It isn’t available in pill form.  It isn’t measurable in blood tests.  This intangible is difficult to define.  Nevertheless, hope is as essential for vitality as water, exercise, nutrient-dense foods, and clean air.  It is highly likely that it is a key ingredient in healing and I believe that it significantly influences our ability to LIVE YOUNGER.  The positive effects of hope are well documented.  Nurture hope for your health by pondering these three points:

  • Hope can cause the brain to release endorphins and enkephalins:  The key elements of hope are belief and expectation.  This mental state can impact the nervous system and set off a physical chain reaction that makes improvement more likely.  
  • Hope is a stress buffer:  Have you ever known anyone who was hopeless and vibrantly healthy?  I haven’t.  John Steinbeck wrote, “A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”  Over 75 percent of visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related conditions.
  • A hopeful outlook can create the placebo effect:  A placebo is something that acts like medicine, but is not medicine.  It is thought to be due to the body’s reaction to thoughts or expectations and can be negative or positive.  Either way, it’s powerful.
  • Hope enhances healthy behaviors:  As I’ve often written about, having a clear vision for the future guides small choices.  When you can anticipate a future with purpose, you are more likely to make decisions that line up accordingly.

Nurture hope for your health and in all areas of your life.  You can do it.  I will help you.  

#AskDrDebbie “During Wellness Coaching, you encouraged me to keep a food log.  What’s the point?” – Jeni B.

It can seem like a hassle but there are great reasons for writing down what you eat and drink. The benefits of keeping a food log have been studied extensively.  In fact, Jack Hollis, PhD, at the Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, found that, “The more food records people kept, the more weight they lost.”  It seems that accountability and the simple act of writing things down encourages less caloric consumption.  Those that kept a food diary lost almost twice the weight as those who did not.  That’s incredible!  This was the result of a large and long-running weight loss maintenance study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate.  You can use an inexpensive spiral notebook.  Writing down your food and drink makes you think twice about your choices and it’s reinforcing to see what worked or didn’t work for you as your “decision muscles” get stronger.  START SOMEWHERE today keeping a food log.  Write down what you intend to eat (like an apple a day or adequate water) and then what you actually intake.  If it works for you, keep doing it.  If it doesn’t, keep looking for what does.  

DIY Snack Chips (Food For Health)

Chips are many of our guilty pleasure snacks.  They don’t have to be bad though!  Check out this recipe to make your own:

You will need:

  • 12 corn tortillas or 6 whole-wheat pita breads (pocket-style)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite dried herb and/or spice combination, mixed together (Possible spices include: oregano, basil, cumin, paprika, granulated garlic, cayenne pepper if you like a kick, or any spice blend you like. You could even make a sweet chip with cinnamon and nutmeg.)

Here’s the drill:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Cut the tortillas or pita into 6 triangles. Kitchen shears are a great tool for this. For pita, split the pita triangles so they are not double thick.
  3. Arrange triangles in a single layer on a baking sheet and spray or brush (sparingly) with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle the triangles with your favorite spice and bake for 6 to 12 minutes. Check frequently after 6 minutes. Chips are done when they are crisp and lightly browned.
  5. Store chips in an airtight container to maintain crispness. Best eaten within 3 days.

I hope you enjoy this.  It is one of my favorite scriptures:  Romans 15:13 “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.  Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (New Living Translation)

Nurture Hope For Your Health

Nurture Hope For Your Health