So we go from Black Friday and now we are in Cyber Monday. Almost feels like our hands just stay on the wallet or purse and the calendar tells us where to go. I guess I am a little old fashioned, I love the holidays, and I remember, oh I sound like my Grandfather, when it was truly an enjoyable season, not a race. In my neighborhood it seems like an unadvertised contest to see who can drain the power supply and light up the neighborhood first. Now do not get me wrong, I love the holiday season and all that goes with it. Family, friends, parties, shopping, gift giving... stress, empty wallets, crazy shoppers, road rage you know all of the things that make the holidays, the holidays...
The one thing I try to yearly is remind everyone to not let your guard down. Be it on the food you are eating, the rest you need to recharge, family time, taking your supplements, and taking down time as well... This is the time when we get so focused on everything else including the beautiful lights, that our own healthy lights start to dim, we get sick and we crash and burn... So take that extra moment to start your day with breakfast, or at least a healthy smoothie, and eat betterish during the day. Take the time to take your supplements, and be good about it, you need the extra strength. Make the time to chill, relax and decompress... And most of all, get the rest you need to rebuild and fix the previous days craziness so we can do it all again the next day!
We are a nation of stimulators. We use stimulants all day long to focus, get through the day and stay somewhat alert. We start our day with coffee, soda, and sugar, and in dosages that are way above what we should be using daily. The reason we tend to focus on this method of energy support is because I think many of us feel this is the way that works, and some of us have been led to think it is the only way.
We understand what it is like to get up and find out we forgot to plug our phone in, and then we search all day for outlets and plug ins to achieve a charge to get us the phone "energy" we need to get to the day. Our low energy levels and mental fogginess makes us use this same philosophy, search out caffeine and sugar at any cost.
Although I understand the concept, and have been through periods when I have stimulated at any cost as well, I have learned to look at the bigger picture, and for some of us maybe in a direction we may have never thought to look at before. I truly understand the lack of sleep, stress, burning the candle at both ends and negativity ion our lives that zaps our energy, I put much more weight on the lack of sleep as the culprit. Like when we forget to plug in our phone and fail to get a proper charge, a lack of sleep is the same thing, a lack of restoration, recharging and a body and mind that is starved for energy.
Sleep is so important that you should try to get it, and a good dose of it at all costs. Today the natural choices for benefits in the sleep category are amazing,and you should definitely try them before throwing in the towel and requesting a pharmaceutical choice from your Doctor. The choices are many, and the success rate is very high and effective. You may be surprised to hear from me that I am not totally against medications for sleep. If after you have tried and exhausted the many choices that are available, then a pharmaceutical may be your only choice. Sleep is so important that the trade off is worth it to be able to recharge, rejuvenate and fix our bodies versus doing nothing and ending up run down physically and mentally exhausted.
So, Black Friday has arrived, and the stress and craziness is in the air.. Coming home from Thanksgiving dinner last night I saw long lines of people standing and camping out in tents in front of Walmart, Best Buy and other stores. I guess I am truly getting older as I do not think any great deal would force me to, or make me want to sit out all night on the coldest night of this years season. Is it me, or do they not offer many of these great deals on line as well?
I am sure I will be hearing from people over the next week that have their first cold, or have come down with ear infections, or the first flu cases of the season.. I am sure the excitement of the deal is an adrenaline rush, and for many people this day kicks off the season and for many starts off their holiday spirit. I have been checking in with the news to see how many people took it too far, like happens every year..
I just hope all went well last night and today it will be safe and smooth, and that great deals will be had by all.
It is the Wednesday before the Thanksgiving holiday. This is a rushed and stressful day because we make it that way, it's tradition. This is the day our lack of organization shines as we run around trying to do everything we should have done long before today. I think we associate all of our holidays using the slogan, hustle and bustle...mainly because we know our disorganization has become almost a personality trait.. So how do we at this point organize an unorganized last minute preparation day? Remember you are in good company today!
Make a list of what you really need to get the job done, eat some real food before you go so your stomach and palate are not over riding the list, and get in and get out. Drink plenty of water, take your supplements, and take a hotshower tonight before bed to relax you down for a better nights sleep...
I am often amazed by all the things I can get done that have to be done in a normal day, and even more amazed by the lack of things getting done that are on my "to do" important list! We are capable of being that organized person we would love to be but life, and other peoples stuff, projects and drama seem to follow us everywhere. This is why I am such a proponent of the mini holiday throughout the year.
A mini holiday you say? Yes, it is where, rather than taking a whole week off at a time, you add a day to your weekend and turn it into a small get away for recharging you and your mind. A friend one time, after a lengthy conversation had asked me where I was planning on going on my vacation, and I said that is a year away. He laughed and said he used to do that too, but his body needed smaller more frequent get always that were recharging for his body. Since that time I love the idea, and believe it or not, a short break away from ourselves can actually better your focus, and increase your positive attitude, and kick some of that negativity and regret to the curb! Try it...
Stop putting everything on the back burner thinking there will always be time later, because the fact is even though there may be time in one area of your life, another area will step in and throw your plans into a frenzy.
Remember, everything will get done, and sometimes saying No to some things and Yes to yourself may change your life in every area!
It seems as if we are hearing more and more about the extreme risk for memory problems today, and the risk is not aimed at the older population solely. It has become more and more common to hear of many, at one time geriatric diseases and health problems to be visible in many younger age groups. I think this focus has made many of us fearful of everything that is, and may be a sign of some of these life altering health conditions.
I know I am not the only one that has experienced the "walk into a room and forget why I walked in there phenomenon". Of course my mind always instantaneously goes to the extreme possible condition rather than think that it could be something simple and not life changing. Although awareness of these life changing condition's is important, and does warrant our attention, we need to at the same time not walk on egg shells trying to shelter ourselves from living and enjoying life.
Sometimes the easiest changes can actually be the most noticeable when it comes to our memory, concentration and focus. I have found that the easiest fixes can involve the things that usually start our day off on the hurry up, and be late routine. You know, losing our keys, our phone, our wallet or purse, and even trying to throw together an outfit to wear and put food together to eat. The simple process of hanging your keys on a hook, or putting them in a bowl on a table near the door, plugging in electronic devices every night in the same place for easy location in the morning. Packing a lunch and laying out your clothes the night before can be quite effective and time saving. These things sound very basic and easy, but I guarantee some or all of them have caused all of us morning craziness that led to crazy driving, road rage and a day that was bad from that point on.
A few more things that have a great impact on our memory is eating a diet based on healthy foods versus a diet based on processed foods. If you eat a diet with little to no nutrition, you will have a body that is forced to function on little to no nutrients. Sleep, or our quality or lack of sleep is directly related to focus and concentration. Remember how crazy we get when we wake up with a phone with no charge because we forgot to plug it in, the same applies to mental and physical energy from a night of no rest or charging our mental batteries.
Make sure to check into the available nutrients that are available for a better nights rest at your high quality health food establishment, as there are so many to choose from today. Memory or brain nutrition is now a large category to work within, and the choices are quite amazing. Keep in mind the combinations and singular choices available today involve vitamins, herbs, amino acids, homeopathic and Ayurveda.
We also need to remind ourselves that genetic lines do not always mean we will end up in the same unhealthy cognitive realities. Taking the time to have a great diet, healthy lifestyle choices, as well as frequent exercise, quality sleep and stress management are all tools and factors that directly map out the path we follow. Life is what we make it, and the realization that we are the one directly responsible for the quality of our own life is sometimes hard to accept.
Is getting healthy over whelming for you? You are not alone as so much bad information is served up to us every day on many platters. Also, taking into consideration that most of us are fed up with being unhealthy and suffering with health problems, and of course dealing with unhealthy symptoms. Being this frustrated with unhealthy living leads us to do one of three things, it either motivates us to make a healthy changes after doing our homework, doing nothing, or buying into something that sounds too good to be true, meaning it most likely is!
If I had one wish it would be for people to live their lives in the grey area, you know a life of moderation. This could prevent frustration, deprivation, and keep us on the right track, mostly because it would not be one of those all or nothing propositions! But somehow we tend to fall into the all or nothing mentality, and then we are only able to stay on track for a short period of time.
Getting back to basics with our health is obviously the key. Better diet, more exercise, more sleep, better stress balancing and moderation of all the things we should not be doing... Of course some of the really bad things should most likely go all together.
I also like the put it in reverse theory, where we do the opposite of the things we are doing now in different categories to bring about a better outcome. For example, if you eat no vegetables, eat them. If you do not exercise, exercise. If you eat too much junk food, don't.. and so on...Sounds basic and simple, and it is... I think if we would stop adding so many bells and whistles, and get back to basics, we might just be effective this time, and all times moving forward.
I am often asked how do I know if taking supplements is for me. I guess there was a time when the supplement industry was a luxury, or the in thing to do, but today we have created a world of unhealthy people that need a way to fill the nutritional gaps.
We have all come from a place where food was food, we ate to rebuild and replace the nutrients lost during the day, and to provide our body with the tools to keep healthy and to function in a healthy way. Today we no longer eat to live, we live to eat, and none of it is providing us with the values our bodies need to survive in a healthy way. The time when being older age meant the breakdown of our bodies, and that because of age only the inevitable risk of disease was a reality has dramatically changed. We are now experiencing disease and health disorders, once present in only the geriatric years now visible in all age brackets and personally I feel we are responsible for this situation.
We do not rest our bodies, exercise them, de-stress and decompress out stressed out emotions, we choose food stuff and processed fast food over real foods and we dramatically push our bodies to the limit with no regard of the toll it takes on our future self's. We then gravitate to as many of the symptomatic quick pharmaceutical fixes that are visible on drug store shelves, as we are annoyed with the symptoms of the health problems we have personally created for ourselves and do little to nothing to get to the cause, or to fix the problems that got us here in the first place.
So when I am asked about eating healthier, exercising, getting more rest and balancing ourselves with a more positive outlook and using supplements to fill the amazing gaps in our health, the answer is always a resounding YES!
On your mark, get set... go!!
It is that time again.. The end of the year, holiday, eating out of control, stressed out season..It is a fun time of the year, but many of us pay the price for a few months into the new year, a time when we are supposed to be getting healthier! Although our hind sight gets very clear after the fact, maybe a few small tips or changes or adaptions could make it a little better in long run.
First, diet.... Just because there are plates of cookies and cakes and candy out on every table does not mean you have to eat your fill, or eat them at all. It also does not give us the right to stop feeding our body with healthy food...Vegetables, fruits, healthy protein and whole grains are still important, and we do not get a free pass to ignore them.
Second, sleep..You need it, and without enough of it you will get run down, stressed out and sick. If you need to use some herbal supplements to get a good night of sleep, please do, they work wonderfully.
Third, slow down, chill out, and decompress. Everything will get done, and if it does not, so be it. The stress we have that we cannot control is hard enough, putting added stress on your life and mind can be controlled. You may have to say No once and a while, it is what it is, and your body will thank you for it.
Fourth, take your supplements, drink your 8 glasses of water whether you are thirsty or not, and take some me time to keep balance in your life.
If you have a history of being sick every year, get to the best quality health food store in your area and adjust your supplements to help guide you through this crazy, fun and sometimes out of control season.
On your mark, get set...
Here we go!!!
Monday through Friday
8 AM to 9 AM
My name is Jeffrey Burke. I have been in the health and nutrition field for well over three decades. In August 2012 I was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasting Hall Of Fame. It was an amazing honor to be honored at the Gala event.
Jeff has been posting about nutrition and health since 2006. See those posts here: