Did you know that, anytime or anyplace, you can experience the peace that is always with you but gets covered up with inner “noise”.
It’s called a “mini meditation”.
I was listening to a video recently where Eckart Tolle, Author of “The Power of Now” shares about these simple “mini-meditations”.
Even if you don’t think you have “time” to meditate the tip I am going to share with you only takes one minute or less!
A mini meditation is taking one full completely conscious breath. That’s it, that is all you have to do.
It’s bringing your awareness back into the present moment by taking a deep breath in and out. As you breath in on the inhale, be become aware of what is going on in your body. Feeling the rib cage expand and as you exhale feeling the rib cage contract.
My family and I live in the swamp. I’m not kidding, we really do. We live in Gainesville Florida which is know as “the swamp”. Let’s just say that we need a really good bug spray that actually works around here.
Using an all natural non-toxic bug spray is super important to your health. You don’t need to spray toxic chemicals on your body to keep the bugs away!
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that our skin is the largest organ in our body and everything we put on our skin gets absorbed into our body quickly and into our blood stream.
Many of the commercial bug sprays contain DEET and other harmful chemicals.
“DEET is especially dangerous for small children. Seizures may occur in small children who are consistently exposed to DEET on their skin for long periods of time.”
The Environmental Associations of Nova Scotia reported that most serious concerns about DEET are its effects on the central nervous system. Dr. Mohammed Abou-Donia of Duke University studied lab animals’ performance of neuro-behavioral tasks requiring muscle co-ordination. He found that lab animals exposed to the equivalent of average human doses of DEET performed far worse than untreated animals. Abou-Donia also found that combined exposure to DEET and permethrin, a mosquito spray ingredient, can lead to motor deficits and learning and memory dysfunction.
We absolutely love this natural bug repellent because not only does it work but it smells amazing and is really good for your skin! It has become such a hit with our family that we have been making them for tons of people.
This bug spray uses the amazing power of plants!
Plants are so awesome! They have their own built in bug repellent. They produce essential oils that protects them from bugs, fungi, and bacteria. When we apply those essential oils to our bodies, they can do the same for us! I’m a huge gardening nerd and I think that is just so cool!
In this natural bug repellent recipe, the essential oils of geranium, peppermint, lavender and lemongrass are used. There are many other essential oils that keep bugs away as well. This particular recipe we have used here in the “swamp”, the mountains, and at the beach and it works amazing!
Mix essential oils in a small spray bottle, add coconut oil to fill, shake well before each use. Spay onto exposed areas of the skin.
Not only is this all-natural bug repellent going to keep the bugs off, but it is actually really GOOD for your skin!
Lavender and Geranium have been used for thousands of years for their skin beautifying properties! We all know how good coconut oil is for the skin, so you can feel super good about this bug repellent!
It’s very IMPORTANT to use pure essential oils. You may have noticed but just about everywhere sells them these days. They are not all created equal and you need to make sure that your oil is potent and pure or it’s just not going to work nearly as well. Or it may not work at all.
Is your life noisy? Sometimes we get so used to the noise that we forget what it’s like to be in a place where the only sounds are the sounds of nature.
When was the last time that all you heard was the sound of birds, the breeze rustling through the trees, and the sounds of your footsteps on a gravel path?
Perhaps it’s time to immerse yourself in nature.
To take a walk in the woods, a park, the countryside, a quiet place far away from the noise of the town and city. There is nothing quite like taking a walk in nature.
Nature does good things to the human brain. It makes us healthier, happier, and smarter.
We have so much noise in our lives today.
As I sit here now writing this blog post, I can hear the traffic outside my window, a fire alarm going off in the distance, our air conditioning unit, voices outside, the buzz of electricity. It’s all around us all the time.
“A concrete jungle destroys the human spirit,” former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew once said.
People who spend time in nature are happier, healthier and more creative
We get to leave all that noise behind by taking a walk in nature. It is soothing and comforting to the soul.
The whole body relaxes and stress and tension melt away. Worries seem far away and we become absorbed almost in an instant into the present moment.
Here are 5 reasons why taking a walk in nature is good for your health:
1. Nature is a powerful anti-depressant
Research suggests that our relationship with nature may be deeply linked to that of our happiness.
Studies show that walking in nature decreases rumination. Rumination refers to the tendency to repetitively think about the causes, situational factors, and consequences of one’s negative emotional experience (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991). Basically, rumination means that you continuously think about the various aspects of situations that are upsetting.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Lose yourself in nature and find peace”.
2. Walking in nature is a stress reducer
Japanese researchers led by Yoshifumi Miyazaki at Chiba University sent 84 subjects to stroll in seven different forests, while the same number of volunteers walked around city centers. The forest walkers hit a relaxation jackpot: Overall they showed a 16 percent decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, a 2 percent drop in blood pressure, and a 4 percent drop in heart rate.
Miyazaki believes our bodies relax in pleasant, natural surroundings because they evolved there. Our senses are adapted to interpret in- formation about plants and streams, he says, not traffic and high-rises.
3. Walking in nature is good for our children
Today, children are spending less and less time outdoors in nature and more time indoors in front of devices and video games.
The average American child is said to spend 4 to 7 minutes a day in unstructured play outdoors, and over 7 hours a day in front of a screen. This is frightening.
More then ever we need to expose our children to nature. Research shows the following positive benefits of getting our children out into nature.
There are infinite health benefits for our children when they get out into nature.
Being in nature instills a sense of calmness in children. Children with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are better able to concentrate after contact with nature (Taylor et al. 2001).
Children with views of and contact with nature score higher on tests of concentration and self-discipline. The greener, the better the scores (Wells 2000, Taylor et al. 2002).
Nature helps children build self esteem because nature does not judge people.
A walk in nature teaches children to engage all the senses. It also helps children learn to be gentle and respectful of living things.
4. Vitamin D
Something you just won’t get inside the gym is the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D. One of the benefits of getting out into nature is getting a good dose of vitamin D from the sun.
Vitamin D is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system. Getting enough of this vital vitamin (actually a hormone) has been linked with prevention of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease.
Natural Vitamin D is always better then supplementation. So get your dose while enjoying a peaceful walk in nature.
5. Improved Sleep
If you have trouble sleeping then get outside! A walk in nature can greatly improve your quality of sleep.
Spending too much time inside can alter our circadian rhythms. Our circadian rhythms are naturally tied to the sun’s schedule.
Spending too much time indoors in artificial light and too much screen time can alter these natural rhythms. Research shows that exposure to sunlight (especially early morning) has been shown to help people get better sleep.
Find a place in nature that you can take a walk by yourself or with friends and loved ones.
You might just take your worries to the woods and leave them there.
I would love to hear how you like to connect with nature. What is your favorite activity to do out in nature? Share and comment below!
While visiting Europe last summer, we discovered something very different about the bread that they eat. It’s much different then the bread you find here in the grocery store. It is delicious!
While in England we spoke with a farmer who had been to the states on holiday with his family. He said he his family was shocked at how sweet our bread tasted.
After returning to the US we have been on a quest to find “good bread”.
My husband even started making his own bread for a while and that was definitely better, but now we are onto something so healthy and so delicious and actually it was the way bread was first made long ago.
This week’s Baby Step To Better Health is simple, try a loaf of sprouted bread.
The Sad State of American Bread
First, let’s take a look at what is wrong with our bread.
Most breads in the US is made with cheap, bleached, enriched white four.
Did you know that most breads contain a chemical, azodicarbonamide, that is used to make yoga mats? I was quite horrified to find this this out as I researched what is found in our “bread”.
It’s time to awaken to what is really in our bread!
GMO’s (Genetically modified organisms) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering.
I found it very interesting to learn that some GMOs are created by inserting a toxic pesticide into the seed itself to make an insect’s stomach explode when they try to eat it.
The food industry wants everything done quickly and cheaply, and so they use unnecessary dough conditioners to make the process faster in their big machinery.
One of the ingredients found in most breads is azodicarbonamide, (banned all over the world) yet still approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food as a bleaching agent and dough conditioner.
The Environmental Working Group published a list of nearly 500 food products containing the chemical, including Little Debbie Honey Buns, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, and many items served at McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks.
This same chemical is also used to make yoga mats.
Nature’s Own, Arnold, Wonderbread, Martin’s, Sara Lee, and many other popular brands are guilty of using dough conditioners.
Do you or your child have trouble with focus and concentration?
Essential oils can be a safe natural solution to used to improve focus and concentration. I love to diffuse oils when my boys are doing homework. It helps to calm them down and help them to focus better.
7 Essential Oils For Focus and Concentration
#1 Vetiver Oil
Sourced from the roots of some grass first found in India, this oil helps to ease tension and improve focus and concentration. Vetiver is very grounding, calming, and stabilizing.
How to apply: Apply one or two drops on the toes every morning and evening. You can also diffuse or inhale it as needed.
#2 Cedarwood Oil
Cedarwood oil is known to stimulate the thought process and mental synergy helping to improve focus and attention.
How to apply: Apply to the neck, temples or base of the skull. You can also diffuse or inhale it as needed.
#3 Lavender Oil
Lavender is well known to induce sleep and promote relaxation. This oil also helps to improve concentration and focus because it helps reduce stress levels and calms the mind.
How to apply: Apply one or two drops on the neck or the bottom of your feet every morning and evening. You can also diffuse or inhale it as needed.
It is that time of year again. As the holidays approach, our lives seem to get busier, more hectic and stressful.
Aren’t we supposed to slow down and actually have time to enjoy the holidays?
Here are some tips to help you get through the holiday season with less stress and more fun.
10 Tips For a Stress-Free Holiday
#1 – Get It In Early
Plan ahead and get your shopping done early. Take some time to think about what you need to get and go ahead and get your shopping done before everyone else. You will have less stress and actually enjoy it more.
#2 – Plan It Out
Structure is your friend. Go ahead and sit down with your Peppermint Hot Chocolate and your calendar and plan out your Holiday schedule. Put everything on the calendar, this will get it all out of your head and seeing it all laid out will help you better organize it all and keep your from feeling overwhelmed.
#3 – Be Flexible
Even though you may have put everything on your calendar and planned it out, unexpected things are going to come up. Be flexible and understand that this will happen and once in a while you may need to adapt to handle the situation.
#4 – Make It Fun
Remember, the holidays are supposed to be fun. Put on some music and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of the holiday season. One of my favorite things to do is make Christmas crafts with my boys, and drink yummy hot chocolate together. Sometimes we hop in the car with our hot chocolate and drive around looking at lights.
#5 – Simplify
Make things easy for yourself. Bigger isn’t always better. Do you really need the biggest Christmas tree in the neighborhood? Do you really need to have every edge of your house outlined with Christmas lights? We all love to get out the decorations, but often all of those things just clutter up our surroundings and keep us from truly enjoying them. This year try to simplfy, you can still have an amazing looking home with just a few nice decorations.