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National Nutrition Month: Go Plant-Based!

March is National Nutrition Month and there is no better way to nutritional wellness than taking steps to adopt a plant-based diet.

We know and understand that the world of nutrition can be quite confusing. One expert will say one thing and the next will say the exact opposite. Fortunately, there is much science to support the plant based diet. When you really start to dig into it, it becomes quite difficult to turn a blind eye. 

Here are some documentaries to get you started in understanding why a plant-based diet is so critical for your health. 
- Food Choices

- What the Health

Eating a plant-based diet is delicious, nutritious and environmentally friendly. Although there is a learning curve, it does not have to be difficult. Simply begin by increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, non-glutinous whole grains and legumes. This will easily begin the process of crowding out some of the animal protein and processed foods in the diet. 

Need help, give us a call. Dr. Danielle Zanzarov, PhD is our traditional naturopath and practitioner of clinical nutrition. She is well versed in the power of the plant based diet. Her clients witness amaing results with a plant-based diet... ask any one of them! You can reach her at 1-855-552-9355 ext. 102 or Danielle@SouthBayWellness.com

Take hold of your health with a step in the right nutritional direction.

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Daylight Savings Might Be Bad For Your Health

We’re losing an hour soon for spring, even though Mother Nature seems to be set on frigid weather. Does that hour mean bad things for your health? Sleep deprivation can result in systemic dysfunction, including decreased mental and physical performance, increased anxiety, and all the symptoms associated with it.

 

We gathered a few resources to help you beat the clock.

 

  1. Avoid caffeine or products that boost energy levels, like nut products and vegetables high in B vitamins.

  2. Reduce exposure to electronics. There is plenty of research available showing the harmful effects of blue light from electronics.

  3. Wind down with yoga. Start your routine a little earlier and add gentle yoga stretches to help guide you to sleeping well. Try the locust pose, head of the knee pose, or bridge pose.

  4. Mindfulness techniques. We’re always fans of mindfulness. Find tips here: http://bit.ly/2zSpOsI

  5. Neurofeedback. Yes! Find prolonged relief to sleep deprivation or insomnia through neurofeedback. Find more information here: http://bit.ly/2y3jgp7

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Beat Stress!

​​​​​​​February is heart health month and we would be remiss if we didn’t take this opportunity to talk specifically about women’s heart health, considering February 12th was the International Day of Women’s Health, and March 8th is International Women’s Day.

So what, specifically, makes the difference in women’s heart health, versus men? According to the APA, approximately 50% of women experienced an increase in their stress levels in the last 5 years. We know diet, exercise and genetics play a tremendous role in heart disease, but don’t underrate stress as a contributing factor. Stress increases your blood pressure, can result in binge eating, and reduced energy.

Here are 6 great ways to beat stress in your life, and maximize your heart health in a completely non-invasive way:

  1. Take time for yourself. This could mean something as simple as an extra long shower, a few minutes alone in the car before you head into chaos, or tuning out the world with a pair of headphones and a soothing playlist.
  2. Ask for help. Oftentimes we try to take on too much to avoid inconveniencing anyone else. It takes a village!
  3. Be realistic. Maybe you’ve heard the saying “if you want it done right, do it yourself”. But maybe just getting it done is good enough. So the clothes may not be folded the way you like, but at least it’s done and out of the way. The dishwasher may not be loaded for optimal cleaning, but there are dirty dishes in there;  set it and forget it.
  4. Mindfulness techniques. We literally can not say enough about the incredible benefits of this simple activity. If you need help getting started, here is a great resource: http://bit.ly/2zSpOsI
  5. Exercise. I know, I know. But trust me. It is scientifically proven that exercise does wonders for your stress levels. You don’t have to go to extremes! Stretching counts too!
  6. Neurofeedback. If you’re looking for a long-term stress solution we have the answer! Neurofeedback results can last for as long as 40 years after treatment! Find out more here: http://bit.ly/2y3jgp7

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Musical Instruments as an Oulet

We know how powerful music can be in growth and development, and even as a therapy tool. We use The Listening Program to help train the brain to perform in a desired way during specific environments. Perhaps learning to play a musical instrument will benefit you as creative outlet and therapeutic tool.

If you’re interested in pursuing this creative outlet, we have a great list of resources for you.

This site will help you find online resources for all levels and various instruments: http://bit.ly/2Dxq3dW

You can take this quiz to find out which instrument might be the best fit for you, but don’t be afraid to step outside whatever your answer is. You never know until you try: http://bit.ly/2FXrvnW

If you’re worried about performance anxiety, this link is for you! The Bulletproof Musician has 7 steps to overcome music anxiety. Spoiler alert, it is a lot of mindfulness techniques. http://bit.ly/2DsFo08

January is the International Month of Creativity, why not cross an item off your list and learn something new that will double as a creative outlet.

To learn more about how The Listening Program has helped many work through symptoms that had previously kept them from living their most successful lives, click here.

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January is Creativity Month!

January is the International Month of Creativity! Using a creative outlet is a natural way to de-stress. Finding an outlet, is the tricky part. How do you know what you’re good at? Do you have to be good to pursue a creative dream? The answer is: follow your own lead. Chances are you already have a decent idea on what you might be interested in. Look around your home, your desk, your wardrobe. Here are 6 tips on finding your creative outlet:

 

  1. Start small- Don’t jump in with both feet right away. Introduce yourself slowly to the method.

  2. Find a group- What better way to explore your topic than to find like-minded individuals. This can be online or in person.

  3. Watch videos- Youtube is a tremendous resource. Don’t get sucked down the data rabbit hole; stay focused.

  4. Remember everyone starts somewhere- Professionals didn’t happen overnight. Have patience.

  5. Explore similar topics- Maybe painting isn’t for you, but a similar idea is pencil work. Explore similar concepts to find the one that fits just right.

  6. There is no such thing as perfection- What feels right to you may not for someone else. That’s the best part about creativity; it is yours. You don’t need the validation of others for it to feel good to you.

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9 Family Fun Activities

Although fairer weather may seem like the easier choice for activities to connect with your family, the winter has a lot to offer too. If you can’t get outdoors, we have a great list of family friendly activities for you, to help you and your family connect during these shorter and darker days.

  1. Paint a the snow with water guns that have dyed water.

  2. Cut out paper snowflakes- you can even use tissue paper!

  3. Clear away snow from small areas in the grass and make a twister game or hopscotch in the snow.

  4. Sew or glue the opening of old clothes and stuff with either more clothes that don’t fit, or stuffing materials, and make a snuggle buddy

  5. Blanket forts!

  6. Bingo- Make bingo cards with things of certain shapes or colors inside the house.

  7. Turn off the lights, close the blinds, make popcorn and watch a movie in the living room.

  8. Bundle up and go for a walk. The sun goes down early, it’s like a whole new neighborhood after dark.

  9. Pull out all your leftover craft supplies and make something unique. Bonus points if it is holiday based.

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Surviving the Holidays for Parents

For expectant and new parents, the holidays can take on a new meaning. Watching the joy your children experience is fantastic, but it can also come with some added stress. Below are a few tips to help you keep the HAPPY in your Holidays:

  • Take a look at your expectations. If you are hoping for the holiday season to go perfectly, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, aim for success on a smaller scale.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Children are notoriously cranky on big holidays and can become overwhelmed. This often sets parents up for disappointment. Try spreading out your holiday festivities over the whole season – this will give you and your family a chance to enjoy time together and create memories outside of the pressures of the actual holiday.
  • Create new family traditions. This is your chance to develop holiday traditions that feel right for your family and are based on what you and your children can handle.
  • Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. Take extra special care of yourself. This means asking for help when needed, indulging in some alone time, and sticking with things that recharge YOUR battery rather than casting them to the side during the holiday season.
  • Change the boundaries if they are not working. Schlepping your family all over town on the holidays just might not work for you anymore. Try to make decisions that are best for you and your immediate family. Pick and choose what obligations are the most important and which can be let go of. Just remember as you change your boundaries family and friends may be resistant.
  • Consider Professional Support

If you feel like you are depressed, anxious, or just not as happy as you would like, consider trying counseling. If needed, getting support for yourself is the best gift you can give to your family. South Bay Wellness is here for you as a service provider or a referral source.

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Being Thankful

Being thankful and showing appreciation are key factors of our Gratitude Challenge. Join us on our facebook page during the month of November and tell us what you are grateful for in a comment. Saying “thank you” is a great way to show appreciation, but it doesn’t have to mean something monumental. Here are 10 creative ways to give thanks to those who mean the most:

  • Write a poem.
  • Play their favorite song or make a custom playlist.
  • Cook their favorite dinner.
  • Breakfast in bed!
  • Write a handwritten letter.
  • Pay it forward- make a donation in their name.
  • Use your talents- are you crafty? Draw or make them something.
  • Put a sweet note in their lunch.
  • Take a picture together.
  • Keep a list of all the things they’ve done that you appreciate, and deliver on a decorated paper or card.

A little goes a long way. Let someone know how much you appreciate them today!

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Mental Health and Media

 

When I was competing my Master's in Social Work, I had the opportunity to take a class on using film as a therapeutic tool when working with clients struggling with their mental health. Though you will often find me steering clients away from the media, or at least setting healthy boundaries around the onslaught of information we receive that is often alarming, false or distressing - I have come to appreciate the times when we see ourselves depicted in characters on the big (or little) screen. When mental heath struggles are presented in film and TV in a close enough to accurate manner they can help to normalize a person's experience, decrease the sense of isolation and misunderstanding the individual faces and also give friends and family members a glimpse into the minds of their loved one. Two of my favorites are the depiction of Schizophrenia in "A Beautiful Mind" and Anxiety in the quirky Australian TV series "Offspring" which can be viewed on netflix.

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Trick-or-Treat Ideas

It is Halloween already! Time to get ready for all the cute trick-or-treaters who will be knocking on the door. Halloween is a fun holiday for the kids but does it need to also be an unhealthy holiday? Unfortunately, our kids are already bombarded by traditions loaded with dangerous food dyes, artificial flavors, tons of sugar and allergens. As parents, we get to set the example for our children. We can start this Halloween by removing the junk food focus. Here are some ideas for treats you can give out that are not candy related:

  • Non-toxic slime
  • Pencils and pens

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