Healthy Foods To Eat: Three To Improve Overall Health!

We are so bombarded with food choices that are unhealthy that it can be challenging to make wise decisions when selecting foods and preparing meals for our family. What kind of choices are you making? Are you choosing the best and most optimum foods for you and your family?

Beginning when I was pregnant with my first child, I became more and more interested in nutrition. I realized that before all the man-made drugs that we currently have on the market to fight illnesses, people turned toward nature to cure their ailments. And, newly pregnant, I wanted to provide the best nutrition for me and my child and receive all the benefits I could from eating healthy foods. After pregnancy, I continued to research the best foods that would increase my energy while breastfeeding and aid in losing the baby weight, and also help my child grow healthy and strong.

There are many healthy foods to eat that can reduce certain symptoms, lower risks, or eliminate ailments. Did you know that flax oil can help with ADHD and salmon and sardines with depression? Did you know that certain types of nuts have been shown to aid in weight loss for women?

It is a fact, you can improve your life by choosing certain foods that can provide the same benefits of man-made medicines. Acai, hazelnuts, and barley are just three, among others, that you can add to your diet. They can improve how you feel, improve your immune function, and help fight off sickness. They are considered actual “power house” food choices.

The physical stress that the body encounters on a day to day basis is more protected by consuming acai on a regular basis, and acai is high in antioxidents which can help increase the immune function of the body. It comes in pulp, juice, or smoothie form and is imported from Brazil, where it is a food staple in Amazon communities.

Hazelnuts also contain an array of beneficial antioxidants including Vitamin E and other phytonutrients that help the immune system remain strong. There are actually many ways you can add hazelnuts to your diet. You can sprinkle diced hazelnuts on salads or in yogurt, add into baking or stir-fry, or roast in your own conventional oven and add to a trail mix.

Barley is a third healthy food to eat. While you may associate barley with beer-making, it actually has been a food staple for 10,000 years. Barley can aid in immune function and it also has cholesterol-lowering properties called beta-glucans. Barley can be used in a variety of ways, most notably in soups; however, you can grind it into flour and use for baking, make a hot cereal out of it, or just simply add it to stews and salads.

These are just three of the many healthy foods to eat that can benefit your life AND improve your immune function. Also, all of them can be found in your local grocery or health food store.

Change Your Life In 21 Days

Another New Summer is upon us. You’ve probably got lots of grand plans for change. We all know that every year we start out with good intentions and within a few weeks the drive and motivation diminishes. If you are ready to make a lasting change that positively impacts your life, get the ball rolling with a well thought out plan for change. The first thing I recommend is look at what you want in your life right now. The second is to pick one habit that you could change or create within the next 21 days. Experts say that it takes a minimum of 21 days to change a behavior. Are you ready to make a commitment to change? Now, let’s get started creating a successful plan to create one new habit in 21 days:

Imagine what your life would look like with this new habit. What would you have then that you don’t have now? Visualize what you want for yourself so that you can create it right now. Your ongoing, passionate connection to a clear vision will help you stay motivated to take steps every day to create what you want.

Write down the benefits of creating this new habit and your willingness to make the necessary changes. Be honest. What was your motivation for the change? What was your attitude at the time? Your level of readiness to change will determine how successful you are, and how much time it will take. But you need to be ready, able and willing to make change happen in 21 days.

Identify goals that will support your new habit. Write them down on a calendar or daily planner. Jot down all the tasks and activities (steps) that will support your goals over the next 21 days. Be specific. Use action verbs. Let your goals have measurable outcomes. Specify completion dates. Also record what your reward will be for achieving the goal and read it every morning and night. This will help you to be more committed to creating a new habit as each day passes.

Eliminate roadblocks that could impede your success. There are always roadblocks to overcome as we move towards creating new habits. Select one roadblock to work on at a time. For every negative message you encounter, turn it into a positive one. For example, “I‘m going to fail” can turn into “I have everything that I need to succeed.” It takes practice daily to be successful.

Build a support network and enlist family, friends and like-minded people who can help move you towards the first steps to what you want to achieve. Establish a discussion group and meet in person, on the phone or online with individuals where you can share common concerns and feelings.

If your life is already too full and you don’t have time to add anything else, which is the case for most people, take a closer look at how you spend your time on an average day. Record your daily activity. Free up some time you might not have known existed and incorporate your goals into your daily life.

Write down a few paragraphs describing what you’ve accomplished and how your life is better as a result; challenge yourself. Strive to create even more new habits. Make simple changes first and then take a look at the things that are harder and that require the most change to achieve your desired results. Tackle them one at a time. Make lasting changes to your lifestyle and reward yourself each step of the way.

Start right now! Over the next 21 days: make a commitment to yourself to identify one new habit that you can create successfully—and start doing it! Explore ways to integrate your goals for your new habit with your current obligations, and take those first steps into the New Year with renewed desire and commitment. You’ll soon discover that a new habit can change your life.

Stay Healthy – Learn To Meditate

Wondering how people who live to be 100 with a great quality of life do it? In his book, “Aging Well,” Harvard researcher, George Vaillant, M.D., found out just what centurions do. They cultivate a sense of peace, well-being and maintain a positive attitude. How? Here’s one of their biggest secrets: meditation. What’s ironic about meditation is, it has just become known in the West as a healing technique, but it has been practiced for ages in the East. So in my quest to give you easy sensible ways to purify your energy, I’ll begin by defining meditation, then I’ll show you how easy it is to apply to your daily routine.

Meditation Defined
Meditational exercises primarily use the experience of the body and thought as a means to reconnect with the environment and its healing power. Meditation, when practiced frequently, has been proven to promote inner peace and wellness. Meditation is also a mental practice in which the mind is directed to one area, often the breath. It draws its energy from the human connection to nature and creates a sense of unity or one-ness with it.

This unity has been shown to increase communication with the spirit of the body. It has also been known to allow positive thoughts in and to stimulate positive physiological and psychological effects. Meditation techniques are easy to learn and can easily be incorporated into any lifestyle. If practiced regularly, meditation will bring balance to your body and mind.

General benefits of meditation and breathing exercises include:

• Deep inner peace
• Improved self-esteem
• Increased creativity
• Physical health/healing
• Reduced medical care
• Slowing/reversal of aging
• Reversing of heart disease
• Stimulation of the body’s immune system
• Reduced stress

I have found there is really no one right ways to meditate. Here are a couple of my favorite meditational exercises that will get you started. Remember, there is no wrong path here. Try these, or simply sit in silence for 20 minutes, daily. You’ll be glad you did.

Meditative Grounding Exercise

• Sit with your legs crossed in a comfortable (Indian-style) position with your hands relaxed on you lap. Close your eyes and imagine a beam of light dropping from the base of your spine through the earth and connecting you to its center.

• Allow this beam of light to expand in width until it is wider than your own body and envelopes it. This is your personal space.

This exercise places you totally in your body and reminds you that you are anchored to the earth. Remember, the more grounded you are, the more aware you are. Sense the presence of your higher self: listen to its voice.

Energy Cleaning Exercise

Now that you are grounded, it’s important that you cleanse this personal space. Often we collect other people’s energies and are not aware of it. We do this both through interaction with others and basic activities of daily living.

• To remove all foreign energies from your space, imagine holding a brush and sweeping away the debris.

• Allow the debris to fall to the ground and become washed away. Let the light from the previous exercise envelop your body and spread its healing energy to the edge of your space, forming a protective force field around you.

Cleaning out the area surrounding your body will keep you grounded, define your personal boundaries and declare your space. Then choose who and what you wish to enter you space, keeping disease and illness out.

Breathing Exercise

• Follow your breath as you slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Count with each exhale until you reach 10 then begin again at one.

• If you find yourself past 10, acknowledge this and begin again at one from wherever you are.

• Imagine your body’s cells being replaced with fresh, pure oxygen and positive healing energy from this power source. Picture yourself exhaling old cells, stress, illness and worries.

• Let your thoughts pass through your mind like drifting clouds. Let them in and gently let them pass through. If the mind should harbor a negative thought, refocus on the breath.

• Thank any persistent negative thoughts for coming into your mind then gently let them go.

• Listen only for the positive, pronounced voice; the voice of your body.

Retrieve Your Energy Exercise

Since foreign energy often resides in your space, let’s also assume that you leave energy in other places. After completing the preceding exercises it is necessary to re-energize and call energy back.

• Imagine you have an energy magnet used to attract your energy back to you. Visualize energy flowing back to you, filling your body with light, health and empowerment.

• Allow a few minutes for the process.

Journal Questions:

1. Record in your journal any problem or trouble you may be having – emotional, physical or otherwise. Let problems go and give them over to your meditation.

2. Do you notice solutions coming to you throughout the day? Do you notice with regular meditation that your body and mind are becoming calmer and clearer?

Ideas To Consider:

Make time for your spirit daily. Exhibit behaviors and self talk that show your reverence for yourself.