Eat, Drink and Be Merry but Don’t Drink and Drive

The holidays are full of festivities and that generally means lots of food and drink. In North America, parties tend to include a variety of alcoholic beverages, and moderation can be difficult. Everyone needs to commit to not driving if drinking away from home.

Drinking and driving don’t mix, and the statistics are staggering. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that throughout the year, more than 10,000 people die from drunk driving—equal to 20 jumbo jets crashing. And, reports state that 300 Americans die annually during the few days surrounding Christmas and New Year’s.1 This computes to more highway deaths related to alcohol that occur during the holidays than at other times of the year.

Celebrations and joy making can turn into tragedies, but now more than ever, it’s easy to avoid the temptation to get into a car after drinking alcohol. There are rideshare services easily accessed by phone and in many major cities, community volunteer drivers for the holiday season.

PsychCentral2 notes that during the holidays, people who don’t usually drink may have some alcohol in the spirit of “joining in the fun.” There are also people who drink and drive because they believe they are staying within the “one drink an hour” rule. Unfortunately, this is not reliable and depends on variances in individual body weight and metabolism, as well as hydration levels and the amount of food eaten.

This holiday season, embrace Active Wellness and resist the pressure to drink in excess. If you enjoy alcohol, plan ahead by having a designated driver or ordering a rideshare service to pick you up. Active Wellness means moderation, so decide in advance how many drinks you will allot yourself and stick to it.

Since the holidays are a time for giving, remember to offer a variety of non-alcoholic beverages when you’re hosting, and watch out for your guests. If they’re consuming alcohol, help ensure they have a driver or ride available before they leave.

There are still a few days left to shop from the Nikken Holiday Gift Catalog—a gift of magnetic bling is definitely something to toast!

1https://drivingschool.net/sober-facts-of-holiday-drinking-and-driving/

2https://psychcentral.com/lib/holiday-drinking-keep-it-safe/392/

Do you Cultivate Gratitude?

One of the first things we teach our children to say is “thank you.” Since children get a lot of help with their daily activities, they have many opportunities to say thank you. In doing so, children are actively cultivating gratitude. Something happens as we become adults, and the simple words “thank you” are often forgotten as we take things for granted. Reciprocally, the words “you’re welcome” are now often replaced with “uh huh” or nothing at all.

According to Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, words literally can change your brain. In their book, Words Can Change Your Brain, they write: “A single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.” Positive words, such as “peace” and “love,” can alter the expression of genes, strengthening areas in our frontal lobes and promoting the brain’s cognitive functioning. According to the authors, they propel the motivational centers of the brain into action and build resiliency.1

It might seem corny, but we need to practice using the right words not only when we talk to others but also when we talk to ourselves. Since we are first and foremost, blessed with our own abilities, we can cultivate gratitude by being thankful to our bodies and minds for supporting us and letting us work. We can thank ourselves for the progress we’ve made in living with Active Wellness—cutting out or cutting down on sugar, using a PiMag® Sport Bottle instead of single use plastic bottles, exercising daily, focusing more on plants when eating, recycling whenever possible, reducing waste and reusing rather than discarding goods—and commit to doing even more.

Although we should cultivate our own sense of gratitude every day of the year, there’s nothing like the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving, to be mindful of the multitude of things that bless our lives. One way to cultivate gratitude is to take a look around us and see what we have to offer to others. How can we help with a simple gesture or random act of kindness? Little things often count way more than we know—helping someone pick up a spilled package, opening a door for the elderly, bringing a stray to the shelter to be scanned for an ownership chip, cooking a meal for a sick neighbor—and the result is feeling happy for being able to do something for someone else.

Feeling grateful doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Sometimes the person with the least has a greater sense of gratitude than someone with an abundance of family, material wealth and good health. When the power goes out for hours or days, we are reminded of how grateful we should be for having electricity 24/7 when other parts of the world do not. Those of us who live where we have potable tap water should be grateful we don’t live where water is scarce or rationed. In other words, what we consider basic and take for granted, really isn’t basic for many others. When we acknowledge simple things that fulfill our needs, we are grateful.

This holiday season, let’s be aware of the words we utter, be sincere with our thanks, lend a helping hand whenever we can and pay forward all the blessings we have personally received. Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

 

1 https://psychcentral.com/blog/6-ways-to-cultivate-gratitude/

 

Do You Reduce, Reuse and Recycle?

November 15 is designated as National Recycling Day. Created by the National Recycling Coalition, there are events held locally nationwide to spread the word on reducing waste and learning exactly what can be recycled and how. Recycling takes place when a product or material that is no longer being used is turned into a raw material that can be used for something else. It is a critical aspect of environmental sustainability.

How we recycle and reuse products directly impacts the environment. For example, about 60 million one-use water bottles enter landfills  in America daily.1 By using water filtration devices such as the PiMag Waterfall®Screen Shot 2019-11-13 at 12.10.51 PM and reusable drinking bottles such as the PiMag® Sport Bottle, Screen Shot 2019-11-13 at 12.16.46 PMthis outrageous number can be reduced to help sustain the environment.

One area of recycling that America is doing well in is aluminum, with about 65% being recycled in the U.S. alone. In America, about 105,800 cans are recycled every minute.2 To put this into perspective, a TV can run for three hours from the energy saved by recycling one can!3

As more people get on board with the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recyle) we are gradually returning to a more Earth-friendly lifestyle. Each year more than 60 million tons of wastes are recycled instead of ending up in landfills or incinerators. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a set a goal for America to reach 35% recycling. This is targeted at reducing the 4.5 pounds of solid waste created by each person every day, much of which can be recycled.4vanveenjf-nQrWPn1KJY8-unsplash

We have all thrown out things that are actually recyclable. Becoming more vigilant and knowledgeable about recycling is an integral aspect of Active Wellness. Over time, we’ll naturally reduce waste and modify our purchasing behavior in favor of less packaging and reusing things rather than throwing them out. Examples of items that people forget or don’t know can be recycled are inkjet or toner cartridges, glass jars, eyeglasses, pizza boxes, reusable plastic or cardboard food storage containers, plastic grocery bags, aluminum foil and empty aerosol cans.5 Donate old clothes and shoes rather than relegating them to trash. You’ll not only be helping someone in need but also reducing waste.

Consumers committed to preserving the environment can take the National Recycling Coalition’s pledge:

  • to find out what materials can and cannot be recycled in their communities;
  • to lead by example in their neighborhoods by recycling;
  • to recycle batteries, cell phones and other electronic waste;
  • to tell five friends that recycling is the easiest thing they can do to slow global warming.6

Remember that every day is a recycling day in the Nikken Wellness Community! Please join us!

1, 2, 3 https://nationaldaycalendar.com/america-recycles-day-november-15/

4, 6 http://www.doonething.org/calendar/recyclingday.htm

5 https://harmony1.com/20-things-you-probably-forgot-to-recycle/

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth the Healthy Way!

For those with a sweet tooth, the last three months of the year may well be the worst. Temptations are everywhere, as brick and mortar shops display sweets galore and we’re bombarded online with images and recipes of holiday dessert. What’s a body to do!

Here are some practical tips to ease cravings for sweets while staying on an Active Wellness regimen:

  • For a quick sugar fix, eat a piece of fruit or a sweet vegetable. Crunchy textures seem to help satisfy cravings, so choose carrots, beets, apples and persimmons. Fruit that is high in natural sugar also satisfies cravings more quickly—for example, grapes, mangoes and pineapples.
  • Berries are delicious and when you freeze them, they take on the characteristics of sorbets. Try blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and any combinations. They’re high in fiber and actually low in sugar. A healthy combination of exotic berries is the basis of Kenzen Super Ciaga®, a great replacement for sodas when blended with seltzer water.
  • Watermelon is wonderful as a base for smoothies and other blended beverages. Add some mint or even basil, and it’s scrumptious.
  • Healthy sweeteners include monk fruit and stevia. They have zero calories and none of the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners—that’s why monk fruit is the sweetener in Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix and stevia is in Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix.
  • Are you a chocoholic? amirali-mirhashemian-RCVIlSXhYI0-unsplashThe good news is that dark chocolate (with 70% or more cocoa) contains healthy plant compounds known as polyphenols. It still contains sugar and fat, so eat a couple of squares and savor it—no bingeing allowed.
  • Dates! They’re nutritious and very sweet, naturally. They’re also rich in fiber, potassium, iron and a source of antioxidants. As a dried fruit, they contain a lot of natural sugar, so eat three or four, not too many.

To keep sugar intake low, here are some habits to develop:

  • Read labels! Hidden sugars lurk in unexpected places. For example, packaged instant oatmeal has virtually no fiber but contains lots of sugar and artificial flavoring. Condiments such as ketchup, barbecue sauce and sweet chili contain a lot of sugar—a single tablespoon of ketchup may contain as much as four grams of sugar, which is about one teaspoon.1
  • It may be counterintuitive, but when trying to decrease sugar intake, go for full fat rather than low-fat or non-fat versions of beverages and desserts. This is because low-fat and non-fat drinks and desserts add more sugar to compensate for the lack of fat. For example, an 8-ounce coffee made with whole milk and no added sugar, contains 2 grams of naturally occurring milk sugar and 18 calories.2 The same amount of a low-fat mocha drink contains 26 grams of added sugar and 160 calories.3
  • Minimize consumption of processed foods. Go natural and organic. Processed foods contain 90% of the added sugars in the average American diet.4 For example, one serving, or approximately 128 grams, of canned pasta sauce can contain nearly 11 grams of sugar.5
  • Choose nutrient-dense whole foods whenever possible. It takes a little more time, but preparing desserts with dried fruit, nuts and seeds provides healthy fats in addition to fulfilling your sweet tooth.
  • Be a good role model for your family. Start your children on an Active Wellness regimen as soon as they can eat solid food. Mashed roasted yams and smashed bananas are great starter foods.

 

1 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/14-ways-to-eat-less-sugar#section1

2 http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/69/2

3 https://starbucks.com/menu/drinks/espresso/white-chocolate-mocha-?foodzone

4 https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/3/e009892

5 http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/soups-sauces-and-gravies/131612

 

Do You Have Good Posture?

Do you stand up straight or do you slouch? Having good posture is more than a matter of being attractive. It’s important in terms of your physical strength and flexibility—it’s essential for Active Wellness—and especially for bone and joint health.

More than half of the American population older than 18 years of age (about 54%) are affected by bone and joint conditions.1 It’s no wonder that the most common cause of long-term disabilities are related to bone and joint pain.2 As life expectancy increases, so does the prevalence of bone and joint degeneration.

Here are some ways to help keep bones and joints strong and stable:

  • Move more! Less movement increases stiffness in joints. Don’t sit in one position for a long time. Get up and stretch or take a short walk.
  • Research suggests that aerobic exercise (otherwise known as cardio exercise) can help reduce swelling of the joints. Inflamed joints respond well to low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling.
  • Stand and sit up straight. Slouching is hard on the joints, from your neck to your knees. Good posture helps keep hip and back muscles strong.
  • Pay attention to your stance when lifting or carrying heavy items. Bend your knees instead of your back.
  • Make sure to get enough calcium in your diet, since calcium helps keep bones healthy and strong. Natural sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, broccoli, kale, figs, soy or almond milk. Fill in any dietary gaps with the Kenzen® Bone Health Pack to help meet your recommended daily value of calcium with optimum absorption.US Bone Pack
  • Make sure to eat enough protein to build and maintain muscle mass. Muscles support the bones and joints. Good natural sources of protein include lean meats, seafood, beans, legumes and nuts. Just one serving of Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement contains more than 39% of the recommended daily value for protein.
  • Incorporate citrus into your diet. Some studies suggest that vitamin C and other antioxidants can help keep joints healthy.3
  • Take Kenzen® Joint  with its advanced formula of a naturally occurring compound, cetyl myristoleate. This ingredient has natural surfactant and lubricant properties to help in smooth movement.* The same ingredient is found in CM Complex Cream to provide a naturally cooling and soothing effect to achy joints and muscles.

October 16 is World Spine Day and October 20 is World Osteoporosis Day. It’s an annual reminder to take care of your bones and your joints. It’s never too early to develop the habit of maintaining good posture, so be a good role model for the kids in your life. It’ll also keep you looking strong and healthy!

 

1, 2 https://www.usbji.org/programs/public-education-programs/action-week

3 https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/caring-your-joints#1

 

 

What’s the Best Way to Enjoy the Autumn Months?

Traditionally, autumn is the colorful harvest season that precedes the cold winter months. The temperature begins to drop and the air becomes dryer as winds blow and leaves fall. In contrast to Nature’s beautiful brush strokes, autumn is often a time for many people to get sick with colds and flu, and for the digestive system to take a major hit, causing various intestinal disorders. Fortunately, there’s a reason for this and simple solutions.

Each change of season is a transitional period in Nature and our bodies follow suit even if we are unconscious of what’s happening. Autumn is a time when leaves fall and vegetation is either harvested or dies off. During this natural cycle of life and death, mold is released. Even though mold is airborne year round, this extra release can be a stress on the immune system.

Depending on the individual’s state of Active Wellness, the immune system either continues working well or becomes overloaded during autumn. Digestion may not be as smooth and the foods that worked well during the summer may suddenly be overwhelming. Autumn is therefore an ideal time to reduce the toxic load on the immune and digestive systems. In fact, since 60 to 80% of the immune system revolves around the digestive system, the two impact each other a great deal.1

In addition to being the perfect time to incorporate Kenzen® Cleanse & Detox and Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0  into your daily regimen, here are some things to do that may help decrease toxic overload:

  • Minimize exposure to chemical toxins in the environment or in products you might use on a daily basis, including cosmetics, laundry detergent, cleaners, plastics, air fresheners, etc.
  • Try using unscented cleaners and detergents. Scented products often are full of artificial ingredients that tend to burden the immune and digestive systems.
  • Read labels and try eating food without artificial food coloring and preservatives. Processed foods in general may irritate sensitive digestive tracts.
  • Dry cleaning often contains chemicals that not only create breathing issues but also tax the central nervous system, which rules the digestive system! Even if you can’t avoid dry cleaning clothing, be aware and try to allow time for them to air out.
  • Pay attention to food sensitivities. This is a great time of year to eat warming foods, just as summer was a perfect time to eat cooling salads. A rule of thumb is to heed Nature and eat what grows seasonally, for example, pumpkins, squash, root vegetables (like beets and turnips), dark leafy greens, and whatever is locally grown.
  • Store your reusable plastic bags and containers in closed cupboards and air-tight containers. Plastics contain petrochemical molecules that are airborne, especially indoors.
  • Drink filtered water. Chlorine is a harsh chemical placed in many municipal water systems. The PiMag Waterfall® exceeds the standard for chlorine reduction and helps households filter tap water and reduce or eliminate the use of bottled water that becomes trash in landfills.
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends preventing gastrointestinal flare-ups by eating moistening foods, such as tofu, tempeh, spinach, barley, pears, apples, seaweed, mushrooms, almonds, sesame seeds, persimmons and loquat, also known as monkfruit.2
  • Protect skin from the dryness and wind. Use a moisturizer such as True Elements® Youthful Face Cream at night and Nourishing Face Cream during the day. For optimum results, exfoliate first to get rid of flaky skin—True Elements® Radiance Scrub is gentle and soothing.

Try to get plenty of rest and sleep to help keep your immune system happy, and enjoy this beautiful season!dennis-buchner-p_tvAd7HBxo-unsplash

 

1 https://www.no-ibs.com/blog/why-does-ibs-act-up-in-spring-or-fall/

2 https://thehutong.com/what-to-eat-in-autumn/

What is Particular About Women’s Health and Fitness?

Eat well, exercise regularly and avoid high-risk behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking and unnecessary drug use. This is common sense that applies to virtually everyone. In other words, practice Active Wellness.

What is particular to women’s health and fitness? Women’s health includes a range of specialties, such as birth control and gynecology, breast, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers, menopause and hormone therapy, osteoporosis, pregnancy and childbirth, heart disease specific to women and more.1

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. If you have a family or personal history of breast cancer, your risk for developing this condition is higher. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women of average risk have a mammogram screening every two years between the ages of 50 and 74. They also recommend for women with an average risk of developing breast cancer to have their first screening in their 40s. Many doctors and medical groups recommend yearly mammograms starting at age 40. If you have a family history of breast cancer, your doctor may recommend you start earlier. These medical professionals also encourage women to conduct self-exams on a monthly basis starting at age 20.

Health practitioners generally advise women to get a Pap test to check for cervical cancer every three years when 21 or older. Between 30-65, women can get both a Pap test and HPV test every five years. Women older than 65 may be able to stop testing if the doctor determines you are low risk.2

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women, and women are more likely than men to die following a heart attack. Women are known to exhibit symptoms leading up to a heart attack that are less well known than men—often this results in ignoring the symptoms until it’s too late. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.3 In fact, women may experience a heart attack without chest pressure—instead, they may feel a shortness of breath, pain in the abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.4 A heart attack can be misconstrued as acid reflux, the flu or normal discomforts related to aging.

Men and women share many of the same risk factors for stroke, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. However, women have several unique risk factors that make them more likely to have a stroke than men. Risk increases with the use of birth control pills, pregnancy and hormone replacement therapy.5 A healthy Mediterranean diet and a consistent exercise regimen are preventative measures. Choose supplementation with Kenzen Bergisterol® and Kenzen® Omega Green+DHA to help support heart health.

Women also are more at risk than men for developing osteoporosis, due to their tendency to have smaller, thinner bones. Estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about 80% are women, and a woman’s risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.6 The good news is that osteoporosis can be prevented—denser, stronger bones can be built by getting enough calcium and vitamin D, exercise and practicing Active Wellness. The key is to start early in life, from childhood through the teen years and onward. The Kenzen® Bone Health Pack with Kenzen® Calcium Complex and Kenzen® BDZ is exceptional. Partner products deliver naturally sourced calcium and minerals complemented by a formula that actively binds calcium to the bone matrix.*

Look for other aspects of women’s health and fitness in future blogs. For now, remember to eat well, exercise consistently, get regular physicals with your health practitioners and keep your bones strong!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

1 https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007458.htm

2 https://www.webmd.com/women/features/women-top-health-tips#1

3, 4 https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/warning-signs-of-a-heart-attack/heart-attack-symptoms-in-women

5 https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health#breasts

6 https://www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/general-facts/what-women-need-to-know/