JOURNEY TO WELLNESS
"Awaken the medicine within, and restore the natural
self-healing capacity of body, mind, and spirit."
Welcome to all the new subscribers to Journey to Wellness. I am honored that you have chosen to join this elite group of winning participants in life's challenges.
If you are not on the Journey to
Wellness mailing list,
Happy Holidays to all my Journey to Wellness friends
Every year around holiday time I hear from many subscribers who are depressed. I certainly understand how that can be when we are dealing with the everyday challenges of life. We all know that life isn't like those depicted on The Hallmark Channel, but with all the media hype surrounding the holidays, it is easy to compare our lives and our challenges to those we see on television.
My suggestion is to always remember that we control our intentions, as well as the thoughts we think and the words we say. These are the building blocks of our lives. It is also important to remember that we can never control what anyone else says or does, but we can choose how we process that information. In times of challenge I choose to remember that no one can make me happy or unhappy but me. We are like the conductor of this life train we are on.
So . . . let's put a smile on our face and ACT as if.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FOCUS: Therein lies the secret to success
Success doesn't have to be hard . . . It is our thought processes that make it hard or easy. When we think and talk about how hard the challenge is, or the lack of opportunities or know-how, we literally are our own worst enemy. We tend to always be looking for something new. I communicate with people all the time who connect with me, asking for help. I give them my suggestions, and they respond with something like, "I tried that." But when I dig a little deeper I find they gave up too soon.
When dealing with lifestyle changes, one must be determined to stay with them indefinitely. They are not like a get-well pill. Whatever physical challenge you may have, you didn't just wake up with it one morning, even though it may have seemed that way at the time. Your lifestyle brought it on over years.
Much of the time we give up before we reach the prize. If we are to find and
maintain natural health, which is our birthright, we must maintain our FOCUS.
That focus must be like a laser beam that is fixed on our goal. Remember your
mantra needs to be, "I will until."
Ever wish you could increase your belief level, whatever your goals happen to be? Wouldn't it be nice if we could take a "belief pill?" Unfortunately it doesn't happen that way.
It is true, however, that we can increase our belief or assurance of an outcome. We can test our belief by paying attention to the words we think and say. Thoughts and words are the basic tools or building blocks of creation. My favorite way to increase belief is simply and consistently to ACT AS IF. Try it . . . you'll be amazed at how it changes your perspective.
If you truly want - really want - to change your life, I can show you how. See my Amazon e-books Self-Healing Made Easy and Michael and Me: Creating a Healthy, Abundant and Joyful Life. For more information visit my website, HERE. Perhaps a SKYPE consultation is the perfect gift to give yourself this Christmas.
Don’t have time to meditate? Make the time.
Wise advice from a very wise man.
“ ‘But Russell, I just don’t have time to meditate.’
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. I’m always getting approached by people looking for advice on how to ‘get ahead,’ but when I simply say, ‘Start meditating,’ they act like I just tried to duck the question! ‘Come on, Russell, I don’t have time for all of that,’ they’ll say in protest. ‘Give me something real!’
But I couldn’t be more real with someone looking to improve their life than to tell them to meditate. So when they claim they don’t have time, I always come back to them with that old saying about meditation: If you don’t have twenty minutes to delve into yourself through meditation, then that means you really need two hours. So if you’re one of those people who claim that they would start meditating if they just had the time, my message to you is: Make the time.
That’s because while your mind is the part of your body you use the most, it’s also probably the part you spend the least amount of time taking care of.”
– Russell Simmons
from Success Through Stillness
Last month we talked about probiotics vs. antibiotics. If you missed that issue, please be sure to read it HERE. This month the feature is the connection between stress and its control centers in our brain and gut.
Throughout eons of rime our bodies developed the "fight or flight" response to protect us from the ever-present dangers of early life on this planet. We witness it in the animal kingdom all the time.
That fight or flight response has come down to us, and interprets the stresses in our lives as danger. Our body then produces the response that raises our blood pressure, increases our heart rate, and a rush of adrenalin.
The problem is that there is no danger to fight; we have the fight or flight symptoms, but no enemy exists. This we call acute stress, and it is extremely damaging to our body. Today stress a major role in most - if not all - disease processes in our body. Therefore, we need to develop techniques to relieve these stressors.
There is a great stress-relieving breathing technique that comes to us from Yoga called Nadi Shodhanam, often referred to as alternate nostril breathing. It is a very easy technique to learn.
Balance the right and left hemispheres of your brain wile relieving stress as follows:
Breathing through both nostrils helps harmonize the two hemispheres of the brain, resulting in physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The practice of alternate nostril breathing balances the left and right sides of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional aspects of our personality. This yogic breathing technique activates the parasympathetic nervous system and reduces blood pressure, which helps to calm and focus the mind. You can practice alternate nostril breathing to release accumulated stress in the mind and body, improve attention and decision making, and enhance your overall mental and physical performance.
To start, use your right thumb to close off your right nostril; inhale slowly through your left nostril; pause for a second.
Then close your left nostril with your ring finger and release your thumb from your right nostril and exhale through your right nostril,
Inhale through the right nostril, then close off the right and exhale through the left nostril and pause for a second.
That was one round. Begin slow with 1 or 2 rounds and gradually increase. This is a powerful stress-reducing technique. Incidentally, it is very easy to do, and not nearly as complicated as it at first seems. As soon as you learn the pattern you just repeat.
Here's a quick and easy fun idea for holiday entertaining. hey can be made in minutes, and you and your guests will love them.
EASY CELEBRATION PRETZEL STICKS
from Kraft Foods
28 pretzel rods
1 tub (7 oz.) Baker's dark semi-sweet dipping chocolate, melted
white chocolate for drawing (optional - see photo)
Cover tray with waxed paper. Dip pretzels halfway into chocolate; gently scrape off excess chocolate.
Coat lightly with sprinkles and/or coconut. Place on prepared tray.
Refrigerate 15 minutes or until chocolate is firm.
NOTE: The combination of sweet and salty makes these very tasty.
You don't have to worry about rolling out dough and dealing with cracks, breaks or a not-quite-right texture with this recipe. A mixture of shredded zucchini, eggs, chopped onions, baking mix (like Bisquick) and shredded Cheddar form the crust on their own.
2 c. shredded zucchini
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, eggs, onions, baking mix, cheese, oil, salt, pepper, sage, and paprika. Blend well and transfer to the prepared pie plate.
Bake 45 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
NOTE: If you are cooking for one or two, this keeps for many days in the refrigerator. It is frequently in my refrigerator. I use whole wheat baking mix in order to avoid white flour.
Don't short-change your exercise program during the busy holiday season. You may need to do abbreviated sessions sine days, but 10 minutes here and there will pay big dividends. On my extra-busy days if I find myself at the end of the day without having fitted in exercise, I never go to bed without doing about 10 minutes of Qi Gong.
Another good way to fit in exercise is to split it up, like 10 minutes in the morning, and 10 minutes in the evening.
Remember, it isn't so important exactly what you do, just that you do something! Your body is designed to move, and sitting all day destroys the strength of your psoas/hip flexors/core. All the function of your lower body requires that these be strong. And it is a whole lot easier to rebuild them than it is to regain their strength once they have become weak.
• Always begin with deep breathing. See Self Healing Made Easy or Michael and Me for specifics.
• If you can stand, walking in place is excellent (hold onto something if you need to).
• Sitting down and standing up repeatedly is also excellent. This is a great way to build or rebuild strength in the legs.
• If you must remain seated, concentrate on arm and upper body movements and stretches. Pretend like you are boxing the air, in front of you, and above your head. Be creative.
Always remember that meditation is especially important when you are overly busy. Even five minutes of deep breathing and meditation can be immensely beneficial.
Kefir: For me the over $5.00/quart price at most stores is prohibitive if drinking a cup each day, which is what is recommended. I found one source at a discount grocery where the price was two for $5.00. For three weeks I found it there, but then they have not gotten it in again. I really liked the one they had. It was organic, vanilla flavored, low fat, and really tasted yummy. Next time I find it at that store, I will purchase as many quarts as I can afford and freeze them. Of course the ultimate solution is to begin making my own, and I intend to do that after the first of the year.
I honestly think I feel more energetic since I started drinking the Kefir. Meanwhile I have a renewed commitment to good quality plain Yogurt with live bacteria at least every other day. I am determined to maintain my healthy probiotics intake.
One of the things I learned while researching Kefir, Yogurt and probiotics is that we should always stir the whey back into the Yogurt instead of draining it off and discarding it. It seems the whey is the highest quality protein and we don't want to destroy it. If you would like you may just drink the whey. Incidentally, Greek yogurt is simply where the processor strains the whey from the solid yogurt.
Mindfulness: I shared last month an advanced mindfulness seminar I was scheduled to take in December at the hospital where I volunteer. That seminar was rescheduled to mid-January, so stay tuned. I promise a report ASAP.
From my Mailbox
Join the Conversation
Hi Betty. Thanks for the article on Probiotics and Antibiotics. I found it very informative. I watched the video you referenced and want to learn more. /s/ Jane C.
Thanks Jane for your note. I learned a lot while researching that topic.
Hello Betty. Thanks for the
information you shared in a recent newsletter regarding medical cannabis.
I had no idea it is being used to prevent MS-related spasms. Sometimes they
almost drive me crazy and I hate the meds I have tried for it. I will talk to my
neuro next time I see her. Thanks again, and happy holidays. /s/ Gail G
I'm glad the information was helpful to you Gail. I have no personal experience with medical marijuana, but our research contributor, Karen, takes it regularly to manage spasms. If you have a related question, send it along and I'm sure Karen will respond.
IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION OR TOPIC YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO INCLUDE IN A FUTURE NEWSLETTER, LEASE LET ME KNOW. IF I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER, I'LL DO MY BEST TO FIND IT FOR YOU.
My thanks to all of you who use the Betty's House Amazon link to purchase anything from Amazon. That really helps to defray the monthly fees for the website, newsletter and mailing list. All you must do is click this Amazon logo to place your order:
You may purchase almost anything at anytime from Amazon. Do remember that using this logo one time only works for that particular order. It does not automatically carry over to future orders. However, when you click on this Amazon logo, as soon as it opens in your computer's browser, then bookmark the site and you will not need to physically look up the logo every time you order. I suggest you name that bookmark Betty's Amazon and then whenever you wish to place an order you simply click on that bookmark. It is really very easy. A small percentage of your purchase price comes back to Betty's House. Thanks so much for remembering to do that.