The Best Ways to Protect Yourself this Flu Season

Saying this past year has been stressful is a bit of an understatement. With COVID-19 everywhere we may have forgotten about getting the flu, but it’s still out there. This year, many of us may have weakened immune systems, so protecting ourselves is more important than ever during these unprecedented times. While we are all taking precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19, here are some additional ways you can protect yourself from the flu this season as well. 

Avoid Close Contact with Others 

According to the CDC, you should keep your distance from others if you are feeling sick and from those who might be sick. Keeping your distance is important to prevent the spread of the flu and the coronavirus.

While we are all trying to avoid contact with others to avoid getting sick, this doesn’t mean life just stops. Try to see what policies your company has with work from home options during the flu season. Also ordering groceries online and picking them up curbside is a great option to avoid close contact with others.   Most restaurants now offer delivery or curbside pickup as well.

Get Vaccinated 

Every year the flu virus changes and adapts, this is why it’s important to get vaccinated every year. That way you have the most updated antibodies to fight off the virus. 

“Getting your annual flu vaccine is more important than ever this year. Although the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, it does reduce your risk of getting the flu, flu-related complications, and hospitalization, explained Fidelis Care Chief Medical Officer, Vincent Marchello, MD. “You can safely get a flu vaccine at multiple locations, including your doctor’s office and pharmacies. Call ahead for more information. Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health this season.”

Wash your Hands Properly 

Did you know that the average person comes in contact with approximately 840,000 germs every 30 minutes? It is estimated that only 5% of people wash their hands correctly, with most people only washing for 6 seconds. Always remember to wash your hands frequently and remember the basics for proper handwashing techniques.

  • This includes washing your hands with cold/warm water, lathering the soap, washing the front and back of your hands, and in between your fingers and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds or if you’re teaching children the proper technique, a nice trick is to wash your hands for the duration of time it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. 
  • Of course, most of us are no strangers to washing our hands, but did you know there’s a medically proper way to do so? John Hopkins Medicine launched a video on how to properly wash your hands. This could a great tool for parents teaching their children while flu season is in full effect.

Boost Your Immune System.

Your immune system protects you from any infections, bacterial or viral, so we want to make sure it’s functioning properly. Medical News Today suggests following these strategies:

  • Take Vitamin D – This is important for a strong immune system.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables
  • Eat antioxidants – Antioxidants are compounds that protect our cells from free radical damage. The top antioxidants include: Vitamin A , Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium and the caratonoids (pre-cursor to vitamin A)-beta-carotene, lutien, lycopene and zeaxanthin
  • Exercise  – According to research, immune cell activity in the blood can increase from 50% to 400%, following exercise, based on intensity. Regular, moderate exercise is the key to maintaining this immune boost.
  • Reduce your stress levels –  Stress can lower the lymphocytes in the body. Lymphocyes are the white blood cells that help fight off infection. If lyphocytes levels are low, the body is more susceptible to infection.
  • Sleep 7-9 hour  – Sleep is very important to a healthy immune system. In one study, individuals who slept less than 6 hours were 4 times as likely to get sick as individuals who slept 7 or more hours.

The Best Immune Boosting Foods

A diet filled with a variety of whole foods including fruits, vegetables and fresh seafood, will do wonders for your immune system and help fight off the flu. Choose from all the colors of the rainbow. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Vitamin A : animal products such as cold fish, liver and egg yolks
  • Vitamin C: sweet red pepper, strawberries, kiwis, oranges, red, green, yellow peppers
  • Vitamin D: A good dose of sunshine will boost your vitamin D. Food sources of Vitamin D include: Salmon, sardines and cod liver oil.
  • Vitamin E: spinach, avocadoes, sunflower seeds, almonds, dark leafy greens
  • Beta-carotene: dark leafy greens and orange produce such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin
  • Lutein & Zeaxanthin: dark leafy greens, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, eggs, oranges
  • Lycopene: tomatoes, grapefruit, papaya, asparagus, red cabbage, red peppers
  • Zinc: legumes, seeds, nuts, oysters, beef

The Top 4 Natural Immune Boosting Substances

There are many natural substances that can boost the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerhouse when it comes to illness. However, there are other vitamins, minerals, herbs and natural substances that can do wonders to boost your immune system and protect you from the flu this season. Here are the four of the best substances to include in your immune boosting arsenal:

Vitamin D – Because most individuals are deficient in this very important substance, a dosage of 2000 to 5000 IU/day is advised for most people. Vitamin D3 is highly recommended, as this is the natural source from animal products and easier to absorb. A good food source of vitamin D, as well as vitamin E and A is Fermented Cod Liver Oil.

Oil of oregano – This oil is a powerful immune boosting substance. It has been used for over 2500 years as an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and an anti-oxidant. The recommended dosage is 4 drops, 4 times per day for 10 days.

Elderberries – Elderberry is a flowering plant native to parts of Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. Elderberry syrup is one of the most studied due to its benefits as a powerful immune booster. The berries contain compounds called anthocyadnidins, which have “immunostimulant effects”. Studies show that people treated with elderberry vs a placebo recover faster from flu symptoms. The recommendation is one teaspoon of syrup per day, which can be increased to 3x/day in cases of illness. Elderberry tea, powders and capsules are also available.

Colloidal Silver – Colloidal silver is electrically charged silver nano particles suspended in pure distilled water. Silver has been used to treat disease for more than 6000 years. In fact, it was commonly used as a natural antibiotic as recently as the 1940’s, when modern antibiotics arrived on the scene. It is scientifically proven to be effective against most organisms and pathogens. The recommended dose for immune support is one eye dropper per day.

Soup, Chicken Soup, Eat, Food, Court, Cook, Vegetables

In Conclusion…

There’s an old wives tale that says eating homemade chicken soup when you’re sick will help you get better. While a bowl of soup won’t kill the flu virus, the broth, chicken and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, which will help boost your immune system. The hot soup will lift your spirits, help you destress and may even help you sleep. All of this combined is a recipe for healing.

If you or a loved one does start to feel sick, it is suggested you stay home and quarantine yourself. Whether it’s just the flu or a little cold, with the current state of the pandemic, you wouldn’t want to take a risk.

An Avocado a Day Keeps Dementia Away

If you’re like me your relationship with avocados goes something like this: buy them, wait for them to ripen, forget about them, then, when you want to use them, they aren’t any good. Sound familiar?! There really is a fine line between unripe and overripe when it comes to avocados 🥑!

But we really do need to work these little green gems into our daily food intake, especially if you’re approaching middle age. Why? Well, according to a study done at Tuft University, avocados are very high in lutein, a plant nutrient that keeps our brain healthy.

Lutein a member of the carotenoid family of phytonutrients, is closely related to vitamin A and beta-carotene. Lutein is often connected with another carotenoid called zeaxanthin in relation to eye health, but it’s benefits go beyond the eye.

  • Reduced risk of vision disorders
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Improved cognitive health
  • Skincare
  • anti-cancer
  • lowers inflammation
  • weight control

Back to the Tuft University study. Researchers recruited 40 healthy individuals age 50 and over, and tested the lutein content in their brain. Scientists had half the test subjects eat one avocado per day for 6 months, while the control group ate either one potato or one cup of chickpeas per day. Potatoes and chickpeas have very low lutein levels. Both groups kept all other aspects of their diets the same.

At the end of 6 months, the avocado group had a 25% increase in lutein levels, versus no increase in the control group. Other improvements seen in the avocado group include: significantly improved memory and problem solving skills. The study was led by Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, a professor of nutrition at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. She said:

“Eating one avocado a day is particularly effective at enriching neural lutein levels. A balanced diet that includes fresh avocados may be an effective strategy for cognitive health.”

Other foods high in lutein include:

Closing thoughts:

If you’re like me, you always mean to eat more avocados, but they ripen so quickly. It seems one day they’re unripe, then the next, they’re over ripe. Well, when I began receiving avocaods in my produce delivery every week, I knew I needed to solve this problem, and preserve them until I could throw them in my smoothies. That’s when I started to freeze them. 

I cut each half into 1/8’s, place them on a parchment covered tray in a single layer and place them in the freezer for a few hours. After they’re frozen, you can put them in a ziplock bag. 
FYI, this is for use in smoothies. 2 pieces are 1/8 of an avocado. I haven’t yet used them to make guacamole. If I do, I’ll let you know how it goes. For now, I throw a couple of pieces in every smoothie I make. Best of all, I’m not throwing away past ripe avocados any more!

Until next time…Namaste my friends

Tamara

Lemon Water is my new coffee…10 Reasons you Should add it to your Daily Routine!

Lemon water was all the rage 4 or 5 years ago. Was it just a fad…a passing phase with nothing beneficial to the body? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Lemon water may have phased out of popularity, but it’s benefits have not.

At the time it became popular, my better half and I drank a quart of warm lemon water every morning. The benefits became so ingrained into our lives that we took them for granted. We slowly stopped drinking this beneficial wonder. Skipping one morning, led to skipping more. Before you know it, our lemon water routine was history.

After my move to Colorado, my healthy and diet routine took a nose dive as did my health. So, I thought back to what I did in the past to aid in recovering my health, and that’s when I remembered my lemon water routine. So, I’ve taken up drinking a quart of warm lemon water each morning and I am SOOO glad I did! It has become my new “pick me up” drink in the morning. It helps with my morning fatigue and also dulls some of the sinus headaches I routinely get each morning, when I’m not eating quite right.

It’s so easy to make. Simply squeeze the juice of 1/2 of a lemon into a quart jar and fill with warm, clean, filtered water and enjoy. You may be asking yourself…A QUART OF WATER FIRST THING IN THE MORNING…Now, why would anyone do that? Okay, that’s a lot, but you can work up to that amount. The point is to rehydrate yourself and adding the lemon has so many more benefits than just flavor! Here’s a screen shot from one of the videos below, which discusses the benefits of lemon water to the body:

10 Reasons to add lemon water

to your daily routine

  1. Improves your digestive health. Try it for just a couple of days and you’ll be sure to notice how it helps get things “flowing”!
  2. Helps promote mineral balance in the body.
  3. Improves eyesight – the combination of vitamin C and antioxidants in the lemon help your body fight off eye diseases such as cataracts.
  4. Improved skin health – after 30 days on lemon water, you’ll see fewer blemishes and wrinkles
  5. Aids in liver health – The liver is by far one of the most important organs in the body and it doesn’t get a fair shake. It is constantly bombarded with toxins. Lemon water helps flush toxins from the body as well as harmful bacteria.
  6. Improves immune health – The juice of 1/2 of a lemon provides about 1/2 days worth of vitamin C. As you know, vitamin C is one of the body’s main immune boosting vitamins.
  7. boosts metabolism – it gets your digestive system flowing and by extension your metabolism.
  8. lowers inflammation – modern day diseases all share one main cause…chronic inflammation. Lemon water can help lower this chronic inflammation in the body.
  9. Helps fight kidney stones – the citric acid in lemons helps to dissolve kidney stones.
  10. Weight loss – It improves the body’s ability to lose weight. Lemons help break down body fat, boosts metabolism, improve insulin sensitivity,

In my search for information on lemon water, I stumbled on another drink that is beneficial to the body. I just had to give it a try…

Apple Cider Vinegar Fasting Drink

After watching the video, (below), I just had to try this drink. Here’s mine below. I can tell you it is AMAZING! SO GOOD! I’m hooked. The cinnamon is the star of the show, with a hint of sour from the lemon and apple cider vinegar. I also used swerve to sweeten, as I didn’t have stevia on hand. (It’s on order from Amazon!) This, along with my warm lemon water, will be part of my new daily routine. YUM! See the video below my pic for the how to make it!

Below, you’ll find 4 videos which discuss lemons or lemon water and the benefits to the body. Watch one or watch all. Any of them will help you understand the great benefits to drinking lemon water.

What Happens to Your Body

When You Drink Lemon Water

Benefits Of Lemon Water ~

Dr. Nick Zyrowski

Top Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Dr. Berg

Benefits of Lemon

Dr. Axe

Look for my main weekly post on the Dimensions of Wellness.

Until next time…Namaste my friends

Tamara

s.a.l.t. & the golden rule

Before I get to the inspiration for this post, (the concept of S.A.L.T.) I wanted to share this little essay, which was originally written to my youngest son as he graduated from high school last year. It was a “little speech” I gave just before I presented his “graduation video”, a photographic representation of his life. This essay is a collection of things I wanted him to remember, the take away from his years living with me, learning from me. I have edited it slightly by removing some very personal sections in order to make it a bit more generic. Below is a photo of my son on his graduation day, approximately one year ago.


For what it’s worth,

here is my “two cents worth”:

“As you move away from home, our job raising you draws to a close. We’ll still provide insight and guidance, but it will be less and less.  In a sense, an entire chapter of our lives together is ending. You are now moving into adulthood, headed into the world to see what it has to offer you. We need to trust that we’ve raised you properly, to make good decisions and live a good life.  So, this, for what it’s worth, is my sage advice, as you begin the next chapter in your life. 

There are many things my parents taught me as I grew up, such as…

  • always be on time
  • always try your best
  • finish what you start
  • work hard

But, there are 3 principles I use to guide my life.  I’ve tried to teach these principles to you over the years and lead by example. They work hand in hand, the first guiding the second and the second guiding the third .

1)Treat others how you wish to be treated

I’ve used this phrase often as you grew up. I often felt it was a fruitless cause, but hoped it would one day sink in.  This principle, also known as “the golden rule”, is so important, it is the guiding philosophy to all religions and spiritual beliefs.

  • CHRISTIANITY – So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
  • BUDDHISM – Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. 
  • JUDAISM –  What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
  • ISLAM – No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. 
  • HINDUISM – This is the sum of duty: do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.

2) Don’t judge others actions – This principle, can be illustrated by this short story:

DIRTY LAUNDRY

A young couple moved into a new neighborhood.
The next morning while they were eating breakfast, 
the young woman saw her neighbor hanging the washing outside.
“That laundry is not very clean; she doesn’t know how to wash correctly. 
Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”
Her husband looked on, remaining silent.
Every time her neighbor hung her washing out to dry, 
the young woman made the same comments.
A month later, the woman was surprised 
to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband,
 “Look, she’s finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?”
The husband replied, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”
And so it is with life… 
What we see when watching others depends 
on the clarity of the window through which we look.
(~author unknown)

Remember, life is only how you perceive it through your own eyes, your own experiences. The lives of others are like an iceberg, you only see the tip, but there is a vast amount hidden beneath the surface. You have no idea what someone else has been through or their life experiences. You don’t know what has led them to the choices they made. You may think your beliefs and way of life are the only way, but, others think that of their life as well. There are 7.7 billion people on this planet and 7.7 billion views on life, love and God. Which leads me to the final principle.

3) Keep an open mind. –

The most important thing I can say here is: there is no 1 right way, there is only what’s right for you. “To each his own.” another phrase I’ve used quite often over the years. It simply means everyone has a right to their own preferences and choices. Allow that and keep an open mind to those decisions others make. You lead your life, treat others with kindness and respect, and don’t judge the lives of others. Then, you let other people do the same thing.

At the same time, keep your mind open to new possibilities and different perspectives. Life is a classroom. Embrace that. When you come across something you don’t understand, don’t mock, judge or gossip instead, study it, learn about it, and ask questions. Remember, the only stupid question is the one you fail to ask. Never stop learning, growing and changing. We are all just plugging along in this life, doing the best we can with what God gave us. NO ONE is better than anyone else, just different. Discover those differences and embrace them.

Through the process of putting together the video, writing this essay and my son graduating, I realized what a blessed and magnificent life I’ve had with these three wonderful men, my husband and 2 sons. I am so grateful for the beautiful life we’ve had together. We’ve seen and done so many amazing things. Traveling the world, living in so many different places, experiencing new cultures and ways of life has been such an adventure. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Many people have asked me over the years how we can move so much, isn’t it hard? For me, I ask…how can you stay in one place your whole life and NOT travel the world? Remember, it’s all in how you view life.

For so many people, home is a place, a building, with four walls and a roof. As the old saying goes, “home is where the heart is.” My home is, and always will be, with the three men in my life. Whenever we are together, no matter where we are on the globe, I am home.


I am so tired and stressed by the state of our world, that I struggled to find a theme for today’s post. For me, what’s missing is living by the guidance of THE GOLDEN RULE. The main theme for my life and the 3 principles listed above is THE GOLDEN RULE…treat others how you wish to be treated. That’s when I decided to post the essay above.

To add to this essay, I also found a wonderful video which discussed a 4 pronged approach to implement this most important rule. This system goes by the acronym S.A.L.T.

  • Serve – Use your gifts and talents to help others
  • Appreciate – Recognize the accomplishments and effort of others and be grateful always.
  • Love – Love everyone unconditionally, without expectation or exception.
  • Treasure – Spread kindness. Show dignity and respect to others.

Below is the video that discusses the concept of S.A.L.T. in relation to THE GOLDEN RULE. While this is a video based on the bible and Christianity, there are no limits to this concept.

Closing thoughts…

One thing missing from my essay, had I written it today, is is the defense of others. This is something else I’d like my children to know and understand. It’s important to live by the golden rule. However, it’s also important to understand that not everyone in this world live’s by this concept. Therefore, I’d add a 4th life principle.

4) Defend those less fortunate.

I don’t think anyone would argue that we all desire peace on our planet. Right now, that can’t happen. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and be treated according to the golden rule. After watching many videos and learning from the life experiences of others over the past month, it’s clear there are members of our society that aren’t treated with the respect they so richly deserve. I’d tell my children, if they witness any such disrespect, to step in and help the person being mistreated. We must be a light, a beacon to those still in darkness. We must lift each other up, not push each other down. Only then, will we live together in peace as a planet.

 Until next time…Namaste my friends

6 Super Healthy Diabetic Friendly Recipes

Here is the latest post from my little recipe blog: The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen

The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen

Earlier today, on my main site, Purple Almond Wellness, I featured an article about managing blood sugar for diabetes. Here is a list of 6 super healthy diabetes friendly recipes to help do just that! Each recipe uses at least one of the foods on THIS LIST of diabetes friendly foods. In some cases, more than one food is in the recipe. ENJOY!

signature5e74d49e1a513

Sardine and Lemongrass Salad

From: Saveur.com

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 9.50.38 AM.png

Spinach, Beef and Egg Hash

From: Saveur.com

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 9.55.20 AM.png

LIGHT BERRY FROZEN YOGURT

From: Sugar Free Mom

Broccoli with Parmesan and Walnuts

From: Martha Stewart

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 10.03.43 AM.png

Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Soup

From: The Hungry Hounds

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Raw Zucchini and Flaxseed Wraps

From: The Full Helping

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6 ways to keep your brain young and healthy From Home

As I talk with friends and family over the past few weeks, since the pandemic began, I hear people expressing their frustration at being “stuck at home”, saying they’re going “stir crazy” and other similar phrases. This is understandable, since we are used to coming and going as we please. For me, I actually find myself veering away from social media and searching for ways to stimulate my brain. Being stuck at home seems to have created a craving for brain stimulation. After all, the brain needs exercise, just like the rest of the body. Here is a list of 6 ways to stimulate your brain and keep it young, from Kwik Learning. With each recommendation, I’ve included ways you can do each activity from home, for free when possible.

6 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR BRAIN YOUNG AND HEALTHY

Woman, Kitchen, Man, Everyday Life, Blond
  1. Try new things. This may prove difficult from home, but let me make a few suggestions.
  • Learn a new language– This article from Livewire.com has a list of 14 free language learning software sites.
  • Learn to cook– This article, from The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen, includes a list of online cooking classes. While some in the list do cost money, there are several that are free including: Skillshare, Chef2chef, and The New York Times.
  • Visit a museum – Many museums are offering free virtual tours. This article from mentalfloss.com includes a list of 12 museums around the world you can visit from home, including The Louvre, The Guggenheim, and The Met in New York.
  • Read classic literatureProject Gutenberg is a non-profit online data base of free online e-books. Founded Michael Hart in 1971, it was the first organization to offer free online e-books. It has a huge database of literature. You are sure to find something of interest.
Woman, Person, Cyclist, Bicycle, Movement, Exertion

2. Exercise – Just as exercise is good for the heart and the rest of the body, it’s very good for the brain as well. Exercise is proven to decrease stress and depression which also slow brain function. Exercise also boosts mental ability, and focus, minimizing risk of damaged cells, which leads to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Here are some ways to exercise from home for free:

  • Walk (and earn money for charity) – Walking is one of the healthiest exercises, it’s free AND it gets you out of the house. While you’re walking you can earn money for charity with the Charity Miles app. Once you download the app and choose a charity, all you have to do is move. The app lets you do anything from walking and running to dancing and biking. For each mile you move, Charity Miles donates money to your chosen charity. The amount per mile depends on the activity chosen.
  • Take a free exercise class – If you prefer more organized exercise or you miss your gym, try a free online class. Here are a few places offering free classes: Planet Fitness, Blink Fitness, Orange Theory, and Gold’s Gym.
Laptop, Coffee, Arm, Desktop, Notebook, Writing

3. Volunteer – Yes you can volunteer from home. Cool right! My search yielded many results. Here are a few opportunities:

  • Covia – This non-profit serves older adults. They are looking for people to help isolated elderly individuals through 1 on 1 friend matching, send cards/letters to 10 elderly adults, or simply donate money. Here is a short video…
  • 7 CupsThis organization provides free emotional support via caring listeners. They are in need of volunteers who could fill this roll.
  • Crisis Text Line – This non-profit is a 24/7 text line for people in crisis in the USA. They are in need of volunteer crisis counselors. If you are interested, follow this link.
  • American Red Cross – Digital advocates are needed through The American Red Cross. Follow THIS LINK for more details.
  • Be My Eyes – When you install the app on your phone, you will be “on-call” to help the visually impaired with everyday tasks, such as reading instructions, checking dates or other small jobs.
Handshake, Hands, Laptop, Monitor, Online, Digital

4. Be Social – Now, this one may be a bit more difficult, but in this technological age, there are things you can do. Here are a few suggestions on being social from the comfort and safety of home:

  • Movie night Netflix has a new service called “Netflix party”. It’s a free download which synchronizes movie playback with a chat feature.
  • Book club – Facebook has many book club groups. I just joined a Nourished Reader book club and am awaiting reading the first book There are many other such groups on Facebook. Bustle.com has 10 tips for setting up your own book club.
  • Virtual Happy Hour – If you miss meeting your friends for a nite on the town, host a virtual happy hour. Mydomaine.com has an article on this topic called “The Entertainer’s Guide to Hosting a Virtual Happy Hour”.
Woman, Asleep, Girl, Sleep, Dreams, Face, Young Woman

5. Get good sleep. – Working from home may lead us to slack off on our nighttime routine. However, it’s more important than ever to stick to a routine when it comes to bedtime. A good night’s sleep keeps the brain cell connections strong, helps us retain information and calms us. Poor habits lead to depression, bad memory and psychiatric problems. I’ve written a few articles on insomnia. Follow THIS LINK for more information.

Yoga, Calm, Release, Stretching, Golden Hour, Nature

6. Beat anger. This one is difficult under the best of circumstances. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders are not helping in this department. We need to do our best to alleviate stress and anger in our lives, especially now.

Stress and anger release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These are processed in the brain before the rest of the body. I’ve written several articles on stress. follow THIS LINK for more details. Stress and anger increase heart rate, raise blood pressure, change brain structure, increase risk of mental illness and kill brain cells.

Under current circumstances, it’s difficult to avoid stress and anger, but you can manage it. Here are links to some articles to help alleviate stress

Closing thoughts…

Brain quote by Daniel Amen | Weight Loss/ Nutrition ...

You may be thinking now isn’t the time to be worrying about all of this. I beg to differ. It’s during times of stress that it’s imperative to take care of your brain. Anyway, taking the 6 steps listed above will help make your time in self-isolation that much easier…and you can bring joy to others at the same time.

 Until next time…Namaste my friends

6 ways to keep your brain young and healthy From Home

As I talk with friends and family over the past few weeks, since the pandemic began, I hear people expressing their frustration at being “stuck at home”, saying they’re going “stir crazy” and other similar phrases. This is understandable, since we are used to coming and going as we please. For me, I actually find myself veering away from social media and searching for ways to stimulate my brain. Being stuck at home seems to have created a craving for brain stimulation. After all, the brain needs exercise, just like the rest of the body. Being stuck at home day after day can become boring, draining and mundane. Here is a list of 6 ways to stimulate your brain and keep it young, from Kwik Learning. With each recommendation, I’ve included ways you can do each activity from home, for free when possible.

6 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR BRAIN YOUNG AND HEALTHY

Woman, Kitchen, Man, Everyday Life, Blond
  1. Try new things. This may prove difficult from home, but let me make a few suggestions.
  • Learn a new language– This article from Livewire.com has a list of 14 free language learning software sites.
  • Learn to cook– This article, from The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen, includes a list of online cooking classes. While some in the list do cost money, there are several that are free including: Skillshare, Chef2chef, and The New York Times.
  • Visit a museum – Many museums are offering free virtual tours. This article from mentalfloss.com includes a list of 12 museums around the world you can visit from home, including The Louvre, The Guggenheim, and The Met in New York.
  • Read classic literatureProject Gutenberg is a non-profit online data base of free online e-books. Founded Michael Hart in 1971, it was the first organization to offer free online e-books. It has a huge database of literature. You are sure to find something of interest.
Woman, Person, Cyclist, Bicycle, Movement, Exertion

2. Exercise – Just as exercise is good for the heart and the rest of the body, it’s very good for the brain as well. Exercise is proven to decrease stress and depression which also slow brain function. Exercise also boosts mental ability, and focus, minimizing risk of damaged cells, which leads to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Here are some ways to exercise from home for free:

  • Walk (and earn money for charity) – Walking is one of the healthiest exercises, it’s free AND it gets you out of the house. While you’re walking you can earn money for charity with the Charity Miles app. Once you download the app and choose a charity, all you have to do is move. The app lets you do anything from walking and running to dancing and biking. For each mile you move, Charity Miles donates money to your chosen charity. The amount per mile depends on the activity chosen.
  • Take a free exercise class – If you prefer more organized exercise or you miss your gym, try a free online class. Here are a few places offering free classes: Planet Fitness, Blink Fitness, Orange Theory, and Gold’s Gym.
Laptop, Coffee, Arm, Desktop, Notebook, Writing

3. Volunteer – Yes you can volunteer from home. Cool right! My search yielded many results. Here are a few opportunities:

  • Covia – This non-profit serves older adults. They are looking for people to help isolated elderly individuals through 1 on 1 friend matching, send cards/letters to 10 elderly adults, or simply donate money. Here is a short video…
  • 7 CupsThis organization provides free emotional support via caring listeners. They are in need of volunteers who could fill this roll.
  • Crisis Text Line – This non-profit is a 24/7 text line for people in crisis in the USA. They are in need of volunteer crisis counselors. If you are interested, follow this link.
  • American Red Cross – Digital advocates are needed through The American Red Cross. Follow THIS LINK for more details.
  • Be My Eyes – When you install the app on your phone, you will be “on-call” to help the visually impaired with everyday tasks, such as reading instructions, checking dates or other small jobs.
Handshake, Hands, Laptop, Monitor, Online, Digital

4. Be Social – Now, this one may be a bit more difficult, but in this technological age, there are things you can do. Here are a few suggestions on being social from the comfort and safety of home:

  • Movie night Netflix has a new service called “Netflix party”. It’s a free download which synchronizes movie playback with a chat feature.
  • Book club – Facebook has many book club groups. I just joined a Nourished Reader book club and am awaiting reading the first book There are many other such groups on Facebook. Bustle.com has 10 tips for setting up your own book club.
  • Virtual Happy Hour – If you miss meeting your friends for a nite on the town, host a virtual happy hour. Mydomaine.com has an article on this topic called “The Entertainer’s Guide to Hosting a Virtual Happy Hour”.
Woman, Asleep, Girl, Sleep, Dreams, Face, Young Woman

5. Get good sleep. – Working from home may lead us to slack off on our nighttime routine. However, it’s more important than ever to stick to a routine when it comes to bedtime. A good night’s sleep keeps the brain cell connections strong, helps us retain information and calms us. Poor habits lead to depression, bad memory and psychiatric problems. I’ve written a few articles on insomnia. Follow THIS LINK for more information.

Yoga, Calm, Release, Stretching, Golden Hour, Nature

6. Beat anger. This one is difficult under the best of circumstances. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders are not helping in this department. We need to do our best to alleviate stress and anger in our lives, especially now.

Stress and anger release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These are processed in the brain before the rest of the body. I’ve written several articles on stress. follow THIS LINK for more details. Stress and anger increase heart rate, raise blood pressure, change brain structure, increase risk of mental illness and kill brain cells.

Under current circumstances, it’s difficult to avoid stress and anger, but you can manage it. Here are links to some articles to help alleviate stress

Closing thoughts…

Brain quote by Daniel Amen | Weight Loss/ Nutrition ...

You may be thinking now isn’t the time to be worrying about all of this. I beg to differ. It’s during times of stress that it’s imperative to take care of your brain. Anyway, taking the 6 steps listed above will help make your time in self-isolation that much easier…and you can bring joy to others at the same time.

 Until next time…Namaste my friends

STAYING INDOORS INCREASES CORONAVIRUS RISK!

Now, I’m starting by saying this isn’t my headline. It’s a bit of a shock headline designed as clickbait, written by the author of the article below. It’s a bit deceptive, but there is a kernel of truth to it.

This is an interesting article. There is something to this, in that the body needs vitamin D to boost immunity. Your body makes vitamin D from sunlight. So, spending time in the sun, outdoors is the best way to boost vitamin D intake. Have a look at the article below to see why this Doctor makes this claim!

Vitamin D Sun Quotes. QuotesGram

STAYING INDOORS INCREASES CORONAVIRUS RISK!
— Read on doctordavidfriedman.com/blog/staying-indoors-increases-coronavirus-risk

Boost Your Energy and Immunity with These 13 Super “Blue” Foods – Blue Zones

Boost your immunity and live a bit longer with these 13 super foods! These are some of the foods enjoyed by the world’s longest lived people, as tracked by bluezones.com

Follow this link for the original article and list of foods: Boost Your Energy and Immunity with These 13 Super “Blue” Foods – Blue Zones

Middle-Age Wisdom: Healthy snacking habits while working from home – Fox News

Hello all! Forgive me as I write this on my phone. My better half is telecommuting and has my computer at the moment.

Before I share the article, I wanted to give a quick update on some scheduling changes during this covid-19 crisis. I’ve decided to cut back to blogging to just one day per week, for the foreseeable future, until things get back to normal. This is a significant cut back from my current schedule of 4 days per week.

Each Monday, I’ll post 2 articles, one from this blog and one from my recipe blog, The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen. Since my better half and youngest son are both home everyday, I find myself in a unique opportunity to spend quality time with my family, thus the reason for the cut back. Once things are back to normal, I’m hoping to go full time on both blogs.

Onto the main article:

Many of you find yourselves in a unique situation of working from home. This poses many different challenges, one of which is access to more food than normal. Trust me, as someone who works from home all the time, I understand this challenge all too well….the penchant to snack, mindlessly, all day. How do you stop this? The following article from Fox News gives a few tips on how to resist snacking and eat healthy when working from home.

Snacks Quotes. QuotesGram

Here are a few tips from the article:

  • plan ahead- make snacks ahead of time and place them in clear containers
  • make unique snacks – like fruit skewers with pineapple cubes, orange slices, strawberries, etc
  • Use low-fat, plain yogurt or cottage cheese for dips or breakfast.
  • change work locations if you’re prone to stress eating
  • take a 15 minute break- get some fresh air, chat with friends or play a game on your computer/phone
  • got cravings? Figure out possible reasons and look for solutions

If you fall off track don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world. Just hop back on the healthy eating bandwagon. At the end of the day, it’s overall healthy eating that matters, not one little bad snack.

Until next time, Namaste 🙏 my friends.

For more details, here is the link to the main article: Coronavirus outbreak: How to maintain healthy snacking habits while working from home