Tag Archives: healthy

Top Healthy Lessons You Can Learn from Your Dog!

 

Turbo & Tazer Samoyeds

I am a pooch fan.

While I have owned a variety of pets, including dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, turtles and even a snake during my life, my affinity is drawn to the canine!

But let it be said, that being the wellness passionista that I am, I believe that all pets can have a beautiful and powerful way of helping us to live healthier and happier lives.

Currently, I am the proud owner and mama of two awesome male Samoyeds in the image above: Turbo (who is 12 years old) and Tazer (who is 3 years old.).  Alpha by all means!  They were historically bred to be herding or work dogs.  However, because of their kind, gentle nature and very furry coats, people often snuggled up to them at night for warmth, companionship and affection. They are a very loving, gentle breed. And they have taught me so much about love, nature, loving the moments of life and staying young and carefree.

So how does your pet dog help to optimize your wellness? Why is he/she so special? Here are some of the top lessons on what your canine companion can teach you and how that doggie love can ramp up your wellbeing too:

 Dogs give unconditional love.

Those challenging days when nothing seems to be going quite right and you feel the overwhelm, your pup is there to always BE love. That’s just one of the reasons they are called “Man’s/woman’s best friend.” Dogs have a very innate sense of your emotions and feelings. They intuitively pick up on what you are feeling , but they obviously can’t verbalize it. So what do they do? They LOVE you…whether you are happy, sad, frustrated, anxious, lonely, depressed or are just having an “off” day. They greet you with wagging tails and big smiles! Dogs share the love. (A sweet Tweetable!!)

 Dogs don’t judge.

Media often seems to lend itself to making you more self critical. How skinny you are or aren’t. How much money you have or don’t. How popular you are or aren’t. But dogs….Ahhh…they don’t care. They want you to love them and love your life. How beautiful of a lesson is that? Can it get any better? They don’t care how you (show your) age, how you may not be so fashion forward, how you snore, how you are a tad off pitch when you sing or how that home cooked meal tastes not so cookbook-like! Dogs don’t judge you.  Many people constantly compare appearances, physiques, financial status, or relationships. So the lesson here is to learn let go of comparison. Judge others less and instead focus on becoming a better you. Become a “you” of significance.

 Dogs inspire you to be playful.

Seriously, what dog does not LOVE to play? It’s in their nature. Dogs love action and mobility. They love to be engaged in new activities. Yes, you can teach an old(er) dog new tricks–rather behaviors. They love to run (especially when they are young) and love for you to run with them. They love fetching almost anything, playing hide-n-seek, rolling in the grass, mushing through mounds of snow. Join them? Heck yes. Being playful keeps you younger both emotionally and physically.

 Dogs make you laugh.

They sometimes do the craziest things. Rolling, licking, rocking, howling, just silly behaviors that we smile at, grin at, giggle at or have a full belly laugh for. Unplanned, unscheduled, they just seem to know exactly when we need to lighten up and like magic, they tickle our funny bone. Laughter increases the “feel good” hormones, endorphins  and reduces the stress hormone, cortisol, in your body which ultimately help inspire healthy cell growth. When you are feeling the need for an uplift, get down on the floor and have a light hearted face-to-face with your pup. Betcha he will become one of your most favorite comedians.

 Dogs are forgiving.

You may have forgot to set out a bowl of clean, fresh  drinking water, been an hour late for their walk, misplaced their favorite toy or after a long, frustrating day at work scolded them in appropriately. But even with their disappointment, they will always forgive you and behave as if you never erred. Can you be as forgiving as your dog with your dog OR with people? What a beautiful world this would be if we could forgive as easily and move toward love!

 Dogs never have a real agenda.

You are always on a schedule right? Not so with your dog. She will relax when you need to, play when you are ready, be hungry when she hears the dinner bell, and be ready for snuggles when she gets a glimpse of your yawn in the evening hours. Dogs “roll” with you. No hidden agenda to do something or anything particular. How cool is that ? Can you enjoy that kind of flexibility in your own life? Maybe you need to loosen up your agenda a bit? Ahhhh…that freedom feeling!

 Dogs encourage you to get outside and enjoy nature.

Canine buddies are lovers of walks in grass, dirt, mud, sand, water and snow. Wherever the venue, they don’t seem to really mind being outside. And one of the most wonderful things you can do is to walk your dog as often as possible. Get him outside to run, romp and play. And while you are both breathing fresh air, take a closer look at the beauty of nature all around you. The sky, clouds, trees, plants, birds, squirrels and butterflies will soon take on a new perspective. Take time to marvel at the beauty of nature which surrounds you but which you may sometimes forget is there to nourish you.

 Dogs learn their “place” and respect it.

Through your own instruction or a trainer’s, dogs learn to understand their role with you and what they can and can’t get away with. And with positive reinforcement, they will learn great respect for their owner/handler. Even among other dogs, they quickly size up “pecking order” and quickly determine who is “king of the castle” in any particular situation. You can readily observe this in your own home if you own several pets. Your dog(s) will learn and adapt to who is the leader of the pack. In life, people can learn to appreciate how respect for others can have a profound effect in not only how they live their own lives but how they demonstrate leadership qualities to others.

 Dogs teach you to nourish yourself through touch.

Belly rubs, tummy scratches, nose kisses, paw massages or just plain petting–they love it all. Touching your pup is very soothing for them. Pay close attention to their relaxation and sense of calmness when you touch them in a very soothing, caring way. Humans, like dogs, receive pleasure from nourishing, nurturing touch. So allow yourself to be a bit more vulnerable when it comes to being touched in a positive, loving way. As long as the intention behind that touch is positive and kind, soak it up. The power of positive touch can be extremely healing for both your dog and for you.

 Dogs revel in the moment.

We never do enough of this: Be in the moment. We are always regretting the past or projecting a future with anxiety. Dogs don’t think and behave like this. They are always present and up for whatever comes next. How great would it be for you to truly live like this? How different would your perspective and life be? Both chronic regret and anxiety are precursors for chronic disease. Just think how much less stress you would have if you let go of the past and let the future just flow! Ahhh…learn from these canines !

 Dogs can be the ultimate helpers, warriors, leaders and protectors.

They guide the blind or visually impaired, search for IEDs, assist the elderly, calm children with a range of diseases or simply bark to signal to you that there is a stranger approaching your property. Dogs by their very nature are companion oriented and bond to their owners to serve them. Observe their courage, determination and ability to lead and use it to become a better leader in your own life.

 Dogs love to mark their presence!

Y’all know what I’m talking about here. Whether it’s on a tree trunk, a fire hydrant, a trash can, a snow bank,  or any other stand alone abject, they love to let everyone know they were there. That yellow defining mark! Symbology: “I am canine. I am here. And I am marking my spot to purposefully let you know I was here!” So in a gentle, creative, passionate way, mark your own significance in the world. Show the world why and how you can and will make difference. Baby steps are allowed ;)

Our furry canine friends are loaded with affection and ultimately make fun, compassionate pets because they have no reason not to. If you treat them with love and care, the lessons and love  and (ultimately) health benefits you will receive back from them will be unmatched. The dog lessons are doggone life changing when you learn from them!

With dog loving affection and passion, 

~Pam~ 

Are You Ready for the Wisdom of Ayurveda ?

Woman having Ayurvedic spa treatment.

My first exposure to Ayurveda was about ten years ago when I attended many workshops on the Teachers Path at the Chopra Center. It resonated with me. The  idea of holistic wellness and  incorporating mind-body-spirit into my personal health equation, which, by the way, was far from the allopathic medicine philosophy I grew up with, struck a melodic chord. Moreover, I understood how  we must strive for our own independent path toward wellness based upon our unique body type, rather than following the masses on trending diet fads, crazy exercise routines and pharm pills or newfangled supplements touting health magic tricks.  Ayurveda made scientific sense, plus it was backed by over 5,000 years of ancient wisdom. I had so much to learn….

Over the past nine  years I devoured every book, post, lecture and lesson I could to understand more about Ayurveda and how this very ancient “science of life” could profoundly affect not only my own health and wellbeing, but those of others as well. I am particularly attracted to the biological and physiological effects emotions and stress play out on the body, and how (depending upon your genetic code, lifestyle and dosha type) each individual body will respond. I love the notion that each body strives for homeostasis and wholeness. Your body is working extremely hard to heal itself, but we, as intelligent humans, must learn to “listen to” and nourish the mind, body and SPIRIT. They all work closely in tandem to harmonize. Thats part of the beauty of Ayurveda.

So, I present to you a short synopsis of of Ayurveda and some of the core of its philosophies, by Dr. Arya Krisha, with whom I recently had the pleasure of meeting.  Dr Arya Krishna graduated with a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from the prestigious Amrita School of Ayurveda ,Kerala, India.  She brings more than 2 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda. Currently she’s pursuing her Fellowship in Orthopedics Rehabilitation from the prestigious Appolo group of hospitals.

 Dr. Arya Krishna shares her knowledge about the wisdom and healing powers of Ayurveda:

The Indian system of Medicine, Ayurveda is ancient and rich. Its earliest concepts are set out in the sacred writings called the Vedas, especially in the metrical passages of the Atharvaveda, which may possibly date as far back as the 2nd millennium BC. This system of Medicine has been practiced in the Country from time immemorial and has stood the test of time.

Ayurveda is a holistic system of healing which evolved among the Brahmin sages of ancient India some 3000-5000 years ago. There are several aspects of this system of medicine which distinguishes it from other approaches to health care.

  1. It focuses on establishing and maintaining balance of life energies within us, rather than focusing on symptoms.
  2. It recognizes the unique constitutional differences of all individuals and therefore recommends different regimens for different types of people. Although 2 people may appear to have the same outward symptoms, their energetic constitutions may be very different and therefore call for very different remedies.
  3. Ayurveda is a complete medical system which recognizes that ultimately all intelligence and wisdom flows from one absolute source (Paramatman). Health manifests by the grace of the Absolute acting through the laws of Nature (Prakriti). Ayurveda assists Nature by living a life of balance according to her law.
  • Ayurveda describes 3 fundamental universal energies which regulate all natural processes on both the macroscopic and microscopic levels. They are VaataPittha and Kapha.
  • Ayurveda seeks to heal the fragmentation and disorders of the mind-body complex and restore wholeness and harmony to all people.
  • Panchakarma

    Ayurveda is the rich store house of time tested and effective recipes for the treatment of several obstinate and otherwise incurable diseases. More important than these recipes are the specialized therapies which, while curing such diseases, strengthen the immune system in the body and thus help in the prevention of diseases and preservation and promotion of positive health. These specialized therapies in Ayurvedic Science are called PANCHAKARMA. It is no wonder therefore, that scientists and physicians in India and abroad are showing deep interest in this classical form of Ayurvedic treatment.

    Panchakarma therapy primarily aims at cleaning the body of its accumulated impurities, and nourishing the tissues. Once this is achieved, it becomes very easy to rejuvenate these tissues and slow the process of aging. The term ‘panchakarma’ literally means five specialized therapies. The therapies that are included under this collective term are:

    • Vamana Karma : Emetic therapy
    • Virechana Karma : Purgation therapy
    • Vasthi : Enema containing decoction of herbs
    • Raktha Mokshanam : Blood-letting therapy
    • Nasya karma : Nasal therapy
    • Prior to the administration of these therapies, the body of the patient is to be suitably prepared and the therapeutic measures used for this purpose are called Preparatory Therapies. These are:
    • Snehana karma : Oleation therapy (external and internal oleation)
    • Swedana karma : Fomentation therapy
  • In short, Ayurveda aims at the maintenance  of health or prevention of disease in a healthy individual, cure the diseased and help in Rejuvenation. 
  • Ayurveda also advises proper diet and regimen for a healthy living. It is described in detail the daily regimen and seasonal regimen in classical Ayurveda.

For more detailed information about your particular dosha and maintaing your health or HEALING your body/mind/spirit, contact Dr. Arya directly at dr.aryakris@gmail.com

While we must all decide which types of alternative or integrative therapies may work or not work for us, I can only hope that you open your perspective to learn and understand how Ayurveda can help transform your wellness equation. There are many benefits to utilizing scientific technology to improve our wellbeing, but sometimes it just makes sense to return to our roots–the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda!

Wishing you happiness and the flexiblity in mind, body and spirit.

~Pam~

Live Life Passionately ! 

Making Things Bloom!

 MakingThingsBloomflowers.1

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

So there you have it. A nursery rhyme about Mary growing her garden. And a beautiful garden she grew! How about you? Do you like to grow things? For simplicity sake, lets start with flowers.

 I love to grow flowers. In the summer months, I plant and cultivate a beautiful outdoor flower garden each year. But during the cold, snowy winters of Chicago, I grow my own mini flower garden indoors near my kitchen sink in an area where two windows converge. Friends (in dismay) have asked me how I could possibly get my green plants to bloom beautiful flowers in the dead of winter. They tell me I must have a “green thumb”.”Nope,” I respond, “my thumbs are the same color as yours.”  :)

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The Shake Out of Nutritional Shakes

nutritional shakes

Probably many of us have all tried a “nutritional shake” in the past year. At least we were told it was nutritional, right? As a wellness passionista, many, many people have asked me to support/endorse  their “nutritional” products (shakes, energy drinks, protein supplements, weight loss products) in the past year. I have turned them all down. Let me explain.

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When Life Gives You Lemons, EAT them. Get Healthy!

lemons

There is an old proverbial saying , “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” meaning to take the sourness/bitterness of those lemons and turn them into a sweet/pleasurable  drink of lemonade…in other words to be optimistic in the face of adversity or challenge.

However, I say, when life gives you lemons…EAT them! Why? Because that bitterness, sourness will literally do your body much better than making a sweet, sugary lemonade drink!   Lemons (limes, oranges and other citrus fruits) can help your body become better balanced.

While these fruits are acidic in nature, they actually are alkaline producing to your body after they are digested.Lemons, especially, are used frequently in Ayurveda. They are generally pitta producing and vata calming, but can gently be used to treat, heal or simply maintain your bodily health.There are so many wonderful benefits of adding real lemon or lemon juice to your daily nutritional regime. Here are the Top 10 Benefits I have found to be extremely useful:

Top Benefits of Eating Lemons:

    1. Improves your skin texture.
    2. Improves your digestive power. (In Ayurveda, we call this agni...your digestive FIRE.)
    3. Decreases fat deposition.
    4. Relieves bad breath. Cleanses oral cavities.
    5. Decreases cholesterol by decreasing deposits in blood vessels so decrease risk of heart attacks.
    6. Assists in daily elimination of bowels.
    7. Works to detoxify your liver (helps dissolve kidney stones).
    8. Improves your immunity-works against colds and flu.
    9. Helps decrease your body’s production of phlegm…especially important during cold/flu season.
    10. Helps to absorb iron from natural foods. Because lemons are high in Vitamin C, they naturally improve your body’s absorption of iron in many foods including spinach, beans, lentils.

So the next time you feel like life has come at you just too hard and you are feeling challenged by those lemons being tossed your way, DON’t discard them…EAT them instead…a proverbial gift from the universe !

Mind Talk: Positive Thoughts Keep You Healthy!

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One of my favorite mantra’s is, “You believe what you tell yourself, so tell yourself something GOOD!”  We spend a great deal of time thinking thoughts. And while many of these thoughts encompass experiences of “the moment”, we often have reflective thoughts about ourselves. Thoughts such as, “I bombed that last sales call.” Or “I nailed that presentation this morning.” Or “I am tired, and feel fat.” Or, “I look really  sexy tonight!”

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