Individualized Nutrition, Pharmacy and Healthy Living

Stress Management & Lifestyle

  • Stress Series: How Stress Affects Mood and How a Natural Approach Can Help

    by Paula Gallagher | September 17, 2014

    stress-moodIn the last of our series on stress, we will be looking at how stress affects mood and how it can contribute to mood swings. A mood swing is an extreme or rapid change in mood or personality.

    Mood swings can last a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days. If mood swings are happening frequently, are disruptive, or lasting for longer periods of time, it might be helpful to seek support in getting to the root cause.

    What are Common Causes of Mood Swings?

    Healthy brain function requires many important nutrients as well as an active, social lifestyle. Factors such as aging, emotional stress, and exposure to free radicals affect cognitive health and memory function.

    Hormone and Neurotransmitter Imbalances
    Hormone and neurotransmitter imbalances are often at the root cause of mood swings. Your brain and body chemistry affects the way you think and the way you react, and can make you both more emotional and more prone to rapid negative emotions. Low levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, GABA, and norepinephrine can lead to anxiety and mood changes. Hormone imbalances (thyroid and sex hormones) can also play a major role in mood swings.  Read more

  • A Different Approach to Setting Goals: "One More"

    by Debi Silber, The Mojo Coach | September 15, 2014

    Resolutions-goalsDo you set goals, then look forward to the feeling of success when those goals are finally achieved? Setting goals and looking forward to the day you can celebrate reaching your accomplishments can be a great feeling... unless those goals aren’t met. How can you prevent disappointment and the feeling of failure while ensuring those goals are achieved? First, a look at why goals can be disappointing.

    The Goal May be Too Overwhelming

    Many set the bar high for personal or professional goals. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great thing, but what about all those successes along the way as you’re working toward that goal? The goal might be to lose 20 pounds, regain health, improve business or financial status, or maybe reconnect with loved ones. Whatever the goal is, how can you chunk it down so each milestone is celebrated and you can enjoy a continual feeling of success that’ll keep you motivated and on track, instead of waiting to celebrate when that big goal is reached? Getting inspired to be, do, and have more is great – but if it’s too overwhelming and you’re uncertain of the outcome, self doubt may creep in and you may start thinking that you can’t make it happen, can’t reach the mark, can’t meet the deadline... and what follows is a feeling of disappointment that leads to feeling like a failure.  Read more

  • 6 Tips for Consistency - The Key to Exercise Success

    by Debi Silber, The Mojo Coach | September 8, 2014

    walking-challengeIf you’re not seeing the kind of results you want from your workouts and you’re frustrated over trying to find the right fitness routine, the following six tips are just for you!

    First, you should know that the problem may not be with your fitness program. You may be doing all of the right exercises – just not consistently – and consistency is the key to:

    - Exercise success
    - Making exercise a lifelong habit
    - Getting noticeable results

    Here are six tips for consistency and seeing a real difference in your workouts.

    1. Exercise in the morning. Otherwise, tasks, chores, responsibilities and fatigue can knock the plan to exercise right off your list of priorities. If you commit to exercising in the morning, you’ll have fewer distractions and will be more consistent at getting your workout in for the day.

    Not a morning person? Many of us aren’t. Try making your bedtime earlier (so you’re not skimping on your sleep) and just set the alarm to get up 15-30 minutes earlier the first day. Then exercise a “no snooze button” rule, slowly get out of bed and before you leave your bedroom, put on your workout clothes. This can be a great “mental push” to get your workout in and chances are better that you won’t change your mind or get sidetracked.

    2. Have a plan to prevent boredom. You know how you can get bored with the same old routine? Well, so does your body. If you stay with the same exercise routine, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to get through it – so you won’t see the results you’re hoping for. Here’s how to be consistent, not boring:  Read more

  • Stress Series: How Stress Affects Memory & Taking a Natural Approach

    by Paula Gallagher | September 3, 2014

    memoryIn this installment of our series on stress, we are going to look at how stress affects memory, and a natural approach to supporting memory.

    Memory processing allows us to acquire, retain, and recall information and/or experiences. We have short-term memory and long-term memory. Information goes first into our short-term memory (also called working memory) and it then gets processed and stored in our long-term memory.

    There are three stages of memory processing:

    - Encoding – like listening to music
    - Consolidation – like recording songs (or burning a CD)
    - Retrieval – like playing back the songs

    When you are stressed by something, the stressor takes a lot of resources from your brain and interferes with your capacity to encode new information.

    What are the Effects of Stress on Memory?

    Healthy brain function requires many important nutrients as well as an active, social lifestyle. Factors such as aging, emotional stress, and exposure to free radicals affect cognitive health and memory function.

    Increase in Cortisol

    During stress, adrenal glands pump out cortisol. Although a certain amount of cortisol is normal, too much cortisol due to too much stress can prevent the formation of new memories or the retrieval of old ones. Cortisol also interferes with your brain's neurotransmitters, preventing communication between brain cells.  Read more

  • 10 Best Tips to Avoid Weight Gain & Mindless Munching

    by Debi Silber, The Mojo Coach | September 2, 2014

    Do you find yourself mindlessly munching your way through a day? For most of us, avoiding the cupboards and refrigerator usually doesn’t work in the fight against absent-minded snacking and unwanted weight gain.

    Here are 10 of my best tips for getting in control of mindless munching – tips to avoid weight gain and stay healthy!

    1. Observe
    Have you ever watched a parent eating off her children’s plates? Yep, that’s exactly how you look when you do the same thing. If you don’t like how it looks, don’t do it yourself. (My number one rule that really works for me!)

    2. Visualize
    Picture in your mind everything you’ve snacked on throughout the day... maybe a few handfuls of chips while watching TV, tasting what you’re making for dinner, some of those cookies the kids didn’t find, yet. Now imagine putting all of that on a plate. How does that look? Visualize this plate PLUS the meals you’ve eaten. More than enough, right?

    3. Distract:
    Try getting involved in another activity to stop you from “mindless munching.” (I find that the best ones are those that require both hands!) Try cleaning out a drawer, taking the dog for a walk, writing in a journal or any other activity that keeps you from munching, but still gives you pleasure.  Read more

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