Archive for the ‘Health & Beauty’ Category

When I was reading about women’s health this summer, I came across some information about posture. Like so many women, I can sit for long hours at a desk in front of a computer – doing office work, blogging (a little lax lately :)), researching family. But these activities can lead to a poor posture. Posture is something I wish to keep in good order. Here are two things I’m now using and really seeing the benefits of.



The roll I use on the chair at my personal computer. It provides excellent support for the curvature of my lower back  – to keep my frame straight. It  just feels good. The foot rest I use at my office computer as my legs don’t reach the floor. It supports my feet and  prevents back and leg discomfort! I find it far more comfortable than putting my feet on a box. Since using the footrest my legs don’t ache sitting at my desk.

Maybe one of these will bring you comfort and keep your posture healthy.

I’ve attached this link to an article about posture. Have a comfortable day.

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Man_on_a_bench__by_ZmashdI thought I would jump right in and make a quick post, ’cause I think you will like it. Today I was walking my dog when I noticed an elderly gentleman sitting on a nearby bench. I have chatted with this man in the past. We’d mostly talked about the city, the nearby plants and his late wife – whom he missed dearly. Today, I was on a tight schedule so I waved as I walked by. Then my instinct told me to go over and visit with him – just for a minute. I did. I greeted him and said it was good to see him again after the long winter. I introduced my dog, Jackson, as I didn’t have him the last time we talked in the Fall. I asked how he was. He said ‘ well… not so good’. With tear filled eyes he told me his sister passed away and he was going to the funeral tomorrow. She was 98. He is 94. He shared about his 10 siblings, all who lived well into their 80’s and 90’s, and their growing up years. He talked about what he thought contributed to longevity in his family. Things like nutrition, being physically active, and the ability to look on the brighter side of life – that’s where I paid close attention.  I appreciated his wisdom about  learning from all people and not being judgmental. After about 15 minutes, my dog was a little restless, so we departed. I was so glad I listened to my instinct and stopped to chat with this man again. I appreciated his bits of wisdom and I think he liked a listening ear. I hope you take time for an elder – even when it doesn’t seem convenient. Give yourself, and the other, a special gift. Blessings……..

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This is a great  FREE online course – starting the 20th of January 2014. I took it previously and am still benefiting from it. Thought some of you might like it.  It’s USA based, it’s very good information.

Click here for details. http://www.coursera.org/course/lifenutr

If you’re not interested in this course you might find another at www.coursera.org.

Have a wonderful week. Linda

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yogaI sure enjoy yoga. I feel so good when I’ve connected my mind, body and spirit. I practice it several times a week and sometimes I manage it daily.  Here are a few misconceptions about yoga. (Taken from this article).  If you are not practicing yoga I hope you give it a try.

1. It’s not about the guru.

Yoga philosophy says the guru is within, but people practice memorizing the rules of some outside guru. Philosophy lectures will have you seated, writing in journals, and lectured to. It’s more useful when you practice exactly what you want in your life, rather than having this disconnect between an idealized philosophy and a very different-looking practice.

If you want freedom and creativity in your life, you can practice that in your yoga. By practicing your own yoga, you get to directly experience your power within. Practice gives you the experience and confidence to move with ease in your life.

2. It’s not an intellectual study.

Of course, you can sit around and pontificate, theorize, even argue, and sign yourself up to listen to someone tell you what yoga is. Or you could do something much more useful and fun: practice and find out for yourself.

3. It looks different on every body.

One version of a pose is not better, or more advanced than another. Too often instructors say “If you are advanced to this, if you are a beginner do this.” If advanced yoga had to do with the poses, 11 year old gymnasts would be the most advanced yogis. Advanced yoga has to do with what is going on in your mind. Don’t worry about the picture of the pose. Allow yourself to find the ease in your body and mind. And a fun note: When you allow yourself to be easy, the poses will be a lot easier.

4. It can be very athletic.

A mistake that happens along a yoga path is disconnecting the mind, body and spirit. “I am not my body” is a mantra that leads to unhappiness while you are living inside your body, which is your entire life. It’s ok and not superficial to move your body in a way to keep it healthy, strong, and open. Yoga is the connection of the mind, body, and spirit. Stay connected and enjoy the ride.

5. It’s not a religion.

The power is within you. Yoga connects you back inward. The practice brings you closer to your own truth – whether  Rabbi, Christians, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, and many other religions all practicing together.

6. It can be your main form of exercise.

If you practice moving your body every day with yoga, it can be your only form of exercise, and it can be a really great way to cultivate health for your entire life.

7. It’s not boring.

Your practice is there for you to connect inward. It can be as exciting and as interesting as you dare to discover.

8. It doesn’t causes injuries.

People get injured practicing yoga when they disconnect from how they feel. When you push and force your body, your body will break. When you practice listening and following how you feel, you will cultivate a strong, healthy and radiant body and mind from the inside out.

9. You don’t need to memorize and follow a bunch of rules.

The only useful rule is to listen to yourself and follow that.

10. Nobody is more spiritual than anyone else.

Everyone has a spirit. We are all equally spiritual. Being a good person is something we can work on.

from : http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10544/10-things-everyone-gets-wrong-about-yoga-and-how-to-make-it-right-for-you.html

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Happy Feet

Yesterday, I returned home after 17 days volunteering in the North West Territories. My feet were in need of special attention.  Once again, I gave myself a pedicure. It really is quite simple and inexpensive.

 Follow these steps :

1). Soak your feet 10 minutes in Epsom salts. Remove old polish.

2). Exfoliate with a scrub – (there are many homemade recipes online)

3). Clean, trim and shape nails

4). Apply lotion

5) Optional – apply a few coats of polish (light pink looks clean and natural)

To keep it up – lather your feet with lotion before you go to bed.  Any lotion will do. Put on cotton socks and leave them on overnight.  If your feet are very dry and cracked add Vaseline to your lotion or use Vaseline by itself.   Each time you shower or bath, use a pumice stone on your heels and rough spots. You can exfoliate at this time also. Do not try to remove all dry skin at one time.

If you keep this up, you will have pretty feet year round.

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No matter how we feel about our hair, we want it to be healthy, look good, and require little maintenance.  After reading a few books, and researching online, I have come up with a routine that works well. 

Cut hair every 3 months. Trim bangs at home in between cuts when needed – about every 3 weeks.  Use trimming scissors  – not household scissors.  They’re under 20.00 at your local pharmacy. (Search youtube for a bang cutting demonstration)

Color hair every 3 months – if need be.  If you’re not comfortable, use a professional. I use  a color close to my natural ash brown color for ease of maintenance.

Touch up your roots every 8 weeks at home. Using a semi – permanent works well.

Wash hair using Sunsilk Hydra TLC shampoo and conditioner – this contains amino acid and keratin. It is very gentle on the hair and the color stays in longer. I have being using it for 2 years now and it is very gentle. My hair color  fades very little.

Wrap wet hair in a turban and allow to dry almost completely before styling with a blow dryer or straightener.

 Consider giving one of more of these tips a try and you will not regret it. Have a nice day. Linda

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100 Joys

I heard a story of a lecturer who showed a piece of paper with a blot on it to a group of businessmen. He asked the audience what they saw. They responded ‘a blot’. The point is that often times we notice the flawed and miss the joys in life. This week, I’m paying attention to the joys in my life – particularly the ones I overlook.  When I began, I was hoping to notice 25 in a few days. I put a blot on a page and began recording around it. On the first day of this practice, I observed 26 things I’m thankful for.  I’m now aiming for 100.  As I am writing down my blessings, the blot is becoming less visible. Why don’t you start recording your blessings today? You’re outlook will change – mine has.

Here are a  few from my list:

–         Naps

–         Healthy lungs

–         Bird tracks in the snow

–         Clean fresh laundry

–         Doctors

–         Brisk air

–        An Invitation

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If you (or someone in you family) has an intolerance to food or if you suspect there is an intolerence, give this book a read.  I have a few sensitivities and I really like how this book sums up what I have read in many other books.  Its a good reference book. I bought my copy used at thiftbooks.com.

Book Description : Dramatic mood swings caused by popcorn. Soaring fevers brought on by milk. Nosebleeds, sinusitis, migraines, eczema, even depression: these symptoms can mean your body is saying a resounding NO to a particular food…….Find new ways to shop for, cook, and enjoy substitutes for dairy, wheat, corn, and sugar…….

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I am quite pleased with this small appliance, it sure comes in handy for things that are hard to clean.   I’ve found it very helpful for the following:

Sanitize my exercise mat and my car seat.

I keep my keyboard and phone germ free too.

Some people like to use it to steam clothing and draperies, although I haven’t tried that yet.

If you have some hard to clean areas, you might find the hand held sanitizer helpful. It is inexpensive too.  So give it a try.  Have a nice day. Linda

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‘Our minds are like crows. They pick up everything that glitters, no matter how uncomfortable our nests get with all that metal in them’. Thomas Merton

I really like this quote by Thomas Merton. It reminds me that it is so important to protect my mind from things that, at first glance, look like glitter.  You know, the things that society tells us we need on billboards, magazine covers, commercials,  and the like.  Gossip can also look pretty sparkly.  I try to keep my mind clean so I can think clearly; live in the present moment; and observe a real need. Let’s get better at saying no to clutter in our minds. Have a wonderful day. Linda

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Recently, I was invited to spend time with my girlfriend, and her husband, at their vacation rental property.  I really appreciated the offer to leave the snow; spend time in a warmer climate; and have girl time with my friend.  After a week, I felt refreshed.  The experience caused me to think how important it is to share what we have with others. Do you know that generous people who refresh others are themselves refreshed? Sharing can be as simple as offering: a meal; child care; a bed; or the use of household/yard items. The opportunities are endless. Give it a try, share with others (include your time) and see what happens.

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Ladies, do you find it hard to fit in a daily exercise routine? Exercise is  a gift to yourself, so don’t let it go by the wayside.  I find that if I give myself permission to exercise for 30 minutes (rather than an hour) that  it’s easier to include exercise in my day.  I rotate between an elliptical workout, a weight DVD and a Pilates or Yoga DVD.  In the summer I like to walk daily, so I eliminate the elliptical.  Here are 3  resources that I use.

If you are able to tack on a little extra Yoga daily (even just 10 minutes), then do so. Yoga has many benefits and one is stress management. I hope this post encourages you to exercise if you’re not already.  Stay healthy. Linda

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You know, it’s good for the soul when we intentionally look for things we have to look forward to. No matter what’s happening in our lives, there’s always something pleasant on the horizon – if we just look for it. During a family meal recently, I asked my husband and two daughters ‘what are two things you’re looking forward to in the upcoming year?’  The four of us were so happy to share our hopes and dreams.  We listened with great interest as each one spoke. I shared that I’m looking forward to having minor medical issues resolved. I also shared that I’m looking forward to being more available to participate with them as they engage in life. Now it’s your turn, what are two things you’re looking forward to?

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With lots of bugs in the air, I’ve been using disinfectant a little more lately. I really like the mixture below and I’ve been using it for sometime now. I make a larger batch and keep the extra on hand until I have the time to make more. I use it in the bathroom; kitchen; on door knobs and any other place that needs a good cleaning. It is so easy to make; cost effective; and leaves fixtures very shiny. Give it a try; I’m sure you will be happy with it.

1 TBSP liquid dish soap

½ cup vinegar

½ cup rubbing alcohol

½ c water

Mix and put in spray bottles

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Be Beautiful

I’ve been thinking about what happens when a woman develops unhealthy narcissism. I’m sure you’ve seen this, just as I have. As women, if we give ourselves permission to be so self absorbed, we can become out of control and unattractive. To avoid this personality trait, I’m reminded that it’s important to look outside of myself.  By this I mean doing things like: volunteering;  developing good listening skills; looking out for others; and being kind. Regular self examination is really helpful too. Ladies, please don’t become vain, practice a few of the things I’ve mentioned and be beautiful. Have a wonderful day.

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Ladies, there was a time when getting adequate sleep was a problem for me. Sleep interruptions were caused mainly from noise and light. Studies show that getting your seven to eight hours of sleep will benefit your memory, weight, safety, mood, cardiovascular health and immunity. Achieving a good night’s sleep can reap many health and mental benefits – so you may need to create your own environment. For a number of years now, I have had very few sleep issues.  I sleep approximately 8 ½ hours per night soundly. Here are 4 things that work really well for me:

1). Sounds Therapy Machine – I’ve found that a sound therapy machine has calming and natural sounds that effectively absorb all unwanted and unnecessary noise that interfere with my sleep. I use the Obus Forme machine (about 30.00) and have had the same machine for many years. I rotate between ‘running water’ and ‘white noise’. Using a relaxation machine helps me to fall asleep faster and wake completely rested.

2). Sleep Mask – I’ve found that street lamps; security lights; and the illumination from my clock give off light that impact my sleep. The early morning light coming through the curtains is an interruption also. Therefore, I use a sleep mask. A sleep mask makes a bedroom appear darker and contributes to a better sleep.

3). Open the window – I open the window about a 1/8 of inch all year long (weather permitting), in order to get more fresh air in the room.

4). Bed Time Routine –  I go to bed about the same time each week night. I relax and unwind by reviewing the good things from my day and reading something inspirational. It is helpful if the time before bed is a time of peace and quiet.

I can not stress enough how important sleep is for you, so if you are having problems, please determined what will work for you.  Sweet dreams.

(By the way, our bedroom is our personal sanctuary so there is no place in our room for night time distractions such as:  games, work, TV watching, computer or clutter)

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I was quite surprised today, when I came to realize that I’ve been focusing more on ‘having’ than ‘being’. I, myself, really strive to be and move away from the mindset of having things. At some point,  I drifted and  I’ve not been this way with my daughters.  I really want the best for my girls but I’ve been a little confused in my thinking. You see, I’ve been valuing their success more by what they accomplish or conquer rather than by their unique personalities – compassionate, caring, hard working.  I am going to turn from this wrong thinking today because my girls are worth far more to me than their efforts.  My desire is really to build them up by first accepting them for their being and secondly celebrating accomplishments.  What about you? Are you putting more attention on having rather than being?

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Express Gratitude Today

Ladies when you receive good service do you send a note to express your gratitude? If so, good for you. If not, I really encourage you to do this frequently.  This practice will train you to see and express gratitude. When you write the note, just say what you experienced. Don’t worry about grammar and such.  Here is a letter that I recently sent to a bank manager. I’ve changed the names.

Dear Mr. Soh,

I am sending this note to inform you  of the wonderful  support I received from Shelley at your branch.  In dealing with my late mothers affairs, I felt peace as Shelley displayed much care and attention to detail.  I hope you recognize her in a very special way.

Sincerely, Linda Carmel

Pick up your pen and paper today and start expressing gratitude in a new way.

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When my friend Carolyn greets me, she always looks intently into my eyes and usually touches me on my arm.  Her gaze is never broken by a noise or a passerby.  It is like shes connected with my soul.  At times, when I have walked with Carolyn, I’ve noticed that she’s really aware of her surroundings. She sees a delicate vine creeping along the ground; curious mold attached to the bark of a tree; or an interesting rock.  Things don’t seem to bounce off of her, she engages in all that she participates in. I’ve always found this fascinating about her and wondered how I could get some of this for myself.  I recently came to realize that Carolyn has cultivated mindfulness into her life.  Shes perfected paying close attention, on purpose, to one thing at a time.  I really want to have this quality in my life. I’m pretty sure that through my practice of meditation and my love of nature, I should get better at paying attention.  For others it may be through art,  music or contemplation.  Ladies, lets together get good at not drifting through life mindlessly. Have a superb day.

P.S. At times, when  I mention Carolyn’s name to my daughter Erin, she will say ‘oh, I love Carolyn’.

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Every now and then I come across a good reference book. This particular one is targeting woman who are interested in style.  The book covers over 100 how- to’s.  The information is very useful and timeless. I first saw this book in a home decorating store. I purchased it and mailed it to my sister – I think shes enjoyed it.  I, myself, have rented it from the library twice now.  I recently gleaned information from this book before buying a double string of vintage pearls I had spotted at a thrift store.  I’m very pleased with my purchase.  Some topics include how to:

Find the perfect pants

Pick a makeup brush

Trim your bangs

Buy pearls

Arrange a bookshelf

Buy vintage clothes

Create a 5 star bedroom

Decorate with color….

I am sure you will find something useful in this book if you pick it up or rent it from your library. Have a great week.

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