W.O.W – SUNNY SUNDAY 08/16/15

“Sunny” – What would a Health Blog be without some uplifting, inspirational anecdotes and mantras?

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“The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you might become. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted”

~Oscar Wilde

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At first read this may sound like a depressing quote, but I urge you to read it again. This time hold in your mind’s eye someone that you love  – someone that you loved and lost.

Sometimes Life can feel like a wild ride of staged monotony, obligatory meet-ups, chance encounters and general anticlimactic chaos.

This Sunny Sunday, as we do each month, I am going to challenge you to go outside of this default reaction.

Read the quote a third time. Read it with the intention of promising to try to make your encounters – be they chance, monotonous, obligatory, or chaotic – as purposeful as possible. Look for the good in others. Tell people what they mean to you. Recognize a positive attribute, talent, or skill.

At the very least, smile. Smile at other people you happen to see, for it would be a waste of the goodness in you if you did not.

Stay Well,

MissFit

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W.O.W. – SEASONAL SATURDAY 08/15/15

“Seasonal” – Take a look at how to stay active and make delicious food choices no matter what the temperature is outside.

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Hello dog days of August! And hello to our roommate for the month

The vampire of the insect world: the mosquito.

If any of the following applies to you, you are going to want to continue reading:

  1. You have been told multiple times “oh they [the mosquitoes] just love you! – it’s because you are SO SWEET…”
  2. you have had to wait up stark naked wandering around before falling asleep in order to let your Calamine lotion dry
  3. You have lost at least two sets of sheets to the embarrassing pink stains of Calamine lotion [because the Benadryl made you sleepy]
  4. You have been woken up in the middle of the night in order to itch the additional myriad of bites that seem to have generated while asleep
  5. You have contemplated wearing cloves of garlic around your neck
  6. The day you found quick-dry clear/colorless Calamine lotion at the drug store was an unnaturally exciting day for you
  7. You desperately want to know what it is that spares some people from the hell that is your mosquito-ridden life…

MissFit has some answers!

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart as I came up with those 7 points above from none other than “personal narrative” as we say.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you get bit and then some actions you can take to avoid getting bit!

WHY MOSQUITOES BITE YOU [do the opposite]

  1. You are wearing dark or floral printed clothing
  2. You are standing  near stagnant water [lakes, puddles, dewy grass]
  3. You are wearing scented perfumes, lotions, and cosmetics
  4. You are eating outside with uncovered foods
  5. You are exercising outside [the increased breathing rate causes you to exhale more carbon dioxide and  mosquitoes LOVE carbon dioxide]
  6. You are an adult [related to #5…children emit less carbon dioxide]

SO, YES…

You should wear light-colored, plain clothing, stand in the desert, don’t walk, don’t eat, don’t wear lotion, act like a child, and most importantly, don’t breathe.

OTHER WAYS TO REDUCE BITES

  1. Stay indoors after 5pm
  2. Use essential oil: Lavender, Citronella, Eucalyptus, garlic – hey that garlic clove necklace wasn’t such a bad idea after all…
  3. Plant bug-repellant vegetation around your home: Tan­sies, Marigolds, Cat­nip, Thai Lemon Grass and Cit­ronella Grass *note this will not prevent you getting bitten when you are away from home

If all else fails, build a bat house. Evidently bats eat about 3, 000 mosquitoes a night…

That is your Season Saturday for this month!

Until next time, Stay well!

MissFit

Questions? Comments?

write below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

 

bat house instructions c/o http://www.michigandnr.com

W.O.W. – FUN FACT FRIDAY 08/14/15

“Fun Fact” – Self-explanatory…

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This month’s Fun Fact has little to do with food or nutrition, but offers some Food for Thought.

Did you know that because of Emperor Augustus Caesar, we have the month of “August” and seemingly no rhyme or reason to the number of days in each month?

Allow me to explain:

First and foremost, let’s get one thing clear – we have the month of July thanks to Julius Caesar.

After Julius’s grandnephew Augustus defeated Marc Anthony and Cleopatra and became emperor of Rome, the Roman Senate decided that he too should have a month named after him. Not only did the Senate name a month after Augustus, but it decided that since Julius Caesar’s month [July] had 31 days, Augustus’s month should equal it. This is an important distinction because under the Julian calendar, the months alternated evenly between 30 and 31 days (with the exception of February), which meant the consecutive month of August would only be 30 days long. Because there was concern that the one-day-differential would lead people to believe that Augustus was inferior to Julius in some way, August was lengthened to 31, so that no one could stage that claim.

This one decision radically changed what we now know as the Gregorian Calendar [the one we use today].

To accommodate the change of days in August, two other adjustments were necessary:

  • The extra day needed to inflate the importance of August was taken from February, which originally had 29 days [30 days in a leap year], and was  reduced to 28 days [29 in a leap year].
  • Since the months evenly alternated between 30 and 31 days, adding the extra day to August meant that July, August, and September would all have 31 days. So to avoid three long months in a row, the lengths of the last four months were switched around, giving us 30 days in September, April, June, and November.

There you have it MissFits! Your trivia for this month.  I would love to hear how and when you show off the knowledge, so write me below in the comments and tell me if you were able to work this little gem into conversation this month!

 

Until next time,

Stay well,

MissFit

W.O.W. – THERAPEUTIC THURSDAY 08/13/15

“Therapeutic” – Gain insight into your Actions [sometimes called ‘behaviors’] and how they may be functioning as a direct result of Thoughts and Feelings

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Have you ever had a difficult decision to make and made a Pro-Con list to try and help you?

Theoretically, this makes sense. As human beings we are drawn towards people and situations that  help us survive and thrive – the proverbial “Pros”.

This Therapeutic Thursday, I would like you to consider looking outside the standard Pro-Con box the next time you have a decision, big or small, to make.

The reason here is not because the Pro-Con list is inherently wrong or bad, but rather, because it is incomplete.

A Pro-Con list by its very nature is biased and short-sighted:

Biased: we filter future expectations of positive and negative things on our past and present experience of them; regardless of the truth of these things

Short-sighted: it is not feasible for us to know certainly every good and bad thing that will come of a decision we make because our decisions – even the smallest ones – are connected by little gossamer threads to dozens of other people and scenarios. Some of which we may be aware of; some of which we may not. This is both the beauty and the bane of our life as social creatures.

All of this being said, we know that there is evidence supporting the fact that the best indicator of future behavior has always been and will always be, past behavior [just look at the History books] but when it comes to individual human decision making, when we subscribe fully to this, we run the risk of short-changing ourselves.

For most of us, we don’t know how incredible we can be, or what sort of challenges we can rise to until we are challenged with them. And, most of us, would NEVER have chosen to go through some of the pain and heartache we have but we also know that those times were the periods of the most growth and humility in our lives; and we now look back and say “I wouldn’t change that for anything”…not because it was easy, but because it so profoundly changed us.

The next time you have a decision to make, instead of drawing that line down the center of the page and creating a dichotomy of good and evil for yourself, consider writing down 3-5 things that are most important for you to have, see, be, do, etc and then – based on what you know – which decision seems most likely to get you closer to the things that are important to you. It doesn’t mean it will be without strife or unanticipated hardship, but it DOES mean that you will have established the buy-in for yourself which will keep you focused and dedicated to the decision.

At the end of the day, we can only ever make the best decision we can with the information we have available to us in the moment we are in.

Give yourself the freedom to break away from black and white thinking and focus on what serves your true Self. Let go of fearing the infamous “what ifs” and instead, focus on just how amazing something could  be.

Two quotes I would like to leave you with this Therapeutic Thursday.

To emphasize the point that life is only so predictable,  I will confess: One is from Nelson Mandela and one is from Winnie the Pooh. I’ll let you figure out which is which…

It always seems Impossible until it’s done”

“…always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”

 

Thoughts on this post? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to write me below in Comments or email direct at write.with.ms@email.com

Until next time, Stay well,

MissFit

W.O.W. – WORK IT OUT WEDNESDAY 08/12/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

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What if  I told you that for three minutes a day, you could move towards the Fountain of Youth?

What if I told you that there was something you could do to get amazing cardiovascular benefits that did NOT involve running, Zumba, or other traditional aerobic activity?

What I told you that you don’t need to purchase anything, go to the gym, or sweat to achieve this?

Hell, you don’t even have to wear clothes if you don’t want to.

This month’s Work it Out Wednesday features the wonders of simple Inversion.

Known in yoga practice as Viparita Karani, this inversion can be as simple as raising your feet up and supporting them with a wall or other hard surface. It can also be used to build endurance towards a should or head stand – but, the benefits of the inversion do NOT require that advanced level.

Let’s take a look at the different ways this pose may look in varying stages of ease:

inversion3inversion2inversion4inversion5As you can see in the progression, you may have your torso all the way from a 90 degree to a 180 degree angle, supported or unsupported.  The recommendation is that you start with the wall support and keep your chin up off your chest and your gaze looking upward to protect your neck. The ideal time to hold this pose is 3-5 minutes.

The benefits of inverting the body are well documented in eastern medicine, and becoming more so on the Western front as practices such as yoga gain in popularity.

Inversion profoundly stimulates both the Cardiovascular and Lymphatic systems, working together to combat aging.

Cardiovascular: inversion gives the heart a break… the heart normally has to work VERY hard to defy gravity and get blood flow up to the brain and sensory organs. When you invert yourself, getting your feet above the heart, you reverse the pressure differential and allow the heart to work with gravity to get blood to the brain [the most important organ]. With gravity working in favor, blood floods the carotid arteries in the neck and tiny baroreceptors sense the pressure reversal and slow down the flow of blood. What’s a fancy term for “rate of blood flow”? Blood Pressure. Meaning, there is evidence that inversion can, at a minimum, temporarily lower blood pressure and help prevent varicose veins.

Lymphatic: The lymphatic system is the waste removal system of the body and it, too, is normally working against gravity. When you invert this system, it gets heavily stimulated and works to counter edema [swelling] in the legs and feet as well as clear the sinuses and boost immunity.

According to David Coulter, Ph.D., who taught anatomy at the University of Minnesota for 18 years, when one inverts, tissue fluids of the lower extremities drain—far more effectively than when one is asleep. Areas of congestion clear. In a 1992 Yoga International article on Headstand and the circulatory system, Coulter wrote: “If you can remain in an inverted posture for just 3 to 5 minutes, the blood will not only drain quickly to the heart, but tissue fluids will flow more efficiently into the veins and lymph channels of the lower extremities and of the abdominal and pelvic organs, facilitating a healthier exchange of nutrients and wastes between cells and capillaries.”

There you have it!

Please reach out to MissFit with questions or comments and please exercise safely and know your limits. The cardiovascular benefits are certainly not out-shined if you injure yourself.

Write below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

 

pictures c/o http://www.nhimassageblog.com , http://www.gaiamtv.com , http://www.satyaliveyoga.com , http://www.yogawiz.com

W.O.W. – TRENDING TUESDAY 08/11/15

“Trending” – Every time we turn around there is some other diet that will give us our dream body, some food we simply MUST avoid, or some piece of equipment we MUST buy… stay on top of what’s trending and get tips for thinking critically about marketing ploys.

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It’s August, which still means warm temperatures and late-night sunsets for most.

So, why then are we all feeling a little bit…DARK ?

Well, if you’ve been listening to the news, you know we have Mike Pompeo in Kansas to thank for the black cloud – and not just because it’s tornado season.

DARK = Deny Americans the Right to Know Act.

It is a piece of legislation that has bobbed and weaved around for quite some time now, only to resurface thanks to our pal, Mike.

What exactly does Mike wish to deny us knowing exactly?

What exactly we are putting into our bodies. The DARK Act specifically concerns GMO ingredients and their presence in the foods we eat. According to Mike, there is no reason that Americans should need to know when GMO ‘s are present in their foods. No need whatsoever to be told that our already processed foods have been genetically altered in any number of ways. It appears that his strongest case for keeping us in the dark is that the new labeling would be expensive.

??????

How many foods are we talking about, Mike? Are you implying that so many of our foods contain GMO’s that the addition of two words “contains GMO’s”
would send the labeling/packaging folks into despair and drive product cost up to the point where it is not feasible?

Also, Mike, are you implying that most foods containing GMO’s are foods that come in packaging as oppose to fresh fruits and vegetables that would simply have labeling on store bins ?

Mike, I hate to grill you here, but you aren’t making a whole lot of sense – is it possible that you are making global statements because you aren’t entirely sure what genetic modification looks like or means and you think that because you don’t give a hoot, that no one else should either?

Gee, Mike, I don’t know…if there’s nothing wrong with GMO’s then why would you care if certain foods had that labeling?

Is it possible that maybe we don’t fully understand long-term effects [as with most things the FDA condones] and that you are just a teensy-weensy bit afraid of what would happen if the public gets too wise?

You know we have seen this before… try to keep people illiterate so they don’t rise up. I wont go into specifics but I’m pretty sure we know how that usually turns out.

Listen, Mike, I would be willing to concede that maybe GMO labeling is not the most important thing we have going on globally right now, HOWEVER, as a consumer, if there is truly nothing to hide, it stands to reason there should be full disclosure about processing, chemicals, additives, and the like. You putting up these defenses, Mike, makes me feel a bit like you are upset we know too much. And pretty soon we will be too healthy to need constant pharmaceuticals…?

Lastly, there was a time when we didnt have warning labels on cigarette cartons – do you remember that?  I’m truly trying to look out for you, Mike, I wouldn’t want you to make a fool of yourself a few decades from now.

Click here to sign the petition to Oppose the DARK Act

Please note, the first page is the petition, the second page will bring you to a donation page. There is NO requirement to give money in order to sign the petition. Once you have put your name and email on the first page, you have in fact signed the petition.

Stay well,

MissFit

Question? Comments?

write below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com

MissFit has no affiliation with EWG, Mike Pompeo, or the Republican party in Kansas. She has received no royalties for or against the DARK Act.

W.O.W. – MAKE IT HAPPEN MONDAY 08/10/15

“Make it Happen” – Start off the business week with positive reinforcements, tips and tricks for bringing yourself success in your work, your wellness, and your wealth.

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Another Monday!

Hard to believe that it has already been 3 months since we likened poor poor Monday to our Ex-significant other.

Did you know that Monday is slated as the most common day people promise to start eating better?

It’s always “the diet starts on Monday!” And usually, with good intention, the process unfolds…the trip to the grocery store… the buying of fruits and vegetables…the subsequent washing, cutting, and Tupperware-ing of said fruits and vegetables…out comes the juicer…out comes the food scale…the snack-size Ziploc baggies…the lunchbox is dusted off, packed, and you head to bed Sunday night with all the hope, belief, and positive intent in the world that THIS IS YOUR WEEK.

THIS MONDAY is the Monday where it all changes. All those other Mondays were just practice for this Monday.

Sounding familiar?

We are all guilty of it. Or, at the very least, know at least 5 people guilty of it.

Whether today was that Monday for you, or whether you keep hoping that next Monday will be your big break, I encourage you to allow yourself 8 minutes to be inspired by a seemingly unlikely hero: Ernestine Shepherd.

Forget about a new “diet”.  Forget about this constant obsession with “giving up” something in order to be healthy. This Monday, I challenge you to consider all of the ways in which fitness will ENRICH your life, not deprive you.

Focus on a healthy, positive change you can institute that works you towards a lifelong sense of well-being – not a crash course in starvation or deprivation.

MissFits, there is truly no time like the present. Don’t wait for another Monday to make a change. Make it Happen.

Stay well,

MissFit

Questions? Thoughts?

write below or email direct to write.with.ms@gmail.com