How to Correct Your Posture (Standing)

Has anyone told you, “You need to stand up straight!” or how about “You need to work on your posture.”

OK, so where do you start?  When I started to “work on my posture” I didn’t know how to stand anymore.  Where do I put my shoulder, my head, is my back straight? 

Your posture is important because when you have a head forward posture or rounded shoulders it can lead to
1. Neck and shoulder pain
2. Mid back pain
3. Headaches from tight neck muscles

Here are some quick tips to help you to get back to good, healthy posture!

To get more HealthySteps tips, register below!

Join the community of people who are taking steps to be Active, Pain Free and Healthy!
This is a Private Facebook group hosted by Brian and Christina.
Each week we focus on a different health concern such as the Rotator Cuff or Plantar Fasciitis.  You’ll learn basic and advanced foam rolling techniques for that muscle group.  The goal is to increase range of motion to reduce the chance of injury or support the work you are already doing with your PT, Fitness Trainer or Chiropractor.   We’ll also share other self care techniques to support that muscle group such a lymph drainage, essential oils and stretching.  Join here!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/YourHealthyStepsCommunity/

Reduce Fine Lines and Wrinkles while Lifting the face.

A few months ago I looked at myself in the mirror and was horrified to see all these wrinkles that popped up on my face… when did that happen?

Since that morning I’ve been looking for non-invasive, natural methods that I could use to reduce these lines on my face that are trying to make me look older than I feel!  The Jade Roller is one of the tools that has made a huge difference in a short period of time.

When I was introduced to the Jade Roller, I was intrigued because it relates to 2 things that I’m passionate about; Lymph Drainage and Essential Oils.  I purchased one right away and did some research on how to use it.  I combined what learned with what I already know about the Lymph System and put together this method that I show you in the video. 

This is why I love the Jade Roller.

1. Helps your skin absorb your skin care product.
2. You are essentially giving your face a Lymph Drainage Session every time you use it, which increases circulation and makes your skin glow and look fresh.
3. Reduces fine lines and lifts the skin – all naturally!

In the video above, I show you how to use the Jade Roller to do all these things! 

Purchase your Jade Roller!

I recently spent some time teaching about essential oils at withSimplicity.  It is the owner who introduced me to the Jade Roller.  This is a fantastic on-line and “real” store in Virginia for natural make-up and beauty supplies (all hand made!).  If you are looking to purchase a Jade Roller, this is a great small business to support!  Get your Jade Roller Here!

You mentioned Dry Brushing?

Yes, I mentioned that dry brushing is a complementary self care routine.  It also is a simple tool that is easy to use daily and has wonderful health and beauty results! 
Dry brushing:

  • Supports lymph movement
  • Sports the immune system
  • Reduces the appearance of cellulite
  • Removes dead skin cells and makes your skin baby soft
  • Tightens skin
  • Supports detoxification through lymph movement

    Learn How to Dry Brush Here!

To get more HealthySteps tips, register below!

Help for swollen hands and fingers.

Do you often end the day with swollen fingers?  If you have not had any lymph nodes removed or damage, the culprit could be your muscles.  I’ll share what you could do to help reduce that swelling.

 

 

This video is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe, it is for educational purposes only!

I have been practicing Manual Lymph Drainage for the past 10 years.  I’d like to share one of the reasons some of our clients experience swelling in their hands and fingers and how they have been helped.

Lymph vessels are a collection of tubes that carry the lymph throughout the body.  The lymph carries the “garbage” your cells don’t need anymore.

On the top of the arms, the lymph flows up and over the shoulder to the collar bone, toward the clavicular notch.

The lymph vessels on the bottom of the arm travels to the nodes in the underarm, then towards the clavicular notch.

What I have found, for people that do not have a reason why their fingers should be swelling is that there is a blockage somewhere in their arm or upper chest.

Very often that blockage is caused by tight muscles, restricting the flow of the lymph drainage.

One of the first thing to consider is the tightness of the deltoids, traps, pecs or scalene muscles. If any of those are very tight and tender, they could possibly be restricting the flow of the lymph, causing your fingers to swell.

Often people who spend a lot of time on a computer, phone or have poor posture find that these muscles are very tight!

To help reduce the muscle tightness, consider working with someone who has training in NeuroMuscular massage.  I’m not talking about  relaxation massage here!  But specific massage and stretching of these muscles could help relax those muscles and allow the lymph to flow again.

Try Moving That Lymph Yourself with a Simple Self Care Technique.

Hook your fingers over collar bone or clavicle. Pull your skin down center, towards the clavicular notch.  Repeat around 10X.

The trick is to not let go of your skin, you need to pull it!

If you have long fingernails, then cross your hands and put the palms on the skin just above your collar bones and pull parallel to the clavicles towards the notch.

If you are dealing with some congestion in your ears of sinuses you may feel “tugging” in them.

The Next Area to Work On

You will do the same “skin pulling” with the palms of your hand to the inside elbows.  You are pulling the skin up towards your underarm.

Then, follow with working the clavicles again.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them below.  If you tried this and it gave you some relief, I’d love to know!

.

To get more HealthySteps tips, register below!

The Bulletproof Diet, by Dave Asprey: Review

I’ve been hearing about “butter coffee” for a while now.  It never sounded like a good recipe idea to me.

I figured drinking that much butter would make my stomach hurt. I just didn’t get it.

I really can’t give a good reason why I added this book to my Amazon shopping cart one day. It was not the book I was looking for.  Call it “destiny or fate”, but that is how it ended up in my hands with me reading it at lunch.


This book is Dave’s story of how he changed from being an overweight, foggy-brained, stressed out guy who was eating unhealthy foods to a fit, clear headed, focused guy by “hacking” how his body reacts to different foods. This book is about the outcome of his years researching, testing and experimenting. He was the main guinea pig in all this experiments. It is through his research on his body, he developed this diet

In reading his book I can see that he is a very intelligent guy.  I can tell that when he grabs a hold of an idea he explores it fully until he is satisfied with the results. He shares in his book about the tons of tests he had done on his body, he even tested his bowel movements as part of his research. He sleeps with 2 sleep tracking devices and can tell you how long he slept on average for the past 456 days to the minute! He is extremely detailed in his research and reporting, (you might even use the term obsessive). My guess is that his wife is a saint to put up with all his tests!


As I was reading this book, the sentence that stood out to me and made me grab my highlighter was “If we are not eating good fats we are starving our brains”.

Just one of the many things I learned from reading this book is that fats build brain cells. The human brain is nearly 60 percent fat. It is Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) that build the brain, and these can not be manufactured by the body. They must be part of our food source. So that is where the “butter coffee” or the “Bulletproof Coffee” comes in.

I tried that Bullet Proof Coffee, and you know what? I loved it, and so does Brian! We both feel a difference drinking that coffee. We have clear thinking, focused mind and I’m not hungry for lunch at least 6 or more hours after breakfast.

To top if off, the Bullet Proof Coffee recipe tastes fantastic! It is like a cappuccino from your local coffee shop and it doesn’t make my tummy hurt at all with all that butter.  Yup, I will be spending the extra money to buy grass fed organic butter from now on for my Bullet Proof Coffee in the morning.


There are quite a few other “hacks” in this book.

Other chapters discuss and then give detailed recommendations for salt intake, better sleep, probiotics, weight loss, supplements, toxins in foods, good, better and best veggies to eat and how to cook them. 



Honestly we have not tried ALL the recommendations in the Bullet Proof Diet yet, but the ones we have tried – we have felt an immediate difference in our focus, energy and how our body feels. We certainly will be adding more Bullet Proof hacks to our day bit by bit.

 

My Rating for this — is a 5/5.

  • I appreciate all the education I gained about how food and my body work together.
  • 
The Hacks that are recommended (and we have tried) have had an immediate positive affect.
  • It is well written and a comfortable read. I don’t feel like he is talking down to me or talking over my head. I enjoyed reading it.
  • It is a great resource that I’ll be using often. This is one book that will not collect a lot of dust on my self.

 

You might want to get this book if you:

  • Want to loose weight in a healthy manner
  • Simply want to eat more healthy
  • Like adding to your health knowledge.
  • Are open to going against the norm and do crazy things like drinking lots of butter and eat lots of healthy salt.
  • Are looking for natural ways to increase focus and attention.
  • Want a good reason to eat a lot of bacon!

 

I hope this review was helpful for you!


Comment below if reading this review has affect your decision to buy this book or not.

Let us know too if you have read this book and what your thoughts and experiences are.

 

To get more HealthySteps tips, register below!

If you are concerned, frustrated and worried about what your picky eater is or is not eating, then this is the group for you!



We are a group of Moms and Dads who feel that the more involved your kiddo is in the process of planning or creating a meal, the higher the chances are that they will eat actually it!  Not only do we share how to get your Picky Eater involved in creating meals, but we also have some health tips and info!  Each week we’ll have a food or ingredient to focus on along with a kid friend recipe.  We’ll show you how to get your kiddo involved in making that recipe!   Join the conversation here!  Moms and Dads of Picky Eaters FB Group

Get your Picky Eater involved in Meal Prep right away!   Learn how to teach your kiddo to slice and get a FREE cookbook!

3 Things to Look for When Buying Yogurt to Make Sure it is Healthy for You!

When you are looking for yogurt, do you know what to look for to make sure you are buying something that really supports your health?  

There are so many yogurt choices in the grocery store now, isn’t there! It can get quite overwhelming when all you want to do is grab a yogurt for lunch or breakfast.

And yogurt is great right, even the commercials on TV and magazines are now shouting about the gut benefits you’ll receive when eating their yogurt.

Here are 3 things to check to make sure you are getting good yogurt!

1. It has got to say in the ingredients that there are LIVE ACTIVE CULTURES. That is the whole beneficial part to yogurt is the little live bacteria in there that will make your tummy more happy. It is this bacteria or culture, that ferments or changes the milk into yogurt.

If you can believe it, after the milk has turned to yogurt, some companies actually kill these guys off so their product can stay on the shelf longer!  So that is why you must confirm that there are live guys in that yogurt, and you simply do that by looking at the ingredients. 

2. We are eating yogurt to keep our gut healthy, right. So one ingredient that does no good to our tummies is sugar. It is the sugar that feeds the yeast – the little guys who don’t belong in your gut and create havoc on your body. Eating yogurt with lots of sugar is simply counter productive!!  

To reduce sugar, only get plain or if you just have to, vanilla flavored yogurt. Ditch all the strawberry, lemon, Oreo cookie additions that are contained on the bottom of the cup or that you sprinkle on top. All that is is added sugar, and with many of the yogurt choices aimed at kids, being simply unhealthy! 

In a minute, I will give you pointers on how to spruce up your plain yogurt into a tasty mix that you and your picky eater kids will love!!

3. Skip the low fat, no fat yogurt and go for the FULL FAT!  Good fat is good for you, and fat from milk is GOOD! It will make you feel fuller for longer and gives you good fats. If you are getting low fat or no fat, then that is going to be some very runny yogurt. It is the fat in the milk that gives yogurt that creamy texture. If you are getting the low or no fat yogurt you know there needs to be something added to give it that texture you enjoy. So go crazy and get the full fat or even cream on top yogurt!! It will be sweeter too, so you’ll need less sweetener!!

Someone asked me if Greek Yogurt was better. It has more protein simply because it is more ‘concentrated” than regular yogurt. In making Greek yogurt, all the extra water is removed so it will be more thick. So either one is good – just keep to points 1-3 and you’ll be good!

4. is Extra Credit!!  If you can spring for organic or organic grass fed milk – do it!! Grass fed milk has more omegas than corn fed cow milk. And… unless it is organic, you know that those cows were fed GMO corn that was sprayed with roundup. So, this is one product that I am ok with spending extra $$ on for good quality.

Now the big question of how to make a serving of plain yogurt exciting to you and your picky eater!!

Add good stuff to it that YOU like and is not loaded with preservatives, colors and corn syrup.

We love to add honey or maple syrup for our sweet if it is plain yogurt and add some yummies.

If it is vanilla yogurt then we’ll skip the addition of sweet and just go for yummies.

Here are some yummy ideas that are easy to have on hand:
Any frozen berry. Blue berries are perfect size. You might want to chop up strawberries or Cherries to bite size pieces.
Bananas
Granola
Uncooked oatmeal
Chia seeds (we call them bugs!)
Hemp seeds
Chocolate or Vanilla protein powder
Cinnamon

 


 

Solutions for Winter Dry Skin

A question from one of our clients was what lotion should she use for her dry skin during the winter.

I have an simple idea that has helped me a lot, but it wasn’t my idea – I got it from my friend who has the most beautiful skin.

This is the story. I was at a gathering and I asked my friend who has such soft, clear skin what kind of lotion she uses. I knew she made a lot of her own lotions and beauty creams, and I wanted her recipes.

She took me aside, and seemed a little embarrassed and said quietly, “Christina,I don’t use soap anymore.”
“What do you mean?” I replied a bit puzzled.
“I don’t use soap in the shower anymore.”
“Ok, that is great…. All I want to know what kind of lotion you use to keep your skin moisturized. Mine gets dry in the winter – what is your lotion recipe, I know you have a good one.”
“I don’t use lotion – I don’t need lotion – because I don’t use soap in the shower anymore.”
“What?” Now I was really confused. “What do you mean?”

So she explain to me the secrets of fat, which I’ll share with you!

Every cell in our body has a membrane that is made of special fat cells. These fat cells are very important in lots of ways.

Now, the reason why soap cleans is because it breaks down fat. Think of your dishes and how the liquid soap breaks down that fat on the plate.

When you are taking a shower and scrubbing up – you are breaking down your fat molecules on the out layer of your skin, leading to dryness.

That is the opposite of what you want, right!

What I did before I knew the Secret of Fat was to try another soap or another type of skin or hand lotion.

We are going to go about this differently! And you’ll find it works great, saves you time and money.

You’ll save time because you are not going to have to “loob up” after your shower or at bedtime and you’ll save $$ because you will not have to spend $ on different body lotions and hand lotions anymore.

We are going to do what my friend shared with me – remember she doesn’t use soap anymore! Instead of cleaning with soap – we are going to clean with fat.

I’m not suggesting we grab the fat from our hamburgers – I’m talking about using some of the basic ingredients you find in your lotions – fatty oils such as coconut or olive or grape seed oil or avocado.

You’ll be surprised how easy it is!!

  1. Get wet
  2. Oil up
  3. Rinse off
  4. Dry off
  5. Get on with your day

Your recipe will be determined by you – how oily or how much scrubby exfoliation you want and what aroma you want.

If you think I’m kinda crazy and you are not ready for this yet – try it just for your hands first. Keep this mix by the sink, and use this to wash your hands with instead of soap. See how your hands feel after a week. Then you might be open to trying it in the shower 🙂

Points to make:

  • This is great for a daily hop in the shower to get ready for the day.
  • If I’m in the garden and muddy – soap is nice. (I love black liquid soap.)
  • Use a spoon to take some of the scrub out.  That way it doesn’t get all watery.
  • Take care of your hair first! You don’t want to put your oily hands in your hair.
  • Adding a good quality Omega vitamins is also helpful in keeping your skin moisturized.
  • This is for generally dry skin. If you are dealing with more than that, remember skin health is directly related to gut health.
  • This is not meant for your face as the face has such delicate and different skin then our bodies.

Here is the basic recipe to make a small batch.

You can double and triple as needed. Also you should play and adjust to amounts to find texture that feels good for you.

2 tablespoons of fat (mix or use 1, coconut, avocado, safflower, grape seed)
1-3 tablespoons of salt (epsom, Himalayan, sea)
1-2 drops of Essential Oils
Lavender, geranium to support skin
Eucalyptus to support respiratory system
Thieves to use with hand scrub – protects and supports immune system.

I hope these Healthy Tips help you on your wellness journey too!

If you use a tip, I’d love to hear how it supported you. If you have any questions – please ask away!

STAY IN TOUCH