Written by Inspired Life on November 6th, 2017. Posted in Articles, Blog

Understanding Stress and Making Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference.
By: Angie Holstein, MSW, RSW

Adults, children and teens are more stressed than ever as our culture has become faster moving and more demanding with it’s expectations. From constant emails, texts, and social media to finding time to work out, eat healthy and look great. The feeling we have to do it all can be hard to escape, so it’s not surprising that we feel stressed and, at times, totally burnt out. This culture of stress is being passed down to the younger generations in what is called stress contagion. Emotions are highly contagious, meaning the emotional storms of others automatically trigger the stress response in us unless we are doing something to intentionally counter it.

In my work with adolescents, I’ve noticed that talking about being stressed and not sleeping enough is a way they can convey that they are hardworking and achieving. Has appearing stressed and sleep deprived really become a badge of honour? We rarely hear talk about self-care strategies or the good nights of sleep they are getting. However, our bodies are talking honestly. They are telling us to slow down. Science now confirms what has been known for centuries: the mind and body are deeply connected. Stress not only lowers our mood and creates anxiety, but it also diminishes the body. Whether your stress is chronic in nature or comes in spurts, it affects our mental and physical health. Dr. Gabor Mate convinced me of this in his book “When the Body Says No – Exploring the Stress and Disease Connection”. More than 90% of medical visits and 80% of diseases are stress related.

When we are stressed our bodies automatically initiate what is called the Stress Response. Here is what happens:

Mind: An individual’s response to stress is controlled by the central nervous system (the brain and spinal chord). When stressed, the body signals the adrenal gland in the brain to “spray” epinephrine to initiate the “fight – flight -freeze response.” Being stressed is a signal that danger is present. Triggers for this process are varied and range from: a bear running at you; being called on in class for the answer; walking into a room and knowing no one; someone cutting you off in traffic; trying on clothes and feeling inadequate. These triggers signal the brain to release hormones, such as cortisol, to sustain this on-guard response state.

The effects of these hormones on the body are as follows: 

  • Feeling nauseous from improper digestion. This is caused by increased blood flow to the muscles, therefore reducing the blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Dilation of blood vessels. 
  • Increased breathing rate.
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure. 
  • Increased blood sugar levels in order to provide more energy for this process to occur.

For many individuals this process occurs multiple times a day, every day of every week leading to a state of chronic stress and poor mental and physical health.

Some Common Signs and Consequences of Stress:

Mind:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Lack of focus
  • Memory difficulties
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Poor judgment
  • Chronic worry
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anger

Body:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Breathing difficulties
  • High blood pressure
  • Intestinal upset or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Muscle pain and tension
  • Hair loss
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Weight Gain
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Infertility
  • Hormone imbalances

Almost 50% of Canadians say stress is negatively impacting their personal and professional lives. This can lead to feelings of helplessness to these automatic responses within the body and confusion about how to alleviate it. All of us have the ability, with self-compassion, life management skills and intention, to maintain our well-being. Consider some of the tips below and remember that small changes can have a big impact.

Quick Tips

Learn and practice saying “No” and “Later”. A common cause of stress is having too much to do and too little time in which to do it. Learning to say “No” to additional or unimportant requests will help to reduce your level of stress, and may also help you develop more self-confidence. If a direct “No” is difficult, try: “Now is not a good time…” or “I would love to, but…” 

Journal: Keep a journal exploring your relationship with stress. First write down your Roses or “bright spots” from the day. What are you already doing in your day to reduce stress? Praise yourself and share this with another person. Second, write down the Thorns or challenges you experienced. Finish with your Buds or hopes for tomorrow. This is a parenting technique for anxious children and adolescents and valuable as a whole family approach. 

Assess and reduce your Trauma Input. Be mindful and intentional about what you watch. Be proactive about creating a balance between crime related shows like “Criminal Minds” or the evening news and integrating some shows that are light and funny like “Modern Family”. 

Practice Transition Rituals from work/school to home. For example: change your clothes, take a 2-10 minute pause using a meditation app such as www.donothingfor2minutes.com.

Take a non-judgmental, detailed Inventory of what’s on your plate right now (work, family, home, health, volunteering, other). What stands out? Seek the help of family, friends or a therapist to help you make changes to the problem areas. Learn from the example of others who’ve shared their experiences with this idea. Like Cheryl Richardson’s book “Take time for your life” (1998). 

Practice Delegating. Start small by identifying one task from your week and delegating it to another person, either at home, work or school. 

Declutter your living and work environment. If you haven’t used something in more than a year, can you consider getting rid of it? 

Learn more from books, talking to others or web based research about managing your stress with self-awareness and self-compassion.

Maintain your physical health. Exercise, sleep (7-8 hours), eating a balanced diet, regular medical check ups, reducing caffeine and processed products. If you want to understand more about the impact of stress on the body, consider reading: Gabor Mate, When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress

Meditation and self-compassion. Schedule and practice a pause every day. Sometimes the thought of this can be overwhelming so start by building in 2 mindful moments in a week. Celebrate your efforts. Experiment with different resources and don’t wait until the dishes are done or that last assignment handed in! www.donothingfor2minutes.com/ www.stopbreathethink.com/ – a quick and simple tool to guide people through self-awareness, mindfulness and self-compassion. Consider building a brief meditation into existing structures of your day i.e. 2-5 minutes at the beginning of meetings, as a family, before bed or in your car before going into your home. 

Practice daily Gratitude by writing; making a mental note to yourself or sharing with another. Studies are showing changes to neural pathways with this practice.

Be aware of your thoughts. Talk openly to a friend, colleague or a trained professional that can help support and find solutions to your stress.

Written by Inspired Life on May 1st, 2014. Posted in Blog, Products and Reviews

Here is a great article we came across on MAP, Master Amino Acid Pattern, one of the main components to our 10 Day Transformation!

Master Amino Acid Protein
A Discovery That Redefines Supplementation

BY RENITA RIETZ
We are all aware of the importance of protein as one of the fundamental nutritional macronutrients required on a daily basis for optimal health. In fact the word protein itself is derived from a Greek word “proteos” that means “primary” or “that which takes the first place.” High quality nutritional protein is critical in the diet in order to obtain the essential constituent amino acids that the body cannot produce itself in order to synthesize the variety of structural and functional proteins in the body ranging from enzymes to hormonal chemical messengers to structural proteins such as collagen and elastin to immunoproteins and transport proteins such as lipoproteins for example that transport lipids in the blood. The diversity and range of proteins in the body is vast. Without them life would simply not be possible. The protein choices that we make each and every day directly influence our ability to function, regenerate and heal at an optimal level.

Protein in human metabolism is a complex topic. There are so many factors that need to be considered such as the type and quality of protein consumed as well as how protein is digested and subsequently absorbed and metabolized by the individual. To give one example, as we age our levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach dramatically decline. Hydrochloric acid is absolutely essential for the conversion of pepsinogen to pepsin that facilitates the digestion of protein before entering the small intestine. Something as seemingly simple as this could impair the entire chain of events to follow. Protein will not be broken down and adequate essential amino acids will not be available for the synthesis of new tissue. Consider also the vegan or vegetarian who may not get the adequate amount or proportion of essential amino acids or the athlete or fitness enthusiast with higher protein needs.

For many, protein powders in smoothies as an adjunct to other daily protein has become the answer, however, many will be shocked to learn that isolated protein powders (whether they be whey, soy, pea, rice, hemp or any other protein isolate) are not the most efficient and effective way to obtain one’s daily protein requirements. A nutritional discovery was made by Dr. Luca-Moretti known as the Master Amino Acid Pattern® (MAP™), which is a very specific proportionality between the essential amino acids (not created by the body) for body protein synthesis. It represents the exact sequence of amino acids required for human nutrition; with only 1% metabolic waste and 99% of the constituent amino acids following the anabolic pathway to act as building blocks for the body’s many different proteins. This proportionality of amino acids is six times more effective than all protein powders or amino acid supplements. It is also three times more effective than dietary proteins such as meat, fish or poultry with an average of only 32% of their constituent amino acids acting as precursors for body protein synthesis.

Increasing one’s protein intake is often recommended in any weight loss program. The explosion of the paleo diet and people’s success stories are telling, however, few consider the long-term implications of high protein diets on kidney and liver as well as overall energy expenditure. Clinical studies have shown that the Master Amino Acid Pattern® (MAP™), can substitute dietary proteins or protein supplements in a safer and nutritionally more effective way. MAP™ provides a Body Protein Synthesis per minute

(BPS/min) equal to 99% NNU/ 23 min. It is 100% digested, 100% absorbed and 99% Net Nitrogen Utilized in 23 minutes without fecal waste and with no stress on the kidney or liver. The results of a comparative, double-blind, triple- and quintuple-crossover Net Nitrogen Utilization (NNU) clinical study has shown that 1% of MAP’s constituent amino acids followed the catabolic pathway, thus releasing only 1% of nitrogen catabolites and energy. By comparison dietary proteins release an average of 68% nitrogen catabolites and energy.

Results of a multi-centric study have shown that by giving MAP™ as a sole and total substitute of dietary proteins to 500 overweight participants undergoing the American Nutrition Clinics/Overweight Management Program (ANC/OMP), the participants’ body nitrogen balance could be maintained in equilibrium with essentially no calories (MAP 1 g=0.04 kcal), thereby preserving the body’s structural and functional proteins, eliminating excessive water retention and preventing the sudden weight increase after the study. The results have shown that the use of MAP™ had the ability to prevent the adverse effects associated with a negative nitrogen balance, such as oversized or flabby tissue, stretch marks, sagging of breast tissue, increased hair loss, faded hair color, and fragile or brittle nails.

In a study of a 51-year-old female athlete during a desert crossing, while taking MAP™ as a sole and total substitute for dietary protein, and performing physical activity, the results showed increased body muscle mass, strength, and endurance, decreased body fat mass, greater increase in performance of the non-prevailing muscles compared to the prevailing muscles, improved cardio-respiratory performance and increased red blood cells.

In another study of 20 track athletes, those taking MAP™ as a dietary protein substitute had increased body muscle mass, strength, and endurance, decreased fat mass, increased basal metabolism rate and improved muscular and hematologic lactate clearance, which allows for better muscle performance and faster muscle recovery after physical activity.

This vegetarian protein is in a tablet form and can be taken at any time with or without a meal. While the individual dosage may vary according to nutritional status, age, gender, and the intensity and frequency of physical activity, the average suggested daily dosage should be 5-10 tablets a day. This product is readily available in most health food stores. The optimization of body protein synthesis from MAP™ will be of benefit for anyone wanting to increase lean muscle, strength and endurance, reduce fat, improve skin and connective tissue and provide faster recovery after physical activity. It is the ultimate protein source for the vegetarian or vegan, the aging whose digestive abilities are beginning to slow down, those recovering from any ailment needing to harness the body’s energy, athletes and anyone interested in optimizing anti-aging, slowing down degeneration and increasing rejuvenation.

Renita Rietz is a health and nutrition writer and speaker who educates on the phytotherapeutic potential of indigenous foods and plants for prevention and regeneration.

This article appears in the April 2014 issue of Tonic Toronto

Written by Inspired Life on June 10th, 2013. Posted in Blog, Products and Reviews

Have you been looking for a sleek and stylish drinking container for your tea that is safe to use with hot liquids?

Check out the Libre Tea Glass’n Poly drinking container! Watch the video below to find out more about the Libre Tea Glass’n Poly drinking container. Purchase in-store today!

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Libre Tea Glass'n Poly

Written by Inspired Life on March 5th, 2013. Posted in Blog

Written by Inspired Life on December 11th, 2012. Posted in Blog, In The Media, Products and Reviews

We’ve been promoting infrared sauna therapy in a clinical setting since 2004, and it delights us to know that we have been correct about the benefits of the technology.

In the video below you’ll see Dr. Oz providing a brief explanation about what an infrared sauna is, and you’ll also get to see Oprah’s first reaction to how efficiently the infrared sauna heats up your body.

After you finish watching the video, call us at 416-461-8688 to book your next appointment in our infrared sauna. Our infrared sauna is set in a private room, with separate exclusive bathroom and shower for your use. Bring an additional friend or family member for an extra $10.

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Written by Inspired Life on December 10th, 2012. Posted in Blog, Promotions

Buy 3 infrared sauna sessions and get another 3 sessions for free! Offer ends December 31, 2012.

Buy Online

Each unit purchased below is for a total of 6 sessions (3+3 free).
Discount will be applied after you add the item to your cart.

Written by Inspired Life on March 28th, 2012. Posted in Blog, In The Media

What You Can Learn from this Film

In the film, you’ll discover which dietary choices could be keeping you stuck, what’s keeping you from having the healthy body you deserve, and how to escape the diet trap forever.

You will learn:

  • How to overcome food addictions and cravings
  • Why fad diets don’t work
  • Which food additives to avoid and how to read labels, including the real truth behind “DIET,” “SUGAR-FREE” and “FAT-FREE” products
  • What fat is, and how you can get rid of it for good
  • The most effective strategies for detoxifying and cleansing

Written by Inspired Life on February 9th, 2012. Posted in Articles

Massage helps relieve pain in damaged muscles by sending anti-inflammation messages to muscle cells, Canadian researchers have found.

Athletes have long sought massages to relieve pain and promote recovery. Despite reports that long-term massage therapy reduces chronic pain such as back pain, the biological effects of massage on muscles weren’t known.

Read the entire article here

Written by Inspired Life on December 14th, 2011. Posted in Blog, Products and Reviews

Are you a parent that is challenged with the task of raising one or more children?

Do you sometimes feel that there is no hope of getting your child to eat all their vegetables at dinner time?

Have you ever been frustrated to the point where you simply want to call it quits?

If you are a parent, you need this book: Parent Talk: 50 Quick, Effective Solutions to the Most Common Parenting Challenges.

Written by Inspired Life on February 28th, 2011. Posted in Blog, Inspirations

Many of us who have seen The Secret have seen it several times (for some of us, that number is well above 12 to 15 times). Personally, each time that I watch it, I notice something different, and it inspires me to make positive changes in my thoughts and in my life. Admittedly, The Secret is not the be-all and end-all of things do to in order to get what you want in life. That is, there are plenty of other things that you can also do in your life in order to achieve the things that you envision, but it sure is nice to know that this is one of the easiest things one can implement.

Here’s an inspiring clip from The Secret which I find absolutely inspiring.  If you’re ever feeling down and out, lost in life or just simply confused about what your purpose is, watch this video and see how you feel afterwards.

Enjoy!

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