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An aspect of decluttering that often gets overlooked

posted Sep 2, 2018, 5:24 PM by Ann Lee

We often think of decluttering as focusing on the material objects in our lives, but a part of decluttering that can have a bigger impact on your health is, removing people in your life that bring in negative energy.  Of course, it is easier to say than do if that involves family, so you will have to work on setting boundaries with the people in your life that you can't remove, to allow for healthier relationships.

Making travel healthier

posted Aug 4, 2018, 11:48 AM by Ann Lee   [ updated Aug 4, 2018, 11:52 AM ]

Affected by news?

posted Jun 20, 2018, 11:34 AM by Ann Lee

If you find yourself physically or emotionally affected by listening to or watching the news, it may be beneficial for your health to avoid this as part of your daily routine. You can just do focused internet searches of trends you want to keep up with, hopefully from sources that are more positive.

Different styles of meditation

posted Apr 25, 2018, 3:31 PM by Ann Lee

- Breathing meditation: Focus on controlling inhales and exhales.  Longer exhales are calming, and longer inhales are energizing
- Bubble meditation: Take a deep breath in, and with a steady exhale, blow as many bubbles as you can letting the exhale release any tension you are holding onto
- Focused meditation: Concentrate on any of your 5 senses such as counting beads, listening to a gong, staring at a candle flame.  If your mind wanders, simply bring it back to your practice to refocus
- Gazing meditation: Staring at a fixed object such as a stone, tree, lit candle, or something that holds personal meaning, starting with a short length of time to gradually increasing
- Guided visualization: Listening to a pre-recording which will guide you through the meditation on relaxing your mind and body or focusing on positive experiences
- Heart rhythm meditation: Focuses on the physical and emotional heart with conscious breathing to coordinate breath with the heartbeat
- Lotus meditation: Visualize your heart as a lotus flower for a place of unconditional love
- Mantra meditation: Focus on a word, phrase, or sound by repeating aloud to help clear your mind
- Mindfulness meditation: Focus on your breathing and pay attention to the thoughts that pass through your mind without judging or becoming involved in them- just observe and take note of any patterns
- Standing meditation: Instead of sitting, stand in a relaxed posture with feet forward and shoulder width apart.  Mentally scan through your body to release tension
- Moving meditation: Meditate while you wash dishes, take a shower, or walk.  Slow down your daily activities to half-speed to be mindful and focus on your thoughts
- Dance meditation: Surrender to the rhythms of dance to help release tension and stir your own creativity
- Hand meditation: Notice the air touching your palms, fingers, and thumbs as you gently lift your hands into the air, imagining the energy field between your hands
- Qigong: Combining breathing techniques with low-impact exercise
- Tai Chi: Slow-motion movements to align the energy in the body and mind
- Walking meditation: Walk slowly with awareness to your posture and breathing deeply

Source: Circle+Bloom

Signs of heart issues

posted Apr 5, 2018, 4:12 PM by Ann Lee

Here are simple things to look for so you know if you need to be more proactive with preventing heart disease:
- diagonal creases on the earlobes is associated with atherosclerosis, where plaque builds up inside your arteries or even disease of the blood vessels in the brain
- yellow, fatty bumps, called xanthomas, that appear on the elbows, knees, buttocks or eyelids- commonly associated with familial hypercholesterolemia.  Cholesterol levels are so high that they become deposited in the skin and the arteries that supply the heart
- clubbed fingernails, where your nails change shape, become thicker and wider due to more tissue produced from blood not reaching the fingers properly so the cells produce a factor that promotes growth.
- halo around the iris, from fat deposits in the eye causing a grey ring around the outside of the iris.  It doesn't interfere with vision, but is associated with coronary heart disease.
- inflamed gums and loose teeth, as bad bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the mouth and cause inflammation in the blood vessels which can lead to heart disease
- blue lips, not from being in the cold or at high altitude, can be a sign that the heart is not delivering oxygenated blood to tissues

These symptoms can have other causes, but it is a good idea to be proactive with your heart health and start early rather than later.

Source: CNN article

Hidden sources of gluten

posted Mar 21, 2018, 7:04 AM by Ann Lee

If you are actively working on decreasing gluten in your diet, it may be helpful to know the hidden sources of gluten that oftentimes are not clearly labeled:
  • beer
  • malt (often made from barley)
  • instant tea/coffee
  • sauces/gravies/marinades
  • breaded items
  • thickeners
  • canned soups, baked beans, etc.
  • processed meats (i.e. lunch meats, hot dogs)
  • condiments
  • seasonings
  • colorings/flavorings (i.e. caramel color is often made from barley)
  • chips (may contain wheat starch or wheat protein)
  • dextrin (often from corn but may be from wheat)
  • modified corn starch
  • hydrolyzed plant starch (HPP)
  • hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Alternative to scented candles and air fresheners

posted Feb 21, 2018, 11:36 AM by Ann Lee

Many candles, unless they are made of 100% natural waxes, give off noxious vapors when burned.  30% of candles have wicks that contain heavy metals.  Air fresheners contain ingredients such as phthalates that are toxic and hazardous that can irritate the respiratory system and affect the liver and kidneys.  A good alternative to using scented candles and air fresheners is using an essential oil diffuser.  Essential oils that are great for the respiratory system include rosemary, thyme, sage, and bergamot.

Inspired by article

How to stay healthy while traveling

posted Feb 8, 2018, 1:53 PM by Ann Lee

1) Pack an eye mask as sleeping in a dark place will help to keep your circadian rhythm and hormones in sync.  Set the temperature of the room you will be sleeping in to a cool 68 degrees or less.

2) Pack bars, easy-to-carry fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds so you don't have to look to convenience foods while on the road.  Search for the closest grocery store at your destination so you can replenish your food supply as needed.  Make a grocery list up ahead of time so you know how much food to get to last you for the rest of your trip.

3) Pack immune-boosting supplements to help fend off microbes that your immune system is not used to while traveling, either through water, food, other people, planes, etc.  Oregano capsules are great to take while eating out.  High doses of zinc are great when you start to feel something coming on.

Happy travels!  Inspired by this article

Slowing down life

posted Jan 14, 2018, 5:59 PM by Ann Lee

Life often feels like being in a hamster wheel.  There doesn’t seem to be enough time to do things that bring us the most joy.  Here are tips to get closer to your joy:
- Spend time with nature.  When you are in harmony with nature, you learn to listen to your heart.
- Enjoy silence to feel more positive and understand yourself better
- Instead of trying to get into many hobbies, focus on one and experience it fully
- Communicate face-to-face for memorable experiences
- Make relaxation a priority by adding it to your schedule
Source: Quantum Health Newsletter by Boyd Martin

Taking the edge off of holiday stress

posted Dec 18, 2017, 12:51 PM by Ann Lee

From Dr. Eliza Klearman:
"There are so many things you CAN do to make yourself stressed during this season.  The bottom line is to choose what is really making you happy.

Do what you enjoy doing.  Without thinking about what anybody else wants or needs from you.  Choose to do those things that serve you.  Think of yourself and what you love to do- not your kids who love the elf or family that needs the big fancy meal or coworkers that love your homemade fudge.  When we put others first and try to make everyone else happy, we end up making ourselves pretty miserable.

Putting yourself first is an important skill to learn.  Not only does it make you happier, but it also allows for you to free up your time for things that are much more important.  When you don't have to make homemade gifts for your loved ones, you have time to actually spend with them, and that is the most precious, memorable gift of the season."

A great perspective for the season, but could be applied to the whole year!

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