My first personal interest in yoga was when I was about 18 years old. I needed my yoga practice to offset my already busy work schedule. I needed energy, flexibility, stress reduction, and just plain old time to myself! Can you relate to this? As time went on, my yoga practice came and went according to my filling schedule. I had a renewed interest when children came along. The first thing I wanted was to be back into my nice work clothes, not to mention my jeans!
During a very stressful marriage break up, yoga became an anchor for me. My mind, body, and spirit needed the practice to keep balanced when my emotional footing was not as stable as I would have liked it to be. I have to admit my practice still was off and on as time seemed to constrain me more, but there comes a time when excuses are no longer an option! I needed my yoga practice!
As someone who supports mind, body, and spirit connection, I can not think of a better practice with all of these elements and so many benefits. Just to teach you all of those benefits, this blog post would have to become a book! Yes, it is that good for you!
When I was surfing online for the best yoga practice that I could stick to, I discovered Yoga Downloads! YES! I was so happy to see such a diverse community of yoga practitioners dedicated to their practice. “Yoga Download” is an online platform that gives you unlimited access to over 1700 exclusive classes from the world’s top yoga instructors.” (Yoga Download Website).
What is remarkable is it is so affordable! You can choose your level of commitment and also participation. You will meet multi-level yoga practices taught by happy and dedicated yoga practitioners and instructors. If you are seasoned in yoga or just want to give it a try, this is for you! Join over 250,000 people who are apart of this yoga community that has been moving forward since 2006. Choose the practice and the instructor you desire. You have nothing to lose just checking it out! Keep going, and you WILL BE HOOKED!
Yoga is so good for your body and especially your mind and emotional wellbeing. Sometimes we just have to take a leap and do what our heart is crying out for. Yoga Downloads is very inexpensive, and you can stop your membership any time you want!
I encourage you to come along and join me! Become hooked on yoga and do great things for your body at the same time! You can use the hyperlinks above or the links I have provided below. ** I am a Yoga Downloads affiliate
As I look back upon my life, I can not remember an illness as frustrating as COVID-19. I come from a generation who endured the mumps, measles, chickenpox and missed the old smallpox epidemic. The diseases of the past were irritating, except for some of the more life-threatening diseases.
I feel very blessed to have gone through a lot less than many people have endured regarding the illness department. I am so aware of those I cared for in the past who struggled with cancer forms or were dying from liver failure. When I reflect on those days of taking care of critically sick people, I feel doubly blessed not to have had endured them.
In my belief system, I feel everything in life is brought into our lives to teach us. My beliefs go beyond the old, “whatever does not kill us makes us stronger” mentality. To some degree, everything in life is a lesson, including becoming sick.
Before I continue to go off into left field, I want to stay true to my title and express what COVID-19 has taught me as an illness.
The little things in life are just as important as the more significant issues, whether blessings or difficulties.
Life is too short to complain about anything. We have chosen this ride on earth and can create in this life whatever we desire. If we are not happy with where we are, it is our fault. We can make life be as we envision we want it to be, so why not?
Love is always higher than anything, and it is our love that determines how much we have in our lives.
What we allow to stay will stay. If something is irritating, like a scratchy sweater, it is up to us to take it off and let it go.
Breath is important. No one should ever take a good breath of air for granted. If you smoke, STOP! You WILL get lung cancer or compromise your breath.
Don’t stress over the little things in life; they will pass just like everything else.
It is alright to stay in your jammies if you don’t feel well!
Leaving dishes in the sink is not a mortal sin. They will still be there later on when there is more energy to do them.
People in our lives have a particular purpose; they are not just placeholders. Find the purpose for every person and do your best to learn from that connection, love despite disagreement, and know you are blessed to have the honor of understanding them.
Difficult people are not only learning opportunities but are hurting human beings. Give them a break, especially when they are sick with COVID-19.
Aside from the evident appreciation for life, the comments mentioned above are not exhaustive in the least. When it comes to counting my blessings, I have far more than the stars, and they are uncountable. A little giving goes a long way. We all have things in life we have to process internally. We carry baggage. Some of us carry it over our shoulders, some in our hearts, and some are consumed in baggage without even awareness it exists. Burdens are not meant to be held but processed.
If you are dealing with COVID-19 illness, my heart and prayers go out to you; it is not a fun illness. Let God give you strength for the journey and a more healed heart for having been tried in the COVID-19 fire.
*** This is not meant to be in place of medical advice. Please seek advice before trying herbals and any interactions with your medications. I am not affiliated with this brand nor do I receive funds for any promotions.
Skullcap is known to be beneficial for
Personally, I love medicinal teas! There is nothing more comforting to me when it’s cold outside, I need a boost, or to relax. Cinnamon has its own medicinal properties but taste is my big thing when it comes down to it. Maybe it is the aromatic properties of cinnamon that really kicks this tea into high gear for me!
As with anything herbal, check for any interactions with medications. Otherwise, enjoy! If you are not sure, try a little at a time. Herbals are not for everyone but my experience is plant based health has great benefits!
Yesterday I was going through some photos of those I have known of who have struggled with addictions of many kinds. Most of them are no longer here on earth. Some still are and struggling. Then there are those who feel they have it “under control” only choosing a new addiction to supply their needs.
After watching so many over a lot of years struggle with one addiction or another the truth of its power over people has become overwhelming. I have no doubt that addiction is an illness of the soul. Yes, there is also a family genetic component we can’t ignore, but either way, it all becomes facilitated by a deeper soul scar. The deeper the scars the harder it is to break the cycle.
Since addictions are an illness, I also feel they should be treated as an illness. Soul scars are nothing to take lightly. They cause many issues in life. They guide our behavior, can cause physical and emotional illness, and facilitate addictive behavior. The harder part is what another person’s addiction can do to others they love. It’s so hard to struggle alongside an addict and even harder to watch the destruction it has on people’s lives. Addicted people make decisions based on their addictions. The disease begins to control them until they are no longer in charge of their decisions. It takes over their lives like some monster entered in that refuses to be beaten back.
I heard a saying once that “aging is not for the weak”. I thought about that statement at the time because it is so true. Becoming older causes us all to struggle harder with one thing or another. The difficult part is the more we struggle the harder things become. What we focus on becomes bigger. I feel the addict struggles harder and harder. The disease is not for the weak, it is for someone who has a lot of strength. When I think of how much of their day an addicted person will put in just to feed it it’s overwhelming to me. When I studied opioid addictions during a class with Harvard Medical School, I learned that most individuals who are addicted to opioids will spend the bulk of their day just finding ways to feed their addiction. It’s a struggle and not one for the weak at heart. It is inconceivable to think that any one person would wake up one morning and say to themselves, ” I think I will become an addict for my life’s goal.” Just could not happen.
Before we focus just on drugs or illegal drugs, I have to mention that addictions come in all forms. There are drugs, yes, and alcohol, internet, food, comfort zones, sex, religion, reinforced habits of all kinds. Whatever the case may be, additions are substitutes for pain and suffering that is below the surface and not being dealt with. I have seen addictions rip the rails right out from under people’s lives and before they know it, life has changed forever. Sometimes we lose our lives and sometimes we lose our loved ones.
Brutality never heals addictive behavior. I don’t care how we want to look at it. Maybe we just don’t want to look. It’s so much easier to blame. Yet, before we blame, we have to look at ourselves, don’t we? Since what we see is always a reflection of a part of who and what we are. Remember, we all have ways of covering either what we don’t want to look at or what we don’t want others to see. Some will lie, commit crimes, make excuses, cause upheaval in life, or even worse, die. Pretty serious, isn’t it? If we look at every addict as “dirty scum” that just needs to be taken out of society, then maybe look again. What things inside of ourselves need to be looked at as well? Illness is illness and we are all a part of it.
Somewhere along the line the law decided that addiction is a crime. Yes, it causes people to commit crime sometimes and that has its consequences. Yet, there is a way to deal with it that goes beyond locking someone up and throwing away the key. Think of your morning cup of coffee, your piece of chocolate cake, the series you love on TV, the main focus you put on religion instead of God, the material items you have in your home, the social media you cling to when life is less than enjoyable. We are a society that replaces dealing with things with looking at other things. The sadness is that we never seem to learn, never heal, and never want to understand.
I wonder today, as I think of those who have died for their addictions; were they too weak or were they really strong? Folks the struggle is real and it’s not just someone else’s struggle. It belongs to us all. Think about anger as an addiction, or even giving financially to others can be if it drains our resources. What about the alcoholic who hides their addiction because of embarrassment or ego purposes? Doesn’t this take a lot of strength? An addict who uses illegal drugs can get caught and go to jail any time. Doesn’t it take a lot of strength to live that life? Maybe, just maybe, we all need to be taught another way to be strong. Maybe we need intervention, hospitalization, treatment centers, and others who care and understand? Maybe we need God to help us find wholeness and someone to help show the way to that wholeness? Maybe we need to see our own illness and be compassionate about someone else’s? Maybe we need to treat addiction like the illness it is and stop filling our prisons, jails, and law enforcement time with people who are simply broken from the inside out. Yes, evil happens from that brokenness. Can we even imagine the evil that happened TO them that caused it? How overwhelming is that?
Possibly you might ponder this today. I hope so. Go deep and figure out what addictions you have that hide below the surface, or maybe on the top? Gossip is a huge addiction. Can you think of someone who does this? You can always pick someone out who gets a high out of hearing someone else’s misery. That, my friends, is addiction as well. For some, falling in love is addiction. Once the euphoric feeling of new love has settled down the addict moves on to someone else not even realizing that their brain chemical addiction has cost them a relationship that could have been. Some never discover this in a lifetime, moving from one love encounter to another.
So, with all of this said, and all of this read, what is it that we need? Should we lock ourselves all up and throw away the key or should we heal one another? Should we punch one another in the places that hurt the most or heal the original blow that caused it all to begin with. The choice is ours, you know. It really is. Think about how much of an impact loving someone else whole could have on them? A life could be changed or even saved, and it can start with YOU.
About 11 years ago I found myself going through a lot of personal life transition. During that time I went into the caregiving industry, caring for seniors in their homes and helping them do things they could not do for themselves. I was shocked at how many pretty healthy seniors needed someone to help them up and down in order to get around the house. These were not people who had major surgeries or issues, they just did not have the strength to get up and down, or keep themselves steady as they walked through the house. Basically, I became their crutch.
I remember thinking to myself, I was not going to be like that! I am determined to walk on my own through my older age without help! Mobility is a gift in older age. Mobility helps us feel younger and more vibrant. I have come to appreciate this after a move from one city to another as of late. Unfortunately I ended up with a back muscle strain. It’s so hard when something hurts every time there is movement and there are things to be done!
Back in the 90’s I had already been introduced to exercise genius, Kathy Smith, by someone who was a friend of mine. She gave me my first Kathy Smith VHS video cassette tape to work out. I had been feeling a bit tired, and with five kids to take care of on my own it was hard to keep the energy up. I fell into bed every night exhausted and I knew I needed a change. I started working out with Kathy Smith and I loved it! It was so hard at first but I came to enjoy it so much! It always felt good when I was able to do more of the video than before. I realized, energy begets energy and motivation brings more motivation.
Today, I am working through Kathy Smith’s free 14 day exercise and diet challenge. (See link below). She supplies the great recipes, the online workouts, inspirational emails, and a Facebook group for support through the process. I am pleased that after just a few days of a new change in foods I eat, and completing my exercise each day, my back strain feels so much better. In fact, everything feels better! So far, I can even see my waist again! The main thing is feeling good. I’m no longer taking care of children in my home as my kids are grown now, but at this phase of my life I need even more energy to complete my life tasks. As I age, my overall health has become my biggest focus. I don’t need to look like a supermodel. To me, that is fake. I do want to feel my best and if I can feel 20 years younger at this point in life, why not go for it?
Kathy Smith’s free 14 day program is called “Fit Over 40″ and I love it! I feel like I am doing good things just for me. Self care is so important and this is the best self care. She supplies the grocery list for all of her recipes and an online eBook to download everything needed. One thing that really helps is the Facebook group. I keep inspired to continue when I read the posts and interact with others who are doing the same thing.
Kathy Smith’s “Fit Over 40 Challenge” starts here. Just click on the title link and go to day one! (I don’t receive from her sales and I do not work for her company. I just love what this program is beginning to do for me.) Ask about downloading her free eBook that has all of her recipes, grocery list, and workout links!
These days it seems I am always looking for ways to naturally assist my body processes, contribute to better health, and overall ease in life. One very essential item I found I can not do without is Bergamot Essential Oil. This oil is extracted from a tree through cold pressing and has a delightful citrus type smell with maybe some spicy elements to it as well.
I first was attracted to Bergamot because it helps with depression and anxiety. Bergamot essential oil will stimulate production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain which are essential neurotransmitters we need. Without maintaining them we become depressed and also anxious. Whereas antidepressants work in order to maintain levels of serotonin and dopamine, Bergamot actually stimulates their production. All that is needed is to open the cap of the bottle and take a deep breath! Or it can be lightly defused into the air.
Bergamot can be added to tea in order to drink it. It can be combined with black tea or any herbal tea. In fact Earl Grey tea has Bergamot already in it! If you want the full effects of the essential oil its best to use drops of it or to inhale its effects. It can be mixed with a carrier oil such as olive oil, almond oil, or castor oil, in order to spread lightly onto the skin. It makes a good deodorant, kills bacteria on the body from sweating, and also can be used as a mouthwash in warm water to kill bacteria that causes bad breath.
It’s a very good relaxant and will relieve muscle spasms, pain due to sprains or any kind of body ache. Mix with a carrier oil and apply as a massage oil for pain relief. Other benefits:
Heals intestinal walls, stimulates bowel movements, prohibits gallstones, will kill worm infections, helps respiratory issues, will reduce inflammation, reduce fever, clear up scars, use as a facial or skin care component for clear skin, evens skin tone.
Please look up some of the combinations the oil can be used in order to find the right amount of essential oil and carrier oil in order to use effectively and safely. Remember, with essential oils a little goes a long way!
Personally, I like to drop some in warm tea, use with castor oil and spread on my skin to even skin tone and allow me to smell the aroma. I use it for depression, anxiety, and to induce a calm sleep. If you have muscle spasms in the back, have someone smooth some on in a massage oil to help with the spasms and drip some into your tea and relax!
I use this oil during meditative times to help relaxation and promote balance of emotions and stress.
****The image above is of the essential oil I purchase. You can get it on the Walmart.com website. The cost is usually about $9.97 and it ships FREE within a few days!
****Do not diffuse essential oils into the air where cats are living. Many essential oils are toxic to cats. If you have kitty fur friends, best that you use or diffuse where they are not going to be or do not diffuse into the air.
**** Always try essential oils in small amounts at first and consult a pharmacist for any drug interactions you might have. Used properly the benefits can be amazing!
I was never so happy to discover that coconut oil has so many benefits for our bodies! Please see my post on the benefits of coconut oil! The Benefits of Coconut Oil .
Now I have discovered that using coconut oil as a replacement to mouth wash is so good for us! All that is needed is to take a spoonful of oil in the morning after brushing your teeth and swish it around like mouthwash. Do NOT swallow it because it removes bacteria from the teeth, gums, and tongue. You don’t want this in your stomach! The point of it all is to eliminate a lot of the mouth bacteria that eventually ends up in the stomach.
Swish it gently for anywhere from 5-20 minutes. Then spit it out and rinse your mouth. Here are the benefits:
Cures bad breath
Keeps bacteria from entering into the stomach from the mouth
Helps avoid skin eruptions due to lower bacteria being ingested.
Gives a bright shiny beautiful smile
Keeps gums safe from gum disease
Will help major skin problems such as rosacea, psoriasis, and facial breakouts!
Will bring more energy and health over time
Good for heart health
I like to cook with coconut oil and I also take a tablespoon of it daily and swallow. It is good for digestion and bowel issues.
Here is to your health!
Pastor Jenine Marie Howry
For more information about coconut oil for mouth cleansing please see this website
Most of the time when I do research for good healthy habits I am searching for foods and things I should be taking in. I’ve discovered that sometimes I need to take a look at foods to avoid. I was kind of shocked when I discovered there are foods a person would need to avoid for the purpose of keeping the thyroid healthy. The thyroid is that butterfly looking gland that is right below the Adam’s apple in the neck. Having a troubled thyroid can really mess with a person’s health and sense of well being. The thyroid regulates calcium and also how tissues use proteins. Keeping the thyroid healthy will keep your body working and serving you well.
**Some foods to avoid if you struggle with thyroid issues.
Let me begin with some of the foods NOT to eat if you struggle with thyroid issues or you are concerned about keeping a healthy thyroid.
Cruciferous vegetables – such as cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts (cooking reduces the effects on the thyroid. Cruciferous means “cross bearing” because of the shape of the leaves when growing).
Pine Nuts, Peanuts – Can block the absorption of iodine
If you are on thyroid medications-These can be used but after a period if medication has been taken. They do not have to be avoided all together.
Soy and soy products– these can block the absorption of iodine
Also walnuts and some fibrous foods can block absorption of thyroid medications
I think knowing about things that help us to be more healthy is a gift to ourselves and to others who know us. The body is God’s Holy Spirit temple and to keep it in good working condition is a holy thing to do.
Let me pray for you!
Dear Holy Father, I ask that You give wisdom to those who are seeking to take better care of their bodies. For those who have not, I ask for a revelation of Your desire for them to be in the best shape of their lives. Bless each one with a powerful health emotionally, mentally, soulfully, and spiritually. Together we give You praise, and we worship You in Spirit and in truth with our minds, our emotions, our spirits, and bodies. Baptize each reader with a greater revelation of You and the love You give. In Jesus’ powerful and mighty name and heart, amen!
There are times when I often thought there can be nothing better than the first cup of coffee in the morning. There is a sense of “ahhhh” that some how takes place with it. I always looked forward to that morning moment with God and a good cup of coffee with stevia and some low fat creamer. I think it has been an addiction of mine since I was 15 years old. The strange thing is, I never really completely liked the taste of coffee. It seems to just be that first cup that is so mesmerizing but the following ones never ever tasted as good. Of course there is that idea in our heads that we need a good cup of coffee in the morning to get us started. The honest to goodness truth is that our bodies know how to get started without it. It was not until recently that I started to explore the adverse effects of the caffeine in a cup of coffee. Once I read enough about it, I was convinced that the consumption of just one cup of coffee per day was enough to mess up my already struggling metabolism. I came to a point where I was absolutely exhausted inside and out. The fear of what was happening led me to explore a lot of different things that could be effecting my health. Coffee and caffeine was just one of them.
Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, chocolate, soda drinks, diet aides, and sometimes even pain relief medicines for things such as headaches. (The strange paradox here is the caffeine induced headache)! I’m not real sure why I seem to be more sensitive to it than others but I know I am in that group of caffeine sensitive people. Honestly, after reading how it effects our bodies, I am leaning on the side of cutting it out as much as possible even if I were not sensitive to it.
Here is what happens when a person takes in caffeine:
Caffeine immediately causes brain cells to fire faster and this stimulates the fight or flight reaction in the body by telling the adrenal glands to kick in some energy that is needed to keep the body moving. The adrenal glands then release a hormone called cortisol. This hormone regulates all of the other hormones in the body such as estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. Caffeine “tells” the brain that the body is under stress so the adrenal glands will produce more cortisol to be released. Cortisol triggers the blood pressure and heart rate to rise in preparation for whatever is stressing the body. The problem with this is the adrenal glands are continually in a state of emergency to supply the body and it causes adrenal burnout, anxiety, depression, and unwanted weight gain. Caffeine effects the sleep cycle and also causes the liver to release glucose thinking that the body needs more energy to deal with stress or activity. This makes blood sugar levels spike higher suddenly and then drop to a sudden low. Bottom line, the excess cortisol can make a person gain weight, become more anxious, and experience blood sugar high and lows that are real hard on the bodies system. Caffeine Effects on the Adrenal Function
Tell me: Are you truthfully enjoying that roller coaster?
If you are trying to lose weight consider this: Using caffeine and stimulants for dieting does NOT help you in the long run. Those spiky energy drinks might feel like they give you a boost but in the long run you are ruining your adrenal function. This can actually make you gain weight instead! Nothing is as effective as good old fashioned exercise and a proper diet. Please remember this!
For me this was all a huge eye opener. It sure put a change in my “coffee in the morning” routine. I also stopped drinking tea that has caffeine and eating too much chocolate. I certainly have felt better because of it. (Green tea extract also spikes the heart rate and blood pressure too!) Just a bit of a warning here though. If you think you want to stop consuming anything with caffeine, please figure a way to do this slowly if you consume it often! Caffeine withdrawal can cause the most horrible headache, not to mention other symptoms. I think the headache is the worse part though!
You can make your own choice; I had to. My choice was to feel better because I was struggling with my health. Weigh in all of the positives and negatives about using things with caffeine and make that decision wisely. I guarantee that your body does not need it and will function well without it, including waking up in the morning. You might even wake up feeling more energized because now your adrenals are working better and not over exhausting themselves.
If you want to stop consuming caffeinated things you might even struggle with the emotional attachment to the beverage or food item or you might even struggle with the habit you have created when you consume them!
Let me pray for you for release!
Father God, I lift up this reader and ask that You give wisdom and strength in order to take the first steps to release them from caffeine use. I call out against the addictive influence in Jesus’ name and state “You must leave now”! Please give Your child peace in this decision and grant full restoration of health from any adverse effects that caffeine has created. As always, we love You Father for the wonderful delivering God that You are! Amen.
In my latest quest to feel better after a period of illness, I have discovered the massive health benefits and needs of magnesium. I had been having horrible migraine like headaches, muscle weakness, and loss of good sleep. Along with these, constipation and horrible heart palpitations as well. Strangely these symptoms and more can be an indication that there is a magnesium deficiency. This very important element is involved with over 300 bodily processes and is much needed for the absorption of many other vitamins and minerals. Magnesium is involved with the nerves, muscles, and bones. Every area of the body needs it for good health and function. Who knew? If you have not studied nutrition you might have missed this important element. I recall those good health and nutrition classes in high school we always had to take but never had I ever learned the benefits of some vital minerals and vitamins for good body function. When the body breaks down and one becomes ill, believe me, we have to study beyond the usual visual aide of all of the essential food groups. Taking care of our body is the most important thing we can do for ourselves and others. It is the temple of God’s Holy Spirit and our very soul depends upon it functioning well.
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself” (1 Cor 6:19)
Magnesium can help heal a lot of things we struggle with including depression, anxiety, heart issues, muscle aches and twitches, bowel problems, bone issues, and more! Why in the world would we not be aware of something so important to our lives and good health?
Ok, so here is the scoop on how to get more magnesium into your life. Include a lot of these very essential foods, to name just a few, for good health benefits:
Green leafy vegetables
Brown rice and quinoa
(You can find a better list in the article link below: “Top 10 High Magnesium Foods”.
Pregnant women especially need magnesium so it is always included in pregnancy multiple vitamins, along with iron and proper amounts of calcium.
“Every organ in the body, especially the heart, muscles, and kidneys, needs magnesium. This mineral also contributes to the makeup of teeth and bones. Magnesium activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate levels of calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body”Magnesium: University of Maryland Medical Center.
I had written a previous article on the health benefits of coconut oil, especially with bowel issues or constipation Health Benefits of Coconut Oil . Magnesium also helps with these issues as well.
You are only given one body. The greatest gift you can give yourself and others is to take good care of it and help others to the same! Cheers to good eating and good nutrition!