Things Your Dr. Won’t Tell You About Health

I want to help as many people as I can to get out of the rut of unhealthy eating habits and lifestyles that have caused unprecedented incidences of obesity, diabetes, and cancer, and autoimmune diseases in this country.  I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist, but I currently work in a medical office as an LPN. I see, first hand, how many health complications arise and spiral out of control as a result of poor lifestyle choices.

I have learned a lot about the human body processes and how amazing the human body is when everything is working properly and after witnessing the decline of so many patients’ health,  I’ve developed a deeper appreciation and gratefulness for my own health and how precious our time here in the physical world is.

We all need to take responsibility for our own health.  Don’t look for a pill to solve your problems. The human body is an amazing thing.  It is an intense structure that has the ability to HEAL ITSELF!!  As long as your body is in good physical condition and fueled with the proper nutrients and stress is properly managed, and your chakras are balanced and aligned, it can and WILL heal itself!

I work for a doctor who is much more forward thinking than most practitioners of internal medicine who is also a licensed acupuncturist and utilizes a lot of different natural supplements to help keep her patients healthy and strong well into their 80’s and 90’s.

Some of the most common supplements that she recommends to her patients are:

  • Vitamin D3
  • Turmeric
  • Fish Oil (Omega 3 Fatty Acids)
  • Bergamot (helps some people with cholesterol levels)
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin B12 folate

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is such an important powerhouse vitamin that most of America is extremely deficient of .  You need to have this level checked at least once a year through blood work ordered by your doctor with a 25OH Vitamin D test because it is a fat soluble vitamin that can cause problems if the level becomes too high.  The standard that most labs and doctors go by is a level of 35 being “normal”. The Dr. that I work for likes to see it much higher than that – more like 50-60ng/mL  A dose of 1000 iu of D3 a day is a very minimal dose to start with. Just make sure you get D3 not D2.

Vitamin D3’s role in immune health has long been established; vitamin D receptors are found on a number of immune cells, including lymphocytes and macrophages, supporting healthy immune cell activation. Vitamin D also supports cardiovascular function in some individuals and is now believed to help prevent cancer, it supports bones with calcium absorption and dozens of other health benefits.

Essential Oils

One of my favorite things to use in place of medications is essential oils.  There are endless uses for them. You can apply them topically (when mixed with a carrier oil), you can diffuse them, you can use them to make non-toxic cleaning supplies and even just as a room deodorizer.  They smell amazing!

The effects of these oils provide a lot more benefit than just smelling nice.  They actually provide:

  • Pharmacological changes (when absorbed through the skin or inhaled)
  • Psychological effects (when inhaled)
  • Physiologically (giving you a sense of relaxation or invigorating you)

When applying essential oils to the skin, I recommend mixing them together with some kind of carrier oil such as:

One of the most common illnesses that we see in our office every year is Sinusitis and upper respiratory infections. Almost 40 million Americans suffer from sinusitis each year. Sinusitis is inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses sometimes causing an infection that creates mucus build up, pain and tenderness, cough and sometimes fever.

Anytime a patient comes into the medical office that I work in, they are prescribed an antibiotic for a sinus infection.  Although recent research shows that your body should be able to naturally overcome mild or moderate sinusitis without medication¹.  Certain essential oils can help with your sinusitis symptoms, the key is to start using them as soon as you start feeling any of the symptoms. The best oil to use for helping to clear out mucus and open the sinuses is Eucalyptus.  It can also ease symptoms of respiratory conditions by dilating the blood vessels and allowing more oxygen into the lungs.  Peppermint helps to reduce swelling of the nasal passages and helps with headaches, and Lemon also supports clearing out mucus in the nasal passages and sinus regions.  You can use them topically by combining with a carrier oil like coconut oil, to rub on your chest at night or diffuse them in water with a diffuser so that you can inhale the oils while you work or at home. Inhalation of essential oils is an effective way to treat nose, throat and lung ailments.  The properties of the oils are absorbed into the blood circulation faster by inhalation than by oral application. The diffuser also humidifies the air and helps prevent your skin from getting dry. You can also try a roll-on application of Peppermint for your forehead and temples. This helps relieve headache symptoms.

Dairy products cause you to produce more mucus and so does sugar. Sugar and alcohol suppress your immune system.  You need to do as much as possible to support your immune system. Drink plenty of water, preferably lemon water (the lemon helps to loosen the mucus) or hot tea with lemon and get plenty of rest.

Visualization

Visualization is a very effective technique when trying to make a change in your life. Our mind is a very powerful tool and can sometimes work against us.  Your thoughts are one of the only functions of your body that you have 100% control of. From the minute you wake up, until the minute you go to sleep, your brain  processes tens of thousands of thoughts. Some of them you aren’t even aware of. Most of us have a constant stream of negative thoughts. We all have that voice inside of our heads that says we can’t or shouldn’t do something.  We think we aren’t good enough or we don’t deserve it. This is just your ego trying to prevent you from stepping out of your comfort zone. It is imperative that you make a conscious effort to become more aware of and change your thought patterns.   Don’t focus on what you don’t have, or what your problem is, instead focus on your health or financial goal as if you have already achieved it and try to keep your mind in a state of appreciation and gratitude.

Keep your mind in a state of appreciation and you will attract more of what you want. When a negative thought creeps into your mind, try to stop it and change your thought process. Just tell yourself to stop thinking that way and “think positive”.  Say it out loud to yourself. No matter how much you want to complain about someone or something, just let it go and think positive. A great little exercise to help with this is to keep a gratitude journal. “The One Minute Gratitude Journal” by Brenda Nathan is a wonderful example of one to use. Writing down daily positive experiences is a way of training your brain to become more positive and to stop focusing on negativity, which attracts more negativity.  Once you learn to fine tune your thoughts to gratefulness for what you have and being happy about where you are right now, not worrying about the past or the future – being as present as possible – then you will be in a state that welcomes harmony and healing both physically and spiritually.

Meditation

Builds skills to manage your stress.  It increases self-awareness, reduces negative emotions, increases patience and tolerance and helps you focus on the present moment. Some research suggests that it may help manage symptoms of:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression      
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Chronic Pain
  • Effects of Chemo
  • Insomnia
  • Tension Headaches

Meditation is not a replacement for traditional medical treatment, but to be used in conjunction with it.

Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese medicine explains that health is the result of a harmonious balance of “yin” and “yang” of the life force known as “qi”, pronounced “chi”.  Illness happens when there is an imbalance of these forces. Qi is said to flow through meridians in the human body. These meridians are accessible through 350 acupuncture points in the body. Inserting needles into these points with appropriate combinations brings the body back into proper balance.

Reiki

is a holistic Japanese hands-on healing technique that uses life force energy to help the body heal itself. The origin of Reiki can be traced back to ancient Tibet, thousands of years ago. It was then re-discovered in the mid 1800’s by Dr. Mikao Usui of Japan.  It’s a gentle, non-invasive technique that promotes relaxation and stress reduction. The practitioner guides their hands along the body, sometime a few inches off of the body, to scan for any feeling of blockages in the body. The practitioner is very in tune to this and can feel heat or sometimes coolness and will just hold their hands in that spot as long as their intuition tells them it is needed. The hands become hot as the energy flows through the practitioner’s hands. It brings your body into balance, harmony and wholeness, which is necessary to achieve optimal health and wellness. It also provides a sense of emotional wellbeing as well as physical.

Chakras

These are metaphorically referred to as “the gateways of consciousness” and literally means “wheels of light” (the sanskrit meaning).  Tapping into these through meditation is a great way to connect with your spirit. There are 7 commonly known energy centers that follow up the body from the base of the spine up to the top of the head:

  • 1st – Root
  • 2nd – Sacral
  • 3rd – Solar Plexus
  • 4th – Heart
  • 5th – Throat
  • 6th – Third Eye
  • 7th – Crown

Each chakra has their own purpose and connection to your spiritual being.  They control different emotions. When they are blocked and not flowing freely, they create physical manifestations of illness and disease and emotional disturbance.  This is usually brought on by our negative thought processes.

Once we are able to get our body back into balance and get the positive energy flowing freely through our body, we are less likely to get sick.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please be sure to consult your physician before taking this or any other product.

Disclaimer – This guide is in no way a replacement of medical advice. It is not intended to treat any medical conditions.  Please consult with a physician before adding any new supplements to your diet.

I am an Amazon affiliate and will get a small commission if you purchase through my link at no cost to you.


Raise Your Vibe To Feel Alive!

Our bodies are made up of energy meridians, frequencies and vibrations. Every cell in your body vibrates. Every object and thought has its own vibration. This lifeforce energy is what keeps us feeling healthy, vibrant, and full of life and happiness. When we are bogged down with negative thoughts, and spending time in negative environments, being exposed to toxic ingredients and toxic people, we start to lower our vibrational energy and attract more negativity and our body is less able to heal itself.

Thoughts are vibrations and whatever vibrations you are creating, will attract more of the same vibration.  So the more you complain about something you don’t like or don’t want, the more it will keep showing up in your life. I’m sure you’ve heard of “The Law of Attraction”.

Raising your vibration is the crucial step that will make a difference in your health and well-being.

Signs That You Need to Raise Your Vibrational Energy:

  • You are unhappy at your job
  • Haven’t found your true purpose in life
  • Getting sick all the time
  • Suffering from anxiety and/or depression
  • Short-tempered/irritability
  • Frequent fear/distrust/paranoia
  • Delusional
  • Overly controlling
  • Chronic lying
  • Being too rigid/unable to be spontaneous
  • Low self-esteem
  • Can’t express yourself/feel invisible
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Judgmental and jealous of others
  • Fear of intimacy
  • Holding grudges
  • Difficulty following through with promises
  • Poor communication skills

Disease is the result of a lack of harmony in your body – a blockage from the natural flow of healing energy that is naturally there from the day you are born – known as lifeforce energy, believed to radiate through all life forms.

Once we are able to get our body back into balance and get the positive energy flowing freely through our body, we are less likely to get sick. This sense of well-being begins to compound and your body is now in a positive state which raises your energy vibration, which attracts others who are in this same vibration and attracts other circumstances and situations in the same vibration: “Like Attracts Like

Balancing your Chakras with Reiki is a great way to raise your vibration. Deep breathing exercises and meditation are also great ways to clear your mind and to be in the present moment, making room for positive healing vibrations.

One of the best ways to raise your vibrational energy is to listen to upbeat, inspirational music with a positive message.

Music has always been one of those things that I’ve enjoyed, counted on and appreciated my whole life. I think most people take it for granted. They don’t realize what an important role it plays in our lives and how deeply it affects us.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”
~Plato

Physical Benefits

It doesn’t matter what genre you prefer or what instrument you might play, music is a universal form of therapy. Listening to it:

  • increases dopamine,
  • lowers blood pressure,
  • reduces pain
  • improves mood
  • reduces anxiety and depression

Studies have shown music therapy to be beneficial in the treatment of autism, learning disabilities, dementia and autism and even with pain management during labor and delivery!

Obviously, the lyrics in the song will have a tremendous impact on how it makes you feel because of the emotions it can evoke. Unfortunately, a lot of popular music that is on the radio is filled with either negativity or just empty lyrics that really have no meaning. I felt compelled to write about this song by Lauren Daigle , a Contemporary Christian Singer Songwriter – called “You Say”. She has a powerful voice and message that reaches down deep into your soul. The lyrics to this song are so moving and inspirational and will help lift anyone’s spirits that might be struggling with a feeling of loneliness or hopelessness. It’s very spiritual and a reminder that we are all beautiful and perfect and accepted by a higher being (God, The Universe, or whatever higher power you may believe in) leaving you with an overall sense of love and well-being.


“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”

-Confucius

7 Signs That Your Root Chakra is Out Of Balance

Chakra” is a Sanskrit word that means wheel. It is believed that we all have 7 chakras, or wheels, of energy centers spinning within us at all times, starting at the base of the spine all the way up to the top of the head.  Each Chakra has a different type of life force energy which we need and apply to our life. They supply our mind, body and soul with different psychological and emotional functions. When they are out of balance or stop spinning, that means that they are blocked and it will become evident in the way you are feeling and it will start affecting your life in negative ways.

Tapping into these through meditation is a great way to connect with your spirit. There are 7 commonly known major energy centers that follow up the body from the base of the spine up to the top of the head:

  • 1st – Root
  • 2nd – Sacral
  • 3rd – Solar Plexus
  • 4th – Heart
  • 5th – Throat
  • 6th – Third Eye
  • 7th – Crown

Each chakra has their own purpose and connection to your spiritual being.  They control different emotions. When they are blocked and not flowing freely, they create physical manifestations of illness and disease and emotional disturbance.  This is usually brought on by our negative thought processes.

The 1st Chakra starts at the base of the spine, called the Root Chakra, Muladhara . Mula means root and Adhara means base or support.

  • It is associated with the color RED
  • its element is the Earth
  • its related organs are
    bladder, colon/large intestine, skeleton, foot, leg, teeth, arterial blood flow to left chamber of heart
  • Adrenals
  • it is developed in the womb up to 16 months old

It represents security, groundedness, foundations of life, trust, survival and ability to manifest what you need and set goals successfully.

It is the center of our physical well-being and our energetic foundation. It is the gateway to all of the other chakras. Energy from the earth is channeled through your Root Chakra and keeps you feeling grounded. If this is blocked, it will create an imbalance in your life and for all of the other chakras as well.

If you were raised in a loving family surrounded by people who loved and cared for you where your needs were met and you had a sense of security, then you will have developed a strong, healthy Root Chakra.

On the other hand, if you came from a home that was chaotic, unsafe, without stability and consistency, if you moved a lot from city to city, experienced a traumatic event, didn’t connect with other relatives and spend family time together, you probably didn’t develop that necessary foundation of the Root Chakra.

Signs of Imbalance:

  • You might experience a lot of Anxiety and Depression or feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • Difficulty trusting anyone
  • You may have issues with your bladder or low back pain.
  • Your adrenals might be very taxed, causing you to feel lethargic all the time
  • You experience difficulty setting goals
  • Eating Disorders are a result of a blocked Root Chakra
  • Financial Difficulties

Some good ways to nourish your Root Chakra are to:

  • Eat more home-cooked MEALS
  • Eat more PROTEIN– legumes, eggs, fish or meat
  • Wear more RED
  • Spend time with a PET
  • Do some gardening, walk barefoot in the grass to connect with the EARTH
  • Spend time with FAMILY (doesn’t have to be blood relatives)
  • Red Jasper , Black Tourmaline, Garnet and Bloodstone are gems/stones that you can place at the location of the Root Chakra while meditating and chanting “Lam” to help align this chakra
  • Essential Oils that help are: Sandalwood, Rosewood, Rosemary, Cedar, Clove, Black Pepper, Francincense, Myrhh, Ginger
  • Getting a Reiki treatment is a great way to help balance and align the energies of the Chakras
  • Meditation is another way to focus on opening and nourishing the Root Chakra and all of the other Chakras as well. Try my Reiki Guided Meditation.

Yoga Poses

Yoga moves the energy in your body, therefore there are many yoga poses that help to open each chakra. A few poses to help with your Root Chakra Energy are:

Mountain Pose- a great pose to connect your feet to the earth’s energy.

Child’s Pose- helps you feel completely supported by the earth beneath you

Anjaneyasana -This pose creates an intense stretch for the psoas and quad muscles. These muscles are associated with the Fight-or-Flight mechanism and are deeply connected to the first chakra energy center. Take 5 deep breaths allowing these muscles time to relax and transform any residual fight or flight energy into calm inner strength.

Warrier II- Both feet are firmly on the ground, creating a feeling of confidence and determination.

Savasana – laying flat on your back, feeling the earth beneath you, letting it fully support you and repeating “I am safe, I am supported, I am secure” as you inhale and exhale.

You now have a good foundation to help you move forward in your continual journey of self-development. Remember: You are supported, you are safe and you are secure!

Love and light!

10 Tips to Avoid the Flu This Winter

Natural Health, Herbs, Health Tips
Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

10 Tips to Avoid the Flu

1. Vitamin D3 (Get your level checked from your doctor. (Vit D 25OH blood test)

40 – 50 is optimal

2. Probiotics  healthy gut = healthy immune system

3. Drink 50-75oz. water with lemon DAILY

4. Fresh Air  Get Outside Every Day

5. Stay active 30 minutes a day of activity

6. Add more leafy greens to your diet try adding them to a smoothie if you don’t like eating them

7. Avoid Sugar, Dairy and  Processed Foods

8. Get Enough Sleep this is when your body heals

9. Stop using Commercial Antibacterial      Products

These products are causing antibiotic resistance.

 Use cleaning products with essential oils, vinegar and           natural castile based soaps

10. Diffuse Essential Oils:

Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus*, Cinnamon leaf,    Orange (bitter or sweet) Clove , Rosemary

Most essential oils have properties that fight bacteria and promote the production of white blood cells which will help prevent infectious illnesses. (*eucalyptus can induce seizures in epileptics)

Get Diffuser Here

Disclaimer – This guide is in no way a replacement of medical advice. It is not intended to treat any medical conditions.  Please consult with a physician before adding any new supplements to your diet.

I am an Amazon affiliate and will get a small commission if you purchase through my link at no cost to you.

Magnesium Spray for Fibromyalgia Pain

Fibromyalgia Pain, Fibromyalgia, Fibromyalgia help,

More than 10 million people have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in the U.S. It is the most common chronic pain disorder and there are over 4000 published studies that have been published about the widespread, chronic pain of Fibromyalgia.

As a Fibromyalgia sufferer, I know how debilitating and life altering Fibromyalgia can be.  Even though I consider myself as having a “mild” case, I’ve had days where I couldn’t get out of bed even though I was sick of laying in bed and unable to get comfortable, it was still more painful to get up and walk.  I’ve forfeited kids’ functions, family get togethers, meeting up with friends because I didn’t want to be miserable and make everyone around me miserable.  I would also be terrified of being in a situation where there might be too much walking or physical activity that might not seem like a big deal to other people, but would put me into a flare-up the next day.

I had to leave a nursing job that I physically couldn’t handle anymore – even though it was only part-time. I would come home after 8 hours of being on my feet under intense pressure all day and I would be in agony and it would take a couple of days for me to recover.  I stuck it out for a year and a half because we needed health insurance at the time.  Luckily my husband was able to get a new job with health benefits and I was able to change jobs to the doctor’s office that I have been working at for 9 years now.

Reiki

Just before I got that job, I learned about an amazing form of Energy healing called Reiki.  It’s a holistic Japanese hands-on healing technique that uses life force energy to help the body heal itself. The origin of Reiki can be traced back to ancient Tibet, thousands of years ago. It was then re-discovered in the mid 1800’s by Dr. Mikao Usui of Japan.  It’s a gentle, non-invasive technique that promotes relaxation and stress reduction. The practitioner guides their hands along the body, sometime a few inches off of the body, (in the aura) to scan for any feeling of blockages in the body.  Where there is a blockage, there is usually pain or illness.  Holding their hands over the blockage and channeling healing energy to the area helps to get the energy flowing properly again and reduces pain – both physical and emotional pain.  After receiving my first treatment at a healing circle, I felt like I was floating.  It was the most amazing feeling, and any pain or stiffness that I had seemed to just melt away.  For the first time in a long time I felt a sense of relief and hope.  It was brought into my life at just the right time.  It was exactly what I needed.  It reminded me of the body’s ability to heal itself.   I loved it so much that I became a practitioner.  I  felt like I finally found something that could help people naturally, without medications.

That’s when I made the decision  to live a more holistic lifestyle.  It was the only way to combat the pain and misery of this disease.  I didn’t want to take the medications that are being prescribed to treat the symptoms.  I decided to do my best to overcome this and not let it overcome me.

Mindset Shift

Everyone has stress in their lives.  What matters is how you choose to handle it.  Avoid people and situations that you know are going to create stress for you.  Surround yourself with people who are positive and supportive.  It’s OK to talk to other people who know what you are going through, but don’t get caught up in constantly focusing on it. This can cause you to get into a downward spiral of negativity and self-pity and will make you feel worse emotionally and physically.

If you have a stressful job, get a new one.  Think about what makes you happy and find a job related to that or create something that you can do online.  Create an online course or write a book.  Do something that will help others.  This will make you feel better about yourself and will increase your vibrational energy which attracts positiivity into your life.

If you are in a toxic realtionship, end it or go to counseling.  Learn how to communicate effectively and how to deal with your physical limitations.

If you don’t like your life, change it!  Don’t let anyone else dictate how you should live your life. Take control of your life, it is possible.  Don’t let negative thoughts stop you from living the life you want and dream of.

Get a journal and start writing about positivity.  Every day write down 3  positive things that happened during that day.  Don’t write about the things you are mad or sad about.  Only write about things that made you happy, no matter how small.  It could be as simple as petting your cat or eating something that was so delicious, you didn’t want it to end. Just focus on how good it made you feel at that time and feel a sense of gratitude for it.  The more you focus on these little things, the more appreciative you will become for things that you usually take for granted and you will start to develop a more positive mindset which attracts more positivity into your life.

Diet Changes

I found that I definitely felt better when I avoided sugar and processed foods. I tried going gluten-free and dairy free and noticed a major difference with my IBS. My stomach wasn’t so bloated all the time.  And taking a good quality probiotic every day is a must as well.

As a result I decided to put together a list of items that I use and recommend as very helpful.  They obviously are not intended to replace any prescription medications that you may be taking, I am just making a suggestion based on what I have found helpful for me.  You can click on the images to purchase the items through Amazon.  Please check with your medical provider before taking any new vitamin supplements.

Vitamin D3   Most people are Vitamin D deficient.  Boosting up your levels of this vitamin is good for overall health. Getting your level up between 50-60 is optimal. It helps improve your immune system, its good for brain health, heart health, bone health and breast health.  Ask your doctor to order a Vitamin D25OH blood test.

Magnesium Deficiency – studies have shown that low magnesium levels correlate with and contribute to the muscle and nerve pain of fibromyalgia. (Abraham and Flechas 2009)

Magnesium Citrate is an oral supplement that helps improve nerve and muscle function.  It helps me with Restless Leg Syndrome.  I take 400mg at bedtime.  If you are taking it for the first time, start out with 150mg and work up to 400mg because it can cause loose stool.

Magnesium Spray  is an excellent alternative to taking an oral supplement.  There is now Magnesium Oil spray available (magnesium chloride).  There was a Mayo Clinic study published in 2015 that demonstrated improvement in fibromyalgia patients who applied the spray to arms and legs (or any other body part that gives you the most pain) twice a day.  The only side effect can be skin irritation or itching.  If it doesn’t subside after using a few days, use the oral supplement instead.
Click here to purchase:

Essential Oils are one of my favorite things to use and to recommend to people because it is beneficial for so many ailments.  In this case, I highly recommend using just lavender oil in the water at bedtime . It’s very relaxing and can help with falling asleep.  During the day you can mix lavender and peppermint for a more invigorating scent and it can help with headaches and sinus congestion as well.  It just gives a sense of well-being and makes you feel good. It also helps to ward off germs and viruses.  I brought a diffuser to work because we are constantly getting exposed to germs and sickness.  Everyone enjoys it and looks forward to the new scents that I bring in.  Patients are always asking me how I avoid getting sick. I tell them it’s the essential oils!

Diffuser  My favorite diffuser to use is this one by Coosa.  It’s a cool mist humidifier so you can use it with plain water to moisturize the air (good for the winter) or add essential oils. It has 4 time settings and 7 color changing LED lights.

Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamp

These Ambient Salt Lamps are individually handcrafted and sourced directly from the second largest salt mines in the world, Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan.

  • BETTER SLEEP – Put the rock salt lamp on your bed stand, put the dimmer to the lowest setting and you have an amazing light night that will help with your sleep. The negative ions will help reduce anxiety and also with making the atmosphere more relaxed with the warm soft glow.

Sleep Mask

This sleep mask is made of 100% top quality  silk on BOTH sides. The super soft, super smooth silk is light weight, breathable and protein rich, which gives you total blackout. One size fits all. Gentle, easy-to-adjust headband won’t tangle hair.  Such a simple, inexpensive item, can make a major difference in your quality of sleep.

E-Books

These E-books Show Why Fibromyalgia Is A Muscle Cell Disease, What The Signs & Symptoms Really Are And What’s The Basic Care!

Click Here!

Holistic Living With Karen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

My Love Affair with Italia!

Culture, Landscape, Cuisine

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Casa al Vento in Gaiole, Chianti of Tuscany

Story and Photos by Karen Granelle, Holistic Lifestyle Blogger

I have been dreaming of going to Italy for over 25 years.  Now that our kids are both away at college, my husband and I decided to go for it and help soften the blow of the “Empty Nest” syndrome and celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary by going to Italy.  So a couple of weeks after the kids were settled in their dorms, we headed off.

What I experienced during my trip to Italy was an array of continuous splendor for all of the senses…

There was so much to absorb and enjoy.  I can understand why people love to visit this beautiful land of

  • Ancient History
  • Renaissance paintings and sculpture
  • Rolling landscapes
  • Stunning water views
  • Friendly smiling faces
  • and of course – the food and wine! 

The simple recipes bursting with flavor of fresh local ingredients.  The melodic sound of the Italian language was like listening to a beautiful symphony.  I couldn’t get enough. I had to record people speaking so that I wouldn’t forget the sound when I went back to my boring English speaking life.  I was so pleasantly surprised at how many people we dealt with at the hotels and restaurants that knew how to speak English.  We visited several cities and stayed in several different hotels, and each hotel welcomed us with open arms and with such warmth and friendliness.  Each person was more beautiful than the next – on the inside as well as on the outside.  They all dressed impeccably and looked  like they just stepped out of a magazine.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the book “Eat, Pray, Love”  by Elizabeth Gilbert and how she was gushing about the Italians.  I felt like her!  And also the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”.  I kept thinking about the main character when she opens the shutters of the apartment she purchased in Tuscany and marvels at the amazing landscape.  I felt like her too!  I always dreamed of going and experiencing these things and I finally did it!

I am only about 25% Sicilian (my maternal grandmother’s parents were born in Sicily) but it was very gratifying to see where my grandmother came from. Even though we didn’t see Sicily, I got to see “her people” and I felt a sense of belonging.  So many people we saw looked just like family members and Italian friends of ours.  Several people attempted to speak to me in Italian, assuming that I could speak the language because of my features.   I wish I could have.  It makes me want to learn the language now and go back!

This trip was nourishment for the soul.  Getting out of our daily routines and surroundings and experiencing another culture, another way of life reminded us how much we appreciate nature and respect ancient history, art and new experiences with new people. It was rejuvenating and intoxicating and left us eager for new travel experiences!

It’s so important to have these experiences in your life.  Whether it’s in another country or right in your own neighborhood.  Get out and experience new surroundings and new activities.  Immerse yourself into another culture or even your own culture.  Learn as much as you can about your ancestors and where you came from.  It will help you to feel a sense of belonging to know where you came from and will help you to appreciate the foundation of your family roots.

Happy travels!

Arrivederci!

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Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”

 

Sculpture, David, Michelangelo
Michelangelo’s “David” Sculpture

 

 

 

 

Photos and story by Karen Granelle, Holistic Lifestyle Blogger

This post contains an affiliate link.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Items to Keep Your College Kids Healthy

Going to College Shouldn’t Sacrifice a Healthy Lifestyle

This summer is bittersweet for me. I’m trying to enjoy every minute with my kids because at the end of August both are going away to college. My son is starting his Junior year and moving into an on-campus apartment and my daughter is starting her Freshman year. So the depressing term “empty nest” keeps popping up.

ryan-jacobson-687814-unsplash

Photo by Ryan Jacobson on Unsplash

After a couple of years of experience with my son, I learned how unhealthy most of the food choices are at school and we’ve learned to add our own healthy products to improve the situation.   So I thought I would create a shopping list with links to products that I recommend to help prepare your kids for their next few months away without Mom’s protective eye watching every decision they make.  You’d be surprised how much a few smart items can make a difference and set up a good foundation for a stronger immune system – which is the best way to fight off viruses and the flu!

#1 Water Filter

My son used the ZeroWater filter last year and really liked it.  Its the only one that filters lead and other heavy metals.  ZeroWater is the only filtration system that fits the FDA definition of purified bottled water.  It takes a while to filter enough water to fill the whole dispenser, but that’s because the filter is working hard.  I just feel that its healthier to drink filtered water – better than bottled.  And its better for the environment.  Actually, there is a very big movement happening to ban water bottles on college campuses.  90 universities and colleges have already started banning the sale of water bottles on campus due to the environmental hazards of plastic bottles and because the cost of bottled water is marked up so tremendously.  That’s why I suggested that he try it and now I bought one for my daughter as well with a re-usable glass bottle.
Click Here to purchase this filter

#2 Glass Bottle

Everything simply tastes better in a glass bottle.
These bottles do not stain, smell, or have a metallic/plastic taste. Glass bottles are free of chemicals including BPA/S, phthalates, PVC, lead and cadmium.  If you’d like to be part of this revolution or if you just want your kids to drink more water, try out the ZeroWater dispenser.  Water is the easiest and most cost-effective thing you can add to their diet to help keep them properly hydrated, to keep their brains functioning at maximum, to give them energy and to help their bodies feel great.  No sports drink does this, only water can!
Click Here to purchase this bottle!

#3 Diffuser

One of my favorite items for everything is an essential oil diffuser.  This inexpensive one is perfect for a dorm room and just needs a little water and a couple of drops of the right oils, depending on what the student needs.  It also lights up with different colors, which is really cool.
Click Here to purchase this diffuser now!

#4 Essential Oils

Try some lavender if they need to unwind and chill out after a long day or if its hard to fall asleep.  If they aren’t feeling well, congested and coughing, peppermint oil or eucalyptus is great for opening the nasal passages and lungs. (Warning: Rosemary, fennel, sage, eucalyptus, hyssop, camphor and spike lavender are not recommended as essential oils if you have epilepsy. This is because these essential oils may trigger seizures in some people with epilepsy.)  Be sure to order 100% pure, organic essential oils to get the purest oils.

#5 Personal Travel Blender

This is a great way to get them to drink protein drinks/smoothies.  Its a single serve small blender, easy to clean, easy to store.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake Recipe

1-2 scoops Garden of Life chocolate protein powder

1 cup unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk or organic whole milk
1 banana
2 tablespoons peanut butter

3-5 ice cubes

Click Here to Purchase

#6 Protein Powder

Garden of Life’s plant based protein powder. I’ve tried many different types of protein powder and both my son and I enjoy this one the best.  It’s all organic, gluten free, 0 sugar (no artificial sweeteners either) 22 grams of plant protein, which is easy to digest and lots of probiotics and digestive enzymes, which are key to proper gut health which is the foundation to a good immune system.
Click Here to purchase

#7 Protein Bars

RXBARs are whole food protein bars made with clean, simple ingredients. Egg whites, dates and nuts are combined with delicious flavors to create a nutritious bar. 

click the picture above or below to purchase

My son enjoys these because they are low in sugar and have minimal ingredients. I personally have a problem with them because they tend to be very chewy and get stuck in my teeth.  I love the flavors, don’t love the stickiness.  My favorite is Lara Bars:

Amazon is currently having a great sale on a box of 16 for $15.97!  They are gluten free, dairy free, Non-GMO, Fair Trade Certified, and their wrappers can be recycled and upcycled.  My favorite flavor is Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.  They are 4-ingredient bars made from a simple blend of dates, peanuts, chocolate chips, and sea salt.

#8 Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamp

These Ambient Salt Lamps are individually handcrafted and sourced directly from the second largest salt mines in the world, Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan.

  • REDUCE ALLERGY SYMPTOMS – Removes particles of dust, pet dander, mold AND mildew from the surrounding air. 
  • ★BETTER SLEEP – Put the rock salt lamp on your bed stand, put the dimmer to the lowest setting and you have an amazing light night that will help with your sleep. The negative ions will help reduce anxiety and also with making the atmosphere more relaxed with the warm soft glow.

#9 Sleep Mask

This sleep mask is made of 100% top quality 19mm natural mulberry silk on BOTH sides. The super soft, super smooth silk is light weight, breathable and protein rich, which gives you total blackout. One size fits all. Gentle, easy-to-adjust headband won’t tangle hair.  Such a simple, inexpensive item, can make a major difference in the quality of sleep they can get.  Especially if their roommate is on a different schedule or coming and going a lot.

#10 Vitamin D3

I’m sure you thought I would say Vitamin C.  Yes, that is also a good choice for supporting your immune system, but the real powerhouse vitamin that most of America is extremely deficient of is Vitamin D.  The difference is, you need to have this level checked at least once a year through bloodwork ordered by your doctor with a 25OH Vitamin D test because it is a fat soluble vitamin that can cause problems if the level becomes too high.  The standard that most Dr.’s offices go by is a level of 35 being “normal”. The Dr. that I work for likes to see it much higher than that – more like 50-60ng/mL  A dose of 1000 iu of D3 a day is a very minimal dose to start with.  Just make sure you get D3 not D2.

Vitamin D3’s role in immune health has long been established; vitamin D receptors are found on a number of immune cells, including lymphocytes and macrophages, supporting healthy immune cell activation. Vitamin D also supports cardiovascular function in some individuals and is now believed to help prevent cancer, it supports bones with calcium absorption and dozens of other health benefits. 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please be sure to consult your physician before taking this or any other product.

 

This blogpost contains affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the product, I will get a small commission. This does not affect the price at all to you.  Thank you for your support.  I hope this helps your planning for move-in day a little easier!