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healthy living

Health

LESSONS FROM THE BLUE ZONES

Blue Zones are places in the world where people live longer compared to the rest of the world and are healthy for the majority of their lives. Here are what some lessons from the blue zones.

The other day one of the lectures on my education was about the Blue Zones given by one of the researchers Dan Buettner. If you have never heard about this concept before, it is 5 places in the world where people live longer and do not suffer from major diseases during their lives. These places are; Sardinia (Italy), Okinawa (Japan), Loma Linda (California), Nicoya (Costa Rica) and Ikaria (Greece).

Scientists went to these places to study what these people do that makes them live longer, and here are what they found out:

  1. Move Naturally
    These people do not participate in crazy hard exercising, but are rather focused on more natural movement. They walk a lot, do garden work or have physical work in fields etc.
  2. Right Outlook
    They pray, meditate, take naps etc. Tuning in, quiet time, and relaxing.
  3. Know your sense of Purpose
    Many of these people know their ‘purpose’ in life. Fx in Okinawa, Japan, they don’t even have a word for ‘retirement’, rather they have the word “Ikigai” which means ‘sense of purpose’
  4. Eat wisely
    Eat only till you are full, do not overeat
  5. Eat a mainly plantbased diet
    These people live mainly on vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds. They also eat around a handful of nuts each day.
  6. The 80 % rule
    Eat big meals in the beginning of the day, and little or no food towards the end of the day.
  7. Connect
    Connect with other people, especially loved ones. Spend time with your friends and family, and connect.
  8. Belonging to a Faith
    Many of these communities belong to a faith, and either go regularly to Church or have a spiritual practice
  9. Right Tribe
    Think about who you hang out with, your social network. Those closest to you, are what you become similar to. Surround yourself with people who uplift you, and who makes you happy and feel loved

Question for you: Have you heard about the Blue Zones before? If not, what do you take from this? Is there one area where you can start to work on it in your own life?

Read also: Simply Healthy Habits

Health

SIMPLE HEALTHY HABITS

Most of us are well aware of what to do to be healthier, the problem is actually doing it. Sometimes we tend to overthink ‘health’, when in all reality in order to be healthier, all we need is to implement some simple healthy habits. It’s all about going back to basics.

So today I want to share some simple healthy habits with you, which I’m pretty sure you already know about, but sometimes it’s just about getting reminded about the simple things in life.

Drink more water

Our bodies consist of around 60% of water, and our cells need water in order to function. Remember to drink plenty of water during the day to stay well-hydrated.

Eat more vegetables & whole foods

We can often overthink and complicate the concept of health, but one part of it is about getting way more veggies and whole foods into your body, and minimise the amount of processed food you put into your body. Remember the saying “you are what you eat?“. Every thing you put into your body either has the option to support your body and how it functions. It can either fuel your cells, and make your body work perfectly for you, or it can slow down everything and clog things up. I’m all about balance and enjoying life, but look at the majority of the food that you eat, and see if this does your body good.

Get a good amount of sleep

Sleep is SO important. And I guess you already know. Because haven’t we all tried having a bad night’s sleep, and then felt like a complete mess the next day and not had the energy to do anything? Sleep is vital for our health. Sleep is where the body relaxes, recovers and rebuilds. So don’t skip on sleep, it’s so important for your health and your mental state.

Move your body

Moving is essential for making things flow inside our bodies. If we don’t move, things stay stagnant. We need some circulation in our bodies for everything to function. Go for a walk, bike to work, take a yoga class. Make sure to move your body.

Breathe

Breathing is essential for humans. If we don’t breathe, we die. Yet, so many of us don’t fully breathe. We only breathe superficially. Just try to pay attention to how you breathe during the day. I know that when I am caught up in things, and feeling busy, my breath is almost none existent. Take a few minutes each day to fully breathe. Fill your lungs completely with air, and breathe it out. Feel your stomach and chest getting completely filled with fresh air.

Relax

Just as we can forget to breathe properly, many of us also forget to relax. I am guilty of this myself, because I always feel like I have a thousand things I want to work on. Whether that be house chores, wanting to catch up with friends and family, or working on my own projects. But as much as I want to do all these things, we all need to remember to unplug for some time each day. Remember to recharge yourself. Relax and just be, and you’ll find you have way more energy for all the other things you want to do.

Enjoy life

Health is way more than just the food we eat, the water we drink, and how much exercise and sleep we get. I look at health in a holistic way. If you are not happy, you can eat all the vegetables and exercise etc., and you will still not be healthy. Health is just as much about your mental state. So make sure to enjoy life. Do things you love. Journal and talk about things when you have a though time. Be okay with whatever you are feeling. Know that life is all about balance, and that in order to experience the highs we also need the lows. Take care of yourself and your mental health as much as you take care of your physical body.

Question for you: Do you tend to overthink ‘health’? Which one of these simple healthy habits can you focus more on the next week?

Read also: Epigenetics – You Have the Power over Your Own Life

Health

HOW TO CREATE A BETTER HOME ENVIRONMENT

We spend many hours in our home, and why come home to a space that does not make you feel good & happy? Here are some of my tips for how to create a better home environment.

Fresh air

Fresh air is one of the best tips to get a healthier home environment. Us humans we need to breathe, and we need to let air in and out. Think of your home in the same way. If you never let air out, the air inside your home gets filtered with dust, dirt from cooking etc. Do yourself a favour and open your windows for at least a few minutes every day and get some fresh air inside. This is especially good to do in your bedroom, since a colder bedroom with fresh air is also helping you to get a better sleep.

Plants Plants Plants

Plants are amazing, not only are they beautiful as decorations in your home, but they also help clean the air. NASA even made a study about the most purifying plants that helps to clean the air. I’m taking full advantage of the fact that plants are cleaning the air, so I’ve decorated my entire living room with lots of plants!

Surround yourself with things that lights you up

We spend many hours in our home, so why come home and not feel happy, uplifted or calm? If you come home everyday and just feel like ‘eh’, then why not change things? Sell the things you do not like. Paint a wall. Surround yourself with things that really makes you feel happy & home, and create a home environment that you just love. We get affected by our environment, not just our friends and families, but also our home – and this is something we can do something about. So create a space that makes you feel good!

Decluttering

In connection to creating a space that makes you feel good, it’s vital to mention decluttering. Too many of us, including myself from time to time, tend to pile things together, so it can become too chaotic and overwhelming. “Messy house equals messy mind” as the quote goes. If you are ever feeling too overwhelmed, try to declutter your space. Tidy up, throw things are (or donate to charity if they are in a fine state) that you don’t need or like any more. Getting a space cleared can clear your mind as well.

These were some of my tips for creating a better home environment, do you have any other good ones? Then please share them in the comments!

Are you happy with your home situation? Or is there any of the above things you think that you could start implementing that would make you feel happier about your home?

Read also: Create a Space You Love

Health Inspiration

30 DAYS YOGA CHALLENGE

I’m currently doing a 30 day yoga challenge. That does not need much explanation, it’s simply yoga each day for 30 days straight. But, I want to tell a little bit more about my experience with it!

I was inspired by Cecilie Blaksted and her weekly challenges, where she does something for an entire week which I found really inspirering. Cecilie also recommended this inspirering TED talk about trying something new for 30 days. I really wanted to get back into my yoga practice again, and saw this as a perfect opportunity for doing just that. Therefore, I decided to do a 30 days yoga challenge (because clever people say that it takes around 30 days (more precisely, 21 days) to establish a new habit).

I am now on day 28 (I started November 1st), and I’ve only skipped 1 day because I was simply too tired after work one Sunday. So because I skipped one day, I’ll instead just continue for 1 more day – luckily I have a Christmas yoga event with Cathrine on Saturday (1st of December), so that is just perfect!

So, how has it been?

It has really been great! I’m feeling way more motivated to move my body, and do things, and I just love the feeling of stretching my body. I guess I’ve always loved that, since I’ve been dancing for several years when I was younger, so it feels so good to do it regularly. And I’m for sure planning on doing yoga quiet regularly after this challenge is done.

What challenge did I follow?

I followed ‘Yoga with Adriene’s 30 days yoga challenge‘ (free on youtube), but in reality you could just choose whatever you want. Take a random yoga video each day, go to yoga classes in your local yoga center, or do freestyle yoga practice at home if you are more experienced. I really like Adriene’s challenge, since she is so down to Earth and gives several options if you do not feel like something hardcore and instead want a more chill pose, and her videos are very manageable since they range from 12-40 minutes, but they are not too long for everyday practice, which makes it much easier to keep it a daily routine.

 

I can for sure recommend a 30 days yoga challenge! Both if you are experienced with yoga and just want to get back into your practice again, but especially also if you are totally new to yoga, then this is a great way to get into it.

 

Have you tried a 30 day yoga challenge? Or, have you tried other challenges? I’m really hooked on trying new things for a week or a month. I’m considering a ‘no TV for a week’, ‘no sugar’, ‘go for a walk each day for a week’, ‘photo challenge’ etc. But I would love recommendations and inputs from you guys!

 

Read also: The Power of Breathing

Health

5 NATURAL TIPS TO PREVENT GETTING A COLD

The seasons are changing, fall is here and the weather is getting colder. It is this time of the year where many people tend to get a running nose, starts coughing and perhaps gets a cold. But, luckily there are some natural remedies that can help you in preventing getting a cold (because we all want to avoid that, right?). So, today I want to share my natural tips to prevent getting a cold.

5 Natural Tips to Prevent getting a Cold

🌱 Echinaforce

Echinaforce is a herbal medicinal made from echinacea (English: purple coneflower/Dansk: rød solhat), which active substances strengthens the immunesystem. By strengthening the body’s immune system it thus increases resilience towards getting colds.
I remember getting this mixture as a kid from my parents when I was younger, and it really doesn’t taste good, but it sure does a good job! So nowadays, whenever I feel like a cold is sneaking up on me, I drink this 2-4 times a day.

How to use it:
for adults use 30 drops in a glass of water and drink that 3-5 times day.

 

🌱Ginger, Lemon & Turmeric

Ginger, lemon and turmeric are all old ingredients which have been used for many, many years in prevention for sickness. You can either make a cup of hot water with some fresh ginger, lemon and turmeric and drink this, or you can make a ginger shot and drink these. You can also use a supplement called ‘Total Gurkedol‘, which consists of ginger and turmeric which have antioxidants that help to strengthen the immune system.

🌱Vitamin D

Vitamin D is something we usually get from the sunshine, and it is essential to maintaining our health and immune system. Even though it’s getting colder and darker (especially here in the Northern countries), it is still a good idea to go for a walk during the day and get some natural daylight. But, as it is especially hard to get sunlight during the colder months in the North, taking a vitamin D3 supplement during winter is a really good idea.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to developing depression, or as it is also called “Winter depression”. So it really is a good idea to take a supplement of this during the colder months.

🌱Lots of tea & staying hydrated

When it’s getting colder, it’s so good to keep the body warm, and one way to do so is to keep it warm from the inside and out. Drink lots of warm tea to soothe the body and your throat, and also try to drink plenty of water if you feel like you’re about to get a cold. Staying hydrated is so important for your body in order for all your cells to be able to work properly. If you don’t feel like drinking cold water (like me), then go for luke warm water, or, as mentioned, lots of herbal tea (fx a ginger or a green tea).

 

🌱Keep warm

This is very basic, but as the season is changing, it’s getting colder and we simply just need to use more layers and dress more warmly in order for our bodies to keep warm. So find your favourite knitwear, scarfs, sweaters, gloves, and warm socks!

 

Do you have more great tips for prevent getting a cold? Often we learn small tips and tricks from our families which we then use all of our lives. Let’s all share with each other and help each other out!

 

Read also: My Favourite Health Books

Health

THE BENEFITS OF WALKING

Did you know that you can improve your health simply by going for a walk? Inactivity is one of the biggest health threats to our society today. A simple way to combat this is simply to put one foot in front of the other and go for a walk. The benefits of walking is amazing, and this is what I want to share with you today!

 

Walking is such a simple thing, yet so effective when it comes to improving your overall health. I’ve previously written a blogpost about that ‘Sitting is the new smoking’, which you can read right here, which is all about how we in today’s society are way too inactive and spend too much time sitting, which is actually really harmful for our health.

And a way to combat sitting and being inactive – is simply, to go for a walk. Walking can actually help cleanse the lymphatic system – which is a system that helps to purify bodily fluids and improve your overall health. This system does not have a pump, and it is therefore necessary for the individual to maintain a regular amount of activity that will help move the lymph and cleanse the system. You can cleanse this system simply by engaging in 20-30 minutes walking – preferably outside in nature, since there is also a lot of benefits with being outside in nature; you get fresh air, you get some natural sunlight and just the visual of nature can be an instant mood lifter!

The Benefits of Walking

  • It boosts the immune function
  • It helps combat sugar cravings
  • It reduces risk of developing breast cancer
  • It can lower risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes
  • It strengthens your bones and muscles
  • It lifts your mood by releasing endorphins (the happy-hormone!)
  • It reduces the risk of depression and fatigue
  • It improves your posture
  • It can increase your creativity
  • It can improve your memory
  • It cleanses your lymphatic system

 

But, if walking doesn’t  sound like the funniest thing for you, then here is a few suggestions for how to spice it up and how to make walking a bit more fun! 

How to make walking more fun

  • Listen to a podcast or some good music while walking (my absolute favourite podcasts at the moment is The Food Medic, Martiny Podcast and Awaken Radio)
  • Go for a walk along with a friend and talk
  • Go outside in nature, in the forest or along the beach and enjoy the beautiful nature and fresh air
  • Drive to a beautiful place where you haven’t been before and go for a long walk, fx Møns Klint (I was there recently with my family and it was such a beautiful place)
  • You can also choose to make a little competition with your friends, children or whoever, about who can pick up most trash while going for a walk. A fun little game and such a nice little thing to do to keep the nature clean

How to sneak in more walking in your everyday life?

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator to your work
  • Choose to walk instead of taking the bike or the car to the grocery store
  • Go for a walk with a friend instead of sitting down at a café. You can just bring your own to-go cups with you and either make your own coffee, tea or whatever, or you can ask to get your cup filled at a café

So, don’t you just feel like going for a walk right now? Or maybe you can suggest to your friend that the next time you are going to meet up that you can go for a walk instead of sitting at a café.

Read also: Healthy Lifestyle Tips

 

References

5 Surprising Benefits of Walking

Benefits of Walking 

The # 1 Best Way to Cleanse the Lymphatic System 

Why Walking is the most Underrated form of Exercise 

The Importance of Walking to Public Health

Health Holistic & Spiritual living

THE 3 AYURVEDIC DOSHAS

In ayurveda there is 3 different doshas, or constellation types. We all have each of these doshas in us, but we tend to have one or two more dominant doshas. Based on these doshas you can find out what brings you out of balance, and what brings you into balance and what makes you the best version of yourself. If you have no idea what ayurveda is, then I have written a little blogpost about ayurveda in general here, but today I want to write a bit about the 3 different doshas.

The 3 different doshas are vata, kapha and pitta. Below you will find some descriptions about the characteristics for each type and what brings them out of balance and what brings them into balance. You can take ayurveda tests several places online or in books, or you might even be able to see which one is your primary one simply based on the descriptions below.

 

Picture source: Raw Ayurveda

 

Vata – space and air

  • Characteristics: typical slim, small persons. Easy to see bones. Tendency to dry skin. Often have cold hands and feet, speaks fast and sleeps very lightly.
  • Vata in balance: imaginative, enthusiastic, flexible, generous, easily gets friends, ready, happy, creative, good communicator, light body, does not care about routines, ordinary and predictable ways. Learns quickly, loving. Because vata is very cold, light and dry it needs warm, stability and routines.
  • Vata in imbalance: easily gets out of balance during the winter and the cold months, and by stress, hard exercising or too much activity, travelling and instability. Easily gets constipated, shakes easily, easily looses appetite, sleepless, gets anxious, have a hard time making decisions and standing by them, feeling divided, dry skin, cannot stay still, worries a lot, anxious, indecisive, unfocused, do things fast, forgets to eat, gets overwhelmed by too much at once.

 

Kapha – Water and Earth

  • Characteristics: Often big and strong.  Skin is clear and eyes are moisture and beautiful. Hair is typically thick, shiny and waved. Strong appetite, good immune system, moves slowly and calmly, loves to sleep for a long time and deep.
  • Kapha in balance: calm, stable, romantic, grounding, a good support for many people, easy to be in company with, satisfied, generous, loyal, faithful, good health, likes cakes, full of love and compassion, happy for routines, empathic, good memory, loves to eat, sit, relax, sleep, easily gains weight, healthy body, strong teeth, thick hair,
  • Kapha in imbalance: very lazy, depressive, greedy, turns inward, lung issues, slow, sleeps more than  hours per night, feels heavy in body and mind, does not take initiatives, passive, lies on the couch, eats comfort foods, easily gains weight, jealous.

 

Pitta – Fire and Water

  • Characteristics: medium building, is often strong and well proportioned. Have a sensitive skin, a good glow, glittering eyes with a sharp look. Hair is soft and thin. A pitta is warm and soft to touch, they speak sharp and precise.
  • Pitta in balance: have lots of fire and energy inside, a big drive, is ambitious, competitive, leader, ask many questions, interpretive, reflective, energetic, intelligent, sharp focus, organised, impatient, warm, adaptable, strong appetit and thirst, disciplined, principle, perfectionist, independent, strong body, charismatic, passionated, good at businesses, healthy and strong appetit.
  • Pitta in imbalance: impatient, frustrated, highly competitive, arrogant, judgemental, critical, angry, aggressive, burns out quickly, gets inflammations, gets skin rashes, looses hair early, high blood pressure, cynical, needs to cool down, feels exhausted, works too much, is a control freak, diarrhea, stomach problems.

 

Once you know which dosha is your primary, you can also learn how to bring it into balance by learning about what foods are good for you, what kind of exercises are good for you, which routines etc.

I can tell you that I’m without a doubt a primary vata, I’m slim, have a tendency to get easily cold, gets easily stressed out if I have too many things going on, love warm food and drinks and I have tons of ideas,  but sometimes have a hard time sticking to routines – a typical vata. Some of the things I’ve learned through learning about ayurveda is what I can do to get more into balance. I can eat warm, grounding food, remember to relax and slow down and try to stick to some routines.

Ayurveda is a very ancient philosophy which goes hands in hand with yoga and really looks at how you can prevent diseases, illnesses etc. rather than fighting them once they are there.

 

I’m interested to hear – what is your dosha type? Can you identify yourself based on these descriptions? Or have you taken a test?

 

If you want to learn more about ayurveda and doshas, then I can recommend these sources, which is also where I’ve found information for this post from

*Affiliate links have been used, which means that I get a small percentage of the sale, if you buy through this link

Health

WHAT A LADY-COMP IS AND HOW TO USE IT

What is a Lady-comp?

A Lady-Comp is basically a little computer with a thermometer that tells you whether you can have unprotected sex without getting pregnant, or not. It is a natural alternative to the birth control pill or any other hormonal disturbing you can use to prevent getting pregnant. With this computer, you still need to use condoms (or pessars) if you want to have sex on the risky days (yellow/red). And this device only works if you are in a committed relationship with a stable partner, since it of course do not protect against sex diseases.

A Lady-Comp works by measuring your body temperature every day, and keeping track on when you have your menstruation and thereby works out when you are and when you are not fertile, and if it is safe to have sex without protection or not. If you want to learn more about this method, I can recommend you to read the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility*.

*this method only works if you have a relatively stable menstruation cycle, and it does not protect against sexual diseases and should only be used if you are in a committed relationship. 

 

How to use it?

You take your temperature each morning around the same time, as the first thing you do, without even getting out of your bed. This takes about 60 seconds, and then you also plot in whether or not you have your menstruation, and then the Lady-Comp will show you red/yellow or a green symbol. Red means that you are fertile and have a high risk of getting pregnant if you have sex that day. Yellow means there is still a risk, but not as high – if you want to be completely safe from not getting pregnant, you should use protection (fx condoms or pessar) during these days. And green means that you are safe to have sex.

How I use it?

I both use the Lady-comp, but also keep track of my menstruation and my overall cycle with the apps Clue and MyFLO.
It’s really interesting to get to know your body and your cycle and figure out how you are during the different times of the month, I can highly recommend it.

 

Pros

– you don’t have to fill yourself with hormone disturbing pills or anything, it is completely natural!
– it is very easy to use once you learn it
– you’ll learn more about your body and your body’s temperature and how it changes during your cycle
– you can use it both if you don’t want to get pregnant, or if you want to (then you gotta go after those red days)

 

Cons

– the computer alarm is very noisy/loud when it rings and you can’t change the volume, or the sound
– you do have to take your temperature at the same time everyday, but you can, of course, just quickly wake up and take your temperature and then go back to sleep again if you want to
– as mentioned before, it does of course not protect against any sexual diseases, so it works best if you are in a stable relationship
– it is very expensive

All in all I’m very happy with it, and I think it was a good investment.

 

*Affiliate link means that if you buy through this link, then I’ll get a percentage of the sale.

 

Read also: Quitting the pill (birth control) and an alternative method to use instead

Read also: Update on quitting birth control pill