The Goal of the Stroll

The house we grew up in backed onto this amazing park with a soccer field and my elementary school. We had this secret door through the big gate that would open up into a world of imagination, play and adventure. I have so many childhood memories that involve friends and cousins and running out through the gate to the park.

The parks and the mature trees and the friendly neighbours are what I love so much about living in the East End of Barrie. I love asking my daughters about which park they want to go to and they yell “the purple park!”

What’s even better is that there are amazing health benefits from getting outside and connecting with your neighbours. As a naturopathic doctor who works with moms, babies and kids, I love sharing about all the great reasons why it’s great to get outside and chat with your neighbours.

Park Perks

Being outside in nature just makes us feel good and this is a huge area of new research because of how much time we spend indoors and in front of tech toys like iPads, phones and TV.

Being surrounded by trees, forests and outdoor spaces has numerous health benefits for you and your kids. These include:

  • Improved short-term memory
  • Restored mental energy
  • Stress-relief
  • Lower levels of inflammation
  • Better vision
  • Improved concentration
  • Sharper thinking and creativity
  • Immune system boosts
  • Improved mental health

So, just being outside among the trees of your neighbourhood can really make you feel good.

Neighbourhood Networking

The number of neighbours who we actually know has changed over the years. We spend more time indoors and the nightly news gives us lots of reasons why we should hide out at home.

However, being with others is extremely important to our health. Having a social network helps with longevity. There was a Harvard study of graduates throughout their lifespans and they found that strong relationships are the strongest predictor of life satisfaction.

A lack of social ties is associated with depression and later-life cognitive decline as well as increased mortality. This increase in mortality risk is roughly comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day. So having strong relationships is really important!

Connecting with others relieves harmful levels of stress, which can negatively affect coronary arteries, gut function, insulin regulation, and your immune system.

So, let’s get outside more, let’s start talking to our neighbours and forming those relationships with each other, we’ll feel better for it.

Dr. Whitney Young, ND

Dr. Whitney is a Naturopathic Doctor and Super Baby Coach who has a special focus on fertility, pregnancy and children’s health. She is the founder of Guiltless Grace – an online community for moms who want to ditch the Mommy Guilt!

Do I Live Happily Ever After?

Do I Live Happily Ever After?

Do I Live Happily Ever After?

I have always loved a happy ending. Growing up, I loved the Disney movies with the princesses who found their prince and lived happily ever after.

Who doesn’t want to “live happily ever after?”

But what does “happily ever after” mean? When is the after? To what point? The whole time? For the rest of their lives?

Dictionary.com defines it to “spend the rest of one’s life in happiness.”

Did Steve live “happily ever after?” Was he happy during his life? Yes. He was very happy. Were there bad times, sad times, stressed out times, and difficult times? Yes. Those too. But that’s normal.

The Urban Dictionary defines it as “to find your one and only and live happily with them for the rest of your life. To be constantly happy with no end.”

So, according to this definition did Steve live happily ever after? The first part yes. He found his one and only – me – and lived happily with me for the rest of his life.

But was he constantly happy with no end? No, that’s impossible. It’s not realistic for anyone. There are going to be crappy times. You are going to have bad moods. There are going to be really sad things that happen. It can’t be avoided. But can we live happily every after anyway?

What about me? Do I live “happily ever after?”

I found my one and only and lived happily with him but now he’s gone. But he will stay with me, in my heart and I will live happily ever after with him there.

To live happily ever after is a choice.

Am I heartbroken still? Yes. But I could choose to be unhappy all the time, but that wouldn’t honour him or be much fun at all.

In so many of the Disney movies, the princesses are orphans or have lost a parent. I suppose my girls are those princesses. They’ve been dealt a bad hand but they deserve to live happily ever after too.

Will I be “constantly happy with no end?” Nope. None of us will. There will be ups and downs, good times and bad times. Happiness will have endings and beginnings again.

To live happily every after is too long of a concept anyway. I can only focus on now and a short time from now. It’s all I can handle. For now, I choose to live happily in the moments that feel right and feel the all the other emotions in the moments that feel right for those. That’s all we can do.

Honour how you feel each moment and know that it’s ok but don’t stay in the darkness. You deserve to live happily ever after too, whatever that looks like for you.

Love and hugs

Whitney

 

 

 

Why I prescribe 100 Deep Breaths a Day

Yes, that’s right…I said 100. We breathe all day long without thinking about it. However, we breathe quite shallowly up in the upper part of our lungs. We less often recycle the air in the bottom of our lungs.

But what does that have to do with my fertility?

100 deep breaths a day gives your body a chance to move into the “rest and digest” phase rather than the “fight or flight” phase it is usually in. Women experiencing fertility issues often have very high amounts of stress. One particular study found that 30% of women attending fertility clinics experienced psychological stress illnesses such as anxiety and depression. They also found that as stress increased, fertilization decreased. That’s a stressful fact!

So what can I do about it?

Of course you are going to be stressed out when dealing with fertility issues. It’s a given. However, there are small things you can do to help. Another research study found higher conception rates for women who were part of a cognitive behaviour intervention group (55%) or a support group (54%) than those who were not receiving any intervention (20%). Also, positive moods correlated with increasing chances of delivering a baby. And breathe… 100 deep breaths a day.

How do I breathe?

When you breathe, breathe in your nose deep into your belly so you see it rise and fall instead of your shoulders rising and falling.

How will I fit all those breaths in 1 day?

Do 5 first thing in the morning, do 5 while waiting for your food to heat up, and do some while you are waiting for anything – at a stoplight, in line at the bank. Other great times to breathe are when you are going to lose your cool and yell at someone or something. Breathe.

What else can I do?

There are wonderful tools that we use at Rooted to help manage stress as well as hormone balance. Come see us and we can help!

Breathe Lungs

5 Must’s that are easily forgotten

Imagine a house built without a solid foundation.  When the first big storm hits it will be blown apart.  Milder storms will rock it on the skimpy stilts.

People like the big wow.  We like to watch athletes perform at their best.  We are amazed when we see our colleague after losing 50 lbs.  But we don’t like watching how their got there.  For most, that parts boring.

Athletes spend a lot of time training for the big event.  They injure themselves and get back to it.  They grind away until becomes second nature.  There isn’t much glory in that 95% but it is what allows them to wow us with the other 5%.

Health , fertility, weight loss, fitness  – all of these goals require the same basic training.  It is the daily grind that will create the foundation so that when life gets crazy (because we know that it will) we won’t fall off the proverbial wagon.

Consider the following your basic training.  Your daily list that should take precedence over just about everything:

1.  Breath.  This seems so simple yet most people don’t take even one full breath a day.  Take 10 minutes and just breath.  Feel the hairs just below your nostrils move while the air goes in and out.

2.  Eat.  Again, seems straight forward enough eh?  Yet how many of us start the day with a coffee and don’t stop until mid afternoon to put food in our mouths?  Stop and take the 10 minutes required to eat three meals a day.

3.  Eat food.  Once you have the hang of actually eating, try eating actual food.  Not the kind of food that comes out of a window, frozen package or plastic/cardboard packaging.  Real food like fruit, veggies, fish, barley, rice, nuts and seeds.

4.  Move.  Exercise is what our bodies are meant for.  Walk, ride, take a class or just turn up the radio and have a 15 minute dance party in your living room.  It all counts.

5.  Rest.  Stress and rest build resilience.  Stress without rest creates injury and burn out.  Getting enough (minimum 7 hours) quality (not waking during the night) sleep is vital to your weight, mood, and overall quality of life.

Once these basics are covered, then you add in some supplements, herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies to augment your health.  But until your bases are covered, the rest is just not going to have the impact that you’re hoping for.

9 Choices of Extremely Happy People

IMG_1791I’ve been receiving The Eco Parent magazine which is a fabulous magazines and I highly recommend subscriptions to it. I pulled out an article about “sustainable happiness”  a few months ago and it has been sitting on my desk. I love each point and I think it’s a worthwhile list to revisit every couple of months to make sure you are on your own path to your unique happiness.

Here is how we choose to be happy: The 9 choices of extremely happy people  – by Rick Foster & Greg Hicks. Putnam, New York: 1999.

  1. Intention. The active desire and commitment to be happy, and the fully conscious decision to choose happiness over unhappiness.
  2. Accountability. The choice to create the life you want to live; to assume full personal responsibility for your actions, thoughts, and feelings, and the emphatic refusal to blame others for your unhappiness.
  3. Identification. The ongoing process of looking deeply within yourself to assess what makes you uniquely happy, apart from what you’re told by others should make you happy.
  4. Centrality. The non-negotiable insistence on making that which creates happiness central in your life.
  5. Recasting. The choice to convert problems into opportunities and challenges, and to transform trauma into something meaningful, important, and a source of emotional energy.
  6. Options. The decision to approach life by creating multiple scenarios; to be open to new possibilities and to adopt a flexible approach to life’s journey.
  7. Appreciation. The choice to appreciate deeply your life and the people in it, and to stay in the present by turning each experience into something precious.
  8. Giving. The choice to share yourself with friends and community and to give to the world at large without the expectation of a “return.”
  9. Truthfulness. The choice to be honest with yourself and others in an accountable manner by not allowing societal, corporate, or family demands to violate your internal contract.

Blood Sugar Blues?

What and when you eat can have a huge impact on how you feel.  Watch this video to learn more.

 

Next week: Are you sleeping enough to be happy?