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Monday, 29 July 2013

Calm on the Surface.....

7:00 a.m.  - and I’m sitting quietly overlooking Canal Lake at our friend’s cottage on Paradise Road (aptly named!) in Bolsover, Ontario. Lori has generously allowed us to stay here for a few days before we head out for our annual conference in Las Vegas.

It’s so easy to slip into the Vortex of Appreciation when you have such peaceful surroundings and beautiful vistas to coax you into a good-feeling place. The water looks like silk – so smooth, still, and unruffled. The silence is mesmerizingly incredible.

And yet…. I know that under the surface of the water, life is teeming with activity. Beneath this seemingly tranquil scene, the busy-ness of everyday life continues, unabated….. new birth, growth, decay, and death – the natural and inevitable circle of life carries on…. unnoticed and yet ever present.

This leads me to reflect upon our own experience of life, and to realize that, no matter how busy we are, no matter what we are experiencing, no matter what is going on beneath the surface, if we can find a tiny piece of tranquility and stillness, we will put ourselves into the vicinity of a calmness where we can recover a sense of peace and well-being.

When I have made the effort to find a small amount of time - just 5 minutes will do it – to silence my mind, embrace the stillness, and connect with my inner being, I set myself up for a day where I can go with the flow and achieve so much more than I thought possible. I notice that, when I rendezvous with people, my timing, my words, my opportunities just fall into place – easily and efficiently.

In the movie, ‘Pretty Woman’, there is a scene where, on the way to an evening out at the opera, and before the evening event has happened, Julia Roberts says to Richard Gere, “By the way, I just want you to know that I had a good time tonight!”

With similar sentiments, I’m so appreciative of Lori for allowing us to experience this little bit of paradise…. and I’m so appreciative of the day I am going to have.

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Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Power of Laughter

Loretta Laroche is one of my favourite persons. If you haven't seen her, check her out on YouTube. Here's a link to one of them.
She shares a few strategies to relieve stress using humour.
Loretta Laroche

If I want a good laugh, I choose to listen to her. I think she has a gift for holding a mirror up to the silly side of our lives and helps us to laugh at ourselves.

I often find myself taking things too seriously - taking myself too seriously. Others have told me that this is true for them, too. I suspect that this is the case for most, if not all, people. When this happens, we tend to take offence more easily, we become prone to disappointing experiences, and can start a downward spiral which then affects other areas of our lives.

Back in January/February of this year, I found myself complaining about several things that, from my perspective at that time, were not going right. I felt totally justified because I knew that I wasn't making these things up - they were really true. The thing is..... the more I complained, the more life threw more things my way to complain about.

Then I suddenly caught on to what was happening and I decided to do something about it. After all, we can't control anything outside ourselves. We try that constantly, and just as often fail in the endeavour. I remembered something that I had learned several years ago.... that the only thing we can control is what we choose to focus upon and by paying attention to what we are feeling when we are focused upon something will tell us whether we are on track towards more peace and joy, or widening the gap between my desires and their fulfilment.

So, I deliberately (note that word) started to choose thoughts that gave me some relief - thoughts that made me feel a little better than I did before. To help this process, I started to watch snippets on YouTube of 'Just for Laughs, Gags - just before going to bed.

I believe that when we laugh, we let go of a bunch of negative stuff, which is why it feels so good. I did this over the next few evenings, and within 3 days noticed a shift at the core of my being. After a week, I began to feel more hopeful, and then I noticed that things around me started to morph into more pleasing experiences.

Within a month, we were in a position for me to retire, we sold our house in just 2 days with no conditions, we found a terrific place to live, and the income from our part-time business increased dramatically. It was as if the doors that had been shut for a long time, were suddenly flung open, one by one, and we stepped through them effortlessly going with the flow, heading downstream into a more joyful, pleasing experience.

Laughter was the key for allowing the shift to take place within. The rest just followed, piece by piece, as we watched things come together in ways that we could never have dreamed was possible.

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Saturday, 20 July 2013

How do our products compare to the recommended Heart-Healthy Diet?

How does an Isagenix System Compare to a well-established heart-healthy diet?

Isagenix products were evaluated in an independent, third-party clinical study performed at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) that demonstrated superior results across key measured parameters.

The 10-week study evaluated the effects of both dietary plans in combination with intermittent fasting, or 'Cleanse Days,' on body weight, body composition, cardiovascular risk factors and oxidateive stress marker in 54 obese women with a body mass index above 35. 

The two groups fasted one day per week. However, the Isagenix subjects consumed the herbal-drink, Cleanse for Life, whereas the subjects on the 'heart-healthy' diet plan receive a similar product to serve as a placebo. 

Subjects on the Isagenix system had a serving of Isalean Shake for breakfast and a serving for lunch and were counseled to eat a 400-600 calorie meal for dinner. They also took Ageless Essentials Daily Pack supplements as directed. The 'heart-healthy' subjects received instruction for a registered dietician on how to follow heart-healthy guidelines, which included limiting calories by 20 - 25 percent daily, limiting total fat to 35 percent, limiting cholesterol intake, and increasing intake of fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. 

Summary with the Isagenix system:
  • more total weight was lost
  • more body fat - especially visceral fat - was lost
Due to the successful weigh and viceral fat loss, results also showed a greater reduction in biological oxidative measurements, greater adherence, and was shown to be easier and more convenient. 

For further info about the comparison, check out: Predictable Weightloss.

To see the damage done by visceral fat, check out this short movie: What Visceral Fat Does to the Body.

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Friday, 19 July 2013

Early to Bed, Early to Drop Pounds

Early to Bed, Early to Drop Pounds

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Avoid temptation to indulge in fatty foods by getting to bed early.
Notice a surge in your food cravings? You may want to check your bedtime. In the first laboratory study of its kind, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania showed that otherwise healthy people who stay up late and don’t get a good night’s sleep are likely to gain weight from indulging in fattier foods during the late-night hours.
In the study, published in the journal Sleep, 225 non-obese people between the ages of 22 and 50 were randomized into a sleep restriction group or control group for 5 nights—the sleep restricted group slept from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. while the control group slept from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Because the study was conducted in the lab, the researchers were able to closely follow the eating and sleeping habits of all the participants. The subjects all ate the same meals at the same time each day, and they all had unlimited access to a fully-stocked kitchen.
The subjects who only slept four hours a night ate more than 550 additional calories than the control group and gained more weight. Overall, men gained more weight than women and African-Americans put on more weight faster than did Caucasians.
“People consumed a substantial amount of calories during those late-night hours when they would normally be in bed,” said study author and doctoral candidate Andrea Spaeth  in a press release. “Those calories also were higher in fat compared to the calories consumed at other times of day.”
Apart from just being up late and possible boredom causing the tendency to drift over to the fridge for unnecessary snacking, some research has found that inadequate sleep can increase levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger cravings, while decreasing levels of leptin, the hormone responsible for feelings of fullness. Internal mechanisms aside, a good night’s sleep should always be a part of any weight loss or weight maintenance strategy. Not to mention a healthy lifestyle.
For starters, keep the high-calorie, high-fat food options out of your fridge—what’s not there can’t hurt you. In addition, some tips for helping to put your night-owl self to bed earlier are:
  • Turn off the TV and other electronic devices. The light from such tools many people use to relax to during the later hours are actually messing with natural melatonin production, and the ability to fall asleep. Try reading a book or listening to music or an audio book to help your body relax and get into sleep mode.
  • Reduce caffeine intake earlier in the day. Depending on the person, caffeine’s effects can linger for up to eight hours and affect the ability to fall asleep. If you know you’re sensitive to caffeine, aim to be caffeine-free by about 2 p.m.
  • Exercise earlier, not later. A known benefit for a good night’s sleep, exercise can also make it difficult for the body to wind down after. Try exercising in the morning or an earlier time if you’re a regular evening exerciser.
  • Enjoy a hot bath. Having a hot bath about an hour before bedtime can help the body and muscles relax. It can also increase core temperature, which upon leaving the bath the core temperature will drop and cause a natural release of melatonin, the hormone that tells the body to go to sleep.
  • Supplement with Sleep Support & Renewal. If falling asleep at a set, desired time seems impossible for you, or you feel the sleep you are getting isn’t the quality sleep that you need, try supplementing with melatonin. Our Sleep Support & Renewal contains safe and effective amounts of melatonin and is a fast-acting, spearmint-flavored spray with additional ingredients such as theanine and chamomile that have shown to promote a calm and relaxed state. The ingredients work synergistically to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep while also helping to improve the quality of sleep and increase total sleep time.
Contact me if you'd like more information. 

Spaeth AM, Dinges DF, Goel N. Effects of Experimental Sleep Restriction on Weight Gain, Caloric Intake, and Meal Timing in Healthy Adults. Sleep 2013;36:981-90.
Figueiro MG, Plitnick B, Rea MS. Light modulates leptin and ghrelin in sleep-restricted adults. Int J Endocrinol 2012;2012:530726. doi: 10.1155/2012/530726
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Thursday, 18 July 2013

One thing leads to another..... choosing happiness.

Funny how one thing can lead to another.......I was checking out FB this morning and came upon a video post from my friend, Lynn Jankowski. It shows a comedian who is talking to some middle school students about bullying, and how one solution would be to teach compassion and love. 

During his presentation, he used a quote from Helen Keller which I found inspiring. So I 'googled' the quote and came across a blog posted back in 2012 by Kahuna-pule Kimo called, 'If I had No Vision'. (See the blog here) - which was also inspiring. 
Below is an excerpt from this post. 

"An interviewer once made the comment to the blind Helen Keller, “Ms. Keller, it must be hard being blind.”  Her response was a revelation: “It would be if I had no Vision because we really see with our hearts.

The key to Ms. Keller’s wisdom was having accepted that her eyes did not work as they should and not wasting time railing against the sight that she lacked, but instead to determinedly grow in happiness with what she had.  What she shows us is that happiness is a choice.  Happiness is based upon acceptance of where we are - even when there is further to goof how we are - even when there is further to grow and of who we are - even when there is more to know.  Did you choose to be happy today?"
Thanks to Kahuna-pule Kimo, I am going to look for more things to appreciate today. 

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Friday, 5 July 2013

Just labels...

A few years back, I was once told that my mind was my greatest asset - but also my worst enemy. How true was that statement! While having a shower this morning (and it would seem that I do a lot of thinking at that time of day), I found myself thinking about my new status as someone receiving a pension. Then I got to thinking - am I a pensioner or not? 

My first thoughts were, 'I'm not 65, nor receiving Old-Age Pension, so therefore I'm not technically a pensioner'. Then I could hear my brother saying... 'You're receiving Canada Pension and your Teachers' Pension - therefore, you are a pensioner!'

These conflicting thoughts kept buzzing in my mind and then I remembered something else that was once said to me - these are all just labels - don't be defined by labels. 

Think of all the times we label ourselves. At various times, I have assigned labels to myself such as: stupid, inadequate, unkind, thoughtless, overweight, as well as many others. I know that most of these words describe isolated incidences, but when we continue to use them, we begin to transition them to describing our very selves. 

Consider now what our Inner Being (call it Source, your Soul, God, Energy of the Universe, All That Is - these, themselves, are all just labels, too) thinks about us, from the aspect of unconditional love..... we would know ourselves as worthy, lovable, kind, thoughtful, considerate, and vibrant. 

We have a choice when we find ourselves assigning labels - to ourselves, to others, or others labeling us. We can choose to focus on the negative labels, which generates negative feelings; or we can focus upon the positive, which will generate feelings of self-worth, self-love (in the best sense of the term), and a feeling of general well-being. 

After all, success is not defined by labels, nor by the amount of money in the bank, nor by our belongings. In my opinion, success is defined by the amount of joy we have in our lives. And we can choose thoughts that lean towards joy at any time. 

Today, I'm going to deliberately look for things that make me feel good when I see them, and listen for things that make me feel good when I hear them. This will bring me nearer to joy - which is our natural state - and from that aspect, there will be no need for labels. 
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Thursday, 4 July 2013

What are Telomeres and why are they important?

Is the Fountain of Youth literally around the corner? Could we really live to 125 years and beyond?
Fact. Did you know that scientists have been able to turn old mice in to young mice, AND immortalise human cells? ABC NEW - Age Reversed in Mice, Scientists say...
Dr. Bill Andrews Phd, a World Leading Biologist in Telomere Research is visiting New Zealand to share his amazing 'Life Extension' discoveries.
His discoveries are being touted as the world’s biggest medical breakthrough to date, that will lead to cures for many age related and non age-related diseases.
One of the most highly respected scientists in the USA, described as ‘The Man Who Would Stop Time’ by Popular Science Magazine he has been featured on the Today Show, BBC, NBC and HBO documentaries. 
For thousands of years people have told tales of a fountain of youth, a mystical water that has the ability to restore a person to their younger days. And life extension is something scientists around the world have been working on for decades. And it seems, with great success.
Dr. Bill Andrews, who at 61 is an Ultra Marathon runner, has focused the last 20 years on finding ways to extend the human lifespan and health-span through telomere maintenance.
Scientists have known about Telomeres since the 1930s and that they shorten with age since the 1970s. Yet none have been able to actually figure out a way to stop the shortening – that is, until now.
Dr. Andrews discovered an enzyme called Telomerase, that actually stopped the Telomere shortening. 
Dr. Andrews explains, “Just like the caps on your shoelaces, the older the telomeres get, the more worn out and shorter they become, until they are rendered useless. Telomerase Enzyme Deficiency Syndrome (T.E.D.S) is one of the biggest, yet most unknown killers of humans today. By putting a halt to the shortening of our telomeres - or even better, lengthening them - the cures for a long list of telomere shortening related diseases is one step closer. Plus, you could extend your healthy life indefinitely.” 
To many, aging is just something that happens, an unavoidable part of life that brings with it all the un-niceties. But there is growing noise amongst the scientific community that perhaps aging doesn’t have to be so unpleasant. Perhaps, it doesn’t even have to happen at all. The term ‘growing old gracefully’ may for once, have some truth to it.
As one of the principal discoverers of both the RNA and protein components of human telomerase, Dr. Andrews was awarded 2nd place as “United States Inventor of the Year” in 1997. He is also a named inventor on 45 US issued patents on telomerase and author of numerous scientific research studies published in peer reviewed scientific journals.
Fact is people alive today will be able to extend their lives by 25 to 50 years. Not only that, they will be able to stay looking younger and avoid debilitating age related diseases.
(Source:  Event Finder NZ.)

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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Great First Day in our New Abode....

What a way to spend a day..... 
Slept in and vegged for most of the morning, with occasional work around the apartment to get it more organized. 
Then we took a 2 minute trip to the lake and swam for about 45 minutes after we had hiked on a local trail. Followed up with grocery shopping and back home - all within a one sq. kilometre range of our home. 
I'm going to love living here....
Spine Beach, Elliot Lake
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