A Healthy Body is Crucial in Our Journey to “Total Wellness”


 “Total Wellness” – Part 2 – The Body

By Mike Fenton 
Heart & Soul Health Coaching

A healthy body is the second part in the trilogy of “Total Wellness”. The body is the physical home to our spirit and the exterior of our heart & soul. It reacts to what it sees, feels, wants and needs via a signal it receives from the brain. It carries out that signal through bodily function. In fact, if your hand, foot or any other body part starts functioning independently of the brain, something is terribly wrong.
We should want to keep our bodies healthy so that we don’t risk the chance of not being able to enjoy the simple everyday things we can sometimes take for granted.
Knowing that being overweight or obese brings on a whole list of problems from diabetes to high cholesterol to high blood pressure (which ultimately leads us to higher costs for health insurance premiums) we should use good judgment when eating and practice portion control.We can get more by eating less! In Proverbs 25:16 (NIV) we are reminded that “If you find honey, eat just enough—too much of it, and you will vomit”.
It is also very important that we use good judgment in what it is we eat and the amount of physical activity we have in our life. A poor diet and or lack of exercise can make us feel lethargic and most often we will not be as productive as we want/need to be.

A large part of the reason for the health crisis today is that were eating the wrong foods. Foods that are:

  • High in salt content (most of this sodium comes from processed foods and not from our salt shakers)
  • High in saturated fats – regular cheese, pizza, grain-based desserts, fried chicken and fried chicken mixed dishes, sausage, franks, bacon, and ribs, dairy desserts, burgers, tortillas, burritos, and tacos, beef and beef mixed dishes, reduced-fat milk
  • High in Solid and Trans Fats
  • High in added sugars – soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks, grain-based desserts, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, candy, ready-to-eat cereals, sugars and honey, tea, yeast breads, misc. other foods

Also on the do not eat list:

  • Fast Foods
  • Refined Grains

Instead we should:

  • Eat more fish & seafood — at least 8 ounces a week
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Substitute healthy oils for solid fats (such as margarine)
  • Lower your sodium intake
  • Avoid fast foods
  • Exercise more (start out slowly, maybe short walks and gradually work your exercise routine upward)
  • Read food labels (many foods we assume to be healthy really are not)
  • Substitute whole grains for refined grains
  • Eat more beans and peas (fresh)
  • Get plenty of fiber, eat more Beans — navy, pinto, black, kidney, white, great northern, and lima, 100% Bran ready-to-eat cereal, Split peas, lentils, chickpeas, or cowpeas, Artichokes, Pears, Soybeans, Plain rye wafer crackers, Bran ready-to-eat cereals, Asian pears, Green peas
  • Get more potassium from – Baked potatoes including the skin, Prune juice, Carrot juice, Tomato paste, Beet greens, White beans, Tomato juice, Plain yogurt (nonfat or low fat), Tomato puree, Sweet potato, baked in skin
  • Vitamin D (sunshine while out on that walk is a good source for vitamin D), Salmon, sockeye, Rockfish, Tuna, Orange juice, Sardines, Whole milk, Whole chocolate milk
  • Eat/drink more nonfat or low-fat dairy products
  • Replace high-fat meats with lean meats
  • For some Americans, drink less alcohol (moderation, most things in life are okay if done in moderation)
  • Get off your SOFAS

Source – WebMD 1-31-11

Each year the televisions get bigger and better offering us the latest in technology. The computers get smaller and more compact. Now we can even surf the internet with our phone. This is great, BUTwe are not getting enough physical activity in our lives and because of that we are seeing higher than normal rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated levels of cholesterol and heart disease. Surely those are conditions you don’t want in your life.
Baseball great Mickey Mantle was quoted as saying “If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself”
The habits we form now both nutritionally as well as in how much physical activity we have in our life can and will directly affect our quality of life both now and in the years to come.

Next Month –  “Total Wellness” – Part 3 – The Soul


A Healthy Mind is Crucial in Our Journey to “Total Wellness”


 “Total Wellness” – Part 1 – The Mind

By Mike Fenton 
Heart & Soul Health Coaching

     The brain is the control center of the body. Your hand does not move because it suddenly decided to move. It moves when it receives a signal from your brain. In fact, if your hand, foot or any other body part starts functioning independently of the brain, something is terribly wrong. What the brain is to the body, the mind is to the soul. It is the control center, so that is where the battle is being waged. If Satan wins your mind, he can control your actions. Perhaps this is why we see folks that appear to be in the best physical condition doing the most unimaginable things.The daily paper or the evening news gives us testament to that.

     Our mind also controls our diet: what we eat, when we eat and even, if we eat. If we do not support a healthy mind we may turn to food as a way to appease ourselves and remove us from a state we no longer want to be in. Or we may look in the mirror and in our mind feel uncomfortable with the way we look (most likely feeling overweight) and not eat at all.

     The mind also processes life’s events and ultimately how we respond to them. Our eyes see a car coming down the road, our mind processes that and tells us we need to get out of the way. On a deeper level the mind can determine how we respond emotionally. Did we:

  • Get stressed out?
  • Did we become depressed?
  • Did we become angry?
  • Did it make us happy?
  • Did we become sad?

​     The state  (health) of our mind plays a big part in which way we respond, perhaps with stress being the worst of the preceding 5 questions. That is because stress much of the time leads to depression, makes us angry and or sad. Stress is also said to:

  • Fuel cancer
  • Shrink the brain
  • Prematurely age kids
  • Can affect the genes of offspring’s
  • Spur depressive symptoms
  • Increase the risk of chronic disease
  • Raise the risk of stroke
  • Not good for our heart
  • Makes colds worse
  • Can affect cancer outcomes

Source – Huffington Post 2/4/13

     My good friend Ann Musico @3D_Vitality recently reported in one of her newsletters “It’s been well documented that as much as 95% of all disease and illness originates from stress”. See article at http://p0.vresp.com/hg7HJh  WOW! Houston we have a problem!
     I believe it is easy to see why we want a healthy mind and the importance it plays in our “Total Wellness”. Both physically and mentally.
     So what can we do about stress and how can we avoid it?

  • You can begin by asking yourself when you are starting to feel stressed, is this something that  I really need to get myself “worked-up” over?
  • Live life with the attitude that what has happened in the past is in the past, what can I do to prevent this from happening to me again in the future? Once you have decided how to prevent this from happening to you again in the future give kudos to yourself for preventing this from happening again.
  • Exercise is a really good way to “work-off” stress, even going for a short walk can be very therapeutic.
  • Meditation, practicing meditation can be a great way to just take time out.
  • Take a vacation! The late Stephen Covey wrote in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that a sharp saw cuts wood much quicker and more efficiently when it is sharp and that we must take time to keep the saw sharp. What he was saying is that sometimes we just need to take a break, decompress and re-sharpen ourselves. Once done we are not ready to take on the biggest of forests.
  • Prayer, you will find much relief through spending time with God. Take a time in the day when you can talk with  Him about your problems and pray that He will provide you with the wisdom, guidance and clarity of thought to help get you through. 

​Next Month –  “Total Wellness” – Part 2 – The Body