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

Middle-Age Memoirs: How to make a face mask in 30 seconds or less (with a filter)

Well what a month it’s been! Spending unending time with my better half and youngest son over the past couple of weeks has been fun. However, I think the phrase “be careful what you wish for” may be applicable here.

I’m the type of person who loves alone time. Normally, I’m alone all day (except for my dog Max of course). I write my blog alone….I do housework alone….I cook alone. I really enjoy being alone. I find it peaceful. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my sons like crazy, now that they are out of the house. I absolutely love spending time with my better half. Since the pandemic began, however, they are rarely out of sight or earshot. I find my precious alone time has completely disappeared and, quite frankly, I miss it. I’m sure most of you can relate. I find myself digging into my old habit of staying up late at night, just to find some peace, and revive some precious alone time.

Anyway…last week, the Governor of Virginia, issued a “stay-at-home” order, which ended up being an extension of the “suggestions” for staying home previously issued. He kept everything else the same. Thankfully, he didn’t take it to extremes, such as arresting people for leaving home, like states surrounding us have done.

On Friday of last week, the CDC issued new guidelines for wearing face masks in public. Here is a link to the CDC face mask FAQ for your information. So, I took to the internet to find the easiest way to make a face mask with little or no sewing required. I tried several before settling on my favorite. AND…once you have all the materials, it can be put together in under 30 seconds. My son timed me and it took me 24 seconds. I got the idea from the video below:

The video above used electrostatic hepa filter material for the face mask filter. I looked for this online. You can find it on Amazon, but don’t expect delivery until June. So I did a bit of research for alternatives. I found an article on smartfilters.com, called “What Are The Best Materials for Making DIY Masks?” The following list of material was tested by researchers at Cambridge University. Researchers tested each material against “0.02 micron Bacteriophage MS2 particles (5 times smaller than the coronavirus)” As you can see, vacuum cleaner bags were found to be effective 86% of the time. So we will be using this as our filter, in place of the hepa filter in the video. If you don’t have vacuum cleaner bags, my research indicates any “non-woven” fabric will help, but not as effectively.

One other thing I discovered…most videos recommended using hair bands. I DO NOT agree. I tried using these and found they didn’t stay on my ears. I prefer rubber bands. I found them to stay better and they were more comfortable.

Materials needed

  • 15 inch x 15 inch piece of cloth (really any size will work see video)
  • 8 inch x 4.5 inch rectangle cut from a vacuum bag (for the filter)
  • 2 rubber bands or hair bands

Steps

  • gather materials
  • lay filter (vacuum bag rectangle) in the middle of the 15 x 15 square fabric. NOTE: the filter IS NOT reusable. You’ll need a new filter with each use.
  • fold fabric in thirds. Start by folding the top down. Then fold the bottom up
  • put one band around each end
  • fold the ends toward the middle
  • tuck extra from one side into the folds from the other side. (see video)

Closing thoughts

Keep in mind, I am not a medical professional, nor an expert on medical face masks. Also, this isn’t a “form fitting” mask. It is, by no means, a replacement for a surgical mask or N95 mask. With that said, the CDC is suggesting the use of face masks and many states are beginning to require them in public. This mask is better than nothing, VERY easy to put together and more form fitting than simply a scarf. Plus it has a filter of sorts, so should provide a bit more protection.

As I said, I tried at least 4 different types, some with material, some with paper towels. There are many how-to videos on youtube. If you sew, THIS ONE would be great, as it has a pocket for a filter and is reusable. Anyway, I’m not much for sewing, so this was my solution.

I hope all of you are safe and healthy. GOD BLESS!

Until next time…Namaste my friends

blogsignature12-11

The 4 Best Immune Boosters & Protectors to Take RIGHT NOW!

Last week, I talked about boosting your vitamin C intake by using the powerful little Camu Camu berry. We all know that 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 onslaught of colds, the flu and, of course, the Corona Virus aka: COVID-19. In fact, there are many, many natural substances that help in this area, but today, I’ve limited it to four of the very best:

  • vitamin D
  • oil of oregano
  • elderberries
  • colloidal silver

Vitamin D ~ The Sunshine “vitamin”

It may surprise you, but vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin. Most vitamins and minerals required by the body must be consumed, because the body does not make the substance. Vitamin D is different in this regard and is more like a hormone. The body actually makes vitamin D in our skin as a result of exposure to sunlight. You may guess, therefore, that most humans are deficient in this all important substance, due to our lack of exposure to sunlight and poor diets.

Vitamin D is crucial for many activities in the body, today, we are especially concerned with the immune system. One study indicated that individuals deficient in vitamin D were more susceptible to respiratory infection than those with sufficient levels.

Here are a few other facts about vitamin D:
  • Every cell in the body has a vitamin D receptor!
  • It is estimated that as many as 2000 genes or 1/6 of the human genome is either directly or indirectly regulated by vitamin D.
  • The digestive system cannot absorb calcium without vitamin D
  • Vitamin D is crucial to bone health
  • Plays a critical role in the immune system
  • Vitamin D is important in the reduction of infectious diseases in the body
Supplements and dosages:

Because most individuals are deficient in this very important substance, a dosage of 2000 to 5000 IU/day is recommended for most people. I HIGHLY recommend vitamin D3, as this is the natural source from animal products. Try to avoid vitamin D2 if possible. The D3 version is easier for the body to absorb.

Life Extension Vitamin D3 5000 IU

If you’d like a whole food source of not only vitamin D, but vitamin A and vitamin E as well, I HIGHLY recommend BLUE ICE FERMENTED COD LIVER OIL from Green Pastures. I personally take this every day along with a D3 supplement during cold/flu season.

Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Oil of Oregano

To be honest, I wasn’t that familiar with oil of oregano, and had to do a bit of research. It turns out this is powerful stuff! It is by far one of the most impressive herbal supplements I’ve seen. It has been used as a medicinal substance for more than 2500 years! Here are just some of the things it does for you:

  • supports immune system
  • anti-fungal
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-parasitie
  • anti-viral
  • powerful antioxidant
  • promotes mood balance
  • aids digestion
  • allergy support
  • weight loss support
  • helps with herpes and other lip blemishes
  • promotes intestinal balance
  • normalize yeast balance
  • healthy liver support
Sources and uses:

The Healthy Oil Planet website recommends asking these specific questions when looking for an oil of oregano supplement:

  1. How much Active Ingredients are in the oil? – The active ingredients in the oil is carvacrol and thymol. Caracrol is the ingredient responsible for the anti-microbial activity of the oil. Therefore, any oil should have high concentrations of cararo.
  2. What is the Plant Source? You’ll want to make sure the plants that made the oil are: grown wild on native soils, handpicked, pesticide and herbicide-free, grown in an ecologically-conscious manner with conservation programs in place.
  3. What’s the overall Purity and Quality? Look for the following: Are the oils GMP (good manufacturing practice)-certified? Is it additive-free? Steam-distilled oils are higher purity; Free of solvents; Non-irradiated; 100% natural; Unprocessed and raw
  4. What form do you want: Liquids or Capsules?

Dr. Axe recommends taking 4 drops 4 times daily for 10 days. It can also be used topically on fungus or herpes cold sores.

Source Naturals Oil of Oregano

Elderberries

Elderberry is a flowering plant native to parts of Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. There are many species of elderberry, but black elderberries are the most commonly used. The berries and flowers are used in medicine, while the bark, roots and leaves are toxic and should be avoided. Elderberries have been used for a long time in wine, jams, jellies and, syrup, which is most common today.

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. Here are some elderberry benefits:

  • cold & flu relief
  • reduce sinus infection symptoms
  • lowers blood sugar
  • a natural diuretic (promotes the production of urine)
  • relieves constipation
  • improves skin health
  • helps relieve allergies
  • possible cancer fighting benefits
  • improved cardiovascular health
Uses, supplement sources, and cautions:

The most common use of elderberries is as a syrup. The recommendation is one teaspoon per day, which can be increased to 3x/day in cases of illness. Elderberry tea, powders and capsules are also available.

While elderberries have many potential benefits, there are a few things of which to be aware:

  • Only eat ripe, COOKED berries. Raw berries should be avoided due to a cyanide-inducing chemical contained in the berries. This can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Purchasing commercially prepared syrups, jams, and jellies are generally safe.
  • Elderflowers and berries can cause allergic reactions in some people. If you are susceptible to allergies, use caution.
  • Elderberry syrup is NOT recommended for children, unless advised by a doctor.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid elderberries, due to lack of available research on effects to fetal health.
  • Due to the immune stimulating effects, individuals with autoimmune disorders should use caution and seek advice from a doctor.
  • Can interact with some medications including: diabetes meds, other diuretics, immunosuppressants, corticosteroids, and laxatives

Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup

Celebration Herbals Organic Elderberry Tea

Colloidal Silver

silver nanoparticles attacking a bacteria

I’ve save the best for last. Colloidal silver is something everyone should have in their medicine cabinets. I must admit this one is new for me as well. But as I was doing research for this article, colloidal silver kept coming up as a “must have” for immune boosting and protecting substances. As a member of the wellness community, I’ve heard of it, but dismissed it as something silly or misleading in terms of benefits to human health. But as I did research, I was continually impressed and proven wrong.

So, what exactly is colloidal silver? Basically, colloidal silver is electrically charged silver nano particles suspended in pure distilled water. You’ve more than likely heard the phrase “born with a silver spoon in your mouth”. This phrase stemmed from the knowledge that using silver in the consumption of food, was beneficial to human health. If you’ve used silver to eat, you’ve no doubt ingested silver nanoparticles.

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. Here are some benefits of colloidal silver:

  • natural antibiotic
  • natural antimicrobial
  • natural antiviral
  • help with wound care
  • improved skin health
  • possible help with pink eye/ear infections
  • anti-inflammatory
  • known to help with sinusitis
  • helps with cold/flu
  • helps with pneumonia, bronchitis

Uses, cautions and sources:

Colloidal silver may be taken/used in the following ways:

  • 2–5 drops applied on skin
  • to support the immune system take 1 eyedropper orally
  • 1–2 drops into eyes for pink eye
  • disinfect woulds by applying 1–2 drops on a bandaid
  • 5 drops added into a neti pot or directly sprayed into the nose to treat sinusitis

While the benefits are widely known, the safety of colloidal silver is controversial and still up for debate. Many scientists believe colloidal silver interferes with certain drugs. However, as of the writing of this article, there is no research suggesting this is true.

When looking for colloidal silver, make sure the company is reputable and uses a good quality silver source. Poor quality supplements can lead to a condition called “argyria”, which actually turns the skin blue. Good quality colloidal silver WILL NOT turn your skin blue! Here are a few other things to look for in a good quality colloidal silver supplement, from Global Healing:

  • Purity matters – pure water is extremely important for this process to work.
  • Proper electrical charge is necessary. It isn’t enough to simply have silver nanoparticles in distilled water. Colloidal silver works because the electrical charge is attracted to the bad microbes. Therefore, the silver must have a proper electrical charge
  • Use a supplement created using a “high voltage” process. You will, no doubt, find equipment and videos indicating you can make your own colloidal silver. While technically possible, “homemade” versions, using low voltage, will not have the same health effects.

Sovereign Silver Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol

Note: I looked at many lists and sites highlighting the best colloidal silver and this one was on every list and stood out as being the best. The key to this one is “bio-active”, which means it has the proper and important electrical charge.

Until next time…Namaste my friends

Tamara

How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally | Mama Natural

With the current scare with COVID-19 (AKA-CoronaVirus), we need all the help we can get to boost our immunity. Next week, I will do an in depth, thoroughly researched article on immunity and boosting your immune system.

Immune system, Be kind and Anxiety on Pinterest

However, for today, I am posting this wonderful article by Mama Natural, which gives some great tips on natural ways to boost immunity.  (It’s my better half’s birthday today, so I am spending the day with him, which is why I’m posting this today) Follow the link below for  the main article. 

medical science - Can optimism "boost" the immune system ...

“Desperately trying to ward off a cold? Up your chances of staying healthy by learning how to boost your immune system naturally.”

Immune System Quotes & Sayings | Immune System Picture Quotes

Here is the link to the main article: How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally | Mama Natural