Gift Ideas

Tis the season to be jolly. Many of us are in the midst of the holiday season’s hustle and bustle. It is customary in many of our cultures to celebrate this season with family and loved ones and exchange gifts. As such it can get very stressful. In our attempts to find the right gift for that special person we often lose sight of the reason we are giving. We are giving out of the kindness of our heart and to make that special person feel loved and appreciated. So as I am sure many of you will agree this is where things can get out of hand. We spend money we don’t have and feed into a materialistic society that tells us if we don’t have certain things we’re not going to fit in. This can lead to mental stress and depression and turn a special time of the year into a dreadful time of the year.

In my daily activities on both social media and in the city I have noticed some great gifts that would be appreciated and not break your pockets. As such I’d like to discuss them with you and show you some options that may not have been on your mind.

Being comfy and cozy is always an awersome feeling that allows you to relax and drift away from the many worries of the day. For that special person who you know that likes to cuddle up and watch movies or just be in the comforts of his or her home this would be a great gift. A snuggle is a blanket that fits you like a robe and blanket in one. Its so comfy and warm and is a great item to have. I received one and it has certainly become a main staple when I just want to relax and be comfortable. Another great thing about this item is that it is very affordable and sold on quite a few websites from Groupon to Amazon.

Another great gift for that special person in your life who likes aromatherapy and essential oils is a diffuser. An aromatherapy diffuser is like a humidifier that diffuses essential oils through the air to create an aroma of your choice. They are made with a tank that holds water and your choice of oil and some have other features like colored lights. I have the one pictured and it was such a great buy. It has a large water tank which allows the diffuser to function for hours without the need of refilling. It’s easy to operate and clean as well which has made the experience of using a diffuser even better. For anyone who is an essential oil lover this is the perfect gift that just keeps giving.

For that loved one who is an essential oil lover on the go a great option is diffuser jewelry. That’s also a great gift for bead and jewelry lovers. It’s a beaded piece of jewelry that has lava beads on it. The lava beads are porous and allow you to dab a bit of your favorite essential oil or blend and smell it throughout your busy day. I have a few bracelets that have become a part of my daily fashion necessities. I love how the scent lasts thru the day.

Some people are just a bit harder to shop for. So for those that are caring and love the natural miracles of life a plant would be a perfect gift. It is a gift that will be nurtured and also offer benefits to the receiver like killing toxins in the air or other health benefits as well as rewarding them with the miracle of growth. Plants are a big love of mine personally. They have certainly added beauty to my home and help me escape the stressful days I have experienced.

I hope these suggestions help you find the special gift for that loved one that you want to show your appreciation and love to. Remember giving gifts isn’t always about what you spend, it is also about how it will make the receiver feel. Take your time and don’t stress yourself. After all it is the season to be jolly so celebrate and enjoy yourself. No need to stress yourself and cause issues that will make you lose sight of the holiday season’s true meaning. Stress can lead to many health issues and is just not something we need to put on ourselves.

Until next time stay focused and enjoy life.


Fighting the Bulge

For many of us dieting is a part of our lives. We see these dream ads of going from a size 20 to a size 6 and fall for it. However there is no such thing. You are just setting yourself up for failure because everyone doesn’t have the same body make up. So thinking you will get these results is just a fantasy. I personally have tried many different diets, but never got the results I was seeking. So I have chosen to eat healthier. Its a better alternative to dieting and putting yourself through the torture of not being able to eat the foods you want and love. Instead of focusing on dieting lets put our attention on healthier habits which will lead to the weight loss you’ve been looking for.

Drink Water Before Meals

This will not only boost your metabolism helping you burn off calories, it will also cause you to eat less.

Drink Green Tea

Green tea contains antioxidants and nutrients that promote weigh loss by boosting your metabolism. I love green tea and drink it daily with lemon. I drink it after meals when I eat foods that are harder for me to digest like meat. Overall it has many great benefits and taste great.

Avoid Late Night Snacks

A good habit is to stop eating 3 hours before bedtime.

Here’s a fact found in the book called “Ultra Metabolism” by Mark Hyman, MD

The metabolism slows down when you sleep so you shift from fat burning to fat storage.

Turn to Healthy Fats

Foods like olive oil, avocado and nuts allow you to stay fuller for longer periods and decrease your cravings promoting weight loss. So try incorporating foods like this into your daily meals.

Never Deprive Yourself

Depriving yourself of a favorite food will only heighten your cravings. Then cause you to binge eat when you succumb to the cravings. Instead enjoy in moderation–small servings of the foods you love.

Increase Veggies

Eat salad before meals. This will fill you up faster and allow you to consume the vegetables and nutrients your body needs to function properly. It will also decrease your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Include Fresh Herbs When Cooking

Fresh herbs like dill, basil, ginger help to boost the metabolism and make your meals tastier. Experiment with the herbs.  You’ll create great flavors you never knew existed

Until next time stay true to you and be the best you can be.


Healthier Choices for the Holiday Season

As we all know the holiday season is upon us.  I am sure many of you including myself are getting the holiday menu set up and it includes yummy dishes like turkey, candy yams, and more.  With all of these scrumptious dishes it can be hard to control ourselves and many of us over indulge.  So today I will be sharing some suggestions I have come across and will be trying myself. 

Alcohol Beverages

Here’s a great chart to put together some tasty drinks.

This is a great time to celebrate and who wants to pass up the chance to enjoy a nice glass of champagne.  Unfortunately champagne is filled with lots of empty calories and instead you can enjoy a nice wine spritzer.  It’s a great calorie saver and tastes so good.  All you have to do is pick a wine of your choice that isn’t too high in calories and for the bubbly flavor add 2oz of club soda which has no calories.  Isn’t that great?  Who can pass up a great idea like that?

Candied Yams

Candied yams is a favorite in my household and can really get addictive. However once you see that it is a whopping 215 calories for a serving of half a cup the delight dwindles.  Instead try making a dish of roasted sweet potatoes brushed with olive oil and omit all the sugary ingredients.  It tastes good and the roasting actually brings out the sweetness in the potatoes.  The calories is way less and can be saved for you to indulge in other tasty treats.

Turkey Dark Meat

Turkey is a great main dish but it has its draw backs because the white meat contains two times the fat of white meat which is over 200 calories.  Instead enjoy some of the white meat and decrease your calorie intake to about 160 calories. 

Cranberry Sauce

This is one of my favorites and is a must on my dinner table.  However the regular canned cranberry sauce is about 100 calories a slice.  Instead enjoy a low calorie cranberry sauce or cranberry relish. Google it and you will find tons of simple recipes for low calorie cranberry relish/sauce.

Flour Dinner Rolls

Dinner rolls are a popular side dish at many dinner tables.  However their calorie count is 100 to 200 calories each.  Instead try a whole wheat roll.  It not only has less calories but also supplies you with fiber which we all need for gut health.

Egg Nog

Egg nog is a tasty drink and is enjoyed mostly around the holiday season.  However each serving is up to 250 calories.  Instead try Apple Cider.  It is almost half the calories per serving and has many benefits like promoting good gut bacteria and contains vitamin C, which we need for our immune system.

Veggies with Fatty Dips

They are often used for an appetizer but are packed with way too many calories.  Instead try making a veggie platter with hummus for the dip.  Hummus is a great Middle Eastern dip, packed with many benefits from improving blood sugar levels to bettering your digestive health.  It taste great and comes in many flavors.  Sabra makes a great hummus and at decent prices.  It comes in flavors for all tastes like roasted garlic, lemon twist, jalapeno or roasted red pepper which is my favorite.

Mash Potatoes

Mash potatoes is loved by all from babies to adults.  However it is packed with a lot of calories.  1 cup of mashed potatoes is 214 calories.  Instead try mashed cauliflower which contains only 142 calories per cup.  It is simple to make and has many benefits from high in vitamin C to high in fiber.

Well there you have it, some great ideas on how to eat healthier while still enjoying yourself. Hope these ideas help you to make some healthier changes in your life. We only live once and since our body is not getting any younger we must learn to treat it better.

Until the next time, stay positive and Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble, Gobble…


Being the Best You

Self care is taking deliberate action to improve your physical, emotional and mental well being

Physical-Taking care of the body

  • regular doctor visits
  • eating healthy foods
  • monitoring portions and caloric intake
  • exercising
  • addressing chronic conditions
  • finding alternatives to just taking medications for every issue.

Psychological Self Care

  • combat negative self talk
  • addressing any mental health issues you may have
  • knowing what and why you feel a specific way and how to resolve it in a positive way allowing you to grow.

Emotional Self Care/Spiritual Self Care

Having faith in a higher being…God and understanding your meaning in life. Emotional/Spiritual Self Care can also help with psychological and emotional stress.

  • prayer
  • meditation
  • Yoga

Take some time out of your day and begin to incorporate some of these suggestions or others that work for you. It will help you get through whatever you’re facing and grow the strength you need to be a better you.

Until the next time continue working to be the best you possible and never stop striving for better.


Coping With Change of Seasons

Change of season can be a depressing time for some. The beautiful warm sunny days that seem so inviting and make you want to go out and enjoy them fades away. All the fun activities you enjoyed all summer with friends and family like barbecues, picnics, baseball games… come to a sudden halt. You may start to have feelings of depression and loneliness. This is because the mind is a very delicate part of our being. It can be affected by so many things from emotions to experiences. So to keep from drawing further into a deep depression we must learn to connect these tough times to those things that we find pleasurable to make this time more acceptable.

Once we start having more fun and exciting experiences during this season our mind will stop going into a deep hole of hopelessness. It will start to bring up feelings of excitement and anticipation of the change that happens each and every year.

The number one thing to start with is an open mind. Im not saying your mind will change overnight or you will love each and every suggestion made here, but it will start to give you ideas you can build off and allow you to generate some new ones that may be a better fit for you. So for those that hate the winter and find it difficult to deal with, here’s some things to change those feelings.

Travel/Vacation

Set up a plan and take a vacation. Take time to pamper and enjoy yourself. This will not only decrease your stress levels but will also promote feelings of joy and happiness. It doesn’t have to be an expensive place that’s far away from home. It can be to visit loved ones just a few hours away. Or to an amusement park or casino. Whatever it is let it ve somewhere that will offer you a pleasant experience that you will remember.

Eat

Eat and explore new foods that grow during this season. Take a trip to a local farmer’s market or store and stock up on foods you like or would like to try that are abundant during this season like winter squash, clementine, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, turnips, pears and much more. Experiment and try some new foods and new recipes. Good food is always a great mood booster.

Socializing

Hang out with friends and family that you enjoy being around. Or go places and meet new acquaintances. Thats how friendships are made. Socializing is not only good for mental health, it’s also a great way to beat the winter blues.

Hobby/Favorite Pass Time

Finding a hobby can be very beneficial. It will keep your mind active and give you something to look forward to. I personally have many hobbies from home gardening to blogging. Find something that interests you. There’s so many great choices and with the power of the internet you can find and do just about anything you want.

Meditation

Finding clarity in your life and figuring out what is really troubling you sounds like it could be quite difficult to do. However meditation can help you do just that and get you in tune to your wants and needs. It will also help you cope with your feelings and balance them out. Maybe learning what is really bothersome about the season’s change can allow you to better the situation and get past it.

Seek Counsel

If all else fails and nothing seems to be enough to get you through this troibling time, speak to a professional. Don’t be scared to ask for help. A huge part in bettering yourself is never being scared to ask for help.

I hope some of the suggestions mentioned will help you make it through the season. Until next time stay positive and learn to do better so you can be better.


Ideas to Brighten Your Spirits

We all face many experiences each day that can sometimes make us feel down. Obviously there’s no one remedy for all but I’d like to share some that have worked for me.

On my way to work listening to my daily meditation so I can be ready for the world.

If you have read any of my other posts you’d know that I enjoy Podcasts. The great thing about them is that there is one for any subject you enjoy learning about and it is convenient because you can listen at any time in your busy daily life.

Here’s some of my favorites:

Vegetarian Zen by VickieVelasquez & Larissa Galenes

The Essential Oil Revolution by Samantha Lee Wright

The Daily Refresh by John Lee Dumas

Here’s a pic of my gardening corner.

Another hobby I enjoy is gardening in my home. It is my safe zone and allows me to just get away from the troubles of the world and escape to somewhere I want to be. Also the feeling of taking care of these beauties and seeing them grow is so exciting for me.

Preparing One of My Batches of Green Tea Soap

Last but not least is my most enjoyable hobby of making bodycare products. I make soaps, body butters, and body spritzers. I started this hobby because I had quite a few medical issues with my skin and was tired of purchasing items that were not fitting all of my needs. So after I began making for myself I began to see that this was an issue many had and there was a way I could help others. There’s no greater feeling that helping others so when I am in the “lab” all of the day’s problems and worries are out of my mind and I am functioning with a purpose.

Hope my hobbies got you to thinking about what brings you happiness. Whatever it is enjoy and make it’s purpose to clear your mind of the troubles that may be bothering you.

Until next time stay focused on your dreams and let nothing stop you.


How to Cope with Losing a Loved One

Since I was a child I have always heard the seniors in my family say that “We are born to die”. I never payed much attention to that statement and always thought it was just how they dealt with the loss of loved ones since they’ve experienced it time and time again. For me losing loved ones has always been a feeling of puzzlement and confusion. Its like coming to the reality of not seeing the person any more is hard to cope with and seems so impossible. There’s no one right way to get through this and we all deal with it differently. Recently my last living grandparent passed. She was my dad’s mother and his last living parent. As such it seemed so shocking and I felt more pain for him to have lost his parent. That’s a feeling no child wants to ever feel no matter how likely it may be to happen. In this experience I felt so much hurt and felt I had to be there to comfort my dad.

As they say, out of every situation we should find the good. In this case I got to travel and see my dad who I hadn’t seen in a while and got to really get to know a part of my family that I didn’t previously know. It was such an enlightening experience and showed me that there was a reason for everything that happens and we must just be willing to go with it and learn from it. So in my personal experience I wanted to share with you some ways I have learned to deal with a stressful situation like this.

Socialize

Here’s a great time to bond with others and take your mind off this trying and emotional time. We all need somebody and this is a perfect time to be open to talking with family and friends.

Lovely Distractions

For me a great distraction was working on my journal and other hobbies like reading. Another great distraction for me was listening to music. It brought back so many great memories. It lightened the situation and pushed the positivity to the fore front of my thoughts.

Spiritual Healing

Here was a key opportunity for me to see that there is a higher being called God who has mercy upon us. During this trying time my grandmother had suffered a long and hard fight and God rescued her and relieved her of all the stress and sickness that had overcome her. Wow that’s an awesome thought that when we can no longer handle the fight God picks up and protects us and makes the decision to either relieve us of the trials and tribulations or end the suffering we are facing permanently.

Although we all deal with this trying time differently I would like you to know that it is true that out of this situation some good will come.

Until next time stay focused and don’t be afraid to learn or do something new. We only have one life and with it we should live each day as if it is our last day because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.