Your Friend Frank

Guest post by Beverly McGivney


Meet FRANKinscense (Boswellia Carterii). Considered a Holy Oil, it dates back to ancient Egypt (16th century B.C.) as being used in prescriptions and recipes. When used regularly — topically and internally — it may support overall well-being and healthy immune function. Note: if you are ingesting, ensure your essential oil is 100% therapeutic grade.

Frankincense has a visual tightening effect on the skin and may benefit mature skin and slow signs of aging.  A drop can be added to daily moisturizer. Research indicates that when inhaling the pure properties in essential oils, they stimulate the olfactory receptors and activate regions in the brain’s limbic system associated with memory, emotion, and state of mind. In Frank’s case, its earthly and uplifting aroma has wonderful therapeutic benefits!

The pineal gland in the brain loves Frank! This gland is considered “the seat of spiritual connection.” Frank can be used to enhance practices such as prayer and meditation. It’s grounding effect can promote feelings of relaxation and tranquility. The pineal gland also loves to be stimulated by frankincense because it aids in its production of melatonin, a serotonin derived hormone that regulates sleep patterns. Diffuse or spray Frank during bedtime as a great sleep aid. Quite Frankly, you’ll feel happy you did.

For Spray: and add equal parts of filtered water and witch hazel with 15 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil.


Read more about Beverly McGivney (YL # 1149206) here:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thebodhiseed1121; Instagram: @thebodhiseed1121
Beverly, the creator of the Bodhi Seed, has a passion for whole person wellness. During her personal exploration of whole person wellness body, mind and spirit, Beverly was inspired to create The Bodhi Seed. The Bodhi Seed is a platform to educate and advocate on wellness using nature’s energy while inspiring purpose and abundance! She believes in creating non-toxic living mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically!

Try Something New

Now I can hear some saying, Ew. And what’s more, I know exactly who is rolling their eyes at me!

While browsing the yogurt section at Shoprite, I came across two new brands of yogurt I hadn’t heard of and this was one of them. I’m always looking for yogurt that has less sugar than what is typically available and non-dairy. This one was a surprise! Not only non-dairy, less sugar, but Golden Milk yogurt? For those of you not familiar with golden milk, it is a drink with turmeric that is great for insomnia and inflammation. The chia is packed with protein and omega. Having it for lunch is pretty great too. Added some blueberries and gluten-free coconut granola. Voila!

Yawning

Many of us lead stressful, hectic lives and exist in a sympathetic state. This means the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) — the “fight or flight” response — is more active that the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of the ANS that is linked with rest, digestion, and relaxation.

While yawning seems to be associated with fatigue or boredom, it also plays a role in transitions from waking to sleeping and vice versa. Yawning increases the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid and helps relax the body and reduce stress levels.

Our scientific community is looking at the importance of yawning. It’s crucial to our overall well-being. Repetitive yawning helps lower the temperature of the brain and assists in balancing inflammation and combating other harmful effects on the nervous system. Frequent yawning releases many neurologically beneficial processes.

While yawning is involuntary, you can bring about a yawn by just trying it. So… fake it till you make it!

Mindful Moment – Lean In

This is one of my favorites by Pema Chodron…

“In life we think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem. The real truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together for a time, then they fall back apart. Then they come together and fall apart again. It’s just like that.

Personal discovery and growth come from letting there be room for all this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.

Suffering comes from wishing things were different. Misery is self-inflicted, when we are expecting the “idea” to overcome the “actual,” or needing things (or people, or places) to be different for us so we can then be happy.

Let the hard things in life break you. Let them effect you. Let them change you. Let those hard moments inform you. Let this pain be your teacher. The experiences of your life are trying to tell you something about yourself. Don’t cop out on that. Don’t run away and hide under your covers. Lean in to it.

What is the lesson in the wind? What is the storm trying to tell you? What will you learn if you face it with courage? With full honesty and – lean in to it.”

Right in this Moment!

Whether your practice is yoga, meditation, mindfulness, journaling, golf, or other beautiful moving meditations, every moment is an opportunity to grow your practice. Yes, every minute. How? By paying attention to your thoughts, your breath, your energy (physical, spiritual, emotional, cognitive, etc.). Your entire landscape. It’s being here now. Right in this moment.

Look inside and ask yourself questions. What can I do to grow? I have asked myself this question and the answer is my destiny. I am moving my Friday yoga classes from the Township to the Sand Hills Wellness center. There, they are a better fit in mind and body. Not only will my teaching practice grow, but there will be growth opportunities for students. This is a quiet, supportive, nourishing space. The setting for new practices will avail, there are many yoga props for new practices (bolster pillows, straps, extra mats, etc.). Props will also better support current practices. They make poses more accessible for the body. The wall space will be something completely new for students (note: an entire yoga class can be taught using the wall). Standing poses using the wall will grow and deepen with better alignment and support.

If you haven’t signed up for classes at Sand Hills, what are you waiting for? Class size is limited. Join me today…right in this moment!

Contact: lyn.sirota@gmail.com or 732-241-7497

Just the Flax

By Guest Blogger: The Nourishing Gurus

Though it may seem trendy to add flax seeds to your daily regimen, these power-packed seeds deliver an amazing array of health benefits beyond a good dose of fiber, minerals, and healthy fat.

Flaxseeds, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, have been shown to contribute to bone health, cancer prevention, reduction of blood clots, stabilizing blood sugar, and reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. Studies on flax demonstrate that it helps detoxify harmful forms of estrogen, and is beneficial for reducing breast cancer risk.

Whole flax seeds will last longer than pre-ground flax, but they need to be ground in order to reap the benefits. Flax (whole or ground) should be stored in an airtight glass container in your refrigerator or freezer.

Flaxseed oil is especially perishable and should be purchased in opaque bottles that have been kept refrigerated. And because it is prone to oxidation, never use flaxseed oil in cooking. Instead, add it to foods after they have been heated.

Here are some great ways to add flax to your diet:

  • Sprinkle ground flax on hot or cold cereal
  • Add ground flax or flax oil to smoothies
  • Use flaxseed oil in place of other oils for salad dressings
  • Add ground flaxseeds to your homemade energy bars, muffins or pancakes
  • Sprinkle ground flax onto a slice of bread spread with peanut or almond butter

We suggest an intake of 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax/oil daily.

Energy Burst Bites
These travel well and are great for a quick on-the-go nutritious snack or healthy dessert. Makes about 16-20 bites. Serving size = 1-2

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup nut or seed butter
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup fine coconut flakes
  • Sprinkle sea salt
  • Sprinkle cinnamon and/or ginger
  • Slivered almonds or pecan halves for topping (optional)

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon. May need to really work the “batter” to get uniform mixture and make sure it’s all combined.

Use your hands to “squish” and form about 1-inch round balls, pressing them flat once you put them onto the tray. Press a piece of slivered almond or half a pecan into the top of each piece (optional). Once they are firm, remove from tray and store in a glass container in your fridge or freezer.

BIO: Jane Schwartz RD and Stephanie Goodman CNC are The Nourishing Gurus. Jane and Stephanie help busy professional women create sustainable long-term healthy eating habits by eliminating diets, overwhelm, and kitchen chaos. Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods, but powerful habit and mindset shifts.  YouTube  Instagram Twitter

The Beauty of Balasana

Balasana (Child’s pose) is a beautiful, multi-functional posture that can provide a soothing, nourishing respite from the outer world. Yes, a mini vacation!

It is an asana (posture) that stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles. By having your brain beneath your heart, you receive the benefits of being in an inversion that isn’t too taxing on your shoulders or neck. It relieves back and neck pain when the head and torso are supported. The forward bend of the torso and positioning of the head can trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, the “rest and digest” feature of the autonomic nervous system. It can also tone the vagus nerve (which regulates the heart, blood pressure, digestion, etc.). Toning the vagus nerve is becoming a treatment for many issues, such as migraines, Parkinson’s, PTSD, epilepsy, and depression/anxiety to name a few.

Balasana allows you to check in with your body and breath. It’s restful and restorative. It can even be practiced in bed! It’s a wonderful tool to connect with your back body. While in this pose: Tune into your breath. Feel your back body rise with your inhale and lower with your exhale. Follow the breath up and down the spine. After several breaths, shift your attention and awareness to the ribs, feeling them widen with your inhale and soften with the exhale.

You may need to modify this posture for comfort. Or just like other yoga poses, listen to your body, and know when to back off.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • If it’s difficult to rest your buttocks on your heels, place a folded blanket between the backs of your thighs and your calves.
  • Try spreading knees wider apart. This can prompt a deeper stretch in the hips.
  • Cushion the top of your feet with a blanket or fold your mat for padding under feet.
  • Support your forehead with a firm pillow, block, or blanket. You can also stack your hands and rest your head on your hands.
  • Extending your arms opens the shoulders and chest.  Doing this makes the pose more active versus restorative. Note: see the featured image in this post. As an alternative, try resting your arms alongside your thighs, palms up, giving your shoulders a well-deserved break.

For more information on Balasana (Child’s Pose) click here:  https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/child-s-pose

 

Meditation Moment

 

Meditation is not about sitting in a certain position with candles and incense burning in a darkened room. That’s all well and good if that’s your desire, but it’s not necessary. It’s not about seeing flashing colors. It’s not about seeing celestial beings. It’s about being comfortable and listening in your sacred place in however that looks to you. Life will always give us what is needed in the moment we are in. The very core of our true nature is Peace. It is here in one’s sacred place that peace lives silently in the stillness of the mind quietly leading the heart along the way. Breath is a meditation with life.

Feed Your Brain

By Guest Blogger: Nicole Printon

Aging is blamed for everything from fat gain, limited mobility, and joint pain, to lapses in memory. Jokingly we share, “it stinks getting old.” We can influence the quality of our lives as we age.

Research suggests cleaning up diets, exercising more, and engaging socially with other people can significantly improve brain function and the neuroplasticity of the brain (its ability to adapt and change).

Certain foods boost brain function and help fend off age-related diseases.

Here are a few ways to feed your brain:

-Dark leafy greens pack a powerful punch in keeping the brain youthful & healthy. A study from Rush University shows that people who eat a large salad every day of dark leafy greens have brains that look about 11 years younger on scans. They are packed with carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. These specific greens are rich in chlorophyll, which alkalinizes the blood, and fiber which keeps the colon healthy. Some good examples are lettuces, kale, mustard greens, cabbages, broccoli, and spinach.

-Carotenoids have been shown to help the brain fend off oxidative stress, which is a key driver of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Carotenoids are only absorbed in your digestive tract when in the presence of fat. They are fat soluble nutrients. Other fat soluble nutrients like vitamins A, E, D, and K are also found in leafy greens. Fat soluble nutrients are particularly relevant to brain health, because the brain is made of fat.

-The healthiest fat to consume with dark leafy greens is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory food that should be ingested regularly. EVOO is rich in monounsaturated fats (the best fat for heart health) as well as phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds have been shown to be as anti inflammatory as a low-dose of ibuprofen, without the negative side effects! EVOO also encourages processes in the brain that help it to clear itself of toxins…extra amazing! EVOO  contains compounds known as polyphenols. These are antioxidants found in plants. Polyphenols protect the body’s tissues against oxidative stress and pathologies like cancers, coronary heart disease, and inflammation.

-Other food sources of polyphenols: Green and white tea, grapes, cocoa, berries, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, green vegetables, onions, red onions, red wine, grape skins, pistachios, peanuts, turmeric, and mustard.

-MCT Oil (or Medium Chain Triglyceride oil) is another healthy fat that promotes brain health. It can be added to salads, shakes, coffee, or used for cooking. MCT oil has been shown to improve memory & cognition.

Are you ready to eat your way to brain health?

Nicole Printon is passionate about all things health, fitness & nutrition. She has been active in the fitness industry for 24 years.  As a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, and Certified Health Coach, she empowers people to find inner strength on their fitness journey. She has specialty certifications in Nutrient Timing, Sports Nutrition, and is currently pursuing a degree in the holistic practice of Nutrition Therapy. You can find her on Facebook, where she provides weekly lessons in cutting edge nutrition practices at facebook.com/nicoleprintonfitness. You can connect with her at nrprinton@gmail.com. Nicole resides in central New Jersey with her husband, 4 kids, and 3 cats.

References:

“Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life,” by Max Lugavere and Paul Grewal, M.D.