Does it ever make you wonder why we are so hard on our bodies? I mean we all know if we treat ourselves in a healthier manner we will be healthier for our efforts. Yet we seem to almost be of the mind set that bad things do not happen to me. The crazy thing is when we are in a situation when we are already fighting for our health and suffering with health related issues, and promising to be better we seem to really mean change is imperative. So we promise and pray that if we can just get through this event we will make a change. But in the end, once we are lucky enough to get through the crisis we revert to old habits and vices, and are still not motivated enough to make a positive change.
I actually have thought about this conundrum many times over the years, and I have yet to figure it out. Another thing that I am still pondering is when someone is lucky enough to beat a disease or heal from a tragedy, even when the odds were against them, and they still do not make the necessary life changes. I am starting to think that maybe we have lost the idea in our mind of what health is all about. Maybe we have also lost touch with how valuable our health is, and how devastating it is to lose it.
All I can do is hope we all start appreciating our health when we have it, doing everything we can to get it back if we lose it, and then hold on tight to never lose it again!
Today I spoke to a friend that is going through her second time around with chemotherapy and radiation. The Doctor feels this time may be an incredibly difficult journey, and is not as positive this time around.Years ago, she breezed through it, and although she was amazingly grateful and felt blessed, her focus was short lived as she went back to every single bad habit and vice a short time after she got the great news. Because I had been working with her and helping her with diet and supplements her and I became very close. I was able to get her through radical treatment and keep her feeling really good, working and active, and it was a very successful journey. So my feelings about reverting to all the bad habits made me become very vocal, and it put a wedge between us.
I feel when someone is blessed enough to be able to beat a terrible disease and make it out alive, my think you should be grateful and happy of that blessing. But I guess I was too vocal and we lost touch soon after that until today when she let me know she was very sick again. She apologized for, in her worlds being a ridiculous stubborn ass, and was hoping I could see it to help her again. Of course I would help her again, and I said yes quickly with a determination in my voice. Maybe this time she would get it if she was lucky enough to roll lucky seven two times in a row. I sent her a list of things to get started with, and I will be meeting her for a sit down next week. Her Oncologist is the same one from ten years ago, and he was happy she called me to do the other half of the therapy.
I just have to remember that no matter what all of us are in charge of our own health. We will or will not stay on path and whatever we choose for the road map is our choice and only ours... I am hoping all of us together can kick this things butt again!
It is easy to see how so many people, although having the want to and possibly the necessity of making a change have a tendency to fail. When you really think about it, we are creatures of habit, and our habits make us who we are, and some of them are years and decades deep. I think the most frustrating thing about change is even when we know our health or quality of life depend on it, we still have trouble changing. I am not sure if it is because in the back of our mind our track record with change is not very successful, or whether we have not accepted the necessity for the change in the first place.
Hearing from a Doctor that we have to change, or getting ill from the actions of a bad habit or lifestyle situation we are still hard pressed to motivate ourselves to move forward. So, what is it that finally rips us down, motivates us, force us or causes the realization that change is needed and will be good for us? I think it is different for everyone.
The one thing I think we need to do is ask ourselves every day, is today the day? Is today the day I change my life for the better and move in that healthier direction I need to go? Is this the day I make the changes that can change my life, extend my life, Save my life? If the answer is yes, you do it. If the answer is know, sooner or later you will annoy yourself enough to possibly guilt yourself into making a change. When you are ready you will make the leap forward, but only when you are ready. This is when your healthy journey will work and be a success, because you decided it was time. Many times we make changes for friends, family member's or people that tell us we need change, and they may be right, but the decision needs to be ours to be a success.
So good luck on your changes, good luck on the healthy journey, and remember once you see the benefits of the change, you will be home free!
When you wake up today it will be a new year with a full book of empty pages ready to be written on, this means different things to everyone. For some of us it means a beginning of being better to ourselves this time around. A more focused priority where we put ourselves first with our well being and better health in mind. This obviously could dramatically change the face of our country if we all did this as a nation. For some of us the new year means closing the door to year full of problems, bad health, failed goals and unhealthy living. For this group two paths are available. One, follow the same road with just about the same outcome, or two, change it up and give yourself the focus you deserve.
For me it is always about closing the door hard and tight and nailing it shut because in the big scheme of things we are where we are and it does not matter how we got here. Learning from our mistakes and remembering the unhealthy roads that got us here, of course. But dwelling on them and revisiting them no!
The present and future is where we need to be existing mentally. Many people have been the "go to" people in their families and friendship groups, which is admirable, but no matter how much you may enjoy this heavy and satisfying burden, eventually some focus needs to go in your own direction, or crashing and burning is inevitable. So be the person you have always been, but a new improved version of yourself where a portion of your focus stays on yourself. You will find that you are better at everything you do, including being that "go to" person.
Let us all, when we look in the mirror for the entire first month not see or dwell on all of our troubles and problems, but instead see the new birth of great health, happiness and a positive version of ourselves. Sometimes visualizing a better way of living can be an amazing strong motivation.
Remember, the new year is about being better to ourselves than we were last year, and thats all!!
Have you ever wondered why some people just look healthier, they rarely get sick and they have that amazing healthier glow? Many times we just feel it must be good genes, and that may be part of the answer, but more than likely it is a healthier way of living. Taking a little time to live even a bit healthier can bring results that are amazing. Many times when I am speaking with people and answering questions they have an all or nothing idea in their mind that the only way to achieve great health is to give up everything they love and hold near and dear, no matter how unhealthy it may be. This is not true.
One of the many things we have forgotten along the way on our daily journey is that things we did instinctively at one time, like eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of fresh water, get a good nights rest and have daily activity have become very unfamiliar to us. Today we have to plan to eat good healthy food, and we have to manage our time and fit in our exercise, and sleep, and many of us rarely try to fit it all in the schedule. It seems to me that all the unhealthy things we do without thinking at all, where we should be doing the healthy things automatically.
I am a true believer of small baby steps in a healthy direction, and possibly rewiring the way we think about health.
It does not have to be an all or nothing proposition, it can be a gradual process, we do not have to feel guilty if we veer from the path, and we should celebrate every goal no matter how small.
I was in line at the store and I heard a young lady say to her friend water, water is only important in the summer when you do that dehydrating thing. Her friend said, I think you are wrong, water is needed all year long that is why people get dry skin and constipated and have kidney and urinary problems. The friend said where did you ever hear that? Water is only important in the summer because you only sweat in the summer.
Now people that know me know that I am a born educator, and I like people to have the information they need to make better decisions with all, or at least a good amount of information to work with. So, again the non informed friend said where did you hear such crazy information? Her friend says I listen to a Naturopath on the air during the week, and I have for many years. My Mother introduced me to him, as she has been listening to him for over 20 years. He is very informed and shoots straight at the correct information, and does not sugar coat things or but into misinformation.
The friend replied, I do not believe anything on the radio, and then it happened, the words just fell out of my mouth... It is very obvious that you do not believe anything from books, Doctors journals, special reports, news or studies on health either. I shook the other ladies hand, and I thanked her for listening to my show. She said Jeff, I said yes nice to meet you. She replied did I get the information correct, I said yes, perfect.
Then I looked at the other one and I said are you seriously this uninformed, or is there a television camera somewhere in the area... And just like that she said we are on tv? I looked at my listener and said Happy Healthy New Year, and oh my good luck with this one! She gave me a hug, thanked me for all of the information, and as I walked away shaking my head like I was having a spasm, the other lady was still looking in every direction for a television camera or film crew.
It really does amaze me when I hear the conversations the week before New Years day. Everyone seems to have an attitude, even after many many years of unsuccessful journeys that having monumental goals and aspirations will allow them to all of a sudden magically transform into the person they have always wanted to be.
Now, do not get me wrong, I would gladly shop at that magic wand store too if it existed, but sadly it does not. Change comes from changing the daily routine for a healthier more organized and managed way of living. When you think about it, when the stroke of midnight happens we instantly forget about the unsuccessful journey of the previous year and automatically start a new freshly polished road map. I truly feel we get more and more unsuccessful because as each year goes by, our problems become bigger and more and more things break down.
My simple no bell and whistle solution to the New Years Resolution conundrum is to make all of your goals easy to achieve. Now, just for examples sake, people will say, 5 pounds a month that is no goal, my response... try it! Because 5 pounds a month becomes 25 pounds after 5 months, and that is something to celebrate, where the person that had a 25 pound goal in January, in May will most likely still be trying to get any loss going at all!
So, keep in mind, baby steps in a positive direction can yield positive and monumental changes.
I am always happy when the holiday season comes around because people tend to be a little nicer and happier. Although the holidays have gone in a very material thing and stuff direction, the underlying theme is still there, although sometimes buried way down deep.
As the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays have come and gone, the New Year is upon us this week. A time when we yearly look in the mirror only to see that none of last years resolutions have come to reality, and most likely if we set this years goals out of sight, the same will happen again. I guess change, although needed for almost all of us is a scary proposition, is still a reality we need to face either now, or later when our health has declined to a level of absolute necessity. So my idea this year is for all of us to make the resolution to be Better to ourselves and healthier than this year....This is an easy way to stay on track with minimal, but noticeable differences, and just maybe enough of a difference that we will work a little harder to get even better results during the year... You know baby steps before the 10k run..
Good luck on your journey...
They say that pets have a way of working their magic all the way deep into our souls, I think I would agree. There will always be pet lovers, pet appreciators and of course that small amount of pet abusers. The first two groups understand the long term effects of a healthier life due to having pets in your life. The last category, misguided and demented and abusive will remain that way and that is the way they will most likely always be.
Pets have a way of de- stressing us on those out of control days, filling a void when loved ones are not around, and intensifying great days to even higher levels. For me, my life would feel empty, not complete and actually the void would be too hard for me to handle not having pets in my life. I depend on their loyalty and unconditional love, and my life would be lacking without them.
Today pets are used for all stages of therapy for helping with pain relief, assisting the blind and disabled, brightening the day of recovering soldiers returning from war and helping to bring people back to us that are lost in a sea of despair and depression. Although I am a huge advocate of having a pet, they are not for everyone. When deciding top get a pet, there are questions you must ask yourself, and be honest and serious with your answers.
1- Can you afford a pet knowing there will be costs involved with vet bills, grooming, food and maintenance?
2- Do you have the room for a pet, you may need to choose your pet in relationship to the area and size of your home.
3 -Do you have the time in your life for a pet?
4 -Do you have the energy needed?
I hope you can have the chance in your lifetime to open your heart to an amazing pet.
Amazing how ill-prepared we are for the yearly cold weather season that we all know is coming, but it seems to escape our mental preparation yearly. There was a time when I would do shows on getting prepared nutritionally for flu and cold season in December, but over the last few years I have actually started in November, and it sometimes still falls on deaf ears. I figure that our memories of a miserable flu and cold season from last year would still be in our memory banks, but we all tend to forget the annoyance, and suffering almost a week after we are feeling better and on a road to recovery.
Is it difficult to prepare for this season? No.. It seriously comes down to basics.. Eating a healthy a diet, getting enough rest, exercising, drinking plenty of fluids, and keeping a more positive attitude. Of course these are things we have heard our entire lifetime from family members, parents and even from the media, but for what ever reason something this easily done must be outdated or folk lore by today's standards, and something better with more bells and whistles is much more relevant. We tend to think this way in almost every sector of our life, and I think we end up in the long run doing nothing because of misinformation and media confusion. Maybe what we need to do is take a step back, listen to the knowledge we all have in our head and get back to basics, a time when things worked, worked well, and the side effects were little to none!
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!!!
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: