Did you realize that we actually have two brains? Our gut is often referred to as our second brain because everything that happens in our body begins and ends in our stomach. The majority of Americans are moving through life with an unhealthy digestive system thus making them more prone to a myriad of possible diseases and health challenges.
There are numerous reasons why our stomachs are off balance with prescription drugs and antibiotics being number one. Stress also plays a huge factor in lowering digestive health, as does overconsumption of sugar and alcohol.
Some signs that you may have an unhealthy gut are skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or acne, anxiety and/or depression, lack of energy, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, acid reflux and heartburn, and arthritis or inflammation of the joints.
When I work with clients we look at what they’re doing to promote a healthy gut and then get down to some serious business of improving their system even more by using the following life-changing suggestions:
Fermented Foods – Kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha tea are just some of the fermented foods which offer an incredible amount of gut-healthy bacteria. Make it a goal to consume some fermented products daily to optimize the healthy flora in your stomach.
Probiotic – More important than a multivitamin is a probiotic. Choose a probiotic supplement with at least 30 billion live cultures and commit to taking it daily indefinitely. Within a short period of time you’ll begin to see the positive benefits of this live product going to work! If you’ve recently consumed a round of antibiotics, it can take up to 6 months to regain your healthy stomach flora.
Sugar and Alcohol – Sugar, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates like processed foods can feed unhealthy gut yeast that attacks our systems. Often a short detox is required to get things under control and regain balance. Eliminating sugar, alcohol, and processed foods and sometimes even fruit and dairy products while consuming fermented foods and a probiotic supplement will re-boot your system and get you back to feeling great.
Meditation – Stress actually affects our entire body including our immune system and digestive health. Taking time each day to meditate will benefit your overall health in ways that you can’t even imagine. Take a class in transcendental meditation or join a meditation group near you. Also create time each morning for quiet reflection to de-stress and reconnect with your spirit.
When we begin to truly understand that our gut is like the operating system for our entire body, we start to make it a priority. If you aren’t feeling your best, work on regaining a healthy gut and you may just realize where the problems have been all along.
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness & lifestyle expert living in Los Angeles http://jaybradleylifestyle.com
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
By now we all know that proper sleep is the cornerstone of good health. But knowing it and experiencing it are two different things. Why is it that so many people are having such a difficult time getting and staying asleep? This important aspect of living longer and remaining healthy is a luxury for many.
Do you wake up often during the night? Perhaps you have problems falling asleep? Do you awaken after 8 hours of sleep feeling unrested? There are so many variables and reasons why we don’t get a high-quality slumber but here are some tips that will definitely make a difference and get you on the road to sweet dreams and restful days ahead.
MELATONIN – Melatonin is a well-known sleep enhancing hormone that is gentle on the body and offers a more relaxing and deep sleep. If you’re new to Melatonin, start with taking a 1-3 gram supplement an hour before bedtime. Alternatively, tart organic cherry juice also contains naturally occurring melatonin. Drink 1-2 oz. of tart cherry juice mixed with some water before your evening slumber.
ROOM SETTING – Many people underestimate the importance of the bedroom environment and how it contributes or interrupts sleep. Keep your room at a cool temperature (between 62-68 degrees F) and ensure that there is no distracting light from the windows, clock radios, and computers. A white noise machine or fan can also gently block out disturbing sounds.
CELL PHONE – Studies have shown that the EMF signals omitted from cell phones can interrupt your sleep. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23051584
Make sure to keep your cell phone far away from your bed and ensure that it’s on silent mode. Wi-Fi can also interfere with your sleep so it’s best to keep your computer and Internet setup in a separate room.
MEDITATION – Most of us know that meditation is good for us but we struggle with keeping it regular. A 20-minute daily meditation can shift our brain patterns and helps us to feel more relaxed and calm. This de-stressing practice will definitely improve your sleep patterns and help you to release negative emotions. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-helps-fight-insomnia-improves-sleep-201502187726
EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique is an amazing self-healing tool that can be used by everyone. You can learn the basics by searching Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl8NZKLdD9o for EFT or tapping videos. Gently tapping on your acupuncture points while repeating affirmations can help you to release emotional heaviness and stress. With EFT, people have reported a deeper, more satisfying sleep.
ESSENTIAL OILS – Lavender is the best-known essential oil to enhance relaxation and sleep. Use a pure lavender spray on your pillows, roll-on lavender oil to your temples before bed, or use 10-15 drops in your laundry detergent when washing your sheets. Other oils that assist sleep are vetiver, ylang ylang, chamomile, and sandalwood.
Sleep disturbances encumber us from operating at our fullest during the day. If your sleep difficulties continue after trying some of these suggestions, make sure to dig deeper. Consider booking a sleep clinic so that you can have a professional analyze your sleep patterns.
Take control of your life and finally get that deep, restful, and restorative sleep that you deserve.
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness, and lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles.
He is the best-selling author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, the 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger, and Feel Better!
If you’re like most people, you pop out of bed each morning, check your phone, emails, and social media and then hurry about with your usual morning routines without much of a conscious thought.
It is so easy to fall into this repetitive cycle and while some regularity is important, it may be time to re-think how you begin your day. The morning is quite possibly the most important time of all! How we start our day defines how it will unfold for us. If we begin feeling frantic, hurried, and caught up in the rat race from the day before, it is almost guaranteed that the hours ahead will follow suit.
As a wellness coach, creating a morning practice is something that I emphasize with all of my clients. Taking time each morning to get centered, calm, and for reflection is something that I have done each day for the past 20 years. I am convinced that this practice alone will completely transform your life for the better.
If you’re ready for a change and if you’re looking to improve your life and get in touch with that deeper part of you where all of the answers lie, begin incorporating the following for at least 40 minutes each morning and get ready for a shift:
- Meditation – We have all heard about it, perhaps even tried it, and we know the benefits. But sticking with it can be challenging. Meditation is proven scientifically to reduce stress and re-wire our brains making us happier, healthier, and more centered. Try using an app on your phone like CALM, which makes it easier than ever to commit to your meditation practice. Even 15 minutes per day has awesome benefits. Commit for 7 days and note how you feel along the way.
- Journaling – This is one of my favorite daily practices. Writing gets things out of your head and onto paper. This act alone removes the “clutter” from our minds allowing us to feel more clear and calm. Also by revisiting your old journals from time to time, it will help you to begin seeing destructive or unhealthy patterns and will make you more conscious of how much you’ve grown. Using a journal to list all of the things that we are grateful for also shifts our energy and helps us focus on what is going right rather than on what is wrong.
- Vision Work – If you have read about quantum physics then you’ll know that everything around us is made up of energy. The law of attraction goes on to say that what we see in our minds, believe is possible, and what we desire can and will manifest for us. By taking time each day to visualize and feel the life that we dream of, it messages the Universe to get busy bringing us all that we desire.
- Prayer – While I am not a religious person, I do believe in a Higher Power. Regardless of what your beliefs, taking time to connect to the Source no matter what you call it is vital. Not only take time to ask for guidance and assistance, but give thanks too for all of your current blessings.
- Uplifting Words – I’ll repeat, how we start our day defines how it unfolds. Reading uplifting books or watching videos filled with inspiration, hope, and optimism first thing in the morning sends our subconscious mind messages of positivity throughout our day. It’s so easy to get disconnected from the “feel good” energy but when we plug in each morning, it reminds us of one truth; that we are meant to feel good and to live lives filled with joy, hope, health, abundance, and energy!
Creating a morning practice has never been more important. With the increase in daily distractions, negativity in the news, and stresses of day-to-day life, our body, mind, and spirit is yearning for this vital time to re-charge, re-energize, and re-connect.
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness, and lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger, and Feel Better!
Let’s face it, exercise sucks. Well, maybe for a small percentage of fitness buffs, you love the feeling of pushing your body to it’s limits, building strong muscles, and working up a sweat.
But for most others, myself included, working out can be compared to a dental checkup. Not the type of check up that requires drilling, filling, or a root canal, but more of a bi-yearly cleaning and scraping. Mundane, routine, a little painful, and just something that NEEDS to get done!
People are often surprised when I tell them that I don’t enjoy exercising. They look at me and figure that it must be my number one passion. The truth is that it is something I endure because I know that it is assisting me in living a longer, healthier life. And quite frankly, it helps me to look better!
This is where most people would say “change it up, find something that excites you.” While I agree that keeping our routine fresh is vital, some people just don’t like to sweat, push, pull, and move. In actuality, I think that I am one of those people. I am MUCH happier sitting quietly with my morning coffee, writing in my journal and reflecting on life.
With all of this being said, I am here to share this with you so that you can feel better about your own blocks. Most of us would rather take that magic pill to keep us lean, healthy, and energized but the truth is, there is no such pill and the only way to achieve positive results is through exercise. This is where the tough love comes in. If you want to increase your odds of living a longer life, if you want to have younger looking skin and hair and you desire to look your absolute best, you MUST get up and move.
Other than exercise being boring, why do most people avoid it? Why do gym membership sales go up in January only to get unused for the rest of the year? I believe that it all comes down to self love. When we love ourselves enough, we are able to get through all of the excuses about why we don’t exercise. When we put ourselves and our health first, we take pride in who we are and in how we come across to the world. I know it’s not easy. Trust me, I’d much rather travel the world and eat cake at this point in my life but to repeat, exercising your body is NOT an option.
If you’ve been avoiding it, making excuses, or doing it on or off, I challenge you to dig deep and find the reasons why this is. Really look inward and see what blocks come up when you think about skipping your neighborhood walk, spinning class, or training session. Find your own motivation, something that keeps you in the game regardless of the resistance that comes up.
If you’re dealing with depression get some help. Even mild depression can cause you to remain stuck. If you have a physical disability, for the most part there are still ways that you can move your body. I know it isn’t a bed of roses but we all have that inner motivation under the cloud of complacency.
I won’t share the benefits of a fitness routine, by now most of you know those. Instead, I suggest that you begin paying close attention to your inner saboteur that keeps you stuck and tells you all the reasons not to bother. Maybe it’s telling you that you’re too old, too fat, too tired, or that a bad heart runs in your family. Whatever it is, pay attention and begin to challenge this voice. I know that each one of you can overcome and get through all obstacles. I have seen it time and time again where people have changed their life through exercise after a lifetime of being sedentary. I am not telling you that it will always be easy, fun, or that you’ll see instant results. But I will suggest that in time, you WILL be doing yourself a favor by finally committing to a regular workout routine. Hire a trainer, Engage a friend, join a gym, research new classes. Now is the time!
Love yourself, put yourself first, and know that like life, it won’t always be a walk in the park. But we keep going, we keep moving forward, and we commit to always doing our best because that is the smartest option. Go for it! I promise to be there with you every monotonous step at a time.
We all have one. It’s something that we are born with and an innate part of who we are as humans. Some call it intuition, while others call it Universal guidance. For the sake of simplifying it a bit, let’s just name it our internal GPS system.
Most of us cannot live without our automobile GPS. I for one, rely on it every day to help me get from point A to point B. In fact, it’s hard to remember how I ever lived without one!
Our day-to-day lives are guided by our internal GPS, although it is something that we often take for granted. We simply assume that we’ll make it through our day based upon certain choices, decisions, and actions. While this is correct, maybe there is an easier way and one that can make our journey more enjoyable, fulfilling, and rich.
Always Safely Guided
Our internal GPS system sends us signals via our emotions. If we can get quiet and still, and truly listen to this inner voice, we will always be guided safely along our journey. As Joseph Campbell stated, “ALWAYS follow your bliss.” Make decisions based upon how good they feel for you. If a pending event feels joyful and light, put on your best dress or suit and make an appearance! If, on the other hand, you’re feeling dread or heaviness around something, consider taking a detour.
The one exception to this rule is when we have commitments that need to be completed. Sometimes when we have certain obligations, it pushes us outside of our comfort zones and this doesn’t always feel good. The key here is to find a balance between what needs to get done versus what doesn’t. As you learn to trust your own intuition, this process will become clearer in time.
Look for Road Signs
The Universe is always giving us signs. If we learn to pay close attention and live more in the moment, these messages become easier to recognize. Yields, detours, and construction signs will be lit up like light street lamps and we’ll simply learn to take another route.
Stop for Fuel
With any cross-country road trip, we will need to re-fuel. We won’t get very far without high quality gasoline. Our body, mind, and spirit are the same. Make sure to take time each day to reflect, meditate, pray, and read inspirational material along with consuming high quality foods, water, and vitamins so that your system is properly fueled. If we don’t feel well, this is a sure sign that something needs to be repaired, re-balanced, and nurtured.
Ask for Directions
If you’re a man, this is particularly difficult. Sometimes even our GPS system goes haywire due to crossed signals and mixed messages. ALWAYS ask for help from experts in the fields of health, wellness, and healing. Pay close attention to those people that pop-up out of nowhere because they are your messengers. These guides have an important memo for you that could possibly change your life. We don’t know it all and it’s wise to ask others for directions when we are feeling lost, off-balance, or when we simply need some comforting advice.
Any good road trip would NOT be complete without singing some of your favorite tunes along the way! Discover new avenues to make your life more creative and fun. Try different things like taking a class, or painting a canvas and open up to all of your talents and gifts. That wonderful quote “dance as if no one were watching, sing as if no one were listening, and live every day as if it were your last” fits perfectly here.
Fasten your Seatbelt
When we listen to our internal GPS system, we are almost never led astray. However, it is always good to take some precautions. Visiting your doctor for your yearly physical, taking vitamins, getting health insurance, booking a massage, and doing things to prevent accidents simply makes sense. Just like all of us fasten our seatbelt when driving, reconsider the rules of your life to ensure that you are securing the health of your body, mind, and spirit so that you can have a wonderful, joyous, and peaceful ride!