Irene

Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

We Know Pets Can Help Keep Us Youthful, But Can They Also Keep Us Healthier?

In environment, holistic health, lifestyle, Uncategorized, wellness on July 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm

There has been a lot of research as to how animals can help keep people youthful, but a study from Finland recently found that children who are around pets the first years of their life are less prone to illnesses, especially ones like the ear infections for which kids are so known.

Although those around cats were still protected, they were a little less so than infants who were around dogs.

No one really knows for sure why and, although officials readily acknowledge that more research is needed, one thought is perhaps that the more time a dog spends outside, the more dirt he or she drags in–and that somehow stimulates the child’s immune response.

This story was reported on CNN; to read the entire story, click here.

What do you think about this?

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How One School Changed My Life

In education, holistic health, lifestyle, New York City, nutrition, Uncategorized, wellness on July 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I was in the business world for several years (public relations executive) but, for many of them, I was the “go to” person in the office for advice on wellness and nutrition.  I always, mistakenly, thought that if something was a passion it was, well, a passion and a hobby.

Was I ever wrong!

In 2009, I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  It’s headquartered in New York City, but students come from all over the world; I remember in one of my classes I sat next to a woman who traveled from Korea.  Once I heard two students from Brazil and one from India, speak.  Another time I met a student from Mexico.  Well, you get the picture!

While there, I received a world-class education.  My instructors included people like Dr. Andrew Weil; Dr. Mark Hyman; Geneen Roth; Deepak Chopra; Dr. David Katz and a lot of others.

It was a world different from anything I had experienced; I was now part of a movement, living my passion and mission–and having fun while I was at it.

Probably the biggest change came from my own transformation.  You see, months before I enrolled, I was stressed to the max and experienced many, many problems–personal and professional.  As a result, I gained 65 pounds, my blood pressure shot up and my knees hurt so badly that I actually remembering standing on the first floor of an apartment building–because I wasn’t sure I wanted to make the climb to the 4th floor apartment to visit someone.

So, as I learned, I also experimented on myself.  I actually consider myself my first client.  I tried all different dietary theories to learn what worked for me and what didn’t.  I experimented with different lifestyle techniques.  In short, I coached myself.

Today, I’m happy, successful, strong and passionate–and minus the 65 pounds that I had gained.

I’m also proud to be a school ambassador, so if you’d like to know more, please contact me through my website:  www.irenefross.com.  It’ll be one of the best decisions you ever made!

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Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is a certified nutrition and wellness coach who helps people instantly double their energy so they avoid that mid-morning or afternoon slump, get more done in less time and balance their lives.  Author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, she also writes a twice-monthly newsletter called “Power Wellness.”  To subscribe (and automatically receive a free download of her mini e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story), click here: Power Wellness

Six Simple Ways to Manage Stress

In job, kids, lifestyle, stress, Uncategorized, wellness on July 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Let’s face it.  Stress is a part of our lives, especially if we live in hectic urban areas or have taxing careers, either with or without the addition of family responsibilities, kids and pets.  

Sometimes it’s a good thing, helping us rise to a challenge, such as taking an exam or getting ready for a big dance—but we’re talking about the harmful stress, the drawn-out kind caused by events like career problems, moving, job change, death of a loved one, etc.  This kind makes us more susceptible to colds and cause us to have migraines, sleepless nights, neck and shoulder pain and more.

Over 43 percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress, but here are some simple strategies to help you manage it

1. Take several very short breaks during the day for some “Me Time.” It might feel a little strange to you at first, but in the long-term you’ll be able to focus much better, and that means getting more done in less time.  The final result?  You’ll get to spend more time with your family and kids!

Last week I read something wonderful from Deepak Chopra.  He suggested setting your alarm a few times a day.  When it goes off, concentrate on how you’re feeling at the moment and ask “what do I need?”  Then take some action, however small, to meet that need.  It may be something as simple as getting up from your desk, stretching or taking a few deep breaths.

2.  Speaking of breathing, we tend to take quick, shallow breaths when stressed.  Sometimes a few deep ones will calm you right down.  There are several techniques, but mine is the 4-7-8 technique from Andrew Weil, MD.  Here’s how he says to do it:  Inhale for the count of 4; hold breath for the count of 7; exhale for the count of 8.

3. Take a little time each day for recreation!  Last summer, I experienced what was probably the most intense stress I’d ever feel.  We’re talking heart-racing, soul-crushing, makes-you-feel-like-someone-pulled-your-beating-heart-out-of-your-chest worry. It was constantly on my mind and that was causing even more stress, since it was interfering with my work and I was, frankly, becoming more and more annoyed with this.

I love the water—and New York City’s Hudson River Park is one of my favorite places on the planet.  So, I realized I wasn’t all that productive anyway, turned off my computer and then went over there for a half hour walk along the water. I got an added benefit—I also love animals and stopped by the park’s “puppy pool” and had a good laugh watching a Great Dane try to get into the little pool.

So here’s the point—whatever you love to do, make sure you take a little bit of time out of your day or evening to do it.

4.  De-clutter your home.  First, it will make you feel a lot better just by “feathering your nest” and creating a nicer environment.  But think about it:  How much time do you waste every day looking through that stack of papers?  That could be time you spend on something else—like de-stressing.

5. Practice gratitude.  Last New Year’s Eve, I took a challenge; the assignment was to find 100 things for which I was grateful in 2011.  Now, like many, I didn’t find it to be the greatest year, so I was absolutely shocked when I breezed through the first 75 items. The next 15 were a little more difficult, but I was still able to do it pretty quickly.  Ditto for the last 10.  The lesson?  If you re-frame your thinking, you’ll always find something for which to be grateful.

6. Reduce–or eliminate–sugar.  Study after study has linked sugar and stress and, according to the USDA, we now consume over 156 pounds of sugar per year on a per capita basis. Wow!  That’s 31 5-pound bags of sugar for each of us!  The solution is easy:  Cut down on sugar, eat a colorful array of fruits and vegetables (each color has a different set of phyonutrients), go for complex vs. simple carbohydrates, we’ll be a lot better off.

Want to know more about sugar?  Get a free download of my mini e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story.  All your need to do is opt-in on my “join my list” box on the home page of my website:  http://www.irenefross.com

 

IT’S NOT JUST FLUFF: THE TALE OF THE MARSHMALLOW

In heatlhy eating, holistic health, Uncategorized, wellness on July 3, 2012 at 2:53 am

EXCERPT FROM MY E-BOOK, SUGAR’S SOUR STORY

Very often, a processed food will include ingredients that look just like the real thing–but really isn’t.  For example, a client recently told me she was shocked to read the label on her package of marshmallows. They had an extremely low protein count and she couldn’t understand why. “Don’t you make marshmallow by whipping egg whites?

She continued, pressing,  “And aren’t egg whites pure protein?”

Yes, I explained, that’s how you’d make homemade marshmallow, but those mass-produced, highly processed little pillows aren’t really marshmallow. They only look like it and are really made with things like sugar, corn starch and gelatin. Corn starch, which is used as a thickener in a lot of sauces and gravies, is turned into sugar by the body. It’s also suggested that it might raise LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.  Depending on the type of gelatin used, it may contain high levels of sugar—so you’d really be getting a double or triple sugar whammy.

Remember those television commercials for a frozen food, where one young woman says, “But mine has NO preservatives?”  First, of course there are preservatives– it’s frozen!  And with those preservatives come sugar and salt.

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Want to hear more?  This is an excerpt from my e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story.  Get a free download; all you need to do it enter your e-mail address on the home page of my website: www.irenefross.com.  You’ll also get a subscription to my twice-monthly newsletter, “Power Wellness.”  Next edition comes out tomorrow afternoon (Tues) and it’s going to be a hot one–several Ayurvedic docs are going to discuss the 3 doshas and how they can be a path to wellness.

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