Art of Contentment

When I started thinking about the subject of contentment a couple of weeks ago, I began to notice the questions that began surfacing in my dreams. My subconscious mind told me there’s an art to contentment and I needed to concentrate on it to have it in my life.

  • What is contentment?
  • Is it the same as happiness?
  • Am I content with what I have and where I am in life?
  • How do I contribute to the contentment of my family?
  • Is my family content?

In my dream, the questions ran on like a ticker tape one after another waiting for my answers. But as I’d answer one question another appeared more in depth than the one before until I got down to the truth of the matter. For me, this is remarkable because my word study for this year has been “Truth.” The truth is I am not content with everything and I believe none of us is content with everything in our lives which is why we are always striving to do better in the areas of discontent.

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With my areas of discontentment all around me, I’ve decided to go on a fast and change two big areas in my life and that of my husband’s. It’s interesting to note that whatever change I want to make my husband is always on board with and tells me so, “I guess I will have to follow your lead on this!” The two big areas in my life, I think, go together. Health and Wealth. For 50 days we will follow variations on fasting for health and wealth. How do you fast for wealth? You join the Buy Nothing movement. Fasting for health is easy if done correctly and with a bit of medical and common sense.

My 50 Day Health & Finance Cleansing Plan

Health is first because being healthy is a wealth all its own

First 5 Days: A water fast (Preferably electrolyte water or distilled water that has Himalayan Sole solution added to it). Drink as much as you want and as often as you want. These first five days will prove interesting as you’ll be cleansing your body of harmful toxins and turn your body into a fat burning machine instead of a carb burning one. (I plan on doing a 5-day water only fast while my husband who is on medication plans on doing a 5-day fast with one fresh veggie juice once a day so he can take his medication.) This beginning phase is to help switch our bodies into burning ketones and gently move the toxins out of our bodies.

6th – 12th day: Add two alkaline veggie juices to your day along with all the electrolyte water or Sole Water you want a day. Notice you are having veggie only juices. The only fruit that’s helpful at this point is lemons and limes. You can also heat up some water with the juice of one lemon in it first thing in the morning. This will also help when not fasting as it will alkalize your system.

13th – 20th day: This is a two-parter:

  1. Add one piece of alkaline fruit.
    • Lemons
    • Limes
    • Avocado
    • Tomatoes
    • Coconut (oil, butter, water, milk) *No sweetener or chemicals added to the water or milk
    • Pomegranate
    • Watermelon (pH neutral)
  2. Try to have your first meal, veggie juice five hours after you get up in the morning your second meal, alkaline fruit, four hours later, and your last veggie juice four hours later. Try to have all your meals within a 6-hour window and use water for fasting the remaining 18 hours as necessary.

21st – 27th day

Along with what you are already doing add 1 fresh made, plant-based alkaline veggie salad to your meals and omit one veggie juice. Also, add 2 ounces of alkaline, organic, raw nuts. These include almonds, pistachios, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts, Macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts. (I also recommend soaking nuts in fresh non-tap water overnight to aid in digestion.)

28th – 50th day

Continue with the eating plan as is and turn your veggie juice into a veggie smoothie with a scoop of plant-based protein powder. (SunWarrior makes the Warrior Blend that I like the best, but it does have some sugar in it. They also make Illumin8 blend which has brown rice in it. It’s a personal choice we have to make. I like both of them for different reasons.)

The Finance Cleanse

It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s enlightening.

Simple as this Buy Nothing. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Here’s what’s allowed: Food, medications, paying existing bills, and meeting your needs. Gone are multiple trips to the grocery store, cafes, fast food and everything we don’t need. When you go to the store, make a list ahead of time and only buy what’s on your list. If you’re in need of something and don’t want to purchase it outright, head to your local Buy Nothing Facebook group and ask if anyone has one that is willing to let go of it. I’ve done this with several items. I recently noticed that my four lonely wine glasses don’t cut it when I have a crowd of people over so instead of buying them, I found a set of 12 of them on my BN group on Facebook and asked if I could be considered for them. I’ve also found a 2 drawer filing cabinet for my tutoring business. I’ve even asked for a couple of items on there and people are willing to give up what they can in order to help. I had a friend who didn’t have a TV and I was able to get her a working one with a DVD player, so now she can watch her movies from the comfort of her recliner instead of an office chair. I’ve also given away the items I no longer use.

Besides buying nothing I need. I’ve also asked myself if I continually need the things I have. Do all these things make me content? Saving only those items that give me joy has helped us let go of the things and clothes we no longer wear.

Changing our health status has also allowed us to be more content with what we have. Change is a process it doesn’t end in 50 days or 50 years. Once we reach our goal we set another one and another one. The art of contentment comes from knowing we are progressing to what is of most importance to us. Find out what’s most important to you and work towards it.

 

 

 

Creating Change

Creating change begins in our mind. Reading many articles and books on how the mind can be used to heal our boo boos has led me to finally understand the how and the why we humans can make or break our own lives. It’s been fascinating to watch as my husband transforms his cells from the inside out.

Different websites tout different foods cause inflammation and cutting back on the culprits will cut down the inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation says these foods are the eight worst.

  • Sugar
  • Saturated Fat
  • Trans Fat
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids
  • Refined Carbohydrates
  • MSG
  • Gluten and Casein
  • Aspartame
  • Alcohol

As always I also read about inflammation on the alternative health websites. Dr. Axe says the following foods should be added to this list.

  • Corn and Soybean oils
  • Pasteurized Dairy
  • Conventional Meats

In reading the many journals on alternative health and inflammation I have found out that it’s associated with almost every health condition we know. By attacking the inflammation we can reverse these diseases and lead a vibrant life. So my husband and I have embarked on a journey to reduce the inflammation, not just with food, but actions, thoughts, and words.

Attacking the inflammation in our bodies begins with creating the change in our mind. We need to think about every we do, say, eat and think. We can think our way out of inflammation by visualizing ourselves becoming less inflamed. Our cells do what we tell them to. We think our cells do their jobs on their own, they do but to a certain point we can change their trajectory and create the change within us. If we think we hate a certain food and never taste it, then we create this ill feeling when we see or smell it. If we’re inflamed we can talk our bodies out of it by saying how much we love to exercise (lowers inflammation), for instance. We’re then finding ways to exercise. Same is true for giving up all the foods that cause inflammation. If we say how much we love their healthy alternatives, we’ll eat them more often.

We all have the power to create the change we seek right in our minds. If we think it, we can do it.

 

Getting Back Our Health

It’s been almost a year since I wrote my last blog post. Why? The simple answer is I let one negative comment and subsequent email derail my writing. That one negative comment cut me to the core, and I began to question everything I did. I stopped writing openly. I stopped sharing my thoughts. I stopped my healthy life journey. I stopped being me. 

We live in such a negative world where people are constantly at odds with each other and themselves. We think it’s our civic responsibility to point out other people’s faults without taking consideration of our own. We see each other as competitors instead of brothers and sisters. We don’t make the world better by constantly correcting each other. 

Getting from there to here. 

The last year has been filled with hills and valleys. Making adjustments and accommodations as life threw me curve balls and granted me with abounding blessings. As my health took a self-made detour, the scale went up and has remained at the steady unsightly number I am too ashamed to say outside my bathroom walls. I’ve missed out on life changing moments only to eat away my pain in silence. Until only recently, when my husband’s life altering health challenge has shown both of us the dire need of getting back our health. 

Taking control of our health 

Most people don’t make changes to their health until the whistle blows and they’re lying in a hospital bed wondering “How did I get here?” Putting the pieces together in your mind, they really knew how they got there. Opting to sit in front of the TV instead of going for a walk, sleeping in that extra hour instead of working out, eating all the wrong foods thinking “It’s okay, it won’t hurt me!” Drinking everything else except water. Sitting, working, sleeping, eating too much. 

Now our quality of life depends on us making the necessary changes so we can get back to being as healthy as we can. It’s not just about food choices, it’s about quality of life choices. We’ll never know how healthy we could have been but we can make these changes now and be as healthy as we can be possibly reversing the damage we’ve done thus far. 

I know this journey will have its highs and lows…I hope we can travel this journey together, taking it one step at a time. All I ask is your love and understanding in hopes that we may turn this journey into a friendship. 

Life’s health

Keeping It Going!

Keeping It Going!

My favorite blog post over the last several years is one from 2013.

Keep It Going

Keep moving!   Keep smiling!   Keep shining!   Keep dreaming!    Keep Imagining!   Keep planning!   Keep laughing!   Keep deciding!   Keep giving yourself a chance!   Keep paying it forward!   Keep singing!   Keep dancing!   Keep running!   Keep reading!   Keep asking!   Keep doing!   Keep sharing!   Keep saving!   Keep encouraging!   Keep inspiring!   Keep writing!   Keep blogging!   Keep helping!   Keep praying!  Keep serving!   Keep listening!  Keep searching!   Keep my eyes open!   Keep finding!   Keep learning!   Keep playing!   Keep loving!   Keep speaking!   Keep hearing!   Keep watching!   Keep bringing!   Keep painting!   Keep creating!   Keep it real!   Keep telling the truth!   Keep living the word of God!   Keep natural!   Keep organic!

Keep on Doing

Keep breathing!   Keep living in the present!   Keep changing!   Keep growing!   Keep putting one step in front of the other!   Keep improving!   Keep showing up!   Keep forgiving!   Keep calling!   Keep compassion in your life!  Keep empathy a part of your life!   Keep thinking!   Keep camping!   Keep hiking!   Keep climbing!   Keep walking!   Keep swimming!   Keep hugging!   Keep your lamp burning!   Keep spinning!   Keep digging!   Keep eating healthy!   Keep taking your supplements!   Keep cooking!  Keep sowing!   Keep harvesting!   Keep pruning!    Keep mentoring!   Keep building bridges!   Keep tearing down walls!   Keep recommitting!   Keep appreciating!   Keep standing!  Keep feeling!   Keep talking!   Keep making peace!   Keep staying positive!   Keep praising!   Keep journaling!    Keep journeying into reality!   Keep promising!   Keep coaching! Keep loving!

Keep it going!

These are the areas that I want to keep going at since I want to make a consistent effort to be the best me possible I need to keep doing the things above. If you have some more positive, uplifting things you do every day, let me know. We all could use as much help as we can get.

Keep it going! 

Making My Own…

It’s been some time since I felt like writing but with spring around the corner, and here we are in the 3rd month of the year already, I have felt the need to get back to writing. So write I must.

These first eight days of March have been interesting. I’ve been focusing more on making my ownfill in the blank. I have made my own water kefir the entire month of February but it took over my kitchen because my husband and I weren’t drinking it fast enough; my husband ended up being the only one who drank it because I think it tastes like beer and I hate that taste.

This month I’ve tried my hand at making my own coconut milk that doesn’t have all the nasty ingredients in it. Do you know what’s in your coconut milk? Whether you buy your coconut milk (or any nut or seed milk) by the carton in the refrigerator section or in the can in a grocery aisle, it’s best to read the ingredients. Check out the ingredient label of your coconut milk. Are these ingredients in it? Carrageenan,  Sodium Metabisulfite, xanthan gum, tricalcium phosphate gellan gum then put it back on the shelf and learn how to make your own coconut milk. So many digestive health issues are associated with these ingredients alone that it would take the entirety of this post to list them all. But, I will give you this. Carrageenan may come from seaweed but it’s extracted using deadly chemicals. And Gellan gum is made from the lactose and cornstarch. This is why I am a big proponent of being an II (Ingredient Investigator).

So what do we do in the meantime? We make our own.

Coconut Milk!

Ingredients in My Coconut Milk

Ingredients:

  • 1  33.8 container  coconut cream (Chaokoh Coconut Cream Classic Gold is my go-to brand because it only has coconut extract and water) room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon the best pure vanilla you can buy. I happen to like Madagascar vanilla.
  • 32 ounces clean water. I use either spring or reverse osmosis.
  • 32-ounce carafe with lid for shaking, I usually reuse another.
  • A funnel that will fit into your carafe.

Step 1: Shake the coconut cream to mix the water and extract, it usually separates sitting on a shelf. Open the coconut cream container, pour through the funnel into your carafe. Sometimes you will need to coax the coconut extract into the funnel. I use a chopstick for this.

Step 2: Once you have as much of the coconut cream as possible into the carafe, pour in the water. You may not use all the water depending on how much of the cream you were able to use.

Step 3: Add the vanilla. Shake. Enjoy.

I use this coconut milk for making smoothies and in cooking.

PLEASE more than ever before we need to become Ingredient Investigators. So much of the food marketing industry is leading people astray making them think they are drinking something that’s healthy like this new Flax milk that’s out by Good Karma. The only thing good about it is in its name. The company touts that their flax milk is free of dairy, lactose, soy, nuts, and gluten. How can this be when one of their ingredients is made from lactose (gellan gum) and another is made from soy (xanthan gum)?

While I’m making my own...Fill In The Blank, I hope you gain some courage to make your own too.

Deceptive Food Labels

Phosphate Alert

Common Food Additives Linked to Crohn’s Disease

 

Research Pays Off

It’s no secret around here that I love alternative health therapies and will research different modalities before seeing a mainstream medical doctor. Last year was different. I had several things going on with me all at once and couldn’t make heads or tails about it. So I went to my family practitioner only to have blood drawn, X-rays, sent to specialist after specialist only to be told we don’t know what’s wrong with you. I was told I had Lupus, RA, Ankylosing Spondylitis (arthritis in your spine), Fibromyalgia, and then Scleroderma. They didn’t know what caused it and proceeded to tell me that I always had the genes lying dormant inside of me and only through a traumatic experience would these full-blown auto-immune conditions surface. Then I was told since we really don’t know what’s wrong with you, we still want you to take this chemo drug if it works then you have this health issue.

I said no, No, and NO!! I got a copy of all my x-rays and decided to look elsewhere. I searched out alternative naturopaths who are making me take several different supplements, cleanses and dietary changes, but the pain was still present. I went to see a Chinese medicine doctor who gave me more herbs, and acupuncture treatments for the pain, but it only worked for a couple of days and the pain would return just like it did before. I didn’t feel any better.

Then I did some research and found several natural doctors who were treating people with my health issues so I looked further only to find that they never fixed the issue only treated it and said that I would have to deal with this for the rest of my life and that eventually alternative means wouldn’t work and I would need to succumb to the chemo. I didn’t like that answer so I kept searching. Then I found something that I thought would work, but I didn’t jump on the bandwagon right away, I kept doing research on this type of alternative therapy.

Anatomy cervical spine 1

I’ve been to chiropractors before and well, I felt worse after an adjustment than when I went in. I was kind of afraid to go back to another back cracker. Sorry, I have to say this because there probably are many chiropractors out there that are more than that, but I always seemed to just get the back-crackers and nothing more except to take their weight loss supplements.

Last Monday I woke up and proceeded to do my stretching exercises but something didn’t feel right. Then about two hours later I couldn’t raise my right arm. I was doubled over in pain. Pain is a great motivator. I remembered the chiropractor’s name, looked him up on the net and made my appointment for early Friday morning. I had to wait 5 whole days before I saw him. Whilst in his office I got the feeling that he was going to help me, he tested me but differently than other chiropractors did. Then he took x-rays of my neck and did not adjust me, but told me to continue doing what I had been, ice followed by heat.

neck-pain-cervical-spine

The all important second appointment.

I was not in much pain when I went in, but I still felt like my body was off kilter. We sat down in his office and I watched a video about my neck. I got to see what a normal neck looked like and how it is supposed to be. My neck is 52 degrees forward than what a normal neck is supposed to be. Apparently, that’s huge. In looking at the x-rays of my neck, the chiropractor said I don’t have arthritis of any kind, he looked at my other films and there is not one bit of deterioration, not even in my hand. The only problem I have in my neck is the atlas vertebra is out of place and causing pressure on the major nerve that runs through my spinal column. He showed me how this translates into the pain in the back of my head and the halo headaches I always get. This is where I started to tear up. He said it was fixable.

Then we went into the adjusting room. He did not manipulate my neck like regular chiropractors do. You can read more about the advanced orthogonal technique here. It’s like nothing I have ever experienced before. The treatment is painless, no pulling on my neck, or twisting of any sort just a gentle tap of a percussion sound from a machine. That’s it.

The immediate results were astounding. I am glad my husband was in the room with me. I would not have been able to explain what I felt if he didn’t see it first hand. Before the treatment, the doctor measured my legs. My left leg has always been a little over an inch shorter than my right leg. I always walked and felt crooked and could never lay on my back without having my legs bent because of the pain in my lower back. After the treatment, my legs were measured again and this is when my husband’s jaw dropped (only happened once before when he saw that I was having twins on an ultrasound, 30 years ago). My left leg was only about 1/8 inch shorter than my right leg. I laid on the table with my legs straight out and I had no pain. You bet I started to tear up. Never before had I gotten any relief from that kind of pain.

I slept like a rock last night. I woke up this morning in no pain but I can feel the muscles in my shoulder blades starting to release. I go back tomorrow for another treatment. It’s the best thing I have ever found. Taking my health into my own hands and not succumbing to the rants of Western medicine that chemo cure everything propelled me forward in my research and it paid off.

Research your health issues don’t just fall in line with what the Western medical doctors say. If you’re not comfortable with a treatment don’t do it. If you need help with your research hit me up on Facebook, I would be more than happy to help you find the right therapy for you and your needs.

 

7 Simple Money Saving Health Hacks

Each day when you look through health magazines and search the net you are bombarded with the same health news only spun around to think you are gaining some new health truths. If you get right down to it good health is simple and saves money. Here are 7 simple money saving health hacks that will restore your health, keep your health intact, and make your health soar while putting more money in your pocket.

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  1. Food: Examine the food you eat. If you are eating more food that comes from a package or is overprocessed then it’s time to rethink what you’re putting in your mouth. Buy as much as you can from organic resources. Know what’s in your food and you’ll know what’s in you. Think about how much money you spend on snack foods that are loaded with chemicals that were created in labs to give you the sense of tasting like food. It’s interesting when you remove all the chemicals from processed foods you’re left with a substance that resembles gray cardboard. While you’re rethinking the food you put in your mouth, ask yourself a couple of questions: Does this food help me have nurturing energy? Does this food help my children become spastic or nurture them?
  2. Fasting: When was the last time you fasted? Did you know that fasting helps your body deal with pain and helps it heal by giving it a chance to rest from trying to digest all the food you are constantly shoving down your mouth? By taking away all the food from your daily intake for 24 hours, your body has a chance to play catch up. Now, if you’re a diabetic I am not saying you should do this at all. I am not just introducing this topic willy-nilly. Intermittent fasting has been used by many people who are trying to gain and maintain health. We live in a world where food is everywhere, fasting goes against everything you’d see on TV, but trust me when I say that when you eat only two meals a day, you’ll feel better and you’ll save money.
  3. Cleanliness: Every time you use the restroom you wash your hands, right? Cleaning your surroundings. How often do you have trash or stuff everywhere around your home, office, dorm room? Did you know that there is a correlation between a messy home and how often you get sick? It’s a proven fact that clutter can contribute to headaches, accidents, depression, acid reflux, digestive issues, and weight gain. Clean up your surroundings and you’ll be saving a lot of money in doctor bills and lost wages due to sickness.
  4. Sunshine & Fresh Air: Getting outside, taking a walk, playing catch with your children, building a snowman, going sledding, building a sandcastle, camping, fishing, riding a bike, running helps us the most when we are depressed. Fresh air cleans our lungs. When we’re cooped up in our homes, most of us are smelling those artificial scents with the plug-ins that are deadly. We’re smelling the scents of all the plastics within our homes. Sunshine is the best way to get Vitamin D, it cheers us up and helps us see the brighter side of life.
  5. EXERCISE: We live in an instant, electronic, gadget-driven world. But we were made to move, so move, we must. It doesn’t even matter what exercise you do as long as you do it regularly. Walking, Biking, Running, Weightlifting, Swimming, Dancing, Stretching, Pilates, Rope Skipping, Kickboxing, the list is endless. Find some kind of exercise you like to do and continue in it on a regular basis. That’s the important part, a regular basis, it’s different for each person. For me, Pilates is three days a week and walking the other four days. This one simple way of living saves more money than just one. It reduces stress, helps lose and maintain weight, builds muscle, reduces depression, reduces appetite, induces a good night’s sleep.
  6. Sleep & Rest: Getting a good night’s sleep is the difference between sickness and health. It takes the other 5 tips to help with this one. A good night’s sleep keeps us alert, helps us to slow the aging process, helps our bodies digest certain minerals, helps our bodies repair and rebuild our cells. Resting helps our body rebuild but it also helps our mind to take a mini-vacation. Resting in the 21st century means we need to disconnect from all our social media outlets at least for 3 hours a day. Do something that’s enjoyable; read a book for fun, learn a new art technique, just sit and be. When was the last time you daydreamed?
  7. Build a Positive Mental Attitude: It takes the other 6 tips to help build and keep a positive mental attitude. You have a power within you to change your circumstances. Just like our minds can make us sick and broke we also have that power within us to make us for health and wealth. Being positive lowers your risk of heart disease, helps you have better relationships and better equips you to deal with the negative things that happen in life. Being positive can help you save money.

These are 7 health hacks that can save you money, but they can also be applied to your relationships, your family life, your career, your education, your spiritual soundness. Try some of these simple health hacks, your bank account will thank you.