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Our summer has been filled with some travel, loads of yard work, a stab at some organic gardening (tomatoes seeming to have faired the best); and lots of personal growth--so much a part of owning one's business, and being on the cutting edge of alternative health and wellness.
My dad's health had a few challenges over the past month, and I am happy and relieved to share that he is doing much better. I don't consider 79 old in anyway, but daily care and maintenance is the key to keeping things running, moving and working optimumly.
Here's my point: Take care of what you have now, because it is the answer to having what you need later in life. Daily exercise has got to be key. You know, I am as bad as the next person--in fact, I skipped Yoga tonight to finish this message to all of you. It is a Yoga practice, and I practice everyday to be true to myself and support my body with all that it needs. Some days, you know, I mess up. I want each of you to know this about me: someday you just don't get there, and tomorrow is another day.
We have added a "Feng Shui Corner" to our Vibrant Living e-zine, and here's why: Paying attention to our surroundings makes a difference in how we view our world, and most importantly, the results we produce. After five visits to Goodwill this month, a broom, hose, and set of rubber gloves, my garage and outdoor shed have a whole new meaning--and that meaning is one of order. With these areas cleared out, driving my car into the garage at the end of the day is lighter and so much less gloomy. Having made these changes, I am supporting myself to be the best me I can be, in the same way my Yoga practice relieves daily stress and anxiety. Look for ways to support yourself and you will be surprised at how your world will open up with more vitality, more peace, and better results.
Fresh flowers are one of my favorite things; they are alive, colorful and fragrant. Try a bouquet of basil in your workspace--one of the most luscious perfumes on earth, and the scent encourages remaining alert and focused. Use live plants--the energy they provide helps your space energetically. They are connected to Mother Earth and so are you.
Lastly, our interview this month is with renown life coach, Cheryl Richardson. If you are having trouble staying on track, seek support; find a coach such as Cheryl or Donna Stelhorn--it will be worth every penny spent for the peace of mind and direction they provide. Everybody needs a tune up. Take care of your machinery now, daily, and with support. The results you produce will be lasting ones--ones that will set an example for your family and community.
May the balance of your summer be filled with bliss, adventure and abundant reward.
In vibrant health,
Pure Energy Rx
Featured Article: Cheryl Richardson, Coach on Call
Those signposts up ahead don't necessarily lead to the Twilight Zone, but can be leading to your highest and best life. Cheryl Richardson talks to us about her new book, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace, and what it means to wake up in your life to see the signals pointing out your best path, and how there is no such thing as a coincidence. Cheryl has been featured on several episodes of Oprah, is a best-selling author, and currently hosts "Coach on Call," at HayhouseRadio.com. READ ON
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F.Y.I. - Interesting Health News Tidbits
Curbing the carb craving...
There are two key reasons to keep chromium levels high: 1) to help prevent heart attack, and 2) to help control blood sugar levels. Another good reason: Some people find that chromium helps squelch the carbohydrate cravings that have derailed many a diet. This chromium benefit was confirmed in a study presented last year at a National Institute of Mental Health Conference. Researchers recruited more than 110 subjects with atypical depression. (One of the most common symptoms of atypical depression is the craving of carbohydrates.) About two-thirds of the subjects took a daily supplement of chromium picolinate (CP) for eight weeks. The other subjects received a placebo. Subjects who took the CP supplement reported an overall drop in their carb cravings compared to the placebo group. Many subjects in the CP group also reported significantly less depression. A yearning for carbs is a typical side effect of any diet that calls for carb reduction. In time the craving passes, but most people find it very difficult to make it over the hump. Maybe a little chromium can help. The best chromium food sources include broccoli, turkey meat, liver (and other organ meats), seafood, whole grains, oysters, eggs and cheese. (Thanks to HSI)
The super duper anti-oxidant...
[Allen S. Josephs, M.D.] -- Pycnogenol (pronounced Pick-nah-geh-nol), is the trade name of a nutrient that comes from--believe it or not--the extract of the bark of a French Maritime pine tree. It is actually a blend of bioflavonoids, including catechins, epicatechin, taxifolin and a host of others. It is an incredible antioxidant and has been shown to be 20 times more powerful than Vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than Vitamin E. It is rapidly absorbed in your bloodstream within about 20 minutes, and once absorbed, its maximum protective effect lasts about seventy two hours. Some experts have hailed it as the most potent, natural antioxidant compound ever discovered by science. What I find so appealing about Pycnogenol is the amount of medical research and science for this phytonutrient. For example, in the June 2005 edition of Leukemia Research, researchers investigated the anti-tumor effects of Pycnogenol on various human leukemia cell lines. It was found that Pycnogenol inhibited cell proliferation on all three different leukemia cells lines that it was tested on. There was an interesting study on reducing the risk of venous thrombosis and phlebitis (two forms of blood clotting) in long airline flights. In this study, 211 individuals considered at moderate to high risk of developing deep or superficial venous thrombosis were randomized to receive either Pycnogenol or placebo. The individuals not treated with placebo were given 200 mg of Pycnogenol about two or three hours before the flight, 200 mg six hours later and 100 mg the following day. The average flight duration was 8 hours, 15 minutes. Those individuals in the control group receiving placebo had five thrombotic events, while only one individual in the treated group had localized phlebitis which was considered non-thrombotic. There was also a study published last year showing that Pycnogenol, along with other nutrients, appeared to improve skin smoothness and elasticity in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study with 62 women between the ages of 45 to 73. Further, there was a study published in 2004 in the medical journal, Asthma, with 60 children age 6-18 with asthma, indicating Pycnogenol improved pulmonary function and reduced medication requirements and inflammatory markers. MORE
Getting younger while getting older...
At 85 years of age, Bob Delmonteque runs marathons, cycles 120 miles, and bench presses over 250 pounds. He is America's premier senior fitness consultant and a former bodybuilder. Dr. Delmonteque has trained Hollywood legends like John Wayne, Errol Flynn, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and contemporary stars like Matt Dillon. He is a senior editor and consultant to Joe Weider's Muscle & Fitness magazine. Here are Bob's Tips on Exercise: Exercise is the most important essential to good health. Activity is life and stagnation is death. Action is the law of well-being. I recommend that people should exercise a minimum of three times a week. If you have time and you can recuperate, you can up that to 4-5 times per week. Recuperation is very important, or else the body and muscles will go flat. Walking: Is probably the best single exercise you can do-because everybody can walk. There are 60 million Americans walking for exercise. Work up to doing at least a minimum of 30 minutes per day 3-5 times per week. Bodybuilding: For body building or weight resistance training do one muscle group per week. I recommend Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, if possible. The muscles build with recuperation. For this reason it's preferable to work one body part per workout and rest it for a week. For example, one day work your back and chest, another day shoulders and arms, and legs on the last day. Include abdominals and aerobic exercise each time you work out. You shouldn't take any more than 30-45 seconds in between sets. On the last set of each exercise work the muscle to it's limit, otherwise the muscle is not going to round out. Try to do the extra rep when you can't do anymore. For example if you're worn out at 10, trying to push for 11 repetitions. It's the 11th repetition that does you the most good. If you're doing three sets of each exercise, only push for the extra reps on the last set, otherwise you'll not get through your workout.
See your doctor...in church...
A growing body of scientific evidence shows that Americans who attend religious services at least once a week enjoy better-than-average health and lower rates of illness, including depression. Perhaps most importantly, the studies show that weekly attendance confers a significant reduction in mortality risk over a given period of time. These studies have received almost no attention, in part because there is skepticism among many medical scientists about the validity of these studies, as Lynda Powell can attest. A professor of preventive medicine at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Powell was a non-church-goer who was very suspicious of such studies. Then in 2001, the National Institutes of Health asked her to lead a three-scientist panel that would review the mounting pile of medical literature purporting to link religion to health. The panel reported that the studies showed a 25 percent lower mortality rate for those who attend religious services at least weekly. Each study covered a different period of time. But generally speaking, that means that during any period in which there were 100 deaths among those who don't attend weekly, only 75 weekly attendees would die, even though both groups on paper seemed at equal risk for death, Dr. Powell says. Religious services at churches, temples and mosques boast various features that can be beneficial to health--meditation, a social network, a set of values that discourage smoking, infidelity and other unhealthy behaviors. Many of the studies have found that the health benefits of weekly attendance accrue more heavily to women than to men, perhaps because women make greater use of religious social networks. Of course, people who attend weekly religious services are by definition well enough to get out of the house regularly, suggesting that they may enjoy an inherent health advantage. Indeed, studies show no health advantage for people who watch religious services on television. MORE
Quiet! It's good for you...
C.W. McPherson is an Episcopal priest and spiritual director who has spent 20 years in parish ministry. In his book, Keeping Silence, he tells what happened when he asked some members of his church to set aside ten minutes a day in silence as a spiritual practice. Most people were unable to do it. McPherson discusses some of the roadblocks to this ancient devotional activity held in such high regard by the Apostolic writers, the medieval mystics, and spiritual directors of the present era. "We are subjected to an intensity and consistency of noise that is absolutely unprecedented in human experience, and we don't even take note of it," says McPherson. "Spend at least two minutes making a mental list of the things you hear at this moment. Now imagine that number multiplied by a factor of about 5,000. This is the amount of noise you endure every day." Sages and seers from every spiritual practice and religious tradition have pointed to the many salutary benefits of silence, including the ways it improves concentration, calms the body, offers balance in our lives, activates our listening skills, teaches us the importance of words, and helps us to develop empathy. McPherson offers concrete practices to set in motion this important spiritual discipline: sitting meditations; visual meditations (e.g., meditating on symbols, candle meditation); mental prayer; and kinetic meditations (e.g., walking meditation, running, yoga). McPherson suggests extending this spiritual practice in your life with a visit to a monastery, taking a silent retreat, or forming a community of friends who keep silence with you. READ ON
Zero energy homes...
Nicholas and Loan Gatai used to cringe when they received power bills that routinely topped $200. Last September the Sacramento, Calif., couple moved into a new, 1,500-square-foot home in Premier Gardens, a subdivision of 95 "zero-energy homes" just outside town. Now they're actually eager to see their electric bills. The grand total over the 10 months they've lived in the three-bedroom, stucco-and-stone house: $75. For the past two months they haven't paid a cent. Almost unknown outside California, ZEH communities are the leading edge of technologies that might someday create houses that produce as much energy as they consume. Premier Gardens, which opened last summer, is one of a half-dozen subdivisions in California where every home cuts power consumption by at least 50 percent, mostly by using low-power appliances and solar panels. Several more are under construction this year, including the first ZEH community for seniors. Aside from the bright patch of solar modules on the roof, Premier Gardens looks like a community of conventional homes. But inside, it's clear why they save energy. "Spectrally selective" windows cut power bills by blocking solar heat in the summer and retaining indoor warmth in cold weather. Fluorescent bulbs throughout use two thirds the juice of incandescents. A suitcase-size tankless hot-water heater in the garage, powered by gas, saves energy by warming water only when the tap is turned on. The rest of the energy savings comes from the solar units. Set flush with the roof tiles, the two-kilowatt photovoltaic panels unobtrusively turn the sun's rays into AC power with the help of an inverter in the garage. An LED readout shows the system's electrical output. If the panels are generating more power than the home is using--when the house is empty during a sunny day--the excess flows into the utility's power grid. Gonzales and other residents are billed by "net metering": they pay for the amount of power they tap off the grid, less the kilowatts they feed into it. If a home generates more power in one month than it uses, the bill is zero. That sounds like a bad deal for the power company, but it's not. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District's solar expert Mike Keesee says that's because solar homes produce the most power on the hot sunny afternoons when everyone rushes home to turn up the air conditioner. "It helps us lower usage at peak power times," says Keesee. "That lets us avoid building costly plants or buying expensive power at peak usage time." SOURCE
If you have a bit of clutter, a small stack of papers here or there, then you may have small, irritating energy blocks in your life. Or maybe you have a whole lot of clutter, a pile that could topple over and bury you for a week and require heavy equipment to dig you out, then trust me, the clutter is effectively blocking most of the energy that could improve your life. The Universe responds to a void. When there is a void, energy moves to fill it. If there is no empty space in your life there is no place for new energy. Clutter by the front door (that is the main front door, you know that one that you never use unless the Queen is coming to visit) blocks Career energy. This can make your career unhappy, unstable and block you from finding your path. Clutter by your regular entrance (for those of you to have an alternative 'front door' affects your energy and well-being. You think you are tired from your day, but walking into a view of piled laundry, stacks of school books, and a mountain of mail will suck any remaining energy right out of you. What you see when you enter your home should delight you, not remind you of your life as Cinderella (sans fairy god-mother). Of course, a bit of clutter is natural in our frenzied lives, but that clutter should be contained to a few closets or drawers. However, clutter under tables, on shelves, on counters, in cupboards, on staircases, etc. is not so positive. If your living room always seems to get messy either from your own work, hobbies or children's toys then ask yourself about your own social life. Do you have good friends? Do you get to see them? Do you have a few people in your life you need to let go of? If it is the bedroom that attracts the clutter then you may want to take a hard look at your relationship. Is this the type of relationship that you always dreamed of? Is it time to put some effort into this relationship? Is it time for a change? If you can not seem to keep the kitchen neat then it is a problem with nurturing yourself. Are you taking care of your health? Are you showing yourself acceptance, love and nurturing? And if it is the bathroom that is a magnet for messes then you should take a hard look at your money situation. Is money just going down the drain? Do you run through money like water? When you clear the clutter, any clutter, you create a void that attract new, positive energy, that creates opportunity in your life. You may even uncover the odd over-due library book, unreturned video or unpaid bill all of which carry negative energy of their own. One client of mine cleared under her bed and found over $700 in uncashed checks and cash. Clear the clutter, you never know what you will find. --Donna Stellhorn, www.fengshuiform.com