Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
9:00 am

You Should Be Walking

walking path - SW_ColbySchenck
Emotional Balance and Clarity
You know how some days everything just seem out of whack?  The easiest fix for that is walking. Reset your focus and I walk away the gloom. 

Good for Thinking
On a walk, you can relax your mind and let it wander, and just take in the and scenery. I've done my best work when out walking (or jogging). Something or someone will spark a new thought.

Recovery
I've always been a runner.  However recently a few days myy body just said no, so I went for a walk instead. What happened next was amazing: I worked up a sweat without killing my joints! I felt rejuvenated, inspired, and I had a sense of accomplishment. Even better: I burned the same amount of calories in my 40 minutes of walking that I would have in 25 minutes of running. 

Stress Relief
A walk provides almost instantaneous stress relief. Numerous studies show that it can lower levels of stress hormones. But I know from personal experience that—when I am feeling crazed and overwhelmed—I need a walk. Immediately, I begin to feel better physically, mentally, and spiritually.  These stress hormones can cause weight gain, memory loss, and high blood pressure.  Suffering from auto-immune symptoms?   WALK.....

Better Perspective
When I started walking around my neighborhood, I looked at the nature, people, and surroundings in a different way. I live in Santa Monica, California, which is a pretty busy city. It's easy to rush around in your car and miss your surroundings. Once I began walking, I discovered beautiful gardens and houses that I had never noticed.   I've recently moved to a new part of town.  I walk at night very often.  It's amazing the new perspective I have.  I walk past the beach, down the sidewalk, into town.  Can't help but feel great.

A New Kind Of Toning
After walking for a few months, I became aware that I was targeting and building muscles that my other routines neglected. Walking uses different muscle groups even then running muscles.  Another reason to switch it up.

It's Just Fun!
Last and definitely not least,walking is fun! Movement is a gift: I always look forward to a walk. I never see it as something I have to do—I want to do it.


Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
12:50 pm

What? You have auto-immune disease?

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So.. I am asked every week for more info on how to treat auto-immune disease and its symptoms.  Here is a bit of information that I always recommend.

I urge everyone with Hashimotos or auto-immune thyroid disease (or any auto-immune disease for that matter) to get off gluten and dairy.  At least at first using an elimination diet.  Getting off gluten has been shown sometimes to single-handedly correct auto-immune disorders and about half of people with gluten intolerance also have dairy intolerance. 

It’s important to discuss your condition with your doctor and follow instructions appropriately in case you have been prescribed medication.  Several micro-nutrients and vitamins are important for proper thyroid function, too, so you may also be able to address Hashimotos naturally. My protocol in treating low thyroid usually involves: vitamin D, as deficiency in this vitamin is more common in people with autoimmune thyroditis; iodine, which is important for normal metabolic and thyroid function; a good moderated Paleo approach to food which contain copper,  thyroid is sensitive to this element (meats, poultry and eggs are rich sources of copper); as well as zinc, selenium, vitamin A and iron, which are all important for proper thyroid function.  These can be found in a good multivitamin with Iron.  I use the Metagenics Phyto-multi with Iron.  Lets not forget pro-biotics as well as a good Omega 3.  Again as a metagenics provider I love their products. 

So let’s not forget how your auto-immune disease got turned on in the first place.  Keep in mind that stress is a significant cause of thyroid burnout. Are you under chronic stress and maybe don’t even know it?  Or you do know it but haven't found a way to cope or get it under control?  Beating Hashimotos and any other auto-immune disease,  and restoring thyroid balance will probably require some adjustments in the lifestyle department.  I say probably, but I mean definitely.  Not huge changes, but changes that can mean a world of differences.  Let’s give it a try.


Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
9:00 am

The "Slow Down" Diet!

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Many people have a problem with their relationship with food. Some overeat, others undereat, and many struggle with their weight despite doing everything right "on paper."

How many people do you know who diet and exercise yet don't lose weight? Why is that? Oftentimes there are secondary complaints that can offer clues.

Marc David, from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating says, "Maybe they have digestive issues. Maybe they have mood, irritability, or fatigue. Maybe they have dry skin and dry hair. Then I look at their diet and find that they're eating extremely low-fat.

Now, why are they eating extremely low-fat? They're [doing it] because they have what I call the 'toxic nutritional belief' that 'fat in food equals fat on my body.' That's a piece of nutritional information that they're practicing, using, and abiding by."

The problem with believing and following this myth is that lack of dietary fat may actually be part of why you can't lose weight. One of the signs of essential fatty acid deficiency is weight gain or inability to lose weight.  We also call this Metabolic Syndrome.

This seems counter intuitive to many but research proves if you're not losing weight even though you've cut out nearly all fat, then perhaps it's time to reassess your belief system.

More often than not, adding healthy fats back into your diet will result in more regular bowel movements, an increased sense of well-being, improved appetite control, and, eventually, weight loss.

Another very big problem today is everyone is always in a rush.  Most people eat too fast, and this too cuts you off from your body's innate intelligence, so slowing down the pace at which you eat is a very important part of reestablishing this natural connection.

If you're a fast eater, you're not paying attention to the food you're eating, and you're missing what scientists call the cephalic phase digestive response (CPDR).

Cephalic phase digestive response is a fancy term for taste, pleasure, aroma, and satisfaction, including the visual stimulus of your meal.  You have probably heard that the brain takes 20 minutes or more to catch up with the stomach!

Another reason to slow down?  STRESS hinders weight loss.  When you put your body in a stress state, you have sympathetic nervous system dominance, increased insulin, increased cortisol, and increased stress hormones.

Not only will this deregulate your appetite, you're also going to eat more, because when your brain doesn't have enough time to sense the taste, aroma, and pleasure from the food, it keeps signaling that hunger has not been satisfied.

So….turn eating into a meditative act; to slow down, and become aware — of your food, and of how your body responds to the food.  We will call this the “slow down diet.”


Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
9:00 am

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” ~Socrates

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A lesson that took me a long time to learn.  Life is less stressful when you embrace slowness.  Is your internet slow?  Good.  Is traffic slowing you down?  Perfect time to think and listen to music.

1. Double the time you think it will take to complete a task.

How often do you clock in at or under the time you’ve allotted for a task? Most don’t.  Usually we underestimate the time it will take to do something.  Every time I used to assess a  task, I would estimate it will take 20 minutes at most. Often with distractions it would take twice as long.  So you have two options.  Do half the task now, half at another time, or….  Allow more time to go slow.

2. Make a conscious effort to perform tasks slower

I’ve always been a good multi-tasker.  Or so I thought.  Dad used to say though that I could be careless.  Finally figured out it was because I was trying to get things done and get to the finish line rather that getting something done slower without any mistake.  That costs you time in the end anyway.  Whatever you’re doing at the moment, slow it down by 25 percent, whether it’s thinking, typing on a keyboard, surfing the Internet, completing an errand, or cleaning the house.

Korean Zen master Seung Sahn liked to tell his students, “When reading, only read. When eating, only eat. When thinking, only think.” To us, this means, no multitasking! I’ve discovered that it’s hard to break the multitasking habit; sometimes it feels like an addiction.

3. Stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system—sometimes called the involuntary nervous system—regulates many bodily systems without our conscious direction (e.g. the circulatory and respiratory systems).

When the sympathetic nervous system is aroused, it puts us on high alert, sometimes called the “fight-or-flight” response. The sympathetic nervous system is necessary to our survival because it enables us to respond quickly when there’s a threat. When the parasympathetic nervous system is aroused, it produces a feeling of relaxation and calm in the mind and the body.

The two systems work together: as one becomes more active the other becomes less active. But they can get out of balance. Many people live in a constant state of high alert—or sympathetic nervous system arousal—even though there’s no immediate threat.

Three of the recognized causes for this are our fast-paced, never-enough-time-to-do-everything culture; sensory overload.  This is exacerbate by….you guessed it…. Multi-tasking.

What to do

Be Mindful and practice Gratefulness.

Practice calmly resting your attention on whatever is happening in the present moment. If your sympathetic nervous system is in a constant state of arousal, mindfulness helps restore the proper balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems by increasing the activity of the latter. This creates a feeling of calm and relaxation.

Tis the season to be thankful.  It can also keep you healthy!





Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
9:00 am

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” ~Socrates

meditation-198986
A lesson that took me a long time to learn.  Life is less stressful when you embrace slowness.  Is your internet slow?  Good.  Is traffic slowing you down?  Perfect time to think and listen to music.

1. Double the time you think it will take to complete a task.

How often do you clock in at or under the time you’ve allotted for a task? Most don’t.  Usually we underestimate the time it will take to do something.  Every time I used to assess a  task, I would estimate it will take 20 minutes at most. Often with distractions it would take twice as long.  So you have two options.  Do half the task now, half at another time, or….  Allow more time to go slow.

2. Make a conscious effort to perform tasks slower

I’ve always been a good multi-tasker.  Or so I thought.  Dad used to say though that I could be careless.  Finally figured out it was because I was trying to get things done and get to the finish line rather that getting something done slower without any mistake.  That costs you time in the end anyway.  Whatever you’re doing at the moment, slow it down by 25 percent, whether it’s thinking, typing on a keyboard, surfing the Internet, completing an errand, or cleaning the house.

Korean Zen master Seung Sahn liked to tell his students, “When reading, only read. When eating, only eat. When thinking, only think.” To us, this means, no multitasking! I’ve discovered that it’s hard to break the multitasking habit; sometimes it feels like an addiction.

3. Stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system—sometimes called the involuntary nervous system—regulates many bodily systems without our conscious direction (e.g. the circulatory and respiratory systems).

When the sympathetic nervous system is aroused, it puts us on high alert, sometimes called the “fight-or-flight” response. The sympathetic nervous system is necessary to our survival because it enables us to respond quickly when there’s a threat. When the parasympathetic nervous system is aroused, it produces a feeling of relaxation and calm in the mind and the body.

The two systems work together: as one becomes more active the other becomes less active. But they can get out of balance. Many people live in a constant state of high alert—or sympathetic nervous system arousal—even though there’s no immediate threat.

Three of the recognized causes for this are our fast-paced, never-enough-time-to-do-everything culture; sensory overload.  This is exacerbate by….you guessed it…. Multi-tasking.

What to do

Be Mindful and practice Gratefulness.

Practice calmly resting your attention on whatever is happening in the present moment. If your sympathetic nervous system is in a constant state of arousal, mindfulness helps restore the proper balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems by increasing the activity of the latter. This creates a feeling of calm and relaxation.

Tis the season to be thankful.  It can also keep you healthy!





Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
9:00 am

Why forgiveness helps you heal and feel less stress!

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Have you ever downed an entire package of chips, crackers, or cookies? Ate pizza or cake until you felt sick? Drank more coffee or wine than your body wanted?

Do you remember how you were feeling at the time?

I ask because sometimes we overeat to help distract us from emotional pain. Think about it – have you noticed that sometimes when you overeat you’re not hungry at all? What you are is lonely. Or angry. Or sad. Or resentful. Or frustrated. Or something else.

So what hurt are YOU holding on to?

Tap Into the Power of Forgiveness

Wouldn’t it be more effective to address your uncomfortable feelings? The best, most thorough, most divinely perfect way to do that is forgiveness.

Forgiving is not easy, even for the most enlightened among us. If you’ve been allowing your present health to be controlled by past hurts, I urge you to commit to forgiving. Forgiving is not for the person or situation you are forgiving, forgiving is for YOU

These steps can help:

· Talk to sympathetic friends and family about your desire to forgive. Chatting with others is tremendously comforting.

· Write a letter to the person you’d like to forgive. You can decide whether or not you send it.

· See the situation from the other person’s perspective – your own perspective may change.

· Don’t forget to forgive yourself. Sometimes we can be harshest with ourselves.
  MOST IMPORTANT

· Understand that you are responsible for your own attitude. Don’t let holding a grudge keep you from feeling free, open, and powerful in your own life.

Forgive and watch how much easier your relationship with eating becomes.


Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
10:49 am

Auto-immune disease?

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What is Hashimoto's Disease? And how do I live with it?

Hashimoto's thyroiditis or chronic thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is attacked by a variety of cell- and antibody-mediated immune processes. It was the first disease to be recognized as an autoimmune disease.

Hashimoto's thyroiditis very often results in hypothyroidism with bouts of hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis include brain fog, weight gain or bloating, depression, sensitivity to heat and cold, fatigue, panic attacks, bradycardia, tachycardia, high cholesterol, reactive hypoglycemia, constipation, migraines, muscle weakness, cramps, memory loss, and hair loss.

Foods to Avoid:
Any food that you know you are allergic to
DAIRY:  including milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, margarine & shortening
EGGS
GLUTEN:  including wheat, oats, rye & barley that are typically found in breads, pasta and cereals
TOMATOES, tomato sauces and anything containing tomatoes
DEHYDRATED FRUIT
RICE, CORN, POTATOES (WHITE, RED, YELLOW)
ALCOHOL
COFFEE, BLACK TEA AND SODA:  caffeine and caffeine free
FRUIT JUICES
IODIZED (TABLE) SALT
SUGAR and NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: including agave and honey
SOY or products containing soy: including soy milk & tofu
PEANUTS:  including peanut butter & peanut oil
BEEF, PORK, SHELLFISH, COLD CUTS, BACON, HOT DOGS, CANNED MEAT, SAUSAGE

Foods to Eat:
HERBAL TEAS AND DECAFFEINATED GREEN TEAS
QUINOA AND BUCKWHEAT (NOT with wheat or gluten additives)
FRESH FRUITS and VEGETABLES
SEA SALT and Spices *Individual Spices are less likely to have intolerable additives
PEAS (split, fresh & snap)
BEANS:  including navy, white, kidney, garbanzo, black, etc.
FISH:  except shellfish
MODERATE AMOUNTS OF SWEET POTATOES
MODERATE AMOUNTS OF CHICKEN, TURKEY BACON, TURKEY SAUSAGE, GROUND TURKEY, and LAMB
MODERATE AMOUNTS OF OLIVE OIL, COCONUT OIL
UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK
THESE NUTS (RAW):  cashews, almonds, macadamias, pecans, walnuts and sunflower seeds

 

Eat more fruits and vegetables regularly and make sure that they are organically grown.
Eliminate polyunsaturated vegetable oils, margarine, vegetable shortening, all partially hydrogenated oils, and all foods (such as deep-fried foods) that might contain trans-fatty acids. Use extra-virgin olive oil as your main fat.
Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
Take ginger (start with one capsule twice a day) and turmeric supplements (follow the dosage directions on the package).
Protect yourself from harmful effects of stress, start by learning and practicing the count 4 squared breathing technique.

Does any of this sound like you?  this is one of many auto-immune conditions that you may or may not know that you are suffering from.  Many are brought on by the effects of too much stress.  Email me for more information. 

Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
9:00 am

Are you emotionally eating and paying the price?

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Your body responds to the way you think, feel and act. This is often called the “mind/body connection.” When you are stressed, anxious or upset, your body tries to tell you that something isn’t right. During times of extreme chronic stress, the following can be physical signs that your emotional health is out of balance:

  • Change in appetite
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Extreme tiredness
  • General aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sexual problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stiff neck
  • Sweating
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Back Pain

Stress can weaken your body's immune system, making you more likely to get colds and other infections during stressful times. Also, when you are feeling stressed, anxious or upset, you may not take care of your health as well as you should. You may not feel like exercising, eating nutritious foods.

How can I improve my emotional health?

First, try to recognize your emotions and understand why you are having them. Sorting out the causes of sadness, stress and anxiety in your life can help you manage your emotional health. The following are some other helpful tips.

Express your feelings in appropriate ways. If feelings of stress, sadness or anxiety are causing physical problems, keeping these feelings inside can make you feel worse.

Live a balanced life. Try not to obsess about the problems at work, school or home that lead to negative feelings. This doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be happy when you feel stressed, anxious or upset. It’s important to deal with these negative feelings, but try to focus on the positive things in your life too. You may want to use a journal to keep track of things that make you feel happy or peaceful.

Develop resilience. People with resilience are able to cope with stress in a healthy way. Resilience can be learned and strengthened with different strategies. These include having social support, keeping a positive view of yourself, accepting change and keeping things in perspective.

Calm your mind and body. Relaxation methods, such as meditation, are useful ways to bring your emotions into balance. Meditation is a form of guided thought. It can take many forms. For example, you may do it by exercising, stretching or breathing deeply. Ask your family doctor for advice about relaxation methods.

Take care of yourself. To have good emotional health, it’s important to take care of your body by having a regular routine for eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep and exercising to relieve pent-up tension. Avoid overeating and don’t abuse drugs or alcohol. Using drugs or alcohol just causes other problems, such as family and health problems.

 


Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
5:00 am

Eat your way out of stress?

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Food can affect mental health.  You probably know that the food you eat affects your body. Cutting back on junk food and choosing healthier options helps you maintain a healthy heart, strong muscles and an appropriate weight. Your mood can also be affected by what you eat. For example, have you ever felt down after eating a lot of fast food? Do you have a more positive outlook after eating a green salad or some stir-fry vegetables?

What nutrients may support good mental health?

There is some evidence that suggests that certain nutrients may support emotional wellbeing. All of these nutrients are part of a balanced diet. Proper nutrition is likely to keep you feeling better physically and emotionally.  That is also why when we are talking about stress reduction it starts with good nutrition.

Omega-3 fatty acids improve heart health by reducing “bad” cholesterol in your body and increasing “good” cholesterol. Omega-3 has also shown promise for improving mental health. Researchers think that omega-3 fatty acids may affect the way your brain sends signals throughout your body.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in seafood, such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel. They can also be found in flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and walnuts.

Tryptophan is an amino acid (a building block of protein) that your body needs so it can produce a chemical called serotonin. People who have depression often have a low serotonin level. Studies have examined the use of tryptophan to treat depression, but there is not enough scientific evidence to recommend this use.

Tryptophan can be found in red meat, dairy products, and turkey.

Magnesium is a nutrient that helps your body produce energy. It also helps your muscles, arteries and heart work properly. Some researchers are studying whether patients who take extra magnesium recover more quickly from depression.

Magnesium can be found in foods such as leafy green vegetables, nuts and avocados.

Folic acid and vitamin B-12 are B vitamins that play an important role in metabolism (the pace of your body’s processes) and production of blood cells. They also are related to chemicals called dopamine and noradrenalin. In many cases, people who are depressed or are experiencing a lot of chronic stress, usually don’t have enough of these chemicals.

Folic acid is found in foods such as leafy greens and fruits. Vitamin B-12 is mainly found in fish, shellfish, meat and dairy products.

Ways to Reduce Stress

· Eating healthy, well-balanced meals

· Learning to manage your time more effectively

· Getting plenty of sleep

· Making time for hobbies and interests

· Regularly exercising

· Reducing caffeine and sugar intake

· Maintaining a strong social support network

·  Saying no to requests that would create excessive stress in your life

· Learning and practicing relaxation and deep breathing techniques in activities such as meditation, yoga or tai chi

I now offer ChiroThin.  A new weight loss program that supports emotional wellbeing as well.  It consists of Amino Acids and B-12 drops precisely for the above reasons.  Some being Tryptophan, B-12 and other essentials.  All natural plan in conjunction with Coaching, recipes and only real food you make at home.  Protein, greens, veggies and some fruits.  Very exciting very stress free!!
chirothin bottle

Kerry Fleckenstein, Therapeutic Lifestyle Recovery Coach
9:00 am

Foods for Fibromyalgia!

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What is it?  Fibromyalgia is now seen as a central nervous system problem. Symptoms include increased sensitivity to pain, achy and stiff joints, fatigue, and specific tender points on the back, chest, arms, and legs. Migraines, sleep disorders.  This if often brought on by an abundance of stress. 

When looking for foods that will help with fibromyalgia we want to talk about alkalinity.  When wake up in the morning, our bodies are in a more acidic state. Just like any chronic illness or auto-immune disease we want to have balance. We want to avoid extremes to better support digestion and metabolism. A certain amount of acidity is needed to properly digest food as well a good amount of alkalinity will support metabolism.

Your body is always striving for BALANCE. It IS possible to be overly acidic OR overly alkaline. Yet it can be confusing as to how to support this balance that we want. Staying close to nature in diet and lifestyle is the best way to attain balance in health and well-being. Eating for fibromyalgia is eating whole foods.  You can do this vegetarian or you can do this eating meat.

Tip 1:  An important thing to consider when we are talking auto-immune or fibromyalgia is to go gluten-free and somewhat grain free.  Gluten in the beginning all the time, and grain free most of the time.  When eating animal protein, choose smaller portions of meat and balance with greens, raw and/or cooked vegetables.  Think Broccoli.

Tip 2:  When eating eggs, always ingest whole eggs, not egg whites alone. Egg whites are VERY acid forming, AND the egg yolk is one of nature’s finest fats, rich in biotin, minerals and easy to digest. It is the egg white that is hardest to digest. The benefits are a page long, and for most people with egg allergy, it’s the white, not the yolk.

Tip 3:  Avocadoes.  Avocadoes, the healthy raw fat of champions everywhere.  Use them in blender drinks, raw dishes and even great for breakfast.  You can substitute them in for other ingredients in cooking.  Healthy fats are a great way to control cravings for sugars and excess carbohydrates . Also, use Avocado Oil for cooking, salad dressing, homemade mayo., etc.

Tip 4:  Some studies show the need for Vitamin D and Magnesium. This can be found in Salmon, walnuts and spinach.  You can take a good quality Vitamin D suplement.  


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