Archives for category: Energize

Bravery

Today’s gratitude challenge is about Bravery. I began to think of all the common definitions of this term such as valor, courage, and fearlessness. I briefly recalled images of 15th Century Knights in battle. Why? I’m guessing this is the sort of thing we are taught as children. We read epic stories of the hero who must face some sort of danger, or we’ve watched too much television to make a clear determination for the definition. And then I asked myself if the average person can express bravery. I am certain of it; although I’m not exactly sure that some type of fear is not involved; for instance, when I was about to enter the hospital to allow a surgeon to deliver my daughter through cesarean section. I’m sure I wasn’t expressing the courage I hoped to have. Going under the knife was and is a scary prospect for any woman about to birth her first child. Anything can happen. Fortunately, for me, my doctor delivered her without any problems.

If I think back to that day, I was met with all sorts of procedures that would have left anyone frightened. At one point, I had to hold as still as possible, so that the spinal injection was completed accurately. Okay, but I couldn’t control the one performing the action. I’m sure my mind was conjecturing all sorts of woes had I moved or the needle suddenly slipped.

Later, as a mother, I faced many possible dangers. Raising a child is terrifying. Does that make me a brave person? I’m not so sure. What is brave is stepping up and fulfilling the role of a mother – working tirelessly to keep the child comfortable and secure. These are strategies that we are not taught. I fumbled my way through it all. Bravery is like that. We expand ourselves to do what is needed.

I’m not necessarily only speaking of motherhood. Many people face different types of demons every day – usually internal ones. We surmise what others might think of us. This fear can be paralyzing. Some of us would rather expire than to plunge into the fear that our thoughts create and keep us weak. Talk to people in sales who will explain the hours wasted because they could not pick up a telephone to call a prospective client. That fear of rejection runs deep.

Most don’t even think about the dangers around us. Starting a motor vehicle and driving in rush hour traffic takes bravery. What about beginning a new job? It takes a certain type of bravery to overcome new tasks and learn new names. Natural disasters seem commonplace these days. The news broadcasts are quick to show the devastating live footage.

How does one go about mustering up courage in times like these? Adrenaline might be one answer. Try these ideas instead:

* Aim to build up confidence by doing things that make you uncomfortable without any immediate danger
* Hone your skills in certain areas to help you do something you like, and do it well
* Believe in yourself – an area where we tend to demonstrate a deep, cavernous lack

And mostly, believe in yourself. Chances are, others believe in you and your abilities. It’s not hype.
Negative self-talk is detrimental to your well-being in all cases. Thank goodness we are not our thoughts.

Have faith; bravery is not elusive. You might surprise yourself someday. When you do, write it down. Tell some friends, and pat yourself on the back while you get ready to do more. Reward yourself if you need to.

These tactics will help build some resilient muscles.

My wish is that you become the best version of you.

Joy,

Cheryl

Boldly get on with your life.

Assertiveness is the virtue I am grateful for today. Do you know people who display a bold confidence in their behaviors or when they speak? They exude a confidence that is strikingly different than some of us. This virtue has a sister; it’s called ambition. When we are assertive, we possess a strong desire to accomplish our goals. No self-defeating actions exist for an assertive person.

Sometimes we need assertiveness in sales. Now, I’m not necessarily talking about product sales; we often need to sell ourselves first, especially if we are looking for work, being careful not to sound pushy. When I applied as a transfer student to D’Youville college, I showed my ambitious and assertive self. I knew what I wanted and had the audacity to tell the department chair my plans to withdraw my application if the college did not accept all my credits without condition. I was not unpleasant toward the person behind the desk; I just knew that my GPA was high enough to qualify, and felt much confidence in my accomplishments. Instead of complying to their conditions, I indicated my own. Needless to say, other professors heard about my interview and knew who I was before I attended any classes. One of these fine professionals was Bob Nielsen, whom I dedicated this blog.

Confidence is what makes the difference. If I had not asserted myself and my intentions, I might not have met all the wonderful people who later became my mentors. Confidence changes circumstances. Confidence changes us. Quite often, I look back and think that exuberance is needed in every aspect of life. It helps us to push boundaries and to step out of our comfort zones.
We cannot allow the negative stories in our minds, or our fears, to keep us from doing what we want – whether it be applying for a new job, talking to someone attractive, or asking for what we need or want out of life. So many times, we think things won’t work for us. How would we know until we try? Of course, my interview might not have gone the way I’d hoped it would, but I had to be less concerned about the outcome. I had to be myself. Sometimes I miss being a young girl when I had less fears. Perhaps, back then, I thought less of what people might think of me than I do now. When did my attitude change? When did I let this virtue escape me?

I think it’s time to recapture some of that confidence and assertiveness.

• Define the fear that holds you back
• Determine your desires
• Demonstrate your willingness to forget what others might think of you

I am grateful that assertiveness is never lost; they act quite like muscles. You’d need to work on them to build them up; but they never disappear, even after years of neglect.
Find and build your confidence today.

Joy,
Cheryl

IMG_20160901_163002.jpgNew Year, new you. What’s the hype about the new diet alternative?

Getting healthy should be a main concern for all of us if we are to live lives that are happy and full of energy. I want to address the recent conversation regarding a new alternative to dieting. Folks, there’s nothing new here, just common sense. Our brains need fat for optimal functionality. That’s no secret. But most people think that gorging on bacon is healthy because they try to follow a Paleo diet. A meat and veggies approach seems more plausible than a high protein / high fat diet with much of its fat derived strictly from meat sources.

Here is what could be deemed as a way of eating that most are now calling alternative.  I avoid using the term diet as much as possible because the word has such negative connotations.

The alternative is to add more healthy fats to your diet. Coconut oil, avocado, olives and olive oil. Because the old rule of less calories, more exercise doesn’t work, more people are finding that all calories are not created equally. I have first-hand experience as I’ve been loading up on organic veggies, adding the good fats for extremely high calorie meals and losing weight as a bonus. No longer do we want to burn sugars as our main source of energy. Low-glycemic fruits such as berries help sustain a balance. Foregoing grains as much as possible also helps. I eliminate sugar as a rule, so no baked goods for me. Free range eggs are an excellent source of protein as are free range chicken, turkey and wild caught fish. Lowering the amount of red meat is helpful too, but I will occasionally indulge in grassfed beef.

Dairy products are questionable. For some of you, try eliminating cheese or ice cream for a few days to see if your body has issues with them. Add them back in to notice any changes. I find that dairy can cause my body to create more mucus than desired, and the salt content in cheese can be extremely high and will cause bloating and weight gain. Check it out for yourself. Some people who are lactose intolerant understand some of the side effects. It’s best that you determine for yourself if dairy is a good option for you.

I also add in raw nuts and seeds in my eating plan to stay happy. I keep a small amount in my purse for use in situations when I need a snack and a healthy choice is not readily available. In this way my need to crunch is satisfied, and I don’t reach for potato chips. I’ll add nuts and seeds to green drinks or smoothies. Keep in mind that most smoothie recipes or ones you’re likely to find in commercial arenas are filled with sugar. I don’t know about you, but I find that sugar is hard to eliminate because it is added to most foods. I find it in the most unexpected places. Take a look at a commercial tomato sauce ingredient label sometime. Better yet, look at all food labels. That’s a great habit to get into. Swap out rice for quinoa, a seed that adds a protein punch and compliments many meals.

Keep in mind, the closer your food is to its original state is best. The alternative way of eating does not allow for those processed items placed into colorful boxes on grocery shelves. Remember, there is no such thing as junk food. You can either eat Junk or you can eat Food. Pick food. Eat clean.

Try incorporating some of these suggestions this year. You’ll be happier! Smiles, and good luck to you in the new year and new you!
Feel free to ask questions in the comment area.

Joy,
Cheryl

Berries

I recently found out that Bob Nielsen, a dear professor from my undergraduate years, and part of the reason I started this blog, passed away. He had struggled with prostate cancer for years, as well as diabetes. I remember watching as he checked his sugar during our independent study session that followed the lunch hour. One of the things he mentioned that his wife allowed him to eat for a snack or dessert was “graham crackers and cream cheese; oh boy”, he would say as he tried to drum up some enthusiasm. Prostate cancer is an inflammatory disease. A study done by Sfanos and DeMarzo (2012) provides some evidence that inflammation is to blame. “There are multiple different lines of evidence suggesting that inflammation is very common within the adult prostate” (para 4). One can imagine that inflammation has its hand in other diseases too, including diabetes. We have all had injuries when inflammation took over and helped us heal. Chronic inflammation moves in when the body’s immune system overloads because it cannot rid the cause of the initial swelling. Sometimes stress is a major factor in the inability to overcome inflammation. Known as the fight or flight response from our parasympathetic nervous system, our bodies gear up to escape from that bear or lion. These days, the bear or lion is replaced by sitting in the hot-seat of an office desk with loads of work, though it is not an immediate threat. If the perceived threat has no relief, the body has trouble eliminating the adrenaline and translates it into stress. That stress creates inflammation in the body.

Chronic stress is a terrible condition because when there is no outlet for the build-up, the body cannot help but create inflammation as its response to stress, whether real or imagined. The body only understands feelings. It cannot determine if the pressure is real or something we see on television as we sit in a theater watching gory or horror films. However, some adrenaline is good. We need it to get out of the way in traffic, for instance. But everyday stress from a job is detrimental to health.

Let’s look at some of the ways we can help our bodies cope with stress overload. Sometimes the help of a medical professional is needed; but you may want to try some of these remedies first.

Anti-inflammatory Foods:
Harvard studies indicate that certain foods will help fight inflammation. Certain foods should also be avoided. And if you have been paying attention to good health, that food list will not come as a surprise. Think about what your grandmother and grandmother’s mother would have eaten and follow those rules.

Foods that fight for you are:

* Green leafy vegetables
* Some fruits – berries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
* Nuts and seeds
* Fatty fish
* Olive oil
* Tomatoes

While Harvard lists tomatoes as anti-inflammatory, it’s one of those foods considered a night shade – think eggplant, potatoes, peppers – which may cause inflammation in some people. I react differently when eating them; I notice right away when my knee begins to ache. I feel better both in my joints and in my mood when I stick to these types of foods. Another thing that Harvard has left out is the importance of fermented foods. Improving the health of the gut can combat chronic inflammatory diseases with proven results. Gut health enables the body to eliminate toxins like pesticides common in commercially produced food today.

Herbs and Spices:
One of my favorite public figures, Dr. Mercola, has a terrific website with great deal of information regarding health. He lists clove, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric (curcumin) as the best herbs to use. Starting out slowly with these as a daily regime is a good way to start.

I take turmeric supplement for my aching knee. It has been one of the most beneficial herbs for me. It’s actually a root, similar to the ginger family. Check out your local grocer. You might find it there in its original form now that it has become popular. Funny how that happens.

Spices to use include:

* Cinnamon (ceylon)
* Jamaican Allspice
* Apple pie spice mixture
* Oregano
* Pumpkin pie spice mixture
* Marjoram
* Sage
* Thyme
* Gourmet Italian spice

Dr. Mercola lists these specifically to help us boost our resistance to inflammation by adding these to our own recipes. When it’s easy to do, people will do it. Start with one or two today.

Essential Oils:
Essential oils are also recognized to help combat inflammation. In a study of lab rats, rosemary, eucalyptus, and ginger essential oils reduced episodes of edema; the latter two reduced effects from the ingestion of carrageenan, a common ingredient in commercial yogurts and ice cream. You might want to scout out this ingredient and remove it from your diet. I found too many tests in my search that aim to fight its inflammatory side effects.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine comments that essential oils are used as therapies because the nose first detects the scents. The sensors recognize the chemical compounds of the oil, then work on the limbic system as effectively as a drug (PDQ, 2014). Certain combinations from fragrant plants demonstrate relief from stress and improve the quality of life. Two of my favorites are Stress Away and lavender from Young Living essential oils. Lavender is one of the most popular scents, often found in baby products since its affect is almost immediate. You can create your own uplifting scents like the combination of cinnamon bark, peppermint, and cedarwood that I use when I need to stay calm yet alert while driving in heavy traffic. You can breathe away the stress in your life too.

Grounding:
While not commonly known as grounding, using the effects of the earth on our bodies is an amazing way to de-stress. Countless studies and feedback are addressed in the book Earthing. The subtitle says it all. Is Earthing really a new heath discovery? Hardly. People have walked barefoot on the earth for thousands of years. But lately we have disconnected, so to speak. Our high-rise buildings and the invention of the rubber sole shoe promote the separation between us and the earth. The text demonstrates the electrical effects and relationship between humans and the earth, provides a list of the benefits of getting our feet back on the earth, and provides compelling thermal imagery after grounding. Page 63 shows a list of diseases caused by inflammation. It’s not surprising that other chronic conditions such as allergies, asthma, diabetes, lupus, and MS are on this list. Pain is listed too.

We all have pain of some sort. Think of it… just coming in contact with the earth on a regular basis can help us. You see, lowering the EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) is imperative. We are surrounded by constant waves of energy; over time, people who do not ground with the earth are susceptible to “infection, stress, and degenerative diseases” (Ober, Sinatra, & Zucker, 2010, p. 79). Earthing helps to move that EMF off of us.

Think of the last time you were at the beach and played in the ocean or other body of water. Recall the feelings of peace, relaxation, and regeneration. What about the last time you walked in the yard to feel the grass under your feet? Doing so is completely free, but so few of us do it. At the very least, Ober has invented a way to gain similar effects from placing a ground in the earth. Your kitchen and bathroom electrical outlets have a ground to the earth. By using this part of the plug, Ober created grounding mats, mattresses, pillowcases, and the like to help you absorb the earth’s ground as you work and sleep. The grounding mat is great when the air becomes dry in the winter months. Static electricity can wreak havoc when doing laundry or just walking on a carpet. I am using a grounding mat as I type. The sweat from the bottoms of my bare feet help create the ground and move the EMF off of me when I work. Aside from the turmeric I use, grounding has helped when my knee was so inflamed I had trouble walking.

BeachBest

Being pain free is something we all desire. Consider these methods to reduce the stress and inflammation in your life. Tell a friend.

Joy,
Cheryl

References

Ober, C., Sinatra, S. T., & Zucker M. (2010). Earthing:The most important health discovery ever? Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.

PDQ® Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board. (2014). PDQ Aromatherapy and Essential Oils. [PMID: 26389261]. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/aromatherapy-pdq.

Sfanos, K. S. & DeMarzo, A. M. (2012). Prostate cancer and inflammation: The evidence. Histopathology 60(1), 199-215. doi 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2011.04033.x

 

 

Peppermint oilAh, peppermint. Where do I start?

You might have a love relationship with peppermint if you put it in some water to boost digestive health and relieve gas symptoms.

You might have a love relationship with peppermint if you rub it into your temples when you have a headache, or onto the back of the neck to boost athletic performance or to help relieve stress.

Do you diffuse it into the air to help with mental clarity? Or do you add it to your toothbrush for fresher breath?

Peppermint is so versatile.  I like to add it to homemade chocolate or chocolate brownies.

I like to add it to my natural homemade room spray. It pairs well with purification for a homemade bug repellent, another featured oil in this series.

My mother grew this plant in the yard while I was growing up.  I loved grazing on the leaves. Later, in my own yard, I was surprised to find out that it’s quite an invasive plant. Be careful to try to limit its root system to a contained space. It will take over. The oil, therefore, can be less expensive than the others. Aim to find the best quality available.

Peppermint tea has been around for years. Make your own by adding a drop of 100% pure therapeutic grade oil marked as a supplement to hot water for the best results.

Remember that in order for these oils to work in your favor, their use must be coupled with a healthy lifestyle.  Don’t expect to go out and eat fast food, then come home and try to remedy poor, unhealthy habits. You simply will not reap the benefits. And like many herbal supplements, oils must be used daily to enhance the great health you’re looking for.

Enjoy Earth Day.

Joy,

Cheryl

image

Lemon!

One of my most favorite essential oils is lemon. It’s so versatile.

Because it tastes so fresh, it helps me get my daily recommended quota of water everyday. I don’t know about you, but there are days I just struggle to swallow 64 oz of the stuff. It can be outright bland.

Lemon, makes my water a treat. And, gosh, if you own one of those Soda Stream machines, you’ve got yourselves an amazing substitute for all that sugary soda we drink. When I want to get a little fancy, I will add a drop or two of lime essential oil  as well.

I don’t miss the sugar, and I stay hydrated.

I keep a small bottle of lemon in my purse, so whenever I’m out at a restaurant, I just add a drop of lemon oil, especially in places where the water doesn’t taste so good.

While less exotic as some essential oils, this one does have its perks. Besides its taste, lemon oil, and most other citrus oils, are invigorating. Lemon is known for its d-limonene content, 68%. Used daily, it can help dissolve gallstones, relieve heartburn and reflux, and counteract against different types of cancer (Sun, 2007). Lemon is a commonly used flavoring in food and juices. I add the essential oil to my freshly baked fish, baked goods, in salads, and my morning smoothie knowing I’m getting the added benefits of d-limonene.

Many people question whether this oil will have an adverse effect on sensitive teeth. The answer is simple. The oil is much different from the juice. It’s pH neutral. Lemon juice is acidic at about 2.3 pH which equals about 5% acidity. The oil, on the other hand is made strictly from the rind and skin.

75 lemons are distilled to make one 15ml bottle of Young Living Essential Lemon oil. The result is a highly concentrated oil and safe for consumption.

If you’re ready to ditch the chemicals for a toxic free home, lemon oil can help. You’ve probably already noticed that the commercial products for polishing furniture use the scent of lemon. The synthetic oil is not the same. Why not make your own? This is exciting – add one or two drops of lemon to a tsp of coconut oil on a soft cloth. Not only will the wood shine, but the house will smell incredibly clean. Don’t forget to diffuse the lemon oil to purify the air too.

A 15ml bottle of lemon oil contains 250 drops making this oil economical. Brace yourself.  The retail price of YL Lemon oil is less than $15.00. It’s included in the Premium Starter kit as well. Once you purchase the kit, your cost will be lower since members receive 24% off all products.
Think about the money saved here. You are sure to find so many uses for Lemon oil. It’s also a main ingredient in the immune building oil, Thieves.

Another great advantage to diffusing Lemon is its uplifting effects and as an aid in concentration. So much better than caffeine, I am more alert when working from home or while I’m at the office. Even if you’re not close to a place to plug in a diffuser,  just rub a drop into the palms of your hands and cup them over your nose while inhaling deeply for the same effect. Wow.

I don’t want to forget to mention that while it seems that detoxing is the latest craze in weight loss, the lemon oil does help flush the system effectively and aids with normalizing digestion. That’s really what detoxing means. The goal is to help your body do its job – eliminate the harmful toxins that are ingested each day. These toxins aren’t just what is consumed by mouth. Toxins are in the air we breathe and the stress we accumulate over time. Removing toxins is just one step toward weight loss and mental clarity. Who wouldn’t want that?

Yes, this post has a lot of information, but I hope you’re just as excited about using lemon oil as part of your daily supplemental routine as I am. For information on how to order, use http://www.youngliving.org/cheryl9059.

Joy,

Cheryl

Reference :

Sun, J. (2007). D-limonene: Safety and clinical applications. Alternative Medical Review, 12(3), 259-264. Retrieved from http:/ncbi.nlm.nih.gov