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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SEASON CHANGES MOOD CHANGES

"It's Spring, But Why Does It Feel Like Winter?"



     Change of seasons can affect the body, plants, and animals.  The change of weather can have a major affect on our moods and health just as it can have a drastic affect on our roads/outside environment (see picture).  According to studies, some people tend to feel more depress during winter season months due to there is less daylight and others may feel irritable and aggressive during summer season months due to rising in temperatures.  This is known as seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.). 

     Were you aware there was such a thing?  It does makes sense how the change of weather can affect your mood.  When it's cloudy and rainy I'm less energetic as to when it's sunny and bright I feel more motivated or energetic to do things.

So what exactly is Season Affective Disorder?

It is a type of depression that occurs during certain time of the year usually in winter.  Women are affected more than men.

Symptoms?

Seasonal affective disorder can build up slowly during late fall or winter months and go away during sunnier days of spring and summer.  However, some people can have the opposite pattern by having symptoms in spring or summer.  Symptoms can start out slowly and become severe as the season progresses.

Symptoms are just about the same as any other forms of depression, such as:

Winter seasonal affective disorder
  • Less energy and ability to concentrate
  • Hopelessness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of interest in work or activities
  • Appetite changes
  • Anxiety
  • Increased sleep or oversleeping
  • Unhappiness
  • Sluggish movements
Spring and summer seasonal affective disorder

  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Increased sex drive
  • Poor appetite
There are no test for SAD.  It is normal to have some days of you feeling down.  But if you tend to feel down more often than usual, can't seem to get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, sleep and appetite patterns changes, thoughts of suicide, turning to alcohol or drugs for comfort then see a doctor.

     When you are struggling with depression talk about how you are feeling with someone you trust.  If you can, try to be around people who are caring and positive.  Volunteer or get involved with group activities.


Monday, March 31, 2014

NOT FORGOTTEN...


"Updating the Blog"
 
 
 
 
     Sorry for the long hiatus since New Year's but I needed a mental break.  I've been gathering information for future topics, changing up on my health diet, and battling keeping my endometriosis in remission.  Unfortunately it has come back since two years from the surgery.  The weird thing about the body - it's very sensitive and a complicated system.  What you eat, put on skin, and environment can complicate things.  That is why I am so health conscious in what I buy and what I put into my system.  Autoimmune diseases is very tricky and a proper diet has to be taken seriously to achieve optimum health.
 
     The topics I would like to cover for future postings are as follows:
  • Herbs and Spices -  how it plays an important role in treating and healing the body naturally.  There are many herbs and spices out in the world that some may not know of in which can be beneficial besides the well known ones that are commonly used.
  • Revealing more of healthy skin and hair beauty secrets.
  • Gardening 102.
  • Types of autoimmune diseases younger people are being diagnosed.
  • Product labeling "labeling language" - what to look out for.
  • GMO.
  • BPA.
  • Creating healthy snacks.
  • Juicing/Blending.
  • Vegetables.
  • Traveling.
  • Essential kitchen tools and/or appliances that are worth the investment.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Yoga.
  • Infertility.
  • Financial Health. *
  •  
     On that note, I hope you all been having a good healthy year so far.  It has been three months into 2014 hopefully you all started on working on those resolution promises.
 
     What colorful path are you taking for 2014?
 

Where Does Your Path Lead?

 
     Downhill?
 
Stop! Re-evaluate yourself
 
      There is still more time in the year to achieve your resolution promises and to re-evaluate your path you would like to take.  Do not be discourage if things have not started out the way you would like.  Take a step back and think.  Think positive and surround yourself with positive energy to feed on.
 
 
                                                                                                    Namaste
 


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

THE NEW YEAR 2014 IS OFFICIALLY HERE!!!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!




     May the New Year 2014 bring you all peace, hope, happiness, good health, prosperity, and drama stress free!

 A Toast To You All!

Enjoy the New Year 2014


                                



Tuesday, December 31, 2013

TRADITIONS FOR GOOD LUCK IN THE NEW YEAR!!!!


"Are You Ready To Ring In The New Year?"







     The Eve of December 31 of every year is an exciting or anxious time.  Why?  It's the last day of the year!  Many look forward to a blissful New Year.  All over the world rings in the New Year at different times - such as, Australia, had already rang in the New Year since they are hours ahead of most countries.  Many people have different traditions ringing in the New Year to bring in GOOD LUCK  in the coming year.

     Two days before January 1 the supermarkets are a mad house...

Whole Foods Supermarket
at NYC December 30, 2013

My last minute stuff...


     As you can see (above) everyone is trying to get there last minute things to be set for the New Year.  So, what are the traditions for GOOD LUCK in the NEW YEAR?

It's not stated as a law but a tradition for some who feel it's a must have for this big day.

The Traditions for 2014 and BEYOND...

  1. Black Eyed Peas.  Resembles coins.  The peas are said to bring PROSPERITY in the New Year.
  2. Long Noodles.  Signifying LONGEVITY.
  3. Cornbread.  It's color is similar to gold.  The bread is said to bring a PROSPEROUS year.
  4. Round Foods (Cakes, Cookies, Pastries, and fruits - clementines and oranges).  Signifies the old year is closed and the coming days hold THE PROMISE OF A FRESH START.
  5. Greens (Kale, Cabbage, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens, and Spinach).  The deep green color signifies MONEY.
  6. Whole Fish (Head and Tail intact).  Symbolizes ABUNDANCE and PROSPERITY.
  7. Lentils.  Resembles coins.  Lentils brings WEALTH.
  8. Pork.  EMBRACING CHALLENGES that awaits the coming year.
  9. Grapes/Raisins.  Eat 12 grapes before midnight. Bring GOOD for 12 MONTHS.
  10. Buttered Bread.  Place buttered bread outside your door.  Symbolizes ABSENCE of HUNGER in the household.
  11. Red.  Decorate the doors and windows.  The color symbolizes GOOD LUCK.
   Wow!!! What a traditional list indeed! 

 Here is what I brought at the supermarket last night ...

Organic Lacinato Kale, Organic Collard Greens, and Black Eyed Peas
*Plus additional healthy stuff to kick off my healthy diet for the New Year:
  • Probiotics Keifir Dairy free
  • Braggs Nutritional Yeast
  • Organic Buckwheat flour
  • Organic Gluten free pancake mix
  • Mamma Chia beverage
  
     What are your traditions in which you will bring or already had brought in the New Year?

                                                                    Happy New Year to those who are ahead!


                                                                                                                  Namaste 

Monday, December 30, 2013

HEALTHY SKIN, HAIR, AND NAILS REVEAL #2


 
"Cranberries"
 

Gorgeous Skin!
 
     The second beauty reveal is cranberries!  These red berries not only helps your skin look radiant but helps you internally.  Remember to have a glowing appearance on the outside you must work on the inside to detox the toxins building up in the blood and organs.  Cranberries are perfect to achieve the result because of the high concentration of antioxidants and phytonutrients.  Cranberries has power bonuses - the berries contain a compound that kills bacteria, reduces inflammation, anti-cancer benefits, inhibits the growth of cancerous cells and tumors, prevents urinary tract infections, protects the heart, and liver.
 
What does it do to the skin?
 
Cranberries detoxifies the skin and is extremely useful for acne-prone, psoriasis, or oily skin.  It helps reduce skin inflammation, itchiness, redness, and irritated skin.
 
Here is a great home remedy toner brought to you by, Woman's World magazine...
 
Blemish-Busting Cranberry Toner
  • 2 tbs. (tablespoons) cranberry juice (100% pure juice)
  • 1/2 cup witch hazel
Pour ingredients into a clean, reclosable bottle.
After washing your face, shake the bottle, then pour some toner onto a cotton pad and apply to face.
*Keeps for 1-2 weeks in the fridge.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Happy Holidays 




Charitable Christmas Tree
at Church of The Blessed Sacrament
New York

     Christmas is a special season because Jesus Christ was born as God's gift to us all.  Let us not forget the unfortunate during this time.  Every year we pick up bells off this tree and grant the wish of a young child.

     May this Christmas brings you hope and peace to you all.  May God's richest blessings continue with you through the coming year.


                                                                                                          Namaste

Monday, December 23, 2013

MOOD PERK UPS!

"Feeling Stress, Depress, Mood Blues?"

     
     Do you feel depress during the holidays? Stressed out during the holidays or any other time?  If yes to the "mood blues,then I have some alternative tips that may help you fend off those blues.

Aromatherapy
(Scents of plants to give treatment to the body to improve health and general well being)

     Pine trees or evergreen trees has a positive effect on the human body.  The smell of a freshly cut pine tree can put the body in good spirits.  Studies has shown inhaling the scent of pine trees and other trees has relaxing effects on the brain.  Mowing the lawn helps as well.  According to studies done by Australia, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/sweet-scent-of-new-mown-grass-puts-paid-to-stress/story-e6frgcjx-1225766141390, smelling the fresh cut scent of grass reduces stress and protects nerve cells from damages.  

     We bought a fresh pine tree and the scent does makes you feel at ease.  The aroma from the pine made the living room smell good when you enter.  There was no need to spray synthetic fragrances or light up a synthetic chemical candle when the tree gives off a refreshing scent of pine.   Even though pine trees are more available during the holidays, you have other alternatives in receiving a
aromatherapy effect from other sources, such as, ...            

Fresh cut Pine Tree
Pine Wreath

     
fresh pine wreaths or fresh herbal wreaths.  The wreaths can last just about up to a year if properly cared.


Herbal Wreath

Or take a stroll in the park, walk around in your garden, or neighborhood.  In other words, shinrin-yoku, "taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing."  Japan's studies have shown that while walking through a forest it can help alleviate your stress levels.

Or try using essential soothing oils, such as, lavender, balsam, silver fir, pine, jasmine, chamomile, peppermint, bergamot, rose, clary sage, sandalwood, vanilla, or spruce. Simply drop some oils onto your pillow or a tissue.  Then breathe deeply and slowly.  Relax and mediate.  Normally, these oils can be found at a health food store.  Choose the essential oils that works best for you.

Or lemon balm plant (Melissa Officinalis).  The lemon scent can improve cognitive performance and mood.  You would have to rub the lemon balm leaves in your hand to release the lemon scent.  Rub the lemon balm on the inside of your wrist.  Lemon balm is inhaled as aromatherapy for Alzheimer's disease.  According to studies, by taking a extract of lemon balm orally daily for four months helped to reduce agitation and improve symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.  During the Middle Ages, Europe used lemon balm for nervous system disorders and enhance memory.  Lemon balm can alleviate anxiety, stress, sleep problems, gastrointestinal disorders, sedative, and believe to have antibacterial effects.  

Trees and extractions of oils from plants are not the only natural alternatives to help uplift the brain- the scent of citrus fruits, such as, 

Oranges
Grapefruit
Meyer Lemons





calms stress.  Inhaling the aroma of the citrus fruits can lower stress in just two minutes.  The fruits' aromatic compounds helps boost the production of relaxing the brain chemical GABA.  To achieve this effect have on hand at home a bowl of oranges on your table or counter.  So, when you feel stress pick up the fruit and take a sniff. When you are on the go you can carry the citrus smell with you by adding citrus oils to your no chemical unscented lotions (put it in a travel size bottle).

*Licorice - According to research done by the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation inhaling a licorice scent can boost romantic feelings and put people in a happier mood.

*Cloves - The spicy spice scent can put you in a happy, calm, and upbeat mood as well.  Puncture some cloves in an orange and leave it out on our table.  When you are feeling down, pick it up and take a sniff or boil a pot of water with cloves, orange peels, lemon peels, and cinnamon.  The aroma from the boiling water will fill your house with a warming smell.

Benefits of Aromatherapy
  • Improves mood
  • Lowers stress
  • Lowers anxiety
  • Positive physiological and emotional effect
     Therefore, aromatherapy can have an uplifting effect for the body especially the brain and nervous system.  To achieve an aromatherapy at home you can purchase trees, plants, fruits, or dilute essential oils with carrier oils and apply them to the skin, lotion, or put them in diffusers.  Today researchers are realizing aromatherapy is extremely helpful because it involves the smell receptors in the nose that sends a signal to the nervous system then to the brain's limbic system (controls emotions).  The brain is the most important organ that deals with mental and physical being.

Feng Shui Colors (to wear or surround your atmosphere)
According to researchers focusing on bright hue colors for a minute can sharpen brain power and increase stamina levels.  Bright colors increases the production of energizing brain waves and alertness.

Stimulating colors, red and violet, boost your energy levels by causing your body to pump out more adrenaline.  Avoid the colors in your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.  Red is considered a passionate, fire, and energizing color.
Poinsettia
(great as a focus object to have around home during the holidays)

Yellow is considered an upbeat, happy, sociable, uplifting, and warm color.

Yellow walls

Blue is a calming, relaxing, soothing, and healing color. 

Blue

     Therefore, color can have a impact on your psychological and physical well being.  Use colors that you love and inspire you.

Vitamin Supplements
Supplements can be useful due to some may be lacking a certain amount of nutrients to help sustain a functioning healthy body.

Vitamin Bs plays a major role in producing brain chemicals that affects mood and other brain functions.

Vitamin B - Complex

Wild Salmon Oils (omega-3) reduces the feeling of depression.  An excellent anti-inflammatory, supports the brain, heart, and relieves pain.  


Wild Salmon Oil
1000mg


Music
(Arouses emotions and feelings)

The New Victory Theater
November 24, 2012
Sound stage for "Black Violin"

Listen to upbeat or calming music.  It can put you in a happier mood.  Studies has shown music therapy helps ease the symptoms of depression and relieve pain.  Classical music is one of the most  empowering.  Studies have shown classical music can increase creativity and reduce tension.

*Last year my niece and nephews opened my mind to instrumental music.  To hear them play was a wonderful joy and I'm so proud of them.  They can play more than one instrument, such as, the violin, piano, and cello.  In today's society these instruments are becoming popular among the youth generation.  The youth are playing classical, rock, folk, rhythm and blues, and contemporary music on these instruments.

Nephew, Tyler piano recital... can you guess the name of his song?

video





Since my niece gave the family a violin performance at home, my interest got the best of me.  It lead me in finding the following talented musicians.  I feel in love with their style of music - classical mix with hip hop and rock.  Who would have thought that hip hop music can be played on the violin? And how would it sound?  When I found out about this group, Black Violin, http://blackviolin.net/  I had to spread the word to my friends and family.  Last year, November 24, 2012, at The New Victory Theater, Times Square New York we saw Black Violin, in person up close...


























Black Violin performance
The New Victory Theater
November 24, 2012






Another uplifting talented musician who plays sweet music to the ears, Emmy Award Winning Violinist Damien Escobar http://www.dameesco.com/  I had the opportunity to meet and hear him play this past summer, August 16, 2013, at Toshi's Living Room & Penthouse, New York.  Escobar enticed the audience with familiar melodies.  Of course, I had to spread the word to friends and family about his free performance.  I knew my friends would love the music especially since it was being played on the violin.  I had recorded his performance that night but I accidentally deleted over 500 pictures and some video from my phone. Agh!!!! I was so upset with myself for days when I did that! - I learned my lesson- back up all your stuff on a flash drive or memory card!






Here is Damien Escobar "Sensual Melodies" http://www.dameesco.com/release/sensual-melodies/

Another uplifting music group who plays the violin, guitar, drums, and sings too - Trans-Siberian Orchestra http://www.trans-siberian.com/  I had an opportunity to see their concert performance last year December 15, 2012 at Nassau Coliseum in New York and I was given a VIP access to a private Meet and Greet!  How about that!  I didn't know who they were at first until someone mentioned to me - you know their instructional song... I googled the group and sure enough I recognized their well known songs.  I was given the opportunity to invite guests to this performance.  My sister, friends and their kids enjoyed the show.  
























Trans-Siberian Orchestra Winter Tour 2012
Nassau Coliseum, New York
December 15, 2012


                
Last of all, upbeat talented R&B singer, Melissa Morgan.  This performance was a surprised to some guests last night at my husband's Aunt Janice 50th Birthday and surprised engagement, Saturday December 21, 2013.  Morgan's talented upbeat voice brought down the house in Harlem, NY.











Some of you may recognize Melissa Morgan well known top hits.  Her voice will put you in a upbeat mood.  (oops - sorry for the upside way filming - I was flipping around my galaxy cellphone and didn't realize it would affect the viewing outcome - will try to find a way to resolve a better viewing but please enjoy the music)

Melissa Morgan
at Aunt Janice 50th Birthday Celebration
December 21, 2013





    In conclusion, there are many ways to overcome stress and depression.  It's up to you in figuring out what is the best way to achieve a healthy state of mind well being.  Prayer and surrounding yourself with positive people can help as well.  Eating a healthy balance diet can help contribute too.  If you know someone who is going through stress or depression, help them find an alternative way to fend off the mood blues.


                                                                                                      Namaste 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

KHALI'S SWEET FRUITS BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

 
"Juicing Tuesday"
 
 

"Sweet Fruits Breakfast Smoothie"
 



     I know it has been a while for a Tuesday Juicing/Blending post.  Young, Khali, has reminded me I'm falling off my Juicing game and I cannot stop.  Once again, Khali, has sent me a message that besides parents/adults helping kids eating a proper balance meal, kids need to help other kids as well.  Khali has come forward to help jump start the youth of today in showing kids whole foods are better nutrition for the body and it's simple to make.
 
    Here is Khali's beverage, "Sweet Fruits Breakfast Smoothie."


 
Bananas, Blueberries, Strawberries, Green Apples,
Cinnamon, & Coconut Water

 
     We got to love Khali for taking the initiative in leading the way to strive in eating and living a healthy way.
 
 
                                                                                              Go Khali!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

HAVE YOU MET THE CUCURBITA FAMILY?

"Winter Hardy Vegetables? Nope, Fruit"

Yes, we are a hardy bunch!

So who are the Cucurbitas?
   
     A unique family.  The Cucurbita family comes in various shapes, sizes, and rich colors.  Squash is mainly identified as a vegetable than a fruit.  They are truly a fruit because they contain seeds of the plant.  Squash are divided into two categories, summer and winter squashes.  An example of summer squashes are zucchini and yellow squash.  Summer squash skin and seeds are soft and edible verses winter squash has a thick hard skin and seeds.  Gourds have extremely hard shell, inedible to eat, and mainly used as decorations.  There are some gourds you are able to consume, such as, pumpkins.  Pumpkins are usually recognized as being the pepo.

The Cucurbita family are:

  • The squash
  • The gourd
  • The pumpkin

Therefore, divided into subcategories, such as, Cucurbita Moschata, Cucurbita Maxima, and Cucurbita Pepo.


Cucurbita Maxima - are frost intolerant annual plants.  Winter squash - Acorn, Buttercup, Banana, Kabocha, and some Pumpkins.
   
Acorn squash (Cucurbita Maxima) and Dumpling squash (Cucurbita Pepo)
Found at Farmer's Markets

Cucurbita Pepo - Grows as long vines as annual plants. Summer and Winter squash - Zucchini, Marrow, Pumpkin, and Dumpling.

Spaghetti squash (Cucurbita Pepo) at far left and various species of Pumpkins
*not sure which kind of squash is in the middle
Found at Farmer's Markets

Cucurbita Moschata - Frost intolerant annual plants originated in Mexico and Central America.  Pumpkin and Winter squash - Butternut, Winter Crookneck, and Cushaw.

Butternut squash (Cucurbita Moschata)
Found at Farmer's Market

So what are the health benefits of the Cucurbita family?

This family has excellent reasons for you to invite them into your home and bodies!

  1. An excellent source of Vitamin A.
  2. Beta carotene.
  3. Helps fights off cancer causing free radicals.
  4. Fiber.
  5. Maintains heart, vision, and immune system.
  6. Controls cholesterol levels.
  7. Helps build strong bones and teeth.
  8. Antioxidants.
  9. Anti-Inflammatory.*
  10. Anti-Diabetic and Insulin regulating properties.*
  11. Vitamin C.
  12. Potassium.
  13. Fights off cataracts.
  14. Several B vitamins.

Here are some articles I found that can help give you a more in depth identification of how to recognize the members of the Cucurbita family and how to incorporate the family members in your diet.

http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/seasonalcooking/farmtotable/visual-guide-winter-squash

http://localfoods.about.com/od/wintersquashpumpkin/ss/Types-Of-Winter-Squash.htm

http://www.foodsubs.com/Squash.html

     In conclusion, we all need to open our minds and bodies to different families of foods to achieve optiumum health.  In a world that is now adding toxins into our food supplies we must find alternative ways in finding out what is best for our bodies.  Reading and learning is the best thing we can do for ourselves in achieving the knowledge that is out there at our fingertips.





 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

HOLIDAY DAYS OFF CAN BE A RELAXING TIME FOR SOME...

 
Just Ask Viewer
 
 
Gregory
Fishing at McArthur, California
Thanksgiving Day
 

     Viewer, Gregory, sent in another picture of his fishing experience.  This time he caught a Trout!  He spent his Thanksgiving holiday fishing- enjoying what he loves best.  As you can see he is having a relaxing time.  Let us all take note when we feel the "holiday craze" or "work craze" take a break and do something enjoyable to relieve the stress.  Life is too short to be stressed out.




                                                                                   Live life as best as you can.