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Stress

Handling Holiday Stress

Handling Holiday Stress is a full time job for some of us!  It seems to build more each year, starting earlier and staying around longer.  Stress is not healthy for anyone, so reducing stress is a must during the Holidays.  Now don’t think that you have to give up everything and take a vacation during the month of December to avoid all that stress.  No, but you do have to re-think the things you say “Yes”to as well as the amount of cooking, decorating and shopping you are doing. Our goal is to enjoy the holidays, not endure them!

Saying “No” can be a good thing!  It is hard to say “No” at times, especially when you like to please people and you are good at the task you are asked to fulfill.  But often we take on additional tasks that others can do as well or even better, leaving us with less stress and more time to really enjoy the event.  So look carefully at your schedule and don’t be afraid to say “No” to some of those many requests for help you get each year.

Delegate!  Alright, you don’t want to say “No” to some things, but you don’t really have the time to fully accomplish that task either without going sleepless for several night.  Rather than show up sleep-deprived, delegate the task to another member of your family or your office staff.  Look around and see who has been waiting in the wings to learn a new skill and show what they are made of!  You will be pleasantly surprised at the talent that is around you waiting to grow and learn new skills.  From your spouse to your children to your mother-in-law, there are many hands available to help if you will only ask.  Teaching someone else is fun, rewarding and less stressful than always doing it yourself.

Watch your spending!  Again, saying “no” to a present is often hard.  Reality is cold and not always filled with boxes of presents for everyone in your life.  Avoid buying gifts because you feel obligated.  Have a frank discussion with friends and close family about gift giving to limit the amount spent or even eliminate gift giving all together.  Some larger family/friend groups often draw names so they are buying for only one in a large extended family/friend group.  Others do a “Dirty Santa” gift swap where each person purchases one gift of a certain dollar amount, not gender specific, for a gift swap game. It is a fun time, with lots of stealing of gifts as the game progresses, with everyone having fun and getting a nice gift.

Gifts that Keep on Giving!  Most of us have more “stuff” than we need or want.  Why not purchase gifts for the little ones, something small and fun, while making donations to your favorite charity in the names of those on your gift giving list.  Supporting the local Women’s Shelter, Orphanage, Children’s Hospital or a Scholarship fund for a deserving graduating High School Senior are just some of the many options.  Writing a personal note of Thanksgiving for someone in your life and letting them know about the donation you made in their honor is a special way to give gifts that keep on giving.

Keep focused on the reason for the season.  Don’t get so caught up in the must-dos and ought-to-dos that you loose sight of the reason you are getting together with family and friends.  Enjoy the time with them and forget the fact that the Christmas tree is not totally full of decorations or that the ham was cooked by the local deli and not you! 

Over the years, the memories created during these celebrations are more valuable than any store bought gift.  Time is a gift you can give everyone on your list if you plan well and forget the “shoulds and oughts” of life.  Enjoy where you are and who you are with at each event, remain in the present and forget about presents!  And if you need a little help winding down after the parties, take a Shaklee Stress Relief Complex like I do and you will release the stress naturally without negative side effects.  Have a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season!

“Cinching” Preparation

Being Prepared for storms and severe weather has been one of my ongoing themes since I started this blog.  Living in the South, I have experienced 4 hurricanes whiles living in Central Florida (all in 2004) and more tornadoes than I care to remember, along with ice storms, snow storms and ferocious thunder storms with straight line winds and hail.  Life in the South is not calm when the seasons change, during hurricane season (June 1st- Dec 1st), and any time cold air runs into warmer. moist from the Gulf.

Being prepared for these weather events along with fires and earthquakes just makes sense.  However, lately there has been lots of talk about storms on the sun causing problems with our power grid and such.  So that has brought to mind again the need for being ready for any major event in our area that might knock-out the power for a few days or even weeks.  The tornadoes of 2011 brought close to home the sad fact that power lines, water and gas lines are all fragile when it comes to the strong influences of nature.

Naturally, I want to be as ready for the next event as anyone else.  And that realization that the power grid might be in danger from the actions of the sun, made me realize even more that being prepared is a prudent idea.  Among the items that I intend to add to my small stash of food items are canisters and packets of Shaklee’s Cinch Shake Mixes and canisters of Shaklee’s Instant Protein.

The Cinch Shakesare a full meal replacement, low glycemic, with 24 grams of protein when mixed

Cafe Late Cinch Shake

with milk or soy milk and 23 vitamins and minerals.  What I like about the Cinch shakes and the Instant Protein is that they can be mixed with water just as well as milk.  Since the shake mixes and Instant Protein are lactose free, they are great for everyone in the family.  I often add an additional scoop of the Instant Protein to give me an extra boost on those long, busy mornings when lunch might be delayed.

Another good thing with the Cinch Shakes is they are either non-GMO soy protein or whey protein, your choice.  Natural flavors, no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners.  Also, the canisters are sealed, dated with an expiration date and are 15 servings per canister.

Once you have finished the shakes, you can then reuse the canister for storing other items.  I use them in my pantry for rice and noodles.  The labels peel off easily, and then I add my own so I know which canister is holding  what!  If you have children, the canisters would be great for holding small toys like Lego’s, crayons, doll clothes and such.

To go along with the Cinch Shakes there are Meal-in-a-Bar meal replacement bars as well as snack bars.  The Meal-in-a-Bars are again full meal replacements, easy to store and great to eat! So follow this link to learn more about the Shaklee Cinch Shakes, Cinch Meal-in-a-Bar, Instant Protein and more.  Having good, nutritious foods to eat in for survival is important.  Knowing that your family has good tasty options in time of stress is comforting.  So plan ahead, stock-up on enough Cinch for a few days or a week or more.  Rotate your supply each week, keeping the stored emergency Cinch as fresh as possible!

To go along with the Cinch Shakes, etc, I am adding another bottle Shaklee’s Basic H2 Super Organic Cleaning Concentrate to my next order.  I use Basic H2 each day for washing dishes, cleaning counter tops, cleaning up after the cats and more.  Since it is so concentrated, a 16 ounce or 32 ounce bottle will last for a really long time normally.  However, in an emergency situation where hot water and general cleanliness might be harder to keep, the larger the bottle of Basic H2 the better.  Remember to also add some of the spray bottles so you can dilute the Basic H2 for dishes, windows, general cleaning and de-greasing.

I am adding another bottle of Shaklee’s Basic G Concentrated Germicide for those extra dirty days of having to keep things clean in difficult conditions.  Basic G not only is a germicide it also cleans as it gets rid of germs.  Bacteria, fungi, and viruses can wreak havoc on your family’s health and safety. Used as directed, Basic-G tackles over 40 of these pesky microbes, including several animal viruses. That makes it an excellent choice for use in the kitchen, bathroom, or pet area. In addition to being economical – one quart makes up to 64 gallons – it’s also EPA registered.

For ease and convenience during a disaster, both Shaklee’s Basic H2 and Basic G come in handy to use wipes.  Tuck a few of these in your emergency kits along with the larger concentrate bottles.  The convenient bio-degradable wipes will be easy to use on small jobs, making life a little easier.

Thinking about being without power for a few weeks as well as the possibility of not having access to grocery stores, banks or gas stations drives home the need to keep on top of what is stored at home.  When the first hurricane hit in 2004, Charlie it was named, the area around me was without power for week or longer, in August!  I was lucky that my power came back on in about 24 hours since I lived between 2 hospitals and power was restored to them quickly.  Gas stations were without power as were the grocery stores and banks for a while.  Therefore, think ahead, keep the gas tank of the car as near to full as possible, keep some cash in a household safe, and fill-up the larder with Shaklee’s great products, some nuts, water, pet food, first aid kit, solar powered flashlights, solar powered radios, (alternative power radios & lights from C Crane are great!) and anything else that comes to mind!  Preparation is necessary.

 

Targeted Solutions to Aging

Aging.  Well, we are all aging if we are over 18 years old or so!  Some of us age more “gracefully” than others.  Gracefully, meaning that we don’t physically show the signs of aging like gray hair and wrinkles as soon as others.  However, those Hollywood mandated signs of aging are only superficial.  Aging is at the cellular level and is happening everyday.

Recent research has found that anti-oxidant support can shore up your defenses against aging diseases. Oxidation and inflammation are at the heart of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, digestive problems and every other degenerative disease.

Inflammation is not always a bad thing, like when you scratch your finger on a tack and the white blood cells jump into action with the body’s inflammatory chemicals to rush in and take care of the invasion caused by the scratch. However, these same inflammatory fighting compound also go into emergency response to gradual cell damage from free radicals.  Chronic inflammation is the results when the body does not know when to stop.

According to author Jonny Bowden, PhD, should you find that you are overweight, have diabetes or dementia, you definitely have chronic inflammation. To find a measure of inflammation, you can look at your C-Reactive protein test (CRP). The CRP test measures the liver’s response to inflammatory conditions. Even though the test is not perfect, it tells you whether you have inflammation in your body. Unfortunately it does not tell you where the inflammation is in your body.

So what supplements help with aging and anti-inflammatory responses? What can I do to age better?  Here are some supplements that help slow aging by reducing inflammation.  We are fortunate that Shaklee has Targeted Solutions for Aging!  Here are a few of my favorites supplements that I take each day to help maintain a healthy body.  I may be aging, but I am going to do everything I can to slow aging and fight against those free radicals that cause cell dShaklee's CarotoMaxamage.

Astaxanthin: a powerful and potent Carotenoid found in salmon, krill, algae and yeast and is known to scavenge free radical.  Protects against damage to LDL cholesterol, cell membranes, cells and tissues in the eyes, prostrate, cervix, lungs and heart.

Found in Shaklee’s CarotoMax

N-acetlylcysteine (NAC): A primary building block for glutathione, n-acetylcysteine helps boost immunity, detox the liver, and lessen the effects of infection and oxidative stress.

Found in Shaklee Vitalizer Gold, with and without Vitamin K, also in VitaLea Gold with & without Vitamin K

Trans-Resveratrol:  The active part of Resveratrol, this anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory compound is found in red grape skins and red wine.

* Key ingredients in Vivix have been shown in a clinical study and numerous laboratory studies to improve cell defense, cell energy, cell repair, and cell performance*
* Delivers a broad spectrum of over 15 polyphenols—including ellagitannins, one of nature’s most potent antioxidants*
* Ingredients that are 10X more powerful than resveratrol alone in slowing a key mechanism of cellular aging*
Found is Shaklee’s Vivix Liquid Dietary Supplement.

Proanthocyanidins: Strong anti-oxidant that protect against oixidative stress. One of the two stong anti-oxidants found in grapes seeds and skins, (resveratrol is the other), Proanthocyanidins have been shown in clinical research to have anti-oxidant protection from oxidative damge caused by smoking, pollution and free radical damage formed in our body during normal metabolism. Studies have also show anti-cancer, anti-tumor and anti-allergic protection along with prevention of cardiovascular disease.  Proanthocyanidins are compounds that appear to have more powerful antioxidant properties than both vitamins C and E*

Found in Shaklee’s Vita-E Complex and Vivix Liquid Dietary Supplement and Shaklee’s FlavoMax Complex.

Curcumin or Tumeric: Strong anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. The National Institutes of Health has four clinical trials underway to study Curcumin, the active ingredient in Tumeric, for pancreatic cancer, multiple myeloma, Alzheimer’s and colorectal cancer.

Found in Shaklee’s Liver DTX Complex

Good Health is a choice we make each day.  Are you making the correct choices to have a healthier life, a longer life, a better quality of life as you age?  Don’t you deserve the best life has to offer?  My choice is prevention.  I am doing all that I can to prevent disease.  Prevention is better than disease care any day.  So make you choice and join me in prevention.  Stay well!

Disasters and Storms, Are You Prepared?

Each year I write about severe weather &  natural disasters and how to be ready in case it comes your way. After the terrible earthquakes in Japan recently as well as the tornadoes that are happening in Iowa and other parts of the country, we do need to take time again to determine our preparedness.

Earthquakes and severe weather events are violent acts, they disrupt our lives and often change to course of our lives. We can do ourselves justice by doing a few simple things to reduce the immediate stress of a bad storm or other disaster.  Reducing your stress begins early, before the event happens.  so treat yourself well!
1. Check your home.  Do you have a way to cover windows in the event of a hurricane or severe thunderstorm?   Do you have a Weather Radio that is tuned to a NOAA Weather station in your vicinity?  Do you have an escape route if the house catches fire?  Do you have an escape route planned in case of flooding or fire?  Flood insurance?

2.  What are you going to do with your Pets?  Do you have horse trailers available for your horses and ponies?  Cat and dog carriers?  What about food and medicine for the animals? Water?  Veterinarian papers since you could be traveling with them?

3.  Children and the elderly need special attention too.  Do you have blankets, water, medicine, food, extra clothing, first aid kits, flashlights, batteries.  They often need special medications and supplements.  Water, food, treats, blankets, pillows, warm clothes even in the summer, games, books, pen & paper, playing cards.

Wind-up Flashlights and wind-up Radios are the best for me since I provide the power and don’t have to worry about a normal battery running out of power in the midst of a crisis!

Think ahead a little and gather the important papers you need, your emergency kits and water and then relax.  Hopefully you will not need them this year! Stay well.

Reducing Workplace Stress

We all have stress these days.  Stress just is.  However, as we go about our daily lives, there are steps we can take, choices we can make that will reduce the stress.  Stress is part of the “fight or flight” response that keeps us safe.  We are designed to handle stress, but with breaks in between instances.  However, if this stress lingers,  is not resolved, our bodies are still in the fight orflight mode and those hormones keep on coming.

Cortisol is released in our bodies to repair the damage caused by the stress.  Ongoing release of cortisol ends in this cortisol being stored in fat tissue around our middle section, otherwise known as belly fat.  The desired effect is the Cortisol turning into natural Cortisone used by the body during sleep to help repair and renew our bodies. Reduce the Stress.

We are spending more time in the workplace.  Now that workplace may be like mine, a space in my home, but it is still a workplace.  Whether you work in an office away from home or in a home office, the stresses are real.  Modifying your workplace to provide a calm surrounding is very important to your health.

Plants, comfortable furniture, pleasant paint colors, natural lighting, fresh air and quiet spaces are necessary for better moods, better morale and higher productivity.  Whether a home workplace or an office

Fern Tree Close-Up

“cube farm” or a traditional office space, the environment you create effects the output of that space.  Don’t skimp on the comfort and ambiance of the space as that will be counterproductive in the long run.

Plants have long been the champion in decorating workplaces.  Turns out that many Fortune 500 companies have chosen to add living plants, not those fake silk things, to their offices.  Plants bring life, pleasant scenery, air filtration and humidity control to the workplace according to an article by Interior Office Plants.  My plants are helped along by the kitties who do occasional pruning and suggest re-potting!  So bring in a few plants and enjoy the scenery.

How is the lighting in your workplace?  Do you have a window or skylight?  If so, maximize the benefits of the natural light.  Often in the South, we tend to put up heavy drapes and blinds to block the heat of afternoon sun.  Find ways to modify the heat by using window films and blinds to divert the sun, but allow the light to come into your workplace.  Natural light is easier on your eyes and will lift your mood!

Personalize your workplace as much as allowed.  Previously, my office space was an interior space with no window and no skylight.  Now that was hard, not seeing the beautiful weather during work hours.  To balance the lack of sun, we added plants and as many personal photos and artwork as tasteful.  Bringing in personal photos adds a calming touch to a busy work area.

Artwork is important to your workplace.   Choose images that are calming for waiting areas.  Brighter, more active images are good choices for work spaces.  And don’t forget the break areas and restrooms!

Talk with your boss to see what input you can have in reorganizing the workplace to take advantage of the light, fresh air and paint colors you have.  Active participation will give you a boost to your morale, your productivity and your general well being!

Coping with Stress

Stress is one of those words that keeps making headlines.  We are all faced with stress each day. Dealing with the kids, the pets, what to wear, driving to work, catching a plane, or making pans for any kind of social gathering, and even watching the news causes stress.  Stress is the little gift that keeps on giving!

According to WebDM, your body responds to stress as if you were in danger.  The flight or fight response that is left over from our origins kicks in with lots of hormones that increase our heart rate, our breathing increases and we have a burst of energy.  Normally we would either stay and fight the cause of this stress or we would run, hence the flight part.  This can be good if we are coming to a deadline, or finishing a race or an important task.

We are designed to handle stress, but with breaks in between instances.  However, if this stress lingers, is not resolved, our bodies are still in the fight or flight mode and those hormones keep on coming.  Cortisol is released in our bodies to repair the damage caused by the stress.  Ongoing release of cortisol ends in this cortisol being stored in fat tissue around our middle section, otherwise known as belly fat.
Belly fat is not easy to get rid of.  Exercise does not really remove it all, so the natural solution is to prevent it from building.  Exercise helps, but not having ongoing stress helps more.  Our reaction to stress is important.  We need to work out every day. We need to laugh each day and do something fun not just repetition! Do what you enjoy in your work out. Walking, dancing, running, boxing, Wii fit and gyms are all options for reducing stress.  Change your routine every few days.

In addition to exercise, play and laughter, we need to maintain proper nutrition levels.  Eat well, not junk food.  Eat in moderation, not junk food! Use your natural supplements so you body has the fuel it requires to recover from the bangs and bumps of exercise.  All this will help you get the rest your need.

Our need of good sleep is a major way of recovering from daily stress.  Exercise combined with good nutrition will aid our sleep so we are truly rested and our bodies are repaired, ready to face a new day and less stress!
Smile, laugh, have fun, sleep.  A good plan to stay well!

Dealing with Stressfull Holidays

Fountain and Lights by Elise Hearn 2009

Fountain and Lights by Elise Hearn 2009

So how is it going this December?  Is your calendar full of parties, family gatherings, programs at school, church, community?  Is your shopping complete? Perfect presents chosen and wrapped for everyone on your list?  You did make a list didn’t you?  How is the house looking?  Decorations up and looking good?  Trees decorated?  Cookies made? Cards signed, addressed and mailed?  Bedrooms ready for the in-laws?  Casseroles waiting in the freezer for all those holiday meals?  Turkey, ham, goose, duck waiting for final preparation?

This could go on and on and on!   We all know what extra pressure the holidays bring to our lives.  Often we forget the real reasons we are doing all these activities!  Stress takes over and we end up grumpy, tired, irritated, depressed and miserable.  What to do!?!

Stress can be dealt with in several ways.  One thing is to make a list of things you need to accomplish each day, keeping 3 to 5 chores on the list, no more.  Don’t overload your day.  Keep the tasks each day in a reasonable amount of time and effort, spreading the harder chores over time (and maybe people too) will help keep you energized.

Ask for help and expect help with bigger projects.  Dinner for the extended family means others can bring different dishes, the kids can set the tables, your spouse can do the last minute dusting and vacuuming!  Asking for help is a good thing!  People like to feel useful and part of an event.  So delegate those chores!  You are making others feel needed and wanted. Perfect.

Choose Healthy Snacks

Choose Healthy Snacks

Another way to help with stress is to exercise and eat good food each day.  Keep up the membership to the gym and use it during the holidays!  You will be able to work off that extra cookie and not gain weight during the holidays!    Look at the events on your calendar and plan light meals before these events.  Choose a protein shake and drink a warm cup of green tea!  Then when you are at the event, all those high calorie finger foods will be easier to limit.  Choose your calories and carbohydrates with care and enjoy those seasonal treats with no guilt.  Keep your immune system happy and healthy, while lowering stress.

Enjoy the time with family and friends!  Time flies and hot summer will be here next week! Stay well.

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