Tag Archives: stress

A nutritionst shares – 2 tips for dealing with stress!

Ever wish you could ask a licensed nutritionist some questions free of charge?  Well your wish has come true today!

Charity Elliott my wonderful daughter in law is doing a guest post for us today!  I asked her 2 questions. 

#1.  Which vitamins help our bodies cope with stress?  

#2.  What should we eat to help us cope with stress?

Charity says….”A huge factor to consider when talking about stress, is our perception of stress and how it relates to our mental health.

For some people, spilling their coffee in the morning is a huge source of stress.  For others, they mentally don’t perceive stress unless they are in crisis.

While our perception of stress can be a product of our upbringing, it can also be linked to our mental health and ability to cope with the curve balls life throws us.

For years I was very sick, during those years the smallest things could cause me to feel anxious and stressed out.

Now that I have regained my health, I have a much better grasp on my mental health and am better able to handle the stressors that come into my life.

A huge part of regaining my health was learning what foods and vitamins I needed for optimal mental health.

Regular blood work is an important part of managing your health, you should request blood work at least once a year from your doctor if it hasn’t already been recommended. They should check all your nutrient levels and help you set up a plan for reaching optimal levels.

Before starting a new vitamin/mineral you should consult your doctor or Naturopath. Here are a few of the vitamins/minerals that are important to your mental health.

Vitamin D

Up here in the North we see very little sunlight. From October to April we can go weeks, even months, with cloudy grey days.

Our body needs sunlight to synthesise vitamin D, without it we need to supplement.  

Recommended dose is 1000 IU every day, but your doctor may recommend a higher dose depending on testing. Vitamin D serves many functions that can help decrease anxiety and depression.


Recently, magnesium has been making headlines in the news as a possible supplement for treating depression. Magnesium is needed in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body.

It supports your immune system and your heart health. It also helps regulate bloodsugar and aid in the production of protein and energy. Your magnesium levels can easily be tested with blood work.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are crucial to a healthy body! They have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism. The B vitamins help prevent infections and helps support cell health and the development of red bloodcells.

Being deficient in certain B vitamins can be life threatening, low B12 is also known as pernicious anemia and can have life altering side effects if not caught early enough.

Eat Your  Vitamins

Even more important than supplementing, is eating a variety of whole foods that provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs.

I recommend at least 50% of your diet be made up of vegetables and fruit.

Vegetables are some of the most nutrient dense foods on earth.  Most people aren’t eating near enough of them.

You also want to make sure that you are intaking enough protein and fat in your daily diet.

Including eggs, red meat, fish, chicken, nuts, seeds and avocado oil are all ways to increase your protein and fat stores. Your brain is made up of mostly fat, hence, it is so important to include it in your diet.”

O.K. friends now we know which vitamin supplements to talk to our doctors about.

Adding more protein and fat may be a bit of a surprise.  I was part of the low fat diet for years and I was always hungry.  Since I have added healthy fat into my daily choices I am satisfied and I feel full for much longer.   The same goes for protein.  When I eat a handful of mixed nuts as a snack I have the energy I need until my next meal.

Charity has a heart for everyone who struggles with health and well-being.   Charity has a cool website to checkout.  She features regular blog posts and recipes.  She also offers individual nutrition services.

 Charity Elliott Nutrition

But she is taking the month of December off as she is expecting her first baby.  Which also happens to be our first Grandbaby!

Today’s little step: Check with your doctor about vitamin supplements.  Eat more veggies, protein and healthy fats!  

How to reduce your stress in just 10 minutes!

Feeling stressed? 

Can you carve out 10 minutes in your demanding day? 

Just 10 minutes of your crazy life that will reduce your stress, increase your metabolism, lower your blood pressure and improve your mood.

Are you surprised that –  “Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries”? Mayo Clinic

That’s good news!

In my quest to reduce my stress I was reminded of just how important exercise is. Exercise needs to be part of my stress management plan and yours too!

If you have any health issues that make movement difficult it is imperative that you visit your Doctor and have a wellness checkup first.

Our bodies were not designed to sit around all day.  Just getting up and moving causes blood to flow, muscles to work and makes us breath deeper.

So before you think we have to spend an hour in the gym to reap the benefits of the stress reducing components of exercise, read this good news!

“Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise  (like walking) has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.” Link

Within 5 minutes of exercise our bodies start to receive the benefit.  Even on our craziest days we can find at least  5 to 10 minutes to move our bodies!

Walking one of our best choices! http://littlestepstohealth.com

Walking is one of our best choices.  It’s easy to do. It can be done outside, inside, alone or with a friend.  All we need is a pair of good walking shoes.

How do our bodies respond to a short walk?

Physical activity causes our brains to produce endorphins.  Endorphins are naturally occurring chemicals in our brains. They can make us feel happy.

That’s why we usually feel “better” after a good walk.

Walking gets us breathing deeper, which triggers the body’s relaxation response.

Walking can help us forget the cares and irritations of day.  Focus on just one task at a time.  Focus on the movements of our bodies.  Focus on taking deep breaths.  Focus on our surroundings.  Enjoy the sights and sounds.  If you walk with a friend you have the added benefit of processing life.  A walk and talk with a good friend helps reduce our stress. “Walking releases tension from the major muscle groups, deepens the breathing and quiets the nervous system.  It also gets us out into nature, which is relaxing.” says Jeff Migdow, M.D., an integrative physician in Lenox,Mass.  Reduce stress

Exercise can also improve your sleep.  Stress often affects our ability to fall asleep or stay asleep.  Improved sleep helps us combat stress.  Things often look ‘better’ after a good nights’ sleep.

Walking outside is my favorite exercise.  It is my best strategy to beat stress and win! I walk with my husband most evenings. When winter comes we walk in a Mall. There’s a small one near by that has only a few stores.  It’s warm and dry and free.

When we don’t walk together I use a walking DVD. I really like Leslie Sansone’s walking DVDs.  I own dozens of them.  There are no crazy dance steps – just walking, side steps, kicks and knee lifts.  She has real women like us walk with her.  Leslie is in her forties and a great encourager.  I can walk in the comfort of my living room.  She has posted quite a few of her walks on YouTube.

Here’s the more advanced one!

If walking is difficult, then try some chair exercises.  I recommend Anne Burnell.  Her programs improve strength, flexibility, energy and coordination.  The exercises are all done in a chair.

Click on this link Anne Burnell. This video is about 8 minutes long.

If the computer is not for you then set a timer for 10 minutes and walk outside or inside.

Say it with me and believe it.  Walking reduces our stress!

Today’s little step:  Walk for 10 minutes everyday.  It will reduce your stress and help you cope better!

Pre-holiday stress?

Is stress part of your life?  We think it’s normal to have some daily stress.

Add in the Christmas season and the lists of all the tasks to be done and it’s the perfect recipe for more stress.

For the next 6 weeks I am going to share how I am coping with stress!

A chat with my family doctor revealed that my body is demonstrating some of my recent stress.

I am going to reduce my stress!

I thought it would be a great blog series.  I’ll share what I learn with you!

How  we care for our bodies, minds and spirits really

impacts how we deal with stess.

Here are some of  the topics: foods that combat stress, vitamins, breathing exercises, self care, wise boundaries, healthy self talk, spiritual well-being, and ways to minimize stress during the Christmas season.

I am starting this week with a good list of things I am thankful for!

When I focus on thankfulness I see the good that is always there!


Today’s little step:  Take a few minutes and write out 10 things you are thankful for. That’s one quick way to reduce your stress!  See the good that is always there!