Ways to cope in the midst of uncertain times

LIVING WITH HEART & HOPE-“It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.” — Richard Evans

The world as we know it has undergone quite a lot of change and it can be challenging to navigate the stress that often accompanies uncertain times. During this month that’s so focused on love, we want to focus on the most impact-full thing you can do to diffuse stress and keep hope alive: self-care.

Here’s the paradox—when you’re stressed, it makes sense that taking care of yourself falls to the bottom of your to-do list; after all, there are so many other people and priorities that are more important, right? Well, no. Self-care is actually MOST important to help buffer you against the health-eroding effects of stress and it’s also a way to keep what’s going on around you in perspective. You can only change yourself and how you show up in the world—and you can only do that when you are healthy and nourished. So avoid the temptation to brush it aside.

To that end, here are three ideas for how you can remain grounded and cared for during the month of February and beyond.

Find community

In stressful times, it’s even more important to reach out to your community—to become engaged with other people, and build human connections. This can be as simple as finding time to spend with friends or family. Kids, in particular, are fantastic supporters of living in the moment and building connections. (Try obsessing about politics around a two-year-old—they will not let you!)

Simplify

Our smartphones have our go-to for staying connected, but spending all of your waking hours glued to a screen is bad for your soul. Balance out the need to stay informed with some simple time-outs:

  • Go for a walk in nature.
  • Make time for exercise—sweaty exertion is GREAT for clearing the head and harmlessly channeling any feelings of anger or frustration.
  • Read a book: Nothing can help you gain perspective like reading about how others have overcome obstacles.
  • Take care of your basic physical health: practice good sleep hygiene, eat well by focusing on whole foods, and remember to stop and breathe when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Simplifying is not an excuse to tune out. It’s a necessary step to keep yourself from burning out and lapsing into apathy.

Give Back

The best cure for an anxious, blue mood? Giving back to those who are truly less fortunate.

It’s tempting to hide away and remain overwhelmed. But using your skills to give back is not only beneficial to the world—but also beneficial to your well-being! Giving back to others is a great way to feel proud, motivated, and strong. It allows you to really define, prioritize, and fight for your values: What’s most important to you? What good can you do in the world? How can your skills help others? Start thinking of small steps you can take to help others:

  • Can you volunteer some time to help a local charity?
  • Can you mentor someone in need?
  • Can you forego that daily Starbucks run and commit to a small donation to a non-profit?

Seemingly tiny acts add up mightily if you can start a real habit.

To your good health,

Karen

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THE KETOGENIC DIET MADE EASY

If you’re a body builder, you may have followed a ketogenic diet in order to lean out and look ripped right before an upcoming show.

When you eat a diet with few carbs, lots of fat, and adequate protein, your body responds to the lower levels of blood sugar by switching to an alternative power source. It converts fatty acids to ketones, which become your main energy source.

Translation: Instead of burning carbs, your body burns FAT.

Feel the burn. Not the pain. 

According to recent studies, a ketogenic diet is an optimal method for shedding body fat and exposing toned muscles. Here are some specific benefits of a ketogenic diet:

  • If adequate amounts of protein are consumed while in a state of ketosis, your body will spare protein and preserve muscle.
  • Many beneficial hormones (GH, testosterone, and IGF-I) are released, which leads to more fat breakdown and lean muscle growth.
  • You may experience decreased appetite and fewer carb cravings, making dieting easier to accomplish.

Here’s the problem: Preparing meals and adhering to the strict guidelines of a ketogenic diet can be extremely difficult for many as it involves a very rigid ratios of carbs, proteins, and fat.

Fortunately, simply combining MCT Lean MCT Oil with a reduced carbohydrate diet can generate therapeutic blood ketone levels and deliver all the benefits of following a ketogenic diet—without the struggle.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MCT

Want to build lean muscle and a strong body via a ketogenic diet?

Get started today with MCT Oil or Vegan Protein Blend (or both—they’re the perfect pair)!

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How to create your vision MAP

NEW YOU, BETTER VERSION

Stay clear and focused in 2017

Each year, after weeks of celebrating and indulging in food, drink, and fun, we journaloften make New Year’s resolutions to improve our health. These resolutions allow us to begin the year focused and with healthy intentions. Right?

Unfortunately, most people lose sight of their goals and give up on their resolutions within the first few months of the year.

Let’s try something different this year.

Spending time articulating your vision and life’s purpose is the first important step in laying the foundation of achieving your health goals and sticking to your action plan. Many of us are not living day-to-day, in alignment, with what’s most imortant to us. This was me until I created my Vision MAP.

Whether you want to take one step to improve your health (such as giving up coffee or cutting back on sweets) or you want to completely revamp your lifestyle, it all begins by uncovering what’s really most important to you and how you want to show up in life. When you can articulate your life’s mission and purpose (MAP), you will gain direction and energy to cope during difficult times. Your day-to-day choices will align with what’s most important to you.

Here are a few prompts that can help you get started articulating your vision:

        -Identify what you truly love in life and how you want to be in life.

        -What do you want the legacy of your life to be?

        -What does being healthy allow for your life?

Carve out a few minutes to quietly contemplate this and journal what comes to you. It’s important to note that there are no right or wrong “answers” to this. Whatever ideas or thoughts that bubble up are valid and worth writing down! These are often messages from your unconscious mind that can be used as valuable fuel to help you stay connected and achieve your deepest desires.

During my 14 Day Transformation programs we will spend time going through exercises to help you map out your vision for 2017 and beyond. If this is something that doesn’t come easily to you, but is something you know is valuable, this accountability can help keep you on point with your life’s purpose to help you reach your health goals. I did this exercise with my coaching group and it was very powerful for me.  If you are interested in really going deep, reply to this e-mail me and I will send you the comlete assignment.

I’m excited for what 2017 will bring and please know my team and I are here to supportkaren you on your journey for living your best life!

As our gift to you, we would like to offer $100 off any 14 Day Transformation program during the month of January. Simply enter discount coupon code NEWYOU at checkout.

To your good health,

Karen

Stay Healthy During the Holidays

By Karen Malkin

holiday-healthHoliday season can be challenging when it comes to holding onto the healthy lifestyle habits you’ve worked so hard to cultivate throughout the year. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are small things you can do each day through the holidays and in January to help maintain your healthy ways.

If you’re someone who works better when you have a goal to stick to, you’ll love this—here’s a Mini-Challenge you can do to help you stay on track this holiday season. Just follow these 5 simple steps and you’ll feel energized and healthy despite all of the temptation in your path.

1. Drink hot water + lemon first thing in the morning

  • Improved digestion: Lemon juice flushes unwanted materials and toxins from your body. Hydrating also helps curb cravings.
  • Balanced pH: Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for your body; disease states only occur when your body pH is acidic.
  • Boosts immunity: Warm water and lemon juice supports the immune system by hydrating and replacing fluids lost by your body. When your body is deprived of water, you quickly feel the side effects  feeling tired, sluggish, constipation, lack of mental clarity, feeling stressed, etc. Lemons are high in vitamin C, potassium, and have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

2. Eat 3 meals and 1 snack

It’s important to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day; otherwise, you’ll end up looking for the easiest (and not necessarily the healthiest) choice when your levels drop. Do this by eating three nutritionally balanced meals and one whole-food snack every day. This allows you to burn your own body fat between meals.

3. Drink ½ your body weight in water

This will help keep you feeling full and satiated throughout the day and help kepp your cells hydrated. By drinking filtered water, you’ll also help your body flush toxins in your system.

4. Enjoy cocktails or treats on the weekends only

Remember: food is love, food is celebration, and during the holidays, you’re surrounding yourself with all of that, so give yourself permission to indulge! On the weekends, allow yourself 2 cocktails and/or 2 treats (or 1 cocktail and 1 treat) at festive celebrations.

5. Eat 5–9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily

Load up on colorful, organic, seasonal fruits and veggies whenever possible, aiming for at least 5 servings per day or 4 1/2 cups, mostly veggies. This will provide your body with lots of fiber to keep you feeling full plus a complete range of phytonutrients to keepkaren you feeling your best.

Whether you indulge or maintain your healthy habits this holiday season, my wish is
that you experience great joy and peace. I look forward to reconnecting in the New Year!

Happy, healthy 2017!

Karen

Destress, Build Bones, & Boost Metabolism

By Karen Malkin

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Stop Stressing!

By now, you probably know that stress takes a tremendous toll on your body, often showing up in the form of headaches, intestinal issues, weight gain, hypertension, insomnia, and other health problems.

Did you know stress also wreaks havoc on your bones and calorie burning capacity? If stress travels with you like unwanted baggage, take advantage of a slower pace to let it go, boost metabolism and build strong bones. By making a commitment to incorporate these stress-reduction techniques into your summer routine, you will stand taller, breathe easier, feel stronger and burn more calories.

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First, let’s take a quick look at how stress impacts your health.

  • When stressed, your body releases the hormones cortisol and insulin.
  • Elevated cortisol and insulin lead to increases in blood sugar, cholesterol, and signals the body to store fat and not build lean muscle.
  • Stress causes salt retention.
  • Stress decreases gut flora, healthy bacteria, needed for good digestion.
  • Stress decreases the amount growth hormone in your body which is needed for growth and to build muscle.
  • Stress decreases thyroid hormone needed to regulate metabolism.
  • Stress increases inflammation in the body and oxidative stress and causes premature aging.
  • Stress increases nutrient excretion.  The body excretes calcium as well, chromium, selenium, magnesium, zinc and all the micro minerals, through the urine, from going to your bones for the good of other tissues-it’s like the anti-Vitamin D.

Am I stressing you out?

Slow Down to De-stress. Don’t worry-if changing gears doesn’t come naturally, it’s very hard for me, too.

Here are 5 tips to help you de-stress:

  1. Cut down on your commitments. Say “NO”.  Create a NOT to-do list.
  2. Take a vacation, spend time in nature, and truly unplug (NOTE: this means your mobile phone and laptop also take a rest!) Try not to worry. What you resist, persists!
  3. Practice deep breathing, rhythmically, which short cuts the stress response and allows you to feel relaxed very quickly, which increases calorie burning capacity.
  4. Read a good book; catch up on your summer novels!
  5. Get quality sleep and give yourself permission to nap. Sleep deprivation increases the hunger hormone, ghrelin, which causes refined carbohydrate and sugar cravings.

Move to De-stress

Cycling, walking and Pilates are my exercises of choice, especially in the morning to get my day started right; it’s a great option for stress reduction, which in turn helps keep cortisol levels regulated. Simple daily walks, weight training and finding loving ways to move your body will go a long way toward rebuilding your bones.

Eat to De-stress

Reducing caffeine and other acidic foods such as animal protein, milk, packaged foods and soda, and adding in a nutrient dense array of colorful whole foods helps ward off bone deterioration. Fruits and vegetables, especially calcium rich leafy greens and those high in lycopene and polyphenols such as tomatoes, berries and watermelon are particularly beneficial for bone health. Additionally, Food + Oxygen = increased calorie burning capacity.  Take deep sips of air before and during each meal. Eating under stress slows down metabolism. Turn on the parasympathetic nervous system by relaxing, which burns more calories and boosts metabolism! So, in the remaining weeks of the season, claim your space in the hammock, spend time with the people you love, take a walk in nature, catch up on your reading, and fill your plate with dark leafy greens, fresh fruit and lots of vegetables. Your body-and bones will thank you. Keep your eye on the prize: a long and healthy life!