If You Know How To Be Satisfied You Are Rich

“If you understand yourself you are illuminated.
If you overcome others you are powerful.
If you overcome yourself you have strength.
If you know how to be satisfied you are rich.
If you can act with vigor, you have a will.
If you don’t lose your objectives you can be long-lasting.
If you die without loss, you are eternal.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
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Hiking, Trail Running, & Ticks

Spring is here and many of us go outdoors for our workouts. Most of us would prefer to find activities outside where we can enjoy the beautiful flowers, trees, and sunshine.

However, those that flock to wooded areas to run trails or hike are at increased risk for tick bites. Ticks can be difficult to see (with many being the size of a pinhead) and often people are unaware they have one attached or have been bitten.

According to WebMD Health News, the CDC will begin tracking the nation’s tick population and tick-borne illnesses. Over the last few decades tick, flea, and mosquito diseases have more than doubled with ticks being the most prevalent causative factor of the increase.

Richard S. Ostfeld, PhD, a disease ecologist with the Millbrook, NY-based Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies reports:

In 2017, the number of tick-borne disease cases reported to the CDC rose 22%, to 59,349. But the number of Americans with tick-related diseases was likely much higher — closer to 300,000 to 400,000 — because not all Lyme disease cases are reported to the CDC, says John Aucott, MD, chairman of a national tick-borne disease working group, supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Lyme disease is caused by a blacklegged tick  or (deer tick)  bite. Symptoms can include rash, fever, and headaches. Therefore, get tested if you develop these symptoms after being outside in tall grass or a wooded area.  Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose; it’s important to get treated with antibiotics early to avoid progression of the disease. Check out these important facts:

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Protect yourself from ticks:

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  •  Wear protective clothing. Even though the temperature is rising, it’s best to wear leggings or pants and wear knee socks over them. Also, wear a lightweight shirt with long sleeves and a hat.

 

  •  Stay away from tall grass and stay in the center of trails.
  • Check yourself for ticks before you go home: Check scalp, ears (inside and out), arms, stomach and inside navel, back of knees, and ankles.

If you find a tick on you:

 

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Get Used To That Feeling

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“No matter how careful you are, there’s going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn’t experience it all. There’s that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should’ve been paying attention.
Well, get used to that feeling. That’s how your whole life will feel some day.
This is all practice.”
― Chuck PalahniukInvisible Monsters

Forgiveness, Tolerance, Self Respect

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“The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all others, charity.”

Benjamin Franklin

The Rigors Of Acceptance

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“And the view was suddenly clear to me. The world opened out to its grim beyonds and I realized that, at forty, one must learn the rigors of acceptance. Capitalize it: Acceptance. I needed to accept what was put before me–be it a watery grave in Ireland’s only natural fjord, or a return to the city and its grayer intensities, or a wordless exile in some steaming Cambodian swamp hole, or poems or no poems, or children or not, lovers or not, illness or otherwise, success or its absence. I would accept all that was put in my way, from here on through until I breathed my last.” 
― Kevin Barry

Live Life With No Regrets

When we live each day with kindness, compassion, and communicative love, there is no business left unfinished. There are no regrets or words we should have said, but didn’t. There is no need for closure or forgiveness or apology of any kind.” 
― Tyler Henry

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Let Food Be Thy Medicine

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates

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It’s obvious this day and age that what we eat affects our physical and mental health.

The Center For Science In The Public Interest points out

Unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are leading causes of death in the U.S.

Unhealthy diet contributes to approximately 678,000 deaths each year in the U.S., due to nutrition- and obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

However, unfortunately many physicians still tend to write prescriptions all too frequently for anything and everything that brings us to their office.

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Maybe some physicians feel compelled to give you the newest wonder drug simply in exchange for the exorbitant bill you’ll receive after an office visit. However medical providers are taught medication management as the first option for treating their patients. In my experience attending doctor visits over the years with various family members, I’ve rarely heard recommendations for diet and exercise mentioned in the treatment plan. Since I have a background in nursing and fitness, I know the importance of exercise and nutrition in regards to healing.

An article from Orlando Health points out

More than a quarter of doctors admit to prescribing medication that likely won’t have many therapeutic benefits for patients, according to a recent survey of more than 5,000 American College of Physicians (ACP) member physicians.

In the survey, which asked doctors to identify two treatments often used by internal medicine physicians that weren’t likely to provide high value care to patients, 27 percent of doctors said they prescribed antibiotics to patients even when it was likely the treatment wouldn’t be effective. Nine percent said they used aggressive treatments on terminally-ill patients even when these treatments weren’t valuable, seven percent prescribed medications for chronic pain, while five percent recommended dietary supplements to patients.

The survey highlights that over-prescribing is still an issue among physicians and that it’s a problem that leads to a lot of waste, inefficiencies and added costs within our country’s health care system.

So, why does this keep happening?

The pressure to fulfill patients’ expectations may be the root cause of the problem. Patients come to doctors for answers, and often many of these patients have spent time Googling their ailment and have come up with a solution before they even step foot into a doctor’s office.

For example, my son recently went to see his physician for a physical and due to the fact that his cholesterol was slightly elevated, his physician recommended he start a statin drug. With my experience as a nurse, I know medications are sometimes necessary and can save lives. But wouldn’t it be nice if patients were encouraged to start with nutrition and lifestyle changes before starting a medication with possible side effects.

For example:

Per Dr. Mercola in 5 Great Reasons Why You Should Not Take Statins

  • There is evidence showing that statins may actually make your heart health worse and only appear effective due to statistical deception
  • Statins deplete your body of CoQ10, inhibit synthesis of vitamin K2, and reduce the production of ketone bodies
  • Statins increase your risk of serious diseases including cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, musculoskeletal disorders and cataracts

If a patient comes in with slightly elevated blood sugar or blood pressure, why not look at dietary changes and stress reduction before being prescribed a drug as treatment.

You of course have the option of going to a naturopath provider which The Better Health Channel defines as

Naturopathy is a holistic approach to wellness. Naturopathy treats each person as an individual and supports the whole person to live a healthy lifestyle. The foundations of naturopathy are based on the importance of a healthy diet, clean fresh water, sunlight, exercise and stress management.

Naturopathy aims to educate the person to look after their own health and the health of their family, minimising symptoms of any illness, supporting the body’s capacity to heal, and balancing the body so that illness is less likely to occur in the future.

Or there is the functional medicine approach who Dr. Mark Hyman (a functional medicine provider) points out is

An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.

However, typically functional medicine and naturopathy are not covered by insurance and with the cost of healthcare, these alternative therapies are often not financially feasible.

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Therefore, it’s up to us as consumers to educate ourselves on the importance of a healthy lifestyle when it comes to disease prevention and treatment.

Rather than automatically accepting a new medication at your next visit to the doctor, why not ask if there are other treatment options available. Do your research to determine if nutrition and lifestyle changes could be implemented first before turning to pharmaceutical treatment. Which brings me to another one of my favorite quotes:

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Benjamin Franklin

We Have This One Life

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“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.” 
― Lao Tzu

Wow, I love this quote!   We have this one life and it’s our job to make the most of each and every day.  How do you rate these three area’s of your life that are so important in regards to your happiness and quality of life?

  1. Health-  Take a moment and write down two goals at the beginning of each week that can improve your health.  Do you eat out too often, consume too many alcoholic beverages, sit too much?  The list goes on and on.  We all have areas of our life we can improve on, and your health should be number one on the list.  Try walking on your lunch hour, replacing a fast food meal with a home cooked meal, or perhaps replacing artificial sugar with honey.  There are endless opportunities each week to help improve your health by simply setting small goals, making small changes, and committing to them.
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2. Contentment – What is contentment?  Wikipedia defines contentment as:

Contentment is a mental or emotional state of satisfaction maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind. Colloquially speaking, contentment could be a state of having accepted one’s situation and is a milder and more tentative form of happiness.

What areas of your life can you improve to bring about more contentment?  Analyze your work and home situation and determine areas that need improvement.  Small changes can sometimes make a tremendous difference in your quality of life. Practice gratitude each morning.  Be thankful for having a roof over your head, food to eat, and loved ones.  There are many people in this world praying for what you have at this very moment. Lose the act of comparison.  Have you heard the quote “comparison is the thief of joy?”  You’ll never be content by comparing yourself to others.  How can you adjust your attitude at work and at home to bring about contentment?  Take the focus off yourself and do small things for others this week and you may be surprised at how good you feel.

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3. Self confidence  How can you improve your self-confidence?  Take care of your appearance. Self confidence starts with feeling good about yourself.  Make it a priority to take care of your body with exercise and healthy food choices, wear clothes you love, and practice daily meditation.  Consider listening to positive affirmations on a daily basis. Your inner dialogue is a key to self confidence and contentment.  What do you say to yourself each day?

Remember we have this one life……

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Locked In A Bathroom Now What?

Have you ever been locked in a bathroom? It happened to me last week and I was surprised at the level of panic I felt when I couldn’t open the door. I was in a small 24 hour fitness facility. It was early morning and the gym was quiet. I remember seeing a few people on the treadmills as I walked to the group fitness room to set up for my class.

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I had already consumed over 24 oz of lemon water and two cups of coffee, so needless to say my first stop was the bathroom.

When I started to leave the restroom , I quickly turned the lever lock to open the door and it wouldn’t budge! I immediately felt a sense of panic, dread, and disbelief. I started beating on the door to get someone’s attention, but had no luck.

Then I started thinking…..What am I going to do??

Where was MacGyver when I needed him? If I only had some chewing gym, a paper clip or maybe a Swiss Army Knife, surely I could get out of this situation.

The lock looked like one of the privacy indicator deadbolt locks. It had a lever that when you turn it to the right it locks the door and shows “occupied” on the outside of the door.

The door was very solid with no play in it, so I immediately tried to push the lock with all my might to try to force it open. It wouldn’t budge and to make matters worse:

  1. I had no cell phone – I had left it in the group fitness room

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  2. The music in the gym was playing extremely loud- What if no one could hear me???

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  3.  There were only a few people in the club

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  4. I was at the end of the hall where very few people go unless they are going to that particular bathroom (which now that I was locked inside- showed occupied on the other side)

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I continued to bang on the door and put all my weight up against it as I relentlessly tried to open the lock. NO LUCK! Suddenly I started to feel a bit claustrophobic.

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Why did this have to happen to me????

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After yelling and banging on the door for quite sometime, I finally heard someone come up and ask me if I was locked in, and needless to say, I was relieved! He told me he would make a phone call and get someone there to get me out.

And believe it or not, I got out in time to teach my class!

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This made me wonder about other situations like this. I later found out this happened to someone else at this same club and they were locked in the bathroom for a couple of hours! I heard the owner ended up giving him some free gym time for his pain and suffering. It’s definitely a frightening experience especially if there are no windows and you are in an isolated place. And with my luck, I’m sure it could happen again. Therefore, I did some research and found out this actually happens quite often.  One man got locked in a Burger King bathroom

An Oregon man is suing Burger King for backing out of a ‘meals for life’ deal.

Curtis Brooner says the fast food giant offered the deal because he got locked in the bathroom for more than an hour at a restaurant in Wood Village last month.

Brooner’s attorney Michael Fuller told KATU that his client went to pull the door and it wouldn’t open.

I did some additional research and did not find any useful information on how to get out when you’re locked on the inside of a bathroom without anything you could use as a tool to pick the lock. Therefore, I’ve vowed to avoid public bathrooms as much as possible and only use bathrooms that have multiple stalls with no locks on the exit door.

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The Peace Of Wild Things

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The Peace Of Wild Things ~ Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”
― Wendell Berry, The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry