How to Detox Holistically

Because we are connected – body, mind and spirit – what affects one part of us affects the whole. During a recent Intensive workshop at GateWay, we talked about the process of detoxing the body, the mind and the spirit.

Detox the Body – presented by Lorraine Oberholtzer, RD, LD

Numerous methods are available for a chemical and physical detox of the body, but each of us has to know what is good for our own body. The idea of a healthy and effective detox is to free the body from anything that may be causing physical stress.

The best detox involves a two-pronged approach:

  1. Remove toxins
  2. Strengthen the body’s own defense mechanism

Toxin removal may include water filters, air filters, fasting from certain foods, buying organic foods, avoiding GMOs, cooking more meals at home and avoiding food additives.

Most toxin removal begins by reducing inflammatory foods such as processed sugars, dairy and gluten products.

We can begin to detox the body by simply eating less. This lightens the load on the digestive system and the all-important gut which contains immune strengthening properties.

Other important tips include:

  • Drink more water
  • Add a good probiotic
  • Increase the omega 3s with fish oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna and trout
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Choose healthy fats such as coconut oil, nuts, avocados and extra virgin olive oil
  • Increase exercise time and fiber consumption

Detox the Mind – presented by Kiersten Adkins, LPC, MA, Exec Dir of Pathway to Hope

The way we think determines our behaviors and can also affect us spiritually and physically. The mind truly regulates the flow of energy and information we receive and pass onward.

As we become more comfortable with who we are, our mental health is underscored by fulfilling relationships, well-being, healthy energy and a more impactful life.

Our basic functions such as eating, sleeping and breathing affect the feeling parts of the brain which also determine how we think about ourselves and our lives.

So our behavior is determined by how we emotionally respond to a situation. If we continue to think about something negative and feed that negativity, we will respond negatively. This can lead to self-sabotage and additional stress – which also affects the body.

Our goal, mentally, is to reduce the chaos and stress and become a more balanced, synchronized individual. The idea of balance, aka moderation, can help keep our emotions in a more steady, healthy place rather than swinging all over the place from despair to disgust to shame to fear then back to happiness and joy.

Some of the important questions to ask ourselves include:

  • Am I mindful of myself?
  • Who am I made to be?
  • What am I going to be?
  • How will I achieve this goal?
  • When will this happen?
  • Why will I invest myself in this goal?

As we determine to be proactive with our minds, we protect ourselves from emotional bankruptcy. Then, a healthy mind leads to a healthy spirit.

Detox of the Spirit – presented by Rebecca Thesman, CLC, BSE, GateWay Program Director and Life Coach

We know we need a detox of the spirit when we are out of alignment with God. For some women, that means they will feel directionless, unable to pray and/or feel as if they have no peace.

One way to return to alignment with God is to focus more on him than on ourselves and our problems. Keeping a gratitude journal is an effective way to discipline ourselves for more thankfulness.

But we also need to detox ourselves away from harmful attitudes such as:

  • Self-doubt – based on fear and focused on the “I can’t” or the “I’ll never” statements
  • Self-sabotage – when we procrastinate or feel paralyzed with no joy
  • Stress – when our energy is drained and we no longer set healthy boundaries
  • Settling – for what we don’t truly want – for what is second best

Some practical tips to help us avoid these dangerous “S” words might include:

  • Ignore the “shoulds” – when other people or even our own minds try to “should” us into doing something we don’t want to do
  • Set healthy boundaries, especially around the things that drain our energy
  • Plan for a day of play and/or a special retreat away from everything
  • Fast from anything that takes us away from God
  • Increase more of the stress-relieving activities: coloring, singing, walking
  • Remember we are made in the image of God – body, mind and spirit
  • Pay attention to the inner nudges of the Holy Spirit
  • Realize who we really are and appreciate our true value

As we work on these issues, we can move into more balance with our bodies, our minds and our spirits. Then we will be healthier and able to use our giftings to impact the world and make a difference.

©2017 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

Beware of Identity Theft

nancy-kay-graceNot long ago, when I checked the status of a credit card account online, I noticed a charge I did not make. After several phone calls to the vendor and the credit card company, it became clear that I was a victim of credit card fraud and identity theft.

Thankfully, this did not involve a huge sum of money although it cost time and energy to resolve. The theft happened without my knowing it. After a new card number was issued, I had to contact any merchant that had used the previous card. Nearly a year passed before the refund appeared on my statement.

Identity theft can also occur within our hearts. The enemy of our souls robs us of our joy and self-esteem by whispering lies that cause us to doubt our value to God.

When we focus on comparing ourselves to others, we lose sight of our uniqueness to the Creator. If we think anything we do must be perfect, we believe the lie that we are only as good as the last performance of a task.

Regret from past mistakes keep us from forgiving ourselves and moving forward with confidence. Comparisons, perfectionism, and focusing on past mistakes are a few of the lies that can snatch our self-identity.

When we succumb to this wrongful thinking we suffer from identity theft.

How can we prevent this type of identity theft? By knowing and believing what God says about us in His Word, the Bible. Here are a few key thoughts and Bible verses to bolster self-esteem:

God knows you personally.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

God created you.

“For you created my inmost being; you know me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14

Because of God’s unconditional love, Christ died for you.

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6, 8

Because of God’s immense love for us, we are chosen as His children.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”1 John 3:1

As someone who has struggled with different kinds of identity theft—physical through my credit card incident and personal through listening to lies about my self worth—I know I must believe what the Word of God says about my value.

Each day presents a new opportunity to look in the mirror and say, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator who loves me.”

Our self worth is stronger when we understand our identity in Christ.

©2015 Nancy Kay Grace

Bio: Nancy Kay Grace writes about God’s grace in everyday life on her blog and in a monthly e-newsletter, GraceNotes. Her book, The Grace Impact, is a devotional that was released in April, 2015. Nancy and her husband live in Springdale, AR. The have two grown children and are enjoying the new stage of life of grand-parenting to their five grandchildren.

To read more about God’s love for you, please go Nancy’s blog and website at: http://www.nancykaygrace.com.

Why the Pre-Step is Most Important

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

This popular Chinese proverb by Lao Tzu is often quoted to those who feel overwhelmed – whether it be undertaking a new life habit, embarking on a large project or navigating difficult emotions such as grief or depression.

When faced with these situations, it is natural to become bogged down by the details. Often this leads to thinking the effort is futile. The goal is simply out-of-reach – impossible.

Molly TotoroBut this negative thinking occurs when we are solely focused on the end result. Instead, we need to break down the process into bite-sized portions – baby steps.

For example: For years, I desired to develop a healthy lifestyle. I managed my diet fairly well, but exercise was non-existent.

I still carry around those mental tapes that scream I’m not coordinated enough, fast enough or strong enough. I vividly remember being chosen last for any P.E. team. I associate exercise with shame, and therefore I want nothing to do with it.

But those old tapes need to be replaced. I’m not trying out for a varsity sport. I’m simply wanting to develop healthy habits so I can lengthen and enrich my life.

To help me achieve this worthy goal, I decided to implement a daily walking routine. This goal required no specific talent nor additional equipment: a decent pair of sneakers was the only prerequisite.

A bit of online research indicated a 10,000 steps-a-day regimen was adequate to maintain good heart health. That sounded reasonable, until I measured my daily steps and realized my sedentary lifestyle yielded half that number.

I would need to make a conscientious, focused effort to add 6,000 steps each day in order to meet this goal. For me, that meant a three-mile walk.

While this was a bit outside my comfort zone, I knew I could do it. I was committed … for about a week. Then the excuses began: the weather was too hot/cold/rainy/cloudy; I didn’t have time to walk and shower; I didn’t want to sweat.

I had an honest conversation with myself: did I truly want a healthy lifestyle, or was I just pretending because I thought walking was something I should do?

Interestingly, it wasn’t the exercise I avoided, but the other inconveniences that came with it. Once I started walking, I rather enjoyed it. The fresh air helped clear my head, which typically resulted in a new insight or perspective on the world.

I persevered, but resistance was a constant companion. One morning I had a particularly difficult time motivating myself to get out there.

Just put on your shoes, Molly. You always feel better after you’ve laced up your sneakers.”

That’s when I realized this simple truth: The journey does not begin with the first step; it begins with the pre-step.

Before I could go on my daily walk, I had to get dressed. Once I laced up my shoes, there was no going back. I was committed. Walking those 6,000 steps was as good as done.

In reality, putting on shoes is a no-brainer. It is almost an automatic response that causes no anxiety. And yet, it was the necessary link to my success.

When I taught writing, I used the the 5-step writing process. The first step is called Pre-writing. Before we write, we must first give thought to the topic. It doesn’t require talent or even effort; just a bit of time. And yet this is the most important step to writing a well-crafted essay.

Sales training seminars advocate cold-calling potential clients, but they often warn: “The hardest part is picking up the phone.” The pre-step. In reality, a phone weighs very little; it requires no  strength to pick up. Yet that is the resistance point.

So today I ask you: what is the pre-step you need to take to start on your journey? Is it putting on a shoe? Picking up a phone? Or some other simple task that prevents you from achieving success?

©2016 Molly Totoro for GateWay of Hope

Molly Totoro is a writer who has a heart and passion for authentic living. She firmly believes “Everyone has a story to share.” Molly helps others write their stories to impact future generations. Follow Molly’s new blog series, “How to Journal” at Revising Life after 50 and check out her blog at MyCozyBookNook.

Going in Circles for 2016

When we think of making new resolutions or setting new goals for 2016, we often get bogged down in how to express them. And if we can’t totally understand them ourselves, then how can we make sure we accomplish our goals?

Since we are holistic women – made up of body, soul and spirit – we can separate these aspects of our lives into three sections. Or think about them in three concentric circles:three-abstract-circles

One circle is the body:

  • What are some of your physical goals for 2016?
  • How will you add more exercise to your life?
  • What are some of the nutritional changes you want to make?
  • How many hours are you sleeping each night? Can you increase that number?
  • How many hugs / day would you like to receive in 2016? How can you accomplish that goal?

Another circle is for the soul:

  • Which emotions do you feel most strongly? How will you keep those in balance during 2016?
  • What do you like about your personality? How can you build on that?
  • What are some practical ways to improve your mind during 2016? New books to read? Negative patterns of thinking deleted?
  • Which area of self-discipline is lacking? How can you improve that area?
  • How can you have more fun in 2016?

The last circle involves the spirit:

  • Are you connected in a group relationship with other women?
  • How do you want to grow closer to God in 2016?
  • What are your goals for finding quiet times to listen to God?
  • How does your church build up the spirit in you?
  • How can you best guard your heart in 2016?

These are just some of the ideas for the three circles of your life. As you look at your goals for 2016, place them in one of the circles. Then check to see if there is a healthy balance.

Women tend to focus most of their goals around their bodies, because we have been taught by our culture that the body image is most important. But trying to just focus on our bodies tilts us out of balance.

Our souls and our spirits suffer from lack of attention.

So think about your three circles and how you might stay in balance during 2016. Remember you are powerfully and wonderfully made, created as a unique and fabulous woman.

©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

Image Attribution: Freepik.com