June Newsletter

Hi Friends,

So, June is over, but I technically started this letter a few days ago and then life got in the way a bit, and I didn’t send it out, so let’s pretend its still June, haha.

In baby news, I am one week away from being officially in my third trimester!! I can’t believe how fast this year is going. (Also, I feel so huge already and I still have 3 months left!!, which freaks me out, no joke). We have started the process of getting his room ready. Majority of the the stuff that was in there, got relocated /stored (or rather, threw into a box that went into attic). We also bought the paint and supplies. I don’t want anything too “baby” or “blue” just because he’s a boy, so we are keeping a rather neutral theme (walls are going to be light gray), but then add in some fun details along the way. I’ll post pictures on IG, when its all done.

IMG_20180617_221446_198

I am halfway through my health coaching program, so excited!! I have learned so much already and I cannot wait to help people and spread my knowledge! This past month, we focused a lot on digestive issues, like gluten-sensitivity and how the microbiome plays such a fundamental role in our health. Also a lot about autoimmune diseases, allergies, food sensitives and leaky gut, and how nutrition plays such a huge role in helping people with these types of ailments too. Very interesting stuff.

I have thought all month about what to include in this month’s newsletter. I was thinking about getting back to basics.

Since “gut health” has been getting a lot of attention these days. For good reason though. Like many things, I have seen that many people still don’t have a good understanding of how our digestive system works and how it’s literally tied to our health. So,

 

“What’s up with gut health?” 

We have about four major organs involved in our digestion system (there are other helper organs, but let’s keep things simple): Mouth, Stomach, Small Intestine and Large intestine. 
I think we all have a rough idea of how each work, but there are some things that I have found teaching the digestive system in class that many people don’t realize exactly how each work. 

1. Mouth. Yes, you taste and chew food (hopefully!). But in addition to chewing, there are actually enzymes in your saliva that already begin breaking down food further. So, the longer food hangs out in your mouth, the better, because in addition to chewing it, the enzymes (especially ones for carbs) are actually breaking things down on a molecular level as well. 

Quick explanation of an enzyme: Its a protein. It looks like pac-man (yes, like the video game). It has a mouth and everything. You have thousands of enzymes in your body (not just in your digestive system). They are molecules that make your body more efficient by making new molecules and also by breaking apart other molecules.  

Ok, back to to digestion.

2. Stomach. The big takeaway for the stomach is that it contains hydrochloric acid (which is crazy acidic, think pH 1-2, it would burn your skin if you touch it). The acidity of your stomach is so crucial for making sure proteins get broken down, pathogens get destroyed, and smaller food molecules can broken down. If the pH changes at all, these things just won’t happen. What could throw the pH off: Medicines (like an antacid…or others), bad food choices and even age can play a role. 

Side note: The pH scale is not linear, so even minor changes in the actual number, are actually big changes (The difference between pH 1 and pH 2 is 100 fold). So it’s a big deal if something affects that number. 
3. Small Intestine: This is where majority of your digestion happens. There are lots of enzymes here waiting to break things apart as small as possible. One enzyme for each job. Again, these enzymes are dependent on the pH of your small intestine (which is actually basic, pH 6-8). So, if somethings messes with that number, they won’t work.  Their job is to break things down as small as possible to get absorbed in the cells of your small intestine. Nutrients can only enter your body (for their destined purpose) if they are absorbed. No absorption = nutrients are useless. THIS is why they talk about the health of your gut being important. You could eat all the good things in the world, but if your small intestine does not absorb them, it’s pointless because they aren’t actually entering your body. The key thing here is to make sure your small intestine works properly. If the walls of your small intestine are damaged (from meds, bad food choices, allergies, disease, etc), nutrients will have a hard time getting absorbed OR the wrong things will slip by (creating even more havoc..aka “leaky gut”). 

4. Large Intestine. Everything that did not get broken down (and absorbed) by this point, ends up here. The major player here is bacteria! There are no enzymes here, only bacteria. The bacteria in your large intestine has been a big focus lately and there is a lot of research being done on it that is basically telling us, these little guys are doing A LOT. In addition to helping us break down food, they are linked to our mental health, autoimmune diseases and to our overall health in general. They even believe that these little guys are talking to our nervous system about other things. Isn’t that crazy? This is why you have seen an emergence in probiotics, fermented foods, and just gut health in general. What throws them off: meds (like antibiotics), bad food choices, chemicals, etc. 

So, what did we learn? A lot of things can throw off our body’s ability to digest food properly: too much medicine (especially antibiotics and antacids), wrong food choices and too much exposure to chemicals.  If we don’t absorb our nutrients properly, they won’t actually get into our bloodstream to go to the cells in our body. If we throw off the bacteria, it can lead to a whole cascade of problems that are linked to depression, brain fog, fatigue, autoimmune diseases, hormone imbalances, allergies, and basically so many things. 

Most of people’s “issues” are linked to bad digestion (improper nutrient absorption), but don’t realize it. If you suspect this may be the case for you, let me know and I can help your correct it. 

Arbonne’s nutrition program is also programmed to fix digestion too. Most people see it as a way to lose weight, but really you lose weight because your digestion is being fixed! Win win! I see now how powerful their program is to helping people fix a lot of problems…all stemming from digestive issues!! This program is perfect for people who don’t know where to start, work better with a support system, or just like being told what to do, because you get all the tools you need to be successful at it, like recipes and a support system! 

 

Super easy, quick,”real” pickle

Does anyone else love pickles, like I do? I don’t even think this is necessary a pregnancy thing either. I always loved them. I recently found out that pickles are a good way of adding more fermented foods into your diet to feed the good bacteria. However, those vinegar ones we generally buy in the store, don’t count! You have to make “real” ones. I found this super simple way to make them and I’m already on my 3rd batch this month. 

You just need a clean jar, veggies to pickle (like cucumbers, if staying conventional), salt, dill (dried or fresh) and one garlic clove. 

The amount of water and salt you need depends on the size jar you have. But for a regular sized one: Mix in 1-2 tab salt into 2 cups filtered water (you are making a brine).  Its ok, if salt settles to the bottom. 

Cut up veggies and shove into jar with the garlic and about 1 tsp dried dill (or 1 tab fresh). Pour in brine. Place (don’t tighten, keep lose) lid on top of jar. Place jar in a dark place in your kitchen (like in a cabinet). Let sit for at about 3 days. 

That’s it! You should see tiny bubbles and cloudiness, and of course they should taste like pickles. If anything smells or tastes off, throw away and try again. Store in fridge. 

These are for dill flavored ones, but you can totally change up the flavorings to your liking! Let me know if you try them! 

 

Lia’s Favorite Product of the Month

In keeping with today’s theme, I figured it made sense to showcase Arbonne’s Digestion Plus. This is a supplement, so it will not replace a bad diet, no matter what. Its job is to “supplement.” But if you are doing the 30 days clean eating program (which in itself improves your digestion), or already feel your eats are good,  it’s a nice compliment. What I love about it is that it contains the trifecta: probiotics (good bacteria), prebiotics (food for the bacteria) and enzymes! It also contains other natural things to help like chicory, peppermint and chamomile. Its safe to use everyday, and I think it tastes really good, sort of like unsweetened tea.

2063_US_AE_DigestionPlus

It comes in single serving packets (really easy to travel with). I tend to be really lazy about it and eat it like pixie stick, and then chase it with water (haha), but you can do it the real way and mix with water too. Some people also mix it in their smoothies or with a fizz stick. I make little “shots” of it for my husband to drink, because he’s lazy like me and prefers to shoot it, haha.

 

Happenings

I wrote two blog posts this month about what my time in Vegas and also my top 5 personal development books that have really helped me. Both posts are very personal to me and took me a while to write, so check them out! 

My health coaching business is almost ready to go live! Yay!! If you would like a free health consult with me, I would love to talk to you! It can be via phone, video chat, or in person! Or, if you know of anyone, just send them my way too!

Follow me here! Instagram @balancedlifewithlia

Arbonne products can be seen here!    Liaplaner.arbonne.com

And if you are interested in a deeper discount on products, want some extra cash, an extra income stream to “take the load off” or just a fun thing to do! Arbonne is letting people sign up to be consultants this summer for only $49!
That’s insane! Very few places where you can literally have your own business for the cost of a dinner out! Let me know if you have any questions about this or anything!

My top 5 personal development books

balance business cobblestone conceptual

Hi sweet friends,

I hope you are enjoying your summer so far. It seems to already be speeding by. I mean, July is right around the corner! I love July because its warm enough to go to the beach (in NJ, anyway), and my birthday is in July too! (I asked for Harry Potter broadway tickets..but they are soo hard to get!!). July also puts me in my third–aka last trimester! Omg! Home stretch!

We started taking birthing classes, and I am learning a lot about the whole birthing process in general. It’s very interesting, especially from what your body actually does in the process. Actually, I have found being pregnant very fascinating in general, because it basically confirms (to me anyway) that your body is so ridiculously smart and knows what to do and is capable of so much! In learning about what your body goes through, we want as much as a natural birthing experience as possible, so that is what we are preparing for. We are even looking into a birthing center as an option. I know that is a sensitive topic with a lot of people and isn’t for everyone, but if you are interested in hearing more about my reasons and thoughts, just let me know!

I have been very calm throughout majority of this pregnancy. Of course, I have some days, where I am very tired and basically just want to be left alone (but who doesn’t?). I always thought I would be super nervous and worrying about everything all the time. It hasn’t been the case at all, actually. I just take each day as it comes and just have felt very relaxed in general. I think I am also conscious that if I am feeling anxious and stressed, that the baby might feel it too, so I check myself a lot and try to let as much go as possible. Since, I am very aware of nutrition’s role in a lot of this too, I make sure this part is covered as best I as I can (and try not to to eat things that make me feel too “off”), and just trying to just stay as relaxed as possible (breathing and mindfulness has been extremely helpful in this regard). I just keep telling myself that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. Everything has also been right on target this whole time. I know that not everyone is this lucky, so I am just very grateful that I am able to have a relatively “easy” pregnancy (so far..*knocks on wood*). Honestly I feel like myself, for the most part..except for sleep. Sleep is the only issue I have. Carrying an extra 20 lb in your stomach, makes sleeping a bit more difficult these days. My back stiffens up completely when I am in one position for too long, so it takes me a long time to get into a comfortable position when sleeping (and then I wake up every 2 hr, and process repeats all night). I also think the cats know, because they have been sleeping on me this entire time, which is very cute, but also not helping the sleep situation either 😛 (Munchkin (he’s the one I post about more on IG) recently discovered just how comfortable my pregnancy pillow is, and basically fights me for it every night). 

These past few years,  I have learned to just take things as they come, and be grateful for everything, as much as I can. Some days are harder than others, but most days I try to keep this mindset to the best I can.  It really helps to keep things in perspective and keeps your mind in check as well. I journal more now, I write and say affirmations, and I literally write down what I am grateful of. I don’t do these things everyday, but every time I feel really stuck or things are just not going the way I’d hoped, I do this. To some people, it seems very “granola” or “corny” and I get that. But for someone, who tends to worry a lot, get a anxious about a lot things, this has helped me. I am not perfect. I still doubt myself a lot and worry if things are going to work out (especially with work-related things), worry if people like me…etc, etc, etc. But, keeping my mind as clear as possible has helped me in a lot of these ways. Because I think back to when things really were crappy, and how I overcame them, made it to the other side and realized that the other side was actually better and where I was supposed to end up anyway. 

I also do this mental thing where I envision things that I want in the future and write down that I am grateful for them, as if they already happened. You would be surprised to how many actually came true!!! This is how I know it works. Always blows my mind. Seriously, try it. The trick is, to not make it a wish list. You have to actually feel it being real. I find doing this first thing in the morning is good for me, because after the day officially starts, you get distracted with life stuff. It also sets you up for the day, because you already feel calm and happy.

These practices have come from years of reading lots of personal development books, following like-minded people, Arbonne, and also health coach training. All these things in my life have changed the way I think about my life, how I approach it and the world in general. I highly recommend reading some of these books, if you never have. It helps the mind so much. You learn to be more confident in your daily choices, you look at relationships better, you help face your fears better..so many things. The right mindset is really everything.

If you need some place to start, here are my top 5 personal development books that seriously helped me so much!!

  1. The Secret. By Rhonda Byrne. This book changed everything for me after I read it. Some people take it too much at “face value” and don’t get it. But it really just teaches you to keep you head and your mind in check. You can control your future, if you keep your mind straight. Things changed dramatically for me after I read this and I also realized that all the successes in my life were because of me and what I created on my own. If you feel stuck at all in life, definitely read this. Or just read it in general, because it really is a good book.
  2. Training Camp by Jon Gordon. I read this a few years ago and remember it being a quick read, but the feeling I had after I read it stuck with me. It’s a motivational story to being successful by just working hard at something you really want. I finished it being very motivated to work harder. Very very good. Again, if you feel like you won’t succeed or are just scared to try something new, this book is very helpful.
  3. The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. I actually listened to this on Audible, which was an excellent listen. This book was the kick in the pants I needed. Mel Robbins really is a genius (and hilarious too!). Read this if you are like me and tend to overthink everything, afraid of the unknown or what people think of you, or just procrastinate, over analyze, etc.(which I am all of the above). Honestly, I wish I read this years ago!!
  4. Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone. I first listened to this on Audible too and then had to buy the physical book, because I needed a written copy of this. This book really helps you realize that in order to be successful in life, you have to go for it and really do what others aren’t willing to do.  You can’t just dream of the successful life (that’s being average), you have to really work for it (because most people give up, unfortunately). It’s good for entrepreneurs and also for everyone who wants to be successful in life, especially their work life. Who doesn’t want that?
  5. The 4-hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. This is my current read, but I am already learning so much from it. I keep highlighting everything and taking notes (because I am a nerd like that, haha). There is a difference between being “busy” and being “productive.” I feel like most things he is saying, are like “yes, that makes sense,” but most people don’t actually implement ways to actually being productive in their lives, especially, their work lives. Not just for entrepreneurs either, he talks about how to be better at any job, impress your boss and how to just get your life back.

Have you read any of these? What are some of your favorites? I am always looking for new books to read 🙂