April is Earth Month!
This month is dedicated to environmental education, impact, and appreciation with Earth Day falling on April 22nd.
As President Kennedy asked so many years ago of the country, we ask today: “what can you do for your planet?”
We’ll discuss some ideas below including eating seasonal produce and enjoying our natural world among some other ways we can contribute.
Do good for our planet today and every day.
Getting Outdoors as the Spring Antidote to Stress
The truth is that midlife brings with it many changes that can increase stress. Family changes as you navigate kids leaving the nest and caring for aging parents. Potential re-evaluation of your chosen career. Hormone changes lead to shifts in your body composition and hot flashes. The impacts of aging in the mirror every morning. All these changes can lead to new stress, causing you to experience headaches, insomnia, or overeating.
But it’s not all doom and gloom.. There’s an easy answer waiting for you on the other side of your front door!
We now know that getting outdoors can alleviate stress, according to this article from the American Heart Association. While a general workout may help manage anxiety, research suggests getting active in the great outdoors has more impact than hitting an indoor gym.
The distraction of nature can calm your nerves as well as ease negative self-talk that may be circulating in your mind. And while stress may lead to a feeling of disconnection, a walk in the woods can help you reconnect to yourself, the earth, and your community. Taking in the miracle of nature can also inspire you and increase your creative thinking.
Grab your shoes and a friend and head out to the wonder of trees, water, and the beauty of nature. You’re sure to come back feeling more grounded and less stressed.
With Earth Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the bounty of fruits and vegetables from the earth by making them the foundation of your meals. Choose nutrient-rich seasonal options that come from trees, are grown on vines, or sprout out of the dirt reaching for the sun. Consider these Spring selections as perfect elements of lower carb, higher protein meals:
- Various greens such as spinach, watercress, chard, and red leaf lettuce add a host of nutrients to a salad topped with grilled salmon, chicken, or chickpeas straight from the can.
- Asparagus – green, purple, and white are all in season! Grill or roast to bring out their true flavor.
- Mangoes are the perfect healthy alternative when you’re craving something sweet.
- Rhubarb doesn’t have to be used only in sweet recipes. Try this Rhubarb Chutney recipe on grilled pork tenderloin for a satisfying but lower-calorie dinner.
Looking for an added bonus of choosing more fruits and veggies this Spring? Emerging research from the Produce for Better Health Foundation suggests that eating more fruits and vegetables can improve happiness, satisfaction, and emotional well-being.
Source: Produce for Better Health Foundation, Novel Approaches to Measuring and Promoting Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, 2017.
Is morning exercise enough?
In 2012, an article hit the newsstands highlighting the idea that, while we may exercise before or after work, there may actually be very little benefit to our health if we are sitting the remainder of the day.
This is the kind of news that makes you want to grab a fork, some chocolate cake, and settle on the nearest sofa. But we all know that eating cake is NOT the answer to this challenge, so, where do we start?
First lets look at WHY we need to avoid sitting for long periods of time:
- Circulation slows, especially in the legs, less blood sugar is used and less fat is used for fuel.
- Metabolic levels can drop without movement.
- Our muscles & connective tissues weaken without the “stress” of walking/moving.
So, now that we know why, what can we do about it?
This is where the pedometers and step challenges can come into play. The idea is to move your body as much as possible all day.
Here are some ideas to get that step count up:
- Every 60 minutes spend 5 minutes moving in, out, and around your house.
- Use a standing desk or your countertop. Every hour, switch from sitting to standing.
- Take 30 minutes at lunch and walk around the neighborhood.
Your blood pressure, joints, and metabolism will thank you and as an added bonus, you will start to see the transformation on your backside and your legs when you include more walking. Work it!
Frame of mind
No such thing as “too late”!
Did you know that many of our esteemed senior ladies have accomplished their feats well after 50?
Here are a few:
- Martha Stewart was a successful cookbook author and chef. But at 50, she transformed that into the personal lifestyle brand that we know today.
- Vivienne Westwood’s fashion brand became iconic when she was in her 50s.
- Julie Wainwright was the CEO of pets.com, which had to be shut down because of the dot-com bubble (and on the same day, her husband asked for a divorce). At 53 she started over and her company is now worth over $1 billion!
- Julia Child’s show began airing when she was in her 50s.
- Susan Boyle was 47 when she auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent.
- Dame Judy Densch didn’t become a superstar until she was in her 60s.
NONE of these women let the stigma of age and decline of value dictate their lives.
Your time isn’t over! This is just the beginning of what you can do.
As we say: Midlife. Envision a quest, not a crisis.
She believed she could, so she did!
Denise Pines: Badass Advocate for Women’s Health
“Simply being listened to can make an enormous difference in the healthcare system.”
Meet Denise Pines, Past President of the Medical Board of California, and now member of the National Minority Health Association, has been particularly influential in all aspects of women’s health.
After experiencing her own qualms with menopause around age 40, she realized the lack of information and treatments available in our traditional healthcare system. “As a natural remedy seeker, I first went to my functional medicine doctor who specializes in healing teas and we co-created Tea Botanics Hot Flash Tea”. By regulating the communication loop between the brain and the female reproductive system, this tea quickly and effectively treats hot flashes by creating a cooling sensation throughout the body.
Pines is passionate about making sure women are not only proactive about their health but also feel supported during the perimenopause and menopause phases of life. She notes, “I want women to love themselves as they age and to stop feeling shameful or remain silent”. This was her passion behind creating WisePause Wellness, a virtual community that connects women with hormonal healing therapies, trusted healthcare professionals, products, and services.
We love this interview she did with Ageist, lot’s of wonderful resources.
Thank you Denise for being a champion for women everywhere!