field, trees, and blue sky. EmbracingAging.us

Pay attention to how you feel after eating gluten. Headaches, joint pain, and gastric upset can be caused by gluten consumption.

Next time, if you hear the phrase “clean eating”, just know that you have to determine what’s going to work best for your body’s chemistry. You have to accommodate your body’s demands. Taking into consideration:

  1. Style of fitness
  2. Desired outcome
  3. Food allergies and sensitivities
  4. Medical conditions
  5. Medications
Wooden bowl and spoon with Kidney beans. EmbracingAging.us

Beans are a super food and can add years to your life.

You Have to Practice Clean Eating According to Your Bodies Specific Needs.

So if I handed you a child size shoe, and I said, “Here, this is a lovely shoe. It’s brand new in this lovely shade of blue. Wear this shoe and you’ll love it.” If you are a 6’2″ tall man with a size 11 foot, that lovely child size shoe in blue, no matter how perfect it is, will not work for you.  Everyone has to define for themselves what clean eating means for them.

Basket of fresh vegetables. EmbracingAging.us

Eating food that’s fresh, vibrant and alive can make you feel the same way.

What does clean eating mean to you?  I would love to know your thoughts on this fascinating subject.  Feel free to share this article if I was able to give you food for thought. (pun intended)

Finally, you should know that this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links I”ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

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Lifestyle Promotes Longevity

 Lifestyle Promotes Longevity

In this post, I will explain to you how a less convenient lifestyle promotes longevity.  Americans love their convenient lifestyle. For example, driving to the corner market for milk and eggs, tossing a healthy frozen entree into the microwave for lunch, or hiring the local teenager to mow the yard and finally, drive through coffee. We are used to having so much at our convenience that it’s just expected. In this post, I will explain to you how a less convenient lifestyle equals longevity.

The top four regions in the world where people live to be 100 or older are

  • Okinawa 800 miles south of Tokyo,
  • Sardinia in the highlands of Greece
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica on the peninsula
  •  Loma Linda, California most notably the Seventh-day Adventist.

By longevity, I mean a life worth living. Where folks age in a way that allows them to keep their independence.  The kind of independence everyone hopes for when and if we make it into our 90s.  For example:

  • staying in your own home
  • living without the need for glasses, canes, or hearing aids
  • able to cook your own meals
  • able to enjoy great-grandchildren

To learn some of the amazing secrets of healthy longevity and what it takes to live a life where you can have both quality and quantity of years. Read on, while I share interesting facts of this lifestyle that promotes longevity.

What These Amazing Places Have in Common

They Move Naturally

First, their way of life is their way of exercise.  They do not set out to formally perform an exercise regime.  In other words,  When the men of Sardinia, Italy need firewood, (Sardinia has the largest population of men who live to be 100 years old.) they do not break out a chainsaw and cut down a tree.  They break out a hatchet and cut firewood old school style. Next, they ride bikes at the age of 102! Also in Sardinia, housing is built vertically so they are regularly taking the stairs. These folks definately live a lifestyle that promotes longevity.

man resting from biking in the park EmbracingAging.us

Maintaining good health allows for quality living in our 70s, 80s,  and beyond.

Should one of the women in Okinawa decide that they like to bake a cake, they don’t run to the cupboard and break out a blender, they mix the batter by hand. Should the family decide to put in a garden and most do, they don’t go out and buy or rent a tiller, they use their sweat equity.  This is one of several ways that physical exercise is built into their daily living routines.  This lifestyle promotes longevity and is something I admire and aspire to do more of every day.

Family and Society

In each one of these 4 places, community and respect for the elderly are a priority.  Here in the U.S. at any local coffee shop or bar, you might see a poster of the latest famous model or musician ranging in age from 25 -30.  However, in Sardinia, you’re more likely to see posters of the oldest centenarians. Also, family dwellings consist of children, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. You should know, these family arrangements benefit the oldest and the youngest of the home the most.

Grandmother and granddaughter EmbracingAging.us

Grandmother enjoys holding newborn granddaughter

Centenarians know that their tribe is very important. My favorite is the Okinawan tradition of the Moai. When you are born, your moai is already established.  These are the people you will travel with throughout life.  If your house burns down, they’ve got your back.  Should you need someone to watch your children for you because you are in the hospital for a week, they are there for you.  It is an unwavering loyalty practiced by all members of the moai.

Plant-based Diet

Costa Rica has available very hard water higher in calcium.  According to scientists, this seems to explain why they have fewer bone breaks and hip injuries.

All of the regions mentioned above practice home gardening. Furthermore, gardening is a fundamental way of life and a perfect way to get plenty of physical exercises.

Personally, when I started blogging and this notion is really ironic, I began to think that I might not have time this year to put in a garden.  I’m seeing the error of my ways.  I will be gardening this year AND I will not use a tiller or other power tools to manage it.  Gardening by hand gives us the gift of good healthy food not exposed to gas fumes from tillers, weedeaters or mowers.

The garden is an opportunity for me to teach my family about the importance of nutrition, and how it benefits us physically.  If you’ve ever established a garden, then you know it’s also a great workout.  Interestingly, they do not seek to eat foods that aren’t in season. To them, this is simply common sense. They simply do not eat tomatoes in December.

Spiritual Connection

In and around Loma Linda California, the Seventh Day Adventists are on the longevity list. Most notably, they practice a vegan diet, free of meat, milk, and eggs.  Meals consist of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and tofu fixed in a variety of ways. Seventh-Day Adventists take their diet from the first book in the bible, Genisis.

Most importantly, the 24 hour period from Friday evening to Saturday evening is considered holy. Time spent during this period is with church and family.  They also take nature walks together inside this 24-hour window as part of their time to reflect, pray and spend time with other like-minded friends and family.  They count on this time each week knowing that it sustains them and refreshes them for the upcoming week.

Ikigai (eekeeguy) Okinawan for Reason for Living

Volunteer, contribute, give, donate word sign Embracingaging.us

Volunteer, Contribute and Give

All of the Centenarians will advise those of us in pursuit of longevity will tell us that having a purpose for living and greeting the sun each morning is essential to happiness. Consequently, It makes getting up every day worthwhile and fulfilling. Consider volunteering at your local food bank, caring for other members of your family, or foster stray animals until you can find them loving homes, these are the kinds of things that bring “joy de vive” to your heart. At the end of the day, you can feel good about giving back something of yourself to your community. This giving is receiving goodness from and for your heart and soul.

 

What’s the takeaway lesson here? Using Sardinia, Greece as the poster child for what to do and what not to do:

Lifestyle promotes longevity recommendations:

  • Plant a garden for the food and the exercise.
  • Walk or ride a bike as much as you can
  • Avoid donut shops and burger joints so you won’t need a gym (there aren’t any donut shops burger joints or gyms in Sardinia)
  • Develop grit, don’t let a convenient lifestyle make you soft.
  • The number one top of the list longevity food to eat more of every day is beans. All kinds of beans are game.

Blue Zones

Dan Buettner, the author of Blue Zones,  has traveled to all these places and researched in great detail the who, how and why of longevity. Also in his book, he goes more in depth on how the less convenient lifestyle promotes longevity as well as the best foods you can eat for a long life.

Finally, this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the products links I”ll receive some compensation which will support my addiction to all things coffee.

If you enjoyed this discussion and have ideas you’d like to share, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with EmbracingAging.us

Reminding you to embrace your age

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