Are Your Relationships Harming Your Health?

Good health goes beyond just nutrition and exercise. It comes from achieving balance in every area in our lives. That includes emotional and social parts of our lives too. If there is someone in your life that is draining your energy or causing you stress, you could be dealing with a toxic relationship.

What is a toxic relationship? 

Toxic relationships can take many forms, including draining energy, causing drama or even violating boundaries of other people in order to get the emotional benefits. Toxic people don’t realize the destruction they cause. Interactions with these types of people can lower our self-esteem and captivate our energy in a negative way. Many people see a toxic person and feel the need to take care of them, often leading to the depletion of their own wellness. This is just as destructive as the pain of confronting or withdrawing from the behavior of a toxic person.

So, how do you navigate a relationship with a toxic person?

Ideally, we would cut off contact with anyone who does not benefit our emotional well-being. We would simply never talk to the people who drag us down. However, there are some people that we just cannot avoid, such as parents, siblings, and bosses. 

Thankfully, there are middle grounds between engaging with destructive people and completely cutting them off. You can learn and practice different communication techniques, such as non-violent communication or conscious communication. If you must interact with a person on a personal level, you can look up support groups in your area for support from other people, Lots of online support options also exist.  Take care of yourself first.  This may be difficult at first, but overtime, it becomes easier. 

For some people, this is the hardest lesson they ever have to learn. In order to serve others and be of service, you have to take care of yourself first; otherwise you won’t have the resources to share of your time and energy with friends and family.  

If avoiding a toxic person entirely is what’s necessary for you to take care of yourself, do what you need to do for your own stress levels. Stress wears upon your body, from your sleep all the way to your blood pressure. 

How have you managed to deal with toxic people in your life? What relationships stress you out the most in your life? 

If you need further assistance with this, please contact me for life coaching.  It will be the most important thing you can do for your own self-care.  Be well.

Lisa Hoffman-Lamanna, RLCSW
Planting Foundations for Life

(631) 806-2080

7 Ways to Boost Your Brain Power

Are you doomed to slower reflexes and poor memory as you age?
Science says, “Not necessarily!”

Ever person’s brain, like their body, is uniquely different. Not everyone is subjected to the slowing down of mental faculties that tend to come along with aging.

The Benefits of Brain Exercises

Like every muscle, the brain needs stimulation and exercises to sustain its function. Exercising the brain has many benefits as is exercising the body. You will be able to remember things later on in life and you won’t forget as many details about other people. You also won’t have as many “senior moments” as perhaps you may fear. 

But brain training is not limited to those who are approaching their golden years. Experiments with multiple sclerosis patients with cognitive damage have shown that doing activities specifically tied to brain training can help the brain develop stronger connections. Their brains literally become stronger through the power of exercise. There’s also a suggestion that doing brain exercises early in life can expand your later amount of cognitive reserve (i.e. how much your brain can bounce back as you age).

Some Brain Exercises You Can Complete On Your Own

Not all exercises need a machine or a website to provide benefits to their users. Lumosity and NeuroNation have become popular in recent years, and have proven popular. But these activities still help give your brain a boost:
  1. Reading. What’s the last full book you’ve read? The more you stimulate your brain by learning, the harder and longer your brain will be able to work.
  2. Protecting your head. Wear a helmet, and take proper precautions if you think you may have a risk of a concussion.
  3. Staying in touch with friends. Maintaining social ties is extremely important. Having people around to talk to and challenge you keeps our brain working in a way that it wouldn’t ever work when you are by yourself.
  4. Talk about Problems. Holding on to problems is much more troublesome to your health than just annoying you in the moment. It can lead to serious stress, and can even impair your brain’s abilities later in life. So, if you’re feeling depressed or have a mental problem you want to address, bring it up sooner rather than later. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress and potential harm to your brain.
  5. Try New Things. Force your brain to be creative, whether by building something in your backyard or playing a game for the first time. It’ll do your brain good.
  6. Quit Smoking. This decision benefits many different parts of your body, but the fact that our brain will potentially reverse deterioration is a very good benefit.
  7. Sleep More. Sleep doesn’t just restore your body. Your mind also benefits from having enough time to rest though the night.
Do you do brain exercises? If so, what have you found benefits you the most? Share your story in the comments! 

Lisa Hoffman-Lamanna, RLCSW
Planting Foundations for Life

(631) 806-2080

The Produce you MUST Buy Organic

When it comes to eating healthy, the emphasis goes beyond just carbs, fat protein, and calories. It even goes beyond food groups. When you make the conscious decision to start eating healthier foods, it is important to pay attention to what is in your food.

Did you know the nutritional value of most of our produce has decreased over the past few decades? The food we eat no longer gives us the nourishment it used to, requiring us to seek other sources of vital nutrients. This is due to the increasingly more common use of pesticides and genetically modified foods (GMO’s). By consuming organic food as often as possible and choosing foods that are locally grown, you can minimize the effect of pesticides and GMO’s in your diet.

Beware of these foods: The dirty dozen!

These foods have been named the most likely to be contaminated by pesticides. If you are on a budget, these foods and the ones you want to prioritize when buying organic.

1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Grapes (imported from elsewhere)
10. Spinach
11. Lettuce
12. Potatoes

Safer Bets: The Clean Fifteen!

These foods are the least likely to contain pesticides, according to the President's cancer Panel. Because of their many layers and rough outer skin, these foods are less likely to be toxic when bought conventional.

1. Onions
2. Avocados
3. Sweet Corn
4. Pineapples
5. Mango
6. Sweet Peas
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi Fruit
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Cantaloupe
12. Watermelon
13. Grapefruit
14. Sweet Potatoes (also known as yams)
15. Sweet Onions

Guidelines for staying safe when buying food!

Most foods are much better for your body, on multiple levels, when purchased organic. They are closer to the earth and more care has been taken to ensure that they are raised in a natural setting. 

If you are not able to buy organic at a grocery store, farmers markets are great alternatives. Local farmers are not subjected to the same large-scale requirements of a corporation or a farm subsidized by the government.

They are usually more likely to use fewer pesticides and more natural methods when growing foods. Often, these small farmers carry organic produce, even if the label itself doesn’t say organic. It is also easier to buy foods that are in season if you have local sources. Farmers want to ensure that their stock doesn’t go bad before the next crop comes to flower. Eating seasonally is also statistically the best way to avoid food that has been genetically altered to remain fresh longer.

Where do you buy food in our neighborhood? Do you typically buy organic? Tell us why or why not in the comments!

Lisa Hoffman-Lamanna, RLCSW
Planting Foundations for Life

(631) 806-2080