Another Free Qigong Class!

Steven Washington is offering another one of his free Qigong classes and I love that he always provides a replay for those who can’t catch it live. PLUS, he breaks it out into sections where you can pick which part(s) you want to focus on….pilates, calming Qigong, Mindful Meditation, or “all of the above”…..

Join Steven for this upcoming FREE Class!

January 24th, 2023

at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 6pm UK

Extraordinary change can start with one small step… and this fun, free class with Movement Master Steven Washington is an easy way to get started/stepping toward a happier and healthier 2023!

Here’s what’s included:

  • 30 minutes of Pilates strengthening and stretching exercises
  • 30 minutes of energy-igniting and calming Qigong movements
  • A peaceful Mindful Meditation
  • Replay of the full class plus short and Qigong-only versions.

Also, Steven recently shared a new short 5 minute video to start off the new year. In it he briefly and humbly talks about a part of his past when his life was run by addiction, and how he found recovery and was able to become grounded, peaceful and courageous. At the 2:05 minute mark he teaches an easy to do flowing Qigong exercise to circulate the energy within your body and bring about emotional balance,….. something we can all use more of these days!

Here’s to being healthy & free in 2023!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health and well-being.

Laughter Really IS The Best Medicine :-)

I think most of us have come to believe that laughter truly is good medicine, but I found this article especially interesting and enlightening as far as the different statistics between men and women, plus how it helps improve memory. Can’t think of a better way to improve my health, longevity and memory recall, as well as have a more fun-filled holiday season! 🙂

Laugh a Lot, Live Longer

Legendary comedian Bob Hope lived until 100, while comedienne Phyllis Diller enjoyed life until the ripe old age of 95.

Sitcom favorite Dick Van Dyke is still active at 94, as is movie comedy-maker Mel Brooks. And beloved actress Carol Burnett is following close behind, still cracking jokes at 87.

These are just a few of our comedy legends who lived well beyond the average life expectancy. It makes you wonder, what’s their secret?

Good genes, education and financial wealth may help these funny folks tip the longevity scales, but the latest research reveals another important factor that’s attainable by anyone: a sense of humor.

A large study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine reveals that women with a good sense of humor live longer, despite illness such as cardiovascular disease and infection. Their male counterparts also seem to be protected against infection.1

Your Body and Mind Love a Good Joke, Research Proves

Norwegian researchers conducted a 15-year study exploring the connection between sense of humor and mortality among 53,556 women and men in their country.

The team analyzed the cognitive, social and affective factors of humor that were addressed on the participants’ questionnaires.

Next, the researchers assessed death from specific conditions including heart disease, infection, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In a nutshell, the study shows that the greater the role humor plays in the participants’ lives, the better their chances of surviving until at least 70 years.

They found that women with high “humor scores” in the way they view everyday life– called the cognitive component in the study– experienced:

  • A 48 percent lower risk of death from all causes;
  • A 73 percent lower risk of death from heart disease;
  • And a notable 83 percent lower risk of death from infection.

These are substantial reductions in chronic disease and death!

But what might be most interesting is that these results did not completely translate to men.

In this study, men with a high humor score did have a 74 percent reduction in death from infection (compared with women’s 83 percent reduction.) But they did not have a lower risk of premature death from all causes.

What’s going on with these results?

The authors were equally baffled, but they suggested that any gender differences in the results may be because as men age, their humor scores dip slightly. (Don’t tell Mel Brooks that, though!)

Good Humor Positively Affects How You View Life

According to the authors, the cognitive component influences the way people view everyday experiences. It stands to reason that humor can serve as a buffer against the stressful situations of daily life and protects one’s health.

Additional research confirms the study findings that laughter is the best medicine.

  • A laugh does your heart good. A 2009 study at the University of Maryland Medical Center revealed that laughter and an “active sense of humor” can protect against a heart attack and prevent heart disease. The cardiologists discovered that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to exhibit good humor in a variety of daily life scenarios when compared to their peers without heart disease.2The researchers believe that laughter decreases blood pressure and improves blood circulation and oxygen intake.
  • Humor helps manage pain. Remember the movie Patch Adams, featuring Robin Williams? Based on a true story of a doctor who used humor to help his patients heal, it underscores how humor can be a great pain reliever even in a hospital setting. Studies suggest that laughter triggers the release of endorphins, promoting a sense of well-being, and even a reprieve from pain.3 What’s more, laughter also decreases the stress hormone cortisol so inflammation is minimized throughout the body.
  • Laugh more, remember more. That’s right, research shows that the more you laugh, the better your memory. Loma Linda University researchers dug into this premise in a 2014 study.4They examined the stress levels and short-term memory of 20 healthy adults in their 60s and 70s. One group was asked to sit in silence with no communication. The other group got to watch funny videos. According to the researchers, the “humor group had much higher improvement” in the ability to remember things. They experienced 43 percent better memory function following the funny videos compared to only 20 percent in the group that had to sit in silence before their cognitive testing.

I think the ability to laugh at ourselves as we age is so important, not only for our physical health but our mental health, too. Over the years I’ve talked to numerous alternative doctors, including many that treat cancer. They almost always tell me that attitude is vital to any recovery from diseases like cancer.

In fact, I recall one story where a cancer patient claims to have healed his cancer by watching old television comedies all day long for weeks on end! So, it stands to reason that good humor and laughter would also improve our lifespan.

These findings echo other research that we’ve explored on this site. Basically, those people who are positive, laugh easily and don’t take themselves too seriously seem to fare well in the longevity department.

If you aren’t feeling all that funny, try watching your favorite comedy on TV, or call a friend who never fails to make you chuckle. Laughing just feels good and best of all, one laugh seems to lead to another.

SOURCE: https://agingdefeated.com/laugh-a-lot-live-longer/

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26569539/
  2. https://www.umms.org/ummc/news
  3. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-laughter-may-be-the-best-pain-medicine/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24682001/

Here’s to a healthier you in 2023!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health and well-being.

Free Pilates/Qigong Class + Being A Regenerative Force for the Planet!

You can be a regenerative force on this planet!

For millions of years, humans were nourished by and lived in deep symbiosis with a beautifully biodiverse ecosystem. But we have lost our way.

We have systematically sterilized our environment and isolated ourselves from nature.

Now we are on the brink of a total collapse in our global food system. We are engineering the sixth great extinction on this planet — but it doesn’t have to be that way.

At this pivotal moment, can we find ourselves back into nature?
Can we change our mindset from consumers to producers and co-creators?
Can we establish cycles that are regenerative versus destructive?

You can be part of a future that is more diverse and more intelligent than the planet has ever expressed before. The paths are many, but they all revolve around reconnection — with each other, with farmers, with wisdom that is old and true, and with natural patterns.

To that end, this program gathers together thought leaders and changemakers, including special guest Charles Eisenstein, focused on regenerative agriculture, because healthy soil, communities, economies, and people all form one essential ecosystem.

This course runs from Nov 17th – 20th and is for…

  • Anyone who eats food!
  • People who care about being a life-giving force on the planet
  • People curious about the regenerative movement and how they can be a part of it
  • People looking to unite family and friends around a hopeful, healthful vision for humanity

Join this course to…

  • Learn how human & soil health are intimately related
  • Discover why past movements – such as “organic” – failed to change the paradigm
  • Listen to the challenges farmers and agricultural businesses face
  • Understand what it takes to heal an entire ecosystem
  • Reconnect with where your food comes from
  • Explore what regeneration looks like in your life

“As you listen to the many voices in this program, I hope regenerative agriculture will move from an abstract concept to an engaged experience. You will not only better understand the realities of our current farming landscape, but also better understand your role as a stakeholder in this food system. Because at the root of what it means to be regenerative is also what it means to be human.”Zach Bush, MD

We can completely overcome the common paradigm – not through an “anti” mission – but through an alternative mission. Not through an effort to be more “pro” this or that, and thus heighten the polarization of our culture, but to literally rise above the old arguments.

Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

About Your Host

Zach Bush, MD is a physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology and hospice care. He is an internationally recognized educator and thought leader on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and food systems. Dr. Zach founded Seraphic Group and the nonprofit Farmer’s Footprint to develop root-cause solutions for human and ecological health.

About Farmer’s Footprint

Farmer’s Footprint is a non-profit supporting farmers across the nation who are bravely stepping forward and transforming chemically farmed acreage to regenerative agriculture. Their vision is to unite, inspire and accelerate the movement towards regenerative food systems as a means to restore human and planetary health.

You can sign up for the free course at: https://www.onecommune.com/a-path-for-healing-people-planet-free-sign-up?

And Steven Washington is offering another free Pilates/Qigong Fusion class just in time to get you in shape for Thanksgiving! Here are the details and sign-up link…

Join the party with a FREE class!

Tuesday, November 22nd

11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern / 7pm UK 

It’s been 2 years since Steven’s first Pilates/Qigong Fusion class and he’d love you to join him in celebrating!

Your FREE, 65-minute class will include:

  • 30 minutes of classic Pilates exercises to strengthen and stretch
  • 30 minutes of energizing and calming Qigong movements  
  • A peaceful and relaxing guided Mindful Meditation
  • Replay of the full class plus condensed and Qigong-only versions.

Learn more and sign-up here: https://www.stevenwashingtonexperience.com/celebration

Here’s to a healthier you in 2022!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health.

Which is best….Daylight Saving or Standard Time?!

I’ve felt for a long time that there was no longer any real benefit from the annual “spring forward, fall back” routine. The switching twice a year seemed hard on our bodies and overall health, plus an unnecessary expense to the nation and the world (ever considered how costly it is to change the settings on Big Ben each time?!)

Both time systems seemed to have pluses and minuses; I just wanted to switch to one or the other permanently. So I was glad when I heard the US was finally set to end the practice next year and stay on daylight saving time. BUT then I read this article and felt like the lawmakers should have done a better job of researching all the data before making their decision.

I’ve done several posts in the past on the time change and its effects, and will post those links below. I know it’s always great to get that “extra” hour on Sunday in the fall, and the seeming “extra” sunshine in the spring (even though the actual amount stays the same :-)), but overall and long-term, this article makes me wish we could somehow be staying on standard time, not daylight saving, beginning next year.

Read this article from The Washington Post and see what you think….

Palace of Westminster with Big Ben

Why daylight saving time is worse for your body than standard time

An animated story of what science says about changing our clocks in the fall and spring

By Aaron Steckelberg and Lindsey Bever

Within days, 48 states and the District of Columbia will reset their clocks and fall back into standard time. From a health standpoint, most sleep and circadian experts say we should stay there.

Experts say early-morning sunlight is key to maintaining our circadian rhythms, sleep-wake cycles and overall health. Phyllis Zee, a neurologist and chief of sleep medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said without that sunlight, we can slip into circadian misalignment — “when your internal body clocks fall out of sync with that of the sun clock and your social clocks.”

The concern with adopting a permanent change to daylight saving time, which the Senate has voted to do, is that it may chronically throw our bodies out of sync with the sun and lead to a variety of health problems, sleep experts say.

“We would be misaligned all year long,” said Beth Malow, professor of neurology and pediatrics and the director of Vanderbilt University’s sleep division.

How is it that one hour can have such a significant impact?

Your brain has an internal clock.

It helps keep time each day, making sure the right things are happening at the right moments inside our bodies, such as cardiac functions, metabolic processes, hormone fluctuations and sleep.

But for most of us, that internal clock runs slightly longer than 24 hours.

Luckily, the sun steps in to help us by sending signals to specialized receptors in our eyes.

Each morning, sunlight resets our internal clock by “pulling” us back into sync with a 24-hour day.

Then, after the sun sets, the lack of sunlight allows our bodies to produce hormones such as melatonin, which promotes sleep.

Similar to how sunlight in the morning can pull our internal clock earlier, light from any source too late into the evening can do the opposite and “push” our internal clock later.

This can interfere with our ability to sleep.

With the time change each spring to daylight saving time, we abruptly disrupt this important relationship between our brains and the sun. Here’s why.

Our internal clock evolved to align with the sunrise, sunset and a 24-hour day.

Likewise, the clocks we developed to schedule our days were conceived to align with the 24-hour solar day.

When we are observing standard time, noon is when the sun is generally at its highest point. Let’s call it solar noon.

For most of us, our watches and phone clocks dictate how we live large parts of our lives — when to wake up, be at work and go to bed.

Each March, when we switch to daylight saving time, our daily schedules shift by an hour.

Notice how now we wake up in the dark and leave work with more hours of sunlight left in the day.

But the sun doesn’t move. Solar noon, which is synced with your internal clock, is still at the same time as the previous day. Now your daily schedule and solar noon are misaligned.

Unfortunately, the internal clock in your brain can’t adjust as fast as your watch. It takes your internal clock at least one day to adjust to one hour in time change. And for some people, it can take longer than that.

One of the major problems with changing to daylight saving time is that it disrupts sleep. Your body isn’t yet ready to fall asleep at your usual bedtime, which is now an hour earlier.

And in the morning, your body wants its old wake time, too. But your alarm clock wakes you an hour earlier, so you can get to work on time. Now you’re cutting into your sleep at both ends.

This sudden one-hour shift each spring has been associated with more heart attacks and strokes. Automobile and other types of accidents also increase.

There is also a cumulative toll of circadian misalignment. Here’s what would happen if we stayed in daylight saving time all year long.

The summer solstice, around June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere, is the longest day of the year. In some locations, such as D.C., there may be nearly 15 hours of daylight.

Those extra hours of sunlight after work may feel nice, but having a later sunset close to bedtime can delay the onset of those sleep hormones, pushing your internal clock later.

Even though you may end up losing some sleep, during the summer you would still have early-morning sun to “pull” you back a little bit.

But let’s imagine if daylight saving time becomes permanent, as has been proposed. Six months later, during the shortest day of the year, on Dec. 21, you would have a different problem.

There would be a bit over nine hours of sunlight in D.C. during the day.

You would wake up in darkness, and the sun wouldn’t rise until you were well awake and already at work.

Because you already would have been awake for hours before the sun rose, it would be less capable of “pulling” your clock back into alignment.

If your internal clock doesn’t get “pulled” enough, it can’t reset itself.

So, your internal clock may remain slightly longer than 24 hours, causing you to drift out of sync with the solar day.

With each passing day, those extra minutes can accumulate. Over time, your internal clock and your real-world clocks move further apart.

This results in circadian misalignment, a mismatch between our schedules that tell us when to wake, “and what our outside environment wants us to do, which is to stay in bed and sleep because it’s dark outside,” Malow said.

As a result, staying in daylight saving time year round could put people at greater risk for seasonal depression in the winter months, experts say. Experts also say circadian misalignment can affect the production of important hormones such as melatonin.

Living chronically out of sync with our internal clock puts us at an increased risk for sleep loss, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, mood disorders and even certain types of cancer.

Melatonin has oncostatic properties, meaning it can slow the spread of cancer, said Charles Czeisler, chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

But what would happen if we adopted standard time year round? Experts say we would eliminate the short-term health problems (and frustration) created by adjusting our clocks twice per year.

More importantly, our internal clock would stay in sync with the solar day.

With better circadian alignment, we may reduce the risk for many long-term health issues.

Circadian and sleep experts say there is a powerful biological case for staying in standard time year round. Changing the clocks doesn’t change the overall duration of sunlight in a day. With permanent standard time, at least you would be getting that light at the right time of day for optimal health.

Go here to read the article with animated graphics that help explain the whole thing further.

SOURCE: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/interactive/2022/permanent-standard-time-body-health-benefits/?itid=hp-top-table-main_p001_f004

Related Self-help Health posts:

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my Evolution Made Easier website’s To Your Health page for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

ANALOG vs DIGITAL

A few days ago I got a newsletter from Kaitlyn Keyt at Vibes Up about how we’ve been impacted by all the changes from analog to digital formatting, and I found what she had to say very insightful and thought-provoking….

SOME INTERESTING THOUGHTS ON ORGANIC VERSUS SYNTHETIC SOUNDS & IMAGES AND HOW THEY AFFECT US

I remembered when phones where switched from analog to digital. I could hear it and FEEL IT. 

And it set off little alarms in my system. 

It was my insurance company and I called them back and said I am sorry this will sound strange, but I talked to a couple of your employees today that I have spoken to before and today they sounded very robotic. 

Rather than tell me I was kooky, they said “Oh yes, we just had our phone systems switch to digital!” 

My alarm was because I could not READ them (energetically) as clearly thru their voice. Back then I was not even aware of my ability to do this; it was just a natural sense like taste, touch and smell and I never questioned it until that conversation when I was not able to use it. It left me feeling very unsettled. I THINK WE ALL HAVE THIS ABILITY. 

Years later I watched a documentary about analog music vs digital. It was saying when music switched to digital it lost its ‘soul.’ 

It explained that digital takes in the information and scrambles it and resends it out in a form that was not its original. Like organic vs synthetic sound. 

Just like our body does not know how to fully process synthetic foods, it would be the same with sounds. 

I can also imagine this would be the same with images…. 

My dream was showing me the more we are exposed to lower and scrambled PIXELS that it is yet another way to keep humanity in a limited state of being. 

Like consuming food that does not have the full spectrum of its nutrients (KREBS CYCLE), we can not utilize that food item when it’s synthetic and not complete, and it ends up draining our system to try to pull the missing elements from our bodies. 

In the dream I got that  ‘incomplete pixels’  on images also pull from us and leave us in a limited state and with a sense of incompleteness. THAT IS PART OF WHY WE FEEL SO MUCH BETTER IN NATURE!

IN SUMMARY: 

I will still be processing the pixel message from the dream, but in the meantime, I am getting that the more REAL LIFE, IN PERSON sounds and images (organic) we can take it, the better for our systems and activation of our natural abilities as we step into being true full-spectrum, empowered beings. 

To what lengths will those who want to control the masses keep us from REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES? 

Would they go so far as to keep us away from each other and inside watching TV and on ‘smart’ phones, and only seeing and speaking to each other via synthetic technology? HMMM. 

I feel even more Inspired to consume more ORGANIC experiences! 

How many ORGANIC experiences can you collect TODAY? ~ Kaitlyn Keyt

Kaitlyn’s article got me interested in knowing more about analog vs digital and this is one of the information sources I found in my search: https://instrumentationtools.com/what-are-analog-and-digital-signals-differences-examples/

p. s. Kaitlyn’s Vibes Up site is one of my favorite places to shop for items that rely on Nature to enhance our lives, improve our health, off-set EMFs and other non-beneficial energies, and more. I have done several posts highlighting some of the wonderful items she creates in partnership with Nature and offers on her on-line store. Her Age-Less Crystal Cream (on sale right now!), Therapy Bears, Lotus Oil Roll-ons & Sprays, and multi-purpose “squishies”/energy mats are some of my faves that I use on a daily basis. Shop thru this link https://shop.vibesup.com/#goodvibes4u and use the code “goodvibes4u” and get $10 off your order, if you are a new customer. 🙂

Related Self-help Health posts:

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/vibes-up-ageless-extreme-cream-special-oral-health-plus-free-scalar-sessions/

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health.

Free On-line Five Elements Class From The Eden Method Team

Just received this announcement and invitation in an e-mail from Donna Eden and thought some of you may want to sign up…..

Donna and her daughters Titanya and Dondi have come together for the first time ever to teach a fun, free, transformational Five Elements class on-line.

The Five Elements can give us understanding and clarity on not just who we are and what we do but WHY we do what we do.

You’ll start to know yourself and other important people in your life in a more profound way than ever before.

And when you learn to identify and recognize the dominant element in yourself and others (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, or Metal), there’s not much that you cannot accomplish!

For instance, understanding the Five Elements can help you:
Feel better about yourself at all levels and embrace your true, authentic self.

Rekindle the fires of passion and intimacy with the one you love.

Develop a deeper understanding and compassion for yourself and others in ways that make sense of unwanted or troubling behavior – so you can allow for inspired growth and expansion.

Experience a more blissful flow and greater ease at work and in other creative endeavors.

Make healthy food choices based on your underlying core energy instead of bouncing from trend to trend to figure out what’s right for you.

Resolve problematic traits that have dogged you all your life (for instance, if you’re a lifelong procrastinator, this system can help you change that!)

Improve your health and vitality in a way that’s aligned with your unique body, mind, and spirit.

Establish greater trust and friendship with others (even “difficult” people who drive you up the wall!) and MUCH more!

Understanding the Five Elements can empower you to build a life of genuine love, friendship, confidence, and success, in a way that is aligned with who you truly are!

In this free class, you’ll learn everything you need to know to begin your journey to better health and relationships, plus more joy and satisfaction in all areas of your life and work.

Donna, Titanya, and Dondi’s teachings are deeply insightful, so get ready for more than a few “a-ha” moments!

Join this one-of-a-kind free class now >>

The Eden Method team

P.S. The class is only available for a limited time so reserve your spot now

Here’s to a healthier you in 2022!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my website Evolution Made Easier and blog of the same name for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

A Simple Exercise To Improve Brain Power

It turns out doing a series of squats several times a week can do more that build your leg and glut muscles. It also works to improve your brain power as well. And that’s good news, because who doesn’t want to do that?! More good news is that doing squats while listening to music, following a podcast or even watching TV seems to increase the benefit, so you can actually get two things on your “to do” list done for the “price” of one. Good deal!

If squats are part of your daily routine, then we have good news for you! Doing just a few minutes of this resistance exercise can go a long way towards improving your brain power and making you smarter, according to recent research.

Squats are often used by fitness trainers to improve strength and stability, as they involve multiple muscle groups, such as the calves, quadriceps, abdominals, and glutes. But recent research shows that the benefits of the squat go even further to improve your brain health too, reports the BBC.

Squats and your brain

The research findings show that squats can have a significant effect on your cognitive function. “You don’t need to be huffing and puffing and really pushing yourself hard in the gym to target certain parts of the brain,” explains Prof Damian Bailey from the University of South Wales. “You can do some really neat little exercises that don’t really feel like you’re exercising at all and which stimulate the brain really quite remarkably; you can be smart for the brain – it’s about intelligent exercise.”

According to Prof Bailey, doing squats for just three to five minutes, three times a week can be better for your brain than 30 minutes of steady-state exercises, such as a run or a walk.

Going against gravity

As you squat your head moves up and down against gravity. When this happens, your blood flow speeds up and slows down at a significant rate. It is precisely this change in the blood flow rate in the brain that is responsible for the benefits, explains Prof Bailey.

It’s never too late to start

The best thing about the new findings is that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been doing much exercise. This is because those who are not as fit tend to get the biggest brain benefits from this exercise since their brains are not as used to cushioning the changes in blood flow, reports the BBC.

Bring on the podcasts

What’s also interesting about the research findings is that listening to musicfollowing a podcast, or even watching TV as you are doing squats can actually amplify the exercise’s benefits on your brain function.

SOURCE: https://www.optimistdaily.com/2022/01/this-simple-exercise-can-improve-your-brain-power/

FYI, this news about squats seems to at least partly explain why the brain exercise given in this previous Self-help Health post works so well. It’s one I try to do on a daily basis, especially since it’s easy and quick to fit in any time and there’s no extra space or special equipment required!…

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/boost-your-brain-power-plus-more-free-health-resources/

Another routine I do regularly that just so happens to include squats is the short HIIT series of exercises created by Dr Zach Bush. Glad to see I’ve been automatically getting in a double dose of squats without consciously planning it. HA!

Here’s to a healthier you in 2022!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my website Evolution Made Easier and blog of the same name for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Start The New Year With A Free Core Qigong Class!

How nice! I’m only a little familiar with Qigong, so I was excited to receive news of this free class from Steven Washington on Jan 11th at 2 pm ET. It’s supposed to be suitable for all levels and a replay will be available afterwards that will include a condensed version of the routine for regular use. I don’t know about you, but this seems like a great way to start off 2022!

Start 2022 with a Calmer Mind and a More Energized Body

Join Movement Guide, Steven Washington on January 11, 2022, for a free, fun, 75-minute Movement Medicine class designed to create energy, healing and balance within the body. This class is suitable for all levels and will strengthen your focus, relieve your stress levels, and curb anxiety. The workshop includes a fundamental Pilates training, a Qigong practice, a mindfulness meditation and Q&A.

Here’s what’s included:

  • 30 minutes of classic Pilates strengthening, stretching and balance
  • 30 minutes of energy-igniting Qigong
  • A calming Mindfulness Meditation
  • Live, interactive Q&A with Steven at the close of class
  • Replay of the full class, plus 20-minute condensed and Qigong-only versions

You can sign up for the class here.

Here’s to a happier, healthier you in ’22!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional/your inner knowing before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Have You Had Your Daily Harvest Today?!

Have you heard about the new meal delivery service Daily Harvest?

I first gave Daily Harvest a try about 3 months ago and have continued to schedule deliveries on a semi-regular basis ever since. They have entrees, soups, smoothies and more for when I need to have something to eat in a hurry that’s highly nutritious to boot. Ordering from DH seems to be a good way to make sure my freezer is stocked with items that are quick to prepare and surprisingly healthy, especially in comparison to most of what’s available in the world of frozen food.

Why I like Daily Harvest and would recommend it to others…

It’s great to have frozen items that are super healthy, where 95% of the ingredients are organic, and include a wide array of fruits, veggies, herbs and superfoods combined in ways that are beyond the ordinary. Plus, I really appreciate that in the foods I’ve ordered that call for oil, they always use organic extra virgin olive oil. So many products these days rely on the cheaper and, from my research, less healthy canola, safflower or sunflower oils, which contain high amounts of omega-6s.

And all items are free of fillers or artificial anything, and don’t contain dairy or gluten, if those are things you’re trying to avoid. In fact, everything is fruit and/or plant-based and vegan, and there are a number of options that are also paleo-friendly. I don’t follow a specific type of diet, but I realize many people do, so this provides choices that are sometimes hard to find in the freezer section of a grocery store.

Most items are also usually high in fiber and low in calories, and quick and easy to prepare. Many require just a quick heat-up, whirl in the blender, or the flatbread pizzas (with crusts made of pureed veggies, cassava flour and other healthy things), take about 20 minutes in a toaster oven.

Flexibility in ordering…

Fortunately, DH gives you quite a bit of flexibility on how often you order and day of the week it’s delivered, and you can change the items in your box each time, if you want. I signed up for the weekly delivery, because I didn’t want to commit to the larger amount of items required for the monthly box, especially because I didn’t know if I’d actually like the food. My thought was I would at least give the service a try since they were having a special $20 off promotion, and then cancel after my second order, because I didn’t want to be locked into deliveries on a weekly basis.

BUT, I ended up liking the food and found out how easy it was to change my items and delay my deliveries to where I usually have one every 3 to 4 wks, so I was able to get what amounts to the monthly box without committing to ordering the larger amount of items. HA! And it’s just enough to get me a good stash of back-up food for the freezer without having to schedule a delivery for each week. Orders can always be more or less frequent, if I make the changes in time to my account on-line, and DH always sends an e-mail reminder that the cut-off for amending an order is coming up.

Interesting, innovative ingredients and recipes…

You can see a complete list of ingredients for each food item and read reviews by other customers to help you decide if it sounds like something you’d like. And the company is always adding new items to the menu choices, plus tweaking older recipes, based on customer feedback. They seem to be honestly interested in continually making everything better and better. After having a few deliveries and reordering what I did like, and trying something new in place of things that didn’t really turn me on, I have gotten to where I know I’m going to be pleased with what’s coming.

This last time I added something based on it being ranked as the customers’ #1 pick and it did not disappoint. In fact, I will probably order at least 2 in my next delivery. It’s the Beet+Wild Rice Harvest Bowl and has a combination of ingredients that may sound a little strange to some people (I know it did to me at first)… chioggia beets, wild rice, arugula, cauliflower and parsnip puree, fennel, coconut cream, dill and other herbs, plus camu camu powder. But don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

And that’s one of the things I like best about the Daily Harvest choices; they combine a lot of different things that I normally wouldn’t eat that often, if at all. So it’s great for getting a wide variety of fruits, veggies and herbs into my diet without having to buy a bunch of different stuff at the grocery store, if I was to make the recipe at home.

Their Almond Mylk is super healthy and convenient…

I tried one of DH’s smoothies, but I really, really like my own recipe, plus often start with a whey/high protein base, so it’s just easier to stick with making my own. BUT, I usually use coconut milk and almond milk for the liquid part in mine and I like adding one of the Almond Mylk cubes from Daily Harvest to give it an even richer taste. Their Mylk is pure and simple, just ground almonds and Himalayan sea salt, so you don’t get any of the additives that are in a lot of brands, even those at the health food stores.

The package comes w/ 8 “concentrated” cubes and each is equal to 1/2 cup of almond milk when reconstituted with water, so I can add extra flavor without adding extra liquid to the smoothie, if I just pop a cube into the blender with my other ingredients. I also like the convenience of always having a back-up supply to the regular almond or oat milk I use on granola, oatmeal, etc. There have been times in the past when that’s the only thing I need from the grocery store, so now when that happens, I just rely on the Mylk cubes until I do my regular shopping.

Daily Harvest is the type of business I like supporting with my dollars…

Daily Harvest is not like a lot of businesses that are really more concerned with making some bucks than really providing the American people with truly healthy food options and being good stewards of the planet. DH uses environmentally-friendly/recyclable packaging, chooses ingredients that support organic and regenerative farming practices, and even include superfoods in many of their recipes. And, as it says on their site….

Most of us know the saying from doctors taking the Hippocratic oath. Unfortunately, no similar oath exists in the food industry. A century of damage to the system has taken its toll — on our food, our health, and Mother Earth herself. While we at Daily Harvest believe in a world well-fed… today, it isn’t. We have to actively work to undo the damage of the past while creating a new system that can nourish humanity and do no harm.

Sound idealistic? Well, maybe we are. We didn’t break the system, but our only future is built on something new. Something that shows regard for future generations (Re:Generation). You with us? We are on a mission to take care of food so food can take care of you.” 

I like spending my dollars at places that are consciously involved in creating a better world!

Personally, I think poor diet, depleted soil, and non-organic/pesticide-ridden foods are a big part of what has made this country so susceptible to the virus, and I think all holistic health practitioners would agree. Unfortunately, mainstream medicine, the media, and the talking heads from government and Big Pharma don’t ever mention how important eating truly healthy food is to creating a strong immune system, but then that’s a whole other conversation. 😦

UPDATE: If you’re interested in giving Daily Harvest a try, now’s a good time, because you’ll get $50 off your first order by using this code by 1/31/22 at check-out to get started: CRS-LH7HT6T

And, although everyone’s tastes vary, here’s some suggestions you might consider as to what to order:

In addition to the Beet+Wild Rice Harvest Bowl I mentioned earlier, check out the Sweet Potato+Wild Rice Hash, Brussels Sprouts+ Tahini, and Roasted Eggplant+Red Pepper Caponata Harvest Bowls, Sweet Potato+Miso Soup, Pear+Arugala+Pecan, Portobello+ Pesto, and Tomato+Cremini Flatbreads. And I love the purity and convenience of their Almond Mylk and knowing I always have some on hand to save me from having to make an unscheduled run to the store.

And I usually like to “accessorize” my food, including some of the items from Daily Harvest. For example, yesterday I had the Tomato+Cremini Flatbread, which is fine just as it is, but I decided to customize it with the pesto, Kalamata tapanade, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes I usually keep on hand. DELISH! Would probably have even added some crème fraîche, if I’d had some around, but then I’m one of these “the more the merrier” kind of gals when it comes to toppings on food. 🙂

p. s. Daily Harvest’s version of non-dairy ice cream is called Scoops and uses a coconut cream base. The Ooey Gooey Midnight Fudge is the only one so far that I’ve really liked, which is just a well, because I already have too many temptations around. The Salted Caramel Scoops was a “no” for me and the only disappointing thing I’ve ordered so far. But then I haven’t found a really healthy version of salted caramel ice cream anywhere. I think it’s one of those indulgences best enjoyed in its classic form. 🙂

Here’s to happy, healthy eating!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional/your inner knowing before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

DIY Vanilla Extract + Acupressure Video + Must See Documentary

 

Okay, full disclosure upfront…..this is one of those recipes I’m posting so I’ll always know where to find it, BUT I’m hoping there will be some of you out there who like to save money and are big fans, like me, of almost anything  vanilla flavored. If so, this should be right up your alley, plus, I found the article to be a very entertaining, insight-filled read and one of the best on DIY vanilla extract I’ve come across…..

Skip the store. Make your own!

You can make the ultimate, high-quality vanilla extract right in your kitchen. Yes, the gourmet stuff. Since you’ve made it yourself, you know it’s free of artificial colors, flavors, or other impurities. And it costs a tiny fraction of what you would pay at the store:

  • Vanilla extract = $18.19 per cup
  • Gourmet vanilla extract = $43.60 per cup
  • Homemade, gourmet vanilla extract = $8.74 per cup

Step #1: Gather Your Materials

You will need scissors (or a knife), a mason jar with a lid, alcohol (35%–50%), and vanilla beans.

Selecting the Right Vanilla Beans

Vanilla beans aren’t standard fare in most produce departments or farmer’s markets. You may need to get these online. Consider the following varieties of vanilla, to customize your gourmet creation:

  • Madagascar/Bourbon: This is the traditional vanilla you’re familiar with.
  • Tahitian: More floral and fruity
  • Mexican: Sweet and woody with a hint of spice
  • African/Ugandan: Smokier and bold

And these aren’t your only options. You can also explore Indian, Tonga, and Indonesia vanilla beans.

As you browse the selection, you may notice that vanilla beans are given an A, B, or C grade. Grade A beans are more expensive and are meant for cooking. They work fine in extracts, but the increased cost won’t yield much difference in your finished product. Grade B vanilla beans cost less and are intended for use in extracts.

You can often buy grade B beans for around $1.50 to $2.00 each, depending on how many you buy at once.

What Kind of Alcohol Should You Use?

Next, you’ll need to select an alcohol. Alcohol extracts the vanilla flavor and prevents spoilage. You’ll want something that’s between 35%–50% alcohol. Around 40% is ideal.

There’s no need to spend your money on a high-dollar alcohol. It’s the quality of the vanilla beans, not the alcohol, that makes great vanilla. So go ahead and get the cheap stuff. Most people choose an alcohol with a mild flavor, but you could also select one with a complementary flavor. Spiced rum, for example, could make your vanilla quite exotic.

Step #2: Assemble Your Ingredients

Use your scissors or knife to split the beans lengthwise and place them in the jar. If they’re too long, just cut them so that they fit. Then pour your alcohol over the vanilla beans.

For “better-than-supermarket” vanilla extract, use 2–3 beans for each cup of alcohol. For gourmet vanilla, use 5 beans per cup of alcohol. And for mind-blowing, legendary, sell-it-to-put-your-kid-through-college vanilla, use 7–8 beans per cup of alcohol. Any more than this and the FBI has to come and haul you away.

Cap it, shake it up, and put it away in the cupboard. Come back every few days to shake it up again. It really likes it when you do that. Tell it that it’s a good vanilla—a pretty vanilla. Sing it a little song. (You think I’m joking.)

Now comes the hardest part. Waiting.

How long do you have to wait? That depends. Do you want good vanilla, great vanilla, or life-altering vanilla?

  • For good vanilla, let it extract for 8 weeks. Go ahead and sniff if every so often. Maybe take a tiny sample. It’s okay. I won’t tell.
  • For great vanilla, let it extract for 6 months. Yes, 6 months. I know, I know. You want your vanilla now. But great vanilla takes time.
  • For mind-blowing, life-altering, legendary vanilla, let it extract for a full year. I’ll pause now, while you finish cursing your computer screen. ( … ) All done? Good, because I have a compromise for you. Make 2 batches of vanilla—each one being enough for an entire year.

Use the first batch as the year goes by. It will get better with time because it will keep extracting. Then when it’s used up, open your year-old vanilla and let the good times roll! Just remember to start a new batch for the next year.

Cheaters Never Win?

The 2 main factors in flavor extraction are time and surface area. (The alcohol-to-water ratio is important too, but we’ve already got that covered.) We could think of this as a formula:

Surface Area x Time = Great Vanilla

If we want to reduce the extraction time without diminishing the vanilla flavor, we need to increase the surface area.

To increase the surface area, we could cut our vanilla beans into smaller and smaller pieces with scissors. But who has time for that? Time is exactly the thing we’re trying to cut down on! Let’s just keep on cheating instead.

Toss those beans into your blender. Pour in your alcohol. Then blend it like you’re trying to destroy evidence! You’ll notice that the liquid turns darker right away.

Go ahead and cap it, and shake it up every few days, just as you would with the slower method. Open it up every week to sample it. You won’t get a year’s worth of flavor maturation in a week, but it will move along much faster.

This method does have a few downsides. For one, it’s less visually appealing in the jar. Your friends will be more impressed with a jar of vanilla beans than a jar of cloudy bean powder. Also, it’s hard to filter out the little bean pieces, and you may get them in your food. But that could also make it look more authentic, so that may actually be a bonus. Lastly, vanilla bean powder can’t easily be repurposed for vanilla sugar.

Repurposing Beans

Can you reuse vanilla beans? Yes, but the resulting extract won’t be as strong. Feel free to try it. You might like it just fine. If not, just toss in a fresh bean or two, and let it extract again.

Some people also like to use a sort of “perpetual vanilla” system. Any time they use a little vanilla extract, they’ll top the container back up with alcohol and let it continue extracting. Depending on how often you use your vanilla, this system works fine, though it does yield a diminishing quality of vanilla over time.

Alternately, you can create vanilla sugar. Take out the used vanilla beans and let them dry. Place them in an airtight container and fill it with sugar. Then, let it sit for a couple of weeks. Use the sugar in baking, coffee, tea, or anywhere else you’d like a sweet, vanilla flavor.

Gourmet Options

You now know how to make gourmet-quality vanilla. But it’s still just vanilla. What about fancy flavors? What about creativity? Let’s do it!

First of all, a flavored alcohol can really take your vanilla in a fun and unexpected direction. Another option is to add spices or herbs into the mix. How about adding a little cinnamon or clove? How does lavender vanilla or vanilla mint sound? Just put them right in the jar and let them extract together.

For a sweeter vanilla, add honey or maple syrup.

The only limit is your creativity and your bravery for experimenting with new flavor combinations.

Other Extracts

We’ve cracked the code for vanilla extract, but that’s not nearly the end of the story. You can make any of the extracts you find in the store, plus a whole lot more! The basic process is the same for all extracts, but I’ll give you a few tips for special cases.

Almond Extract

The skin on an almond can cause an extract to turn bitter. Before using them, drop them into boiling water. After 1 minute, remove them and let them cool. The skins should slide right off. Roughly chop the almonds (minus skins) and place them in the jar. About 15 almonds are enough for 2 cups of basic almond extract, but I like to use twice as much.

Fruit Extracts

Fruits usually have a high moisture content. This will dilute your alcohol content. Either slice and dehydrate your fruit first or use a slightly higher proof alcohol. If using fresh fruit, use a 1:1 ratio of fruit to alcohol (by volume). If using dehydrated fruit us a 1:2 ratio of fruit to alcohol. These ratios are just guidelines, not rules. Feel free to experiment.

Source: https://thegrownetwork.com/how-to-make-vanilla-extract/

 

I watched this a couple of days ago and wish it was required viewing for everyone!

This documentary is entertaining, enlightening, inspiring and informative, as well as depressing and disheartening at times when you see how the powers that be (including the Girl Scouts organization!) are so resistant to what will liberate humanity and provide a better, healthier, more abundant world for everyone. You’ll get to know a “No to GMOs” super cute little powerhouse w/ an angel of a mom, a visionary farmer on a mission, and a brilliant inventor, way-shower and humanitarian w/ soul-filled blue eyes who creates things you usually only encounter in sci-fi.😊

You can watch for free thru today, Sept 14th, BUT if you at least sign-up to watch by the end of today, you will  get an extra 3 days for viewing. OR get unlimited access for only $7 and help support the cause here.

And go here for video from Michael Reed Gach, PhD demonstrating DIY acupressure points for toning the face, increasing circulation, clearing sinuses, releasing toxins and more.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional/your inner knowing before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.