Nervious or Anxious

panicWe all get nervous from time to time.  We get put in situations we can’t control.  Like public speaking, a financial difficulty, a first date, or meeting someone for the first time.  Your heart starts beating faster, you start to sweat, your breathing is shallow and your mind is imagining doom.  Unfortunately for some people anxiety becomes more frequent, or so forceful, that it takes over their lives.

So how do you know if your everyday anxiety has crossed the line, and is now considered a disorder?  Anxiety comes in many different forms, it can be a panic attack, or a phobia, even social anxiety, and the distinction between an official diagnosis and “normal” anxiety isn’t always clear.  So let’s see if you are experiencing any of the following symptom on a regular basis.

Excessive worry

Do you worry too much about everyday things, no matter how big or small they might be?  What constitutes too much worrying.  Normal anxiety does not disrupt your life and make you suffer or dysfunctional.   It isn’t persistent and last for days or weeks.  But if anxiety is interfering your life, it is accompanied by noticeable symptoms such as fatigue.

Sleep problems

A lot of people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and of course it’s not unusual to toss and turn the night before a big event.  If you chronically find yourself lying awake, because you’re worried or agitated about problems or nothing at all, or you wake up wired, your mind racing and you can’t calm down.  It might be a sign that you have an anxiety disorder.

Irrational fears

Some anxiety isn’t generalized at all.  It is caused by a specific thing or situation, like flying, crowds or an animal.  If the fear becomes overwhelming and way out of proportion to the risk involved, it’s a telltale sign of a phobia.  Although phobias can be crippling, they’re not obvious all the time. I “A person who’s afraid of snakes can go for years without having a problem,” says Sally Winston, PsyD, co-director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorder Institute of Maryland in Towson.  But then suddenly their kids wants to go camping, and they realize they need help.

Muscle tension

Near-constant muscle tension, like jaw clenching, balling your fists, or flexing your muscles, often accompanies anxiety disorders.  These symptoms can be so persistent that the person doing it may stop noticing them after a while.  Exercise can help keep muscle tension under control, but if an injury or unforeseen event disrupts the workout schedule, they can’t handle their anxiety and become restless and irritable.

Chronic indigestion

Anxiety might start in the mind, but it often manifests itself in the body, causing digestive problems.  Like cramping, bloating, gas, constipation, and/or diarrhea.  Our stomach is very sensitive to psychological stress and vice versa, having a digestive problem can make a person feel anxious.


Social anxiety disorder doesn’t always involve a large crowd.  In most instances anxiety is provoked by everyday situations.  It can be a one-one-one conversation at a party, or eating, drinking or the center of attention.  In most cases anxiety is provoked by everyday situations, they feel that all eyes are on them, making them blush, tremble, sweat or develop an upset stomach.  These symptoms can be so disruptive that they make it hard to meet new people.


Panic attacks can be terrifying.  Picture a feeling of fear and helplessness accompanied by breathing problems, a pounding heart, tingling, sweating or dizziness.  Not everyone who experiences a panic attack has an anxiety disorder, but people who have them repeatedly may be diagnosed with panic disorder.  People with this disorder live in fear about when their next attack might happen, and they tend to avoid places where attacks have occurred in the past.


Reliving a disturbing or traumatic event, a violent encounter, or the death of a loved one.  This is the hallmark of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it shares some of the features of anxiety disorders.  Some research, including a 2006 study in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, suggests that some people with social anxiety have PTSD-like flashbacks of experiences that might not seem obviously traumatic, such as being publicly ridiculed.  These people may even avoid reminders of the experience, another symptom reminiscent of PTSD.


If you are constantly judging yourself, or are anxious about making the right decision, or making a mistake.  If you spend hours doing something to get it right and then start over again.  This finicky obsessive mind-set known as perfectionism “goes hand in hand with anxiety disorders


Persistent self-doubt and second-guessing yourself is a common feature of anxiety disorders.  In some cases doubt resolves around a question that is central to a person’s identity, like “Do I love my wife as much as she loves me?”

A lot of people are taking prescription medication for anxiety issues.  But there are many safe non-drug remedies for anxiety, like supplements to calming teas.  We will discuss these next.

So lets us discuss the remedies, supplements and mind-body techniques to help with anxiety.  Some start right away, while other help lessen anxiety over time.


If you are having a jittery moment, a cup of chamomile tea might help calm you down.  Some of the compounds in chamomile bind to the brain receptors, like Valium does.  If tea is not your thing you can take a supplement, typically standardized to contain 1.2% apigenin, along with dried chamomile flowers.  In a study at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks had a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms compared to patients taking placebo.

L-theanine (or green tea)

They say Japanese Buddhist monks could meditate for hours, both alert and relaxed. One reason may have been an amino acid in their green tea called L-theanine, says Mark Blumenthal, of the American Botanical Council.  L-theanine helps a racing heart and lowers blood pressure.  In a study, subjects were calmer and more focused during a test after taking 200 milligrams of L-theanine beforehand.


Yes, it’s in beer, but you won’t get the tranquilizing benefits of the bitter herb hops from a beer.  The sedative compound in hops is a volatile oil, you can get in extracts and tinctures such as aromatherapy in hops pillows.  Hops is used as a sedative to promote sleep.  Do not take these if you’re are already taking a prescription tranquilizer.


Some herbal supplements reduce anxiety without making you sleepy.  Valerian is in this category.  It is a sleep aid, for insomnia. Valerian smells nasty, so you might want to take it as a capsule or tincture, rather than a tea.  If you want to try it, take it in the evening.  Valerian is also combined with other sedative herbs such as hops, chamomile, and lemon balm.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm has been used since the Middle Ages to help reduce stress and anxiety, and also to help with sleep.  Lemon balm is sold as a tea, capsule and tincture.  It’s generally safe, but be aware that some studies have found that taking too much can actually make you more anxious.  So follow directions and start with the smallest dose.  This too is often combined with hops, chamomile, and valerian.


Exercise is safe, good for the brain, body and a powerful antidote to depression and anxiety.  “If you exercise on a regular basis, you’ll have more self-esteem and feel healthier,” says Drew Ramsey, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University.  “One of the major causes of anxiety is worrying about illness and health, and that dissipates when you are fit.”

The 21-minute cure

Just twenty-one minutes is about how long it takes for exercise to reliably reduce anxiety.  When you are feeling anxious, go for a walk outside, hop on a treadmill, you will feel calmer after working out.  Try stair stepping anything you like that will get your heart rate up.


No you won’t fall in love, it’s a sedative.  I can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety.  Some people use it for insomnia.  Remember it is like a sedative so if you are using a prescription sedative don’t take it.  Also, be careful about using more than one sedative herb at a time.


The intoxicating aroma of lavender may be an “emotional” anti-inflammatory.  In several studies, patients were less anxious while waiting in the sitting room that was scented with lavender oil.  Students who inhaled lavender before an exam were less anxious.  In one German study, a specially formulated lavender pill (not available in the U.S.) was shown to reduce anxiety symptoms in people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as effectively as lorazepam (brand name: Ativan), an anti-anxiety medication in the same class as Valium.

Hold your breath!

Okay I’m not recommending that you turn blue, but yoga breathing has been shown to be effective in lowering stress and anxiety.  The reason it works is that you can’t breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time.  To do this, exhale completely through your mouth, then inhale through your nose for and count to four.  Hold your breath and count to seven.  Now let it out slowly through your mouth while counting to eight.  Repeat at least twice a day.

Eat something, quick

People seem to get more anxious and irritable when they are hungry.  It may mean that your blood sugar is dropping.  Have a quick snack, like a handful of nuts, along with a glass of water or hot teat.  In the long run diet is the key to reducing anxiety.  Eat whole foods, plenty of leafy greens, seafood, selected meats to get folate and a wide variety of phytonutrients.

Eat breakfast

This has always been the most important meal of the day.  Stop starving yourself!  Did you know that eggs are filled with protein, and are nature’s top source of choline.  Low levels of choline have been associated with increased anxiety.”

Eat omega-3s

We know fish oils are good for the heart.  But did you know that they can protect against depression.  You can add anxiety to the list.  Experts generally recommend that you get your omega-3s from food whenever possible.  Oily, cold-water fishes like salmon are the best sources of the fatty acids.  Other good sources are anchovies, sardines, and mussels.

Learn mindfulness meditation

Start by paying attention to the present moment with curiosity and don’t be judgmental.  Be aware and experience the moment as it really is. Hi let me introduce myself, I’m Mavis and I’m here to help you gain the confidence and wellbeing to live a healthier lifestyle.  So let’s get started.  For more information visit “The Lounge” for healthy tips or contact me to schedule your holistic health assessment at:

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at: or visit her website at:


Sugar Consumption

Cross bonesWhen is sugar to much sugar?  Your body’s response to sugar is the best test of how much you can handle.  In many instances, sugar triggers mood swings, suppresses the immune system, it weakens the eye sight, causes health disease, increases cholesterol and contributes to diabetes.  Additionally, people can feel foggy and sleepy after too much sugar, and other don’t notice any physical or mental effects at all.   Americans are consuming about 22 teaspoons of sugar each day.  Most of this sugar is from soft drinks and candy.  This is one thing to be mindful of is that for every 4 grams of sugar equates to 1 teaspoon that you are consuming.  Most of this sugar is from soft drinks and candy.  That is a whopping 355 calories which is equivalent to two cans of soda and a chocolate bar.

By comparison, most women should be getting no more than 6 teaspoons a day, or 100 calories of sugar which is considerable a lot.  For men, the recommended limit is 9 teaspoons, or 150 calories.  Another source of sugar is the sweeteners and syrups that are added to foods during processing.  These guidelines do not apply to naturally occurring sugars like those found in fruit, vegetables.

So what happens if you eat too much sugar?  Here’s a few interesting tidbits for you to consider:


Sugar is an enemy to dental health, it is called the “arch criminal” behind cavities.  The connection between sugar and cavities is perhaps the best established. “Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria that line the teeth feed on simple sugars, creating acid that destroys enamel,” Anahad O’Connor explains at The New York Times.  Acid is the key culprit and believe it or not sour candies are especially nefarious.

Insatiable Hunger

Leptin is a hormone that lets your body know when you are full.  In people who develop leptin resistance, this “I’m full” signal is never received.  Herein, presenting a major obstacle for weight control.    Chronic sugar consumption induces leptin resistance, and this leptin resistance accelerates high fat induced obesity.

Insulin Resistance

When you eat a lot of meals loaded with sugar it can increase your body’s demand for insulin – donuts for breakfast, anyone?  This insulin is a hormone that helps your body convert food to usable energy.  When your insulin levels are consistently high, your body’s sensitivity to the hormone is reduced.  When the hormone is reduce it builds glucose in the blood causing fatigue, hunger, brain fog, high blood pressure and extra weight.  Even when this is going on in your body, most people don’t realize they are insulin resistant until it is too late and develops into diabetes.


A study of 51,603 women between 1991 and 1999 found an increased risk of diabetes among those who consumed more sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, sweetened tea or energy drinks.  A massive review of previous research involving 310,819 participants supported this result, concluding that drinking lots of soda was associated not just with weight gain but with the development of type 2 diabetes.  Source:  JAMA, 2004; Diabetes Care, 2010; PLOS ONE, 2013Portion control is crucial when it comes to sugar.

Obesity/Weight Gain

Obesity is one of the number one causes of excess sugar consumption.  If drinking just one can of soda every day can lead to 15 pounds of weight gain in a single year, can you image that by having two or more a day, you are increasing the odds of becoming obese?  Sugary foods are full of calories, and yes they are good, but they do not satiate your hunger.  So if you want to lose weight, start by cutting your sugar intake.

 Liver Failure

We have a unique way of metabolizing sugar.  This can create a stress response in the liver which in turn causes the liver to exacerbate inflammation.  High doses of sugar causes the liver to go into over drive.  This in turn causes the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.  In fact, the accumulation of fat can lead to scarring of the liver and eventually progresses to liver failure.

Studies have found that diets high in sugar are associated with a slightly elevated risk of pancreatic cancer, this is one of the deadliest cancers.  This may be because high-sugar diets are associated with obesity and diabetes.  Still, one large study published in the International Journal of Cancer disputed the link between increased sugar intake and increased cancer risk, so more research is needed.  Source:  Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2002; The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2006; Annals of Oncology, 2012; International Journal of Cancer, 2012; Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Obesity, 2012

Heart Disease

You don’t hear much about heart disease as you do about cancer or AIDS.  But Heart disease is the number cause of death in the United Stated.  Conditions associated with excess sugar consumption, like diabetes and being overweight, are also known risk factors for heart disease, and recent research suggests that eating too much sugar might stack the odds against your heart — especially if you are a woman.


Not all doctors agree that “food addiction” is a real thing, (which is a real thing) but there’s recently been some research indicating that the disorder might be possible in humans.  “In some circumstances, intermittent access to sugar can lead to behavior changes that resemble substance abuse.

Nutritional Deficiencies

If you’re scarfing down lots of sugar, you’re probably skipping over the things you should be eating.  Foods high in sugar, such as soft drinks, contribute to nutritional deficiencies.  In a 1999 study, researchers from the Department of Agriculture found that when people got 18% or more of their calories from sugar, they had the lowest levels of essentials like folate, calcium, iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.  Source:  Family Economics and Nutrition Review, 1999;  Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1998; Circulation, 2002; American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003.


Gout is a form of arthritis and has become more common in all sectors of society.  Certain foods like organ meats and anchovies have high levels of purines, and when your body breaks them down, it produces uric acid.  A buildup of uric acid is often leads to gout.

Uric acid is also a byproduct of fructose metabolization, and newer research is suggesting that too much sugar can be a risk factor for gout as well.  “Consumption of sugar sweetened soft drinks and fructose is strongly associated with an increased risk of gout in men,” concluded a 2008 study that tracked thousands of patients for more than a decade.

It’s time to realize how much sugar is a negative impact on your health.  It can slowly, insidiously accumulate over the years, and virtually all Americans consume too much.  I know that sometimes it is impossible to avoid sugar.  You need to be smart.  Start reading product labels and focus on the actual number of grams found in a product.  Figure out what are good sugars and bad sugars.  If you really want to cut down on your sugar consumption, try not consuming more than 50 grams of sugar a day.  Avoid artificial sweeteners, some of them are just as toxic as real sugar.  When you consider the longterm health ramifications of sugar consumption, it suddenly becomes clear that it’s just not worth it.  Be realistic about cutting your sugar consumption.  Don’t drop it all at once.  Slowly wean yourself from it.  You’ll be amazed at how different you feel and how great you look.  It’s not going to be easy, but if you want to save yourself from the side effects of sugar consumption, you’re going to need to cut your losses.

Hi let me introduce myself, I’m Mavis and I’m here to help you incorporate healthy lifestyle habits and to make a difference in your life!  So let’s get started!  For more information visit my website for health tips in “The Lounge” at:

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

B12We try so hard to make good health choices.  It’s hard to believe that some of those choices can lead to unanticipated negative consequences.  A good example is exercising causes muscle pain.  Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur when the body needs more vitamin B12 than it receives from your diet or a condition that occurs when the body is unable to use the B12 vitamin.  B12 is a very important vitamin which comes from bacteria that lives in an animals’ stomach.  Most B12 deficiencies are the result of a dietary imbalance, which is caused by not eating foods supplemented with vitamin B12, or staying away from meat.  Not eating a healthy diet puts you in danger of a B12 deficiency.  This deficiency is a health epidemic with rates as high as 20% among certain age groups.

What does Vitamin B12 do?

B12 performs a number of functions.  It helps support a healthy brain, your DNA and nervous system.  It maintains and manufactures red blood cells.  So a long-term deficiency can cause a host of health issues, like anemia, high levels of homocysteine, which increases the risk for heart disease.  Mild B12 deficiency can also impair brain function.  It can cause permanent nerve damage.  If you’re only moderately deficient in B12, symptoms may be more subtle, allowing the deficiency to steadily chip away at your health.

Causes of B12 Deficiency

Most B12 deficiencies are the result of a bad diet.  Because B12 is derived from animals, this deficiency is common among vegetarians.  These are not the only factors that cause low B12, there are other risks involved, which include:

  • atrophic gastritis;
  • anemia;
  • removal of a portion of the small intestine;
  • alcoholism;
  • Crohn’s or celiac disease;
  • autoimmune conditions;
  • prolonged use of acid-reducing medications; and
  • Fertility problems such as miscarriages or difficulty getting pregnant.

Signs of a B12 deficiency

The only way to know if you have a B12 deficiency is to consult a health professional.

Below are some symptoms to be aware of and monitor:

  • rapid breathing or heart rate;
  • dizziness or weakness;
  • pale skin;
  • chronic gastrointestinal problems;
  • a sore tongue;
  • easily bruising;
  • gums that frequently bleed, and
  • unexplained weight loss.

Please note that other conditions can produce these symptoms as well, as noted above please consult a health professional for a diagnoses of B12 deficiency.  Early treatment helps prevent permanent damage.  It is very important that you lead a healthy life, it’s time to step back and take a look at what you can change in your life.

Most people need 2.6mcg of B12 each day.  Pregnant women require a slightly higher dose per day.  B12 is potent so try and stay clear of substances that greatly exceed the recommendation.  If you consume meat, one may try to get B12 from lean organic meats, such as chicken, lean beef, and fresh fish.  Eating these types of meats is an alternative and help you stay healthy without causing weight gain.  If you’re a vegetarian or want to avoid meat animal products, take a B12 supplement or look for foods fortified with this vitamin.  Many protein shakes and health foods contain B12.  The following chart is the amount we should digest daily.

0-6 months 0.4 micrograms/day
Adequate Intake (AI)
7-12 months 0.5 mcg/day

Adequate Intake (AI)

1-3 years 0.9 mcg/day
4-8 years 1.2 mcg/day
9-13 years 1.8 mcg/day
14 years and up 2.4 mcg/day
Pregnant women 2.6 mcg/day
Breastfeeding women 2.8 mcg/day


Vitamin B12 is found in animal foods.  Clams and beef liver have extremely high amounts of this vitamin. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements offers this list of foods that are high in B12.

Food Serving size Vitamin B12content
(micrograms [mcg])
% Daily Value
Clams, cooked 3 ounces 84 1,402
Beef liver, cooked 3 ounces 70.7 1,178
100% fortified cereal 3 ounces 6 100
Rainbow trout, cooked 3 ounces 5.4 90
Light tuna, canned in water 3 ounces 2.5 42
Cheeseburger and bun 1 sandwich 2.1 35
Haddock, cooked 3 ounces 1.8 30
25% fortified cereal 1 serving 1.5 25
Top sirloin beef 3 ounces 1.4 23
Low-fat milk 1 cup 1.2 18
Low-fat fruit yogurt 8 ounces 1.1 18
Swiss cheese 1 ounce 0.9 15
Beef taco 1 taco 0.9 15
Cured ham, roasted 3 ounces 0.6 10
Hard boiled egg 1 large 0.6 10
Chicken breast, roasted 3 ounces 0.3 5

It is also available in whey power, yeast extract spreads, some seaweed, blue green algea and Marine Plankton.  Vitamin B12 is available in pills, liquid or a shot.  These are known as cyanocobalamin, hydrocobalamin, and methylcobalamin.  The first is the most widely available and least expensive.

It is very important that you lead a healthy life, it’s time to step back and take a look at what you can change in your life.  Hi let me introduce myself, I’m Mavis and I’m here to help you incorporate healthy lifestyle habits and to make a difference in your life!  So let’s get started!  For more information visit my website for health tips in “The Lounge” at:

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her today at: or visit her website at:

Losing Muscle Mass

exerciseAs we age we lose muscle mass.  The rate and degree varies between individuals, but no matter how healthy you are, the process occurs regardless.  Besides aging here are some other factors to consider:

  • Inflammation – associated with age related muscle loss;
  • Myostatin – a protein in the body that inhibits muscle growth;
  • Activity – inactivity lower levels of activity;
  • Nutrition – decreased levels of protein or changes in the digestion;
  • Hormones – hormonal changes lower-levels of anabolic hormones; and
  • Ectomorph – a person who genetically has a hard time building muscle.

Despite the changes your body is going through, here are some suggestions to help rebuild your muscle mass.


Increase your caloric intake.  If you are consuming 2,000 calories a day, boost your calorie intake to about 2,500 calories or more.  Make sure that you’re eating clean and healthy and not overeating.  Instead of eating two to three meals a day, change your eating habits to having five or six smaller meals a day.

Get plenty of protein to support muscle growth.  Aim for 1-1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.  If you weigh 180 pounds, take in about 2.8-5oz of protein a day.  To help keep your protein intake high, make one or two of those meals protein shakes.  Here’s an example:

  • 8oz skimmed milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 scoops of protein powder

Make sure you drink water.  The body needs water to build muscle.  Here’s a great little formula to help make sure you are getting enough water – Body weight in pounds x 0.6 = water intake in ounces.  Also get plenty of rest.  Your body needs time to recover.  Get a good 7 to 8 hours a night.  In addition to getting proper sleep, do not overdo your training.  To avoid overtraining set up a schedule that works for you.

A good eating style is required for your body to be able to maximize your potential, but there will be no potential at all until you start the process of tearing down your old muscles and rebuilding them bigger, with more definition and stronger.  The best way to do that is to start at the beginning.


Stop running, no I’m not kidding.  We are talking about building muscle, not general fitness.  Distance running does provide benefits, but overall it doesn’t build muscle. The jarring to your joints causes an inflammatory response that requires healing and energy consumption.  Distance running can create micro injuries to your ligaments and tendons that take a few days to heal.  Your legs move through a limited range of motion while running providing very minimal stimulus to build leg muscles.

For example, if you run on day 1 and on day 2 or 3 you lift weights you are lifting with weakened ligaments, which can lead to an injury.  Running breaks down muscle more than it builds it.  Well don’t stop running all together, just run less.

Take some of your new-found time and start sprinting.  Sprinting is an explosive, strength building exercise.  Look at the physique of high-caliber sprinters, they are muscular from top to bottom.  If you run six to eight 40 yard sprints in twelve minutes, it would be the equivalent endurance benefit from running 45 minutes and muscular development you get from sprinting cannot be achieved from running.  Another benefit is sprinting saves you time.  If you are a runner that runs three or more times a week.  Try this workout instead.

  1. Run once a week for 45 minutes;
  2. Add a sprint day to your workout;
  3. Add two days of lifting, make sure they are separated by 24 hours;

Try this schedule:

    • Lift Monday and Tuesday in the evening;
    • Sprint Tuesday or Wednesday; and
    • Run long distance on Saturday morning.

This will allow your lower body to recover from the long distance run.  If you want to start building muscle after 50, this is a great plan to get you going.

Always remember to warm up before you begin any type of workout routine.  Start with a low intensity routine to warm up all your muscles.  Not only will this prevent injury, but it will put you in the right frame of mind.  Next we are going to go over an exercise routine.


Work harder, but shorter.  Limit your workouts to about 45 minutes a day.  Change your routine every 4 to 6 weeks.  Work your whole body.  The more muscles you use the more hormones you will produce.  Resistance training is the key to get your body to naturally release testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH).  These hormones are needed to optimize the condition needed for muscle growth.  Here are some ideas to get you going.

The Workout Variables (for beginners)

If you are new to the weight room, the following type of program may be ideal for you:

  • Work out 3 to 4 days a week;
  • Do 2 to 4 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions;
  • Do 4 seconds lifting the weight, pause 2 seconds at top then 1 second lowering the weight;
  • Make sure that 50% to 70% is of your one-repetition; and
  • Focus on multi-joint exercises such as, deadlift, squat and bench presses.

The Workout Variables (for advanced)

  • Work out 5 to 6 days a week;
  • Do 4 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions;
  • Do 2 seconds of lifting the weight; zero seconds pausing at top and 2 seconds lowering the weight;
  • Make sure that 75% to 85% of your one-repetition;
  • Do 4 days of compound exercises such as squats, bench press, deadlift, etc); and
  • 1 to 2 days of bicep curl, triceps extension, calf press, etc.

If the gym is not for you try push-ups, dips and standard/oblique crunches, deep knee bends, chin ups or pull-ups.  Please consult your healthcare provider before attempting any workout!

Hi let me introduce myself, I’m Mavis and I’m here to help you incorporate healthy lifestyle habits and to make a difference in your life!  So let’s get started!  For more information visit my website for health tips in “The Lounge” at:

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

Meridian Stress Assessment (MSA)

Foot HandDo you ever feel that going to the doctor was a waste of time and money?  Does it ever cross your mind that it might be time to start listening to what your body might be telling you?  Are there other ways to stay happy and healthy?  Well of course there is.  First let’s start with a Meridian Stress Assessment (MSA).  MSA is a holistic method to evaluate a persons’ energetic health and balance.  Traditional Chinese Medicine feel that meridians are a system of pathways that carry life’s energy.  This energy can be measures electrically at points along the meridians which are much more electrically conductive than the surrounding tissue.  As a person moves toward or away from health, the condition of organs or system can be sensed along the meridians at representative points.

This is like a blueprint that the body builds itself on. All of the biochemical processes of the body are run by the energy system, and if the blueprint is incorrect, then the processes does not flow properly. This in turn affects the cells, which in turn affects tissues and results in symptoms.

Testing the various meridians of the body by using a non-ionizing, non-thermal and specific signal to determine which systems of the body are stressed, balanced or weakened. This involves touching different meridian points on the hands and feet.  It is a non-invasive way to obtain the measurements and involve no needles piercing the skin.

After the initial measurements have been taken and recorded, and the top ten organ systems are identified.  If stress values are above or below, the Systems’ extensive computer database will allow consideration of a wide range of possibilities that help the patient regain a healthy balance.  This can be done with herbs, homeopathic, and nutritional products.

The MSA is a powerful tool used to better understand the total health of the body. It identifies the nutritional and/or homeopathic remedies that will assist in restoring energetic balance to the whole system. MSA is a safe and effective means to identify reactions to foods, allergens, environmental contaminants, metal and other toxicities and possible infections.

In a government supported study in 1977, Phil Allen in Energy, Matter And Form stated that “[s]ince our bodies act as communication devices, we are constantly receiving and transmitting information coded into energy signals. Changes in our bioenergy field signal the onset of disease before it occurs physically.” The assumption is that since symptoms have their roots in the energetic system, if the energetic imbalances are determined, and substances are found that restore balance in those areas, the body’s own systems can be stimulated to resolve the symptoms. Allied Wellness Affiliates of Cape Cod did both the scratch allergy tests and MSA tests on several hundred new allergy patients for a year.

Their experience was that the MSA gave us the most reliable information overall. The scratch test was very good at determining pollen allergies. Using the MSA, we were able in 10-15 minutes to do a “sensitivity” test on 120 items. The results from the MSA correlated the best in giving the doctor and dietician useful data in setting up a treatment protocol. The patients who experienced the MSA sensitivity test and scratch test strongly preferred the MSA test experience as well as the results.” Well I don’t know about you, but

I would much rather have a test that is non-evasive and doesn’t hurt won’t you.
For more information and help with maintaining a healthy mind and body visit my website:

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more
information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

Chronic Stress – How It Impacts Long-Term and Chronic Illnesses

stressresponseStress is inevitable in everyday life in society today. It can be caused because of a job, family, finances, emotional or unhealthy relationships. However, when stress is experienced at a higher rate it impacts your immune and digestive systems, so people who suffer from a chronic illness – such as diabetes – it can create even worse problems. Diabetes is one illness which is stressful due to the difficulty of stabilizing blood glucose levels, diet and exercise being a significant part of your daily routine.

So what do we know about stress and where it comes from? Stress is more than just an emotion or unpleasant feeling; it is a biological response to a perceived threat or challenge. Stress has been around since the beginning of time when you think about it. The ‘fight or flight’ response that you may feel is because of stress. So animals have this same response – they will either fight or run when threatened; we act in the same way. The nervous system usually balances the body’s responses to daily events in order to maintain proper levels of alertness and relaxation. A little stress can be a good thing because it motivates you to improve performance (team sports or meeting a deadline); it can even enhance our memory ability. When stress becomes chronic and constant then problems will start to arise.

Back in the day of the middle ages society was different and people reacted differently to stress by either being aggressive or by fleeing but today’s society no longer allows that way of life. So not only has our stressors changed, but so has our way of dealing with them. Most people will just allow the stress to build up; this is chronic stress and can cause more negative physical consequences. It reduces ability to fight infections, increases gastrointestinal problems and heightens pain sensitivity. It raises blood pressure and impedes the breakdown of fat in the bloodstream increasing risk of a heart attack and stroke. Chronic stress also affects the brain.

The stress response is actually part of the biological system created in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal glands. Sensory information including stressful things is from the hypothalamus which will emit a hormone called corticotropin releasing hormone, which activates the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is the master hormonal gland and controls the production of hormones in many different parts of the body. It sends a signal through the blood telling the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and cotisol. These are the hormones that ready the body for ‘flight or fight’ and will shut down many bodily systems (immune and digestive for instance) so that the body’s energy can be used entirely for the task at hand. This may be great for a short term strategy but in chronic stress will create long term havoc on the body, damaging tissues and increasing incidence of disease and disorders. It will also cause the hippocampus (the area of the brain that shuts down the stress response after it is no longer needed) to become damaged and impair its ability to shut down the stress response.

In the long run chronic stress can start to affect more areas of the brain causing lower ability with mental functions, reasoning, logic, planning, and can breakdown the filters in which certain substances – such as toxins and large molecules – can penetrate the brain. Reducing unnecessary stress will have wide-ranging positive effects, from lowering blood pressure to promoting cardiovascular health. There are many ways to lessen the stress in your life, different things you can do from yoga and exercise to creating a healthier lifestyle.

Want more information in stress reduction visit my website by clicking here. Do you need help with your stress reduction plans? Do you need help with designing a healthy lifestyle? If so contact me today!

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

Healthy Whole Foods

What are whole foods?  What should I eat?  We live in a fast society and food is all around us. However, some convenient do not hold much nutritional value.  Whole foods on the other hand are foods that are less processed and hold more nutritional value, thus making it perhaps the better choice.  According to Tara Gidus, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, “I think there’s some genuine confusion about what qualifies as a whole food.”  A lot of people think that whole foods are locally grown, not treated with pesticide, or organic.  But they are not necessarily whole foods.  The definition of healthy whole foods is much simpler.

Whole foods is a food in its natural state, less processed.  These foods help in a number of different ways.  Some provide needed have antioxidants, vitamins, protein, energy and minerals which protect cells against damage.  Their nutrients help to keep your immune system strong, protecting you free from radicals.  Studies have found that a diet high in healthy whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds and whole grains are associated with a reduced risk of diseases such as:

For instance, “When whole grains are refined, the bran and the coat of the grain are often removed,” says Kaiser.  A vital nutrient like fiber is lost reducing its health benefit during your consumption.  As such during the enrichment process, nutrients are artificially added back making that same whole grain you started with less nutritional.  The difference would be like eating an apple instead of having a glass of apple juice.  Or having a baked yam instead of mashed potatoes.

Sometimes whole foods are associated with upscale grocery stores.  While that may be true in some instances, you can still make the conscious effort to shop the parameter of stores where produce is placed.  So, you don’t have to run all over town to buy these foods.  You can also choose to shop at your outdoor markets where food is sold by local farmers as well as cheaper than processed foods and healthier I might add?  For instance, a bag of brown rice or quinoa will be cheaper than prepackaged foods, which are filled with large amounts of sodium and refined sugar.

Eating clean is simple, all is takes is to avoid processed and refined foods gradually.  However, there is much more to this plan.  A few suggestions is to modify your personal eating style by paying more attention to your choices surrounding proper nutrition.  With the proper nutrition you are helping to manage diseases, remove toxins, lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, which in turn makes you feel your very best.  Relying on more whole foods is a great place to start.

Let’s try some simple steps to eating healthier.  When you’re looking for whole foods, look for the foods that look closer to their original form.  Choose whole, fresh, natural, seasonal and organic when possible.  Choose pesticide free and free from antibiotics when selecting fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, some proteins, legumes, etc.  Shop local farm produced, they usually have fewer pesticides and they have more favor.  Eliminate artificial coloring, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives.  Beans, nuts and legumes are a great source of plant-based protein.

Eat a colorful variety of plants to ensure you’re getting the best nutrients for your body. Plants provide some of the most colorful and nutrient packed foods that exist in Mother Nature.  It is never too early or too late to start a lifelong love affair with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Take advantage of powerful plant-strong proteins, fats and carbohydrates as well as the superstar micronutrients, antioxidants and phytonutrients to fuel your strength to help your body function at its best.  Eat more plants each and every day and become plant-strong!

When eating animal proteins, focus on antibiotic-free and meat raised by humans.  Most factory farms raise their animal.  If you have to eat meat, for antibiotic-free labels, grass fed and hormone free.  If the product doesn’t indicate it was raised by a human, ask.  Remember organic doesn’t always mean antibiotic free or sustainably raised.

Stay away from foods in a can, box or bag.  If you choose processed foods, read the label and if you don’t understand what the ingredients are, don’t buy.  Stay away from products with trans fats such as fried foods, chips, margarine, etc.  They clog the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.  Stay away from refined sugars and carbohydrates.  They have been associated with exhaustion, hunger and mood swings and our society now exhibits more mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety and stress!.

Our bodies are dynamic… by simply understanding what your body is telling you, you can improve your health and feed your body what it needs.  You may have an unknown food sensitivity that causes symptoms not typically associated with food, such as brain fog, headaches or exhaustion.  To determine if you have any food allegories or sensitivities, try keeping a food journal, for five weeks, while removing dairy, gluten, soy, eggs and corn from you eating style.  After three weeks, add them back one by one for a three day period and see how you feel.  Some people feel better when they eat meat, grains or dairy; others can’t tolerate them and have removed them altogether from their diet.  .

Believe it or not, fat is part of a healthy diet, as long as it is the right kind.  The good fats are whole plant based foods like seed, nuts and avocados.  Focus on vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.

Experiment and discover what you like, but eat in moderation.  Too much kale can reduce the body’s ability to absorb calcium.  Eating too much meat or poultry can cause inflammation.  A well-balanced mix can provide a full range of vitamins and minerals and is deliciously satisfying.  Try and eat vegetables at most meals by filling ½ of your plate with them.  Think salads, side dishes, soups, or even adding veggies to your sandwich or wrap.  Don’t forget your fruit and nuts.  They make good snacks and are good for “grab and go”.

So let’s get started.  For more information visit my website:

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at: or visit her website at: