staying healthy

Why Entrepreneurs Can’t Afford To Ignore Their Brilliant Body

By Dr Shirley Piccarreto

The pressure is on. It always is. You’ve chosen to live with risk. To embrace your own impressive self-imposed deadlines. To get comfortable with being vulnerable.   You have debt, doubt, dreams and desire. You’re a budding entrepreneur and you push, push, push, yourself around the clock. And then some.

Your body protests though. There’s a price to pay embracing this wildly stimulating entrepreneurial life… and it’s not always financial.  Your sleep is restless. Your moods are chaotic and fiercely intense.  Your family protests. Fear drives you at times. Your frequent headaches annoy you and your sex drive has been driven away by the constant attention and focus your business needs.

You have created yourself a mountain of responsibility but, hey it IS your own damn mountain, right? This is good and much to be proud of.  As self-made business folks we do get to manage ourselves.  We choose our days, struggle with our struggles and push on when loss of motivation peaks or despair sets in. Most times alone. Who can we really talk to about our own perceived weakness?

We also ask and expect a lot of ourselves. We desire loads of energy to get our focus on and our websites Marie Forleo perfect. We want to sleep solid but wake up at 3am experiencing Instagram envy. We beat ourselves up and sign up for another shiny webinar. At times we’re drained, anxious and depressed but the show must go on. It has to.

We sit and stress or sometimes we just sit in a daze staring at our blank screen mesmerized. Rapid heart rates accompany us throughout the day. Most being coffee, Coke or anxiety induced. Being a boss entrepreneur can be exhausting or exhilarating. Again, we get to choose. And it’s not just attitude. It’s the action. Your daily health routines or lack there-of are directly affecting your bottom line. Directly affecting your ability to be creative, focused and inspired. To win and win big.

Successful entrepreneurs choose health. Always. They take meticulous care of their precious selves. Their yoga, Zumba, meditation and gym times get marked on the calendar. In ink. Look at Tony Robbins’ indefatigable energy or the dynamic Richard Branson who answers “Being fit and healthy” when asked “what’s the one thing that makes you come alive?”

If we’re going to demand our body continually juggles our crazy mental and business needs, we’re going to need to feed it, nurture it and love it up. Give it more. Treat it better. Honor its life force. Naturally. Here are a few of my favorite ways that help me keep myself in tip, top physical and mental condition and itching to take on my fabulous business every single day.

A few questions for you: Are you often awake from 2:00 – 4:00 a.m.? So awake that you could write that blog or chronicle your expenses? That’s liver time according to your circadian clock and if you are up then, chances are your liver is stressed and overloaded. Are you quick to anger, easily frustrated or lacking patience? Do you have skin eruptions, bad breath or feel groggy every morning? How is this hurting your business or hurting you? Doing a liver cleanse will lift your mood, clear your skin, tighten your focus, balance your chi and help you to sleep solid every night like a very good baby. You’ll also remove tons of toxic overload that can hold you back from being your vibrant self. I cleanse about four-five times a year and every time I travel.

You can also add in some melatonin at night to balance your sleep cycle-3mg should do it. Melatonin peaks at age 8.  Herbal sleep aids like hops, passion flower and valerian are nervines. They feed and calm your business busy brain at night helping you to let the day’s worries fade away until tomorrow. Do you have any light in your room? Any sliver of it goes straight to your pineal gland to wake your body. Checking your phone at night? The blue light of it arouses your nervous system and will keep you awake for horribly long stretches. Discipline yourself and you will be rewarded with a full night’s rest. You’ll wake refreshed, re-energized and quite excited to master your day.

When you’re sick, you are not working on your business. And that’s going to cost you. Getting colds every winter is not “normal”. You can’t cure the cold as the cold is the cure. Your body creates excess mucus to carry out bacteria and viruses. If you cleanse your body of toxins every fall you most likely won’t get sick in the winter. Also, no one can “give you” a flu or cold. It’s your immune system and your responsibility to keep it strong. Ingesting just 75 grams of sugar at a sitting (maybe a soda and a muffin?) will shut down your NK (natural killer) cells for five hours. Connect with an ill person after that little sweet snack and you may indeed “catch” what they have. The sugar needs to go business pro.

You’ve worked months on your website. You’ve designed your logo, chosen your colors, friended the world, set up your Periscope, created on Canva, Tweeted away and invested in Lead Pages…but you still can’t figure it out. Your newsletters are ending up in everyone’s spam, you have money you need sitting in PayPal and it’s taken you four hours to write a simple blog. The days are going. Your anxiety is rising. The pressure cooker of entrepreneurship puts you in survival mode on a daily basis.

This is stress. High stress. Long term stress that burns up your B vitamins, depletes your magnesium and alters your heart rate. Stress constricts your blood vessels, puts you at risk for cancer, distracts you from good sex and can cause you to grind your teeth-which is actually a lack of magnesium. Our adrenal glands fire off cortisone which then shuts down our immune system. When there is too much flight or fight going those adrenal glands become weak and adrenal fatigue sets in. Now our body is ripe for full on panic attacks. No thanks, right?

To cruise through the wild ride of being an entrepreneur, you’re going to need to be your very best vital self to create the success you really want. It’s in your power. It’s all your choice. Eat real food. Meditate. Juice. Get outside. Cleanse your body. Social. Take supplements. Have sex. Travel. Workout. Drink a ton of water. Celebrate. Love your life. Love your loved ones. Love yourself.

Now go create that beautifully successful business…you deserve it!

Dr. Shirley has been helping people all over the world get well naturally for over 30 years now. A Doctor of Naturopathy with a BS in Health and Wellness Counseling, Dr. Shirley empowers and inspires women daily. Her signature program "Fit, Healthy, Lean and Sexy Any Age" A 28-Day Transformation Intensive launches in January 2016. Her book of the same name will be published early 2016 as well. Dr. Shirley lives in New York with her partner of 11 years Mark Donadio. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and her website

Is Stress Preventing You From Growing Your Business?

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By Kelly LeGendre

Yeah, I already know what you're thinking... ANOTHER article telling me how stress is ruining my life? I mean, that's all well and good, but between deadlines, a never ending to-do list, and an overbearing mother-in-law who just decided to drop in for the weekend, what exactly is a girl supposed to do?

I know it can be easy to gloss over stress-reduction recommendations when you're thinking of stress as something that might/maybe someday impact your health in a negative way. What I think a lot of women don't realize is that stress can have huge impact on your hormonal health and quality of life in the here and now. 

In my day-to-day life, I work with women who want to naturally increase their fertility. And most of them are totally clueless when it comes to all the ways stress is keeping them from getting pregnant. But when you take a look at the physiology, it's not surprising that so many busy, professional women are having trouble conceiving these days.

In fact, while I know it might sound crazy at first blush, the effect stress has on your hormones is so far-reaching that it might even be derailing your efforts to sustain and grow your business. Seriously.

When you experience stress, whether it be mental, emotional, or physical, your body starts pumping out three hormones: cortisol, epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), and norepinephrine. Cortisol is the one we're concerned with here, and since most of us are living lives where stress is pretty much a constant in one form or another, our bodies are continually manufacturing cortisol. 

This means trouble on two fronts. 

First, it can be difficult for your body to keep up with the demand. Cortisol is made from a precursor hormone called pregnenolone, which is also used to manufacture progesterone. Cortisol is more essential to your immediate survival when you're facing a potential life-threatening emergency (say, running for your life), so when your body starts running low it begins to shunt all available pregnenolone away from making progesterone and into manufacturing more cortisol. The end result? You end up low on progesterone and other critical sex hormones.

Next, while epinephrine and norepinephrine dissipate rather quickly, cortisol tends to linger in your body and cause all sorts of problems, even after the immediate stress is resolved. One of the side effects of elevated cortisol is insulin resistance—an attempt by your body to keep quickly useable fuel in circulation for when the whole running-for-your-life thing starts. 

This makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint, but since stress these days is much more likely to come from a looming deadline than a looming predator (and unfortunately, your body doesn't know the difference), cortisol induced insulin resistance just further whacks out your hormones and sends you on your way toward metabolic syndrome and, eventually, type II diabetes.

I'm sure you're wondering what all of this has to do with running your business...

Well, in addition to a lot of the symptoms normally associated with wonky hormone levels (rough periods, infertility, etc) low progesterone levels can also be responsible for things like anxiety, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating. And cortisol is even worse. If you ever find yourself feeling distracted, overcome with negativity, thinking everything feels harder than it should be, worrying about things out of your control, or crying for no reason, it's likely that unbalanced cortisol is to blame. High cortisol can also decimate your memory and make you feel like you're constantly fighting an uphill battle to get things done.

Basically, unbalanced hormones make life (not to mention running a business) feel a million times harder than it needs to.

So what's the solution? You obviously can't completely eliminate stress from your life, so it's all about minimizing what you can and finding better ways to deal with what's left.

The first step is offloading. Make a list of all the tasks you deal with in your business and your home life in a typical week—is there anything you can delegate? So much of the work we do is just busy work and when push comes to shove there are always things that can be eliminated or consolidated. 

If you find you're getting overloaded with menial business tasks, maybe it's time to hire a VA. If you're spending too much time on domestic work, consider hiring a housekeeper a couple times a month. Anything that can free up some extra time and brainpower is a worthy expense.

Once you've eliminated what you can, the next step is finding a way to reduce the remaining stress you can't avoid. When we work for ourselves, it's all too easy to let our other interests fall to the wayside. Take some time everyday to do something (non-business related!) just for yourself. Block out a half an hour to read a book, take a walk, or do whatever it is that makes you feel more you.

Then of course, there are the two things that every single article ever written on stress reduction wants you take up—yoga and meditation.

I wish I could disagree, but the truth is that there's a reason they've become cliches. One of the reasons they're so effective is that they can not only help you de-stress while you're practicing, but both actually train you deal with stress more effectively in your day-to-day life as well.

By slowing down and forcing yourself to sit and just chill with your crazy thoughts (or even physical discomfort) without distractions, you become more familiar with the way your mind reacts to stressful situations. And once you're able to recognize those reactions during your practice, it becomes a million times easier to spot and calmly defuse them in the wild.

Mindfulness meditation is the gold standard for learning to calm your mind, but if you've a true beginner, guided meditations are a really accessible entry into the practice. In most, a speaker leads you through progressively relaxing your entire body and then usually gives suggestions for releasing stressful thoughts. 

Try googling “guided meditation for stress” or “progressive relaxation” and listen to a few to find one or two that you like. Make time each day to practice each day—I personally like to listen to guided meditations while relaxing in bed before falling asleep. When you start to fall in love with meditation (and I promise you will if you start with this type), then try taking it up a notch with a mindfulness or mantra-based practice. There's a ton of info to be found online about both.

Finally, herbal support can be a godsend when it comes to managing stress. Adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, eleuthero, rhodiola rosea, holy basil, and astragalus can help moderate your body's stress response and regulate cortisol production. I recommend supplements that include a blend of adaptogenic herbs, with my personal favorite being one called Adrenal Response, made by Innate Response.

So eliminate as much stress as possible first, find ways to deal with the rest, and then consider an herbal formula if necessary. If you learn make stress-management a priority, I promise you'll not only feel a million times better, but you'll finally be ready to take your business to the next level as well.

Kelly LeGendre is a licensed acupuncturist and holistic fertility consultant who has been helping women overcome their fertility challenges and grow their families for over a decade. She created The Fertility Fix program in 2012 to teach women to take control of their own hormonal health through a combination of functional nutrition, herbal medicine, and lifestyle modification—and conceived her own son on the program! Click here to get her free ebook, The Fertility Fix Guide to Supercharging your Fertility. 

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5 Ways To Stay Fit, Focused And Healthy While Blogging

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By Jenna Black

If you’re a blogger, you’re more than likely a busy, busy gal or guy! Us bloggers can find ourselves working a ‘day job’ while we pursue our dream career on the sideline. We stay up late writing our blog posts, we shoot our Instagram posts before rushing to work late and we wake up during the night with a million ideas running through our heads that simply can’t wait until the morning (anyone else reached for their phone at 2am to write down a reminder for the next day?!)

Blogging can be a lot of work! But often, we let the stress and crazy lifestyle affect our health and our focus. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind but this can lead to neglecting our health and losing out on beauty sleep (no thanks!).

So, how can you change your lifestyle to work with your busy blogging schedule, rather than against it? After blogging for a few years, I’ve nailed my top 5 tips to help you stay fit, focused and healthy, no matter how busy you are!

Let’s dive in!

1. Create a morning ritual
Are your mornings rushed and crazy? I feel ya! I used to have that same experience before I came across the concept of a morning ritual. A morning ritual is a simple set of actions that you practice each morning before you start your work day. These actions are designed to boost your health, clear your mind and drive your focus.

My personal morning ritual includes a short meditation upon waking, a workout session, a nourishing meal and some quiet time to jot down my daily to do list and get clear on what I want to achieve that day. I do this all before checking emails or social media. It may sound like a lot initially but this will quickly become a habitual practice that will help you gain clarity, focus and extra drive to kick goals that day!

2. Eat clean and green
Do you reach for that cookie or chocolate at about 3pm each day? When we’re busy and stressed we tend to compensate with sugary or processed comfort foods. It’s natural to want to do this! But that sugar hit is only doing you damage and sending your insulin and adrenal levels into mayhem.

If focus and clarity is one of your blogging goals, I encourage you to eat a whole food diet with plenty of fresh leafy greens. This is going to drastically improve your concentration, mood and drive throughout the day (no sugar crashes included!)

One of the best ways to get started with cleaning up your diet is by removing any packaged or processed foods. Simply eat healthy whole foods with ingredients that you can understand! You’ll feel the difference in no time.

3. Savour your sleep
Sleep really is Queen. There is a reason beauty sleep has that title, because our cells literally regenerate when we sleep. Getting a solid 8 – 9 hours a night is going to be crucial for you to stay focused and driven the next day.

If you struggle to get a solid amount of sleep, start by winding down earlier each night. Turn off electronics an hour before bed and don’t eat too late at night. Run a bath or do some gentle meditation and quietly wind down.

If your mind is rushing with ideas and everything you need to do tomorrow, set time aside in the evening to write down your to do list and get everything on paper. Place it away and make a promise to yourself that you’ll deal with it tomorrow. Nighttime is your time to relax, chill and get some beauty sleep!

4. Work it out
Have you ever used the excuse that you’re ‘too busy to work out?’ I used to tell myself that and I’d skip my morning workout. But the reality is, we all have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce, so we definitely have time to fit in exercise!

Here’s my suggestion for you if you’re super busy; simply aim for a quick 20 – 30 minute session that includes high intensity intervals. This can be done from your lounge room if you don’t have gym or park access. Include a range of bodyweight exercises like planks, star jumps and squats to get a fast and effective workout in!

Daily exercise is amazing for your body, mind and soul. It’s going to help take your blogging efforts from so-so to super!

5. Nourish your mind + soul
My final tip for you is to take time for yourself. You may have a million things to do and your schedule may feel a bit crazy and overwhelming, but take time for yourself each day (even 5 minutes) to allow your mind and soul to reset. Self care doesn’t have to mean an hour long massage (although that wouldn’t be all that bad), you can find some simple daily rituals that will nourish and cleanse you.

Try dry body brushing, a light meditation or just grab a great book and nestle into a cosy corner. Find something that makes you feel alive and nourished and practice it daily!

What’s your tip for living a fit, focused and healthy life as a busy blogger? I’d love to hear from you!

Jenna is a health coach, writer and freedom seeker. She blogs at holistchic, where she helps women create chic, healthy lifestyles. Jenna’s 6 week health coaching program, ELEVATE, helps women to nourish their bodies, boost their confidence and create a life they love. 

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