Why You Should Ditch the Resolutions and Set New Year’s Intentions Instead

How many years have you set your New Year’s resolutions, only to abandon them a month (or week!) later? The annual process of setting resolutions often leads to committing to unrealistic goals, which leads to disappointment when we can’t achieve them. This year, why not try setting New Year’s intentions?

Intentions are smaller but regular practices (daily, weekly, monthly) that will improve your quality of life but don’t require monumental effort or lifestyle changes to get right.

Inspiration for New Year’s Intentions:

Here are a few ideas:

1. Drink More Water

You’ve heard it before, but this simple step can work wonders – not just for hydration but checking this easy one off the list sets you up for a success mindset. The result? You’re more likely to follow through on other healthy practices.

Why drink more water? Our body relies heavily on water and hydration to function at its best. Beyond the classic 8 glasses per day recommendation, there are many varying opinions on how much water you should be drinking every day.

A starter suggestion for water intake is:

  • 5 cups (3.7L) fluid a day for men
  • 5 cups (2.7L) fluid a day for women

If you find it difficult to stay on top of your hydration, try these tips:

  • Flavour your water with fruits and veggies (lemon, cucumber, raspberries, etc.) or water enhancer
  • Get your water through food as well, such as fruits
  • Invest in a fun, reusable water bottle that you want to use.
  • There are also bottles that have measurements on them with motivational words like “almost there” and “keep it up” to motivate your intake

2. Add At Least One Colourful Food to Each Meal

New year’s intentions can also address food without involving diets or restriction.

Brightly hued fruits and vegetables contain plant pigments that signify they’re packed with dense nutrients. It’s an incredibly simple daily practice that’ll help you instantly boost your nutrition regularly.

Plus, no one can argue that a vibrant plate is more appealing to eat!

Aim for a wide variety across the colour wheel. Some examples are:

  • Red – Strawberry
  • Deep red – Pomegranate
  • Bright pink – Radish
  • Orange – Squash, oranges
  • Yellow – Lemons
  • Green – Broccoli, kale, lettuce
  • Blue – Blueberry
  • Purple – Eggplant, grapes
  • White – Cauliflower

3. Curate the Perfect Bedtime Routine

Sleep—especially Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycle sleep—is as important to wellness as breathing air and drinking water.

Creating a bedtime routine can be very beneficial for our overall health. When you perform a certain set of activities that in the same order and at the same time most evenings, your brain will begin to recognize that this routine means sleep is coming – and it will start to prepare your body to do just that.

Examples of calming activities to your bedtime routine include:

  • Journaling
  • Warm shower or bath
  • Reading (not on a screen)
  • Meditation
  • Gratitude practice
  • Prayer
  • Deep breathing
  • Skincare routine

Tip: ditch the electronics from your bedtime routine to optimize sleep quality!

4. Add One New Form of Exercise to Your Day

Instead of just telling yourself to “exercise more and lose weight” in the new year, you may find it more beneficial to set specific fitness goals that don’t seem as daunting.

Plus, all bodies have value, and aiming for a smaller one is not necessarily a marker of good health like we have been conditioned to believe in our society.

Try adding one of these exercise goals to your daily routine (or weekly if you need to start slowly), and attempt to reach those 30 minutes of recommended moderate exercise!

  • Walk once per day. Start to increase the distance each time
  • Dance to your favourite music
  • Find a fitness channel to exercise with on YouTube
  • Swim some lengths at the local pool, if possible
  • Get up and move around between periods of prolonged sitting
  • Jump rope
  • Do 30 minutes of yoga
  • Try light hand weights with simple exercises like lunges, squats, overhead presses and more (look online for free workout videos)

5. Substitute the Snacks

Many have a nighttime snacking habit. But typically it’s more about comfort and routine than actual hunger.

Try these alternatives the next time you feel the cravings kicking in. And remember, incremental changes are the goal (not a complete overhaul overnight):

  • Hot drink – decaffeinated herbal tea
  • Water with lemon
  • Fresh fruit – bowl of berries with yogurt
  • Trail mix – satisfies cravings for salt
  • Dark chocolate

For more tips, check out our post on the Anti-Inflammatory Diet.

It’s not about deprivation, but rather shifting your mindset for the long term.

6. Create and Simplify a Supplement Routine

Is there an area of your health that is lacking? Are you struggling with joint pain and want to improve mobility? Are you finding it hard to focus and want to improve your mental abilities? Do you want to simply focus on overall health?

Supplementation can be a simple and easy way to address these. Similar to water intake (as mentioned earlier), the act of taking a daily supplement doesn’t just change your body from the inside out – the routine helps you be mindful of your health every day.

The nice thing about these supplements is that they specifically target a part of your body that could need assistance, making your routine that much easier!

A few to check out – available from Amazon.com and .ca:

Genuwell Joint Health - Kondor Pharma Memowell Memory Health - Kondor Pharma Strowell Brain Health - Kondor Pharma

Ready to embrace New Year’s intentions? Set yours today and get to work. Wishing you a happy year ahead!

7 Self-Care Tips to Avoid Holiday Burnout

Self care tips to avoid holiday burnout - Kondor Pharma

In this post, we offer 7 self-care tips to avoid burnout around the holidays.

Though the holidays are all about nourishing our relationships with family and friends, it’s typically jam-packed with social gatherings, activities, and errands that can be exhausting.

Some might even experience burnout. Burnout can happen when our physical or emotional energy is depleted due to prolonged stress, including during cheerful times.

When you can’t remove the stress completely, self care can go a long way in preserving your energy and reducing stressors.

Here are 7 self-care tips to navigate the holidays and help prevent burnout.

1. Plan Ahead (While Managing Expectations)

Having a plan before the holidays is a must, especially if you’re the one hosting friends and/or family at your home.

This year, expectations may be higher since we’ve not been able to enjoy larger gatherings like we used to.

Whether you are keeping things small or going big, planning as early as a month in advance can make all the difference. Start by considering:

  • Guest Arrangements: Who can attend? Do they have any special accommodations you need to make as host? Are they coming from a far distance and needing a place to stay? Keep things manageable and practical by being upfront with who you can reasonably accommodate. If, for example, you are tight on space, let guests know in advance what the plan is so they can find other accommodations if needed.
  • Decorating: If you plan to decorate your home, can you get by with a less-is-more approach? Free yourself from perfectionism by making with what you have and avoiding the stress of shopping for new or over-the-top décor. Remember, your guests just want to spend time with you and enjoy the experience.
  • Food: Are you up for cooking this year, or is ordering in an option? A hybrid approach like cooking the main dish and serving store bought sides and appetizers can work for some who like entertaining but find an 8-course homemade meal overwhelming.
  • What day will you be hosting? What time will it start and end? Get clear on this and communicate it to guests so that you don’t over-commit yourself to multiple days of entertainment.

Self care tips to avoid holiday burnout

Even just a short list of brainstorming can seem like a lot when you are hosting. Planning all these details ahead of time will result in a calmer and more successful event, leaving you time to also enjoy yourself!

If you are not hosting, but rather attending an event. You should also figure out where you’re going, how long you’ll be staying, what method of transportation you will use, etc. Get the details ironed out to avoid last-minute stressors. When the day comes, you’ll be comfortable with what is happening and not have any surprises. If you have time to spare, offer a helping hand to your host.

2. Don’t Overcommit

Understandably, it can be difficult to reject invitations for holiday get-togethers. However, it’s essential to consider your tolerance for social interaction – now and in the pandemic world we’re currently navigating.

Spreading yourself too thin is a recipe for burnout.

Set boundaries for yourself and put your own health and social wellness before anything else, and only attend events or participate in activities that you feel comfortable with. The same principles should be applied to the idea of hosting, as mentioned above. If you don’t feel the desire or think it may contribute to stress, anxiety and holiday burnout – consider asking for help or not hosting at all.

If you are losing out on important health aspects such as a good night’s sleep, exercise, and/or eating a well-rounded diet – it may be time to consider taking more time for yourself.

3. Keep Things Simple

Though you may feel like a superhero to cook a 10-Lb turkey dinner, bartend, decorate, clean your house, buy gifts and socialize all by yourself, no one will judge you if you need a bit of help.

If one of your guests offers to help by cooking the side dishes, bringing the wine, or even doing the dishes – LET THEM!

Be willing to delegate some responsibilities and don’t take on all of the tasks yourself. Save some time and strain by accepting the help that is being offered to you.

To those who plan on attending an event, reach out and offer a helping hand. See what the host would find useful and hopefully that will guarantee an invite back next year!

If you have the resources, you could even hire some helpful hands such as:

  • House cleaner (before and/or after your event)
  • Caterer
  • Decorator
  • Event planner (depending on the size of event)

There are many different options for a range of budgets.

4. Put Some Time Aside for You (Even When it Feels Impossible)

As busy as it can be to plan and keep track of all of your holiday commitments, it is just as important to schedule in some time for yourself.

Think about the things that would make you feel happy and fulfilled; baking, a spa day, a massage, a yoga class. The goal is to opt for activities that replenish rather than take away your energy.

For those with family and other caregiving responsibilities, it can be difficult or impossible to carve out time for a planned activity. Instead, try to find small moments throughout your day. Simply spend time alone in another room and focus on deep breathing. Even little things can help calm your mind and feel replenished.

Self care tips to avoid holiday burnout

5. Don’t Forget About Physical Activity

It’s easy to put workouts on the back burner, but your body needs energy and strength to cope with overwhelm. This means exercising regularly should be a priority even through the holiday season. It could be things like going for a morning walk, heading to the gym, or playing outside with family or pets.

Research has shown that regular exercise:

  • Improves sleep
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Boosts mood
  • Raises energy levels
  • Reduces tiredness
  • Improves mental alertness
  • Aids in weight
  • Increases libido

Now go schedule exercise into your calendar, or else you’re more likely to skip it!

6. Get Plenty of Sleep

Getting a good night of sleep is crucial, regardless of the time of year. It is when the body replenishes and repairs itself at a cellular level, helping you function at your best in the day to follow.

And yet, sleep is commonly disregarded when it comes to getting other tasks on a deadline completed. The quality and quantity of your sleep will make a huge difference in the day to follow, and without it you are almost guaranteed to feel sluggish and uncomfortable. While it is definitely expected to have a larger to-do list during the holidays, focus on one to two tasks a day, so you won’t lose sleep over a list that does not seem to get shorter.

Tips to achieving a better sleep:

  • Put your phone away earlier (less blue light exposure = better sleep)
  • Maintain a sleep and wake schedule
  • Avoid late night snacks and caffeine
  • Meditate
  • Exercise (during the day)
  • Limit alcohol consumption

7. Remember the Bigger Picture

Burnout is real. Still, it can help to appreciate what we have even while we are experiencing it. Gratitude for the people and experiences we have can put a stressful season into perspective.

So go soak up the love, amazing food and good company, if you’re able. Because before you know it, it will be 365 days until we get to do it all over again.

Happy holidays and best wishes from the Kondor Pharma team!

Your Doctor Recommended an Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Now What?

Your Doctor Has Recommended an Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Now What? - Kondor Pharma

Why Has Your Doctor Recommended an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

If your doctor recommended an anti-inflammatory diet, it’s for good reason. We all have heard the saying “You are what you eat.” But have you really thought of how each piece of food you consume can truly affect your body, mind, and overall health?

There has been a lot of publicity how anti-inflammatory foods can change your body from the inside out. This diet involves eating nutrient-rich, whole foods validated by research to reduce overall inflammation in the body.

Nutritionists and medical professionals agree that we need to consume more of these foods for their anti-inflammatory properties and health benefits.

But First: What Exactly is Inflammation?

Before we can discuss how to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet, it’s helpful to know the basics about what we are targeting or trying to prevent in the first place.

Inflammation is the cornerstone of the body’s healing response. It is the immune response to an area of the body that is under attack or injured. In other words, inflammation is your body’s way of trying to protect itself.

For example, if you fall and scrape your knee, you can see inflammation presenting on the outside of the body in the form of redness, heat, swelling, and pain. This is how your body is attempting to protect and nourish a vulnerable area until it has healed. In this example, the concept of inflammation is easy to understand.

When inflammation occurs inside the body, however, it is typically in response to a foreign element being introduced that your immune system wants to get rid of. If this inflammation persists, the sense of purpose is to cause disease. Many major diseases that plague us including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and depression have all been linked to inflammation.

Although changing what you eat is not a magic cure for chronic illness, an anti-inflammatory diet may lessen the number and severity of ailments that you experience. It can also help delay or prevent serious chronic inflammation issues. A dietary change is an upgrade to make, which is easier with the right planning and preparation. The motivation is to feel as well as you possibly can and continue to do things you love doing!

Starting an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

There is no right or wrong way to begin an anti-inflammatory diet. At its most basic, this diet regimen is based on consuming meals with foods known to fight inflammation (such as healthy fats, fruits, and veggies) and cutting out foods shown to contribute to inflammation (mainly refined, processed and manufactured foods).

“One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy, but rather from the grocery store,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Here are examples of foods that fall under the anti-inflammatory category:

  • Leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach
  • Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
  • Nuts such as almonds and walnuts
  • Healthy fats such as fish
  • Whole grains
  • Olive oil
  • Spices such as turmeric and ginger

If your own doctor recommended an anti-inflammatory diet, a good place to start is to add these foods which will reduce inflammation in the body.

Alternatively, here are examples of inflammatory foods which tend to worsen inflammation within the body:

  • Fried foods such as fries and onion rings
  • Sodas and other sweetened beverages such as pops and juices
  • Processed meats such as hot dogs and chicken nuggets
  • Fast food such as takeout burgers and fries
  • Artificial colours and sweeteners

Though they may be delicious at times and in moderation, we recommend that you limit or remove these foods from your diet if you are looking to decrease inflammation.

Tips and Tricks to Keep Up with Your New Anti-Inflammatory Diet

1- Set Realistic Goals

Creating a new lifestyle and diet can be challenging, especially when you have an existing routine that you are used to in everyday life. Start by slowly making changes with your diet towards an anti-inflammatory profile so it is more of a lifestyle shift rather than a dreaded “diet” (which we all know is neither sustainable nor enjoyable).

When starting a new dietary approach, you cannot expect yourself to never indulge in an unhealthy snack ever again. You may slip up from time to time, and that’s ok! What is important is to understand that we are all human, and sometimes we need a good chocolate chip cookie now and again! Do your best to stick to your new goals, move slowly and don’t give up or feel guilty if you sometimes eat foods that are not good for keeping the inflammation at bay.

2- Don’t Buy Unhealthy (Just Keep it Out of the House!)

Have you ever gone into a room at work or during social gatherings where there is a box of donuts staring at you straight in the eye? It is much harder to avoid eating treats when they are readily available to you (such as at the office or home) compared to if you had to leave your house and get it. If you can use your willpower at the grocery store to avoid purchasing unhealthy foods, you won’t be tempted to eat those foods later on.

3- Understand That Weight Isn’t Everything

Try not to pressure yourself to lose weight too quickly after starting a new diet. Small changes are good because they are more likely to stay as is rather than big strides with “yo-yo” effects.  In addition, being thin and weighing less does not represent the level of health your body is experiencing.

Try to focus on how your body is feeling. Research has found that individuals that have realistic weight loss goals when starting a diet tend to be more successful compared to those that have greater weight loss expectations.

4- Meal Preparation

When you plan your meals ahead of time, it considers four things: your time, budget, personal goals and the required ingredients. Especially when you start, it is easier to make a list of items, ingredients and meals you would like to have and make to “stick with it”. If you do not have the right ingredients, you will be tempted to order or take out or go to restaurants to save time. You cannot control foods you don’t prepare. You can also consider preparing your meals in advance, so you only have to warm up or dress up the meal.

Meal prepping is budget friendly as you can buy your ingredients in bulk and only what you need to prepare your planned meals for the week. It may also encourage you to eat at home more often than out, saving you even more money in the long run.

Finally, meal prep allows you the time to consider your personal goals, such as eating an anti-inflammatory diet, and find recipes that coincide with those goals.

For more inspiration, check out the following recipes that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients to motivate you to try out an anti-inflammatory diet for yourself!

This recipe is from Eatingwell.com.

For the full recipe, visit: https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/280316/garlic-butter-roasted-salmon-with-potatoes-asparagus/

 

This recipe is from Eatingwell.com.

For the full recipe, visit: https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/277650/sweet-potato-kale-chicken-salad-with-peanut-dressing/

This recipe is from PinchofYum.com.

For the full recipe, visit: https://pinchofyum.com/green-curry

 

9 Things That Get Better With Age

9 Things That Get Better With Age - Kondor Pharma

There are many things that get better with age. Wine, cheese, your favourite pair of jeans – the list goes on. One thing that also gets better with age, but is rarely talked about, is you!

Although we develop wrinkles and may need a good pair of reading glasses, there are many perks in aging that are important for your health and well-being.

Here are 9 things that get better with age (noticeably!):

 

1. Quality of Personal Relationships

Our lives consist of constantly fluctuating and evolving relationships. Of course, they aren’t always perfect, but studies say that relationships in our lives actually improve a great deal as we age.

Recent research revealed that older adults report higher quality social relationships compared to younger adults. Older adults experience better quality marriages, friendships, and have closer ties with their children.

Overall, aging helps us gain a much better understanding of social networking and become social experts which goes a long way to successfully avoid conflict with others.

2. Self-Confidence

Self-esteem and self-confidence climb to an all-time high as we add years to our lives. Though it may not feel like it, feeling positively about oneself is on a steady incline from early adulthood (ages 20 to 30) to later adulthood (70-80 years).

In fact, one report found that we are most comfortable and self-assured as a person at age 60.

This may have to do with having left your adolescent years, and all the body and mood changes that come with it, behind. Once we surpass that stage in our life, we stop trying to make others happy and start embracing ourselves for who we are.

Of course, there are many variables that can affect our self-esteem. We all have dealt with tough periods in life such as stress, romantic relationships, death and life transitions. Fortunately, age seems to minimize the mental impact of such factors.

How’s that for uplifting?

3. Ability to Make Good Decisions

Recent research has discovered an age-related advantage to how we make decisions. The older we get, the more experience and wisdom we gain, which can allow us to access the memories surrounding said experiences.

For example, if you have played multiple chess games in your life, you will gain knowledge about the patterns and potential moves in the game. This knowledge will assist you in a future game, and improve your decision-making. This is just one example, but it applies to all areas of our lives, not just games or pastimes.

When older adults have experienced the pros and cons of a decision, the craving for all things new and exciting diminishes and we are better able to assess consequences. As a Stanford News journalist wrote, “We start saving money. We drive closer to the speed limit. We turn down the last drink of the night. We act old.”

Aging adults can consider the gains and losses of a decision, and therefore use different strategies to decision making compared to younger adults.

4. Sex (Quality and Quantity)

The desire for intimacy is ageless. Sex is something that should be enjoyed for as many years as you wish and is certainly not for only youngsters!

Revisiting the self-confidence mentioned earlier in this post, the self-confidence boost that accompanies aging can be helpful for both you and your partner during intimacy. Surveys have also shown that sexual activity is tied to health.

Older adults are more inclined to know what works best for themselves during intimacy. In other words, they are less concerned with the unrealistic standards of appearances and performance that are commonly experienced in younger adults.

Not only do sexual relations improve with age, but being intimate with a partner has also shown positive benefits for mental and physical health.

5. A Positive Attitude

As you enter young adulthood, there are so many unstable factors that contribute to a stressful life. Finding a job, starting a family, buying a home – to name a few traditional concerns (and stressors) often experienced by many.

Thankfully, these stressors diminish with age when you finally have the time to enjoy the full life that you have created. A 2001 study also reported that negative emotions/feelings decreased with age. This has been attributed to the ability of older adults to regulate and effectively choose their emotional responses more efficiently than younger adults.

9 Things That Get Better With Age - Kondor Pharma

6. (Certain Forms of) Memory

This may sound counter-intuitive, but some types of memory actually improve with age. We are referring to a type of memory known as our semantic memory.  Semantic memory is the ability to recall concepts and general facts. For example, being able to look at a clock and knowing that its purpose is to tell time.

Since aging adults have a greater accumulation of information acquired over time than young adults, their semantic memory is said to be better. Furthermore, this type of memory is reportedly impermeable to the effects of normal aging or mind-brain disease. This means it will only begin to decline if a more serious memory condition presents.

Learn more about age-related memory loss for other ways your memory is affected during aging.

7. Lessened Allergies

Allergies have been known to shift and change as we age. When the body is exposed to a certain allergen year after year (such as pollen), your immune system will eventually begin to recognize this recurring invader.

That’s the reason that allergies and their associated symptoms generally start to fade after the age of 50. This is due to the reduced immune response that occurs naturally with age.

Of course, it goes without saying that attempting to test a serious allergy without consulting a medical professional is not recommended.

9 Things That Get Better With Age - Kondor Pharma

8. Less Sleep, More Time

While it doesn’t sound all that desirable, we actually need fewer hours of sleep than our younger selves.

In a recent study, it was reported that older adults (aged 66-83) needed approximately 45 minutes less sleep than younger adults (aged 20-30), and 20 minutes less than middle-aged adults.

Less sleep can be explained by a few reasons, including older adults having trouble falling and staying asleep, taking longer to nod off, and spending less time in a deep, quality sleep. Interestingly, other studies have shown that older adults can function well with less sleep.

On the bright side, needing less sleep means you have more time to do things during your day!

9. Fewer Migraines

For the unlucky few who have experienced a migraine, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Research has found a general reduction in the frequency and severity of headaches in migraine sufferers as we age. Additionally, individuals experience lower sensitivity to noise, light, and smells – all common triggers of migraines.

Although many of us experience issues like joint stiffness or not feeling as sharp as we used to, there remain many positives associated with getting older. It’s just a matter of recognizing them and having gratitude for what we do have.

At Kondor Pharma, we’re dedicated to helping older adults overcome common signs of aging, including healthier joints, memory support, and brain health. Discover the products we’ve developed, proudly manufactured in Canada, specifically for these concerns.

Kondor Pharma Is Attending the Canadian Health Food Association

Canadian Health Food Association

We are pleased to announce that Kondor Pharma will be attending and showcasing its latest, unique herbal supplements for health and wellness at the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) connect event on April 16 and 17. The meeting is organized by the CHFA and brings together people, products, experts and companies with a passion for natural products. Amid these unprecedented times, this virtual gathering will allow nature enthusiasts to connect, self-educate and learn more about the latest and most inspiring natural products that are on the market in the comfort and safety of their homes.

CHFA is the largest trade association in Canada dedicated to natural health and organic products and committed to helping Canadians live healthier and happier lives, naturally. CHFA helps to create interactions within the natural health and organic products community. CHFA members include natural and organic products, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and importers for the benefits of Canadians’ health and wellness.

The natural health product industry is a vibrant and growing sector in the Canadian economy that generates about $4 billion annually.

At the CHFA Connect event, Kondor will be showcasing its unique and clinically proven natural health products recently approved by Health Canada, Genuwellfor Joint Health and Inflawell for Memory Health. Genuwell™ is a standardized Boswellia serrata (Indian frankincense) formulation clinically tested to relieve joint pain and swelling and improve joint and knee function. Inflawell™ brings together a unique blend of Ayurvedic herbs, Boswellia serrata and Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi), that helps support brain function and memory. Inflawell™ Boswellia serrata and Bacopa monnieri plant extracts are uniquely sourced and standardized for active ingredients to provide optimal brain benefits.

To learn more about the science and the benefits behind our products, please visit our website here. You can also ask our experts for more information by email at info@kondorpharma.com or by phone at 1-800-892-6981. To stay up-to-date with our specials, new product launches, discoveries and health information, please subscribe to our newsletters and become part of our VIP. Do not hesitate to like and follow us on social media @kondorpharma.

Click Here to learn more about the registration details!