Category Archives: Internal

mental, emotional and other internal aspects that affect your overall well-being

Body Positivity 🧜‍♀️ or 🐋

We originally shared this circa 2010 on one of the predecessors to this site after receiving a very interesting email sent to us by a friend. We loved the positive body image it encouraged and have decided to share it again here. If anyone knows who the original author is, please feel free to post it in the comments of the page. 

https://sites.google.com/site/eclassventures/health-and-fitness

Recently,  in a large French city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan
 woman appeared in the window of a gym.  It said:

THIS SUMMER DO YOU WANT TO BE A MERMAID OR A WHALE? 

 A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match
 those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern: 
Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions,  curious  humans).  They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales.  They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.  They play and swim in the seas, seeing  wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia. Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.  They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don’t exist.  If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis.  Fish or human?  They don’t have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them not to mention how could they have sex?  Therefore they don’t have kids either.  Not to mention who  wants to get close to a girl who’s skin is all scaly and smells like a fish store?

 The choice is perfectly clear to me… I want to be a whale.

 P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that  only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with  my grandkids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a
 latte with my friends.  With time, we gain weight because we  accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is  no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies.  So we aren’t heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.

Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, “Good gosh, look how smart I am”!

Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com

Make the choice to love your body even if you’re working to make changes. Decide to enjoy the journey and the body that’s transporting you on the journey and make it a hot girl summer!

How to Select Fresh and Ripe Fruit

Selecting ripe fruit is easy if you know what to look for. These tips will help you select ripe fruit that is ready to be taken home and eaten.

🍇Grapes

If white grapes are ripe they will have a yellow tint to them. Red grapes will have a deep color and every grape will be about the same shade. While still in the store shake the grape stalk. If more than a grape or two fall off they are overripe and will not taste as good.

Kiwi

The skin of the kiwi should be free from bruises. Softly press on the kiwi and if it gives slightly it is ripe. If you are able to push into this fruit and it has a mushy feel then it is no longer good.

Apples

To select a ripe apple look at the skin of the apple. It should be free from bruises and nicks. Apples with a lot of green, besides the Granny Smith apples, are not ripe. The apple should be firm to the touch as well. It should not feel hard but it should not have a mushy texture either.

Oranges

There is an easy way to tell if an orange is ripe. Run your hands around the fruit. It should have a plump feel to it. The surface of the orange will be smooth. It should also feel heavy when held. If the orange passes the above testing then give it a light squeeze. The fingers should be able to bounce back without a problem. The orange should have an oval shape. It if is too round then the orange is under ripe and will have a bitter taste.

Tangerine

To tell if this fruit is ripe look at the color. If there is some green on the fruit that means that it is not ripe. Give the tangerine a light squeeze. Like the orange, if the fruit is ripe, it will bounce back and will not be mushy. The tangerine should also have a bit of a heavy feeling to it as well.

Strawberries

To find the best strawberries; they should be plump, have a deep red color, and be shiny. The cap should be securely attached. The berries should be medium sized since they will contain less water than larger berries. Avoid berries that are green or have a pale color to them.

Blackberries

These berries will not be glossy and will have a little bit of a dull look when they are ripe. The best time for blackberries is the midsummer. The berries should be plump and dark.

Blueberries

Blueberries are at their best from June to August. When purchasing these berries they should be blue in color and should not even have a tint of red to them. The berries will have a bit of a silver look that is shimmery. That means they are ready and at their peak. These berries will not continue to ripen once they are picked so it is important to select carefully when purchasing them.

Plum

When looking for a ripe plum it should be heavy, but it should not be too soft. If the plum is very soft it is overripe. When squeezing the plum it should have a little bit of a give to it and not be mushy. The plum should also have a deep color.

Cherries

Cherries will have a deep, almost black, color when they are ripe. The cherry should be firm to the touch. It will also be juicy when bitten into. The stem should be firmly attached to the cherry but it should twist off without a problem.

Avocado

Avocados have become very popular over the past couple of years. They are full of healthy fatty acids that are good for the body. When purchasing a ripe avocado there are some things to look for. The avocado should have a very deep color, almost black. If it is green then it is not ready. The avocado should yield to some gentle pressure when squeezed. If it is too soft or too firm then it is not ready to eat.

These are some ways to tell if these popular fruits are ripe and ready to eat. By giving these fruits these simple tests it will help you, as a consumer, determine that you are getting the best tasting fruit.

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Hugs Are Good For Your Health

I think we all would agree that nutrition and exercise are important to living a healthy and productive life. Today, I’m going to talk about something else that might surprise you, but some say could be just as important as nutrition and exercise.

When was the last time you gave or received a hug? It turns out that hugs just may be the secret ingredient to a better, more productive, healthier life.

Hugs have been on my mind the last couple of days. It’s been almost 12 weeks since I’ve seen my husband and as I write this, he is on his way home! There are a lot of things I miss when he is gone, and even though neither one of us are touchy-feely type of people, I’m always waiting most for that first hug when he walks in the door.

Think about the last time someone gave you a hug… it didn’t even have to be from a significant other. Maybe it was a friend or your parent or a child, maybe even a stranger… often times when I’m discharging a patient from the hospital, they will give me a hug and say thank you. No matter who the hugs come from, they always make me feel good.

Well, it turns out that it’s not just me. Hugs are good for your health! There are several studies showing that positive human contact through hugs reduces stress, slows breathing and heart rate, and lowers blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart disease. Hugs have also been shown to ease tension, improve moods, and release fear.

Studies have shown that when we hug, we increase the level of the hormone oxytocin in our blood. Oxytocin is known as the “bonding hormone” because when it is released, it causes a “bonding” or “caring” response in people. A daily dose of oxytocin from hugging can help prevent heart disease because as the levels in our blood increase, our blood pressure drops. About one in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, which is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, so just think of all the positive benefits that could come from sharing hugs every day!

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD is quoted as saying “Hugging is all natural; it is organic, naturally sweet, no pesticides, non-fattening, no carbohydrates, no preservatives, no artificial or genetically engineered ingredients, and 100% wholesome.”

Several sources suggest that everyone needs at least four hugs a day for healthy survival, eight hugs a day for emotional strength, and 12 hugs a day to really grow and be empowered. That might sound like a lot of hugging to you, so maybe you just need to start by giving your husband, wife, or special someone a hug at least once a day. And don’t forget to give your kids (the big ones and the little ones) hugs… we all need and benefit from hugs, no matter what our age.

One thing to remember is that in order to benefit from hugs, they need to be open and sincere. Some people don’t like to be touched, so before you hug a complete stranger or someone who you know likes their personal space, ask them if it would be OK if you give them a hug. As you go about your day, think about someone who might feel better if they got a hug from you today. And remember, not only will they feel better but you will to.

I’m thankful that when my husband is away from home, I have other family and friends around to give me a hug once in a while. I have a friend who gives the best hugs ever… she wraps her arms around and holds on tight. If you live alone and feel like you don’t have anyone to hug, then join a group or club (maybe a ladies group at your church or sport team) or volunteer with senior citizens or children. Any time that you are meeting and greeting people or saying goodbye is an opportunity for you to give a hug.

I think the following saying says it all, so I thought I’d share it with you:

“Hugs are not only nice, they are needed. Hugs can help relieve pain and depression, make the healthy healthier, the happy happier, and the most secure among us even more so.

Hugging feels good, overcomes fears, eases tension, provides stretching exercises if you are tall. Hugging also does not upset the environment, saves heat, is portable, requires no special equipment, makes happy days happier and impossible days possible.” (Author Unknown)

I totally agree with everything that author says about hugs. When I close my eyes and think real hard, I can almost feel the stress melt away when I get a hug from my husband… it’s like a big sigh. And I am so excited that in less than two hours he will be walking through the door and I won’t have to dream about it anymore… I can’t wait for that first hug!

What are you waiting for? Hugs are good for your health… Go hug someone!

Jandi Theis is a Wellness Coordinator and Registered Nurse. She has a strong passion to help people understand that they have the power to control their health and happiness. She offers simple and convenient solutions, empowering people to live their lives filled with health, happiness, and love. To learn more about Jandi, whole-food based nutrition, or to get some simple encouragement for everyday living, visit [http://www.everydayencouragement.com].

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jandi_Theis/1032926

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Want to Change Your Life in 2021? START with Your Environment

Chances are you’ve come up with some pretty elaborate plans to trick yourself into being more productive.

Have you considered the role your surroundings play in your everyday life? It turns out that one of the easiest ways to bring about change in our lives is actually to change our environments. This is one of the first areas I thought of when I first started E-Class Ventures all those years ago. As a youth I often tried to change my room (as much as I was allowed) to improve my mood with varying levels of success. It ranged from constantly rearranging (pre feng shui craze) to try the make the most of very limited space to painting in perhaps not the best color palette for an already cramped room. All of that to say environment impacts your mood, productivity and this overall wellness.

What if the layout of your bedroom or the distance from your desk to the kitchen was impacting your productivity and decision making? There’s plenty of room for each of us to improve. Here’s how and why making some changes to your environment works.

Your brain is efficient
Making decisions is draining. (Heard of “decision fatigue”? It’s real!) We can only make so many choices per day before we start to run out of steam and need a rest. But we’re faced with countless choices every time we wake up! Should I go back to sleep? Should I shower or brush my teeth first? What will I wear to work? Should I try out that new shortcut to the office? It can become stressful for your brain to struggle with a choice every time one of these little prompts presents itself. That’s why we rely on decision shortcuts called habits.

A habit is just a routine that you regularly perform. Most of the time we don’t even notice that we’re engaging in a habit because it’s second nature to us. And there’s a reason for that. It’s your brain saving energy by going on autopilot to perform an action without having to make a decision. That way you can use the bulk of your mental power on unique and important problems that might pop up during the day, not on thinking about when you should brush your teeth!

Trick yourself into making wise decisions
What does your brain’s love of shortcuts have to do with your environment? Let’s look at an example.

Your alarm clock is right next to your bed. It goes off every morning at 7:30am. It doesn’t take you long to figure out that you can smack the snooze button and go straight back to sleep with hardly any effort. Before long you’re hitting the snooze button every time the alarm goes off without even thinking about it. You’ve trained yourself to sleep in later by making your alarm easier to turn off. But what if your alarm was on the other side of your room? What if to silence it you had to stand up, walk over, and hit a button? That simple change could give you the jolt that you need to wake up and get your day started on time!

Take a look at your surroundings and ask yourself what kind of behavior it encourages. Is it more convenient for you to grab a soda from the fridge or fill up your water bottle? When you work at home, are you in the middle of distractions like the kids playing or too close to the TV? At work (aka as home for a lot of us since the pandemic), does your office layout lend itself to productivity or socializing with your co-workers?

It might take some legwork to get started, but try to arrange your life in a way that makes wise decisions easier. You might be surprised by the results!

What’s one thing you’ve done to change your environment this year that has had a positive effect on your life? How are you going to continue our improve upon that charge for 2021? Share it below.

4 Big reasons to fix meals at home instead of eating out

Right now in the US we’re all at a certain level of sheltering in place at home. While we all love to eat out, it might not be as easy to do depending upon your location and what phase of reopening your community is in. So besides the obvious obstacle, what are some other reasons to eat at home or at least put eating at home in a positive light?

Spending some precious quality time with your family.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

In a lot of homes, family dinner was a thing of the past prior to this global pandemic. We were all just too busy doing other things outside of the home. This can be a good time to reconnect with your family, not just around the dinner table but in the kitchen during meal prep.

So many mothers in particular are sharing their frustration with having to make a never ending series of meals during quarantine. Get your kids to get in there and help. As the good book says:

 If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:10

Cooking with kids gives you an opportunity to teach them to make healthy food choices. It also allows them to have hands-on learning with fresh, affordable foods. Just call it Home Economics! (Remember that class?)

Getting a refill on your drink as soon as it’s empty.

We’ve all been there. Even with the best waitress or waiter in the world, you end up sitting for a minute or two looking at the bottom of an empty glass. At home there’s no need to sing like Elle Varner; just get up and get your refill.

Another benefit is if you partake of alcoholic drinks, no worries over whether the drinks are being made with a really light pour. You know what we’re talking about; the barely there tequila in your margarita or the mostly Coke & a whisper of rum in your Cuba Libre. You know exactly how strong (or weak) the drink is going to be when you make it at home AND you don’t have to buy another drink for a refill.

Avoiding that restaurant markup.

Each ingredient at your favorite restaurant has a markup. (Obviously – otherwise they wouldn’t be in business very long.) But how much do you think they mark up their meals? 50%? 100%? Nope. The average markup for each ingredient at a restaurant is 300%! A $9 hamburger (that’s right – without cheese) at a diner would cost you less than $2 to make at home. If you’re trying to stretch your dollars, cutting back on restaurant-prepared meals can make a big difference.

Cooking at home can improve your health.

A recent study conducted by the University of Washington found that those who cooked at home 6 times per week met more of the US Federal guidelines for a healthy diet than those who cooked meals at home 3 times per week. In other words, if you’re eating at home more often than you’re eating out, you’re more likely to be getting in your fruits, veggies, and other essentials of a balanced diet.

Taking better care of your health and saving money? Now that’s a reason to fire up the backyard grill!
Wishing you wellness!

Sources:
Plate IQ: “Should You Get the Guacamole on Your Burrito? A Price Analysis of Your Favorite Foods.” 4.3.2018
ScienceDaily: “Cooking at home tonight? It’s likely cheaper and healthier, study finds.” 3.14.2017