Feed Your Mind With Positive News

I’ve always considered myself a news junkie.  I listen to local news, nightly news, and of course the ultimate online news source CNN is a must read. Lately, I have cut back because there is so much bad news. Senseless killings, kidnapping, war, and job loss are plastered across the headlines every day, and dwelling on these things can lead to depression and feelings of hopelessness.

Now, I have discovered a  positive news website that has restored my faith in humanity. The stories are so inspirational and they inspire me to step up and be a better person.

When someone mentions Starbucks, I instantly think of those tall latte drinks and tasty pastries. Now I see Starbucks in a new light. Partnering with Food Donation and Feed America, Starbucks will now donate any leftover food for the needy. As I read this story, it made me think of ways I can give back.

A teacher from South Carolina has stepped up to the plate and started the Gentlemen’s Club, for boys who have no father in their life.  Each Wednesday students dress up in their Sunday best and get together to learn how to succeed in life. Skills learned include the proper way to shake hands, make eye contact, and buy shirts and ties for needy kids. It’s very gratifying to be complimented on how nice they look, and raises their self-esteem.

My favorite story on the site today was about a smiling puppy who was rescued from a burning apartment. Once firefighters arrived on the scene, the flames were quickly extinguished and the puppy was rescued. Looking at that smiling face just melted my heart, and makes me realize that there are still good people in the world making a difference.

Feed your mind with positive news. Think of ways that you can make a difference in your own life and in the lives of others.

Boost Low Energy Levels in Menopause.

It seems like low levels of estrogen are responsible for many menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, weight gain, and irritability. Now, low energy levels can be added to that list, but thankfully there are steps you can take to get back on the right track.

Exercise

How are you supposed to exercise if you feel too tired to move? It’s easy to make excuses, but once you start exercising, those good endorphins flood your body. Your attitude improves and you feel more energized.

Any exercise you can do for a 30-minute period is fine. Get a group exercise going, or clear your head on a solo walk. Exercise such as skiing, skating, and dancing not only lets you get moving, it’s fun and you can certainly use more of that in your life.

 Eat More Often

Try breaking down three meals a day into six. Your blood sugar levels will be more stable, and you’ll be able to focus more on what you’re doing.  Include a protein source like nuts, beef jerky, or Greek yogurt. Apples are a good source of pectin, which helps you lose weight. For extra flavor and protein, spread on a spoonful of nut butter.

Be careful that you are consuming the same number of calories that you would be eating with three larger meals.

Drink Up

Water is the best source to keep the body hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you, and take small sips during the day. If plain water is not your thing, try adding flavors you make yourself. Lemon and lime slices are refreshing. If you prefer water with a kick, use peaches with a touch of cayenne. Freeze fruit like berries in ice trays so they’re easy to pull out when you need a refreshing drink.

How Do You Boost Your Energy Level?

Easy Supplement That Helps Insomnia

 

I’ve blogged before about my problems with insomnia. I was staying awake so many nights that I was tempted to consult the Guinness Book of Records to see if I could qualify for some kind of record. I was doing all the right things like consulting with my doctor, not eating a big meal too late in the evening, no liquids after 6pm, and going to bed and waking up at the same time. Nothing was working on a consistent basis.

Now, that I have discovered that magnesium helps me relax and unwind after a stressful day, I am sleeping better and waking up more refreshed.

Magnesium can help women with arthritis or fibromyalgia to sleep more pain-free, and as a bonus, helps correct constipation.

You might be asking why you can’t just eat foods high in magnesium instead of taking a supplement. Delicious foods such as fish, nuts, beans, leafy greens, yogurt, bananas, and dark chocolate contain high amounts of magnesium but modern methods of processing food strip a good portion of the nutrients out. Too bad, I was really jumping for joy about the dark chocolate!

Choosing the right supplement will involve trial and error, but one tip I can offer is to avoid magnesium oxide because it is not well-absorbed by the body. Start with a low dose and work your way up until you achieve the desired results.

You can use other forms of magnesium if you don’t want to swallow a pill. Natural Calm combines calcium and magnesium in powder form that can be mixed into a glass of hot or cold water.

If you enjoy a relaxing soak in the tub, sprinkle in some Epsom Salts, and let the magnesium soak through the skin.  Pure magnesium oil can be rubbed or sprayed on the skin as a moisturizer.

How do you deal with insomnia?

Take A God-Walk

 

Do you remember wishing you were in menopause? No more monthly cramps, putting on 5 pounds of water, eating a box of chocolate, and complaining to everyone and their brother about why you were feeling so miserable.

 Now in menopause, you are changing both physically and spiritually. Kids are grown, you may be retired, sick of your job, and longing to make changes. Where can you make a difference? What is God’s plan for your life?

Add these feelings to the physical symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, headaches, and irritability and it’s not hard to figure out why you’re feeling confused.

You need a good support system, and I have found that taking a God-Walk every day gives me a chance to talk to God about my problems and I feel so much better afterwards, like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel more hopeful, and my problems don’t seem quite as overwhelming.

Combine a God-Walk with some sunshine and blue skies, and as a double bonus, you can get your exercise for the day. If you have a busy schedule, just have your God-Walk wherever you are.

Yesterday I was swamped and didn’t have time to get out, so I had my God-Walk inside a casino, which was pretty interesting. It takes a lot of effort to concentrate when you’re dodging people, and hearing noisy slot machines.

So the next time you feel stressed, take a God-Walk and you’ll come back with a new attitude.

Foods That Can Reduce Hot Flashes

 

 

One of the most common, not to mention highly annoying symptoms of menopause, are hot flashes. What is a hot flash? A hot flash occurs when you suddenly feel too hot, and the blood vessels near the skin’s surface dilate to cool you off. No one knows the exact cause of hot flashes, but hormonal changes in your circulation can be a contributing factor.

Now, we are learning that eating certain foods that promote hormonal balance can reduce or eliminate hot flashes.

Fruits and Veggies

Yes, Mom knew best when she nagged you about eating your fruits and veggies. They’re a good source of fiber and add color and flavor to any meal. Eat fruit either plain or dipped. Some tasty dips are peanut butter, low fat yogurt, or cottage cheese.

Broccoli and cabbage contain high amounts of fiber and can be eaten alone, chopped into a salad, or served as a hot vegetable with dinner.

Eggs

Eggs are a food that you can serve in countless ways. Make an omelet or scrambled eggs for breakfast. Salads such as tuna or chicken taste extra scrumptious when mixed with a few boiled eggs. High in Vitamin B, which helps keep the adrenal gland healthy, eggs also promote a good balance between estrogen and progesterone

Soy

Soy is a protein made from soybeans and is used as a healthy protein source instead of meat. Soy milk can be used with cereal, but purchase at a health food store for a more natural taste. Tofu is my favorite way to eat soy and it is also delicious in a stir-fry.

Another tasty source of soy is edamame. Edamame is young soybeans which have not yet matured. Eat as a snack with a little soy sauce, or for a delicious addition to rice.

How do you cope with hot flashes?

Are You Sitting Too Much? (Part II)

 

In my last blog post I talked about the dangers of sitting too much. It may be a little more difficult to sit less if you work a desk job and have tight deadlines to meet, but by just making a few changes, you’ll improve your overall heath.

Stand Up

Break down your workday into 30 minute increments. Aim for 20 minutes of sitting, and stand up for 8 minutes.  If you’re answering phones, take a few standing up. Email can take some time to process, and is another opportunity to get out of the chair. Do some type of activity where you’re moving around for 2 minutes, such as walking to a co-worker’s desk or to the vending machine.

Find Excuses to Move

Don’t have office supplies within easy reach. Each time you need to replenish your stock, you’ll have another good reason to get moving. Walk to the drinking fountain that is the furthest away, and use a restroom that is on the other side of the building.

Sit On Exercise Ball

If you have low back pain, sitting on an exercise ball will ease your pain. As an added bonus, you are using the muscles in your back, legs and butt to stay balanced.

Eat Lunch Out

I know it is generally healthier to pack a nutritious lunch, but walking to a nearby restaurant gets your body moving and stretches those sore muscles. It doesn’t have to be a diet disaster if you stick to healthier choices or split food with a friend. You might even drop a few pounds.

Form a Walking Group

This was a very popular idea with my co-workers. Instead of sitting and having coffee for break, high heels were replaced with laced sneakers and we did a few turns around the parking lot. It’s also time for some good girl talk.

What steps do you take to sit less?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Sitting Too Much?

I read an article this morning that really opened my eyes, and I wanted to share that with you.

When I was working for a large insurance company, I noticed that most of my co-workers were sitting all day long. Of course you are sitting during your work hours, but these women would take a break and go for coffee, sit for lunch together, and then in mid-afternoon it was time for a snack and more sitting. Since we were no spring chickens, a treadmill desk where you stand most of the day was too hard on our old, aching bones.

What are the health consequences of too much sitting? For starters, blood can pool in your legs, leading to varicose veins, swollen ankles, and deep vein thrombosis.

Too much sitting can also lead to a stiff, painful neck. Typing and answering the phone involves craning the neck forward, which strains the cervical vertebrae, and can lead to permanent imbalances.

When you sit for a long period of time, your muscles get sluggish, and fatty acids can affect the heart, leading to high blood pressure and cholesterol.

What surprised me the most was that too much sitting can lead to certain types of cancer, such as colon, breast, or endometrial. One reason for this is the body can produce too much insulin, which leads to unhealthy cell growth.

In my next blog post, I’ll give you some tips on how to be more active.

Who Are You?

teacher-ee35b30621_150Menopause can be a time of deep reflection. Things that were taken for granted no longer seem to fit. You work a job for so many years, and now suddenly wonder if there is not something else you should be doing, something that helps others and you feel like you can make a difference.

Who are you? Yes, you can give your name, address, marital status, age, and occupation, but these things only make up a small part of your life.  You were put on this earth for a special purpose that no one else can fill.

Now that you have raised your family, it is time to concentrate on yourself and what makes you happy.  It’s not easy after putting everyone’s needs above your own, but it is exciting to think you are starting a new chapter in your life.

How do you find out what your true purpose is?  Think of some things you are good at and enjoy doing. Do you like to paint, write, teach kids, work with animals, travel? Are you a people person or prefer to work alone?

If you’re not sure, grab a pen and paper and start jotting down ideas. Let yourself write freely, and list any idea that comes to mind. Later, you can go back and edit out anything that doesn’t fit.

What would you work day look like if you could do the things you enjoy? For one thing, you wouldn’t have to hit the snooze button ten times, and burrow back under the covers, too bummed to face the day. Think about how much energy you would have, and the hours would fly by, and wouldn’t even seem like work. The feelings of pride in doing work that makes a difference will last way beyond the work day.

Who are you and have you found your special purpose in life?

Home Remedies For Insomnia

 

According to U.S. statistics, 30 to 40 % of women experience insomnia during menopause. This may involve having trouble going to sleep, waking up in the middle of the night, or getting up too early.

Prescription medication is available, and that is what I use along with ibuprofen, but this can get expensive, and higher doses may be required if you are taking long-term.

I always prefer something natural to taking pills. Here are some home remedies for insomnia:

Warm Milk And Honey

 This soothing drink has been used for insomnia for centuries. Heat one cup of milk until warm. Pour into a mug and add a spoonful of honey. Taste, and if necessary, add more honey.

Tart Cherry Juice

If you like the taste of cherry, drink a half to one cup of tart cherry juice before bedtime. It’s a natural sleep aid because it contains the amino acid tryptophan.

Catnip Tea

Catnip can make your cat friskier, but taken in tea form, has a relaxing effect on people. To make fresh catnip tea, place 3-4 teaspoons in eight ounces of boiling water. Add honey to taste. Add to a mug, and steep for 10 minutes. Add more honey if desired. Drink a half hour before bedtime.

Relaxation Aids

A hot bath is enjoyable at the end of the day, and it induces sleep by relaxing the mind and body. Your body temperature is elevated for about 15 minutes, and then drops to normal. This shift in temperature promotes sleepiness.

Who doesn’t enjoy a relaxing massage? Having a massage before bedtime helps the muscles relax, and more time is spent in the deep part of sleep, which is restorative to the body. With the proper amount of deep sleep, you’ll have more energy the next day and avoid the dreaded three o’clock slump.

How do you cope with insomnia?

Safe Exercises In Menopause

Weight gain is a common problem in menopause and so it’s important to have an exercise program in place. Exercise not only makes your body look better, it’s also a great way to improve a cranky mood.

I found out the hard way that some exercises are no longer appropriate at middle age and beyond. One exercise that appealed to me and involved some friendly competition, was playing racquetball at the gym. How hard could it be, you stand in your court and hit the ball back to your opponent?

 I was having fun and jumped up to return a serve and felt a pop in my knee. A visit to the orthopedist confirmed that I had strained my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Her advice was to knock off acting like I was thirty-something and stick with low impact exercise.

Here are three safe, low- impact exercises for women in menopause:

Walking

There’s nothing like a brisk walk in the fresh air to put you into a positive frame of mind, and it also gives you time to plan your day, talk to your Higher Power, and put your problems into perspective. If you’re just starting an exercise program, aim for 10 minutes a day and then gradually increase your time. If you prefer someone to walk with you, recruit a friend or join a walking club.

Swimming

When you swim, you increase the capacity of your heart to take in more oxygen, which relieves stress. Water takes pressure off of aching joints, and works as resistance to your core, arms, and legs. If you use a front stroke, your chest muscles and back receive a nice workout.

Dancing

Who says that exercise has to be dull and boring? Dancing allows you to socialize with people you know and make new friends. You may prefer something slow like ball dancing or kick it in to high gear with some square dancing. Dancing can help prevent osteoporosis by keeping the bones stronger, and the joints lubricated. Dancing raises endorphin levels, and helps combat stress and depression.

What kind of exercises do you use?