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My Birthday Crown July 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor.
29 comments

I’ve long been purr-suaded that everyone should be Queen (or King) for a day . . . at least once a year.

That’s what Birthdays are all about, right?

This year’s birthday celebration got off to a great start.

BFF & I went out for lunch to Ella’s Greek ~> Spanakopita, Greek Salad, Lentil Soup, Fries . . . and Baklava!

Baklava = my birthday “cake.”

After lunch, we went to an exhibit at the library and shopped at the just-opened Goodwill Art & Book Store.  After purr-using the racks, I purr-chased a copy of “Universal Orlando” so we can read up on Hogswarts and Hogsmeade before we buy passes to park hop on the Hogswart’s Express.

Later that afternoon, I received a fun e-mail from my nephew with a link to this dancing zebra kicking up its hoofs:

Zebras crack me up!

That evening, after a delicious dinner, I watched a movie, popped some popcorn, and . . . cracked a tooth. Didn’t realize it until I got in bed and my tongue found a hole in my mouth where tooth used to be.

Hey, wait! . . . maybe the tooth cracked while I was cracking up at the dancing zebra?  

Maybe dancing zebras aren’t all they are cracked up to be!   

The next day, I called the dentist to schedule a repair ~>  I’ll receive my “Birthday Crown” on Monday.

In the meantime, I’m NOT in any pain.  Yay!

It would be hard to maintain my Cheshire Grin if I were grimacing in pain due to a tooth that’s MIA and/or AWOL.

In the future, I’ll watch what I wish for ~>No more Queen for the Day!

After receiving this crown, I’m abdicating the throne!

Aah . . . that’s better!

You Should Be Dancing . . . Yeah! July 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Health & Wellness.
21 comments

Dancing is the best thing you can do for your body . . . and your mind.

Dancing burns more calories than other forms of exercise because you are moving in different directions, stopping and starting, and using muscles in your arms, hands, hips, legs, thighs, and core:

If running is like driving on a freeway, dancing is more like motoring through a busy city. All of that starting, stopping and changing directions burns a ton of fuel even though you’re not covering a lot of ground.

Dancing is great for brain health, strengthening the white matter that keeps us “sharp.”

And it’s a BIG mood booster and stress reducer:

Like other forms of cardio exercise, dancing also seems to have mood and mind benefits. A 2007 study found that hip hop dancing improved energy, buoyed mood and lowered stress in ways similar to aerobic exercise.

To read more:  Why Dancing Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Body

Best of all ~> it’s FUN to groove to your favorite tunes!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  The TIME Guide To Exercise ~ with links to 68 articles on the benefits of exercise.

 

Be Healthy, Well, and Wise! July 3, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Health & Wellness.
17 comments

#1 ~ Washing Hands In Cold Water Works As Well As Hot Against Germs

In handwashing experiments with 21 volunteers, Rutgers University researchers found no significant difference in cleaning power between water that was 60, 79 or 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

They also found that lathering hands for just 10 seconds was sufficient to remove germs.

#2 ~ Want to Lose Weight? You Should Stop Counting Calories

The quality of calories is what matters most for staying healthy, losing weight, and maintaining those results.

People who are more mindful have also been shown to experience fewer weight fluctuations over time.

Even though eating quality calories will help you crave treats less, there’s still room for the occasional indulgence. Dr. Ludwig is a fan of dark chocolate, which has heart, brain, and satiety benefits.

#3 ~ How to Protect Your Eyes from Digital Eye Strain

Practice the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes with your screen, give your eyes a 20 second break and look 20 feet away, which will relax the focusing muscles.  Consider wearing yellow-tinged specialized computer eyewear, which takes strain off of eyes by focusing on the computer, reducing glare and filtering blue light.

And if you’re a real stickler for eye safety in the workplace, give your screen a friendly high five: that’s the distance you should keep to protect your eyes.

#4 ~ The Science of Sleep

This Guide to Sleep is a collection of links to 45 different articles on How to Fall Asleep, How to Stay Asleep, and How to Wake Up Refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

P.S.  It’s Mickey tested and approved!

#5 ~ 8 Ways to Stay Energized All Day

It’s no wonder so many of us struggle with energy issues. We go, go, go from morning to night, running on little but grit and caffeine. But it doesn’t have to be that way.  This complete guide to all-day energy is packed with proven strategies that will keep you powered up as you plow through your to-do list.

You’ll also learn about surprising energy drains (social media, we’re looking at you)—and how to keep them from stealing your mojo.

#6 ~ How to Create the Ultimate Black Bean Burger

Black bean burgers have something of a special status in the world of veggie burgers, and with good reason! Black bean burgers are packed with protein and flavor, they can be seasoned up in all kinds of ways, and they’re easy to whip up from a handful of pantry staples.

Every batch of black bean burgers the author makes starts with four base ingredients:

1 (14 ounce) can of black beans. Make sure to drain and rinse them.
1 cup of breadcrumbs or oats or oat flour.
1 small onion. Dice it.
1 to 3 cloves of garlic. Mince them.

Everything goes into the food processor and gets pulsed a few times until it’s finely chopped and well mixed. Just be careful not to overdo it.

For more tips on add-ins, spices, cooking, and serving, check out the recipe on Oh My Veggies.

#7 ~ Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

And last, but NOT least . . . Here’s Julie with 6 of her favorite natural Happiness Boosters!

Ginger + Cinnamon + Turmeric + Matcha + Cacao + Cayenne ~> S~M~I~L~E!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Like A Kid In A Candy Store . . . June 21, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Mindfulness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
28 comments

While in Fort Collins, BFF and I paid a visit to Natural Alternatives for Health ~> my niece’s favorite pot dispensary.

I loved it!

The “ohm-budsmen” were friendly and knowledgeable.

The prices were reasonable.

The decor was cool.

The selection was great.

A fun vibe all the way around.

Two days later, my niece asked me to smoke some “Critical Mass” with her.

Did I inhale?

Let’s just say, I enjoyed that “Rocky Mountain Hike in Colorado.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Take An Aspirin & Call 911 May 23, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, People.
23 comments

Last week, I received an e-mail about heart attacks that seemed to contain ample doses of both Fact & Fiction.

Not sure which was which, I headed round to Snopes.com to see whether they had “the 411” on heart attacks.

They did.  From Aspirin and Heart Attacks:

In 1993 the American Heart Association began recommending a 325 mg aspirin dose at the onset of chest pain or other symptoms of a severe heart attack. That bit of advice is going unheeded, though; a follow-up report published in 1997 shows as many as 10,000 American lives a year could be saved if more people who thought they were having heart attacks took an aspirin at the start of chest pains.

Bottom line, if you think it’s a heart attack:

  1. Call 911
  2. Chew an aspirin
  3. Keep breathing

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Language Delays in Children May 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, People.
30 comments

Smartphones do not create smart kids.

Just the opposite ~> early use of screen devices may cause language delays in kids.

In a new study of nearly 900 children between six months and two years old, researchers found that those who spent more time using handheld devices were more likely to have delays in expressive speech, compared to children who didn’t use the devices as much.

For every 30 minutes of screen time, there was a 49% increased risk of expressive speech delay. The research, which was led by pediatricians at the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada, was presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies.

The researchers say they did not find any effect of screen time on other communication skills, such as gesturing, body language or social interactions. But the effect on speech is worth investigating.

After all, why bother learning to talk when you can just press a button?

Now, step away from the Smartphone!

Unless, of course, you want to prove the adage:  “Monkey see . . . Monkey do.”

Aah. . . that’s better!

To read more:  Kids Who Use Smartphones Start Talking Later

Don’t Get Too Comfortable! May 9, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Home & Garden.
30 comments

Want to boost your metabolism?

Try adjusting your thermostat . . . up and down!

Recent research by a bunch of smart people with credentials (who seemed to know what they were talking about) has encouraged me to experiment with the temperature settings in our house this summer.

Apparently, being too comfortable is not in our best interest.

Instead, being a little chilly or hot encourages our body to flex its vascular muscles on our behalf.

If you keep your home at a comfortable 70 degrees year-round, you might want to switch it up a bit: Fluctuating indoor temperatures are good for your metabolism, suggests a new scientific report, and may even be an important way to fight obesity and diabetes.

To read more:  Adjusting Your Thermostat May Boost Your Metabolism.

Now . . . you’ll have to excuse me while I abandon my comfort zone.

Aah . . . that’s better!

95 Ways To Eat More Veggies May 3, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
27 comments

Veggies are our friends.

Overflowing with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and good-for-us fiber, veggies pack a powerful nutritional punch . . . when we remember to pack them in our lunch.

Need some inspiration?

Need to show those veggies who’s boss?

Here are 95 ways to get more veggies in your days:

*95 Ways To Eat More Veggies ~ Cooking Light

Aah . . . that’s better!

And, just in time for Cinco de Mayo: 20 Vegetarian Tex-Mex Recipes!

Tai Chi: An Oasis Of Calm May 1, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.
23 comments

Participants engaged in mastering the slow mindful movements of Tai Chi remain present . . .

In the moment . . .

The only place happiness resides . . .

In addition:

Tai Chi helps participants increase flexibility and balance while improving concentration.

It’s hard to be “lost in thought” while engaged in Tai Chi, giving participants a break from anxiety, worry, angst, and other every day stresses and strains.

As it taps into the mind-body connection, Tai Chi soothes the sympathetic nervous system, lowering dangerous levels of cortisol and adrenaline which are tied to a host of health ailments (e.g., high blood pressure & excess weight).

Tai Chi provides a *pause* that refreshes, resets, and relaxes the monkey mind . . . an oasis of calm in the midst of the frenzied and frenetic pace of life.

As an added benefit, many classes are held outdoors, offering participants the opportunity to nurture themselves amid the sights and sounds of nature.

Nature + Nurture = Perfect Together!

To learn more about the benefits of Tai Chi:  Why Tai Chi Is As Good For You As CrossFit.

Aah . . . that IS better!

 

 

Walden ~> The Game, Not The Pond April 19, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Nature, Sustainable Living.
20 comments

I heard about this video game from Poets and Writers.

If you’ve got 45 minutes to commune with virtual Walden, this presentation by the game’s creator is a fascinating look at how and why she designed a video game modeled after Thoreau’s contemplative time On Walden Pond, where he concluded that it is not until we’ve met our innate and mundane needs for Food, Clothing, Shelter, and Fuel that we can turn our attention to inspiration, creation, and the more sublime and ephemeral aspects of life:

If you’ve got 13 minutes to wander in the virtual reeds, this clip will give you a glimpse of how Tracey has used gaming technology to slow “the quickening pace of life” allowing us to “play deliberately” and reflect, as Thoreau did, on how the choices we make change our relationship to nature and the sublime aspects of life:

If you only have a few minutes to walk in Thoreau’s footsteps and ponder his words and philosophy, this video game trailer will give you a sense of what “slow play” is all about:

Aah . . . that’s better!