Monthly Archives: January 2017

February Heart Health Month

Posted by Colleen

February is Heart Health Month and February 5th is Women’s Heart Health Day. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

By making right choices in the food you eat, by  exercising and lifestyle choices you can often prevent health issues such as heart disease.

  • Engage in regular exercise
  • Adopt a food lifestyle low in sodium, eat good fats, example fish, olive oil and avocado
  • Maintain a normal weight
  • Avoid smoking
  • Limit alcoholic beverages
  • Eat a food lifestyle of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and whole grains
  • Meditation and relaxation – reduce stress

Flu Season

Posted by Colleen

Wow! Have any of you gotten the flu this year?  For the past three weeks I have been out of commission due to the flu.  The last time I was this sick was in January four years ago.

I was thinking why this time of year?  For me it’s the transition from summer and fall weather to winter and colder temperatures.  Where I live we had snow and very cold temperatures in December and January.   Also, the stresses of the holiday, being out in bigger crowds and for me I spent both holidays away from home, out of my usual environment and routine.  The holidays also mean indulging in foods that I don’t normally eat so then the immune system weakens and BAMB – sick.

How can we help protect ourselves from the flu?  Well, we’ve heard these tips before but during this time of year we really need to be vigilant about practicing these simple tips:

  1.  Hand washing – prevent the spread of germs
  2.  Cover your cough – use the inside of your arm or tissue to cover your mouth and nose when coughing
  3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  4. Stay home from work when you are sick
  5. Don’t send your child to school sick
  6. Eat vegetables, leafy greens, fruit, prebiotic and probiotic foods to help your immune system

Hope you have a healthy winter season!

NEW COLORS FOR HOME DECOR TRENDS 2017

posted by Caroline

The new colors for home decor trends in 2017:

Confident palette: Dusky blues, blue-green, spicy reds, lime greens  for                                creative social types of decor

Composed palette: Earthy greens and taupes – Traditional to contemporary looks

Comfortable with pale pastels: light pinks, blues and yellows make small places popp

see great examples of different rooms and living spaces. Paint is an inexpensive solution for making changes in your home.

Read full article and images  Elledecor

Weather Event/Natural Disaster Preparedness

Posted by Colleen

Right now there are many weather events happening across the United States as well as in other countries. BE PREPARED!
Depending on what type of event is happening there are things you can do to prepare and have items on hand. Here is a short guide but you can find information by going to your states website for an informational list of things you can do to prepare for a natural disaster.

1. Identify potential natural disaster hazards in your home
Look for items that may fall, topple or slide. Secure potentially hazardous or valuable items in your home.

2. Create a disaster preparedness plan
Plan to be safe before, during and after the disaster.
Before – Identify an out-of-area contact person to call to relay information to other family members and have a safe meet up place planned if needed. Make copies of important documents and keep in a water/fire proof container. Have flashlights and batteries on hand, know how to use a fire extinguisher, have medications on hand, add “NOAA Weather Radar and Alerts” app to your smartphone.
During – Look for safe spots in your home to stay, protect yourself from weather conditions.
After – Shut off utilities if needed, call for help if needed and get to a safe location if needed.

3. Prepare event supply kit
Personal – medications, contact information, first aide kit, emergency cash, change of clothing, gloves and mask, eye glasses, blanket and sturdy shoes in case you need to walk some where.
Household- water (1 gal/per day/per person), canned foods and can opener, propane or charcoal for out door cooking, matches, and any special diet foods if needed.
Automobile – Full tank of gas, shovel, chains, jumper cable, emergency radio and blankets.

4. Scenarios
Flooding – listen to the radio or other communication device, move to higher ground if possibility of flash flooding, watch for down power lines, do not drive in flooded areas.
Winter storms/extreme cold – listen for updates about the weather, have rock salt, kitty liter or sand to help melt and get traction on ice, eat and drink regularly, watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia, have a heat source if possible even candles can be used for a heat source.
Earthquake – listen to the radio or other communication device, take cover under something sturdy until shaking stops, and stay away from glass or objects that may fall on you, stay indoors if possible until shaking stops. If you are outdoors move away from buildings, streetlights and utility wires.
If you are in a moving vehicle stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle, avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses and utility wires.
In your home keep an extra supply of food on hand, canned food, snacks and boxed food, water and any special foods that a person may need because of any health condition and keep your cell phone charged.

 

Consciousness and the Universe

Posted by Colleen

Here is an article that I came across and I wanted to share.  I am always fascinated with articles about consciousness and the universe.

Why You and the Universe Are One

By Deepak Chopra, MD, Menas Kafatos, PhD,

It takes a lot to overturn the accepted view of reality, but it doesn’t take a lot to begin. The accepted view of reality holds that human beings exist in the context of a vast physical universe “out there.” Only an extreme mystic would doubt this description, but all of us should. Sir John Eccles, a famous British neurologist and Nobel laureate, declared, “I want you to realize that there exists no color in the natural world, and no sound – nothing of this kind; no textures, no patterns, no beauty, no scent.” What Eccles means is that all the qualities of Nature, from the luxurious scent of a rose to the sting of a wasp and the taste of honey, are produced by human beings. Erwin Schrödinger, one of the main founders of quantum mechanics, said essentially the same thing when he declared that photons, quanta of light, have no color, such properties arise in the biology of perception.

Those are remarkable statements, all the more because they are all-inclusive. The most distant galaxies billions of light years away, have no reality without you, because everything that makes any galaxy real— with the multitude of stars with their heat, emitted light, and masses, the positions of the distant galaxies in space and the velocity that carries each distant galaxy away at enormous speed—requires a human observer with a human nervous system.  If no one existed to experience heat, light, mass, and so on, nothing could be real as we know it. If the qualities of Nature are a human construct arising from human experiences, the existence of the physical universe “out there” must be seriously questioned–and along with it, our participation in such a universe.

When you break experience down into its tiniest ingredients, the physicality of everything begins to vanish. The story we keep telling ourselves depends on reality “out there” having a physical explanation, but it doesn’t. For example, we depend on sight to navigate through the world. No matter what you see “out there”—an apple, cloud, mountain, or tree—light bouncing off the object makes it visible, but how? No one knows. What makes seeing totally mysterious can be summed up in a few undeniable facts:

  • Photons, the quanta of light, are invisible. They aren’t bright, even though you see sunlight as bright.
  • The brain has essentially zero light inside it, being a dark mass of oatmeal-textured cells enveloped in a fluid that is not terribly different from sea water. (There are extremely faint traces of photon activity in the brain, but the optic nerve doesn’t transmit photons to the visual cortex.)
  • Because there is no light to speak off in the brain, there are no pictures or images, either. When you imagine the face of a loved one, nowhere in the brain does that face exist like a photograph. How do action potentials in neuron electric firings become conscious awareness, no one knows.

At present no one can explain how invisible photons being converted to chemical reactions and faint electrical impulses in the brain creates the three-dimensional reality we all take for granted. Brain scans pick up the electrical activity, which is why an fMRI contains patches of brightness and color. So something is going on in the brain. But the actual nature of sight itself is mysterious. One thing is known, however. The creation of sight is done by you. Without you, the entire world—and the vast universe extending in all directions—can’t exist.

Expand this known fact to everything you experience, and every quality of life requires human participation. “Requires” means two things, first, that experience is the ground state of everything, including the activity of doing science, and second, that every quality is a human construct derived from experiences of individuals in human species. Another species with a different nervous system would participate in the universe in a way completely unknown to us with our human nervous system.

Physics has had decades to process the insight of John Archibald Wheeler, the eminent American physicist, general relativist and quantum physicist, who originated the notion of a “participatory universe,” a cosmos in which all of us are embedded as co-creators, replacing the accepted universe “out there,” which is separate from us. Wheeler used the image of children with their noses pressed against a bakery window to describe the view that kept the observer separate from the thing being observed. But in a fully participatory universe, the observer and the thing observed are one.

You are one with the universe because you experience Nature in your awareness, and there is no other source for reality as we know it. If anything is real that cannot enter human consciousness, we will never know it. How would we even know it? Even if we resort to abstract mathematics which might infer the existence of realities beyond our ability to sense them or measure them, we should realize that mathematics itself, albeit the most refined one, is tied to human observers. It takes a mathematician to understand mathematics. To summarize

  • The universe we live in is a human construct, including everything in it.
  • All activity takes place in consciousness. If you want to point at where the stars are, there is no physical location, because consciousness isn’t a “thing.”
  • The brain isn’t the seat of consciousness but acts more like a radio receiver, and perhaps emitter, translating conscious activity into physical correlates. (The radio receiver metaphor describes the feedback loop between mind and brain, which are actually not separate but part of the same complementary activity in consciousness.)
  • To understand our true participation in the universe, we must learn much more about awareness and how it turns mind into matter and vice versa.

These are difficult truths for mainstream scientists to accept, and some would react to them with skepticism, disbelief, or anger. But following the other track of explanation, beginning with physical objects “out there,” fails utterly to explain how we are conscious to begin with. That’s why in scattered pockets, some physicists are beginning to talk about a conscious universe, where consciousness is a given throughout Nature. In fact, the founders of quantum mechanics a century ago agreed more with this view, having understood that quantum mechanics implies observation and agency of mind. In our upcoming book You Are the Universewe call it the human universe, emphasizing where the whole construct comes from. As we will see in future posts, once you realize that you and the universe are one, the whole journey of being human shifts radically.

Diets 2017

Posted by Colleen

We are only a few days into 2017 and a list of the best diets have already appeared.  Also, have you noticed all the ads on television for diets and exercise equipment?  Is there a diet on the list that you have tried and liked best?  Leave us a comment.

U.S. News & World Report Reveals Best Diets Rankings for 2017

Just in time for the New Year, rankings offer Best Overall Diets, Best Diets for Weight Loss and more.

Jan. 4, 2017, at 8:15 a.m.

Washington, D.C. – Jan. 4, 2017 – U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today released its annual assessment of the year’s Best Diets. In addition to rankings, the online portal offers a collection of critical data and information about diet plans to help the estimated 45 million Americans who diet each year – and millions more globally – achieve healthier lifestyles.

For the seventh year in a row, the DASH diet has been rated Best Diet Overall, followed by the Mediterranean diet, up from fourth place last year. The MIND diet, second last year, comes in third, and is followed by a four-way tie for fourth place: the Flexitarian diet, Mayo Clinic Diet, the TLC diet and Weight Watchers.

U.S. News’ Best Diets 2017 offers rankings of 38 diet plans across nine categories: in addition to the Best Diets Overall, this year’s lists can help people find the Best Weight-Loss Diets, Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets, Easiest Diets to Follow, Best Commercial Diets, Best Diets for Healthy Eating, Best Plant-Based Diets and best diets for conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

To calculate the rankings, U.S. News convened an expert panel of the country’s top nutritionists, dietary consultants and physicians specializing in diabetes, heart health and weight loss. Through an in-depth survey, each panelist considered the 38 diets across several dimensions, including ease of compliance, likelihood of losing significant weight in the short and long term, and effectiveness against cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This year, U.S. News updated the Best Diets survey and methodology; for further details, please click here.

“There is a clearly established theme of healthful eating, relevant across generations, geography, and health concerns that could add years to lives, and life to years,” said expert panelist David Katz, MD, Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center. “By profiling diverse diets, this important, annual report can help reaffirm the fundamentals of better eating for all, while empowering people to make well-informed, personalized choices. The ‘best’ diet, like the best exercise, is the one you actually manage to practice and maintain.”

U.S. News 2017 Best Diets Rankings

Full lists available here.

Best Diets Overall
1. DASH diet
2. Mediterranean diet
3. MIND diet

Best Commercial Diets
1. Mayo Clinic Diet
1. Weight Watchers
3. Jenny Craig

Best Weight-Loss Diets
1. Weight Watchers
2. Jenny Craig
2. Volumetrics

Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets
1. HMR Program
1. Weight Watchers
3. Biggest Loser

Best Diets For Healthy Eating
1. DASH diet
2. Mediterranean diet
3. MIND diet

Easiest Diets to Follow
1. Fertility diet
1. Mediterranean diet
1. MIND diet
1. Weight Watchers

Best Diets for Diabetes
1. DASH diet
2. Mediterranean diet
2. Vegan diet

Best Diets for Heart Disease
1. DASH diet
1. Ornish diet
3. TLC diet

Best Plant-Based Diets
1. Mediterranean diet
2. Flexitarian diet
3. Vegetarian diet

New Year, New You

Posted by Colleen

Did you make a New Year resolution?  Like many people, I use too but I don’t any longer. Statistics show 80 % of resolutions fail. We can feel guilty of indulgences during the holiday season and the calendar gives us a sense of a fresh start.

A resolution is little more than a wish list unless you have a vision to make you feel you’re making progress in what ever you want to change.  Whether it is losing 10 pounds, eating healthier or quit smoking create a specific vision. You will need a compelling vision, a strong enough reason to get you through and review and feel it everyday. Best wishes for a healthy new year!