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Stretching - an overlooked instinct

Did you do your stretches today?  Most of us can be better at it, can’t we?


Have you ever noticed that cats and dogs always stretch out their spine and extremities when they wake up from a nap?  It is a natural instinct to prepare muscles and joints for the tasks that lie ahead.  Stretching maintains flexibility, keeps fluids circulating and prevents injury.


Why are humans, perhaps the most intelligent creatures on the planet, so forgetful in this regard?  The most basic of stretches only takes a couple of minutes.  Upon awakening reach overhead with the arms and spread your fingers apart. At the same time push your heels down toward the foot of the bed and then point your toes down.  Since connective tissues need time to respond, hold the stretch for a minute or two as you feel the shoulders open up, the hips release tension and the back lengthen.  Take in a few deep breaths to open your ribcage.  You can tighten up the buttocks for a few seconds and then release the tension for added effect.  Slowly turn your head/neck to the right and then to the left as far as they move comfortably.  Open your mouth wide as if you were about to give a big yawn.


There, it only took two or three minutes.  Don’t you feel better about yourself already?  


Start a trend.  It is not important how far you stretch, only that you do it.  Over time, with daily repetition, your range of motion will increase.  


If motivated, search out information on the internet or buy a book on stretching techniques.  Learn how to target specific muscles, joints or activities.  Adding simple stretching sessions to your workday, play time or exercise routine pays dividends over the long haul.  And remember, you are in it for the long haul...


Here are some basic stretching principles to remember:

  • Slow and steady movements
  • Hold for a minute or two
  • Ease up if pain is felt


Waist Management - A Weighty Issue?

When asked most people will probably tell you they would love to lose a few pounds. It always seems that the body holds on to those last 5 - 10 pounds are rather tenaciously. The search for the “magic bullet” in the form of an easy fix is prevalent in our society.  The best way to achieve weight goals is with eating behavior modification and retraining which takes persistence and desire.

Many nutrition counselors and dietitians agree that eating a nutritionally balanced breakfast is key to a productive day and proper weight management.  Yet, statistically it is the most skipped over meal of the day.  Just take notice of the advertising messages flooding the air waves.  Drive-thru egg and muffins; greasy bacon and sausage patties on buttered bagels; designer coffee (cream and sugar with that?); breakfast bars laden with sugars and fat; breakfast burritos.  Americans are eating more and more breakfasts in their cars than ever before.  All of this full of sodium, fat and sugars.  Not surprisingly we are headed for the possibility of diabetes along with the extra poundage at ever younger ages.


If your work takes you on the road at lunch time the drive-thru convenience of fast food once again takes it toll on your nutritional well-being.


Even if you do take time to eat at home, how often is breakfast a toaster pop-up; a microwave pastry or a bowl of flakes?  Orange juice instead of an orange fruit - where’s the fiber in that?  We are people on the go who can’t “go”!


If there was a simple and convenient solution for you to take advantage of, would you?


Fortunately, Young Living has formulated the perfect solutions for people on-the-go as well as the busy stay-at-homers.  The nutritional shakes are called Balance Complete, Power Meal; and Pure Protein Complete.   Just scoop out the desired amount into a shaker container or mixing cup and add 8 ounces of water ( use rice milk or similar liquid of choice, too.)  At work I keep a canister of Balance Complete in my desk or in the break room standing ready when lunchtime arrives.  If I was on the road, I have often loaded up a travel cup with my nutritional shake blend and when lunch time arrived, I simply added water to the mix and drank it down.  If drinking a shake proves to be inconvenient, Young Living provides Wolfberry Crisp meal replacement bars that are easy and convenient along with Manna Bars (Apricot and Apple Cinnamon) for healthful snacks.  


There is a feeling of satisfaction that comes with the knowledge you are taking positive action towards the achievement and maintenance of good health and weight.


Balance Complete provides the benefit of 11 grams of fiber per 2 scoop serving.  There are 5 different fiber sources in this blend which afford the absorptive benefits of soluble fiber and the scrubbing benefits of insoluble fiber.  When you drink Balance Complete with a chaser of 8 oz. of water you will fell full and as the fiber expands in the digestive tract you will be cleansed.  Balance Complete also contains a full spectrum of amino acids, complex sugars and therapeutic grade essential oil of Orange.


If you are vegan or vegetarian opt for the Power Meal which uses rice bran as it fiber base.  While it sports a different nutrient profile than Balance Complete, it is every bit as good for you and as easy to prepare.  


The Pure Protein Complete delivers 20 grams of whey protein per serving for those looking to boost those levels.  It provides a low glycemic, low calorie, low fat source of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to support cellular metabolism.  The amino acids from protein molecules are the building blocks of your cell walls and components of many of the hormones and neurotransmitters your body requires to carry on all normal body functions.  Pure Protein Complete is a easily consumable and digestible source of these building blocks great for the aging population that may be missing these in their diet. 


My breakfast routine


Since I have a regular exercise habit which includes weight training and cardiovascular conditioning, I mix a scoop of all three of these supplements for my breakfast often adding a scoop of JuvaPower for liver support.  After shaking the mixture with 8 oz. of water I let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes to thicken up (I rather enjoy a thick shake!)  Often I add a piece of fruit to round out my breakfast.  I have also concocted a smoothie by adding some frozen peaches or mangos to the mix in a blender.  Really thick and satisfying.  It all depends upon the time you have in the morning before you leave for the days events.  I also drink 3-4 ounces of NingXia Red in the morning, usually adding it to water in a 20 ounce water bottle that accompanies me to my workout at the gym.


Weight maintenance


Balance Complete and Power Meal have become an integral part of my waist management plan.  I drink a shake for breakfast and lunch when ever possible knowing they provide a low calorie, nutritionally balanced, low glycemic, readily digestible meal.  l eat a sensible dinner combining healthful food choices to support my maintaining an ideal weight.


To begin your own program, replace your least nutritional meal with a Balance Complete or Power Meal shake.  Harness the power of these blends to maximize your energy levels, burn excess body fat and support the maintenance of lean muscle mass.


Young Living has assembled two effective nutritional product collections to support the establishment of a cleaner eating habit and maintain your weight maintenance goals.  They are Nutritive Cleanse & Core Supplement Starter Kit and the Slique Experience Starter Kit (in vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions) .  Balance Complete and Power Meal are integrative components of these programs developed and proven to be effective in helping you achieve improved health and proportional weight.


The Nutritive Cleanse/Core Supplement starter kit is ideal for those looking to gently clean out the digestive system and establish improved eating habits.  I practice this cleanse 3 times each year and find I am able to eliminate one poor food choice each time.  For example, I eliminated carbonated beverages totally over two years ago after completing a 10 day Nutritive Cleanse protocol.  I reduced my consumption of ice cream to near zero after another cleansing.  I have reduced consumption of chips of all types, sugary sweets and chocolate.  It has come to the point where I can control my consumption of these foods and yield less to the temptation to eat them mindlessly.  By making them a treat and removing them from “food group” status I consume them much more judiciously. 


By committing to a 5 day cleanse at least 3 times a year I can keep a check on the high fat, high carbohydrate and nutritionally empty “foods” from taking over my waistline.  The cleanse I started the day after Labor Day, 2011 resulted in a 22 pound weight reduction which has remained gone for seven months and counting.


Use the 5 day Nutritive Cleanse to change poor eating habits.  More details about the cleanse can be found here.


The Slique Experience is a combination of nutritional products designed and field tested to curb appetite and support weight elimination.  It promotes the development of sound eating habits that retrain you to make appropriate choices.  At the core of the appetite suppression are the Slique Tea and Slique Essence essential oil blend.  Details of this program can be found here.



Free Radicals and The Damage They Cause

When you notice rust on something like a car fender, lawn furniture , the gas meter on the outside of your house- anything made of metal - what thoughts go through your mind?  Would you buy a rusting car?  Sit in a rusty lawn chair without thinking it may collapse?  Rust is sometimes associated with age and deterioration.  Loss of functionality.  Loss of aesthetic beauty.  All t is really is the interaction of oxygen with the metal molecules.  This is technically called oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress is also what happens to our body’s cells, tissues and organs over time due to exposure to reactive oxygen molecules.  We can figuratively rust on the inside.  The culprits all called free radicals and we do have built in systems to neutralize them.

Read more: Free Radicals and The Damage They Cause

Enzymes and Your Health

Have you ever heard someone comment that the chocolate cake they were about to devour would go directly to their hips?  Sometimes it seems as though that is the process, especially if one is challenged in maintaining a shapely waistline.  In fact, there are complex chemical reactions taking place in your body breaking down the complex nutrients in the food you eat and preparing it for absorption into the blood stream before it is deposited on the hips.


Enzymes are protein based chemical agents that serve to speed up metabolic reactions and activities in all of your cells.  Due to their necessary presence for metabolism to take place, they can be synthesized or produced in the cells and put to use on the spot. Of course, in order to manufacture enzymes the cells require the proper raw materials.  Amino acids obtained from proteins and trace minerals are linked to form the complex enzyme molecules. 

Read more: Enzymes and Your Health

Antioxidants and Your Health

Antioxidants are agents that neutralize damaging free radicals in our body.  Antioxidants are either water soluble or fat soluble.  Water soluble antioxidants work in the blood plasma and cellular fluids to neutralize free radicals.  Fat soluble antioxidants work to protect cell membranes and DNA in the cell nucleus from free radical damage.  As such, they help to prevent mutation and premature aging.

Want to look younger than your years and feel younger than your peers?  Up the antioxidant levels in your body with good food choices and effective supplementation.

Read more: Antioxidants and Your Health