Thursday, July 23, 2009

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To Your Health,

Pam Murphy,M.S.H.N.,RRT

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Visualizing A New Year

Why is it many of us get all introspective at the end of year? I've been pondering if it's a loss of time we are feeling or the giddy expectations of good things to come in the next year. Like children waiting on Santa, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy.

So we get all excited about the New Year. THIS year is going to be different! So we go about setting New Years resolutions. And what's up with THAT? There isn't a written (or unwritten) rule we must set a resolution. Nobody makes us do it. It's our own idea...... and often we approach it without a lot of thought or a plan to achieve them and thus ultimately fail.

Pondered that a lot lately and reached a few conclusions.

Resolutions are born out of our discontent.

We WANT to change. We truly do.

We want to lose weight, be healthier, more successful, more organized, etc.

The problem with New Years resolutions is that we want a CHANGE, whether it be weight loss, a new job, a house, a new car, someone to share our life with, to quit smoking, etc etc. but we don't follow thru on the actions needed to bring about the change we desire. You know what they say.... I'll paraphrase.... if you keep doing the same things you'll keep getting the same results. And it's true.

I'll be honest. I don't like the term "new years resolution". Does it turn you off also? But still it's important to stop once in a while and ponder where you are in life. Is this where you want to be? Are you who you want to be? Are you happy? At the end of every year I take time to plan for next year. I don't call it "making a new years resolution". I like to think of it as what I'm going to do different or better to bring my dreams a little closer to reality or taking stock of what I need to do to enhance my life. Life is so busy these days. It's important to step off the merry-go-round once in a while and refocus. Don't you think?

But so often we profess a desire for change and then continue to do the same things over and over as if the result will be different. We are married to our habits, to convenience...... to our comfortable life. Change requires ACTION which is sometimes uncomfortable, at least, at first.
It's so much easier to stay mired in our customary everyday habitual routine which is safe and comfortable.

Let me say this about "habit". Habit may be comfortable but it takes away our power of choice. One can't both, stay mired in habit, and CHOOSE to CHANGE. Give that one some thought.

Have you thought about making a healthful resolution this next year? May I suggest you look at it this way....

if you love your life, you will want to take care of your body. If you were diagnosed with a life threatening disease you would change your diet.... you might even exercise more (if you could) ... but you wouldn't be doing those things because of what the scale said or how you feel about how you look. You'd be doing those things cos you love your life and you didn't want it cut short.

So my question to you is: Why wait till you get sick?

Your wellness is the foundation of everything good in your life. Every good thing you do to support your wellness will pay you back in the enhancement of some aspect of your life. If you think about it I think you'd agree wellness is integral to every part of your life.

In setting your healthful New Years resolution(s) may I recommend:

1. Keep your resolution(s) realistic
2. Surround yourself with positive people.
3. Believe in your ability to change
4. Keep a journal of your progress
5. Focus on one resolution at a time
6. Be accountable to someone other than yourself: do you have a trusted friend who is also making a resolution?

New Years resolutions (or any change) can be boiled down to four steps:

  • Choose to change
  • Give thought to planning the change
  • Take action to effect the change
  • Visualize your success as you work toward success

But you need a plan to put those steps into motion. So consider the finer points in your resolution by thinking it through as follows:

Why is your resolution important to you? What will change about your life when you achieve your resolution? (Be realistic!) What changes do you need to make in your life to achieve your resolution? How will you implement those changes?

Thinking it thru is a crucial step. In fact, not thinking it thru is the foremost reason for failure.

The reason most people never reach their resolutions is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.” - Denis Waitley

Not only is thinking it thru a crucial step; but what you are saying to yourself in your thoughts is also crucial. Are you visualizing success? Or is there a nagging doubt? A nagging thought this year won't be any different than any other? Are you defeating yourself before you even really get started? Keep those thoughts positive! and I might add hang out with positive people!

What are YOU going to do this year to achieve YOUR New Years resolution(s)?

What are YOU going to do this year to make your dreams closer to reality?

What are YOU going to do this year to make this year better than last year?

I should add .....

you may find the person you become as a result of thinking, planning, taking action, visualizing and achieving the change you desire will be every bit as priceless as the resolution itself.

Quantum-Self -Visualize Success


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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Change - You Can!

Remember when you were 20. You thought you'd live forever. Have you ever said to yourself "gee it seems like yesterday I was dying to be 21" and now here I am in my 40's (50's etc)". Wow. How does that happen? Time flies. It's a blink of an eye from "gee I need to lose 10 lbs" to "gee I need to lose 50, 80 or 100 lbs".

And then there is the familiar "gee I didn't lose weight this year either".

Is that you?

Have you looked in the mirror and not recognized who you saw? Not been happy with what you see in the mirror? There's a beautiful person inside that person you see in the mirror. I hope you know that. But I can tell you being overweight is costing you.

It's a lot easier to be unhealthy than healthy. It's alwasy easier to keep doing what you're doing. But when the problem is overweight at some point it really becomes a problem if you've developed the habits of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Are you tired of being tired, fat and depressed? Tired of having to pass up the cute clothes and head to the Plus Sizes. Are you worried about your health? Diabetes, heart disease, etc.

I have a tip for you: Success at a healthy lifestyle starts in your head. Change starts in what you tell yourself.

Change. It was the election year buzzword. Change. We expect our elected officials to bring about change but when we are the ones needing to make change it suddenly becomes different. We don't have time. We hate to drink water but we guzzle six packs of soda and imbibe daily Starbucks. In fact, many of us drink coffee throughout the day "to keep going". We consume loads of preservatives, dyes and neurotoxins in processed foods and reach for tobacco products to calm our stress. We worry about herbs which have been used for thousands of years, but reach for the next best pharmaceutical without giving it a thought.

Here's some facts for you:

1. Each year prescription drugs cause 1 million injuries so severe they require hospitalization
2. Each year 2 million drug-related injuries occur during hospital care
3. Approximately 100,000 Americans die annually from taking prescription drugs CORRECTLY as prescribed.

Yet we never question taking a drug and most of us never look for an alternative. There is an alternative. You can live a healthy life with much less or no need at all for pharmaceuticals.

And the good news is some of us are starting to realize this and take charge of our health. Take for instance this question from one of my clients:

"ok, i already drink over 64 oz water a day, I work 10 hours a day doing p hysical stuff, not sitting at a desk, and have quit eating fried foods. I eat more fruit and veggies.. what else can I do?"

I read that and was in heaven... wow! a client who wanted to do more! I was thrilled with the question. It made my day! This person is working hard at gaining a better quality of life. She has a family and a job outside the home, has made changes and wants to know what else she can do!

Here's the suggestions I gave her:

1. You say you work 10 hours a day doing physical stuff, not sitting at a desk. Is it the kind of physical that builds muscle or the kind of physical which builds cardio? Cardio exercise is important but you also need physical exercise which builds muscle. Not only does muscle burn more calories but muscle is important for joint health. Physical exercise (ie strength training) which builds muscle is also important in building bone mass and has been shown to improve psychological health. So think about the kind of exercise you get at work. You might get the book called 8 Minutes in the Morning by Jorge Cruise take a look at either the original 8 minutes in the Morning or the one for Real Shapes Real Sizes. Either book would be a good way to get into a daily routine of strength building exercise. Everyone has eight minutes!

2. You're eating more veggies and fruits. That's terrific! I don't know what "more" is though! A serving is 1/2 cup. Are you eating 7 servings a day (men should eat 9)? What percentage of your veggies are eaten raw? A % should be eaten raw because your body needs the enzymes from whole foods in their natural state. Enzymes are destroyed when you cook food. Thats one of the reasons we see so much chronic disease these days.... many health issues are tied in with enzyme deficiency.

3. I would heartily recommend you get a juicer and make yourself a good green drink everyday. A tip on that: I've found adding an apple makes homemade juices taste better. I have a Jack Lalanne juicer but am about to move up to a Breville juicer. If you don't want to spend that kind of money go to walmart and get a Juiceman juicer. Folks who are avid juicers will cringe at that suggestion. However, that's what I started with and its plenty good to get a start at juicing. You have to start somewhere and everyone doesn't have $400+ for a super juice machine. (Not me, yet!) My prediction is you will soon want to step up to a better juicer though! Your kids will get into it tooo!! My great nephew Brayden loves to come over and make carrot juice !!!

4. Green drinks are loaded with nutrition! Here's a green drink recipe: Juice together: papaya, banana and baby spinach. Or you might try: celery, carrots, kale, parsley and apple. Only make enough juice for you to drink right then. (Though if you add a chunk of ginger when you are juicing you can keep the juice for 24 -48 hrs)

5. If you are up for a super- super healthy green drink I would recommend you add some Boku. I do not get any remuneration from the Boku folks. I simply think it's a terrific nutritious product. No, it's not inexpensive. But there is not any junk in it. It's every bit nutritious. You get what you pay for! If you are used to drinking sodas and eating sugary foods you will need to adjust to the taste of Boku. You can mix Boku with water by itself or add it to your green drink. I would suggest you add just a little Boku to your green drink and work up to label directions.

This client is making changes and seeing results. By changing her diet to one with more fruits and vegetables she is eating a more alkaline diet. This will help decrease inflammation in her body. There's a common thread between cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and autoimmune disorders. That common thread is INFLAMMATION. You can directly affect the level of inflammation in your body thru what you commonly eat.

Because she has changed her diet to one more plentiful with vegies and fruits she will naturally lose weight. She doesn't have to be tied to her scale. No one should be.

You, like this client, can make healthful changes, feel better, have more energy, and perhaps, decrease the amount of medication you take (with your physicians assistance). There's no time like the present to get started......

Check out my two articles for a blueprint to get started on your new healthy life:

article #1

followup article

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Do You Have Time?

You know sometimes I just get so serious... rabidly serious about nutrition and health. Sometimes I get so serious I know I irritate the heck out of the people around me. I am quite conscious of needing to tell myself to lighten up or I will push people away instead of drawing them in where maybe I can help them. But there are moments when I reflect on what I've been thru in my own journey to conquering illness and on what I see in the hospital as a respiratory therapist and at those moments I know deep in my heart it is serious.

There's nothing light about losing the quality of your life thru illness; especially illness that you could have prevented. Preventable illnesses are incredibly tragic. Illness takes away a lot of the choices in life. In fact, it occurs to me one of the worst things about illness is the loss of human potential and the implications that has on the quality of an individuals life, as well as, the loss to society. I'd say at least 90% of the misery I see in the hospital is preventable. And if you check out the World Health Organizations website or read a number of books "The China Study" by T Colin Campbell, "Eat To Live" by Joel Fuhrman,M.D., "The AntiOxidant Miracle" by Lester Packer, PhD to name just a few; you will find I am exactly correct.

One morning earlier this year I was having breakfast with my sister. We were talking about what I'd just learned in one of the courses I was taking for my Masters degree. I was very excited about it. I said it was a crime everyone didn't know what I had just learned. My sister said no-one cared. I replied but if folks knew how much real control they have over their health and thus their quality of life they WOULD care. It's cos they don't know that they seem to not care. Am I being naive ? I hope not. Your life depends on it.

Just the other day a casual friend remarked she just HAD to lose weight. She's right. She's headed for a really bad life if she doesn't. She asked me how to lose weight. I gave her a few suggestions. She replied she couldn't do that to each suggestion. She doesn't have time and it's to expensive to buy healthy food. Ok so let's get this: she wants to lose weight but she won't change anything that she's doing. If she sticks with the decision she doesn't have time she will join the ranks of thousands of other people with chronic illness. What she's missing is that time is running out on her not having time to take care of herself.

Another friend stated she's losing weight by eating a high protein diet and generally eating less. But can't find time to exercise. Hopefully, she's eating just enough protein and not overdoing it. Excess protein is not a good thing. Eating less could be a good thing. But it's not really about eating less; it's about being aware of what you are eating, eating mindfully, eating a varied diet of vegetables and fruits and being sure to get all the nutrients her body needs. I hope she is. And she'll have to come to the realization exercise is a part of the deal. Good health isn't just about eating right and it's not just about normalizing your weight. The body needs to move as much as it needs for you to give it the right nutrients. What she's missing is that time is running out on her not having time to exercise.

These two folks are representative of the folks I keep bumping into in my quest to help others live a healthier life. I'm not picking on these two folks, really I'm not... it's just that they are both on my mind cos not only do I care about both of them greatly; they really are representative of the folks I keep bumping into.... folks with a time problem. Hey I know about time. There was a time when illness put me flat on my back. I know how time escapes you and how illness steals it from you. Illness stole quite enough of my time. It's not a fun way to learn about priorities. I'm NOT going back there. I hope they don't land themselves there. And I hope you don't either.

The other night after a futile effort to save him I saw a middle-aged man die. No-one middle-aged should be in the condition he was in. No-one of any age should be in the condition he was in. I will spare you the gory details which I can't expel from my mind. Time ran out on this guy. Time does that.

I see it all the time. The results of the standard american diet and a sedentary life. Overweight people. Massively overweight people. Gaping ulcers on their body. Diabetes. Leg amputations. Dementia. Heart disease. Re-do re-do cardiac bypasses. COPD patients who can't breathe but still manage to suck on cigarettes.

I see results that were preventable.
And folks who don't have time to eat nutritiously or exercise.

The clock is ticking folks....

How many times have you said to yourself I should eat better? or I should exercise more? or I wish I had more energy? How many times have you actually attempted to lose weight, get stronger, live healthier..... and failed? Don't kick yourself. Most of us have grown up living the typical american lifestyle; eating the typical standard american diet. It's not easy to change a lifetime habit and it's to your credit you have tried even if you failed. You just need a little support and guidance.

In early 2009 I'm going to give you an opportunity for support to change your life for the better; to put yourself on a healthy, positive path. Stay tuned.....

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Wishing you wellness and joy!
Pam Murphy,M.S.,RRT
Holistic Health Coach
314-397-0686 CST