Stress and Your Health

At Center for Healthy and Happy Living, we work with a lot of stressed out people. People from all walks of life from single parents, families with multiple food allergies, individuals with work/school stress to those with chronic health problems. We appreciate being a part of their journey and helping them along the way. Here is some basic but nevertheless helpful information about how stress impacts our health.

We all agree that stress affects health right? Any non-believers? Here are just a few examples of how stress can affect your health
1) Stress can cause insomnia which in turn leads to an increased caloric intake and decreased response time which may lead to accidents.
2) Stress can cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS-that’s right the foods you love may start to attack your body.
3) Stress can make your grind your teeth or clench your jaw-just ask your dentist what damage this can do.

Our founder, Elika Kormeili, recently read an article in Science Daily describing the impact of stress during pregnancy. If you think it only affects the mother then think again! The study showed that what the mother ate or did not eat affected the child’s response to stress, showing that “choline intake that is higher than what is generally recommended during pregnancy may improve how a child responds to stress. ” You can read the full article here.

How does stress impact you?

Thyroid Health, Food Allergies and Weight Management

As a food allergy therapist, Elika frequently feels frustrated when her patients report that their doctors made adjustments to their thyroid medication based on labs instead of how the patient feels. The idea of treating the patient and not the disease can be puzzling for some physicians.

Weight loss is difficult enough. Ever have a hard time finding the energy to go about your day? Well, guess what your thyroid can make it even worse. A thyroid that is not working properly can affect your mood, your sleep and your weight.
Look out for unexplained changes in weight (the binge you try to forget does not count as “unexplained”).

Food allergies and food sensitivities could be contributing to your Thyroid health and your weight management.

Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormones. This results in weight gain in addition to it’s impact on your mood.

Hyperthyroidism is when they thyroid produces more hormones that the body needs. This results in unexpected weight loss or difficulty putting on weight.

If you or a loved one suspect a thyroid condition, please seek treatment. A great first step is blood work through your primary doctor. That may be sufficient for some of you. If you really want to show your thyroid who is boss. Find a great holistic health practioner. They are better at treating the whole person and not just the disease.

Do your research and find someone that is qualified and that you feel comfortable with. Chances are if you don’t believe in what they say then you won’t do as they instruct.

Also, please support others with thyroid conditions obtain quality healthcare. Many doctors are unable to diagnosis thyroid disorders and some have outdated knowledge of how to treat such patients. You can view and sign the petitition here.

Your partner in health and happiness.

When it comes to eating what is “normal”?

As a therapist, Elika Kormeili, works with individuals with food allergies and emotional eating. That’s right you can be an emotional eater even if you have food allergies or food intolerances. Ever wonder what the difference is between an “Eating Disorder” and “Disordered Eating”?

Eating Disorder vs Disordered Eating

What are “eating disorders”?
“Eating disorder” is when a person eats (or refuses to eat) in order to satisfy an emotional need. The person may not be aware of bodily signals or may ignore them. These are the typical ones I am sure we have all heard of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Of course, there are others that don’t fall into these categories.

So what is normal?
A normal person eats when hungry and stops eating when the body doesn’t need more. They eat to live and not live to eat.

What is “disordered eating”?
“Disordered eating” is a fancy term used to describe irregular eating habits or patterns. Many people have eating habits that arent’ “typical” or “healthy” but that doesn’t warrant a diagnosis of an eating disorder. Nevertheless, it does become a problem when your jeans stop fitting. That’s when it may be a good idea to talk to a professional who can guide you back to healthy eating patterns.

Okay, if you are like me you absolutely hate labels (and we don’t mean nutrition labels). Elika actually doesn’t like the term “disordered eating” so how about we call it “unhealthy eating habits”? Is that okay with everyone?

You may have unhealthy eating patterns if…
1) You celebrate with food instead of laughter.
2) You eat a chocolate cake instead of talking about your feelings.
3) You eat eat a box of cookies because you have nothing else to do.
4) You snacking on chips watching t.v. and you realize you finished the whole bag.
5) You lose 5lbs then celebrate with an elaborate dinner and cocktails.

8 Tips to Overcome The Emotional Eating Cycle: Emotional Eating and Food Allergies

This month, Elika Kormeili, the food allergy therapist, was interviewed by EmpowHER magazine on tips to overcome the emotional eating cycle. Before we discuss ways to overcome emotional eating, it’s important to understand what it actually is.
What is emotional eating?
Ever search the fridge and cabinets trying to find something to eat, but can’t find anything even though there is plenty to eat? Well, most likely you are not really hungry but trying to feed your feelings. Eating for any reason other than because you are hunger. When you have food allergies or food sensitivities, emotional eating may cause you to eat foods that you are sensitive to.

Still not sure if you fit this category? Take a brief emotional eating quiz
1) Does your hungry come out of nowhere instead of gradually?
2) Do you finish eating and never feel full?
3) Do you feel sad or guilty after eating?
4) You crave a very specific food such as pizza, chocolate, or ice cream?

Physical hunger comes on gradually. Once you feed physical hunger you feel full (satisfied). When you are really hunger you are open to many foods (just feed me please) and not set on one type of food. Also when you eat because you are hungry, there is no feelings of guilt or sadness.

Ready for the solution?
Read Elika’s 8 Tips to Overcome The Emotional Eating Cycle published by EmpowHer online magazine.

Which of these tips do you need help with? Are there occassions that emotional eating is more difficult to control for you? Do your food allergies impact your emotions in a way that leaves you wanting to eat?

Having Fun and Food Allergies

That’s right-FUN! Three little letters that mean so much!

We live in a fast-paced world where we wanted everything yesterday. With so many demands for our time, is possible to have fun?

Are you guilty of saying any of the following? “I don’t have time for fun, I have work to do.” Or, “I have too many things on my plate. I can’t make time for fun.” Our personal favorite-“I am just too stressed to plan anything fun”. The truth is when we have so much going on we get burnt out and the idea of adding anything else does seem overwhelming.
Fun means letting your guard down, kicking off your shoes and relaxing. It means letting go of your problems and worries for a short time. Consider it a temporary vacation from your worries.

Make a list of 30 things you find fun and enjoyable (for all you people with a “to do list” add this to the top of the list). It could be something as simple as going for a walk to spending a day at Disneyland (the happiest place right?)

Give yourself a time frame in which to do the activities on your list. Try to at least do one a day. If time is very limited then come up with things that are reasonable like receiving daily jokes. I receive daily tweets which makes me laugh daily. If you don’t have time to watch a 2 hr movie then perhaps call a friend that you enjoy talking to (disclaimer: calling the wrong person may be hazardous to your health).

If you have family obligations (kids, parents, siblings) or limited time to spend with your significant other then perhaps you can enroll them into doing fun activities with you. Elika and a group of recently each made a list (aka the bucket list) and each week as a group they do something from our list. You get the perk of spending time with my friends and enjoying an activity or learning something new.

Elika says “since implementing bucket list, people are getting excited about the things that I do. I find that I laugh more and get over emotional upsets more quickly”.

Pay attention and notice things that make you happy that way you are more likely to repeat them and more likely to succeed at having fun in your life!

What’s on your fun list?

Insomnia bites the dust: Impact of Stress on Your Health

It’s 3 A.M. and you are still staring at the ceiling. You have counted so many sheep that you can start a farm and still nothing…sound familiar??

We ALL need sleep. Ever seen kids when they haven’t had
 their naps? They get cranky and so do adults that don’t sleep. Plus it slows down your response time (like alcohol). Sleep is vital for our health, emotions, beauty and sanity! Chances are if you are busy running around all day your mind is still processing information when your body is ready to shut down. Here are a few tricks that have worked.

1) Establish a bedtime routine.
2) Stop drinking caffeine after 2pm (this includes soda and iced teas).
3) Stop worrying about it-the more attention you put on the fact that you are not sleeping, the worse it gets.

Let us know how you do. Here is to a restful night-preferably without snoring!

Feeling Blue? Tips to Help Manage Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Everyone feels sad sometime. Question is what do you DO to feel happy?

When you’re lonely, when you’re sad, when you’re feeling blue-here is Elika’s favoriate things to do!

1) Reach out and touch someone. You know that expression “misery loves company”? Well, call and talk to people and better yet make plans to go out!

2) Go for a walk. It’s a proven fact that exercise releases endorphins which improve your mood.

3) Stop and smell the flowers. Cliche but scientists have conducted studies showing that floral scents make you happier. If nothing else-they are pretty to look at!

4) Bring on the bubbles. You know that cheesy movie scene (the candles, tub full of bubbles, the music)? Go all out!

5) Pay it forward. Studies show that helping someone when you are feeling down actually makes you feel better!! Why not kill two birds with one stone and help your favorite charity?

6) Fake it till you make it. Stand in front of the mirror and make some silly faces, if nothing else you will feel silly enough that it will perk you up!

 Try it out and let us know how it worked for you!