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Spotlight Gesundheit

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Lower Stress

Down and Dirty Gardening

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I’ve been busy gardening. We moved in last October and a month ago all the critical upgrades were done so I’ve been having fun getting into some down and dirty gardening.

I’ve planted beans, radishes, 4 types of lettuce, kale, rosemary, thyme, tomatoes and some squash. Everything has been growing like crazy with the hot weather.

I want to share a photo of my Scarlet Runner beans. They are trellised to make a privacy surround. I love these beans! The red blooms are amazing, they yield like crazy and they are super easy to grow. And the size of the beans are humongous!

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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!

Increase Productivity and Wealthy with IFTTT

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Lack of follow through halts the greatest of plans. Thankfully, technology has consistently provided a buffer for less than stellar human performance. The IFTTT app is a great way to automate daily tasks, streamline productivity, and save time and money.

Take for example, our Honeywell wifi thermostat. Checking and changing the temperature level from our cell phones or lap top was a nifty feature. We hoped to save money by turning it down when away. But, remembering to turn the thermostat down was an elusive goal. I needed automated technology to maximize results.

Automation is where IFTTT excels. I created what the app calls a “recipe,” and IFTTT drops the thermostat to 65° when my cell phone disconnects from our wifi network and resumes normal schedule when reconnected: execution, efficiency, and savings on autopilot.

Their are hundreds of IFTTT recipe possibilities. Here are some more recipe examples:

– Upload photos to cloud storage.

– Log calls, texts, completed tasks, etc. on Google Calendar.

– Text contact an “I’m busy” message after missing a call.

– Turn lights on, start radio, open garage, etc. when arriving home.

– Time of day and location dictated volume settings.

– Notifications based on temperature, weather condition and uv parameters.

– Text contact before battery is drained.

And lots more!

You see, IFTTT can help us all by taking care of mundane details automatically; increasing efficiency, free time and money.

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.

Time Block Tasks to Lower Stress

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I recently started feeling like I was running against the clock. I felt stressed because I could not manage to fit all my “to do list” into the day. Turns out, I didn’t need more time, I just needed to prioritize better.

For example, I would be in the middle of laundry. My cell phone would beep. I would stop doing laundry to respond to an email. Thereafter, I would return to the laundry realizing I could have been done. Or even worse, I had wasted time reading emails and laundry would have to sit there till I got back from an appointment. I found this cycle to be exhausting and decided to streamline my day into task blocks.

I started by setting certain times to read, write and check email during the day. I turned off all my cell phone vibrate and sound notifications for new content as well. It was a huge change. No more vibrating and jingles to interrupt my current task. No more rush to check new content. I was able to fully focus on the task at hand.

Since I cut out the distractions, I focus better throughout my day. I feel more capable with every task completed. And, I get a lot more accomplished, which lowers my stress level.

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