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Who Are You?

No more labeling of children’s charactersEvery child needs to be seen as a multifaceted being-now shy and withdrawn, now boisterous and outgoing; now slow and thoughtful, now swift and purposeful; now stubborn and uncooperative, now flexible. But never the same, always in process, always with the capacity for change and growth…Every child needs to be seen as a “learner” and encouraged to experience the joy of intellectual discovery and the satisfaction of making progress-however fast or slow…Every child needs to be encouraged to experience the pleasures of sports, song, dance, theater, and art without worrying about having to be the star athlete or a musical genius or the class actress or the family artist. No more imprisoning of children’s hopes and dreams and possibilities by locking them in with labels. Who knows what any of us might become if just one person believed in us enough to help us explore our unexplored selves.”

This is an excerpt from the book, “How to Talk So Kids Can Learn at Home and in School” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Do you ever feel like people slap labels on you? I know that I am guilty of labeling myself and others. This is not always done with malicious intent. Unfortunately, the label that we slap onto ourselves or someone else is incomplete and sometimes even inaccurate. Here’s my challenge to you-scrape off the labels that have been slapped onto you. You don’t have to live by those labels! Go out and join a Meetup group to make some new friends, pick up a fun hobby, volunteer for an important cause, read some stimulating books or travel to an inspiring location. As the author puts it, I challenge you to explore your unexplored self.

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Fun, Fab, FAT diet

It’s dinnertime! It’s time for the low fat, low carb, low sodium meal again. Sound delicious? Not really! These are the kinds of meals that I used to make in 2010. I’m so glad that I am not eating this way anymore. Do you know why? Research shows, and health gurus agree that…fat…is…good for us! Our brains and bodies need fat to work properly. It’s also difficult to feel satiated when we don’t consume enough fat. Filling up on carbs to feel full may lead to health problems like diabetes and obesity.

If you want more information about a diet high in fats, you may want to read about the Ketogenic diet. My husband has been on this diet and has lost 40 pounds. Personally, I don’t follow a particular diet. I believe that the ideal diet includes organic/natural/clean foods and should contain mostly vegetables/fruits/nuts/seeds, some meat, and minimal grains/sweets.

Regardless of the diet that you follow, our bodies need fat. Some healthy fats include organic/free-range eggs, organic/free-range chicken, organic/grass-fed beef, organic/grass-fed butter, coconut oil and olive oil (please note that olive oil is unhealthy at high temperatures).

Let’s get back to dinner. Now I’m hankerin’ for a large portion of colorful vegetables, some grass-fed beef and a small portion of quinoa. Let’s throw in some organic, full fat butter. Doesn’t that sound delicious? Bon Appetit!

My Favorite Essential Oils for Sleep

Are you looking for a natural sleep aid? In addition to numerous other health benefits, essential oils provide calming, soothing and stabilizing effects to your body that will help you to get all of the sleep that you need!

 

Clary Sage

The linalool and linalyl acetate in Clary Sage will provide feelings of calmness after a long day. In the Middle Ages, Clary Sage was used to soothe the skin.

This essential oil smells alluring and intoxicating. When I open a bottle of Clary Sage, I feel like I am being transported to a world of captivating beauty, similar to the world created by Monet, in his painting, “The Artist’s Garden at Giverny.” After diffusing Clary Sage in the living room, I discovered that it puts me into a sleepy trance!

 

Vetiver

Vetiver contains isovalencenol and khusimol which help to stabilize emotions. With its slightly sweet and enticing herbal scent, this thick essential oil is often used in perfumes. Tranquility in a bottle!

 

Cedarwood

Cedarwood contains cedrol and alpha-Cedrene which provide soothing benefits. Cedrol will also help to stabilize your mood. You can find Cedarwood in the biblical books of Leviticus and Numbers.

When I open a bottle of Cedarwood, it’s easy to imagine that I am under the stars and tall Red Cedar trees. The woody scent provides feelings of peace.

 

Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang contains carophyllene and germacrene-d which is a soothing chemical combination. Ylang Ylang has been used in perfumes (it has been called “The Perfume Tree”), weddings and religious ceremonies for centuries.

The floral scent of Ylang Ylang is sweet and uplifting. One whiff of it makes me feel happier and more relaxed. Ylang Ylang is like a healing balm for crazy emotions!

 

What are your favorite natural sleep aids?

My Warrior Dash Race

Are you bored of your current work-out routine? Do you enjoy running, climbing and crawling through the mud? Try the Warrior Dash! In 2017, I did the 5k Warrior Dash with my husband. It was a great work-out and a fun bonding experience. Research shows that the couple that prays and plays together, stays together!

This race is the easiest “mud race” out there and it can be done at your own pace. If any particular obstacle in the Warrior Dash is too difficult for you, just move onto the next one. Read on to find out more about the Warrior Dash!

 

TRAINING

 

If you are already in shape, you might not have to train for the Warrior Dash. I chose to train for three months because I wanted to strengthen my body after having a baby. I did running, squats, lunges, burpees, push-ups, weight training and other work-outs that my husband designed for me. At the end of the week, he played with the kids on the playground while I did my exercises. It felt wonderful to work-out again!

 

OBSTACLE COURSES

 

  • Climbing over bleachers. This was the most difficult obstacle for me because it was really high. The climb itself was not hard, but it was scary because we had to  climb on the back side of the bleachers. My palms are sweaty  from just thinking about it!

 

  • Wading through mud paths. This was easy and fun!

 

  • Crawling under barbed wire. I enjoyed all of the crawling events. Also, some obstacles required us to lie on our backs while grabbing onto ropes above us.

 

  • Rope climbing. This was actually a fun novelty event for me because the wall was not very steep.

 

  • Running. We also walked when we got tired.

 

  • Advancing from platform to platform while being sprinkled with water from above. It felt like we were in a video game!

 

  • Fire jump. This sounds scary, but the fire is very small. We held hands and jumped over together!

 

  • Ginormous slide into swampy mud. This was like a high waterpark ride!

 

  • Wading through a thick mud pit. This was the last obstacle at the end of the race. It’s a great work-out for the lower body!

 

The whole race took us about two hours. After you cross the finish line, you receive a medal, you get hosed down and you can pick-up a free t-shirt. There’s also beer, food and other fun activities after you cross the finish line!

 

Which mud races have you tried?

Let’s Talk About Disease Prevention…Have You Had Your Cancer Today?

“Have you had your cancer today?” This is what my pathophysiology teacher asked us when he was teaching us about cancer. He was trying to make the point that our bodies are constantly exposed to carcinogens all around us. It’s true that we are regularly exposed to toxins that cause disease. However, the empowering news is that positive physical, emotional and spiritual health changes can oftentimes prevent cancer and other diseases. You can improve your health and prevent disease with some of the ideas listed below!

  1. Pray without ceasing.
  2. Read the Bible.
  3. Call a friend when you need emotional support.
  4. Eliminate one unhealthy food from your diet.
  5. Switch to natural cleaning/personal care products.
  6. Talk to a counselor about your relationship problems.
  7. Find a work-out buddy or health accountability partner.
  8. Do CrossFit.
  9. Join a gym.
  10. Read an inspirational book.
  11. Get a massage.
  12. Make healthy smoothies.
  13. Add one healthy food to your diet.
  14. Buy grass-fed beef instead of conventional beef.
  15. Memorize encouraging Bible verses.
  16. Forgive the mistakes of yourself and others.
  17. Listen to soothing music.
  18. Buy organic dairy instead of conventional dairy.
  19. Use pure essential oils to support your health.
  20. Add a multivitamin or healthy supplement to your diet.
  21. Add Epsom salts to your bath.
  22. Go for a 20-minute walk.
  23. Run in a 5k race.
  24. Run in a Warrior Dash race.
  25. Join a fun Meetup group.
  26. Open a window for at least 15 minutes everyday.
  27. Add more vegetables to your diet.
  28. Add more nuts and seeds to your diet.
  29. Drink green tea.
  30. Eat more avocados.
  31. Eliminate soda pop from your diet.
  32. Fast from social media for a week.
  33. Watch less TV.
  34. Travel to a sunny vacation spot.
  35. Do yoga.
  36. Turn off the notifications on your phone.
  37. Create a vision board to help you achieve your dreams/goals.
  38. Find one natural remedy and integrate it into your health routine.
  39. Visit a trusted integrative practitioner.
  40. Take a break from negativity and violence in the media.
  41. Start a new hobby.
  42. Tackle a new project.
  43. Join a Bible study at church.
  44. Devise a plan for financial freedom.
  45. Minimize your contact with toxic people.
  46. Adopt a pet.
  47. Volunteer your time for a worthy cause.
  48. De-clutter your bedroom and donate things you don’t need.
  49. Add kale to your diet.
  50. Make a list of enjoyable activities and do them on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis.
  51. Practice hospitality.
  52. Get your vitamin D level checked regularly and supplement as needed.
  53. Cook with organic butter and coconut oil instead of canola oil.
  54. Buy a non-toxic mattress.
  55. Buy organic pillows.
  56. Switch to safe cookware.
  57. Take a daily probiotic.
  58. Cook dinner instead of buying fast food.
  59. Stop adding extra salt to your food.
  60. Add blueberries to your smoothie.
  61. Eat desserts weekly instead of daily.
  62. See a financial advisor to help lessen stress from financial difficulties.
  63. Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
  64. Rejoice in the Lord.
  65. When you have a negative thought, do the following. Stop the negative thought. Reject the negative thought. Replace the negative thought with a Bible verse or with a positive thought.
  66. Drink more water.
  67. Reduce trips to fast food restaurants.
  68. Take Revive Our Hearts’ 30-Day Gratitude Challenge.
  69. Switch to whole-food, non-GMO supplements.
  70. Shop at healthy grocery stores.
  71. Be generous with your time and talents.
  72. Set healthy boundaries.
  73. Trust in God.
  74. Visit a chiropractor.
  75. Cleanse your body with essential oils.
  76. Ask for help.
  77. Reject pride and be humble.
  78. Practice the Sabbath/take a day of rest.
  79. Take a nap.
  80. Learn to be content.
  81. Be kind to yourself and others.
  82. Start a gratitude journal.
  83. Spend time outdoors.
  84. Join a sports team.
  85. Be thankful.

Are you trying to improve your health? Don’t stress about making multiple changes all at once. Even the smallest change can make a positive difference!