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Health & Wellness

Everyone Is A World From Which To Learn

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Today we have the capability of connection at our fingertips. Technology has made connecting with the world a fundamental part of our day. We busy ourselves with Gmail, Hulu, YouTube, WordPress, The New York Times etc. to gain knowledge and understanding of the world around us. But, I want to steer the focus of education inward for a moment.

I hold the ideal we are all worlds of knowledge. We all have the capability to teach and impact those we connect with through our choices, opinions and deeds. As humans, we build our world by emulating, discounting and defending against the opinions and actions we encounter. Our lives are defined by our choices, opinions, and deeds.

And, if we are honest, we must admit the world we build around us is displayed for all who are willing to observe. We all possess the capability to be a beacon of light and love just as easily as darkness and hate.

We, however, can choose to cultivate compassion when we learn of atrocity in someone else’s far away world, we can fight indifference by buying a poor man a meal in exchange for his wisdom, instead of ignoring him while rushing to our morning latte, we can also defend ourselves against the elitist mentality which refuses to accept atrocity and living in destitution as a possibility in our own worlds.

Every thought we think, every word we speak, and every gesture we make, be it of love, indifference or hate is impacting someone’s world and has the potential to spread.

I beg you today, choose light, love, and compassion to build a world worth emulating.

Who is wise? The one who learns from every person…   Ben Zoma (Talmud – Avot 4:1)

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When I was earning my B.A., I would make sandwiches in exchange for a homeless person’s life story. In my University days, I was fascinated with education level not equating to success in life.

I can tell you without a doubt, sitting down with what most people would consider losers in the game life, gave me more insight into succeeding in my own life than any course I paid for. All I had to do is be open to the value of their life lessons.

A lot of these people got hit by crippling circumstances at the job level, home life and health. But one characteristic was apparent in all homeless I was honored to share a meal with: They were immensely grateful for the small things: a bike, a blanket, an extra sandwich, words of encouragement, and acknowledgement of their worth as a human.

In exchange for opening my mind, pantry and schedule, I received huge tools to succeed in my own life in regards to personal finance, politics, survival strategies and how to stay positive in the face of adversity.

I beg you to eagerly learn from everyone. Everyone has a story and lessons to be learned. Open your mind, heart and schedule to learn from everyone.

Who is wise? The one who learns from every person…   Ben Zoma (Talmud – Avot 4:1

Uneducated Belief

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I want to share a phenomenon that really perturbs me: uneducated belief.

Beliefs are what we hold true and largely act as a screen play for our life.

Our beliefs impact those around us and color nearly every choice we make.

What happens when beliefs are not founded on a solid education?

An ignorant life path.

I challenge you to ask anyone why they hold certain beliefs.

I challenge you to ask yourself the same.

Then research the reasoning yourself.

If a belief is based on ignorance, it is incapable of promoting truth. And will deceive you and your world.

My hope is we all stop blindly believing what our friends, family, organizations, etc. do.

We must take the time and responsibility to personally educate ourselves about our beliefs and stop trusting our life paths to others!

Stop Following Someone Else’s Recipe for Happiness and Success

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Growing up, I believed emulating someone who “made it” would give me a happy and successful life. I cannot express enough how much following someone else’s roadmap made me feel like a failure. My true self, my skills and values disappeared. I was not being authentic.

Here are some things I learned about myself after getting back to basics, becoming authentic and walking my own path:

I like variety a lot. If I get bored, I’m no longer interested. If I learn everything there is to know about a subject, I shelve it until a new facet piques my interest. I can’t be happy focusing on one subject or skill. I’m a high energy multitasker. Book work does not suit me unless it translates into action. Self help and how to dominate my bookshelves.

I’m not impulsive when it comes to spending my time and money. I’m hardwired to be cautious, contemplative and I do a lot of sound research before making time and money decisions.

My morals and ethics do not work on a sliding scale. In my world, right and wrong are black and white. No gray here.

I’m not a flashy person. I don’t buy things to impress others nor base my worth on things. All things fall out of fashion.

I like manual labor a lot. I like to toss and stack wood, garden, landscape, and do home improvement projects. I like the feeling of accomplishment after completing a project. I like feeling useful.

I like buying used clothes a lot. They are cheaper, preshrunk and if I get lucky, I can buy a new Season’s wardrobe for under $30. Who can haggle with jeans for $3? No one I know.

I thrive with a small group of great friends rather than lots of acquaintances. And my friends have to be honest, genuine, and engaged in order for the friendships to thrive.

I love hanging out with kids. I love teaching them new skills and I always learn something new in a gaggle of kids. Kids rock!

I’m good at finances. I like good quality at a reasonable price and I’m not afraid to negotiate. I’m also more apt to ask repair techs to teach me how to perform maintenance than rehire them for the same issue.

I’m a really great judge of character. I’ve gotten way better at sniffing out deception over the years. And, I don’t tolerate it.

I am not competitive. I don’t compete with anyone but me. I set my goals, timelines and acceptable performance guidelines.

I’m much happier, feel fulfilled and my self worth and confidence are at an all time high. I love life when I am me. And there is no one else I would rather be.

Have you been through a similar experience? Let me know how being your true self has enriched your life!

Growing Confident Children

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Jumping from Winter weather right into Summer gave me a great opportunity to teach the neighborhood children gardening this week.

There is nothing like volunteering time to teach a mostly forgotten skill to the next generation.

How often do we hear parents tell their children to stay clean, get out of the mud or forbid playing in the dirt?

My husband heard a saying years ago that summarizes my view on kids and dirt (overlook the bad grammar): “God made dirt, so dirt don’t hurt.”

And boy did they get acquainted with dirt, seeds, sowing, mounding, spacing and what plants are symbiotic.

We planted Scarlet runner beans, whipple beans, celery, and a variety of lettuce. They asked to plant more so next on the list are tomatoes, more kale, and onions.

I look forward to watching the kids’ confidence grow with each new sprout, plant and fruit.

If You Have Kids, Nephews, Nieces or Work with Children, I Beg You to Watch This!

Teach Every Child About Food – Jamie Oliver

Visceral Fat: How It Effects Us and How To Prevent It

I want to make an example of myself for this post. This is me in 2014. I’m guessing I’m  a little over 200lbs in the picture below. My height is under 5′. Wearing a tight size 18 womens. Clinically between obese and morbidly obese.

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It was not until this year that I thoroughly comprehended how much my obesity was making me sick and leading me down a road of misery back then. Science is now able to explain why my obese body was malfunctioning: visceral fat.

Visceral fat can be found deep within the abdominal area and has been linked to a miriad of health disorders: autoimmune disorders, type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance), high LDL (bad) cholesterol, low HDL (good) cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

Much like an endocrine gland, visceral fat generates excess hormones which affect our bodies’ healthy hormonal balance and function; causing hormonal imbalances and illness. An excess amount of visceral fat also produces cytokines (tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6) which impairs the cardiovascular system.

How do we lower our visceral fat level and reverse the side effects on our cardiovascular and hormonal levels?

– Eat a whole foods diet loaded with complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables (think whole potatoes, apples, bananas, kale, tomatoes, whole oats, etc.)

– Keep highly processed foods like box cereals, chips, pasta, white bread, take out, drive through meals, etc. to a minimum. Try to get as close to the natural food source as possible: an apple should look like an apple (not Apple Jacks).

– Opt for leaner meats.

– Limit oils.

– Watch portion sizes as well. Oftentimes, calories in vs. calories out can be our biggest key to winning the battle.

– Engaging in 30-60 minutes of moderate activity a day is optimal as visceral fat responds to exercise quicker than it’s outside counterpart, subcutaneous fat.

The picture below was taken December 2015. Around 119 pounds. Wearing a size 4 womens.

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After implementing a whole food diet with regular exercise the weight dropped really quickly. My health returned just as quick and my energy level sky rocketed and is on par with my late teens (I’m in my mid thirties). In short, If I take care of my body, it takes care of me.

If the thought of implementing a whole food diet seems impossible, feel free to ask me any questions. Or if you are curious to see what a primarily whole food diet looks like day in and day out, you can find my food diary on My Fitness Pal. Feel free to send me a friend request if you like:
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/lizanne_3

I’m here to help any way I can!

For more info on this topic, please visit:
Harvard Health Publications

Me Time Memorandum

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Early mornings when everyone else is asleep and I can focus on me time in silence is amazing! Whether that time is spent networking with like minded people, writing articles and postcards, gardening, reading books or just simply enjoying a piping hot cup of coffee or tea along with cinnamon loaded candle diffusers, it always reminds me how powerful me time is and how it energizes my mind and spirit.

Do yourself a favor: put yourself on your to-do list, show yourself love, and invest time in yourself.

Drop the to-do and focus on you.

Hacking My Diet for Physical and Financial Health Part 2: Joint Health

file000586498819Increasing arthritis in my joints has been an ongoing issue the majority of my adult life. The lessening of arthritic pain was a big selling point to get me on board with a whole food, plant based diet. It was an offer I could not refuse.

A torn Patella injury from years ago grinds and clicks with every step I take. And, pain was moderate to severe when going up stairs, squatting and generally leveraging with my knee. The changes in weather, especially cold, would produce a dull ache in all my injured joints as well.

After 3 weeks of omitting dairy and meat, my joints do not ache or hurt. I’m able to carry 40+ pounds upstairs without issue and the weather related aches totally disappeared during the last couple snow storms we’ve had. It is quite miraculous!

If you’re like me and have joint injuries that produce irritating aches and pain, look into a whole food plant based diet just for a trial. I’m betting it can offer you some relief just like me.

 

Here are a couple studies if you would like to dig a litter deeper into the arthritis and diet connection:

Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Sep;70(3 Suppl):594S-600S. Rheumatoid arthritis treated with vegetarian diets. Kjeldsen-Kragh J.

Rheumatology 2001;40:1175–1179 . A vegan diet free of gluten improves the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: the effects on arthritis correlate with a reduction in antibodies to food antigens. I. Hafstro, et.al.

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