Hiking Benefits

Hiking Blog

Hiking takes walking, as a healthy exercise, to the next level. Both are excellent cardio workouts, great for the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, our bones, and our muscles. Each will lower our stress levels and is great to support any weight loss program. But hiking gives us the extra piece: it can improve our balance and increase our strength and endurance as we navigate the steep and/or bumpy trails. An old English term used for hiking was “hillwalking”. Walking poles can be included for balance or stability in order to provide additional security and safety.

 

Hiking uses muscles that are rarely used in the gym. It is also considered one of the best ways to burn fat – even that stubborn belly fat. This physical exercise promotes the release of endorphins – the hormones that make you happy.

 

Studies have found that exercise and cardio workouts benefit us – mind, body, and spirit. So why choose to walk outside or hike? For many, exercise can be tedious and boring. Something on our daily routine “have to” list. Not something that brings us pleasure. On a treadmill, an hour can feel like a very long time. So we manage to pass the time by watching TV, reading our emails, and/or talking on our cell phones. By doing this, we are being mindless. Our focus is entirely outside of ourselves. We are still working, still obsessing, still stressed. Being outside, on the other hand, on a hike, maneuvering the trails, time seems to fly by. It also adds the extra dimension of being in beauty. Surrounded by nature, we reduce our levels of anger and fear and increase our feelings of wellbeing.

 

Exercising at the gym or at home is usually a solitary act. Hiking with friends may turn this dull activity into a fun-filled experience. Connecting with friends in a natural setting, can involve opening ourselves up and even allow them to see our limitations, our stumbles, our vulnerability. It encourages us to share stories that we might otherwise keep hidden or have even forgotten. We may deepen some of these friendships, making them more meaningful. There is something very special about sharing this experience with others, making memories, and changing relationships. We may even get out of our egos and become ourselves.

 

Many have written about the benefits of hiking. Lao Tsu wrote, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Ken Ilgunas: “On a hike, you’re less a job title, and more a human being.” “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche. “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” – Edward Abbey. “Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” – Henry David Thoreau.

 

Hiking, whether alone or with others, is a way of enjoying the beauty of nature while promoting mindfulness, as we remain closely aware of what is underfoot so as not to stumble or fall. Focusing on our surroundings and the possible dangers stops the monkey mind from regretting the past and worrying about the future, thereby lowering anxiety and improving our mood. Hiking is also a great way to unplug. Rarely do we see a hiker spending their time on the hills checking emails, texting, taking selfies, or tweeting.

 

Whichever you choose to engage in, whether walking or hiking, remember to dress accordingly, wear the proper footwear, and stay hydrated. Bring your water bottle and, of course, your phone, (just in case of an emergency)!

Gilda By Line11

Pain

Pain blog image

Do you suffer from debilitating pain? Pain can sometimes be a gift, a message sent from the Central Nervous System to the Brain. It is the body’s way of letting us know that something is wrong, of protecting us from continuing to injure ourselves, making things worse, and, sometimes, telling us that it is time to see a health care professional. There is a TV commercial for a pain drug that says, “When the body says no, ‘……’ says yes.” But, in order to be safe, when the body’s wisdom tells us “no”, we should respond accordingly.

 

Pain after a cut, bite, fall, injury, or a medical procedure is short term and is referred to as acute. In these cases, inflammation is the body’s way of healing and repairing the injured tissue. But, if it continues longterm, even permanently, it is labeled as chronic. Chronic pain is often described as lasting many months after the injury or medical procedure has healed. In most of these cases, the primary origin is excess inflammation. The names given to many painful conditions end in “itis”, denoting inflammation. In the case of arthritis, it involves inflammation of the joints. Inflammation also increases when under stress.

 

Pain may be mild, moderate, severe, constant, occasional, sore, dull, throbbing, sharp, aching, pulsing, stabbing, annoying, uncomfortable, debilitating, or even unbearable. When seeing a doctor or a therapist, being able to identify the type and location of pain can help with the diagnosis and sometimes indicate a particular condition. Some people can point directly to the tiny spot where the pain is felt. Yet, for others, it is in the left shoulder, or in the head, or in the right knee. It may even be referred pain felt, for example, in the right hip and originating from the left side of the neck. Pain can impact our daily activities, work, emotional and psychological well-being, and social activities. 

 

For many, it is worse in the morning and is accompanied by stiffness. Lack of movement during the night can increase morning inflammation. A gentle morning exercise routine may help minimize this discomfort. Doctors used to recommend complete bedrest during painful periods, but this is no longer the case. For most types of chronic conditions, movement and increased blood flow has been seen to promote healing and reduce pain.

 

Waking with a sore neck may be due to poor a sleeping position or to the type of pillow being used. Also, sore backs, are often the result of poor posture. Try standing with your feet pointing straight ahead with a slight pelvic tilt, tummy tucked in, head comfortably forward, shoulders back. This is how to align the spinal chain properly with the joints stacked evenly, one above the other. Your weight will be evenly placed and you will no longer be compensating for a weak area by putting extra pressure on the healthy side. Use your muscles rather than your joints wherever possible.

 

Running shoes may be the best type of footwear, offering additional support, and resulting in a reduction in back pain. When bending, hinge at the hips instead of at the waist. Lift with your knees, never your back, and do not twist your body to reach for something that is off to the right or left. If sitting for hours at a desk or computer, ensure that you have a proper chair, that your arms are at a height that doesn’t put strain on your shoulders, and that you get up every half hour to move.

 

To minimize pain, naturally, deep breathing exercises, meditation, or relaxation techniques can be extremely helpful. One breathing exercise that can be done in bed each morning before rising involves lying down, eyes closed, one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Focus on the breath moving slowly, in through the nose and out through the nose. The count of four for each is comfortable for most. Feel the breath move in, through, and out of your body for even 10-15 minutes. This can be followed by gentle exercises, like bending your knees and moving your legs from one side to the other. Gently and comfortably, move and bend your arms and your legs.

 

There are also many safe physical exercises that result in increased blood flow which will help minimize pain. Some of these include Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Feldenkrais. Stress reduction, 7-8 hours of sleep, and therapies such as massage, acupuncture, osteopathy, and myofascial release can also help tremendously in minimizing pain. Exercise programs that strengthen your abs and glutes, in a safe manner, are extremely helpful.

 

Magnesium is an important supplement that will relax the muscles and improve sleep. A daily vitamin D supplement will improve immunity and strengthen bones and muscles. Also, Boswelia, SAMe, MSM, and fish oil may help reduce chronic pain. Both turmeric, added to food or taken as a supplement, and tart cherry juice, combined with water as a drink one hour before bed, have anti-inflammatory properties.There are also homeopathic remedies that may reduce pain and inflammation including Arnica, Belladonna, Bryonia, Rhus tox, and Ruta. For these, the symptoms must match the remedy. Like cures like. So, please read about the remedy first.  And, also, there are essential oils like Lavender, Peppermint, Copaiba, and Pan Away applied to the body and/or diffused through the room which may promote muscle relaxation, restful sleep, and reduce pain. As CBD becomes legal, there will also be many ointments, creams, and oils on the market that can offer relief.

 

It is important to stay well hydrated, and to eliminate, or at least, reduce the consumption of coffee, alcohol, and tobacco. Remember to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet, low in sugar, processed foods, hydrogenated fats, and carbonated drinks. All food that increase inflammation, like nightshades, will increase pain.

 

Related NPP Webinars:

Gilda By Line11

Bone Health: Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is not just A Calcium Deficiency!

 

What is holding you up?  Bones are made up of at least a dozen minerals and more. We need to have these minerals, all in perfect proportion, in order to have healthy bones and healthy bodies. Before we start rebuilding the bone, and adding calcium, magnesium, potassium and all of the other important minerals and supplements, we must address the original cause of bone deterioration.

 

Osteoporosis is a “silent disease” where the bones become less dense, weak, and brittle. Its name comes from the latin – “osteo” meaning bone and “poras” meaning porous. For many adults, a slight fracture is the first indication that there is a problem. We may experience a minor bone break due to a benign event, possibly after a cough or a sneeze, increasing the probability of future fractures.

 

Today we are living longer. Seniors have become one of the largest population groups throughout the world. As children, our body breaks down old bone and replaces it with new bone tissue. By our early 30’s, bone mass no longer increases and we need to preserve our bones for as long as possible. As we move toward middle age, and our hormones become depleted and out of balance, our bones naturally lose their density every year. Our ability to build bone diminishes, resulting in thinner and more fragile bones that will break more easily. For women, this has become a serious concern during perimenopause, as the estrogen levels decline, and, particularly, after menopause. Men begin to lose bone around the age of 60–70. Hip and knee replacements are now very common for both women and men.

 

 

Early Warning Signs:

  • Loss of height
  • Changes in posture; ie stooping forward
  • Bone fractures, particularly after age 50
  • Lower back pain

 

Risk Factors include being female; being Caucasian or Asian; a genetic predisposition; a history of irregular periods; eating disorders; early menopause; poor nutrition; lack of exercise; tobacco and/or alcohol use; a PH below 6.5; low body weight; a small, thin frame; Kidney Disease; Celiac Disease; IBS; Prednisone; Cortisones; and other Drugs.

 

Fortunately, there is a tool that can determine bone loss, using T score ratings. This is suggested for women every two or three years after menopause. This Bone Density test, also known as DEXA, uses x-ray to measure the density of the bones in your wrists, hips, or spine, three areas most at risk, and also, the neck.

 

T Scores: 

  • and above are normal
  • 1 to -2.5 are considered Osteopenia
  • 5 to -3.0 are considered Osteoporosis
  • 0 are considered Severe Osteoporosis

 

Today our systems are assaulted by more toxins than ever before. Toxicity inhibits the body from working effectively. Whatever we can’t eliminate, we store. As we become more toxic, we also become more acidic. The body then leaches minerals, particularly calcium, from the bones in order to become more alkaline. How do we reverse this process? We make changes that will begin to move our body in the direction of healing. That is what Natural Nutritionists strive to do for every client that walks through their clinic door.

 

Doctors use medication, orally or by injection, like Fosamax, Actonel, etc to increase bone density while also recommending weight bearing exercise. In men, testosterone therapy has been used to increase bone density. Women were given estrogen therapy for decades until a large number of studies discovered a correlation between hormone replacement therapy and an increase in the risk of blood clots, heart disease, and hormone related cancers, like breast and ovarian.

 

Natural therapy protocols include supplements, weight bearing exercises, an alkaline diet, and a cleaner, more active lifestyle. In my practice, I use Biotherapeutic Drainage to promote the body’s ability to eliminate toxins, by making the liver, kidneys, and other major emunctories more efficient, through the use of combination homeopathic remedies. Once the body is less toxic, it becomes more alkaline and is better able to absorb and assimilate the nutrients necessary to build strong bones.

 

A link has been found between thyroid disease and osteoporosis. Thyroid hormones can affect the rate of bone loss. Too much thyroid hormone, like thyroxine, prescribed for years, may speed up the rate at which bone is lost. The body’s osteoblasts may in turn be unable to replace the bone loss as quickly as required.

 

In the Nurses’ Health Study including 122,000 women, risk factors for chronic diseases, like osteoporosis, were analyzed. It found that “women with the highest consumption of dairy products actually had substantially more fractures than women who drank less milk”.

 

Our NPP Webinar, Osteoporosis, includes:

  • Bone formation and integrity
  • Underlying issues
  • Warning signs
  • Rebuilding the bones with Nutrition, Supplements, Biotherapeutic Drainage, Tissue Cell Salts, Diet, and Lifestyle Changes

 
Our NPP Webinar, Hormones, includes:

  • Foods to balance hormones
  • The Endocrine System
  • Adrenal & Thyroid Nutritional Support
  • Thyroid and Osteoporosis

Gilda By Line11

Magnesium

Magnesium blog

 

 

BENEFITS:

Relaxes every muscle in your body – including the heart

Relief from Insomnia

Reduces anxiety, depression, stress, sadness

Necessary to get calcium into the bones

Regulates blood pressure

Supports Insulin metabolism

Blood vessel constriction – may prevent migraine headaches

Improves PMS symptoms

 

 

Magnesium, as a macromineral, is essential for the bones, muscles, heart, brain, the immune system and the nervous system.

 

Foods rich in magnesium include dark chocolate (64 mg/oz), avocado (58 mg), nuts (82 mg/oz), legumes, tofu, whole grains, fatty fish, leafy greens, bananas, and seeds. 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds offer 307 mg and sunflower seeds, 129 mg.

 

As a supplement, in a capsule, Magnesium is taken to bowel tolerance. If you experience diarrhea, nausea, or cramping, back off by one. With calcium, the recommended dose is a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium but for women, a 1:1 ratio or even a 1:2 ratio is often more beneficial, particularly for those experiencing PMS.

 

Magnesium can also be taken as a Tissue Cell Salt, small tablets that are dissolved in the mouth. Mag Phos 6X is excellent for muscle pain, restless leg, and, for some, as a sleep aid. The body uses what it needs and expels the rest without causing bowel disturbances.

 

Women have often been referred to as “mag wasters” meaning that they lose an unusual amount of magnesium throughout the day.  Magnesium loss is also experienced by Massage Therapists, both men and women, who often experience muscle cramps in their hands and fingers.

 

In our “Heart & Stroke – Women vs Men” webinar, we focus on how a woman’s heart differs in size, heart rate, and also the contrast in structure of the arteries and valves resulting in a substantial difference between the two sexes in terms of risks, symptoms, care, diagnosis, and treatment. We discuss how Magnesium helps to keep calcium in solution preventing it from precipitating out into artery walls which would result in the building of plaque. Also, how magnesium prevents Aluminum buildup in the body. Magnesium is essential for a healthy heart, maintaining a steady heartbeat and a normal blood pressure.

 

In our “Adrenal Fatigue” webinar, we discuss Adrenal burnout and exhaustion due primarily to stress, emotional, physical, and environmental. We discuss the importance of Magnesium, the inhibitory mineral for the Sympathetic Nervous System. Magnesium activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is instrumental in keeping you calm and relaxed.

Gilda By Line11

Organic Chicken

NPP TIP Blog chicken soup

Organic Chicken Breasts are delicious – roasted, stir fried or as a soup. Chicken has become a staple dish for most non-vegetarians. It is one of the best sources of protein, necessary to build muscles and keep bones healthy. It is rich in minerals like phosphorus and calcium and also selenium which may cut the risk of arthritis. Containing tryptophan and B5, both having a calming effect on your body, Chicken can help relieve stress. With beneficial magnesium, it can also reduce PMS symptoms and muscle pain. It is rich in B Vitamins for heart health, particularly B6, helping to lower homocysteine levels and niacin helping to lower cholesterol. A great source of Omega 3, Chicken is low in saturated fat. The lowest fat content is found in the breast meat.

 

Why organic? If not, the chicken you are cooking may have been injected with antibiotics and/or hormones and grown with the use of toxic chemicals and pesticides. Organic chickens are also free range, meaning allowed to roam freely rather than crowded into cages, although free range does not necessarily indicate organic. Remember, we are what we eat!

 

A steaming bowl of chicken soup filled with vegetables and delicious chicken pieces has long been the secret health cure of mothers and grandmothers through the ages for colds, respiratory infections and flu and has often been referred to as “Jewish Penicillin”.

 

Years ago, I found a delicious recipe for an immune boosting Astragalus-Ginger Chicken Soup – my go to whenever I feel under the weather.

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large pot, 1/3 filled with filtered water, toss in some sea salt, ground pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  2. Heat the water just below boiling. Add two split organic chicken breasts, bone in but fat and skin removed.
  3. Add a 3″ piece of ginger, cut into strips.
  4. Slice and add
    • 4 carrots,
    • 4 celery stalks,
    • 1/2 onion,
    • 2 garlic cloves,
    • 6 shitake mushrooms, and
    • 6 slices of astragalus root
    • Cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
    • Pull off the leaves of a large bunch of kale and set them aside.
    • Chop up the kale stems and throw these into the soup.
    • Continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes and then add the kale leaves.

Continue cooking (not boiling) for 30-60 more minutes. I recommend only organic ingredients, where possible. Add the sliced chicken, vegetables, salt and pepper to taste, and the delicious hot broth to your favourite bowl and enjoy! Yummy and filled with nutrients.

 

Gilda By Line11

 

Organic Cucumber

NPP TIP Blog cucumbersOrganic Cucumbers, actually members of the fruit family, have a high water content (95%) and are packed with  B vitamins, vitamin A, and antioxidants. They were once thought of only as a great addition to green salads, or a side to a meal, adding variety, colour, and a light, pleasant taste. They are now seen as helping with weight loss, constipation, blood pressure, skin, eyes, and bones while, at the same time, keeping you hydrated. You will derive even more benefits if you eat the entire cucumber, including the seeds and skin, after a thorough scrub and wash.

 

Cucumbers are rich in carotenoids and flavonoids that have been shown to help with blood sugar regulation. These, and other phytonutrients found in cucumbers, have also been studied with respect to their ability to lower chronic inflammation, decreasing the risk of many chronic diseases. Studies have suggested that the lignins found in cucumbers may help lower cardiovascular disease and prevent cancer. An anti-inflammatory substance, “fisetin”, found in cucumbers, are thought to have “the ability to reduce the impact of age-related neurological diseases on brain function” and may also help to “maintain cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s Disease”.  

 

As a beauty treatment, cucumber slices have long been applied directly to the eyes to reduce puffiness. Spas feature cucumber slices floating in elegant carafes of water to help with water retention. In a YouTube video, a fellow, named Bryan, drank organic cucumber juice, skin and all, for seven days in a row. On day 1, he found that he was experiencing a huge diuretic effect. On day 2 & 3, he was feeling very hydrated. After day 4, he felt like he could run a marathon; full of energy.  At only 16 calories per cup, enjoy a snack of fresh, crisp slices of cucumber dipped into your favourite organic hummus.

 

Organic Cucumber, Goat Cheese, & Black Olive Salad

Organic Cucumber Recipe

  • 2 cups organic cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup organic goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup organic kalamata black olives
  • 2-3 tbsp organic cold pressed olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Slice the cucumbers, into rounds, skin on or off
  2. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half
  3. Place cucumbers & tomatoes into salad bowl
  4. Combine the other ingredients and toss with the veggies
  5. Sliced red onion may be added, if desired

                                             ENJOY!

 

Gilda By Line11

 

 

Organic Onions

Organic onions new

The onion, like garlic, is a member of the lily family of plants. The homeopathic remedy for the common cold, allium cepa (cepa meaning onion), is prepared from red onions. Boericke’s Materia Medica refers to this remedy as “a picture of coryza with acrid nasal discharge and laryngeal symptoms and eye secretion”.

 

Onions are thought to have originated in Central Asia, from Iran to Pakistan and north into southern Russia. Since the sixth century, the  onion has been respected as a great way to spice up any dish and, also, in India, for its healing properties. Most onions are white, red, or yellow appearing globular in shape although there are many varieties of shapes and colours, including green; each offering its own distinctive taste. Onions have provided cooks with an inexpensive way of enhancing the flavour of almost any dish. Many delicious recipes begin with the browning, sautéing, or carmelizing of yellow onions.

 

Onions are low in calories, fat, and carbs. According to Michael Murray, ND, they are “very good sources of vitamin C, B6, biotin, chromium, and dietary fibre and, in addition, good sources of folic acid and vitamins B1 and K”.  They also contain sulphur, phytochemicals, anthocyanins, flavinoids, and particularly quercetin, which is beneficial for disorders including cataracts, cardiovascular disease, and for reducing body fat. Quercetin is found primarily in the outer layers of the onion so it is recommended that as much as possible of the skin be used. It also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

 

They have been known to lower blood pressure and blood sugar and also to improve bone health, gut health, and heart health.  Centuries ago, onions were included in remedies used to treat headaches, colds, and heart ailments. They contain inulin and fructooligosaccharides and are rich in prebiotics so helpful to increase the number of friendly bacteria in the gut which will improve immune function.

 

Studies have shown that the organosulfurs in onions may suppress tumour growth and that there may be a connection between allium and a reduced risk of cancer. A 2019 study found that quercetin had links to lower blood pressure. Another recent study showed that peri-menopausal and menopausal women who ate onions at least once a day had a greater bone density and a reduced risk of hip fractures.

 

Why organic onions?  These are preferred in order to avoid consuming the chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals used during the growth process. Also, conventionally grown onions will most likely have been irradiated to prevent them from sprouting. Onions should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight, in a well ventilated area. Green onions can be stored in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator, safely for about a week. Leftover cut onions will stay fresh for a day or two in an airtight, sealed container in the refrigerator or may be frozen for later use in soups or casseroles. To avoid tears, refrigerate the onions for an hour or two before chopping. Also, keep them as far away from your eyes as possible, to avoid the sulfur-based gas emitted from the onion.

 

Eggs & Onions (2 servings)

My husband David’s favourite egg breakfast.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 1 organic onion, diced
  • 4 organic eggs, beaten
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • turmeric and/or oregano, to taste (optional)
  1. Heat olive oil or butter on medium heat in a non-stick green pan
  2. Saute the diced onions until translucent, but not browned
  3. Pour the seasoned beaten eggs onto the hot pan
  4. Stir until the eggs are cooked through
  5. Serve hot with a side of organic blueberries and sliced strawberries
  6. Crumble goat cheese over eggs, if desired

 

Gilda By Line11