Monthly Archives: February 2013

Supplements du Jour

February 28, 2013

HEALTH

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Did you ever eat those Flintstones vitamins when you were growing up?  I would bargain with my mother:  I will eat the vitamin if I can dissolve it in my water and drink the final concoction in the privacy of my bedroom.  Well, I would plunk the purple, gritty Fred Flintstone into the glass cup and watch it deteriorate.  Then it would be much too unpleasant to imbibe and I would HAVE to throw it out.  EW.  Yucky.  Now I see supplements and organic whole foods as luxuries rather than punishments.  I call them the “Supplements de Jour,” or supplements of the day.  I love finding ways to make the presentation and experience more effective and aesthetically pleasing.

I recently purchased this 7 day pill box available at any Target, drug store or pharmacy department.  Place your supplements in an area that you cannot ignore!  I have mine by the fruit bowl in the kitchen.  It’s the first place to catch my eye as I enter the kitchen each morning to feed my dog, Charlie.  I fished around in my goodie cabinet and found these cupcake paper forms.  These are cute for your daily dispensing.  Remember that they look too cute to kiddos, so keep them out of their reach!!  You could also re-use those little salad dressing containers from take-out food packaging.  This would work well to add to you or your partner’s lunch box!

Guidelines for Effective Supplementation:

1. Fulfilling Deficiencies– Adding in what you are missing.

2. Supplement Form– i.e. Calcium Carbonate vs. Calcium Citrate.  Which one and why?  Different forms matter to the body!  Liquid vs. pill?  Which do you prefer?

3. Dosage– How much of a good thing do you need?  How long do you take it?

4. Compliance– Your discipline in following your protocol.  AKA you actually have to eat it.  Do not follow my Flintstone regimen.

Talk to your health care provider about specific testing to see what YOUR SPECIFIC deficiencies are.  There are many ways to check for deficiencies such as blood labs, questioning and exams.  Save yourself time, money and damage by consulting a professional.  Then you can target exactly what you need, buy only what you need and get healthy!

Please consider recommended values of a vitamin or mineral that keep you from getting a deficiency disease such as scurvy (vitamin C deficiency).  Also consider optimal ranges of intake which are the levels recommended to give you peak health.  Do your research and ask a professional.

The OTHER Secret

February 27, 2013

Uncategorized

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The Secret is a best selling book on the law of attraction but the OTHER secret is the secret YOU’VE been keeping.  Being of a  “liver constitution” which I will explain in another article (it has to do with my facial features), I am a shareholder of many secrets.  I have heard the virginal confessions of patients, friends and strangers.  I have the same reaction to hearing every secret.  It is, “wow, I am so grateful to be a witness to your willingness to be vulnerable and grow.”  In other words, if you find out the reason you have trouble swallowing is a thyroid tumor, I could be excited that you now know how to get it treated and soon you’ll be able swallow well again!  The content of the secret is really not as intriguing to me as the person’s emotional and mental bravery.

Do you have a secret that has never left your lips?  Is there something about you that NO ONE on this earth knows about?  Why?  Spend a moment here.  Now, if there WAS someone you would share this with, who would it be?  Imagine yourself telling this person-it could be a friend, spouse, therapist, priest, bartender etc.  What would be the worst reaction you would get?  How would that make you feel.  Now what would be the best reaction and how would that feel?

This is what Happens when you Tell a Secret:

1.  PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder):  There is an aspect of fight or flight response that is reprogrammed in your cellular memory that changes when you tell someone a secret.  Anything that used to trigger feelings or memories surrounding the secret can shift.  For example, if you secretly had an abortion and fear judgment, you may get uncomfortable when the topic comes up in conversations.  After sharing it with someone you may then be able to face the topic in discussion (not necessarily your own experience) without a rapid heart rate and sweaty palms.

2. Space:  Now you have more space in your emotional and mental fields to conduct positive activity rather than fear and worry.  Out with the old!

3. Support & Community:  Realizing you are not alone is the single most saught after feeling in the universe (Hello- the movie Contact).  Connect with other people who share your secret if you like.  Research how other people have healed by addressing their secrets.  You are guaranteed to find other people with the same secret.

4.  Freedom:  The act of voicing a secret is incredibly empowering.  It can feel like dropping a weight or removing hand cuffs.  Sharing you secret also encourages others to do the same.

How to find out if you are ready to share your secret:

1.  You imagine how amazing it would feel to be free of the secret’s burden.  The positive things I addressed above sound enticing.  You are ready to have these wonderful results.

2.  You recognize that this secret is holding you back from enjoying life.  You are ready to start living.

Take it easy on yourself and Take Judgement out of the Equation.  Here is a list of who you can tell:

1.  Find someone who has kept the same types of secrets.  An Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor can relate to someone with a closet addiction.

2.  Find a professional.  Tell a health care professional or a counselor.  The more experience they have, the more likely they’ve heard your type of secret many times and the more tried advice they can offer.  Many of these people are required by law NEVER to share your secret (unless your life is in danger).

3.  Tell someone who loves you.

What is more powerful than sharing your secret with a person?  That would be sharing it with multiple people.  Some secrets are better shared in smaller circles but consider finding more than one safe confidant and see how it makes you feel.  I remember when I told a friend that I had been cheated on, the shame I had associated with it dissipated.  I learned that many people shared my experiences and had similar feelings.  I had a completely new perspective on the experience.  I could let go of many of the negative feelings and fears I had.  Now it is just something that happened without a lot of the junk I had built up in my own head.  Secrets are BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH!  They eat away at you.

 

A Year of Birthday Gifts

February 25, 2013

HAPPINESS

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Who has time to buy birthday gifts for everyone?!  I DO!  But that wasn’t always the case.  For years, gift buying/preparation had been a large source of anxiety.  I had a large social network of geographically close people who threw birthday parties, weddings and baby showers for themselves, their kids, their grandmas, and their dogs.  I found myself racing to expensive boutiques 10 minutes before they closed in order to find the perfect, overpriced luxury gift that would show my recipient that I was as honored by the invite as I was our friendship.  If that didn’t pan out, I was racing to my other go-to stores the moment they opened the next day.  I did develop some shortcuts but I always had this “robbing Peter to pay Paul” kind of feeling of not ever catching up.  I would even show up late to events because I had been shopping moments prior!

Reasons to Plan Ahead:

1.  You save tons of money:  Those boutique stores often have a sale shelf.  The sale shelf seldom has what you are looking for in a pinch but visit them often and stock up when you do find the right stuff.  For some reason, sale items always felt like the wrong thing when I was in a hurry but the perfect thing when I purchased them 6 months in advance!  Make time to comparison shop online for specific items so you can have time to order it if you choose.

2.  Personal touch:  Make time to customize cards, photo books, t-shirts, fly a flag over the U.S. Capitol for someone etc.  These gifts mean so much and have the longest lasting effects!

3.  The PERFECT gift:  When I bought gifts in advance, they became “the perfect” gift.  I wasn’t as attached to how the recipient received/reacted to gift.  I was more into the feeling of choosing well.

4.  The fun of it:  Enjoy gift shopping at leisure.  Get a lot done at once.  Lessen your anxiety and get to the event on time.

Here are some tools for your gift arsenal:

1.  A list of birthdays and occasions organized by month.  Be sure to have each month prepared at least one month in advance…better yet, do most of your shopping for the year in January!

2.  Generic female and male wrapping paper and/or gift bags.  I go with pink themes and blue themes to keep it simple.

3.  Cards for:  Birthdays, Baby Showers, Weddings

4.  Consumables:  Bottles of wine in the neighborhood of $10-$15, a non-perishible food item (I get these amazing Pepper Jelly’s from Pike’s Market downtown-great with cream cheese on crackers). Food and wine gifts are so great because they can be shared and are easily re-giftable if not liked!

5.  Genre gifts:  a few things that many of your friends will enjoy (i.e. I have a lot of yuppie-hippie friends who love high-end, natural crafts so I pick up things at the Farmer’s Markets like hand made wooden cutting boards).

6.  Checks:  Money is a wonderful gift

7.  Amazon PRIME:  get anything mailed or a gift certificate emailed instantly!

8.  Hostess type gifts (hostess gifts: things you give to the person throwing a party/dinner):  These are things like tea towels, candles, soaps, chocolates, etc.

So this year, before we grow our family, I am the gift goddess, bringing cheer to all those on my Google calendar.  I’m having so much fun planning ahead!

What I would have done for Elizabeth Gilbert’s 200K Advance

February 24, 2013

TMI

eat pray love by Miryam Zarzar via Flickr

Eat Pray Love’s author, Elizabeth Gilbert, was already a many-times-over published writer when her publisher provided her with a $200,000 advance to write the famous non-fiction novel-turned-Julia Roberts box office hit.  I don’t know about you, but no one was furnishing me with $200K to document my soul searching when I was going through a divorce.  I was looking to rent a room somewhere and start my own business from scratch right out of grad school.  I was eating, praying and “loving” on a very different budget in a solitary zip code.

If I had been in E.G.’s situation, with a writer’s pen and lots of dough, I may considered traveling the world to find myself again too.  Instead, I was finding myself through trade in San Diego, California.  I myself was now a licensed healer-acupuncturist.  I found a master healer (a chiropractor/wizard/buddha) who offered to mentor me.  He had gone through multiple divorces and many other hardships.  This master had taken every healing course of study, cleanse, health treatment available on this earth and he shared with me the growth experienced at each turn.  Naturally, I sought after that growth so I asked for his aid.  He had connections with a myriad of other healers who came to him for treatment.  He offered to connect me with them to attend their seminars, workshops and healing treatments.  In return, I worked at his office as an acupuncturist, assistant and sometimes even front desk person.  The education I was getting was not cheap.

I learned about Bach Flower therapy, homeopathy, yoga, chiropractic care, Neuro-emotional technique (NET) and blood chemistry analysis.  I had astrology readings, massages, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, colonics, Tarot card readings, facials, live blood scans, brain wave analysis, music therapy and life coaching from the most sought after healers in the world.  My greatest gift was the chance to be present in his own practice and see the transformations his patients experienced.  It was truly magical.  I gained the most insight in seeing the physical, mental and emotional trials of the patients.  These patients were some of the most powerful, wealthy and influential people in the world.

I have always known that we see most people with their mask on.  The truth of life is that everyone has so many layers of joy and pain.  Seeing these layers revealed to me hundreds of times over taught me that true healing starts with feeling.  You can heal anything.  The trick is to start feeling.  My teacher’s greatest wisdom was, “you’ve gotta feel it to heal it.”  That doesn’t cost a thing.  I didn’t need Elizabeth Gilbert’s $200,000.  I needed people to show me I could heal myself by feeling my feelings.  I used my gifts of knowledge to heal my own patients and myself.

(photo by Miryam Zarzar via Flickr)

Seattle Winter Sun Tan: Your SAD & vit D Fix

February 22, 2013

HEALTH

IMG_2015SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and vitamin D deficiency are two side effects of a lack of sunshine.  I’ve discovered one of the most quick, easy, effective and enjoyable ways to beat the winter blues:  Suntanning!

The lobby of our chosen tanning salon was full of the most upbeat winter Seatellites I’ve met thus far.  Chris has a headshot appointment this weekend for his new job and wanted to blend out the dark circles around his eyes with a gentle tan.

So, we yelped the best local tanning joint.  This picture is at the front desk.  The lobby was a cat lover’s treasure trove.  There were figurines, books and photos of cats littering every vacant space.  The place was a 7 minute revolving door of cheery vitamin D junkies patiently awaiting their dose of joy.  The kind front desk woman (who claims she is not the “crazy cat lady” depicted on the cover of the booklet) sized up our palor and chose 7 minutes for olive-toned B and 5 minutes for “Powder” me.  She set the timers herself and prepared our tanning beds by cleaning them and providing us a set of eye protective goggles and a piece of Hershey’s chocolate.  You are led to your private room/stall with a lockable door.  Then you undress to your comfort level, press the button on the wall, lie in the bed, place your goggles over your eyes and take in your shot of sunshine.  The bed is warm and comforting.  After your prescribed time, the lights shut off and BING, you are happy!  I highly recommend this for you all in sun-deprived geographical areas or even if you need some extra vitamin D for happiness or other health conditions.

The cost is very low for each session and you can purchase packages that further lessen the cost and increase the ease of each visit (the attendant just checks off your membership card she keeps filed away for you).  I have now gone twice and feel a marked increase in my mood!  It also feels like a pampering treat and it only cost about $.50 a minute!  There is really no need to make an appointment as the treatments are equally as quick as the turnaround times.  Many of the locations are open until 8:00 p.m. or later!  I decided to cover my face on session #2 to keep my face from getting leathery!  I notice a slight hint of color but the best part is my great mood!  I hope I’m not getting addicted…I asked B if Charlie, our dog, needed some tanning light sun too and B reminded me of the “Tanning Mom.”  ‘Nuff said.

Go to Starbucks EVERY Day

February 21, 2013

MONEY

IMG_1988I live in the coffee capital of the world:  Seattle, Washington.  This is the birthplace of Starbucks.  Pictured is the first Starbucks located across from Pike’s Market.  There are a LOT of coffee shops here and if you have ever been to Seattle, you can understand how a caffeine buzz can substitute for the sunshine cortisol boost that we rarely get in these parts.  This is all well and good but this article is less about caffeine addiction and more about the addiction to happy time.

Have you seen one of the many financial articles with tips on banishing hidden-money-sucks from you life?  They always include ditching your Starbucks habit in order to save money (DO ditch coffee if you have a duodenal ulcer or zero money).  I personally know many people who gain so much joy out of their daily trip to see the emerald siren, including me.  Here are some things I have noted from them:

1. “I hate my job and the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning is knowing that I have the commute to enjoy my Starbucks without anyone bothering me.”

2. “A trip to Starbucks is sometimes the only reason to get my baby and I dressed and out of the house.  It is our happy time.”

3. “It’s my post-work out treat!  It actually get’s me to play tennis.  The bonus is that I get to hang out in my tennis outfit for a while off the court.”

My first real job was Starbuck’s Barista.  I was sixteen and living in Potomac, Maryland.  As an employee, you get to have as many drinks as you want when you’re at work.  Honestly, I barely touched the stuff back then.  As I grew up, I started a bit of a caffeine habit.  Like any new junkie, I would try whichever coffee shop was most convenient for my buzz.  Luckily, I could count on a Starbucks pretty much wherever I was.

Top 5 Reasons to “Choose Starbucks” and do it Often:

1. Consistency: The drinks are made to the same recipes wherever you go.  The latte I’ve had in Japan is identical to the ones I drink in Seattle.

2. Guarantee: You can count on loving your drink and if you don’t they’ll remake it for you or make you something else…and they’re nice about it.

3. Food:  There is always some kind of healthy and/or gluten free option whether it be a KIND granola bar or the cut veggie pack.  The calories counts are provided and there are many goodies that come in respectable portions if you so desire.

4. Third Place:  When I worked there about 18 years ago (YIKES!), we were taught that Starbucks was trying to be the “Third Place.”  Third place is not work and not home but the third place.  It has succeeded.  It is a great place to meet people for dates, business meetings, catching up (no need to clean the house for guests), reading, writing etc.

5. I FEEL FANCY when I go to Starbucks.  I don’t shop at Neiman Marcus (yet) but people who shop at Neiman Marcus drink Starbucks because it is good, slightly overpriced and symbolic (altitude and attitude).  When you feel fancy, you ARE fancy.  You are more productive, your self esteem goes up and you are happier.  “Oh, Susan looks so good today, it must be that Starbucks Blonde Roast she’s drinking.”  It probably is.

There are many different ways to  “Choose Starbucks.”  It could be another habit like a magazine subscription, maid service or buying organic.  Have you heard of the saying, “it takes money to make money?” Just as mutual fund investments grow your money, doing things to make yourself happy aid in growing your wealth.  It’s contagious.

P.S. Our coffee was free this morning b/c the wait at Starbucks was long.  What great customer service!!