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Fresh Beginnings for 2011

Aren’t we all glad 2010 is about over.  So much stress and worry over myriad things may have taken a huge toll on many of us.  Generally what happens in stressful situations is that we seek our comfort foods, and oftentimes those foods are not filled with the nutrition our bodies need to manage and detoxify stress chemistry.  It takes a variety of nutrients in the forms of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and clean water ingested regularly to keep us going and improve our thought processes so we can make wise decisions when in stress.

Official seal of the National Organic Program

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Here are some good tips to follow as you make your New Year’s Resolutions to improve your health and be your optimal best every day.

1.  Reduce and/or eliminate ingesting soda pop.  It is highly sugared and full of  phosphorous compounds that stress the body and make us gain weight. Research continually shows that soda pop and artificial sweeteners damage health.  Instead drink herbal teas, clean water, and diluted fruit juices (best from fresh squeezed fruit).

2. Avoid artificial flavors and dyes as well as MSG (monosodium glutamate).  These ingredients have been shown to contribute to asthmatic and bronchial conditions.  MSG, especially is an excitotoxin (stimulant) on the brain and can cause many neurological problems.  Read labels carefully to avoid these toxic ingredients.

3.  Avoid GMOs (genetically modified organisms).  Cotton, soy, and corn are the main three modified foods and corn and soy especially are in nearly everything we eat.  Organic foods cannot contain any GMOs.  Buy organic as often as you can, especially anything with the above three ingredients.  Organic food begins with a five digit number beginning with a 9.  GMO free foods have a five digit code beginning with an 8.  Conventionally grown food has a four digit code.

4.  Take a good multivitamin and mineral complex.  I especially recommend those found in gel caps rather than tablets as the tablet form takes high heat to extrude to be exactly alike.  High heat destroys nutrients.  Look for products that provide those nutrients from organic food sources and not synthetic chemicals.  The body will utilize those nutrients more effectively.

5.  Get plenty of sleep.  At rest is when our bodies repair and rejuvenate.  Stick to a regular routine of sleep/awake times.

6.  Drink plenty of fresh filtered water.  Often our symptoms of fatigue and headache are a signal we are dehydrated.  Especially in winter when we are in and out of cold and warm environments, dehydration can be a problem that is easy to avoid.

7.  Exercise regularly.  This improves circulation, removes toxins, increases energy, and prevents obesity.  Just adding a few minutes each day and building upon that routine to 30 minutes daily increases the release of endorphins, our “feel good” chemistry.

8.  I highly recommend receiving massage regularly as this improves circulation and detoxification, but also provides a body/mind/spirit connection so important in supporting good thoughts and feelings about ourselves.   Even receiving a hand and foot massage regularly improves health and well being.

Just beginning with these simple eight steps will insure an improvement in your health in the coming year.  Happy New Year everyone.  I send you a toast for your sustained good health.

Krystle Shapiro is the founding member of the Sandpoint Wellness Council and owner of Touchstone Massage Therapies and Nutrition Plus! She may be reached at 208/290-6760.

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