8 easy free things you can do to improve your health at home

A conversation this week with Chris Waltein, a very “tuned in” Holistic Health Practitioner at Awakening Wellness Center, and Director of Operations at Awakening Into The Sun (St. Petersburg, Florida) gave rise to this blog post! Thank you Chris, for an aWEsOMe conversation and tour of the new wellness center!
There are many easy and free things all of us can do at home that can improve our health. Most of us know and do some of these things, but we may not have tried them all–and we might be able to increase our vitality and longevity by incorporating more of these tips into our daily routine.
So, here’s a short list for consideration. Click any of the highlighted words to learn more about each:
  1. Drink more water
  2. Get more sleep
  3. Meditate
  4. Eat fresh home made meals — including raw veggies/juice
  5. Massage your body — if you live alone, you can do self massage or acupressure!
  6. Deep breathing — there are many benefits and techniques
  7. Laugh! Yes, there are real measured benefits just from laughing daily!
  8. Move you body–Any kind of movement! Some ideas:
Yoga, Qigong, Pilates, Tai Chi, gentle stretches to improve mobility and flexibility, lunges and squats, walk (either alone or with a neighbor or friend), run, dance, garden, walking meditation, stair climb, swim, golf, play any kind of sport, etc.
There are many ways to get your blood and lymph moving (some within a very small place)! Always go at your own pace and be kind to yourself — there’s no competition, just move a little more every day and measure your improvements!
While practicing deep breathing you can add any of the following healing energy medicine modalities, such as: Jin Shin Jyutsu, EFT or Reiki to calm, relax, and rejuvenate your body.
There are many aspects to yoga. You might want to begin with the yoga postures (how you move your body) and progress to the other mind-body and spiritual enlightenment aspects. I would recommend you to find a well-rounded yoga teacher and take some classes. I initially learned yoga when I was a teenager, by watching x on television. Many years later, I took an in-person class and there was a world of difference! Dr. Alison J. Kay teaches a more complete yoga because she was trained in India as an Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, and also trained as a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher of 200 hours (RYT-200).
Pilates has been a modality that I’ve only recently explored. I take classes at Blue Sage Pilates in Bradenton, Florida and I LOVE IT! I can’t say enough about how it’s gently strengthened my muscles, increased my flexibility, and enabled me to breathe much better! It’s so much more healing than I ever knew! It’s not just for dancers. Anyone, young or old, can learn and practice Pilates for health. I highly recommend it!
Now, take out a pen and paper. Jot down some of the things you want to improve about your physical body. Try one or two of the things from this article that you aren’t currently doing. Give it a couple weeks, and then write down all of the improvements.
Come back to this article and comment to let us all know what you did, and the differences you’ve experienced in your energy level, overall health, or vitality! I’ll be looking forward to it!
Also, if you’ve already been doing these things, or have another alternative, natural, or holistic health recovery experience to share with me, please comment or email and let me know – especially if you’d like me to add your story to my third book (in progress).
Many blessings! To our better health!

Why I meditate daily

The day after Beau (our beloved 14 year old male Shih-Tzu) crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I realized our morning walk (when I’d do my walking meditation) could become my regular sitting meditation practice time.

I knew I could honor Beau (during my meditation time) by sitting with a blanket in the spot where he had made his transition to the “beyond”. Also, I could place the two small stuffed animals (my loving husband had given me years ago) near me, to sort of represent our kids with fur, Beau and Lou-Lou. Two little stuffed representatives to comfort me somehow.

So, why do I meditate?

  • To center myself emotionally, mentally, and spiritually within my being
  • To nurture myself and enhance my own well-being
  • To take note of my thoughts
  • To expand the space between thoughts – which sharpens one’s focus over time
  • To allow myself to connect with God – our LIMITLESS Ever-Living Filling-All-Space Creator. (More about that connection here.)

My meditation time is priceless to me.

After taking structured meditation classes, I realize that I’ve always meditated, just not in any structured way. I have learned methods from Dr. Alison J. Kay and a MeetUp group, and I continue to learn.

A couple of weeks into my new sitting meditation routine, I visited Alania Starhawk’s crystal shop and studio in Largo, FL (Alania also runs a MeetUp group) and I was drawn to two wonderful “sister” crystals, which I brought home and proceeded to incorporate into my meditation seating arrangement.

When I begin my actual meditation, I set a timer next to me (UPDATE: I was right, after two months, I did not need the timer).

I settle and relax my body into a comfortable position with my legs crossed.

I envision the light from the sister crystal next to my left foot, entering my body in a spiral fashion, clicking into place all of the gears or points of connection on each chakra wheel (beginning with the root/red chakra, sacral/orange, solar plexus/yellow (always visualizing a sun rise), up into the heart/green chakra (where everything grows from the sun and filters out as love to all in my community, city, county, state, country, continent, and world), then blooming into the throat/blue chakra, and continuing to the purple third-eye chakra, where levers and switches get flipped up or down, and re-calibrate as necessary whatever needs to be accurately tuned, through the very essence and into the center of my body, aligning my spine, reaching out through the light of the other sister crystal in my right hand, and finally, connecting with Limitless Creator Source Energy God via my crown chakra (top of my head).

Then, I naturally come out of my meditation with a word, or phrase from the Divine.

When Beau passed, I wanted a pillow with a picture of him on it, but it took me awhile to figure out the picture and how to obtain it.

One day, I looked at the beautiful Awakened Fibers wall hanging in our bedroom and realized who I’d ask. I reached out to Mary Ann Pickard, owner of Awakened Fibers — and she was more than happy to create my Beau pillow! I commissioned her to make one pillow for me and one for my granddaughter (who also loved Beau, often asking to see him when we’d Skype or Google Hangout).

Once the pillows were finished, I met Mary Ann to pick them up. I was elated! She had lovingly designed and created such extraordinary pillows! So much detail, like the hidden zipper (so Jennie wouldn’t catch herself on it), along with super neat trim (blue cording on mine / frilly lace on Jennie’s) — really artistically crafted!

Meditate daily

Upon returning home, I immediately sensed that I would use my new “Beau pillow” during my meditation.

My yellow shirt is from India Artisans in Sarasota – located right next door to the Crystal Cave (another crystal shop I love and highly recommend).

I still do my stair climbing meditation five days a week. I use that time to de-stress from my tasks, stretch, practice Jin Shin Jyutsu, pray, and even practice Pilates and other movements to build and tone my body.

My sitting meditation is something I really look forward to each morning though. It’s a quiet, tranquil time where I feel totally nurtured and supported by All There Is. A time where the walls of “me” melt away and allow me to become ONE with All There Is, know and feel exceedingly that, We Are All Connected.

You don’t need to have “things” around you when you meditate – but I have found that for now, these are pleasing to me and anchor me to my little piece of heaven on earth.

Namaste. OM

 

List of really yummy protein powder drinks you can mix easily with water

Protein drinks will provide you with energy, enable you to fast (especially if you’re just beginning to fast), and perhaps even add to your longevity! When I fast I drink two to four servings of protein powder mixed with water throughout my day — typically two servings for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner. It depends upon if I am eating raw fresh veggies for my lunch or not.

Protein powders are a special food. When we eat protein (such as meat) the body breaks it down into amino acids. Then the body assembles the amino acids back together to build our human muscle and most of our physical attributes.

Protein powders are often made of egg, whey, and soy and these often contain the full spectrum of essential amino acids. The term “essential” is used here to describe the metabolic processes that occur within the body from our consumption of food. Egg, whey, and soy score high on the PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score), with a top ranking score of 1.0.

Obviously, persons allergic to eggs or chicken should avoid the egg based protein powders. I avoid whey because I do not know what it is about dairy that that brings my body down a bit, whether it’s the casein or the whey, or something else. Since it’s an unknown, I avoid it. And it doesn’t bother me to avoid whey because there are a myriad of new protein powders on the market made from other things. NOTE: I did begin my research into various protein powders by using NuLean first–it is whey based.

I avoid soy based protein powders because of the high amount of GMO soy in the marketplace, and I have issues regarding the whole “soy protein isolate” issue. And while I realize the protein powder manufacturers should be using non GMO soy, I just err on the side of caution–especially since the protein powder is my only food on my fasting days (aside from raw veggies).

The kinds of ingredients I look for in a protein powder are:

  • Pea
  • Artichoke
  • Cranberry
  • Hemp
  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa
  • Flax
  • Millet
  • Lentil
  • Chia
  • Pumpkin Seed
  • Rice (highly digestible and the least allergenic, most like mother’s milk with an outstanding array of amino acids)

Transform your body and health. Lose weight while boosting the vibrancy and overall vitality of your body. This is true wellness and well-being, is it not? Feeling so fantastic that you are able to do any activity you desire!

I’ve written several other articles previously about fasting, including –> click here, and here, and here. Fasting can be quite healing for your body (mostly because instead of digesting food, your body can work on repairing things). I love intermittent fasting for health, longevity, and how it can help me transform my body. After my fasting days I always become even more of a healthy eater. It opens wider my awareness about choosing good food.

The following is a list of protein powders I highly recommend:

Orgain Organic Protein plant based powder — main ingredients: Organic Brown Rice, Hemp, Chia, and Pea Protein

PlantFusion Phood — main ingredients: Pea Protein, Artichoke, Organic Sprouted Amaranth, and Organic Sprouted Quinoa

Reset 360 All-In-One Shake — main ingredients: Pea Protein Isolate, Potato Starch, and Chlorella

SunWarrior Warrior Blend — main ingredients: Raw Organic Pea Protein, Raw Cranberry Protein, Raw Organic Hemp Seed Protein

Wild Force Super Plant Protein — main ingredients: Pine Nut, Durian, Prickly Pear, Chlorella, Quinoa Sprout, Pumpkin Seed, Pea, and Hemp among many others.

Take it upon yourself to be your vibrant self: healthy, joyful, and beautiful. Be who you want to be.

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

Trouble losing weight? It may not all be “in your genes”…

I’m a big proponent of self help and the power each of us has to change anything we’re not happy about in our life.

I talk a lot about how we expand in our growth when we get to know our thoughts and focus, thus better directing our life.

I’ve been reading that overweight people might have genes that push them towards food (perhaps even cause food addiction) whether they are hungry or not, or that a lack of willpower has something to do with it, but the more I read the less I blame genes for this. Dr. Bruce Lipton teaches that our genes are only a blueprint. Something else turns our genes on or off.

You might like to know there are easy complements you can add to your daily routine to lose weight and conquer your genetic predispositions by helping your mind and body turn off those weight storing genes.

What’s more is that once you learn these tips, and DO them each day, you increase your chances of weight loss success (whatever that really means to you)!

Think about this. When you were young, were you skinny or overweight? If you were thin twenty or more years ago, why not now? Yes, it could be the food you choose, or because you sit all day, but it could be something else. Have you already tried a myriad of diets only to find the weight creeps back on?

Maybe you have chalked it up to your genes, or changing hormones.  Perhaps you’ve given up. But that doesn’t feel good, does it? It feels like you’re defeated.

So, what if I tell you that you can change your mind and accomplish weight loss, in spite of your genetic situation. And you will then be able to lose weight and keep it off — yes, maintain your weight loss! Ahh, doesn’t that feel good when you think of THAT possibility?

Just for you–sort of a holiday present, I am outlining my protocol for weight loss (and increasing health vitality/energy) for you to try one or more of these ideas as follows:

  • 15 minutes of quiet meditation every morning
  • Two 10 minute stair-climbing (walking) meditation periods during the work day
  • Intermittent fasting (incorporating raw vegetables / green juices / green smoothies with little or no fruit on fasting days and drinking protein drinks — my next article will give you a lot of information on protein powders you can try)
  • Use Emotional Freedom Technique™ (EFT) daily or as needed for will and encouragement
  • Use Jin-Shin-Jyutsu (JSJ) daily or as needed for healing of specific bodily issues
  • Practice Pilates to increase mobility, straighten the spine, enhance breathing, and lengthen/tone muscles
  • Using Energy Medicine as needed
  • Walk in nature whenever possible
  • Limit potatoes to once or twice a week – rarely with meat (following food combining principles)
  • No eating bread, pasta, or anything made from processed flour – substituting coconut flour as needed
  • No eating or drinking anything with processed sugar – substituting maple syrup, stevia, local honey, or agave as needed
  • Limit intake of beef and dairy
  • Limit processed foods – NO “fast foods”
  • Limit exposure to toxins/chemicals (no make-up or natural organic cosmetics only, no chemical coloring of hair, wear natural fiber clothing/shoes–get rid of polyester, rayon, permanent press, and those kinds of clothes, and use only natural organic products on your hair/skin)

Some studies have stated that people can lose by 146% more weight than only relying on diet and exercise by incorporating hypnosis into their routine! When you change your mind about food choices (yes, even what tastes good to you) and WANT to move your body more (doing fun things you love) you can be successful at the weight loss game!

I have personally experienced weight loss success and science is explaining why. Though hypnosis and EFT are different modalities, for me, the benefits of EFT are that it’s free — once you learn it, you can do it everyday for the rest of your life for almost any issue and experience immediate relief, and that it’s easy! I have practiced EFT while driving, in a restroom, and in bed to help me fall asleep. I love it!

The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology published a paper, “The Integration of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Into the Practice of Psychology: A Vision for the Future” that discusses many modalities I’ve looked into and practiced and recommend:

  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Chiropractic
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Hypnosis
  • Massage Therapy
  • Meditation
  • Movement Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Reiki
  • Spirituality, Religion, and Prayer
  • Yoga

Though EFT is not listed among these modalities, nor could I find any reference to it when I searched their journals — I did find links to EFT when I searched their site, however it was related to something called, Emotion-Focused Therapy, not Emotional Freedom Technique. And all of the previous list of modalities are excellent for a variety of issues, or health related projects, but only a few have helped me to direct my focus and attention on my food choice and movement (exercise) enough to enable me to lose weight (and keep it off).

If you check here you will find that Hypnosis is a “relaxed, focused state of concentration.  It involves focusing attention and awareness inward.” This seems quite like meditation to me! The hypnotic state allows you to relax, rest your sympathetic nervous system, lower blood pressure, slow your heart rate, and “increase alpha and theta brain wave activity.” We’ve all probably seen people being hypnotized on TV and know that while they are in a trance, they are highly suggestible. Hypnotism allows one to more easily reach into one’s own subconscious mind. Thus, if while hypnotized we are accessing a deeper level of mind, this could give us the ability to change our perception of certain things and adjust our behavior, quite similar to EFT.

It occurs to me that since Hypnosis was pioneered by German physician Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer this may be where the word “mesmerized” may come from, when we think of anything that puts us into a trance-like state.

Emotional Freedom Technique™ (EFT) was developed by Gary Craig to “resolve negative emotions and trauma by tapping on various acupressure points.” EFT is the main self help tool I use to modify and limit my negative emotional responses to life problems. I highly doubt the current kinds of EFT and Tapping being practiced would not be possible without the pioneering work of Dr. Roger Callahan’s Thought Field Therapy.  EFT has been useful in helping one eliminate fears and phobias, overcome traumas, manage anger and pain, resolve sadness or grief, lift such addictions as nail biting and smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, gain self-esteem, and better equip one to handle other types of physical problems.

You have the power to easily make the important “brain changes” to override your genes… and meet your goals and EFT can help!

Please reach out to me (email: sheila.murrey@gmail.com) if you would like to know more about EFT or practice it with me in person, or via Skype or Google Hangout.