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I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Take care of yourself!

Our health is very important.  If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can easily develop major health issues that will affect everything in our lives.

We should try to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, get proper sleep and eliminate any negative stresses.  This isn’t easy in a world that promotes fast food and a fast life.  We fill our lives with so many activities that we are too busy to cook healthy meals, go for a leisurely walk or get to bed at a reasonable hour.  The sad thing is, we believe that our value is found in how much we can accomplish in a day and we keep adding more and more stress until we reach a point where our health fails.

My own lifestyle was certainly not the healthiest.  I didn’t really watch what I ate, I exercised very little and my sleeping patterns were terrible.  Stress was a huge part of my life and I kept driving myself to do more that I could handle.   Having a stroke was not something I expected at this stage of my life.  On a positive note, it has changed my thinking and I have no choice but to take care of myself.

Here are some healthy habits that you should incorporate into your lifestyle:

  • Eat a diet that is low-sodium, low-sugar and low-fat.  Lots of vegetables and fruits are important.  Never eat on the rush, take time to enjoy your food.  Frozen and prepared foods along with fast foods are unhealthy so try to cook at home as much as possible.  Eating healthy is a good habit to get your family and yourself into.
  • Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes or more each day.   If you have an active job, this really doesn’t count.  Join a gym or exercise club.   Walking is the cheapest and most effective exercise.  Get a walking buddy and support each other.  I’ve been walking with my husband every day and it is benefiting both of us!
  • Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time.  Of course, there will be times when events or activities get in the way but that’s okay.  As long as you develop a habit that works most of the time.
  • Try to eliminate as much stress as you can.  Positive stresses like getting ready for a exciting event are great but negative stresses will just drag you down.  Think about what is important and what isn’t important.  Spend less time with people who stress you out.  Cut down on your to-do list and make sure you add some quiet time each day.

You are an important person and you need to take care of yourself.  Don’t wait until something happens.  Start today!

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Are you a multitasker?

In today’s society, multitasking is a normal way of living.  We chat on the phone while cooking, cleaning or doing laundry.  We send emails or text messages during a meeting or appointment.  We watch television while playing a game or reading a book.  Being able to do several things at one time gives us a sense of accomplishment and we believe it adds value to our lives.

However, research shows that multitasking is not an efficient way of living and it can even add a lot of harmful stress.  It doesn’t really save time and in fact it actually wastes time. When we move back and forth between tasks we are actually losing valuable time switching between the different things we are working on.  Multitasking can also cause you to make mistakes because your brain is focused on more than one topic.  You can also miss out on a lot of great things in life because your brain is trying to work so hard on keeping things straight.

Multitasking can also harm your relationships.  When you are trying so hard to accomplish several tasks, you are not tuned into the people around you.  You may be having a conversation and decide to check your phone or read your emails, which sends the message that you are not interested in what the other person is saying.

If you actually timed how long it took to accomplish 3 different jobs while multitasking or doing them individually, you would discover that it was faster to do them one at a time.  You would gain the time it took to switch back and forth from one job to another.  When you focus on doing just one thing, you will do it better and quicker.

You may consider yourself to be a great multitasker, but in reality, you are probably just wearing yourself out.  Multitasking does not make you a better person.  Slow down and enjoy life.  Do one thing at a time.  Do less and do it better.

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Do you have hope?

This is a question that I can honestly answer with a definite yes.  I named my dog Hope so I would always be reminded that I do have hope in my life.  Of course, even though I do HAVE Hope, I don’t always FEEL like I have hope.  Most days are good, but with all the violence and hatred in the world, it is sometimes hard to see any hope for the future.

Hope is a feeling that things will eventually turn out for the best.  It is an optimistic attitude that expects positive outcomes. We may be facing obstacles in our lives right now, but hope allows us to believe that we will get through the storm and see sunny skies ahead.

Hope is a powerful feeling and it is vital to having a good life.  Our circumstances may look bleak at times but we can look forward to greater things happening in our lives.  This requires having a positive attitude.  We have to look for the good instead of the bad.  It certainly isn’t hard to see the bad in the world; it is hiding in every corner.  Sometimes bad things happen to us but they don’t last forever.  We can expect good to come out of a bad situation.  Difficult situations can actually be good learning experiences as to what we should be doing or not doing in our lives.

Having hope gives people a better quality of life.  People with hope have recovered from serious illnesses and overcome stressful situations.  Hope gives people purpose and brings meaning to life.

Never lose hope.  Focus on what is positive in your life and work towards your goals.  Don’t let your struggles hold you back from finding happiness and peace in your life.  Always hope for the best and keep a positive attitude.

Do you have hope?

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Are you using toxic products

I keep reading books and articles about toxic substances that are in foods and products.  Let’s face it, the world uses all sorts of dangerous chemicals that are harmful to our health.  Many of the food items we eat contain additives and preservatives that we are not even aware of and many of the products we use contain chemicals that we should be avoiding.

It can be very hard to avoid everything that is dangerous to our health because there are toxins in the air we breathe and in many of the things we come into contact with, but we should keep informed so we can make healthier choices.  I’m certainly going to be more careful when I buy groceries and other products.

When it comes to food, we should choose natural, whole foods that are not processed to death.  Following is a list of foods that have toxins which can cause serious health risks.  For detailed information check out this link…..http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/10/9-unhealthy-foods.aspx

  • canned tomatoes – the lining of the can contains BPA
  • processed meats – have been given growth hormones and antibiotics, filled with sodium nitrate, preservatives and chemicals
  • margarine – contain trans fats, free radicals, preservatives and solvents
  • vegetable oils – highly processed
  • microwave popcorn – lining in bag contains chemicals
  • non-organic potatoes – treated with pesticides that absorb into the potato
  • processed table salt – we need salt but table salt is not like the natural salt we need
  • soy products – most are genetically engineered
  • artificial sweeteners – contains chemicals that can wreak havoc with your body

David Suzuki tells us that some of the ingredients in most beauty products contain industrial chemicals that can cause cancer and other serious illnesses. Here is a list of these ingredients.  Detailed info at this link…..http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/dirty-dozen-cosmetic-chemicals/?gclid=CLSKr4HVg8kCFYU5aQodG9AGtQ

  • BHA and BHT
  • Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as ‘CI’ followed by a 5 digit number
  • DEA related ingredients
  • Dibutyl phthalate
  • Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
  • Parabens
  • Parfum a.k.a. fragrance
  • PEG compounds
  • Petrolatum
  • Siloxanes
  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Triclosan

There is also an article that details certain dangerous products sold in dollar stores.  Following is a list.  Detailed information at this link….http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/advice/g1798/the-10-most-toxic-items-at-dollar-stores/

  • electronic accessories contain chlorine
  • black plastic kitchen utensils contain bromine
  • flannel backed and vinyl tablecloths contain high lead
  • metal Christmas garlands contain bromine
  • silly straws contain DEHP
  • vinyl floor coverings contain chlorine and phthalates
  • holiday light strings contain cholorine and bromine
  • metal children’s jewelry contain lead
  • metallic beads contain bromine
  • window clings and removable wall stickers contain PVC

If you want to read about more dangerous chemicals in everyday products, check out these links…..

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1009710-12-dangerous-chemicals-avoid-everyday-products/

http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/environmental-breast-cancer-links/household-products/

 

 

 

 

 

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What are you depositing in your bank account?

It’s payday for a lot of people and this means a trip to the bank.  Get that cheque cashed and off to spend some money! Of course with direct deposit, telephone and on-line banking, debit and credit cards, many of us never have to step inside a bank.  All of this can be very convenient but it makes it very easy to spend money without giving any thought to making a deposit into a savings account and leaving it there to grow.

If we keep taking money out of the bank and never make any deposits, there will soon be nothing left and we can become bankrupt.  We can start with a large amount that looks really comforting but it won’t last long if money keeps going out and nothing comes in.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand this concept, yet many people don’t pay any attention to their bank balance until they get into serious financial trouble.

It is the same concept for our personal emotional bank account.  Everyday, we deposit emotions into our emotional bank account and this can either fill us up or empty us.  If we deposit positive, healthy emotions like love, acceptance, appreciation and kindness it makes us feel secure and confident.  When we deposit negative, unhealthy emotions into our bank account, it makes us feel insecure and we have little confidence.

We can have a good day and fill our emotional bank account so full that it overflows on other people and helps fill their emotional bank account.  Then the next day we feel miserable and make a huge withdrawal, putting ourselves below empty again.

It is important that we fill ourselves every day with positive emotions, on purpose.  Life can be difficult but we can still face the day with a positive attitude and not let all the small things get us down.  If we always look for the bad in every situation, we will find it, but we can usually find something good if we look hard enough.

Instead of looking at life with a negative perspective, work hard to develop a positive perspective and make deposits not withdrawals!  Then watch your happiness level grow:)

 

 

Every day we need to keep depositing healthy emotions in our own emotional bank account and also into the emotional bank account of others so we can help each other feel confident and keep our esteem strong.

Have  you made a deposit today?  Was it love?  What about appreciation?  A kind word?  A thoughtful deed?  Keep making those deposits and watch the benefits grow!

 

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We don’t need a new diet, we need a new lifestyle

People are always looking for a new diet, a faster and better way to lose weight.   They listen to promises that they will look better and feel better in just a few days or weeks.  But if these promises were true, how come so many people are continually on diets?   The sad fact is, about 90% of people who diet will gain the weight back and sometimes will gain back more.

We don’t need a new diet, we need a new lifestyle.  Dieting doesn’t work in most cases.  People want their weight to drop quickly and will try almost anything that promises a quick fix.  They don’t think realistically.   The math is simple – you can’t lose 100 pounds in a few weeks when it took years to put on.

Don’t listen to all the crazy promises that you hear.  Companies will tell you anything just to make a buck.  The only way you can lose weight and keep it off, is to eat healthy foods and exercise daily.   Drink water, eat fruits and vegetables and consume smaller portions.  Cut out junk foods and only have a small ‘treat’ once in a while just to keep you motivated.

Your health depends on what you eat and how you take care of your body.   You only get one body for life, so treat yourself with care.  You deserve it!

 

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If you owned a pedigree dog, would you feed it french fries?

If you owned a special animal like a pedigree dog or race horse that was considered to have great value, how would you treat it?   Most people would take great care in feeding it healthy foods, keeping it well-groomed and making sure it got plenty of rest.  You certainly wouldn’t feed it junk food like french fries and chocolate bars.  You wouldn’t leave it standing in the rain and all covered with mud.  You wouldn’t keep it up late nights exercising or doing some kind of work.

Yet, how do we treat ourselves?  We fill our bodies with unhealthy foods, don’t always take time to care for our bodies and we fill our days with so many activities that we don’t have enough time for a proper night’s sleep.  Do we not consider ourselves as valuable?  For many of us, the answer is ‘no’.  We don’t treat ourselves as the special, unique and valuable person that we are.

We have to realize that we only get one body for life and it is very important that we take good care of it.  Eating healthy foods, exercising and getting proper rest is the key to having good health and maintaining a healthy body.  If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can end up with serious health issues as we grow older.

You are much more valuable than a pedigree dog, so start taking care of your health today!

 

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National Girlfriends Day

Have you  heard about National Girlfriends Day?   I didn’t realize there was such a day until someone brought it to my attention.   Apparently it is an annual celebration of friendships between women that is commemorated every year on August 1st.   I tried researching this to see when and where it originated but couldn’t find much, so if you know any further details, I would really be interested in finding out.

In our busy lives, we often forget to think about what is important to us, so it is good that we are reminded by special days set aside like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day and now Girlfriend’s Day.   We should celebrate the special people in our lives every day, so we need to try to focus on the people who are important to us each and every day.   Nothing in life is certain and we can lose a loved in an instant through illness or injury.

Tomorrow is National Girlfriend’s Day so let’s remember to cherish all the women in our lives.   There are many things we can do to celebrate:  have a party, go for lunch, go shopping or plan some other event, but let’s also consider thinking about our health and how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle.  Women often are so busy taking care of their families and other people, that they ignore looking after themselves and this can result in serious health issues.   We should start having regular conversations about the importance of having regular checkups, eating healthy foods and daily exercise.

Let’s encourage and remind each other to stay healthy and take care of ourselves properly. Oscar Health Insurance has created a list called “The Woman’s Roadmap to Health”.   Use it as a guideline to keep track of important issues. Oscar is also a great resource for all health information. They have a team of trusted nurses and professional on call for any questions or concerns you may have. Check out more on their New Jersey and New York health insurance plans.

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ARE YOU LOGICAL ABOUT DIETING?

Gaining weight is a problem with many of us.  We like to eat and we aren’t always careful about eating healthy.  Why is it that junk food tastes good?  And then when we gain a few pounds, we feel bad and try to figure out how we can lose it as quickly as possible.

The problem is, we don’t look at dieting in a logical way.  Deep down, we know that we can’t lose months or years of added pounds in a few weeks but we still try anyway.  We look for the quick fix, the promise of looking good in a short time.  Then we try all sorts of stupid diets and buy equipment that doesn’t meet our expectations, which is just a waste of time and money because it won’t work.

If we took some time and set some realistic goals for healthy eating combined with regular exercise, we would soon start to notice some weight loss.  Of course, when I say soon, I don’t mean in a few days or weeks.  It takes months of commitment, patience and living a healthy lifestyle to lose any excess weight and maintain it.  Positive change does not come instantly no matter how much we want it to happen.

In setting realistic dieting goals we first need to determine what our ideal weight should be depending on our height and body shape.  Society tells us that we should strive to be skinny but this isn’t logical when people come in all shapes and sizes.  Everyone cannot be a size 5!  Then we have to create an action plan that includes healthy eating and daily exercise.  Meals should never be skipped and should include fresh fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy and grains.   Anyone with health issues or allergies should work on a diet plan with their doctor.

It takes discipline to lose weight.   Companies that sell diet products and equipment will promise you a quick fix knowing that it will likely not work, just so they can make money.  Don’t fall for their empty promises.  The fact is, 95% of the people who go on diets are NOT successful, so why waste your time and money on something that WILL FAIL and make you feel worse about yourself.  Eating healthy and exercising daily is the ONLY successful way to diet.

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Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Cancer is the name given to a group of diseases that encompasses over 200 different types and sub-types of cancers. We are all aware of breast cancer, lung cancer and other familiar types but there are many others that we rarely hear anything about until they are brought to our attention by someone who is struggling.   Mesothelioma is one of these cancers that I knew little about until now.

Today, September 26th has been designated as Mesothelioma Awareness Day.  I would like to share some information about Mesothelioma with you:

  • It is caused primarily by exposure to asbestos
  • In many cases, up to 60 years will pass before the cancer develops in people who have been exposed to asbestos
  • After being diagnosed, people are given about 10 months to live
  • There is no known cure, however surgery, chemo and radiation have been helpful
  • Incidence is rare but still have about 3000 cases each year in the US alone
  • Secondary exposure can result in cancer due to asbestos being brought into the home by workers not properly cleaning their body or clothing
  • Difficult to diagnose as symptoms closely resemble other respiratory problems

Did you know that a majority of cancers, over 90%, are caused by environmental factors including tobacco, obesity, infections, radiation and environmental pollutants? Asbestos is one of these pollutants that have been commonly used for years as building materials in homes, schools and commercial or industrial buildings.  Asbestos was also used in about 3000 household items including toasters and hairdryers.  It was at its peak production from the 1930’s until the late 1970’s when they started to realize that asbestos was causing harmful effects on people’s health.

Yet even though governments are aware that environmental pollutants are killing us, they are still allowing the use of materials such as asbestos. Mesothelioma is the number one cause of occupational cancer in the United States and Canada’s mesothelioma cancer rate is now one of the highest in the world.  Due to pressure from asbestos opponents and the high death rate, Canada finally closed its last 2 remaining asbestos mines in 2011.

Thousands of people die each year from asbestos related diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma and thousands more are living with the daily effects. We need to ensure that we are aware of any signs and symptoms and take action immediately to care for the health of ourselves and our loved ones.   If you have the following symptoms and have ever worked in an industry or have been in contact with someone who has been exposed to asbestos, please see your doctor.  The symptoms of mesothelioma include:

  • Chest pain
  • Chronic cough
  • Effusions (fluid) of the chest and abdomen
  • Presence of blood in lung fluid

Heather Von St James is a Mesothelioma cancer survivor with a great attitude. In 2005 she was diagnosed shortly after the birth of her daughter and was only given a few months to live.   Being a positive person, she was not ready to give up on living.  She found a great doctor and got the best treatments available.  Today, almost 9 years later, she is a happy and healthy wife and mother, who shares her story of hope with others around the world.  You can read more about Heather by clicking on this link www.mesothelioma.com/heather/awareness.  Here are some pictures of Heather and her precious family.

Heather and daughter1

Heather and familyHeather and daughter2

If you are ever diagnosed with cancer, please don’t lose hope.   Find some good doctors, get support from family and friends, pray and keep a positive attitude.  I’ve had family members with cancer who have survived and also some who haven’t. My grandmother and sister both had breast cancer surgeries that save their lives.  My father had cancerous brain tumours and beat the odds of surviving not one but two experimental surgeries.  A brother-in-law has been struggling with prostate cancer for several years. A nephew, sister-in-law and brother-in-law passed away from lung and kidney cancers due to cigarettes and alcohol.   Cancer is very prevalent in my family and my husband’s family so I always encourage my children to get regular checkups and live a healthy lifestyle.

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