Lose Weight & Reduce Body Fat

“If you don’t change what you are doing, nothing ever changes.” #fact

How long have you been wishing, hoping, maybe even dreaming, about once and for all losing the weight and living a healthier lifestyle?

My most recent client came to me with a strong desire to lose weight, but initially she was reluctant to ditch the diet mentality. She seemed more at ease remaining almost carb-free, restricting many of her favorite foods, while limiting any of her free-time in order to fulfill her expectation of getting to the gym for hours at end. And she was frustrated an miserable. Understandably so; wouldn’t you be frustrated if you felt like you couldn’t enjoy your food without fear of it sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Not to mention the amount of time spent in the gym that could be spent adding a better quality to life, and wasn’t showing much improvement to your figure.

Finally after a month of watching and listening to her frustration, I suggested another way. In one month, we shifted gears. It wasn’t about calorie counting and needing to follow a diet. It was about making sustainable, lifestyle changes like, eating breakfast… everyday! Learning about low-glycemic eating and incorporating more vegetables in her menu! Drinking water and moving a little more… and when she wasn’t feeling as satiated as she should after a meal, we added more fat and fiber! But because it’s a lifestyle approach, there was still pizza and cocktails, going out for breakfast and enjoying an “elephant ear” at the carnival!

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The progress in June totaled – 8lbs lost, 7.5 inches gone and 2% reduction in body fat! The goal is always fat loss, not water weight and muscle reduction. So excited to continue this journey in July to get closer to the ultimate goal! 

Heidi Gruss     Facebook     Instagram     YouTube

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Nutrition for Physical as Well for Mental Health

You are what you eat! We’ve been saying it for years with regard to our physical health, and now there is more and more research linking food quality to our emotional health as well.

Since 1978, our food production and modification processes has changed the quality of our food. How our produce is grown, for example, has changed averaging in about 40% less vitamins and minerals. What contributes to the decrease? The soil is not as nutrient dense; pesticides and other chemicals used during the growth process to create bigger crops (genetically modified), actually reduces the nutrient density.

The Standard American Diet is weighted (no pun intended) with more processed foods and artificial ingredients that pack on the pounds and are responsible for triggering hormone and insulin production.

So how does all of this impact mental health?

Great question! Hormones and insulin are also directly connected to neurotransmitters, like serotonin. Serotonin affects our mood, digestion, sleep, and also our social behavior. GABA is another important neurotransmitter critical in helping the brain send and receive messages. Both of these neurotransmitters impact our mental health often manifesting symptoms related to depression and anxiety.

Amino acids are what the body converts to build neurotransmitters and stabilize and support healthy hormone levels. Amino acids come from whole foods like nuts, seeds, meats and black beans. The dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli are also quality sources of amino acids.

Even the highest quality diet is susceptible not meeting the ideal levels, and therefore supplementation can fill in the gaps to support healthy sleep, digestion and mood.

Heidi Gruss     Facebook     Instagram

Wanna Save More Money on Summer Deals?

Summer is just around the corner, and we want to make sure you get the best deals on your Summer clothes, entertainment needs, outdoor decor and lawn care, and more. Now through May 21st some of our favorite retail stores are offering our Preferred Customers additional perks and cash back rewards!

How does it work?

Click here to see the list of stores and to register for your FREE Preferred Customer account! Be sure to download SHOP BUDDY to Chrome so you get the extra coupon codes without having to search through affiliate sites. Finally, SHOP AWAY!

Heidi Gruss     Facebook     Instagram     YouTube

What is Mental Illness?

What is Mental Illness?

Visions of Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest living within an inpatient psychiatric ward taint the perceptions of mental illness. Often times people struggling with mental illness are the ones we would least expect. It is the person sitting across from you in the meeting, the person who cleans your teeth, the man who cuts your hair, your friend who met you for coffee, your son’s second grade teacher, the woman who wrote your insurance policy… mental illness crosses gender, age, socioeconomic class, race, religion and ethnicity. My favorite definition of mental illness, because of its simplicity, comes from Mental Health America,

“A mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines.”

Mental illness may be chronic and debilitating, however, it may also manifest as a season of one’s life, meaning a short lived experience. The degree to which one experiences mental illness varies in terms of severity, duration and likelihood of reoccurrence.  Regardless, it is important to connect with a professional once the signs and/or symptoms first present including:

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don’t exist in objective reality)
  • Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)
  • Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
  • Thinking about suicide
  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
  • An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance

What do you do if you or someone you care about seems to be struggling?

There are so many helping professionals to choose from. It is important to carefully find someone who helps you feel comfortable to confide in. It may be helpful to seek referrals from someone you trust. Also note, if you do not feel a connection with someone you see, it is okay to end the relationship acknowledging it isn’t a good fit. Professionals within the helping and human services field understand and value the therapeutic process which relies on active participation from both the client and the therapist.

If you or someone you know needs immediate help, immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 911.

Heidi Gruss     Facebook     Instagram     YouTube

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health is just as important as physical health. When we hear the word illness, we often think about a physical ailment or sickness. Yet, the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) tells us more than 43.8 million adults experience mental illness every year.

43.8 MILLION ADULTS

Sadly, 60% of those experiencing mental illness did not receive treatment last year.

Mental health and wellness is a topic I remain passionate about because I believe everyone deserves to have access to the treatment and services they need to get and stay well. With suicide rates continuing to climb and data informing us 90% of those victim to suicide were challenged by mental illness, we know mental health is not receiving the attention and resources it needs and deserves.

One of the biggest challenges is learning how to recognize emotional distress because so often it can manifest internally before there are obvious external signs and cues. Another misconception specific to depression and anxiety, is a life event or circumstance has to occur to trigger the onset of these diagnoses. Many people struggle every day not letting on their internal turmoil because of the shame attached to mental illness. Instead they smile, appear “normal” and remain visibly functional in their lives, all the while their emotional distress continues to build.

Please remain connected to this blog throughout the month of May, and share articles to attract more awareness to support those who need help.

Heidi Gruss     Facebook     Instagram     YouTube

Science Continues to Connect the Human Gut with Mental Health

Five years ago I was introduced to the power of gut health when I visited a Naturopathic doctor for some skin irritation, later diagnosed as psoriasis. He explained one explanation of the breakdown of gut health being a history of long-term antibiotics. As a child, I was prone to ear, nose and throat sickness like strep and ear infections, resulting in numerous prescriptions for amoxicillin. While the antibiotic was helpful in clearing up the infection, it was also successful in killing off the good bacteria as well. That childhood experience triggered an issue in my gut that manifested on my skin!

Science continues to offer more advances about gut health including the impact of diet and processed foods, our genetic make-up and lifestyle choices related to exercise and stress management.

Most recently science is showing a direct correlation to the health of our microbiome with our mental health. Specifically research shows mental health problems like PTSD, depression, ADHD, and Autism spectrum disorder show a similar bacterial make-up. There are common bacteria within each diagnosis. It is also understood that the bacterial make-up is also impacted by the amount of inflammation and the intestinal permeability. The gut-brain axis allows for the environment in the gut to support the development of neurological based symptoms to occur within the brain.

What can we do?

Three major factors to offer major correction to our gut health include – improving our diet, a daily dose of pre and probiotics and the regular use of supplementation.

Diets rich in plant based and natural foods floods the gut with nutrients in their purest form. Pre and probiotics offer the gut live bacteria and indigestible fibers that will continue to ferment within the digestive tract. Other supplements like pure aloe vera and digestive enzymes further develop got health.

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Gut Health: Pre & Probiotic for Children and Adults

Vegan, gluten-free and safe for children and adults, the DNA Miracles Flora Melts offer both a pre and probiotic to promote gut health. Food choices and stress impact the bacterial make-up of our digestive tract. Proper digestion also supports the immune system as well as mental health.

The DNA Miracles Flora Melts contain three strains of prebiotics including a blend of Jerusalem artichoke, apple fiber and chicory root fiber to support optimal health as well as a healthy metabolism. Given many families consume more processed foods, gut health has become a bigger concern. Consuming fewer fruits, vegetables and whole grains means a reduction in the healthy organisms reaching the intestinal wall. Therefore the soil-based organisms (SBO) included in the flora melts, make the product an ideal supplement.

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