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Coping Through Cooking

Have you ever had a bipolar disorder coping strategy that became a passion? 

Did this passion help you reduce your symptoms and at the same time fill the room with delicious smells?!

Coping Through Mindfulness

I’ve had bipolar disorder my whole life. Along with medication and therapy, there are other ways to manage symptoms including coping strategies.

Coping strategies include mindfulness, which means living in the moment and awakening to experience. 

Mindfulness includes forms of meditation such as breath awareness and kundalini yoga.

Did you know that cooking is a basic and overlooked form of meditation.

Cooking In The Moment

Cooking is a simple daily task that can help you find peace and enjoyment in the present moment.

An example is an easy and simple recipe such as candied sweet potatoes. When you’re starting it on the top of your stove by adding butter to your pan you’ll notice your mind is set on that simple task. 

Then you start adding brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to the butter. When this happens there’s a delicious smell that not only makes you hungry but also triggers feelings of warm nostalgia, along with activating areas of your brain linked to emotion and memory. You’ll find that this calms an anxious mind.

Benefits Of Cooking?

It’s hard to get motivated when your in a depressed mood because of bipolar disorder.

Due to depression weighing you down; you might be in the mood to overeat, but you might have a hard time getting up and doing anything else. 

When you’re feeling depressed there are many benefits to cooking for yourself.

What Are Some Of Cooking’s Benefits?

Benefits Include:

  • Cooking Is Therapeutic: Cooking is an effective therapy, because it encourages creativity. It also reduces anxiety and depression.
  • Healthier Food Options: People who cook for themselves tend to have better overall health.
  • Focus On What You’re Eating: When you’re cooking for yourself you’re not surrounded by other distractions. You can enjoy your food more and exercise better control over what you eat.
  • Cooking Forces You To Get It Together: Preparing your own food takes some planning. It encourages you to be organized and focused, which helps with bipolar symptoms.
  • It Connects You With Others: Cooking for someone else is a way to express love. Whether it’s for your significant other, kids, roommates, family or friends you’re all working together to make something amazing.

How Do You Cope With Your Bipolar Symptoms?

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B Vitamins For A Better Mind!

What are B Vitamins?

B vitamins refer to a class of water-soluble vitamins that are vital for maintaining good health and well being. 

They are building blocks for a healthy body that have a direct impact on your energy levels, cell metabolism and also brain health.

B Vitamins Include:

  • B1 (Thiamine): Helps your body generate energy from carbohydrates. The main role of carbohydrates is to provide energy for your body, especially your brain and nervous system.
  • B2 (Riboflavin): Helps your body breakdown carbohydrates, protein and fats to produce energy.
  • B3 (Niacin): A B vitamin made and used by your body to turn food into energy. It helps keep your nervous system, digestive system and your skin healthy.
  • B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Very important for making blood cells and helps convert your food into energy. 
  • B6 (Pyridone): Helps your body make energy from food and form red blood cells that help deliver oxygen throughout your body. B6 also regulates the hormones dopamine and serotonin.
  • B7 (Biotin): Your body needs Biotin to convert certain nutrients into energy. It’s also important for your hair, skin and nails.
  • B9 (Folate): Helps form your DNA, which is important for every cell (Including Brain Cells) in your body.
  • B12 (Cobalamin): Helps your body make energy from food just like B6. It keeps your body’s nerve and red blood cells healthy, and helps make DNA for all cells.

B vitamins play a vital role in producing brain chemicals that affect your mood and other brain functions. 

Low levels of B vitamins such as Folate, B12 and B6 have been linked to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, along with worsening the symptoms of mental disorders such as bipolar disorder.

Where Do You Get B Vitamins?

B Vitamins are obtained by eating nutrient-rich foods. 

These Include:

  • Avocados: Long before avocados were considered a stereotypical millennial stable they’ve been regarded as a superfood. One whole avocado is packed with B vitamins.
  • Plain Low Fat Yogurt: The amount of nutritional value varies from brand to brand, but they tend to be rich in vitamin B12 and riboflavin.
  • Salmon: This is a low mercury fish that’s high in omega 3’s. It’s also high in other nutrients including B vitamins.
  • Chicken: Chicken, along with turkey are loaded with B vitamins such as niacin and pyridoxine.
  • Eggs: One chicken egg contains 33% of the recommended daily intake of the B vitamin biotin.
  • Chickpeas: Foods such as chickpeas are a great source of B vitamins, especially B6 and folate.
  • Tofu: Along with being a valuable plant source of iron and calcium, tofu contains vitamin B1.
  • Dark Green Vegetables: Vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce and kale contain large amounts of folate.

However, there are people with bodies that have a hard time absorbing B vitamins or they can’t obtain B vitamins from diet alone.

There are many vegetables that could lose of their nutritional content while being cooked. Unless you eat them raw.

Some people have cut meat out of their diets which is a significant source of vitamin B12.

It’s recommended that they look into taking a multivitamin or a vitamin B complex supplement.

What Is Vitamin B Complex?

Vitamin B-Complex is a supplement that includes all eight B vitamins in one pill.

It’s been shown to improve brain health by providing optimal psychological and neurological benefits. This significantly benefits mood along with reducing stress.

Despite the added benefits of a vitamin B supplement there are health risks as the dosage goes up, so talk to your doctor first before taking it.

Bipolar Disorder And B Vitamins

Bipolar Disorder is associated with episodes of mood swings that range from depressive low moods to manic/hypomanic highs.

Symptoms include mood swings, depression, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, inability to focus and appetite fluctuations.

The exact cause is unknown but a combination of genetics, environment and altered brain structure and chemistry play a role. An often overlooked factor that plays a role is poor diet.

A poor diet deficient in nutritional content can play a role in bipolar disorder, especially low B vitamins.

Studies have shown that vitamins B1, B6 and B12, in particular play a role in decreasing bipolar symptoms. Also they improve the overall health of your brain, which leads to better management of bipolar disorder.

Please talk to your doctor before increasing the amount of B vitamins in your diet.

Do you take any supplements to improve your health?

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Limiting Beliefs In A Nutshell

In my previous post the topic was about improving your unhealthy self-perception. However, I’d like to discuss something that’s a reflection of how you see yourself. I’m referring to limiting beliefs.

When you perceive or see yourself in a healthy way you’re more aware of who you are as a person. For example you’re more aware of your strengths, weaknesses, talents and potential and you take responsibilities for your thoughts and actions.

However, when you see yourself in an unhealthy way you’re more likely to be unsure of yourself and your abilities. This can manifest itself as a toxic belief system that inhibits your growth as a person.

If you want to refer back to my last post, please click on the button below:

What Are Limiting Beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are assumptions or perceptions about ourselves and the world around us that constrain us in some way.

We’re unaware that we end up impoverishing our lives when we follow these beliefs and this is due to a number of negative effects. They can keep us from making good decisions, taking advantage of new opportunities or reaching our full potential. 

Limiting beliefs leave you stuck in a negative state of mind. They prevent you from living the life you want. However, have you wondered where limiting beliefs come from?

Where Do Limiting Beliefs Come From?

Different things that happen in our lives shape our limiting beliefs. 

Things that shape limiting beliefs include the following: 

Past Trauma: Something traumatic that happens to you as a child can remain stuck in your psyche. When this happens it’s like a record that skips and stops you in the same place over and over.

Your Family’s Belief System: The belief system of your family plays a role in how you view and interact with the world. For example if you’re from a family that values playing it safe in life you might be convinced that you’re not good enough to any other path.

Expectations From Family: You’re raised with certain expectations. For example you’re expected to go to college and get a 9 to 5 after graduation because it’s a safe option. However, you’re more interested in starting your own business, but underlying guilt about meeting expectations and fear of judgement from family can leave you feeling stuck.

Relationships With Friends and Significant Others: Limiting beliefs can impact how you view the world. For example if you were bullied as a child in school, betrayed by a friend or were cheated on by a significant other it causes you to see all people as untrustworthy.

Types Of Limiting Beliefs

According to there are 3 types of limiting beliefs. 

Unhealthy Beliefs About Yourself:

When you conclude that you’re a failure that won’t amount to anything in life, this belief will prevent you from being your best self.

Unhealthy Beliefs About Others:

There are limiting beliefs about everyone being out to get you, everyone is untrustworthy or manipulative it can be impossible to develop relationships.

Unhealthy Beliefs About The World:

If you believe that you can’t succeed, because the world is unfair and scary, then it will take a toll on you and make you feel stuck.

In my next post I’ll be offering tips for changing your limiting beliefs and this will include the story of my personal transformation after changing mine.

Have You Ever Had Limiting Beliefs?

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Feeling Stuck in Life (Part. 1): What Are The Signs?

In this post I’ll be exploring what it means to feel stuck in life. It’s not always the most pleasant feeling and it can leave us anxious and depressed, so it would be interesting to discuss it on a deeper level.

What Does It Mean To Feel Stuck in Life?

Feeling stuck in life or feeling like we’re hitting the wall is a feeling we will all experience a one time or another. Whether you’re a recent college graduate who is entering the workforce, someone who has grown unhappy in their chosen profession or if you’re unhappy in your personal life it can be a painful emotion. 

Feeling stuck in life or “stuckness” can make us feel like we’re drowning in mud when it seems like we can’t make progress in our lives.

Why Do We Feel Stuck in Life? 

We get stuck when we feel like our lives should be something different than it is. It occurs when it’s time to make a change when something isn’t working for you anymore. 

Signs That You’re Feeling Stuck in Life

When we’re feeling stuck in life there are many signs that include:

It’s Hard To Get Excited About Anything: Stuckness can cause a person to become depressed and cause you to perceive the world in a less upbeat way. When upbeat music is played on the radio it doesn’t excite you, you start seeing the world in black and white rather than in vivid colors and you become an overall boring person to be around.

You Keep Reminiscing About The Past: We all get nostalgic about past memories that bring us comfort and joy from time to time. However, stuckness can cause you to use past memories to substitute present experiences that you perceive as unpleasant. 

You’re Always Daydreaming About A Different Life: Stuckness can cause you to daydream about being somewhere else rather than where you are now. This can be a problem, because daydreaming too much can become a form of self-sabotage that disrupts your long-term goals toward improving your life.

Feeling That Your Life Has No Purpose: It’s a myth that money is the only motivator. Along with making money it’s important to be in a line of work that gives you a sense of purpose, whether it makes you happy or it’s rewarding.

Staying Put, Because It Feels “Safe”: Some people feel stuck, because they feel like there are no other alternatives. They feel that they have to stay somewhere despite being unhappy, because it’s the “safe” thing to do.

Feeling Unwell On A Regular Basis: Due to the stress and anxiety of feeling stuck in an unhappy situation you’ll find yourself feeling unwell on a regular basis. For example, if you have a job that stresses you out it may cause stomach issues.

Neglecting Your Health and Well-Being: Feeling stuck in life is a downward spiral that affects many aspects of your life. Chronic stress and anxiety can lead to depression and that can cause you to neglect your health and well-being, whether you stop exercising, eating a poor diet or neglecting your love life.

In part 2 I’ll be offering tips on how to not feel stuck anymore.

Have You Ever Felt Stuck In Life?

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Overcoming Self-Doubt (Part.1): Self-Doubt In A Nutshell

This post is the first part of a two part series on overcoming self-doubt.

What is Self-Doubt?

Self-Doubt is the lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities. 

We have all been at that point in our lives where we’re questioning ourselves. Are we good enough? Are we capable of facing all of life’s uncertainties? 

A certain amount of self-doubt is good. For example if you have self-doubt about how strong you are in a particular job skill can motivate you to always keep learning and growing in order to become the best you.

However, persistent fear and self-doubt can affect your life in a negative way.

What Causes Self-Doubt?

There are many causes of self-doubt including:

Past Experiences: Experiences from our past can shake and rattle our beliefs. If we keep referring back to bad experiences whether they were bad breakups or job losses we’ll doubt ourselves and our abilities when faced with similar situations in the future.

Childhood Trauma: Our habits and personalities are shaped by our upbringing. If you’re constantly being told that you’re not good enough or you’re bullied by your peers while in school you’ll always question yourself and your abilities as an adult.

Comparing Yourself To Others: Self-doubt kicks in when we start comparing ourselves to others. This is not always a bad thing, because sometimes comparing yourself to others causes you to look into what you lack in your life and find ways to improve yourself.

Fear Of Failure: Sometimes due to circumstances in our lives that are beyond our control such as illness or a bad economy we might experience setbacks and feel ashamed. It might cause us to fear failure and not take chances out of shame.

New Uncertain Challenges: If you’re experiencing a new challenge you’ve never faced it’s natural to have some self-doubt due to lack of experience.

My Experience With Self-Doubt?

Due to a childhood of stressful life experiences I ended up suffering from self-doubt made worse by Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Self-Doubt is not technically categorized as a mental illness, however it can spark anxiety and depression that can affect your life. It can lead to a negative thought pattern that can make you feel incapable of doing things that you need to do, making a mountain out of a mole hill when faced with the unknown and being unable to make clear decisions.

I overcame a lot of problems with self-doubt over the years with therapy and lifestyle changes. I wanted to share my experience with others who feel stuck and anxious about themselves, so I wrote a 5 Step Guide For Overcoming Negative Thinking.

In Part.2 I’ll be discussing how I overcame self-doubt.

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Keeping Mind and Body Healthy: Coping with COVID-19 Anxiety (Part.2)

I mentioned in Part.1 how the COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult time for everyone, particularly those who have issues with anxiety and anxiety disorders. I’ve been living with chronic anxiety long before this crisis started, but I’ve learned how to manage it in a holistic way. I’ll be sharing with you how I’ve been coping with COVID-19 anxiety.

I don’t have the luxury of working from home and I’m an essential worker, so it’s important for me to stay healthy and take a proactive approach toward my health by not only protecting my physical health, but my mental health as well.

I mentioned in my previous post about the mind-body connection; our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes can have an effect on our overall health. How you cope with anxiety is very important.

Ways of Coping Include:

Attempt To Maintain a Routine: This pandemic has thrown my normal routine off and it’s difficult to stay focused. I’ve been using block scheduling to maintain a routine for not only work, but also for exercising and for writing this blog.

Focusing on Breathing: Just simple breathing works its magic on anxiety. Taking deep breaths while meditating calms your brain down while you’re focusing on the present moment.

Exercise: An excellent way to maintain a good mind-body connection is to get moving and exercise. Since the gym is closed and I don’t want to risk getting bit by ticks by walking in the woods, so I’ve been taking time after work to take long walks while social distancing.

Watching What I Eat: I mentioned in a post about how there’s a negative connection between processed foods and mental health, and that it’s really important to watch what you eat.

Recommended Foods To Reduce Anxiety Include:

  • Turmeric
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Green Tea
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Almonds
  • Blueberries
  • Turkey Meat

Food To Avoid include:

  • Fried Foods
  • Artificial and Refined Sugars
  • Caffeine
  • Soda
  • Foods High in Sodium

Getting Enough Sleep: Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep is important, pandemic or no pandemic, because when you don’t sleep well you not only have worsening anxiety, but also a weakened immune system.

Putting Limits On How Much Media I Consume: The 24/7 news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic will take a toll on my mental health and at the same time I need to stay informed about what’s happening, so it’s beneficial to limit how much news media I consume.

Limit alcohol consumption: In the short term having a drink or two is relaxing, however overtime excessive drinking can interfere with the chemicals in your brain that regulate mental health and cause worsening anxiety, depression and stress becomes harder to handle.

Connect with Friends Remotely: One of the most difficult aspects of this pandemic has been lockdowns and social distancing. Once a week I like to get together with friends to go hiking; I get my exercise and I socialize. However, due to social distancing I haven’t been able to go, so I connect with friends remotely through texting, social media and phone calls.

This is a tough regiment to live by to keep chronic anxiety under control and this challenging time we’re living in is making it even tougher.

How Are You Coping With This Tough Time?

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How To Turn Cynicism Into Something Positive?

What is Cynicism?

Cynicism is the belief that people are mainly motivated to do something purely out of self-interest. A person who inclines toward this way of thinking is labeled as cynical.

A person who is cynical has a mindset that is scornful or jaded; they’re always thinking the worst and have a hard time seeing the good in anyone. 

The origin of the term “Cynicism” is associated with the ancient Greek philosophical school of Cynicism was founded by Antisthenes of Athens almost 2500 years ago. 

Why Are Some People Cynical?

Some people become cynical as part of a defense posture to protect themselves. It’s typically triggered when we feel hurt by or angry about something. 

Traits of a Cynical Person Include:

  • Someone who is distrusting or disparages the motives of others
  • Shows contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality, because they’re viewed as hypocritical and serve no purpose
  • Bitterly or sneeringly distrustful or pessimistic
  • Tends to use a lot of sarcastic language
  • Someone who is always preparing for the worst in life
  • All compliments and positive words have a clause

Some people have personalities that gravitate toward negativity and negative emotions that are cynical as a result of being nasty, arrogant or pretentious. However there are others that become cynical or jaded due to being beaten down by life and cannot seem to find hope anywhere in sight. 

Life can be cruel at times; it can throw a lot of misfortune at you whether it’s one tragedy after another being thrown at you or if you try to turn things around for the better in your life, but things continue to fall apart. Sometimes you may feel broken and defeated and always expect bad luck.

There are still others that become a little cynical because of the wisdom that’s gained through experience.

What Are The Consequences of Being Cynical?

A major consequence of being cynical is that people will distance themselves from you because they’ll find you irritating and dispiriting. 

Cynicism overtime will cause you to miss out on the things that make life worth living such as friendship or love. They also tend to hold back from the public sphere, which leads to reduced social and economic contribution and can result in relative poverty and isolation. Overtime relative poverty and isolation brought on by cynicism can cause health problems.

A topic I’ve always found interesting is the mind-body connection. The biological functioning of our bodies is affected by our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes whether they’re positive or negative that occur in our minds. Overtime negative thinking brought on by cynicism can cause health problems.

There are numerous health effects from being too cynical including:

  • Increased inflammation in the body
  • Increased risk of developing cancer
  • Higher risk of cardiovascular problems due to higher blood pressure
  • Three times more likely to develop dementia
  • More likely to suffer from mental health problems such as anxiety and depression

It’s been reported that millennials have been labeled the most cynical generation ever. This mindset is part of the reason why a lot of people from my generation have chronic ailments. 

If you are suffering from anxiety please click on the button below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

How To Reframe Cynicism?

What is Reframing?

I’m referring to cognitive reframing. The idea behind it is that a person’s point of view depends on the frame it is viewed in. When the frame is shifted, the meaning changes and thinking behavior often changes along with it. 

A simpler way of explaining reframing is to recognize negative thoughts that cause distress and serve no purpose and reframe them into positive ones. 

This works really well with cynical thinking, for example if you meet a person instead of assuming that person is only out for their own self-interests you could ask yourself if this person can be trusted. Reframed cynical thoughts can be useful in all areas of your life. 

Tips for reframing cynicism include:

Promote a Balance Between Positive and Negative Thoughts and Emotions: There are so many benefits to positivity such as hope, joy, contentment and gratitude. Being optimistic has been linked to benefits such as improved health and happiness. However unchecked optimism can lead to unrealistic expectations and becoming unaware of dangerous risks that are being made that can lead to loss and the negative emotions that come with it. There are negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, resentment and anger that come with being cynical. The right amount of cynicism can keep us safe in certain situations like positivity does. It protects us from situations that have the potential to raise red flags because we can pick up on negative vibes more than anyone else. However, being too cynical has a major downfall including missing out on opportunities whether they’re professional or relationship related. The universe is all about balance between opposites and this includes the right balance between positive and negative thoughts.

Instead of Being Bitter be Better: There are some cynical people that are the way they are due to bitterness. They tend to spew their inner hurt and anger by saying and doing things that hurt others such as exhibiting ruthless verbal and emotional cruelty to everyone around them. This negativity doesn’t just hurt those around you you’re hurting yourself as well. Instead of being bitter, be better. Start by getting healthy; physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you’re feeling bitter about being physically weak it’s important to get emotionally strong or something is happening that makes you feel emotionally weak such as a relationship coming to an end then hit the gym and start working out. Also, start paying attention to what you put into your body, because a proper diet will make you feel good, while a bad diet will not. Also, it’s important to learn from whatever disappointed you or whatever happened to you at the lowest point in your life. I’m not referring to learning about the reasons why these things happened, I’m referring to the wisdom you’ve acquired that you can apply to make into a better person.

Turn Cynicism Into a Sixth Sense: Being cynical affects how you perceive the world; it’s affected by over generalization caused by negative thinking. However, as I mentioned in my post about turning anxiety into a superpower negative thoughts can be reframed into positive ones. Cynical people tend toward seeing the worst aspects of human nature. In fact trust and cynicism complement each other. Power and money has always been a source of corruption along with other despicable behaviors. Even if you’re the most positive and bubbly person in the world, it helps to know that a little bit of cynicism is not a negative thing. Cynicism can make you aware of your surroundings and can determine whether to trust someone or not. It equips you with the ability to read people. It helps you make better decisions about whether it’s worthwhile to engage with a person or move on if you suspect that person will take advantage of you. 

Have you Ever Felt Cynical?

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Why You Need To Drink More Water?

What Exactly is Water and Why Do We Need It?

Water is an inorganic, tasteless, colorless and odorless chemical substance. Its formula is H20; meaning that its made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. It exists in three different forms here on Earth – solid, liquid or gas.

It’s vital to all forms of life despite not providing calories or organic nutrients.

Did you know that an adult human body is 60% water and our blood is 90% water. Also, 80% of our brains consists of water.

Along with maintaining your body’s essential functions water also has a natural calming effect. Did you know that the added hydration from drinking water can be soothing for someone undergoing intense stress and anxiety.

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The Benefits of Drinking Water 

In the United States water (specifically bottled water) is the second most consumed beverage after soda. However, it’s estimated that most people don’t drink enough water.

There’s no universally agreed quantity of water that must be consumed daily. We do know that conventional wisdom calls for drinking eight 8 ounce glasses a day. There are many benefits to drinking more water.

Benefits Include:

Keeps You Body Functioning: Water is important, because the human body uses it in all of its cells, organs and tissues in order to maintain essential bodily functions such as temperature regulation, maximizes physical performance and nutrient absorption. 

Promotes Healthy Brain Function:  Drinking water is essential for maintaining a functional body. For example, your brain is 80% water and communicates with your kidneys through the pituitary gland and can tell them how much water to excrete or hold on to. The brain is also responsible for triggering your body’s thirst mechanism when you’re thirsty. Also, drinking water helps with concentration and cognition, helps to balance emotions and mood and increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain along with other parts of the body.

Helps You Lose Weight: Drinking water helps you lose weight. If you drink water before a meal you can prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness. Also, when you add ice to water before you drink it you can boost your metabolism, because your body has to work harder and burn more calories in order to warm that water up and this can lead to weight loss.

Helps Protect Vital Parts of Your Body: Water is essential for lubricating your joints, protecting your spinal cord and tissues. Along with maintaining moisture in these vital areas water is important for protecting your blood, bones and brain.

Essential For Digestion and Bowel Movements: Your body’s digestive system cannot function without water, so it’s important to drink water to have a healthy digestive tract and to be able to excrete feces from your body.

Less Likely To Have a Hangover: When you are at a party drinking alcohol and you want to reduce the likelihood of having a hangover switch to drinking water.

More Physical Energy: Drinking water when you’re working out increases your physical endurance and also helps you avoid muscle cramps. You should drink 5 to 10 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes while you’re exercising.

The Consequences of Not Drinking Enough Water (Dehydration)

Consequences of Dehydration include:

Kidney Problems: Not drinking enough water leads to kidney problems such as the formation of kidney stones and make you more prone to urinary tract infections. The longer you’re dehydrated the likelihood of kidney damage increases.

Mental and Cognitive Issues: It appears that dehydration decreases brain tissue fluid and may reduce brain volume and affect brain function. Dehydration affects sodium and electrolyte levels in the brain and this is linked to mental and cognitive issues. These include memory loss, confusion and brain fog. Also, since dehydration leads to an increase in cortisol levels it can lead to worsening stress and anxiety.

Constipation and Other Digestive Issues: Dehydration can lead to constipation and an overly acidic stomach; which can lead to heartburn and stomach ulcers.

Frequent Illness: Dehydration leads to the weakening of the immune system and can put you at a higher risk of catching a cold or the flu.

Skin Problems: Not drinking enough water can lead to skin problems. Dehydration leads to the creation of oil in your skin to make up for the loss of water and when this happens it leads to acne, irritation and dry patches. Also, being chronically dehydrated can lead to more wrinkles, sagging skin and flakiness.

Sugar Cravings: Not drinking enough water makes it more difficult for the body to metabolize stored sugar and makes us crave sugar in order to give us quick energy when we only need to drink water.

Fatigue: When you’re dehydrated you start feeling tired and lethargic. When your body has less water your blood volume lowers; this leads to less oxygen getting to your brain and your heart has to pump harder. 

Why People Don’t Drink Enough Water and How To Encourage Them To Drink More?

It’s very important to drink plenty of water, but most Americans don’t drink enough of it. There are many reasons why they don’t drink enough water.

Reasons include:

  • Not Feeling Thirsty
  • Mostly Drink Other Beverages
  • Have To Pay For Bottled Water
  • They Don’t Have Time To Get Water
  • They Already Feel They Had Enough Water Already
  • They Don’t Like The Taste of Water
  • They Don’t Trust The Water

How To Encourage People To Drink More Water?

I mentioned in my two previous posts about how to make it a New Year’s Resolution to eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup from your diet and To become less stressed. It should also be a New Year’s Resolution to drink more water everyday. 

Here are some things that can encourage us to drink more water:

Add Flavor To Water: Some people complain about how water tastes, so add fresh fruits such as lemons, limes and oranges.

Dilute Sugary Drinks: If you don’t want to give up on sugary drinks, but at the same time consume less sugar add water and ice to make it less sweet, but still have flavor.

Use a Water Filter: If you don’t trust the purified tap water coming out of your faucet due to the smell and taste try using a water filter. Filters remove bacterial contaminants, residual chlorine, heavy metals and organic contaminants left over from the treatment process. Using a water filter also saves money on bottled water.

Drink Bottled Water: Bottled water is a great way for staying hydrated on the go. The plastic bottles are highly portable and durable and are easily stored. Also, bottled water tastes better than what comes out of the tap. However, the cost of buying bottled water adds up overtime and can cost more than tap water. The plastic used to make the bottles contain chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA). These chemicals can seep into the water that’s in the bottle, especially if the bottle is left in a hot place where there’s a lot of direct sunlight such as your car. If you’re concerned about (BPA) in bottled water filter it before you drink it just like tap water coming out of the faucet. Also, many bottling companies get their water from the same reservoir that tap water comes from and the water may or may come from the highest quality source.

Keep A Reusable Bottle With You: If you’re looking for a way to stay hydrated on the go and at the same time concerned about the safety of bottled water try adding filtered water to a reusable bottle. Along with convenience you’re also safeguarding your health along with being environmentally sustainable. Discarded single use plastic bottles are becoming a huge environmental problem all over the world. The cost of either throwing them away or recycling them is on the rise and a lot of the bottles are exported to other countries where they are dumped out into the ocean. Unless this problem is solved there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by mid-century.

What Do You Do To Drink More Water?

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Is Processed Food Linked to Physical and Mental Health Problems?

I was doing research for a previous blog post about guten and its effects on our physical and mental health and started asking about processed foods that contain high fructose corn syrup and how they affected our overall health.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a key ingredient in processed foods such as soda, pastries, condiments such as ketchup, candy, processed bread, canned fruit.

Since the late 1970’s High Fructose Corn Syrup has been added to our food and as of 2019 it’s estimated that the average American consumes at least 40 pounds of it a year. 

Since it’s the beginning of the new year many people want to make New Year’s resolutions. Many of these resolutions revolve around changing our diets and this post is intended to inform you about why giving up high fructose corn syrup is a good new years resolution.

What is High Fructose Corn Syrup?

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), also known as glucose-fructose, isoglucose and glucose-flucose syrup is a sweetener derived from corn. It is used to sweeten processed foods and soda primarily in the United States. 

Starting in the 1970’s HFCS became more widely available due to low corn prices due to farm subsidies and table sugar becoming more expensive.

HFCS is similar to regular table sugar (sucrose); they both contain fructose and glucose.

What is Fructose?

Fructose is a sugar found naturally in fruits, fruit juices, certain vegetables and honey. However, fructose is an added component in HFCS and as a result occurs artificially in many processed foods. 

Fructose is a valuable and needed nutrient that is good for you, but it’s a problem when it’s added artificially.

What is Glucose?

Glucose is a simple sugar made by plants and most algae during photosynthesis from water and carbon dioxide using energy from the sun. Foods that contain carbohydrates such as grain, rice and potatoes and our bodies change 100% of carbohydrates into glucose. 

Glucose is a component added to HFCS.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is made from corn; when corn is milled its turned into corn starch and further processing turns it into corn syrup. HFCS starts off as mostly glucose, but it’s converted into fructose by using enzymes.

What Health Problems are Linked to High Fructose Corn Syrup?

High Fructose Corn Syrup has been linked to many health problems including:

  1. Adds More Fructose To Your Body Than You Need: Before table sugar and HFCS became affordable and widely available most people’s diets contained only small amounts of fructose from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables. However, over the past few decades the intake of fructose has increased significantly and has contributed to numerous health problems.
  2. Weight Gain and Obesity: The amount of fructose we consume from table sugar and HFCS has increased by 300% in the last 50 years and this has led to weight gain and obesity. Excess fructose in particular leads to the accumulation of visceral fat; which is a type of fat that surrounds your organs and leads to other serious health problems such as insulin resistance that leads to diabetes.
  3. Increases The Risk of Serious Health Problems: Along with weight gain and obesity HFCS increases the risk of developing some serious health problems including Heart Disease, Fatty Liver Disease, Diabetes, Metabolic Disorder, Inflammation and Cancer.
  4. Harms Your Brain: Some of the worst effects of HFCS occur in the brain. Disorders such as ADHD, anxiety, depression and brain fog can result from HFCS. Unnatural amounts of Fructose from HFCS not only leads to insulin resistance that causes diabetes it can also interfere with insulin’s ability to regulate how cells use and store sugar and impede production of the energy needed to process thoughts and emotions. Studies done on rats concluded that a diet high in HFCS can damage the brain’s synapses (neural junctions). All signs are pointing to yes that poor diet leads to an increase of mood, emotional and learning problems. 

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Want To Start Making a New Year’s Resolution?!

Either reducing  or avoiding High Fructose Corn Syrup is a challenge, because so many foods that we eat contain it. If you decide to make it a New Year’s Resolution to change to a healthy diet there are some important steps you need to take.

Start by closely reading nutrition labels: It’s important to carefully read labels before you buy anything at the grocery store to see if HFCS is an ingredient.

Foods that contain HFCS include:

  • Candy
  • Soda
  • Salad Dressing
  • Frozen Junk Foods
  • Processed Breads
  • Canned Fruits
  • Processed Fruit Juices

It’s important to be aware that some brands advertise as “no high fructose corn syrup” on the package, because there may still be HFCS in that product and may be listed under a different name.

These names include:

  • Maize Syrup
  • Corn Syrup
  • Glucose Syrup
  • Fructose Syrup
  • Isolated Fructose

Avoid Meals That are Canned, Frozen or Prepackaged: These foods are convenient, but there are a lot of added ingredients such as HFCS.

KnowThe Difference Between Natural and Organic: Someone I know is always asking questions about the food labels “natural” and “organic. The word natural is sometimes placed on products that contain HFCS. Also, the word organic is sometimes placed on labels, because foods contain “organic HFCS”. It’s important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate labels. Foods that are HFCS free organic can be found in the section at the grocery store that contains health food or at specialty health food stores such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. In the short run some organic foods are more expensive, but you’ll feel healthier in the long run. 

Start Incorporating More Whole Foods Into Your Diet: Incorporate more whole foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. When foods such as canned fruits are processed a lot of the fiber is stripped out, when grains such as wheat are processed into white flour the bran and germ that provide the most nutritional benefit are stripped out. It makes more sense to eat less processed or whole foods.

Start Baking and/or Cooking at Home More: When you bake or cook your own food you have more control over the ingredients that are added to them. If you don’t want to use table sugar instead of HFCS you can use alternative natural sweeteners such as honey or mashed fruit.

Take an Omega-3 Supplement: I mentioned that HFCS is harmful to your brain and its important to start taking an Omega-3 supplement along with changing your diet. Along with lowering blood pressure and reducing the likelihood of a heart attack Omega-3s decrease the likelihood of developing memory problems, depression and anxiety as the brain’s synapses are repaired.

I’ve noticed changes in my health right away just simply changing form Kellogg’s Raisin Bran to Organic Brands such as Cascadian Farms Raisin Bran. Right away you’ll notice that the flakes don’t taste as sweet and they have a lot more fiber. Raisin Bran is my favorite cereal and just changing to an organic brand promoted weight loss also.

Have you ever noticed that you feel better physically and mentally with an improved diet?

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