Excellent Nutrition | Bringing Healing Nutrients Into the Body

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Food is meant to nourish, fuel and heal the body. Real, whole food is medicine to the body. That is why Excellent Nutrition is one of the pillars of health at Faithfully Guided Health Center (FGHC).

When we eat, we want to bring healing nutrients into the body. Vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, lean proteins and complex carbs in their most natural and unprocessed forms pack in the nutrients and boost overall physical and mental health. Processed, modified food brings more harm than good—not to mention excess weight gain—to the body.

It can be overwhelming when it comes to developing a lifestyle of healthy food choices. We thought it would be helpful to give you three simple things to consider for lasting change.

1. How does your food make you feel?

Nourishing foods should bring us energy and vitality.  Do you ever have meals where afterwards all you want to do is lay on the couch and take a nap?  Or the pleasure you had while eating quickly turns to regret afterwards (you probably have a fast-food restaurant coming to mind)? 

We recommend our clients keep a journal where they record both physical and emotional symptoms related to their food.  Things such as a stomachache, painful joints, or headache can be signs that your food is harming you – but also feelings of depression and brain fog can be indicators as well.  These may be signs that you have become sensitive to certain foods or just that your body is craving real, nutrient-rich foods.  Listen to your body – it’s trying to tell you something!

2. Are veggies a staple in your diet?

So many people are looking for the perfect diet plan where they don’t have to eat vegetables regularly.  Whether you are eating Paleo, Ketogenic, or just a whole food diet, veggies have to be a staple.  They’re where we get most of our vitamins and nutrients as well as the majority of the fiber that is so healthy for our gut. 

A goal would be 5-7 servings of veggies per day. If you are up for a challenge, over the next week, try including a non-starchy vegetable (or fruit) serving with every meal.  This can be done with an avocado or tomato with breakfast or greens at lunch.  (A serving is a 1/2 cup of cooked or 1 cup of raw fruit/veggie.) If you are are already doing this, you already know the benefits. Keep up the good work!

 3.  Do you watch your sugar intake?

Sugar – it has been the trigger for so much of the decline in American health.  Sugar is added to 80-90% of processed foods.  Thankfully, now the FDA has require all manufacturers to disclose amount of added sugar on the nutrition label.  Most of us lead busy lives and will consume processed foods from time to time so it’s important to know what you’re looking for on a food label.  Sugar is “hidden” on the ingredient list as 100 different names, but always check your labels! 

Tip:  If you are trying to choose an on the go food like a granola bar, look for the item with less than five ingredients and less than 5 grams of added sugar.  Remember 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams of sugar.  It helps to think of converting the sugar to teaspoons to imagine how much sugar is truly in the item and which products to put back on the shelf!  Shoot for less than 30 grams of added sugar daily.

Want to learn more about making healthy, sustainable food choices?  We would love the opportunity to take the time to sit down and talk about ways to help you in your personal journey to health. 

If you would like additional reading on this subject, we highly recommend exploring the Daniel Plan and Whole 30 books.

Restorative Sleep | Are you making rest a priority in your life?

At FGHC, our mission is to help you achieve optimal health and abundant life. We do this by examining five areas of your lifestyle, called the Five Pillars of Health:

    • Spiritual Foundation
    • Excellent Nutrition
    • Stress Management
    • Optimal Movement
    • Restorative Sleep

Restorative Sleep is one of them. 

Research has shown that by addressing 4 out of 5 of these lifestyle factors we can prevent, reverse and eliminate more than 80 percent of chronic disease.

So today, let’s talk about the Restorative Sleep pillar. We feel this one can be overlooked unintentionally as life tends to be busy. Getting enough restorative sleep can appear lower on the priority list. 

We want to help.

Putting healthy sleep habits back at the top of your priority list first requires taking an inventory on your current sleep patterns. Take a moment to consider your needs and preferences when going through these questions: 

1. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Or both?  

Think about your tendencies when it comes to waking up and falling asleep. Learning your preferences and the way you’re wired can help you make adjustments in your daily routine to best suit you. 

At Faithfully Guided Health Center, our desire is to help you develop a lifestyle of health. So, once you identify the way you function best, the next step is to slowly adjust the things that typically stand in the way of you getting your best sleep. Do you want time to unwind after the kids are asleep? Would you rather be up before the sun to have alone time? Maybe you need both. Where can you tweak your schedule to find a balance?   

2. Are you getting the recommended hours of sleep each night? 

Our bodies utilize the time we’re sleeping to heal itself. Dave Scott, pastoral counselor at FGHC, recently gave a great example – think of the maintenance workers at a theme park. If these workers don’t have enough time to clean up and reset the park, the park will be a mess when guests arrive the next day. The same thing happens when you don’t get enough sleep—you’re not prepared physically or mentally to function at your best. 

Experts recommend 7 – 8 hours each night.  Sometimes our bodies need even more – like 10 hours.  Please remember to listen to what your body is telling you and don’t feel guilty about sleeping in on Saturday morning when you can!

3. What is your bedtime routine? 

Sleep hygiene, or a routine conducive to sleeping well, sets you up for a good night’s sleep while also giving yourself the care and love it needs.  Our body are designed to follow what’s called a Circadian rhythm.  That’s a biological routine where our hormones respond to external factors – mainly the amount of light present.  Long ago everyone’s wake cycle was based on the sun – now we can stay up all night with lighting and technology. 

Melatonin is the hormone that increases in the evening and makes us sleepy.  The key to increasing your melatonin levels is to decrease the amount of light in your home.  Turn off lights and keep it dark in the evening, and especially in your room at bedtime.  Blue light, emitted by screens from our computers, phones, and TV, depresses melatonin.  This is why we suggest avoiding screens leading up to bedtime, but you can wear glasses that block blue light in the evening hours to promote sleepiness.

Other ideas for a relaxing routine include diffusing calming essential oils and cutting screen time about an hour prior to bedtime, creating a cozy and clutter-free environment in your bedroom, sipping hot chamomile tea and reading a book. You’ll likely begin to look forward to unwinding and caring for yourself this way. 

4. What obstacles come to mind? 

Changing daily habits takes time, so begin by identifying things that stand in the way of implementing a healthy sleep routine. Then, tackle one obstacle at a time. Take the pressure off of yourself and feel the freedom to create a routine of healthy habits that work best for YOU. 

Kelly Tingler, PA at FGHC, has a few more tips for getting better sleep here. 

At Faithfully Guided Health Center, we will work with you to develop an individualized plan, along with discussing your temperament to determine specific needs and the best ways to meet them. 

Do you need help in this area? Please call us at (352) 512-0631 and schedule an appointment to complete our Collaborative Intake where we will develop a personalized Health Plan addressing all five of these pillars, starting with Spiritual Foundation.

Featured Services: Holy Yoga Classes & Targeted LED Light Therapy

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yoga classes

Faithfully Guided Health Center is proud to be Ocala’s premier lifestyle and integrative medicine provider.  We differ from traditional integrative healthcare practices in that we are a faith-based health center, striving to not only serve our clients, but reflect the example of Christ in all dimensions of health.

Our lifestyle and integrative healthcare philosophy centers around caring for the whole person – mind, body and spirt.  Our collaborative approach focuses on physical health, personal growth and empowering our clients to achieve long-lasting, optimal results.

Some of our lifestyle and integrative healthcare services stray away from the traditional medical approach, which often tends to focus on pharmaceutical and drug therapies.  For instance, in traditional medicine, a person who has trouble sleeping at night might be prescribed a sleeping aid.  Lifestyle and integrative medicine takes a different approach in that we work to identify the root cause of the sleeplessness then treat from there.  An individual whose sleeplessness is caused by stress, for example, might benefit from faith-based counseling and/or holy yoga classes vs. taking a potentially addictive sleeping pill that often has side effects.

Let’s take a closer look at two of the lifestyle and integrative healthcare services offered at Faithfully Guided Health Center:

Holy Yoga Classes

While traditional yoga focuses on “self”, holy yoga centers on connecting with Christ.  Our holy yoga classes are designed to help you relax, enhance your physical and spiritual health, and deepen your relationship with Christ. Faithfully Guided Health Center offers regularly scheduled holy yoga classes designed for all ages and skill levels.

Targeted LED Light Therapy

This therapeutic healing technique has proven benefits when it comes to pain relief, cellular repair, inflammation, neuropathy, circulation problems, ligament tears, muscle performance and relaxation. Targeted LED light therapy is safe and painless. The goal is to utilize LED light to deliver healing energy to the body.

Are you interested in learning more about how holy yoga classes and targeted LED light therapy can benefit you?  If so, give us a call or schedule a consultation to learn more.