How to get and keep inspired

In our hectic world, it can be tough to keep inspired. When we follow a daily routine for weeks and months on end we can get bored, unmotivated and fall into a rut. This situation breeds unhappiness, depression, which in turn will push you into becoming unfocused or uninspired. How do you break out and feel inspired again?

Here’s a list of some easy ways to help you get up and get inspired again:

Exercise planning your day:

  • Make a list of 3-5 things you want to accomplish today
  • Adopt the 50/10 rule: Do a task for 50 minutes then take a 10 minute break
  • Reflect on what you accomplished at the end of the day
  • Flip through magazines or book to get your creative juices flowing
  • Jot down your achievements
  • Seek out a guru to motivate and mentor you.

Exercise your mind and body:

  • Move and sweat
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Get some sleep
  • Reading keeps you inspired
  • Brainstorming can open a world of possibilities
  • Research a topic and keep learning new things
  • Clean your desk to allow you to focus
  • Light scented candles

Exercise your happiness:

  • Express gratitude and be thankful
  • Indulge in your favourite things
  • Do something nice for someone else
  • Go for a leisurely walk
  • Sing a song even out of tune
  • Watch an inspiring movie
  • Listen to your favourite music.
I acknowledge that this image is borrowed from Fly Biz , September 11, 2017. Thank you!
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Adopt a gluten-free diet? It depends.

Gluten?  Say what? We’re talking about it all the time these days, but what is gluten? Why can some people eat it and other can’t? What’s the buzz about gluten-free diets?  What’s the scoop about Celiac Disease?  What are the pros and cons about going-gluten in their diet, or avoiding-gluten all-together?  All great questions, right?  Today’s blog is the fifth and final in a five-part series on all-things-gluten.

Some readers of this blog might be thinking, should I go gluten-free because I will feel better? It’s certainly trendy as gluten-free foods are available everywhere, even when eating out.

If you have been diagnosed with having a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten, formerly called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, OR if you suffer from Celiac Disease, the enormity of gluten-free foods available is welcomed. Going gluten-free is imperative; you don’t have a choice about it because the tiniest taste of gluten will trigger debilitating gastrointestinal discomfort. It’s time consuming, expensive, and a burdensome way to eat. But if you don’t suffer from these conditions, consider the following before removing gluten from your diet.

Based on little or no evidence, people have adopted a gluten-free diet to lose weight, boost energy, treat autism, or just feel healthier. According to health experts, the clear majority of those that switch to a gluten-free diet will receive no perceptible health benefits, spending lots of hard earned money on expensive gluten-free foods. Buyer beware.

Going gluten-free involves more than avoiding breads, cereals, pasta, pizza, and beer. Gluten is present in many other food stuffs like frozen vegetables in sauces, soy sauce, foods labelled as having natural flavorings, vitamin and mineral supplements, some medications, and even toothpaste. The bottom line is, is makes adopting a gluten-free diet complex. If you are determined to give up gluten, you need to know that you might develop some nutritional deficiencies, such as the range of vitamin B’s. Taking a gluten-free multivitamin & multimineral supplement is important for those wanting to avoid gluten. Be mindful that when you about wheat, you will need fiber to stay health, so consuming brown rice, quinoa, fibrous fruits, vegetables, and beans, will be important.

I acknowledge that this image is borrowed from BBC’s Good Food website, on September 4, 2017. Thank you!
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Easing back-to-school anxiety

With August and now Labour Day behind us, many parents are helping their kids get off to school today. For some children, it’s an exciting time, for others it a sad and traumatic experience. By now you’ve picked up all the requisite school supplies, and have shopped for a few new set of clothes. But, it can be an emotionally apprehensive time as September and the new school year gets underway. A lot of this stress is due to the change in routine, from the lazy days of summer to the daily routine of the school year. Its’ challenging. So what’s to be done.  Hopefully these tips will be helpful:

Acknowledge Feelings:

One easy way to alleviate stress is to let your kids talk about what’s bothering them. Open avenues to allow them to talk about their back-to-school anxieties. Carve out some one-on-one time even for a few minutes to let them talk about their feelings. The aim is to acknowledge and validate their feelings about giving them permission to discuss them.

 Back-to-School Routines:

After lazing about all summer it’s hard to switch gears and jump right into a daily routine. But routines help alleviate anxiety because children know what to expect. While to occasional late night or sleep-in will happen, getting into a routine helps reduce the shock to the system.

 Rehearse the Skills:

Practice, practice, practice! It’s important to rehearse the skills that cause kids anxiety which include getting up, sharing the bathroom, getting dressed, packing up the backpack, and heading out the door. Stick to a schedule and some of this anxiety will reduce.

 Share Experiences:

For parents, telling your own back-to-school experiences helps your children understand that their fears and anxieties are real. Telling stories helps you kids learn that their feelings are normal.

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Is a wheat allergy the same as a gluten intolerance?

Gluten?  Say what? We’re talking about it all the time these days, but what is gluten? Why can some people eat it and other can’t? What’s the buzz about gluten-free diets?  What’s the scoop about Celiac Disease?  What are the pros and cons about going-gluten in their diet, or avoiding-gluten all-together?  All great questions, right?  Today’s blog is the forth in a five-part series on all-things-gluten.

So, there’s Celiac Disease. And, there’s also those that suffer from wheat allergies, also called NCGS or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. What’s the difference? Allergies, whether to wheat or not, is when the body’s immune system overreacts to a specific food protein. Those that suffer by being allergic to wheat may often be able to digest or tolerate other grains, such as: oats, barley, rye.

Allergies and Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance are separate things and should not be linked in any way. Although it can be confusing because possible symptoms of having Celiac Disease and allergies to wheat are similar, such as: gastrointestinal symptoms such as cramping, diarrhea and constipation, as well as symptoms in other parts of the body such as bone or joint pain, headaches, or fatigue, to name a few. Allergy symptoms typically can include: itching, hives, or anaphylactic shock, which those that have Celiac Diease do not experience.

What you do to find out what you may or may not have? Here are some of the ways you could be tested to determine what’s what:

  • Celiac disease diagnosis involves blood screening followed by the need for a possible small intestine biopsy. A patient must be consuming a gluten-containing diet for accurate diagnosis, which is usually made by a gastroenterologist;
  • NCGS is an elimination diagnosis, which involves testing for and ruling out Celiac Disease, wheat allergy, and other disorders which could be associated with your symptoms;
  • Diagnosis of a wheat allergy, is generally done through RAST or skin prick testing and a double-blind placebo test using the allergen. This is usually completed by an allergist.

Diagnosis is key, and being able to follow the diet that is right for you. This is also the most important reason not to start a gluten-free diet before being tested and getting a diagnosis.

I acknowledge that this image is borrowed from Spokin’s What is a wheat allergy? August 21, 2017. Thank you!
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What is Celiac Disease?

Gluten?  Say what? We’re talking about it all the time these days, but what is gluten? Why can some people eat it and other can’t? What’s the buzz about gluten-free diets?  What’s the scoop about Celiac Disease?  What are the pros and cons about going-gluten in their diet, or avoiding-gluten all-together?  All great questions, right?  Today’s blog is the third in a five-part series on all-things-gluten.

If you have Celiac Disease, then you must follow a gluten-free diet. But what is this disease? Having this disease is not like having a food allergy, where if you were allergic to food that contain grains you’d have itchy or watery eyes, or might have trouble breathing.

Celiac Disease is an auto immune disorder that reacts when gluten is ingested. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye and barley. When someone with this disease eats foods that contain gluten, their body overreacts to the protein and damages their villi. Villi are tiny finger-like projections found along the wall of the small intestine. They specialize in the absorption of fatty acids and glycerol into the blood stream. When the villi are injured, the small intestine cannot properly absorb nutrients from food. Eventually, this can lead to being malnourished. Some symptoms include: stomach pain, diarrhea, gas, constipation, nausea, anemia, bone and/or joint pain, weight loss, heartburn. 

Not everyone with Celiac Disease will have these symptoms. And some people have no problems at all, which makes diagnosis very difficult. Most people with this condition never know they have it. As few as 20% of people with the disease ever get a proper diagnosis. Physicians use 2 blood tests with specific targets to help determine whether you have it or not.

There are no medications that treat Celiac Disease. You’ll need to go on a strict gluten-free diet. After you’ve been on a gluten-free diet for a few weeks, you should start to feel better, as your small intestine begins to heal.

I acknowledge that this image is borrowed from the Flourish Clinic. on August 7, 2017. Thank you!
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