Actions & Consequences: 5 steps to a living well body

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Actions & Consequences: 5 steps to a living well body

One of the biggest health challenges that we face as a nation is chronic inflammation throughout the body. Each one of us manifests those challenges in different ways, but MANY times the underlying cause of the dis-ease is inflammation due to bio-burden, and lifestyle choices.

The pathology of inflammation is complex. But let’s examine it simply.

Think about what happens when you get a bruise, or twist your ankle, or get a cold. The body instantaneously releases extra fluid and blood to oxygenate the tissue to support the affected area, and the immune system sends it’s fighter cells to ward off infection. This is an important and necessary part of healing. You can see the swelling, you can feel the discomfort and you realize exactly what’s happening to your body. It doesn’t feel good, but you understand it, and it’s temporary.

The challenge arises when this inflammatory condition becomes lingering and persistent AND internal. You begin having unexplained aches and pains, upset stomach, diarrhea, headaches, blood sugar imbalance, irregular heart function, and you become concerned - rightly so. Internal tissue becomes inflamed due to the same physiological response as a bruised shin. The difference is that we don’t see the damage, and it’s usually not due to a physical injury.

This modern epidemic of chronic, low-grade inflammation destroys the balance in the body and the tools that are typically used become ineffective in combating the inflammation, and disease and aging are manifested. This process is implicated in a multitude of health issues, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, Grave’s and Hashimoto disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Type II diabetes, many other autoimmune disease, hormone disruption, cardiovascular malfunction, susceptibility to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, among so many others.

The GOOD news is that if we change our lifestyle choices, then we change the outcome. It’s a matter of actions and consequences - a simple concept that we used as foundational training for the girls as they were growing up. It created an environment where Terry and I weren’t the bad guys - we were simply the enforcers of the rules. If you choose to be selfish, then a time-out is the result. If you choose to sneak out of the house at midnight, then the result is 3 months without a car, phone or privileges. (Yes, this happened!) :) It’s the same with our health choices. If we choice to eat that Big Mac, then acid reflux, insulin resistance, clogged arteries, and greasy skin are the result. If we choose to eat that baby kale salad with olive oil-roasted beets, carrots and onions, seasoned with rosemary and thyme, and served with a handful of walnuts and wild blueberries, then the result is sustained energy, soft, clear skin, better eye sight, an immune boost, and a restorative night’s sleep.

We need to be proactive and make educated choices, so the body can reduce inflammation, reverse the disease process, and revitalize function throughout the entire system. This concept can be your reality. Here’s how.

5 Vitalizing Steps to combat chronic inflammation, disease, and discomfort, AND reduce the signs of aging:

1. Avoid trigger foods such as sugar, soy, all GMO grains including wheat, corn, oats, etc, commercial dairy, all packaged foods, and other specific items that have caused known allergic reactions in your family. For some people, eating peanuts will trigger a headache, so avoid those foods that you know don’t make you feel well.

2. Establish a new beauty routine with toxin-free products such as Crunchi, and Balm skincare, or HollyBeth Organics to eliminate endocrine imbalance which can produce reproductive inflammation - like polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, and exacerbate menopausal symptoms.

3. Eliminate toxicity throughout your home with safe swaps. Email lisa@livingwellspinecenter.com for a comprehensive master list of better choices called “The Living Well List of Toxin-free Alternatives”. AND minimize chemical exposure by purchasing only organic fruits, vegetables and foods.

4. Create a balanced physical, emotional and spiritual environment - stress of all types creates inflammation as your adrenal glands send extra cortisol and epinephrine to combat the perceived (or real) threat to the body. These next steps will help to reduce that biofilm: Prioritize your nervous system care plan for restorative results, move more - park a little further, and take the stairs if possible, nurture live plants in your home to naturally clean the air, maintain a schedule to identify and release trapped emotions with a body code specialist, and stay connected with the Creator through His Word, prayer, and up-lifting music in your home and automobile.

5. Eat foods daily that help to reduce inflammation, like several cups of leafy greens, 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric in your Veg-E Pro smoothie, 1/2 cup wild Maine blueberries, grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, olive oil, sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup organic walnuts, and 3 cups of Fresh Ginger Root Tea using the recipe below.

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GINGER ROOT TEA: A LIVING WELL ELIXIR

I use this special recipe integrated into most of the personalized protocols and dietary guidelines that we create for our clients. They experience excellent improvement with consistent use. This also becomes a base for combining other energy-tested herbs, like red clover, milk thistle, or rose hips to further enhance the healing response.

Ingredients:

1 large (size of your hand) piece of organic ginger root, peeled

4 quarts of filtered water

Local honey

Preparation:

Cut the ginger root into 1/4 inch slices and add to a pot with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat off and let it steep for 30 minutes. You can have your first cup at this point. Strain some of the liquid, add up to two tablespoons of honey (less if you can) and sip on it for 15 minutes or so. Store the remaining tea in a glass container with the gingerroot pieces in it. Refrigerate. Drink at least 3 cups per day for the most benefit.

I encourage you to put these 5 Vitalizing Steps to work for you today, and watch your system transform into a balanced, functional and living well body!

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The Breath of Life

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The Breath of Life

A little girl was born in a hospital in metro Atlanta. She had developed normally in the womb and all the ultrasounds and prenatal tests provided showed the uninhibited development of a normal baby girl. Her family and her siblings were excited to add to their growing family. The parents and the children were all chiropractic patients. Everything seemed just fine leading up to the moment when the little girl was finally born but one major complication existed. She was unable to take her first breath.

Immediately she was hooked up to a ventilator and ushered off to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). All the latest and greatest technologies were applied but no answers could be found. She was seen by specialists, clergy, and her family was in constant prayer. Why couldn’t this little girl breath?

A month passed by and the hospital bills continued to pile up all while the family’s hope was dwindling. Late one night the mother contacted their family chiropractor. She was sobbing while trying to explain their circumstances. She continued to cry as she told him how the delivery seemed normal but that her daughter was blue when she came out due to a lack of oxygen and she had failed to ever take her very first breath. After some coaxing by the NICU pediatrician, they had reached a decision as a family that if she was still unable to breathe on her own by the next morning that they were going to give permission to unhook the ventilator and allow her to pass away. As a last-ditch effort the mom wanted her chiropractor to examine her daughter before this occurred.

The chiropractor explained that he could not simply walk into a NICU and adjust a baby hooked up to a ventilator. If someone from the hospital saw him doing this he could get into trouble and possibly even lose his license but after hearing the critical tone of the mother and her pleading, he reluctantly agreed.

It was a little after 3 in the morning when he finally reached the NICU. As he reached down and felt the little girl’s neck he knew right away something wasn’t right. In his own words, “anyone with even a basic level of understanding of anatomy should have been able to tell this girl’s atlas (top vertebra) was way out of place.” With the family huddled around to block the view of the nurses he gently adjusted her atlas back into alignment. Before he could even remove his hands from her tiny neck the little girl let out the most beautiful cry the family or he had ever heard. Breath at last!

My first son had a similar experience, albeit of lesser severity. When he was born, he had engaged down in the pelvis with both hands up by his face which was unknown to us, the midwives and even the doctors. One progression lead to another and in the end an emergency C-section was performed. Breathing was difficult for him at first. Amniotic fluid is typically expelled from the lungs while being compressed through the birthing canal. He didn’t have that luxury so his little body was tasked with absorbing it through the lungs.

We were living in Atlanta at the time and I hadn’t even taken my first chiropractic class when he was born. I felt helpless. I stayed with him day and night only to leave when I was kicked out of the NICU every morning from 4 to 4:15 while the nurses switched shifts and received their daily briefing. A feeding tube was placed into his nose and every day I watched him yank it out. As a new dad, I was excited to see his unwillingness to submit and eventually the nurse gave up. Hawk 1, NICU nurse, 0.

I gave specific instructions to the pediatrician to clear all tests with me prior to any being performed. One time after the 15 minutes that I was made to leave the room, I came back in to see a Band-Aid on his tiny little heal. A rather loud and intimate conversation was then had between the pediatrician and myself. No tests and no procedures were to be done WITHOUT MY CONSENT. I think he took the warning.

It took almost 3 days after his birth for his papaw to finally make it south from Ohio to see his first grandchild. Being a seasoned chiropractor, I was glad he could finally get his hands on my son to see if any subluxations were present. Within two hours the monitors that displayed his respiration began normalizing and he was dismissed from NICU.

How can the misalignment of the top vertebra effect breathing to such a great extent?  

The answer lies in the brainstem. The medulla and the pons, a portion of the brainstem house the control centers for breathing. Space is already at a premium in the neck so if anything is out of order, things can get a little cramped. Throw in the fact that there is coupled motion of the skull, C1, and C2 and it becomes obvious how a slight correction properly made to C1 can save an infant’s life or allow my son to go home from the NICU.

I recently started taking care of a child in our office who has asthma. This is not the exact same mechanism as described above but the results have been no less profound. After dealing with asthma attacks 3x per week, he has only had one attack since starting care, which occurred two nights after his first adjustment. He has been asthma free ever since. He is hardly an isolated case. Our office and many other chiropractic clinics across this huge globe see people of all ages recover from asthma among other respiratory issues on a routine basis.

I am one person. Just one individual out of 6.5 billion people who call Earth home. If I know this many people who have had such wonderful success after being adjusted, how many infants out there have been allowed to pass away without a chiropractic examination? How many were written off as deeply flawed or unable to survive and simply unplugged?

The number is likely far less than those kids who grow up with all types of health issues. You know the ones. The kids who have coughs that last for 6 months. The ones who every time you turn around they are sick. The ones getting tubes put in their ears. The kids who deal with autoimmune issues and are constantly being pumped full of antibiotics while never actually being cured. The kids who start getting body parts removed because they are told they are malfunctioning. Who needs tonsils and adenoids anyways? (Side note: These are not just for show. They protect you from infections!) These are usually the kids who have had a traumatic birthing experience or have had other types of injuries along the way. If your child fits this bill then they should be under chiropractic care. You’ll be astounded by the progress they make in terms of their overall health and well-being!

-In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns

 

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Poison Control: 30 different names for the same toxin

Did you know that there is a particular food additive that is causing families to experience symptoms such as: obesity, eye damage, headaches, fatigue, disorientation, depression and/or numbness, burning, tingling, facial pressure, chest pain, nausea, rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, or weakness?? It is in almost EVERY processed food available on the market… frozen, fresh, canned, and most restaurant food, and it can lead to learning disabilities, early on-set Alzheimers, and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Without going into excess detail, suffice it to say that this food additive, MSG, is an excitotoxin meant to stimulate the cells of the system to the point of damage and death of those cells, triggering adverse reactions throughout the body, like the ones mentioned above. 

So here's the thing.... manufacturers know that consumers are doing research, reading labels, becoming educated, and are smarter than ever before! And this is the part that gets me.... instead of just removing this toxin from foods and other products, in an effort to mislead and misguide us, they have created more than 30 different names or ways to disguise this poison called Monosodium Glutamate <MSG>. 

Did you catch that I referred to it as a “food additive” in the first paragraph? That’s the way it started out... as a search for the fifth taste receptor - "savory", to join sweet, bitter, sour, and salty. They began with a pure solution of seaweed and water, but then took it to the laboratory where it could be patented and sold. That company, Ajinomoto, who began manufacturing MSG in the early 1900’s is now a pharmaceutical company along with it’s on-going production of monosodium glutamate. 

This is where it gets personal. Literally. MSG is no longer used solely in foods - it is also in your personal care items… shampoos, conditioners, lotions, toothpaste, cosmetics, medications, etc. We already know that it only takes 26 seconds for those toxins to enter our bloodstream from the skin, and I feel certain that it why even the most diligent label detectives continue to have issues with MSG or food additive toxicity that are creating many of the underlying health challenges that we are faced with today. Does this shock you as much as it does me???

Attached is a comprehensive list from Dr. Mercola for easy reference. For those that would like more information, we've also created a printable guide based on the website, www.saynotomsg.com. To receive a copy, please email lisa@livingwellspinecenter.com.

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As we seek answers to difficult health questions, it’s more important than ever to find trustworthy companies willing to disclose all ingredients, AND ingredients within ingredients, so that truth will be revealed, and we can make smart and conscious choices for both inside and out.

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Seeds & Germs

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I just discovered these little fellas growing in one of our recently dead summer flower pots! They're actually hearty after last night's frost. The fascinating thing is, we don't have a vegetable garden. Never have. (I'm not proud of that, but it's true)

Apparently, and I'm no agronomist, but the seeds for these peppers found their way into conditions that foster the growth and proliferation of peppers from seed to fruit. Maybe someone tossed them in from their plate after a summer meal on the deck. Perhaps birds "dropped " them in while flying the friendly skies. I have no idea! It's a miracle!

It's also a wonderful reminder of how nature works. Seed, soil, sunshine and rain. Very specific conditions for this outcome. If seeds had fallen on the deck a few inches away...no peppers. Too much or too little rain...no peppers. Soil too acidic/sandy/alkaline...no peppers. No sunshine...no peppers. 

All this to say...germs are just like seeds. They need very specific conditions to thrive. Don't provide the conditions and... no cough/cold/fever/flu. Even though someone in the same house might be 'sick'. If the germ theory were accurate, it wouldn't be called a theory. Know that the same intelligence that created seeds and germs created you. Know, too, that your body is geared to thrive if you provide it the right conditions. 

Just do that. 
#seedsoilsunshinerain

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Love Unfiltered...

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Terry and I took a quick trip to Sanibel Island with some family and friends last weekend. As usual, I brought a bag of wet nondescript sand from the beach for my collection from around the world. I always bake it for an hour when I get home to eliminate any parasites or other stowaways that may have traveled with us, and it was no different with this batch. I tucked those saturated gray crumbles into the oven and an hour later removed a beautiful array of tiny shells and sparkling sand. My eyes were instantly drawn to this delicate iridescent piece… mother-of-pearl. I used to collect buckets and buckets of these treasures on the sand bars off the coast of Cape Cod when I was a little girl. I was mesmerized by them, and would add them to my over-flowing jars when the summer was over. I never realized the deep emotional impact they had on my life until relatively recently.

Part of the work that I do at Living Well Spine Center is called The Body Code, and it is a technique used to identify and release trapped emotions. Part of that process sometimes involves a heart-wall. In the holistic sense, a heart-wall refers to the barrier of emotional energy you build up subconsciously to protect yourself from heartache and heartbreak. As you age and are exposed to new hurts and pain, the heart-wall expands as well.

After my first exposure to Body Code work, I became a client to learn more about it and my own trapped emotions. I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed at the time and was experiencing physical challenges like high blood pressure and unexplained pain throughout my body. My heart-wall was identified in the first session, so I was educated about what it was and what to do about it. The practitioner explained that it can be any size and it can be made out of anything. In my own practice, we’ve seen heart walls made out of plastic toy trucks, concrete, sapphires, steel, vinyl record albums, clear glass, and many other unique substances - it can literally be anything that the subconscious connects to. Through muscle testing, the practitioner was able to determine that I had a 3 mile heart wall created from mother-of-pearl. I was shocked as she revealed that information to me. I hadn’t told her my affinity for these beautiful artifacts of the sea, but through the testing process she was able to identify it perfectly and I resonated with it completely. We then went through the process of identifying the actual negative emotions that were holding me back from sending and receiving love in the purest form possible until the heart-wall was dissolved.

Seeing these beautiful fragments of mother-of-pearl this weekend reminded me of how my emotional health has improved and the stress in my life has been minimized because of the elimination of my own heart wall. If you struggle with connecting to people - if you feel as though you are filtering your love through negativity, or have a difficult time receiving someone else’s love, if you have unexplained sadness or depression, if you have physical aches and pains that have been unidentified, then you may have a heart wall too. If you’d like information on how to break down this barrier or are looking for health direction or increased balance in your life, we can help.

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Chewed up.

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I have the distinct honor and privilege to work with many amazing women every week. We cover a variety of topics, but typically we are discussing ways to improve health through lifestyle adjustments and adaptations. 

We cover a lot of information in our initial appointment, and one of the questions that I ask during their nutritional assessment is if they are using aspartame or other artificially sweetened products. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Client: “Well, no, I stopped using that years ago.”

I follow up by asking if they chew gum.

Client: “Yes, oh, yes, I do chew gum. I always have.”

Me: “Do you have a package with you?”

Client: “Yes, would you like a piece?” as they pull the package out of their purse.

Me: “No, no, but let’s take a look at the ingredients.” 

I had four of these conversations just last week, and two the week before, and knew that I needed to share this information. I absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, know that we, as consumers, are truly trying to make better choices. Gum is a sneaky way for us to literally be poisoning ourselves each and every day, though, and to elevate our health we need to have all the facts. 

Since we aren’t actually eating gum, we don’t usually think about the effects of it on our health. I was a gum chewer. Loved it. Loved the minty fresh breath. Loved chewing it as a deterrent to eating. My brand of choice was Clorets, a sugar-based gum. I thought it sounded superior - healthy even, since it had chlorophyll in it. I chewed it for years, and would buy it by the case instead of a single pack, and stash the box in a convenient upper cabinet in our kitchen. Then, one day, I suddenly began to have stomach pains. Like couldn’t stand up straight, doubled-over-the-sink pain. And it scared me. I had been a diet coke drinker for several years before that until I realized that the ingredients were lethal to my health, and I quit. It was difficult to quit. The molecular structure of aspartame is almost identical to cocaine, and it’s as addictive, but when I realized that every time I drank it, it was turning to formaldehyde, a substance used to embalm bodies, and methyl alcohol - wood alcohol - a known poison, I knew I needed to break that habit. And, then I became diligent about my ingredient detective work. I read every label and diligently avoided aspartame.

But then this mysterious stomach pain started. I couldn’t figure it out. I hadn’t done anything differently. They were getting worse each day, and more debilitating. And then one day, I happened to glance at my newest Clorets box label as I was grabbing ingredients to make supper. And I stared at it. Still had sugar, but there, 6 ingredients down, was aspartame. They had snuck it into this sugared gum. And it made me so angry!! I immediately threw the box away. And within 24 hours the stomach pain stopped. That was twenty years ago.

Aspartame poisoning doesn’t manifest the same way in every person. It’s a neurotoxin, so it affects each of us differently. For some, it’s stomach pain or headaches. For some, it mimics the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, or lupus. It penetrates the brain, destroys brain cells, and interferes with normal function, like ADHD, and OCD, and for some, it triggers the formation of tumors. There is now a known link between Alzheimers and aspartame due to methanol toxicity. The list of side effects is long. There are over 90 - yes NINETY - known symptoms and diseases directly related to aspartame toxicity. They are all bad, and they are all avoidable!

Aspartame and artificial sweeteners are not the only reasons to avoid chewing gum. It will also cause gastro-intestinal distress as the parotid glands, or salivary glands, trigger the release of stomach acid and digestive enzymes to break down the food that the body perceives has entered the system. It exacerbates Irritable Bowel Syndrome, bloating and abdominal pain. It can trigger TMJ due to the uneven and overuse of the jaw muscles. In regards to the teeth, the acidic compounds can cause erosion, and the constant pressure may release mercury vapor from existing amalgam (silver) fillings. Mercury is also a neurotoxin, adding even more oxidative stress to our brain. 

So, if you are chewing gum, I get it. Let’s make it as good as we can by choosing better. One option is Simply Gum, a non-gmo, mostly organic ingredients product with thoughtfully chosen assorted flavors. Each pack even includes tiny pieces of paper to dispose of your gum when you are done with it. I’ve gotten mine at WholeFoods Market, but you can check it out here too: https://www.amazon.com/Simply-Gum-Assorted-Natural-Chewing/dp/B00KGH8S0G/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1502561406&sr=8-3&keywords=simply+gum

If you want to avoid chewing gum all together, but like that fresh breath feeling, try drinking purified water with crushed mint leaves, or Newman’s Own organic mints. They also have a nice variety of flavors. Here is the link to the peppermint ones: https://www.amazon.com/Newmans-Own-Organics-Peppermint-1-76-Ounce/dp/B000LKU16C/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1502561726&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=newsman's%2Bown%2Bassorted%2Bmints&th=1

There are so many manufactured products that prevent us from being as good as we can be and one of those seemingly innocent items is chewing gum. I want to help you choose better so that you can be fully prepared and ready to live a Living Well life. Each decision matters. Honest, it does.

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3, 2, 1, Beeeeeeeep...........

Many times, lifestyle convenience comes with a price. Think "fast food" also known as, drive-thru dining, or trans-fats extending shelf life minimizing burdensome trips to the grocery store, or diet soda an illusionary short cut to weight loss. but there is one convenience that most people rarely consider.

The Microwave… and as with the other examples, our health is the price to pay.

Most people have grown up with the microwave, originally known as the radarange, as a standard kitchen appliance in their home. Because of it’s seemingly innocent presence, we have failed to consider the effects it has on the foods that are placed in them, or the bodies that are around them. Radiation accumulates over time and is never eliminated. It is part of the toxic burdens that our bodies bear. In this technological world that we live in - being constantly bombarded by radiation from cell towers, mobile phones, televisions, computers, satellites, and broadcast antennas, eliminating the items that are non-essential are an important step in minimizing your radiation exposure. 

Microwave ovens emit electromagnetic frequency. They are classified as non-ionizing radiation. They can not change the structure of atoms but they can cause physical alterations. Damage to your skin and eyes from the sun are examples of non-ionizing radiation. When particular radiation waves resonate with a body part, the biological effects are even greater. Microwave frequencies are very similar to the frequency of our brain, therefore the negative effects are focused on our brain. This is observed in impaired cognition, vision problems, depression and irritability, and hyperactivity in children. 

Exposure also creates changes in our blood significant enough to our cells that it triggers cancer growth. And though exposure is an issue in and of itself, it is exacerbated by eating foods that are microwaved. According to a study done in 1992 by Raum&Zelt, it noted that unnatural molecules were observed after consumption of various combinations of microwaved food. Transformation of cells into toxic forms was also noted and blood evaluations indicated hemoglobin and lymphocytes decreases and overall increase in white cell levels and cholesterol. 

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Then also consider the current state of our environment where nutritional value has plummeted due to depleted soil, and chemicals in our foods, every morsel and drop that we consume needs to be as nutritionally potent as possible. On average, microwaved foods lose 60-90% of their nutritional value and significant portions of Vitamin B, C, E, and essential minerals. One study done in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that when broccoli was microwaved, it lost 97% of it’s beneficial antioxidants compared to just 11% when steamed. (The Kirlian photograph above shows the life force of uncooked broccoli on the left, and microwaved on the right.) One writer described it as, “dropping a nuclear bomb on your food, and then eating the fall-out.”  It might help to contemplate that statement next time you are about to “nuke” your food! 

It should also be noted that microwaves are most commonly used for “cooking” highly-processed, obesity-promoting foods. Our country is in an ongoing state of malnourished overfeeding. We see it everyday in our office, and this is leading to epidemic rates of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, kidney failure, depression and liver disease.  High calorie +  preservative-laden + minimal nutrients = a life of degenerative disease. We can choose better than that!

Two and half decades ago, I knew that if I was going to take the time, energy and money to cook using organic, high life-energy ingredients in our home that I wanted to be guaranteed that it would be an investment in our health and well-being. Microwaving those nutrient-rich foods would have negated those efforts, so we gave our microwave away. I acquired a tea kettle to boil water, and utilized my oven and stove to cook and reheat foods, and my cooktop and largest stainless steel pot to pop organic corn for movie night! It was simply another course correction as we adapted a healthier lifestyle. 

If you still aren’t ready to throw your microwave away, move it to your garage. Improvise with new cooking techniques, and you will quickly realize that the microwave oven has been an over-rated, unnecessary, electricity-guzzling gadget, and can be eliminated from your kitchen counter, which by the way, also eliminates clutter! Don’t try to send it to Russia though, they banned microwave ovens back in 1976! (They reintroduced it in the 1990’s, but you understand what I mean…)

Please let us know if we can help you transtition to a Living Well Life by contacting us here or through social media @ALivingWellLife!

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It's the Best Medicine!

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Thoughts create reality and focus changes physiology. Here’s an example… stop right now and think about something in your past that was incredible. The birth of a child, marrying the love of your life, the first time you saw the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon or the transparent colors of the Caribbean Sea... anything you remember as magical and transformative… how does that make you feel?

Blessed?
Blissful?
Balanced?

Emotions of joy, happiness, and elation actually begin to energize you and change your body chemistry in ways proven to boost your immune system and relieve stress on your heart! Staying in that place of peace is possible even under the most stressful circumstances! 

As an overwhelmed momma of three young daughters, I unintentionally discovered the therapeutic benefits of laughter therapy in a most delightful way! We enjoyed visiting Barnes & Noble with the girls. They loved it and we loved it. It was free entertainment and we enjoyed exploring and selecting books for each of us. On one excursion, we found a book that seemed age appropriate for the girls, and we plopped down in B&N's comfy kid’s reading area to see what it was all about. It was called "Junie B Jones & the Stupid Smelly Bus". The girls weren't allowed to use the word "stupid" so they immediately began giggling! 😊 I started the first chapter with them, and seriously laughed out loud in the middle of the store with tears rolling down my face! The girls were laughing too. They may have been laughing at me more than at Junie B. We purchased that book and I stalked Barnes and Noble for new releases since 1992 until my collection of this Barbara Park's bestselling series was complete!

Reading these books was very healing for me, and for our young family, but laughter is everywhere that you look… if you're looking! Stop at a local park and watch the children playing - laughter bubbles over in those young, innocent beings, in fact they laugh more than 400 times per day compared to adults who barely average a measly 15 times per day! Watch a funny movie or silly sitcom (mute the commercials). Encourage your animals to do crazy pet tricks! Look at photos of people laughing - like the attached photo of my gorgeous girls before Grace and Graham's wedding! :) Join a Laughter Club - yup, it’s a thing! Just train your brain to laugh easily and laugh a lot. 

Apparently the adage, "Laughter is the best medicine" has research to back up the claim. According to some studies, a healthy dose of laughter has resulted in physical benefits, such as:
* Enhanced oxygen intake resulting in better organ function, lung capacity and cardiovascular efficiency
* Elevated physical and emotional relaxation
* Release of endorphins - the body’s happy hormones
* Relief of indigestion and stomach discomfort
* Elimination of pain
* Balanced blood pressure and heart rate
* Brighter, more radiant skin
* Improved mental function, such as alertness, memory, creativity
* Strengthen social bonds and relationships

In a slumpy slump, or feeling overwhelmed?? Count backwards from 10-1, and then LAUGH out loud! We were born with the gift of laughter. It’s an innate therapy. It lifts our spirits and fills us with joy. It’s contagious and unites people. It can help us feel more alive and empowered. It may feel ridiculous at first, but the more you laugh, the easier it will be! Say a prayer of thanks for rebooting your attitude, and allow this pattern interrupt to dramatically increase your vitality, passion and positivity!

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Toxicity is death... dramatic but true

Who cares about endocrine disruptors anyways?!?! Why does it matter?????? And what does it even mean????

Ultra simple. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that create toxicity.

Toxicity is imbalance.
Toxicity is pain.
Toxicity is stress.
Toxicity is death. (Dramatic… but true.)

Our endocrine system is made up of our bodies’ glands, each integral to life function. Here are some of the most prominent ones:

The hypothalamus gland is the control center for the entire endocrine system constantly monitoring hormone production and utilization from the other glands.

The pituitary gland is responsible for growth, skin pigmentation, absorption of water into the blood, and for stimulating and balancing the other glands, particularly important to thyroid balance.

The thyroid manages growth and development, protein synthesis, and is responsible for mood stabilization, and metabolic function such as body weight, breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and the central nervous system.

The adrenal glands manage cortisol and epinephrine production - the stress hormones. 

The ovaries produce estrogen, and balance testosterone, and progesterone.

The parathyroid glands balance calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones.

The pineal gland produces melatonin - a sleep hormone.

The pancreas regulates blood sugar, and insulin production. 

This intricate and well-designed system of glands operates in a delicate balance of hormone production, release and removal. These hormones trigger signals for proper major organ function such as cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and nervous systems. The proper function of these organs is vital for life. 

So why do we care about these chemicals abundant in our drawers, behind our doors and in our cabinets?? Because endocrine disruptors block, distort and destroy the production of the hormones that are essential for these signals to be appropriately sent and received throughout the body. If you think that the things we put on our body won’t have an effect on our internal organs, consider a birth control patch - a widely-used and well-known endocrine disruptor. These chemicals enter the bloodstream swiftly within 30 seconds, and immediately affect not only the targeted system but everywhere that blood flows throughout the body. The liver - your blood filter - goes on high alert to begin the removal of the excess hormones so that other areas of the body do not become imbalanced. The same holds true for anything we put on topically that contains the endocrine-disrupting parabens, phthalates, BPA, glycol ethers, and phyto-estrogens found in… body lotion, body spray, shampoo and conditioner, make-up, nail polish, deodorant, sunblock, perfume… they all matter, and they all have an impact on your health.

The symptoms of toxicity are exhaustive, but include migraines, weight gain, challenges with menstrual cycle - too early, too late, pre-menopausal, early puberty in girls, high estrogen in baby boys, erectile dysfunction, depression, faulty memory, skin conditions like acne, rashes, and eczema, blood sugar disorders, fatigue, compromised immune function and even cancer. 

The good news is that our bodies want to do the right thing under the right circumstances. We have control over our choices. Less toxicity from our environment… the things we eat, breathe, and apply… the better our body can manage it’s ever-increasing burden. We can consume healthy, organic foods, purify our air, drink purified water, and avoid the use of lawn chemicals and pesticides in our homes and gardens, but if we continue to apply toxic products to our skin, we continue to create a series of system malfunctions. 

Want to do an experiment? List 5 health challenges that you and your family are experiencing right now, and then for 3 weeks, maintain a pristine life-style with whole foods, including beets and radishes daily, “green” cleaning products, and toxin-free bath, body, and beauty care. Then compare the changes physically, emotionally and spiritually! Take back control and prepare to be amazed as you begin your Living Well life!

For more information on blacklisted ingredients and how to identify them in your beauty routine, follow this link to toxin-free freedom: www.crunchi.com/lisamccoskey

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Therapeutic Beauty!

Echinacea Purpurea

Echinacea Purpurea

I was checking on our cherry tree today to determine if it was time for Hawk and Noble to help me harvest the ripe fruit. As I walked around, every plant that I observed had been identified, and possibly planted, by my wise and beautiful mom! I love seeing all the unique plants and flowers that come to life each year, and as I examine their petals and leaves, color and fragrance, I can hear her voice whispering information about each one. I am so blessed that she continues to share her wisdom about organic and toxin-free gardening and lawn care with us. She’s been professing the importance of chemical-free living for more than 30 years and I am thankful that she has created such a sturdy foundation of health in our family.

This happy flower with the radiating magenta petals is called Purple Coneflower, which is also known as Echinacea. Native Americans originally discovered Echinacea's medicinal uses when they found that it successfully healed wounds, infections and other physical ailments. It delivers a huge boost of immune support for your entire system stimulating the production of T-cells to fend off pathogenic invaders. I have noticed that by taking Standard Process Echinacea Premium within the first 4 hours of those little pre-sickness signals, feeling “off”, slightly scratchy throat, fatigue, or body aches, that I can usually avoid the illness altogether. It’s something that I keep on hand at all times - liquid and tablet - And you'll find it in my travel bags too! #therapeuticbeauty #thingswevehandeddown #alivingwelllife

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Go to sleep!

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Did you know that there is a direct correlation between the quality of sleep that you get and your ability to lose weight? Metabolism does not function properly without adequate sleep and the hormones that regulate appetite, ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and leptin, the satiety hormone, can become imbalanced. One study showed that people who were only permitted to get two-thirds their normal amount of nightly sleep, ate more than 500 calories each day compared with those in the study who were able to get a full night’s sleep. Not everyone needs or should get the widely-accepted 8 hours. The amount of sleep for individuals will vary from weekdays to weekends, it will fluctuate with their cycle, and it will change based on stress and external circumstances. It's important to monitor your own personal sleep requirements, energy test the optimum amount, and then honor what your body needs. 

Along with weight management, another added bonus of adequate sleep is better sex. Research showed that women who had an additional hour of quality sleep were 14% more available to engage in sexual activity! New mommas, share this information with your husband - I can almost guarantee he'll take care of the baby so you can get that extra hour! 😊

If you are getting ready for a test or an important presentation at the office, proper amounts of sleep will stimulate your brain in ways that increase your overall intellectual performance! AND there is research providing a direct correlation between adequate sleep and improved athletic ability. Those are just a few of the benefits along with improved immune function, healthier skin, balanced emotional health, and lowered risk of inflammatory disease. 

Ultimately, if you are doing everything in the daytime to modify your health: exercise, portion control, supplementation, and elimination of inflammatory foods, and you are struggling to see a change, then assessing your sleep habits should be the next step. Experiment with these simple changes. They will allow your body and mind to be relaxed and comfortable for a healing night's sleep for all of the above-mentioned benefits.

For a week:

  1. Do not drink caffeinated products after 2 p.m.
  2. Eat a light evening meal before 6:00 p.m.
  3. Exercise before 7 p.m.
  4. Turn the TV off before 8:00 p.m.
  5. Have a handful of organic walnuts at 9:00 p.m. Walnuts are an ample source of bio-available melatonin to help you have a restful and restorative slumber.

If you are still having trouble falling asleep, or if you are restless with tossing and turning, or wake up after several hours and can not resume sleep, we have several programs available including all-natural, non-addicting supplements that have our clients waking refreshed and renewed after a blissful night's sleep. #livingwellrested

Photo courtesy of June 9, 2017's strawberry moon.

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CREATE A NEW VIBRATION!

We all know people in our lives that emit a charge of energy… a burst of positivity. They are attractive to be around, light up the world wherever they go, and inspire us to be better versions of ourselves. Have you ever wondered why? And did you ever wonder if you created the same impact? 

The answer revolves around your personal vibration. Positive people resonate at a higher frequency elevating the world around them, and we can feel that and it’s powerful. Our vibrational frequency is measurable. It will fluctuate depending on our circumstances, but the goal is to maintain as high a level as possible - 852 Hz being optimum.

People that have an elevated frequency have learned to balance and harmonize with the universe creating a resonating cycle, the more they give, the more they receive, and then the more they give again… of themselves, their resources, and their energy. They epitomize peacefulness, joyfulness, and love regardless of their external circumstances. They have learned to release the emotional barriers to a living well life, and have learned to stay grounded in God’s truths.

This is a simple guide to empower you to make the changes necessary to increase your own bio-energetic field and vibrational levels:

1. Be connected to God without ceasing.
2. Be generous with your gifts and resources.
3. Make gratitude your life motto.
4. Fill your space with refreshing and uplifting sounds.
5. Train your resting face to smile.
6. Identify and release your emotional burdens.
7. Spend time in nature.
8. Capture and guard your thoughts and your words against complaints.
9. Refrain from destructive habits and behaviors.
10. Eat organic, live food to feed your body and soul.
11. Ensure that your nervous system is functioning optimally.
12. Live purposefully no matter what stage of life you are in.

The people that live in a state of positivity and high-vibrational frequency are more productive and more creative. They are healthier and stronger, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They make choices that are in alignment with a benevolent lifestyle. They find goodness all around them, and that goodness leads to more goodness. It’s a beautiful rhythm of God’s providence in your lives, and when you elevate your frequency, you magnify your attractiveness to those that need what you have to offer… simply, the best you.

There are certainly other factors to consider, but this elemental list will energize and inspire your foundation. If you’d like more information about your personal vibration and how to achieve an optimal state of being, to be more impactful and more purposeful, let us know. We can help.

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