“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!” 1 Chronicles 16:34

Holidays can bring stress–the stress of traveling, preparing our homes, shopping and cooking, financial stress, social stress, cold weather challenges, and other health stressors (sugar, lack of sleep, mental and/or emotional overwhelm, cold and flu viruses, etc.).

Holidays can also be a beautiful time of thanksgiving and reflection on all that is good! Philippians 4:8–“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

Holiday health challenge: Determine that you will not allow stress to rob you of meaningful celebrations. I always tell my four grown children and their spouses that they should plan their own holiday celebrations with no pressure or stress from my husband and me to conform to our plans.

Write out your stressors and find ways to manage them that will help you experience the most joy and stay in good health.

Give the gifts of gratitude and forgiveness to yourself and others! “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. We know that doing God’s will always results in blessings. For more Bible verses about thanksgiving, check out this page on the Bible Study Tools Website.

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13. We all need forgiveness, and giving it to others is the best gift and stress reliever of all! For more Bible verses about forgiveness, check out this page on the Bible Study Tools website.

Eat foods rich in beta-carotene to help keep your immune system strong. These include pumpkin, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, cranberries, and dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, collard and mustard greens, etc.). Basically, eat your seasonal vegetables! Just one or two servings a day can go a long way in helping you stay healthy!

Give the gift of health to yourself and others this year. My Eat to be Healthy DIY Program is less than the cost of one coaching session and is on special for only $39 through December 1. It will give you all the downloadable tools you need to start eating healthier. Here’s the link for more information: Eat to be Healthy Program.

Thanksgiving blessings,

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

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‘Tis the Season for Walking!

Here in Houston, the temperatures have become ideal for outdoor walking (that is, when it’s not raining).  You can enjoy the many health benefits of fresh air, sunshine, and walking, all while reflecting on God’s creation.

If you’re already a walker, great!  Keep it up!

If you need some motivation to start walking (farther than from the couch to the refrigerator), read this article published by Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says that walking is “the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.”

Whether you need to reduce sweet cravings, lose a few pounds before the holidays, improve joint health, boost your immune system, or just clear your head, walking is one of our best health tools!

Getting started:

1. Read “5 Surprising Benefits of Walking”.  Determine your “why” for walking.
2. Choose a time and place to walk:  around your neighborhood, at the gym, in a park, etc.  For some, it may be the simple act of walking to their mailbox and back, then to the next door neighbor’s mailbox, etc.  Walking can be a great time for socializing with a friend, spouse, child, or a special time of literally walking with God.
3. Decide how many days a week you will walk, and set a reminder:  put it on your calendar, appointment book, smartphone app, or wherever you keep your reminders.  If you have an Alexa Echo Dot, you can program it to remind you to walk.  Start with a realistic, manageable goal, slowly increasing as you develop the habit.
4. Decide how long or far you will walk:  minutes, miles, steps, destination, etc. It’s better to start with a mini goal and build on it.  Feeling successful will motivate you to continue.  If you want to keep track of distance, you can download one of many apps available for smartphones, or just use a simple pedometer like this one on Amazon.
5. Have faith in the present and long-term health benefits of walking. “For we walk by faith, not be sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7.
The Autoimmune Revolution is free from Monday, November 5, through Friday, November 9.  You can register and receive a free ebook to help you better understand autoimmune disease and what to do about it.  Here’s the link: Autoimmune Revolution registration and free ebook

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

 

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

The Flu Vaccine–Yes or No?

It’s that time of year to decide whether or not you will get a flu vaccination. My advice as a health coach is to always make an informed decision about anything that affects the health of you and your family.

Information comes from everywhere–the internet, television ads, magazines, billboards, doctors, pharmacies, people you know, etc. Consider the sources–are they trying to sell you something or were they educated for marketing purposes (e.g. pharmacy companies educating doctors and clinics)?

Are you being made aware of any adverse effects? Are you reading the labels? Is what’s right for someone else right for you?

I believe in self-education, because no one knows your body like you do. Learn more about the flu vaccine at National Vaccine Information Center (www.nvic.org).

Personally, I do not get the flu vaccination. Instead, I strengthen my immune system to help fight viruses. My biggest concern with vaccines is the many toxic additives (like aluminum) that may contribute to chronic disease.

Here are a few things that I do at the first sign of illness:

Drink a cup of water with the juice of half a lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper. Sometimes, I add a little raw honey.

Take elderberry, which has been studied and shown to reduce the “shelf life” of viruses. It comes in syrup, tea, capsules, tinctures, and chewables.

Take vitamin D3 to help support my immune system. Have your levels checked every six months or so to see if you fall within the optimum range of 50-60 ng/ml. In the absence of adequate sunlight, especially during winter, levels can drop, providing less protection against the flu and other viruses.

Eat seasonal foods rich in vitamin C: citrus, organic peppers, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, organic potatoes.

Eat seasonal foods rich in sulfur: onions, garlic, cruciferous vegetables, eggs, sardines (eggs and sardines also contain vitamin D3).

Make sure that my digestive system is working well to eliminate toxins by eating plenty of fiber-rich plant foods and taking a probiotic, since 70 to 80% of the immune system is in the gut.

Hydrate with lots of water and nourishing soups to help flush toxins and keep mucous thin so secondary respiratory infections don’t easily take hold.

Take very warm detox baths with a few drops of lavender essential oil, which has anti-viral and calming properties. Diffusing eucalyptus essential oil is wonderful for a stuffy nose and congestion.

Stop eating refined sugar. Instead of reaching for carbonated soft drinks, popsicles, ice cream, etc., try bone broth, fruit and veggie smoothies, homemade soups, green tea, and herbal teas (God’s pharmacy). I like peppermint, ginger, chamomile, raspberry leaf, elderberry, and holy basil (tulsi). Try stirring a little ground cinnamon into a cup of warm water with some raw honey.

Have some natural cough syrups on hand. Two I like are Olba’s Cough Syrupand Zarbee’s Naturals Kid’s Cough Syrup + Mucous.

Rest, pray, and nourish my spirit with the Word of God–“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory.”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

Register now for the free online Autoimmune Revolution from November 5-11.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

Links to Some of My Favorite Products

 

People often ask me for product recommendations, so today I am giving you a list with links to a few of my favorite products that I order from Amazon and Nature’s Sunshine. If you have any questions about any of the items, please feel free to ask me!

Here’s the link: List of Links to Some of My Favorite Products

Autoimmune conditions are on the rise, affecting old and young alike. For free education about this growing health concern, check out the free online Autoimmune Summit from November 5 to November 11.

Here’s the link: Autoimmune Summit

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

www.learningtobehealthy.com

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

This information is for educational purposes only and is not to intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

The Bone-Strengthening Power of Vitamin K

Vitamin K1 is well known for it’s important role in blood clotting, but there is also much scientific evidence that vitamin K plays a crucial role in both the reduction of bone fractures and in reducing abnormal calcifications in the body. This makes it an important nutrient for both bone and heart health.

Vitamin K not only helps preserve calcium in the bones, it aids the dissolution of calcium elsewhere, including in the arteries and kidneys. Studies found that those with a higher dietary intake of vitamin K2 had less heart disease and less calcification of the coronary artery. Also, it was shown that vitamin K1 supplementation slowed the progression of coronary artery calcification.

Remember, when there is an excess of calcium in the blood, there is usually a deficiency in the bones. (See Why I don’t Take Calcium).

Vitamin K1 was shown to increase bone mineral density in rats, and vitamin K2, was shown to improve the quality of bone and strengthen itagainst fracture. Calcium supplementation may increase bone density without improving its resistance to fracture, and at the same time increase calcifications throughout the body.

One study done on rats showed that vitamin K2 in the form of MK-4improved the strength of bones that had been weakened by a magnesium deficiency. (See The Role of Magnesium in Balancing Calcium).

According to Dr. Thomas Levy in his book, Death by Calcium, human studies indicate that supplementing with 45 mg daily of vitamin K2 (MK-4) will sustain bone mineral density and prevent fractures from osteoporosis. He further recommends taking a multi-K formula that includes K1, K2 (MK-4), and K2 (MK-7), as found in a product like Life Extension Super K with Advanced K2 Complex.

The good news is that there is no known toxicity or undesired side effects associated with vitamin K, even when given to newborns or pregnant women.

Even though vitamin K is a blood clotting agent, it does not cause abnormal clotting. You will still want to check with your doctor before taking vitamin K if you are taking a blood thinner like warfarin or have another medical condition.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

The price of my Eat to be Healthy program will go up on Monday. You get a complete healthy eating program for less than the cost of one health coaching session!

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

The Case for Taking Vitamin D Separate from Calcium

Vitamin D is essential to the optimal health of nearly every organ and tissue in the body. Studies have found vitamin D supplementation to be beneficial in strengthening bones, boosting the immune system, reducing the incidence of high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, inflammation (the root of chronic disease), and many other health conditions.

Here’s the paradox: Vitamin D is essential for calcium metabolism and, when taken simultaneously with a calcium supplement or calcium-fortified food, increases the absorption of calcium from the intestinal tract. This might seem like a good thing, except that it may be adding to the already excessive calcium levels in the body. We want calcium in our bones, not calcifying our arteries and triggering inflammation that leads to more calcium loss from the bones. (See Why I don’t Take Calcium).

Studies have indicated that adequate vitamin D blood levels lower the risk of fracture and improve bone mineral density.

Other studies show bone loss and calcifications throughout the body when there is an excess of vitamin D, much like an excess of calcium.

Calcium taken alone showed no protection against fractures. Vitamin D taken apart from calcium showed the same degree of protection against fractures as when it was taken with calcium.

Bottom line: We need optimal levels of vitamin D for good health, without supplementing in a way that contributes to excess calcification in the body. Excess vitamin D levels can pull calcium out of bones. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the body for many months and slowly released, even after supplementation has been discontinued.

To know if you have optimal levels of vitamin D, have your blood levels checked every two or three months until you are in the optimal range. Then, continue to monitor your levels about every six months.

The current recommended target range for vitamin D levels is between 40 and 80 ng/cc. Dr. Levy, in his book Death by Calcium, recommends a long-term maintenance range of between 50 and 60 ng/cc. The best tests measure 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the preferred form, not vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).

Read the ingredients on food and beverage labels for the common additive of vitamin D2. Also, consider avoiding these products when calcium has also been added. This is commonly found in plant-based milk alternatives.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

Magnesium’s Role in Balancing Calcium

For a review of why I don’t take calcium and how an excess is linked to osteoporosis and other chronic degenerative diseases, read Why I don’t Take Calcium Supplements #1, #2, and #3.

When calcium blood levels are high, you’ll most likely have a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium has been called nature’s calcium channel blocker, helping to keep calcium levels in check.

Studies have shown that excess calcium can contribute to calcium deposits (like kidney stones and atherosclerosis) and that magnesium helps dissolve calcium deposits.

Magnesium helps reduce inflammation by lowering excess calcium in cells that induces inflammation. This, in turn, helps keep calcium in the bones and reduces the risk of other chronic degenerative diseases.

Chronic inflammation due to calcium excess is frequently found in those with cancer. Studies have shown that those with a higher magnesium intake seem to have less risk of colon, lung, and rectal cancers. One study showed that post-menopausal women with breast cancer had a higher calcium to magnesium ratio than those without breast cancer.

It is difficult to take toxic levels of magnesium (check with your doctor if you have kidney problems). As long as an excess of calcium is present inside the cells, magnesium is needed to balance it.

Just like prescription calcium channel blockers, magnesium supplements may lower blood pressure temporarily. In those with already low blood pressure, this may be a problem. If this happens, stop taking supplemental magnesium until your blood pressure returns to normal, and then reduce the amount until it doesn’t have a negative effect on your blood pressure.

Just like vitamin C, if you experience diarrhea when taking magnesium, you can adjust the amount until you achieve bowel tolerance.

The word following magnesium (oxide, citrate, glycinate, malate, phosphate, carbonate, etc.) is called an anion. The anion helps you choose the best supplemental form. Dr. Levy, in his book Death by Calcium, recommends magnesium glycinate in his osteoporosis treatment protocol. He says it is well absorbed, is less likely to cause diarrhea, and is made from the amino acid glycine, which has other nutritional uses in the body.

My least favorite forms are carbonate and oxide, and I take Magnesium Complex, which is a combination of malate and citrate.

A good starting point is to get your blood levels checked for calcium. If you have excess blood levels, consider taking a magnesium supplement. If you do take calcium supplements (I don’t), be sure to take additional magnesium. Calcium helps muscles contract, and magnesium helps them to relax.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

The Addiction Summit is online and free this week!

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.