Strengthening the Mind, Body, and Spirit since 1993

It’s SPRING! Revive, Renew, Refresh!

This was published as the lead article in LIVING HERE/Spring 2017.

Spring is the season of change. I hope you feel inspired to lose the winter blahs and any lingering holiday pounds before warm weather arrives, and to improve your health and well-being.

But wanting change and making change are two different things.
That’s why I’ve developed simple tools, tips and techniques that give you big pay-offs for small shifts in your routine.

So clear those cobwebs, commit to engage, and let’s get started. You can do it! Here’s how:

Afternoon Slump? Eliminate it for good!

  1. If you feel sleepy after lunch, you’re eating something your body can’t assimilate. Try a whole-food lunch of protein (poultry, meat, or fish) and a heaping portion of cooked veggies with healthy fats (pastured butter, coconut oil or olive oil, or avocado). You may find it fills and sustains you better than a sandwich or pizza.
  2. Get off the rollercoaster of afternoon carbs and coffee. They spike you and drop you, leaving you more tired and more likely to crave more… carbs and coffee. They sabotage healthy metabolism, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Instead, try green tea, which has health benefits and less caffeine.
  3. If you need a snack, don’t have carbs alone. Carbs include not only donuts, cookies and crackers, but fruit. Sure it comes in a natural package, but its sugars still contribute to making you feel tired and less focused an hour or so later. Substitute a handful of nuts or seeds instead.

Hydrate!

I check hydration for clients, and find many between 30 and 45%, instead of over 50%, where they should be – even among those who say “I drink all day long”. Hydration effects focus, mood, digestion, muscle tone, skin, supports your innate detox processes, protects your kidneys, liver, and so much more.

  1. Substitute water for coffee, juice and soda. Try it for a week and see if you don’t feel the difference!
  2. Drink primarily in-between meals, and keep liquids with meals to a few ounces: don’t dilute precious digestive enzymes. Shoot for half your weight in ounces daily.
  3. Hydration isn’t merely how much you drink. It is your ability to absorb it. It shouldn’t run right through you. Try adding a good quality electrolyte (without sweeteners) or a pinch of natural sea salt to improve absorption, or use natural mineral water. My favorites are Pellegrino and Gerolsteiner.

Mental Hygiene

These are stressful times. Study after study shows anxiety and depression on the rise. Here are 3 strategies that may help.

  1. Screens: TV, social media, smartphones… we’re bombarded 24/7 and hooked on constant updates. Be more discriminating about what you take in, both quantity and content, especially in the evening, when you need to wind down for restorative sleep.
  2. Gratitude Practice: Studies show that taking minutes a day to list what you’re grateful for improves mood and overall happiness. Write by hand, which creates different connections in the brain.
  3. Meditate: It can be simple, quick and surprisingly helpful. The list of proven benefits grows daily. Don’t be intimidated! Email me (fran@fransussman.com) for my free gift “Meditation for Busy People” to get started.

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