New York City Sights

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Blue Mind

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If you are anything like me being near the ocean probably makes you feel calm and serene. I know that it’s the first place I go to when I feel stressed or melancholy. Being near the water always makes me feel at peace. Both the sight and the sound of it makes me feel happier.

7f3ea28b943b634fb66e5285bb3aa666I recently finished “Blue Mind,” a book written by Wallace J. Nichols. He is a marine biologist and conservationist. His book tries to answer questions about the connection between our brain and bodies of water. It looks into the reasons of why so many of us are drawn to the ocean, and how this scientifically connects to our health and happiness.IMG_6539

Nichols explores the scientific reasons for why we have such a deep connection with water. He says that there are cognitive and emotional benefits that we get every time we spend time by water. He began hosting “blue mind” seminars that are attracting neurologists and psychologists from around the world. He uses the term “Blue Mind” to describe a state of water-associated peace. It’s in contrast to what one neuroscientist calls a “Red Mind,” an edgy high, characterized by stress, anxiety, fear, and despair.

Here are some amazing facts, brain imagining shows that being near water floods the brain with feel-good hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol actually drop. Scientists also discovered that the brain prefers the color blue above all others and water increases our ability to focus.

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Our bodies consist of about 60 percent water and our brains, an incredible 75 percent! Nichols says when we see or hear water it triggers a response in our brains that we are in the right place. He says the ocean literally sucks the stress out of our bodies and out of our minds. I have to say, that is true for me. What about you?

The next time you want to relax why not try taking a soothing bath? Maybe you can go fishing, or swimming. How about a walk on the beach? You can also learn to surf, visit an aquarium or maybe place a water fountain in your backyard and just relax there.

Learning how beneficial it is for us to be around water makes a powerful argument for keeping our world’s waters clean, healthy, and free. Now go enjoy a delicious tall glass of water and relax. And while you are doing that be thankful that we have clean water to drink! Nearly two billion people around the world do not.

Think on that, and while you are thinking, here are some great ways to help.

http://www.ilovearc.org

http://www.projecthumanity.org/

http://www.buylifestraw.com/en/

DIY Mosaic Outdoor Table

When we first moved to our home we found some furniture in the attic that was old and we tossed most of it, but some I just liked too much to throw away. This table is one of the pieces that I really liked. The beautiful little girl is my talented apprentice.Cell pictures 3 844The table is too dated and doesn’t fit into my décor but I just love its shape and design. So instead of tossing it, I decided to change it up and turn it into an outdoor table.

I thought it would make a great family project and I was right! My little girl and I had a great time painting the table with a white outdoor paint. The paint brightened it up and protected the table from the outdoor elements. We had a lot of fun painting it, although we did get a lot of paint on each other as well, all apart of the fun!  We let the paint dry for a couple of hours and then applied another coat. We then let the table dry overnight.

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Once the table was dry we used this blue/green tile blend that we found at Home Depot. My husband used pre-mixed adhesive and grout to secure the Mosaic tile onto the table.

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Once the tile was secured on the table, we used a wet sponge to take off the excess grout from the tile surface. We then allowed the grout to dry. Because the table is round the edges were a bit off so we got creative by using some small stones we found in our garden to decorate the edges.

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Here is the final result. I think it turned out pretty great and it was a wonderful little project to do as a family!

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Hope you are inspired to do your own project!

 

 

 

 

Fight Cancer

Recently a mother from my community passed away after battling cancer. Although I did not know her personally, my heart ached for her loved ones. Especially her children. Ironically, just weeks after this young mother’s death, one of my closest friends was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her news really shook me up. She is a remarkably strong woman and I know she will be OK.

I’ve had people in my family battle cancer, thankfully they survived but I’ve also lost people who I love to the devastating disease. When my friend told me about her diagnosis all I could think of is after all the years of research why do we not have a cure for cancer? Why do we get cancer? Is it in our water? Our food? Is it the amount of stress we have to endure?

Another friend of mine who has looked into the same questions and has fought her own battle with cancer sent me an article written by Professor Keith Scott-Mumby, a British alternative doctor. He has what he calls his three pillars to beat cancer and advises that if we are serious about keeping (or getting) cancer out of our lives, we follow these steps.

Pillar #1 – Diet

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Dr. Mumby says we have to beat the root causes of cancer. Diet is one of the root causes according to Mumby! The World Health Organization estimates that 40% of cancers are caused by diet. Mumby suggests a diet rich with fresh, organic foods (where possible), salads, smoothies, and brightly colored produce. He claims that dairy, soy, grains, and even certain produce can be unknown stressors. This is no surprise, white sugar, white flour, white rice, processed foods, dairy, and soy should be deleted from our diet!

Pillar #2 – Emotional Cleansing

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Negative emotion is also a root cause of cancer.  I can vouch for this! Some of the people in my life who went through cancer smiled through every bad situation in their lives. They never dealt with the pain they were going through.

A Stanford psychiatrist, was shocked to discover that at the ten-year breast cancer survival checkup, women who included therapy in their lives survived twice as long as those who didn’t. Another Yale research study found that cancer spread faster in women who bottled up their emotions.

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Stress is known to be a major cause of inflammation. In fact, inflammation has been discovered at the base of all known diseases.

In other words, stress will kill us through cancer or heart attack or autoimmune disease…if you allow it to control your life!

Pillar #3 – DETOXIFICATION

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This pillar is the most difficult one to control in my opinion. I can’t wrap my brain around how much pollution we have around our lives! We are surrounded by pollution! There  are pollutants in our soil, water, and air and that means they are in our food supply. They are also in our cosmetics, household goods and everyday cleansers! From heavy metals and arsenic to formaldehyde and parabens…products we buy every day at our local markets are filled with endocrine disruptors, estrogen mimics, and poison the cells in our body.

Dr. Mumby suggests reading “The Politics of Cancer ” by Dr. Sam Epstein. In the book he tells us how cancers are essentially preventable diseases. He says there are hidden political and economic factors which have blocked attempts to prevent cancer.

 There are so many things stressing our bodies, junk nutrition, stress, and chemical contamination push these stressors past the brink of what we can handle. It’s important that we take it upon ourselves to be aware and do what we can to keep our loved ones and ourselves healthy.