Grow. Eat. Live.

Grow.  Eat.  Live.
Grow. Eat. Live.


Monday, December 23, 2013


"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.

(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,, 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, 

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.
(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. 


     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

(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?

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,  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  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"

Another uplifting music group who plays the violin, guitar, drums, and sings too - Trans-Siberian Orchestra  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.


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