Category Archives: healthy eating

Practice Ikigai And Live A Long Life

ikigai

When we take a close look at Japan, we realize people generally live longer. And when we travel South to the island of Okinawa, the longevity figures rise even higher.

So what is it that they are doing different to live longer?

The question was put to this pop band… You will see why when you watch this video…

All of these band members are over 80 years old. And I truly believe they have the answer to longer life cycles. It is…

Ikigai

Ikigai stands for Sense Of Life.

This tells me that much of our ability to live longer is our mindset. It is believing that we can no matter our age or condition, and then “going for it!”

The women in KBG84 are not concerned as to what others think. They dance and sing and have Ikigai.

No matter how old, they do… they move… they have a sense of life.

And You Can Too!

Fitness and activity has been proven to fight off dementia. A study in the medical journal Neurology suggested that high stamina, compared with medium, can decrease dementia risk by 88%.

You know, Okinawa has many Centenarians that are healthy and fit.

Dr. Makoto Suzuki established a research group. The Okinawa Centenarian Study Group collects data on both the genes and lifestyles of aged Okinawans.

Some attribute the longevity to advances in medicine but I disagree. I attribute it to the mind and the Sense Of Life… Ikigai.

We Need To Learn From Our Elders

Less stress, more dancing, singing and physical activity.

And we cannot expect our elderly population to just retire and sit in an easy chair and wait to die. They need to be a part of society. And they can be, so let’s allow them to be.

I applaud companies who are hiring retired people so they can keep moving. And I ask that local areas look for ways they can allow elderly people to give their talents.

Volunteering at hospitals… Helping at child care centers… Participating in school activities.

These are all ways that the aged can help both the community and their own longevity.

So don’t discourage… ENCOURAGE them!

Let the live Ikigai.

And I also suggest we all try some of the food Okinawans eat regularly… There must be something to that too!

How The Okinawans Eat

Okinawans consume about 30 percent less sugar and 15 percent fewer grains than folks in the rest of Japan.

Their diets are heavy in yellow, orange and green vegetables. Meat is eaten in small quantities as is dairy products.

And most important of all… Along with Ikigai, the Okinawa natives practice Hara Hachi Bu. This is a practice we all should use. It is not eating until you are full. You eat until you are about 75% full. So they consume less calories and more nutrients than the majority of other humans.

Learn more about the Okinawan diet here.

Conclusion

You don’t have to move to Japan to live longer, but it will help if you learn how the Okinawans do it.

Ikigai and Hara Hachi Bu.

Practice them and live longer.

Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave them below. And now, as they would say in Okinawa…

お越し頂きありがとうございます

Okoshi itadaki arigatōgozaimasu

Thank you for visiting!

5 Tips For Living A Meaningful Life With Diabetes

Photo by Kate on Unsplash

When we look at the diabetes statistics, it can be quite easy to fall into a negative state of mind:

  • Over 30,000,000 Americans have some form of diabetes;
  • Each year, 1,500,000 new cases are diagnosed;
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

So, we know there is a problem. But focusing on the problem… focusing on the statistics can only drive humans into a state of depression.

We MUST focus on solutions.

And I have written several articles about taking care of your diabetes. I do believe that much of it comes down to diets. Eliminating many sugars, processed foods and starches which turn into sugars after ingestion.

But no matter what, there will be diabetes and we must learn to live with this disease.

You Can!

Here are 5 tips for living a meaningful life with diabetes.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician and these tips are from my own personal opinions as well as research. I do suggest seeing your Doctor on a regular basis and not relying on these tips alone.

Living A Meaningful Life With Diabetes Tip #1: Have A Glucose Meter With You At All Times

Most Doctors will tell you the same thing I am telling you… Always have a glucose meter with you and regularly check your levels. By doing so, you will get a good idea when your blood sugar “spikes” and why it is doing so. (Maybe that bite of chocolate cake was not a good idea.)

Living A Meaningful Life With Diabetes Tip #2: Drink Water

It is a well known fact that diabetes can give people the impression they are hungry when they actually are slightly dehydrated.

If you feel an urge to eat, try this… Drink a full bottle of water and wait approximately 15 – 20 minutes. If you are still hungry, snack on a nutritious item such as nuts, apple slices or an organic trail mix that has no sugars added.

Living A Meaningful Life With Diabetes Tip #3: Find A Physical Activity To Take Part In

Just because you have diabetes does not mean you can’t participate in physical sports or activities. Find one or more physical activities you enjoy:

  • Run in a marathon
  • Play in a softball, basketball or another sport’s league
  • Bowling
  • Golf
  • Etc…

Diabetes does not mean you have to sit on the sidelines. Get out and get physically active. Don’t let diabetes stop you.

Living A Meaningful Life With Diabetes Tip #4: Healthy Eating

Maybe this is a good time to say no to those fast food drive-through obesity machines. Focus on a healthy diet…

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds

And do know that cutting as many as the carbohydrates from your diet as possible is the best thing you can do. Carbs turn into sugar, so by cutting the carbs out, you are controlling the diabetes instead of letting it control you.

Living A Meaningful Life With Diabetes Tip #4: Get Proper Sleep

Your sleep patterns can play a huge role in your blood sugar levels. It is recommended that people get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every 24 hours. And, you should try to stay consistent. Get up at the same time and go to bed at the same time. Lastly, you should ensure your sleeping zone is optimal:

  • Comfortable mattress and pillow
  • Low light and noise

All of these will help you keep a level blood sugar level.

Living A Meaningful Life With Diabetes Tip #5: For Those Low Moments

If things get fuzzy, maybe your insulin lowered your blood sugar too far. You should keep glucose tablets with you. Some other tricks are:

  • Lifesavers – Yes, they could save your life.
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 Oreo cookie

I really don’t like telling people to take things like these but in the case of low blood sugar, they will help.

Conclusion

Many people are living productive lives and they are diabetic.

You can too!

So follow these tips and by all means, stay positive and stress free.

You’ve got this!

And do see your Doctor regularly.

If you have any questions or feedback, just post it below. Thank you and have a wonderful day!

6 Healthy Lifestyle Choices That Can Help You Smile

Photo by William Krause on Unsplash

While there are some things not in our control, living healthy IS within the controllable circle. Everyday we make choices that can help or harm our overall health and well being.

I do believe that in some cases, we, as humans, are like a stray dog who sees something to eat on the other side of the road and dashes in front of a speeding car to get to the other side…

We are so focused on one objective that we do not consider the consequences of our methods to reach that objective.

Choices!!!

In this post, I am going to share 6 healthy lifestyle choices that will keep you from running out in front of a speeding vehicle but will still allow you to “cross the road.” Choices that will help you smile and enjoy your life.

#1 Healthy Lifestyle Choices: A Personalized Health Plan

Every person on this planet is different. One health and diet plan make work great for Jim but not for Joe. One exercise strategy may be fabulous for Annie but is actually dangerous for Susan.

We need to use a personalized, customized health, diet and exercise plan that considers many factors:

  • location
  • age
  • gender
  • activity level
  • height
  • weight
  • etc…

And the other fact is, not every person is able to design their own plan. We all have talents in various areas… While I would never cut it as a CPA, an accountant probably would not have the ability to lay out a complete weight loss plan for a person based on the above factors.

So do you need a plan? I can help!

Let’s get you set up with a customized plan… Just contact me by clicking here. You will have my phone, email or just simply fill out the form.

#2 Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Enjoy The Meal… Social

Photo by Kevin Schmid on Unsplash

Life has become like a speeding freight train for many people. Hurry, hurry, hurry… Eat that broccoli because we have to go!

Many families have veered away from the days when we sat down as a family and enjoyed a finely cooked meal.

It is time to find those days again!

When we enjoy the meal and the discussions at the dinner table, stress is lower and our health is better.

You CAN do it… Get your loved ones in on the “Let’s eat and talk together.”

#3 Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Positivity

My grammar checker tells me that isn’t a word… It is now… Positivity!

There is ample research that shows people who maintain a positive attitude no matter what they are surrounded by are healthier.

Make a conscious decision to stay positive. Stay clear of negative influences. Check your words and attitude at all times and you will smile and laugh more.

Positivity = Healthy lifestyle.

#4 Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Keep Moving

It has been the Tara Christopher tagline for quite some time… Keep On Movin!

It may seem like you do, but I bet you could find ways to get up, get out and move more.

I love technology but technology has also made non-movement easier. As a result, there is more obesity and health problems.

Instead of using the remote, get up and change the channel yourself. Tell your Alexa to put you in check when you ask her to turn on the lights…

Hi Mr Jones, this is Alexa; what can I do for you?”

Alexa, please turn on the kitchen light so I can get some cake.”

Mr Jones, please forgive me but NO! Do it yourself because you have to keep moving if you are going to eat chocolate cake.”

Now admit it, you are laughing aren’t you?

Keep On Movin!

#5 Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Drink More H2O

A high percentage of humans do not drink enough water. They instead reach for soda, coffee or other flavored drinks.

We need water and just because those other drinks have water in them, they don’t count. The sugar and other chemicals take away from the benefits the pure water give to your body.

My suggestion is, carry 2 bottles of water with you and make a choice to drink from them at regular intervals. Throughout the day, try to drink at least 6 of those bottles.

#6 Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Try Some Varieties

There are superfoods in every culture on this Earth.

I challenge you to try some fruits or vegetables you have never tried. Just do a search online on how to prepare or eat them.

  • Plantains
  • Guava
  • Long beans
  • Cherimoya
  • Pummelo
  • Karela
  • Etc…

Don’t know what any of these are? Google it!

We can get so many other nutrients for our bodies just by trying other superfoods.

Conclusion

Now I will say I could keep going and going but there is no sense in overwhelming you.

Start with these 6 healthy lifestyle choices and I will be back with more in a future post.

As a matter of fact, follow me on Facebook so you will know when the next post comes out.

And by all means, if you are ready to get healthy and need a coach, scroll up and click contact and I will help you!

Thanks for visiting and please share this with others. Let’s all get healthy together and Just Keep Movin!

7 Tips On Losing Pregnancy Weight

losing preganancy weight Photo by Oleg Sergeichik on Unsplash

We love those adorable, cuddly babies, but when we look in the mirror and see weight that came from 9 months of carrying that precious child in our belly, it can take our emotions into overdrive.

You CAN lose that weight!

I am here to help!

Here are 7 tips on losing pregnancy weight.

Losing Pregnancy Weight #1: Say No To Weight Loss Pills And Crash Diets

Your body needs to heal and recover from the stresses of child birth. You need proper nutrition. And, while the temptation of jumping on quick weight loss pills or a crash diet that ensures fast weight loss is there, it isn’t the healthy way.

It takes time!

If you will simply reduce your calorie intake by 4 – 500 per day, and exercising, you will start losing those pounds.

Losing Pregnancy Weight #2: Just Get Up, Get Out And Get Moving

Too often new mothers fall into a depressed state and just lie around until it is time to feed the baby.

Don’t!

You will lose those pounds if you just get up and go outside with baby. Take a stroll, do some gardening, etc…

If you keep moving, you will burn calories and lose some of that weight.

Losing Pregnancy Weight #3: Eat Foods High In…

  • Omega 3’s
  • Calcium
  • and Protein

You need all of these to get back what pregnancy depleted you of.

Fish is a great source of Omega 3’s. Milk and yogurt is the place to get your calcium intake. Lean meat (grass fed), chicken and beans are an excellent source for the protein your body needs.

Losing Pregnancy Weight #4: Dance

Sometimes the weather makes it difficult to get outside, so why not put baby in his/her bouncy seat and let them watch you as you put on your favorite dance music and start “getting your dance mack on?”

Dancing is an excellent way to burn calories and baby will love watching you get your groove on.

Losing Pregnancy Weight #5: Stay Clear Of Processed Foods

Many of those packaged foods are loaded with stuff we should not put in our bodies. Stick with whole foods and you will be much better off.

Most of the processed foods have hydrogenated fats that can clog your arteries and cause heart issues. Plus, many of them are high in sugars which we know is not good when trying to lose weight.

Losing Pregnancy Weight #6: Drink Plenty Of Liquids

Sometimes we get the sense we are hungry when actually, all we need is some water. Drink 8 – 10 glasses of water per day. This will help you feel full and it will also flush unwanted toxins from your body. The water will also help your metabolism stay active which causes weight loss.

It also helps to add other liquids…

  • Fruit smoothies
  • Soups
  • And even a cup of coffee can be okay
  • Fresh fruit in a protein shake in the morning

Losing Pregnancy Weight #7: If Possible, Breastfeed

Science has shown where breastfeeding is actually a great support in Mom’s weight loss. It reduces the size of the uterus.

One study of just under 5,000 new mothers found those who breastfeed lost an average of 3.7 pounds more weight than non-breastfeeding women in 6 months time.

Breastfeeding also has many other benefits:

  • It provides all the nutrients a baby needs for healthy growth.
  • Breastfeeding builds baby’s immune system.
  • It lowers the risk of disease in newborns.
  • And, it also lowers the risks of disease in Mothers.

Conclusion

Don’t allow postpartum depression to control you!

Keep moving and those pounds will slip away. Also, you may want to network with other new moms. Help each other… Form a group… Exercise together.

And lastly, I am here for you… I have “been there and done that.” Sure, my kids are grown now, but I remember… How could I ever forget?

So feel free to contact me and we can make a plan to get those pregnancy pounds off.

And one last thing… Give baby a hug and kiss from Tara. Children are amazing!

All my love!

7 Tips To Help Children Lose Weight

weight loss in children

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Obesity is a major problem in today’s youth. And while we could point fingers at many of the reasons, I find that pointing fingers actually does nothing for solving the problem. After all, we will not shut down the thousands of fast food joints. We are just a feather in the battle against marketing fattening items to youth. And when parents or grandparents assume that a healthy child is a fat child, we have another issue.

I feel that I was put on Earth with a mission to help humans overcome weight challenges. It all starts with education. And some adults are set in their ways… But children… Children are the future. They are future leaders, doctors, scientists, etc…

If these children accept obesity as the norm instead of the exception, the future will turn dark. And when I look at today’s youth, I see amounts of obesity.

I figure that if I give some tips, those of you reading will share. And hopefully this can go viral and will help parents and children realize how obesity is bad. It causes more health problems and ultimately shortens life spans.

Here are 7 tips to help children lose weight.

Help Children Lose Weight Tip #1: Make Slight Changes

By trying to change the diet pattern of children all at once, you are liable to leave them confused and feeling a myriad of emotions. Make small changes… And explain to your child why you are changing. For their good and your good.

But allow them to have those little junk items at times and slowly get rid of them from the home.

When your child can’t find that sugar filled junk item, keep bananas, carrots or other healthy snack items in plain view.

Help Children Lose Weight Tip #2: Make It A Family Affair

Singling one child out can be demeaning. Make proper eating patterns a family affair. Don’t expect an overweight child to sit and watch you or siblings enjoy a plate full of brownies while he/she has nuts and berries.

Nuts and berries for all.

Help Children Lose Weight Tip #3: Cut Out The Processed Foods And Extra Sugars

This is going to entail a little more work for you… But you need to check the ingredients of foods you are buying. Items that say they are healthy because they are low fat are usually full of extra sugars to help them have more flavor. Fruit juices, unless 100% juice, are full of all kinds of processed items that are fattening.

According to Dr Axe, the best bet is to make your own treats, so you know exactly what is in the recipe.

Help Children Lose Weight Tip #4: Use Positive Approaches

How you say it makes a world of difference on whether you will get you child on board.

Instead of, “You need to lose weight,” try “I want to get healthy and take care of my body. I would like it if you helped.”

Instead of, “We need to exercise,” how about, “Let’s go to the park.”?

Help Children Lose Weight Tip #5: Make Sure The Child Is Getting Proper Sleep

sleep

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

There is a direct link between improper sleep and overeating.

This goes for adults and children.

When we don’t sleep properly, we have a tendency to feel hungry, and we will eat whatever is available. But when we get proper sleep…

  • Consistent hours
  • Comfortable mattress
  • Good pillow
  • Low light and noise

We will tend to maintain a healthy weight.

Help Children Lose Weight Tip #6: Eat Family Meals

I believe this may be one of the most important tips. There has been a huge decline in families eating together. And work and school schedules can be a big reason for this. But try to schedule some family meals together because one study showed that children who shared three or more family meals a week were 20% less likely to eat unhealthy foods and 12% less likely to be overweight.

Help Children Lose Weight Tip #7: Encourage Movement

No matter the activity, unless it is extremely dangerous, I suggest encouraging the child to “go for it.” Anything where they are moving their bodies. While I have nothing against iPads, X Boxes and video games, they have slowed down the movement of children.

Encourage extracurricular activities or even odd jobs that require more movement and the weight will come off.

Conclusion

Let’s all get on board bringing the pounds off children. And it starts with the person in the mirror. If we are not doing the proper things…

  • eating right
  • exercising
  • proper sleep
  • etc.

how can we expect children to do so.

That is what my book 50 Million Pounds In America is about. If you have not got a copy yet, order it here.

I hope this post helps you and the children you love… Please share it with others.

Thank you!