Hope For The World, Peace My Brother

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AMAZING PEACE A CHRISTMAS POEM by Maya Angelou

by Maya Angelou

 

“But in this season it is well to reassert that the hope of mankind rests in faith. As man thinketh, so he is. Nothing much happens unless you believe in it, and believing there is hope for the world is a way to move toward it.” (Gladys Taber)

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.

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Five Tips to A Great Morning Routine

 

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A good morning routine is vital to our mental and physical health.  Quite often our mornings are filled with stress as we rush to get out the door and start our day.  Although it’s nice to hit the snooze button a couple times, it can create a cascade of events that can impact your day in a negative way.

That extra sleep robs you of valuable time that could be better spent fueling your body with a healthy breakfast,  grooming, meditation and family time.  Then of course you have to deal with traffic that can cause anxiety, anger, and elevated blood pressure before you even get out the door.

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What if those extra minutes of sleep could be much better spent on a healthy routine that could make a dramatic impact on your day?

Try the following tips to improve your daily routine and set you up for a fabulous day.

  1. Get up 20 to 30 minutes early to allow enough time to avoid the stress and anxiety of being late. Splash some cold water on your face and brush your teeth. Extra time is always a good thing when unexpected things happen like when you spill coffee on your outfit or suddenly remember you need to stop for gas. You will welcome the extra time and avoid the anxiety or running late.
  2. Try a short stretch and meditation sequence when you first get out of bed.  This is a great start to your morning that will clear your thoughts and get you energized to start your day.

3.  Drink 20 oz of lemon water.  Hydration is key for beautiful skin.  Lemon water will boost your metabolism and get you energized for you day.

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The benefits are endless including vitamin C to boost your immune system and also aids in digestion.

4. Eat a healthy breakfast and spend some time with your family.  Family time is priceless and just a few minutes in the morning to chat with family to tell them you love them is time well spent.  Stock up on food items that are easy to eat for breakfast such as protein bars, smoothies, fresh fruit and yogurt.

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5.  Get out the door 15 minutes early for your commute to offset any unforeseen incidents.  Instead of listening to the news or blasting music, try tuning into positive affirmations on your ride. This 20 minute meditation is an amazing way to start your day with a positive mindset and gratitude.

 

 

My daily Challenge For Lent

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I love the season of Lent and how it reminds me to slow down and put my life into perspective. I often have trouble coming up with ideas of what “to give up” for the forty day period. Over the past several years, I’ve decided to put more thought into my Lenten promise; and the likelihood of me actually following through. I mean one year I actually tried to give up peanut butter and chocolate. What was I thinking??

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Then there was the year I chose to give up social media. That didn’t work either. Although I thought I had plenty of willpower; forty days is a lot longer than you think.

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Therefore I decided this time to keep it simple this year. I put much more thought into my choices and came up with the following:

  1. Spend more time each day on my daily readings and in prayer. I signed up for two social media sites that would deliver daily Lent readings to my inbox. These are wonderful reminders and often offer different perspectives on the readings. One of the sites is USCCB.org and the other is UCATHOLIC.com
  2. Meatless Friday– This one is pretty easy. I can have fish but usually end up eating veggies, pasta, or cheese pizza. I put a reminder in my phone so I don’t forget. food-dinner-lemon-rice.jpg
  3. Intermittent Fasting– There are many different types of fasting. I decided to do the fast where you eat during an eight-hour window during the day and then fast for 15 hours. This is a good challenge for me since I love breakfast. I typically eat every morning at 6 am, so to hold out until 9 or 10 am is a quite a challenge.
  4. No Peanut Butter– I truly am addicted to peanut butter so although it was nearly impossible for me to give up chocolate and peanut butter at the same time, giving up one is doable.
  5. Do something nice for someone everyday. Start at home with your family and then expand to others throughout your day. It can be as simple as a compliment, a card, a gift, holding the door for someone, paying for someone’s meal, etc. The goal is to make someone’s day better. gift-made-surprise-loop-40562.jpeg

When Vegan Becomes Unhealthy

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The vegan lifestyle is becoming increasing popular these days. A common reason people consider converting to a vegetarian or vegan diet is to improve their health, avoid contaminants in meat, and  their compassion for animals.

Many people begin by reducing their meat intake and incorporating more meatless dishes into their daily meals. Further research and experimentation into a meatless lifestyle can quite often lead to the transition to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

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There can be some confusion regarding the terms vegan and vegetarian. Vegetarians eliminate meat but some include dairy products and eggs in their diets.

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Vegans on the other hand eliminate all animal products, dairy, eggs, and often avoid any products made from animals.

Global Healing Center explains the

Differences Between Vegan and Vegetarian

A vegetarian excludes meat, poultry, and seafood from their diet. Some vegetarians also exclude dairy, some don’t, and some may consume eggs. Likewise, vegans avoid meat, poultry, and seafood, but they also take it a step further by eliminating all animal products from their diet. This includes any type of animal milk and eggs. Vegans avoid foods produced using animals or animal products in any way, including honey. Many vegans also avoid household products, clothing, or other items made from animal products or tested on animals.

Additionally, the terms vegan and vegetarian can be difficult for many to differentiate as some people think the words have the same meaning.

To add to the confusion, some vegetarians are called “lacto and or ovo” and include dairy/eggs in their diet.

So as you can see, the term “vegetarian” can mean different things to different people:

  • A true vegetarian eats no meat at all, including poultry and fish.

  • A lacto-ovo vegetarian eats dairy products and eggs, but excludes meat, fish, and poultry.

  • A lacto vegetarian eats dairy products but not eggs.

  • An ovo vegetarian eats eggs but not dairy products.

Therefore, when considering converting to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle it’s imperative to do your research. Make sure you are clear on the differences between the diets and that you have a good understanding of what’s involved in the switch.  Making the change to a more restricted diet can be challenging to follow. Many restaurants don’t offer vegan options, so understand your choices for grabbing food on the go will be limited.  Also, making meals will require more planning than before.

It’s important to make sure meals are well-balanced and include sources of vitamin b12, essential fatty acids, iron, calcium, and vitamin d.

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Per Dr. Josh Axe a wellness physician certified in clinical nutrition, popular radio show host, and sought-after national speaker points out some important issues when considering a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Switching to a vegan diet is considered a healthy move by many, but it may not be all it’s cracked up to be in some bases. Below are some of the downsides to eating a completely vegan diet long term (more than several months): (6)

  1. Protein deficiency (lack of amino acids). Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle and are important for cellular health and proper metabolism. Too little protein can call muscle wasting, cognitive changes, mood swings and weakness.

  2. Low levels of vitamin B12. You can only get vitamin B12 in substantial amounts by consuming meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, so vegans usually need to take supplements.

  3. Lower intake of other nutrients like zinc, sometimes calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.

  4. Higher intake of antinutrients like phytic acid. There are grains, beans and legumes, such as raw soybeans, lentils and mung beans, that may contain trypsin inhibitors. These inhibitors can block key digestive enzymes. Also, grains can contain phytic acid that can keep you from digesting calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. However, soaking and sprouting your grains and legumes can greatly reduce phytic acid.

  5. Potential inability to put on muscle. This may be due to the lack of certain vitamins that we normally get from meat and fish.

  6. Overconsumption of carbohydrates. One of the most common trends I’ve found from working with hundreds of vegans and vegetarians is that they tend to overconsume carbohydrates and hidden sugar foods. Eating too many carbs can cause candida and yeast overgrowth along with weight grain. There are some vegans who have created a better balance, but this is far from the majority.

  7. Fatigue and feeling exhausted. Again, this is usually due to the lack of certain vitamins and minerals that we normally get from meat and fish, such as iron and B vitamins.

SOME ALARMING CONCERNS FOR KIDS:

The issue of children consuming vegetarian/ vegan diets is controversial. Some experts report it’s not safe for children while others state it can be perfectly healthy if followed properly.

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Per EurekAlert! an online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society : reporta that when:

parents pursue a vegan diet for their child, they must seek and strictly follow medical and dietary advice to make sure their infant receives adequate nutrition. Both mother and infant should follow advice regarding supplementation” advises Professor Mary Fewtrell, chairman of ESPGHAN’s nutrition committee comments:

The biggest risk to vegan children is that of vitamin B12 deficiency. Foods derived from animals have been shown to be the only reliable source of vitamin B12 and a deficiency of the vitamin can have devastating effects. Vitamin B12 is essential to the creation of DNA, indispensable for the maintenance of the nervous system, and a lack of it can result in haematological and neurological disorders, causing damage in young children which can be irreversible.

Therefore problems can arise when parents are unaware of the associated risks of switching to a more restricted diet….

Per CBS news:

Stories of vegan parents being arrested for malnourished children pop up every few years in the U.S., and the cases in Italy have made international news.

In Arizona, Kimu Parker was arrested in April 2005 for nearly starving her three children with a diet she and the children’s father called vegan. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison; the father, Blair Parker, got 15 years.

In Florida in 2005, Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn got probation for neglect in the death of their 6-month-old son, who was fed only wheat grass, coconut water and almond milk.

In Georgia, Jade Sanders and Lamont Thomas were sentenced to life in prison for the 2004 death of their 6-week-old son, who starved to death after they fed him a too-limited diet of soy milk and apple juice.

Therefore, do your research! Know that if you make the decision to change to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you must make sure you and your family get the proper nutrients.  Meals should be well balanced with complete proteins and you may need to  use supplements.

Be sure to consult your child’s pediatrician, family physician and or certified nutritionist to ensure you and your family are getting the proper nutrients in your diets.

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Follow these tips to make sure your diet is healthy and provides the proper nutrients:

  1. Include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with all your meals. Make smoothies and juices to make it more appealing for kids and picky eaters.
  2. If needed consider supplementation with a multivitamin that contains b12, iron, zinc, and vitamin d. Discuss this with a nutritionist or your family physician.
  3. Make sure you get enough protein in your diet- beans, nut butters, protein supplements, etc.
  4. Have regular family check ups with complete blood work ups to make sure you and your family are getting adequate nutrients on a daily basis.
  5. Plan your meals and snacks each week to make it easier to avoid eating processed foods loaded with sugar and unhealthy ingredients.

What You Do Today Will Affect Your Future

How often do you think about the future? What would you see if you looked into a crystal ball and saw yourself 10 or maybe 20 years older?? Would you like what you see? Your crystal ball could provide some valuable insight regarding quality of life in later years. Perhaps you can control your destiny much more than you think.

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Would your crystal ball show someone vibrant and active; enjoying life to the fullest?

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or would you see someone sick, overweight, and living on the sidelines?

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I love the quote ” We are our choices.” The daily decisions we make regarding our health have a way of sneaking up on us. Before you know it; you are 15 to 20 lbs heavier, pre-diabetic and have high blood pressure. You wake up one morning wondering what happened and where did all the time go?

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Center For Science In The Public Interest reports

Unhealthy eating habits and inactivity affect quality of life and cause disabilities

Few recognize that unhealthy diet is a leading cause of disability. Yet unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity are leading causes of loss of independence:

  • Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and amputations. Roughly 73,000 people have lower-limb amputations each year due to diabetes.8
  • Bone injuries due to osteoporosis are most likely to occur in the hips, spine, and wrist. Even just a slight fracture in these areas can result in loss of independence. Twenty percent of seniors who break their hip die within just one year. Those who survive often require long-term (nursing home) care.
  • Heart attack or stroke can result in difficulty with everyday activities—such as walking, bathing, or getting into or out of bed—or cognitive impairment.

But it’s not too late. You have the opportunity to change your future. All it takes is the decision to start making better choices today.

Although hereditary factors can play a part in some diseases, you have more control of your health than you might think. Your body is an amazing machine designed to heal, but continual unhealthy food choices and inactivity can lead to permanent damage. There comes a point where your body gives in and stops fighting.

Once this occurs there is often damage that can’t be reversed. Diabetes can lead to blindness, loss of limbs, and even coma. Heart disease and hypertension can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Your choices could leave you dependent on others for your care.

But the good news is you can change your future. You have the the choice everyday to make better decisions regarding your health.

Don’t wake up one day and regret the opportunities you had to create a healthy lifestyle and live a better quality of life. Read the rest of my article here:

Read my article for tips on how to maximize your health as you age

FOLLOW THESE FIVE STEPS TO PREVENT WEIGHT GAIN AS YOU AGE:

  • Monitor your weight- Although it’s important not to obsess over the scales and weighing yourself daily, you do need to check your weight periodically. Gaining just a few pounds each year can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Make a point to weigh yourself once a week and log your results. If you notice a slight gain of a couple of pounds, then simply increase your activity and cut back on portion sizes. Tracking your weight weekly will help you avoid unwanted pounds that can creep up over the years.
  • Clean up your diet- As you get older you may find yourself more relaxed about your appearance and the pressure of maintaining a certain image. Retirement often brings a more relaxed lifestyle without the pressures of a career and children. This is a wonderful time to explore life, travel, and experiment with delightful new restaurants and foods you’ve always wanted to try. The key is to eat a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and to limit your food splurges to one meal a week.
  • Remain active– Staying active is a key factor in maintaining an optimum weight as you age. Many people become more sedentary after retirement when they no longer have the pressures and activities of a daily job. It’s important to remain active so you can enjoy a good quality of life as you age. Brisk walking is a great cardiovascular exercise or join a gym and become involved in group fitness classes. Many gyms offer programs specifically for seniors and offer discounts for memberships. You may want to consider trying aqua aerobics or a senior yoga class. It’s important to find an activity you enjoy and can adhere to on a consistent basis.
  • Avoid processed foods- Processed foods are typically high in calories and contain chemicals and toxins that can lead to weight gain. If you frequently eat out, try to select grilled lean meat without sauces. Select a salad, baked potato, or steamed vegetables as a side dish. Try to cook and eat most of your meals at home. Purchase organic fruits and vegetables when possible and experiment with healthy new recipes you’ve always wanted to try.
  • Do resistance training- Weight training is vital as you get older. Studies show that muscle mass declines with age. Muscle mass peaks around the mid-twenties; starts to decline in our thirties, and picks up speed as we age. Weight training helps you maintain a healthy metabolism and helps combat the loss of muscle tone as you get older. Lifting weights 2-3 times a week can play a major role in maintaining your strength and muscle tone. Therefore, if you are already strength training, you are on the right track! If not, it’s never too late to pick up a set of weights and get started.

Take control of your health starting today! Begin by making better choices so that the future (what you see in your crystal ball ) is someone happy, healthy, and full of life.

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Check out these wise words from Ben Franklin:

I guess I don’t so much mind being old, as I mind being fat and old.”

Fat Burning Circuit Workout

Ok, are you ready for a challenge? Try this killer fat burning circuit for a full body workout that will work all the major muscle groups. Perform each exercise for 45 seconds with very little rest in between exercises. Complete entire circuit 2-3 x and let me know how you like the workout. Ready to get your sweat on? Let’s go!

Circuit One: Perform Each Exercise 45 seconds

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Side to Side Pushups

Burpee Bicep Curl Press

Crab Walk

Jump Lunges

Circuit Two: Perform Each Exercise 45 seconds

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DB Squat Press

Reverse Lunge With Side Raise

Burpee Pushup Row

Skater

Circuit Three: Perform Each Exercise 45 Seconds

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Mountain Climber

Plank Jack

Push up Side Plank

Bicycle Crunch

Once you’re done. It’s time to stretch. Try my Yoga Vinyasa Flow Sequence

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Minimum Wage Increase, Will Robots Take Our Jobs

Per Charis Rebecca Brown on Clarkhoward.com

With all the political talk of raising minimum wage, companies that employ minimum wage workers, such as fast food restaurants, are looking ahead for ways to cut down on costs.

“If you’re making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive — this is not rocket science,” Mr. Puzder said.

He also commented on the fact that when considering robots versus humans, companies won’t have to deal with things such as absenteeism, tardiness, workplace injuries, or discrimination lawsuits. Read more here: Will Employers find cheaper labor with wage increases? Interesting article: Read more; Will Robots Take Our Jobs?

 

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