Raising Healthy Kids

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The following is a guest post by Dr. Barbro Brost of The Brost Clinic.

A healthy child is a happy child. As parents we are entrusted to protect and care for our children as they navigate through their childhood towards a happy, productive life as adults. They need shelter and warmth, food and water, advice and guidance, but most of all lots of love!

Raising a child in today’s world takes a lot of attention as a parent. There are many new dangers that the previous generations never had to worry about. Many come seductively packaged with bright colors and sparkling lights. Tobacco, street drugs, bad TV shows, computer sites unsuited for kids are pretty obvious things you want to avoid in your kid’s lives, but what about the less obvious hidden dangers lurking everywhere?

Fast food, food processed with unhealthy chemicals, genetically modified foods, foods sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, foods that make your kids sick instead of nurturing them. Foods and drinks that are marketed by giant corporations to be fun and “normal.”

It takes some strong parenting to stand up against that; it is much easier to “go with the flow” and give in to your child’s cravings for sugar and junk foods. We need to teach them about healthy food and healthy habits. A healthy breakfast with good protein, like eggs, before school in place of a sugary cereal. Extra vitamins for strong immune function. A healthy snack after school and a healthy dinner together as a family whenever possible (sports and other after school activities can be a challenge here).

Encourage play time outside instead of plopping down in front of a TV or computer. Set aside plenty of time for homework to avoid late nights and a set bed time to allow adequate sleep. Preschool and elementary-aged kids need 10-12 hours per night. If they don’t wake up by themselves, they didn’t get enough sleep! There is strong research showing that all the above sets the stage for better health and better performance in school and sports.

Unless in the case of a medical emergency, like a fractured leg or severe bacterial infections (remember antibiotics have no effect on viruses), children are best treated naturally. If they get a cold or flu, rest and fluids with a lot of immune boosting vitamins is the best cure. If they have falls or injuries take them to the chiropractor!

If you stop and think about it we all take our kids to the dentist regularly to avoid cavities. If their teeth aren’t perfectly lined up, we pay for years of orthodontics. Doesn’t it make sense to take as good care of their spine, which is crucial for optimum function of the body? You can replace teeth, but you can never replace your spine!

Techniques for Self-Healing Energies

The following is a guest post by Michele Rae of The Center Within.

Energetic alliance with expanding energy is healing. It keeps our mind, body, emotions and subtle bodies in balance and harmony and opens us to the higher resonance and frequencies available in the interconnected web of all that is we call consciousness. There are a number of energetic healing techniques that can provide assistance in clearing dense or stuck energy and enhance or replenish life force energy. Some include Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Frequencies of Brilliance, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Chiropractic, massage, Shiatsu, breath work, Emotional Freedom Technique, reflexology, Traditional Chinese Medicine and ayurvedic medicine.

Often, transformational coaches use healing energy and guided imagery to ground, balance and relax our mind, body and heart by connecting with the supporting and nourishing energy of the Earth, our higher selves and spirit. These energies flow through us and the sacred container of space and time we create. This energy supports us as we explore, expose and unblock limiting beliefs, self-talk, patterns, fears, and constrictions. The same flow also cultivates insights, intuition, passion, wisdom, gifts, strengths and expansion.

You can utilize these techniques in your own practice of self-healing and reflection:

  • Rest your attention on your breath.
  • Relax your body from head to toe.
  • Feel your heart, maybe by remembering someone you are grateful is in your life.
  • Feel the energy of the Earth rise in your body through the base of your spine, your hands, and feet and out the top of your head. Imagine the top of your head opens to the energy of your higher self and spirit. Feel the energy descending through your body and into the Earth. I often see these energy paths as parallel strands, similar to the configuration of DNA in a helix.
  • In this condition of flowing life force energy, bring a question you would like clarity on into your awareness. What does the solution feel like? What pictures arise? What words arise? Is there any fear or tightness around the issue? What expands the possibilities for a creative solution to reveal itself?
  • In this energetic state of balance and harmony with all that is, feel your body-mind-heart. Are there any tight or painful areas? Are there places that are aching to expand, express or create? With your attention, direct this healing energy to soften, relax and open these spaces.

As your capacity and sensitivity to feel self-healing energies in and around you grows, notice the energy in your daily life. What depletes or nourishes you as you are making decisions, engaging in the relationship, finding work-life balance, managing stress and contributing to the world at home, at work, and in your community? Investing time, attention and awareness in decreasing constricting energy and increasing expanding energy in your life is a gift to yourself. You are worth it!

Are You a Thermometer or a Thermostat?

The following is a guest post by Lisa Bobyak of Living Fully Balanced.

You’ve got them in your house, but have you ever thought about what truly differentiates the thermometer from the thermostat?

The thermometer in your home reads the room and adjusts to the external surroundings. It’s controlled by factors outside of itself. The thermostat is set and remains steady no matter what the external conditions are. The controls are internal and constant.

To understand why I’m talking about the HVAC system in your home when my typical subject matter isn’t focused on climate control, I’d like you to consider these common life events. How do you respond to them? Are you a thermometer or a thermostat?

  • You couldn’t get in to see your doctor for three months and the day of the appointment arrives. Your appointment is scheduled for 2:00pm and you get there early to check in. As you settle in to the seat in the waiting room, you notice others are being taken back their rooms. You wait. And you wait. And you wait. Finally, at 3:30pm, a nurse calls your name and takes you back to the exam room. You get changed into the paper gown. And you wait… again. Your doctor eventually rolls into your room around 4:00pm. ARGH! Is your reaction more like a thermometer or a thermostat?
  • It’s Wednesday evening and you’ve had a relatively good day at work. You’re feeling fine and you’re happy to be home. However, things quickly change when you open the door from the garage to the house. You can almost taste the tension in the air. Your six-year-old twins are arguing over who’s turn it is with the shared iPad. And your spouse is yelling at your oldest, “Turn off the TV and find your soccer equipment! If we don’t leave in five minutes, we’ll be late!”. Thermometer or thermostat?

In our busy, sometimes frenetic days, it’s so easy to get caught up in reacting to the “temperature of the room.” Without thinking about it, we often soak in other people’s emotions and before we know it, we’re the ones taking on the stress and negative emotions that weren’t ours to begin with.

It’s a natural response to react like a thermometer.

However, constantly reacting to, and being pushed and pulled by other people’s moods and agendas gets exhausting. And it’s not just tiring. Our physical health takes a huge hit when we absorb other people’s stuff.

So, what’s our protection against the constant barrage of emotional shrapnel in our everyday world?

Be a thermostat rather than a thermometer.

Thermostat people have an internal locus of control. They know they have the power to control how they respond, no matter what’s going on around them. Their reactions are controlled and they are not affected by external factors.

Thermostat people are resilient.

Resilient people are happy.

Resilient people find joy in life.

And joyful people are better at practicing self-care and being kind to themselves.

Why Resilience Matters Today More Than Ever

The following is a guest post by Nancy Maxfield-Wilson of MyMax Performance.

Got stress? It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to reduce our stress. In fact, it seems to multiply daily in our hyper connected, smartphone-addled world. So how do we develop a more effective response? Resilience is critical to thriving vs. merely surviving! Resilience (our ability to bounce back and even transform adversity into opportunity) can absolutely be learned. It can also be strengthened, just like we strengthen our muscles.

Why care? Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death, and two out of three of every doctor’s visits involve stress-related conditions. It costs the U.S. $200-$300 billion each year in healthcare costs and lost productivity. In 2016, the American Psychological Association saw a significant increase in stress due to political conflict, fear about our nation’s future and social media usage.

Chronic stress can crash our productivity, health and happiness. It can disrupt sleep, memory, metabolism and ability to learn. Adding insult to injury, it can make us gain weight! In response to stress hormones, our body pushes more fuel into our bloodstream for fight or flight, but if unused, that extra blood sugar gets converted to fat and the infamous “muffin top”.

Research shows how you perceive your stress can influence whether it adversely affects your health. The GOOD news (there’s lots, so read on for it!) is that humans are incredibly resilient, which is why our species has been so successful. In addition, we can change our behaviors once we become aware of them.

Here are five big reasons to be optimistic- we’ve GOT this!

1. Our mind is incredibly powerful and it can heal. This is why in medical trials, we control for the “placebo effect.” We can actually recover because we think we’re receiving treatment.

2. We create our reality moment by moment with our thoughts and mindset. Consider Viktor Frankl or POWs held for years in unimaginable conditions. Bad things happen to good people; it’s our response that defines us. Optimism can be learned.

3. We are more than our DNA! Research of twins shows that lifestyle choices influence our health just as much or more than our genetics, in some cases (epigenetics).

4. Our body’s natural state is balance (“homeostasis”). This is the body’s ability to stabilize body temperature, heart rate and stress hormones, to name a few. Just give it a break and let it do its stuff! It’s a mind-body system; the body is a powerful tool for resilience.

5. Everyone can become more resilient, no matter where you are starting from, if we are willing to develop new skills.

Reset your stress meter to become present, productive, healthy and happy. Remember-resilience is your superpower-the difference between thriving and merely surviving in your one precious life!

Finding the Balance With Stress


The following is a guest post by Mary Battista of Prairie Health Companion.

When you hear the word stress, most people automatically think of a negative outcome: disease, discomfort or distress! Stress is “the response of the human organism to any change or demand”. But is the outcome from a demand put on the body necessarily always bad?

Most people are well aware of what stress means to them. When people are under pressure to achieve, or have constant demands that exceed what they feel they are capable of handling, they feel the negative effects of stress. Physically, they may experience chest pain, a racing heartbeat, rapid and shallow breathing, trouble sleeping, digestive dysfunction, muscle tension and headaches, to name a few. To soothe this state of “distress,” some may engage unhealthy practices such as overeating or drinking, which starts another set of stressors that comes from being overweight or side effects of too much alcohol. The body, feeling under threat, is sending distress signals by secreting the hormones cortisol and adrenaline as it prepares for the flight or fight response designed to help the body evade danger. The problem is that if stress is not well managed or is excessive, this response can cause or exacerbate disease.

Alternately, eustress is defined as “good stress”. In this state, you find yourself feeling engaged, inspired and excited about what lies ahead. This is the “sweet spot” that, as a coach, I am helping the client find so they feel challenged about the goals that lie ahead, rather than overwhelmed or out of control. Too little of the good stress and the client feels uninspired and finds it hard to move forward toward healthier habits.

Divorce can certainly be a stressor.

Taking small steps and experimenting with self-care, women can start to flourish in ways that bring good health and happiness back into their lives. Stress need not be all bad, but careful management is necessary so that you can live a life that feels exciting but allows the body to maintain optimal health.