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Welcome to our Health & Wellness Blog

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  • 24 Nov 2020 2:04 PM | Maria Allshouse

    The holiday season is upon us!! On average, the typical American gains 4-6 lbs over the holiday season. This is WITHOUT a global pandemic (which, by the way, 76% of American adults have already gained 16 or more pounds during the pandemic) happening that has many isolating and stuck in their homes. Below are several tips for this Thanksgiving and into the holiday season:

    1) Cook at home more. Studies have found ordering meals out have us eating 250-400 more calories than if we cooked at home.

    2) Increase your NEAT: "Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis." The things you do daily outside of your planned activity are what makes a difference! Take the stairs, park the car further away in the parking lot, go for walks, you get the picture.

    3) Thanksgiving Day: PLAN ahead. If you are watching your weight, decide what you'd like the outcome of the day to be: one in which you feel bloated and stuffed or one in which you feel satisfied and happy with good choices. That choice alone can set the stage for the rest of the weekend in terms of eating.

    It takes very little time to eat a meal. Remember a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!  Is it worth overdoing it?

    4) The flavor of any food is found and most pronounced in the FIRST THREE BITES (Research Fact). Keep those desserts and heavy side dishes to three bites or a sliver.

    5) Speaking of heavy side dishes: try some healthier versions of favorite dishes. Just because it's better for you does not mean it can't taste great! Start new traditions

    6) Fill your plate, first, with the turkey (or whatever protein you are having), vegetables/salads. Again, give little space to those heavy side dishes. 

    7) Look at your options. What is it that you only have once a year on Thanksgiving? Choose to have small bites and skip maybe some of the things you can get any time (i.e. mash potatoes, etc.)

    8) Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

    9) Get some accountability. If you are working on releasing weight, ask for support from family and friends.

    10) Be sure to get plenty of good quality sleep. Being tired has been closely tied to weight gain (eating highly processed carbs for quick energy).

    For more articles or to schedule a complimentary health assessment, visit mariaallshouse.com

    Make this a happy and healthy holiday season!


  • 3 Nov 2020 8:19 AM | Maria Allshouse

    Health and fitness are two of the most significant components that fuel the energy and the quality of our lives. Taking ownership of our health and fitness means we need to accept who we are, take action to reach our health goals, and celebrate our achievements. 

    Designing your own health and fitness plan can help you stay on track with your healthy habits and eventually achieve optimal well-being. Here are several ways you can begin designing your health and fitness plan:

    • Physically write down your goals. Write down your goals and the steps to take to reach each goal. Having written goals will make your health and fitness plan objectives clear. When faced with a decision between a healthy or unhealthy choice, remember that making the healthier decision will give you a more significant benefit and greater satisfaction.
    • Determine your WHY. This is the unique aspect of your health plan. Your WHY is what inspires you to take action and sets you apart from everyone else. Determining why you want to live a healthier lifestyle is a crucial part in communicating your purpose and preparing an actionable plan.
    • View challenges as opportunities. The road to success will have obstacles and challenges, but it’s the process of overcoming these that empowers you to transform- welcome challenges as opportunities to grow.
    • Eat healthy. A healthy, well-balanced diet provides the energy you need to stay active throughout the day and is a critical factor for achieving a healthy weight. 
    • Manage stress. Realizing you are in control of your life is the foundation for managing stress. Take charge of your thoughts and emotions by identifying the stressors in your life and utilize coping methods that are healthy and productive.
    • Reach out for support. I'm here to guide and help keep you accountable. My Community of like-minded people offers valuable insight that will ignite your health journey, one healthy habit at a time.

    Please feel free to reach out to me, for other tips and guidance on creating a health & fitness plan!


  • 12 Oct 2020 11:28 AM | Maria Allshouse

    Did you know that flavor is actually a result of aroma? Our mouths are equipped with taste buds on our tongues and palates that determine whether foods are sweet, bitter, sour, salty, savory, and fatty. With our sense of touch, we can also detect other qualities—temperature, spiciness, and textures like creaminess and crunchiness.

    But, how else can scent benefit us? Spas use aromatherapy and essential oils to help several conditions. Certain aromas are said to relieve pain, improve mood, and promote a sense of relaxation.

    Take pumpkin, for example. It’s an excellent source of vitamin A, a retinoid considered to be the best age fighter. It helps reduce wrinkles, soften rough patches, and fade sun and age spots, which is why you can find it in so many skin-care products.
    Put pumpkin to the test by trying these do-it-yourself facials and milk bath. Make the most of this fall season with these pumpkin-related recipes that are sure to stimulate your senses!

    PUMPKIN MASK

    • 1 Tbsp cooked pumpkin (canned organic is perfect)
    • 1 tsp raw honey
    • 1 tsp vitamin E (optional), from soft gel capsules

    Mash together all the ingredients and apply. Leave on skin about 15 minutes, and rinse with cool water and facial cleanser.

    PUMPKIN MILK BATH
    If you just can’t get enough of the season’s scents, try this delicious scented and relaxing bath.

    • 5 Cup dry milk powder
    • ½ Cup ground oatmeal
    • 2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

    Mix ingredients and add to your bath for a delicious skin-softening, dry-skin-relieving, circulation-improving spa treatment.

    Ask me about other ways to promote a sense of relaxation.


  • 6 Oct 2020 9:07 PM | Sanna Carapellotti

    When kids feel scared or have pain, they can be taught to use the imagination to sooth anxieties, reduce stress, and feel calmer.
     
    While some problems, require additional help, when children fall and get scraped, have a medical procedure, or feel upset, teaching them to use mind power is an empowering way to teach them self-mastery.

    A 5-year-old child was described as being very nervous about an upcoming surgery, according to her mother. When I did breakdown tapping with her, we discovered that her worries were about missing her birthday, not the surgery or anticipatory pain. (The surgery was scheduled on her birthday.)
     
    Going to surgery distressed decreases immunity, increases pain, and the risk of complications. It is critical to go to surgery empowered.
     
    I taught her a fantasy play technique that brought her lots of joy and relief. It was simple enough for the little girl to do without anyone’s help, and that built her confidence too!
     
    Blowing Out the Candles can be used for any distress, including releasing fears. In this case, here's what we did together:

    I asked the child to hold up six fingers. Next, we 'lit' every finger with a little ball of sunshine. She wiggled the tip of each finger to 'light the birthday candles.'
     
    Next, she made six wishes, one for each finger.
     
    Finally, I showed her how to take a big breath in, and to breathe out slowly. In this way she could blow out each sun-lit candle to make sure she could make her wish. (Extending the exhale reduces anxiety!)
     
    By the time she finished blowing out the candles, she was completely relaxed and anxiety was reduced to a zero. I guided her to imagine that her entire family, friends, dolls, and classmates were surrounding her as she went to surgery.
     
    When the mom called me after surgery, apparently, the little girl blew out finger candles with so many staff members that she could barely stay awake while waiting in the pre-op unit. The little girl created joy with her surgical team... and her condition improved faster than expected.
     
    This technique can be used for any mental or physical stress. They can be taught to blow out anger, worry, and pain. This is one example of how to help children have fun, to build resilience and to feel better, when stressed! Try it with your children and grandchildren!
     
    After all, imagination is real, right?

    ❤️

  • 15 Sep 2020 7:59 AM | Maria Allshouse

    Just like a healthy diet and exercise, sleep plays a vital role in physical health, brain function, and emotional wellbeing. It's essential to be optimally charged every morning to have the drive to power through your day. Here are some ways you can optimize your sleep and manage your energy throughout the day:

    • Determine your bedtime. Decide what time you need to wake up and immediately get out of bed and then count back eight (or more!) hours. This is the time you should be in bed and ready to go to sleep. Sticking to the same sleep schedule helps the body find its natural rhythm and settle into a regular cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up.
    • Have an evening ritual. You should begin your evening ritual about one hour prior to bedtime. This is called the "twilight hour." Ensure that all chores or work are wrapped up, and all family matters are resolved before your twilight hour. Then focus on winding down with relaxing activities such as taking a hot bath or journaling about your day.
    • Create an optimal sleep environment. Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and a moderate temperature. Try blackout curtains to block out light from the street and sun in the morning and use white noise to mask ambient noises and other external sounds.
    • Have a morning ritual. Similar to your evening ritual, having a morning routine can start your morning off right. After eight solid hours of sleep, your body and mind will be prepared for an optimal day. Some things you may include in your morning ritual are a healthy breakfast, a morning walk, or a meditation session.
    • Restore your energy during the day. There are several methods to help restore your energy levels if you're feeling tired during the day. Try deep breathing, stretching, listening to music, or engaging in a lively conversation with a colleague or friend to boost your alertness.

    To begin just pick one thing from the above list to begin to work on. Once you have that mastered, then pick another. By creating small habits you will set yourself up for better success!


  • 26 Aug 2020 8:07 AM | Maria Allshouse

    Have a desire to add activity into your day that will lead to better health and wellbeing? The first step you can try is to incorporate NEAT (Non-Exercise Thermogenesis Activity) into your routine, when you are ready, to help burn extra calories. NEAT is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, taking the steps versus the elevators, or parking further away from the entrance of your favorite store.

    One NEAT activity that I enjoy performing is walking. It is especially powerful because it's sustainable, safe, and accessible regardless of your fitness level or age. You don't need special equipment, and you can do it almost anywhere: on the treadmill, at the park, or what I like to call my happy place --- the trails.

    When you’re ready to put a pep in your step, these tips may be helpful when you are ready to take your walk to the next level:

    • Pick up the pace. Try to mix up your typical routine by adding small intervals at a slightly faster pace. If it usually takes you 15 minutes to complete your routine, try to do it in 14 minutes. By making a conscious effort to pick up your pace, you’ll challenge yourself and elevate your heart rate at the same time.
    • Pump your arms. Did you know you can also get an upper body workout from walking? Pump your arms up and down as you walk to build stronger muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms.
    • Use your core. Your core muscles help you maintain good posture and resist slouching. Engage your abdomen by tightening your stomach muscles and straightening your back while you walk.
    • Add some weight. There are several different ways to add weight to your walk. Try ankle or wrist weights, a backpack with weights, or a weighted vest. You can also walk with dumbbells for increased muscle definition in your arms.
    • Make it social. Invite a friend or family member to take a walk with you, or join a virtual walk group on social media. While you’re burning calories, you’re also building and nurturing these social bonds.

    Don’t underestimate the power behind a good walk! Next time you go for a stroll, consider your goals and adjust your routine to optimize your walk.

    Ask me about other ways to enhance your activity if you are looking for new ideas or to mix things up. For more tips, visit my blog at https://mariaallshouse.com/blog/

  • 30 Jul 2020 8:24 PM | Maria Allshouse

    Two of the most common questions I receive are “How did you address the challenge of emotional eating?” or “How did you overcome addictive foods?”

    These questions are often intertwined. On the one hand, the factors in our lives that make emotional eating an obstacle in our journeys are worth exploring. On the other, emotional eating is often difficult to overcome because the foods we eat in these situations have addictive qualities. That creates a cyclical trap that can feel overwhelming and hopeless.

    For the emotional eating side of this equation, this topic can be expanded upon and perhaps could be deeper than I am able to address. However, for this blog post, let’s look at the mechanics of addictive foods. If you better understand what makes certain foods addicting, you can make more informed choices about your health.

    I could go into great depth on addictive foods, but here are the high points:

    • Our Stone Age programming prioritized sugary, salty foods because those kinds of foods are energy-rich and were difficult to find at the time. Today, they are plentiful, so our default systems end up working against us.
    • Research has found that as insulin rises in response to eating sugar and flour in refined food, and it blocks Leptin, a key hunger repressing hormone, which is why you can eat a lot of sugary foods and not feel full.
    • Refined sugars and flours also trigger a response similar to that of an addictive drug, and we know that some people are at a higher risk of becoming addicted to these foods because of their genetics (if this is you, it’s not your fault!).
    • The culture around sugary foods in our social lives and in mass media advertising can make it even more difficult to cope with these challenges.
    • Take sugary foods off of your shopping list and avoid bringing them into your home in the first place. If they are not within easy reach, you are more likely to pause and make the choice that better aligns with your goals.
    • Plan ahead. With sugary foods woven into our modern culture, you are likely to encounter offers of donuts at work and cake at parties. Think about the situations you are likely to face, and plan your response ahead of time. A simple NO THANK YOU is all you need.
    • Explore the world of healthy cooking. Eating healthy does not mean giving up on tasty foods. There are hundreds of healthy alternatives to your favorite recipes, and if you look for these healthy options, you may discover a new, healthy love for food and ingredients. (i.e. who would have thought we could make Pizza out of Cauliflower and it's delicious!).
    • You are not alone in this, I experienced this for many years. I have been able to recognize my triggers and I don't bring them into the house or I use a simple exercise I teach my clients: STOP. CHALLENGE. CHOOSE. Pause, take a deep breath, challenge yourself (do I really need this?) and then make your decision.

    Now that you have a better understanding of how the problem works, what can you do about it?

    In general, eating healthier will steer you away from eating these kinds of foods, viewing them as what I call "simple pleasures" in life rather than a regular part of your lifestyle. 

    However, if you are someone who has the addictive predisposition to binge these foods once you’ve had a taste, you should eliminate these foods completely. That might mean simply choosing not to eat them when they are offered to you (cookies and ice  cream are my Kryptonite), but more likely it will mean being more proactive with how you build your health bubble.

    Here are some tips:

    • Take sugary foods off of your shopping list and avoid bringing them into your home in the first place. If they are not within easy reach, you are more likely to pause and make the choice that better aligns with your goals.
    • Plan ahead. With sugary foods woven into our modern culture, you are likely to encounter offers of donuts at work and cake at parties. Think about the situations you are likely to face, and plan your response ahead of time.
    • Explore the world of healthy cooking. Eating healthy does not mean giving up on tasty foods. There are hundreds of healthy alternatives to your favorite recipes, and if you look for these healthy options, you may discover a new, healthy love for food and ingredients.

    Do you have a sugar addiction? How are you coping? What has worked for you? 


  • 26 Jul 2020 4:10 PM | Sanna Carapellotti

    Qualities of being kind are things such as generosity, love, consideration, and offering support. You might wonder if you are kind enough. You may also find yourself going out of your way by being extra kind, so others notice your kindness.

    But have you ever asked: 

    how kind are you to yourself? If you aren't, why?

    A question like that may fire up a retort, such as "I am not a selfish person"!

    There are many reasons we are more kind to others than ourselves, such as being too busy or preoccupied, unresolved early trauma, or low self-esteem. The hurts of life have a shearing way of disconnecting us from the self.

    Here's another question:

    What if for one week you were as kind to others as you are to yourself? 

    This exercise might include demeaning rants to anyone who errs, expressing anger and disappointment because someone didn't get everything done on time, or demanding unwavering perfection.

    I suspect that friends would have socially distanced from me as a young person. How about you?

    I also recall being shocked when I discovered not only the value of self-love and kindness but also that I could intentionally be kind to myself. I didn't have to wait for someone to be kind to me!

    Here are two ways to be more kind to yourself:

    1. BODY KINDNESS. How do you care for your body? Do you feed yourself nourishing food and move the body in some way? Are you sleeping well? Drinking alcohol responsibly? Can you love the belly even with stretch marks?

    A neglected body is similar to a vacant home. After a while, the body may have no energy and become lifeless.

    When you are kind to the body, you can tune into the subtle messages and learn to respond kindly.

    You might notice mood swings and reduce sugar intake, or because of fatigue, say 'no' more often so you can rest. Rather than feeling disgusted, maybe you gently thank the flabby thighs because they remind you it's time to take action.

    Kindness releases feel-good hormones in the body and increases vitality.

    I recall one of the great pauses when I realized that I live (in my body), and the quality of my life is dependent on how I care for myself. My priorities shifted dramatically.

    2. Mind Kindness

    Thoughts are things, impacting the energetic electrical system of the body. Thoughts might seem immaterial and are dismissed as insignificant. Yet, they fire up a potent neuro-response that affect cell communication between organs and systems.

    The body-mind either constricts with tension or expands flow.

    Here's how negativity affects you:

    Let's say you believe that you "...can't do anything right." This one thought triggers upset, additional negativity, shame, lack of focus, and two extra glasses of wine.

    Behind that one statement is a total mind-body experience.

    To stop this cascading effect, you can interrupt the pattern.

    Here's how:

     ===> Focus on breath: Inhale to a five-count; exhale for a five-count for five cycles.

    Next, daydream a time when you showed kindness to someone -- any simple gesture. Replay the daydream for about 30 seconds. Feel the kindness.

    Next, with an open heart, imagine the part of you that is struggling with self-kindness. 

    Ask her what she needs. With an open heart, respond with the same kindness you share with the individual in the daydream.

    Yes, you may be kind to yourself.

    Sanna Carapellotti, M.S., Cht

    Life Changing Energy Therapies

  • 15 Jul 2020 3:24 PM | Maria Allshouse

    Our mindset impacts how we do things and how we can achieve our goals. Having a growth mindset influences our desire to work hard, overcome obstacles, and learn new things. It’s all about living up to our potential. Here are some tips for developing a growth mindset:

    • Create an action plan. Start by focusing on one goal and list the steps you need to take to accomplish that goal. Then identify the actions you need to take for each step. Set an attainable deadline and post your Plan somewhere you will see daily, such as a large calendar or dry erase board. Review your goals at the end of the month to determine if you are on track or if any adjustments need to be made.
    • Positive self-talk. Positive affirmations can relax you and control stress. Instead of saying, “I can’t do this,” try, “I can’t do this YET” or, “I can handle this by taking one step at a time.” Doing so can help break down a seemingly overwhelming task into manageable steps.
    • Utilize your support circle. Join a Community to talk through any challenges you are having on your health journey. Make use of your social network, or get in touch with a friend to seek advice.
    • Embrace the journey. Significant change usually does not happen overnight, so it’s essential to be realistic about the timeline for reaching your goals. Implementing new, healthy habits in the learning process will make them more likely to stick over time.
    • Reflect on your learning. Journaling is a great way to reflect on lessons you’ve learned, keep track of healthy tips, and document your physical and emotional reactions on your health journey. In addition, it can help identify what is working well or if there are any changes that you can make. 

    Ask me, Coach Maria, for other tips for developing a growth mindset on your journey to creating optimal health in your life.


  • 30 Jun 2020 7:50 AM | Maria Allshouse

    Cooking healthy meals at home is much easier if your kitchen is stocked with healthy options. A healthy diet starts with making smart choices at the grocery store. However, with thousands of options and dozens of aisles, a trip to the store can quickly become overwhelming. 

    Here are some tips for making healthy decisions in the supermarket: 

    • Have a plan. Think about all of the meals you need to prepare during the next week and the ingredients you’ll need to purchase prior to going to the store. You can even save time while you’re in the store by grouping your ingredients that are in the same aisle or department. Having a plan will keep you on track and prevents you from buying items that are unhealthy or unnecessary.

    • Eat a small healthy snack before heading to the grocery store. It’s important to avoid going to the grocery store while hungry as it avoids making unhealthy decisions.

    • Shop the perimeter. The outer aisles of the grocery store are where you’ll find the freshest and least processed foods, like leafy green vegetables and lean meats.

    • Shop seasonal. When vegetables are in season, they are often more abundant and less expensive.  Zucchini, butter lettuce, and cucumbers are a few options that are especially in season during the summertime. 

    • Avoid buying bulk. It may seem like a good deal, but having larger quantities of food can make it easier to overeat. If you choose to buy bulk, try repackaging your food into single-serving containers when you get home.

    Ask Coach Maria for other healthy grocery shopping tips, as you prepare for the Fourth of July weekend.


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