Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Month: July 2017

Gratitude Review: July

     Happy almost-end-of July, Well-Beings!

I hope you are safely enjoying the summer sun and staying cool.  I almost didn’t this week, but don’t worry! This story has a happy ending.  Just a few short days ago, my air conditioning went out twice in the same day, but thankfully we have a wonderful maintenance team here at the complex where I live and I was able to get things patched up in no time. I feel extraordinarily thankful for the fast response, and for the expertise and willingness of our lead maintenance guy to tackle this problem for me in the triple digit heat we’ve been handed this month.

My mom had a health scare this month and spent some time in the hospital. Looking back, it’s hard to deny that we didn’t have a whole lot of Divine Intervention to both get her there in time and arrange for her to recover without worrying about how the bill would be settled. She still has a ways to go to get back on her feet, but as far as things I’m grateful for this month (and all months, really) this one makes the top of my list.

In lighter news, the company I’ve been buying my essential oils from lately had a huge promotion this month. It was filled with five-days-worth of deals where you buy one oil, and you get another one for free. I was able to stock up on supplies I’ve been wanting for very little money and now I’ll be able to create some special blends that I’ve been inspired to make. If all goes well, I hope to be able to set up a shop and share them with you in the future. I really cleaned up with this sale, and I don’t think it was a coincidence that they were all things that I wrote down on a wish list just the week before. It was pretty cool to have things confirmed in that way, that I am actually supposed to be doing this thing that’s been in my heart for years, by literally being given some of very things I needed to get started. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my afternoon testing out some of the recipes I’ve come up with.

How has July gone for you? Do you have anything exciting to share? What kinds of experiences did you have that you’re still holding in your heart? I want to hear from you and help you celebrate this month almost gone by! Leave a comment below and let’s help each other remember all of the wonderful things we have to feel thankful for!

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

The Sweet Life: Honey’s Surprising Health Benefits

     Hey There, Well-Beings!

It’s a blazer out there today, so I’m planning to be inside tackling some of the tasks I’ve been putting off while the weather was a little more pleasant. Because I try never to leave you hanging, I wrote this article for the July issue of Inner Child Magazine and wanted to share it with you! Did you know that using honey can sweeten your health? How’s that for good news?! I hope you enjoy my findings and have a wonderful rest of your week!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

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It’s probably safe to assume that most of you have sweetened a beverage or baked good with honey at some point in your life. Maybe you drizzled a little on your oatmeal this morning, or even swapped out refined sugar in favor of this nectarous, golden elixir. Honey is more than a thrill for our tastebuds, though. It has been used as both a medicine and a food for centuries. It’s depicted in a 10,000 year old Spanish rock painting, it was left in the tombs of pharaohs by the Ancient Egyptians, and is mentioned in the sacred texts of almost every major religion. It’s been used to dress the wounds of Roman soldiers and clay tablet prescriptions have been discovered dating as far back as 2000 B.C. from the region of Nippur. It seems our ancestors knew that its value was worth more than its weight in gold. The good news is that you can still use honey today to address a number of health concerns and reap its tasty benefits for yourself.

Honey is full of antioxidants, including phenolic compounds like flavonoids. These antioxidant compounds have a host of benefits, including lowering blood pressure, decreasing bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol, and lowering triglyceride levels. All of these benefits can have positive effects on heart health and show promise in assisting Type 2 diabetics when honey is used to replace table sugar in the diet.

Honey has been a common ingredient in home remedies for cough and commercial cold medicines for years. In fact, in a 2010 study showed that honey scored better than two common cold remedies, dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine, in relieving nighttime coughing in both children and adults. It’s also becoming a commonly accepted form of seasonal allergy relief, thanks to some promising discoveries in the field of immunotherapy. Pollen found in local honey is introduced to the allergy sufferer in such a small amount that it may help them build immunity to it over time. Keep in mind, that honey from other regions may not have the desired effect.

Honey isn’t just good for the insides. Research suggests it has a healing effect on the skin, as well. One such group of studies touts the use of honey as an effective treatment for diabetic ulcers, while another series suggests that it may help heal partial thickness burns and wounds infected after surgery. That’s because researchers believe that honey’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help protect and nourish skin tissue. That’s also why you might see it in the beauty creams in high end cosmetic shops and in DIY skincare recipes.

One very important thing to keep in mind is that honeybees are hurting. They are dying at an alarming rate and they need a little compassionate human intervention to survive. Get to know your local beekeepers at farmer’s markets in your town and like or friend them on social media. When you see a hive in your neighborhood or somewhere that it’s likely to be sprayed and lost, give them a call so it can be properly captured and cared for. The health benefits of honey could be lost to us forever if we don’t first concern ourselves with the health of the honeybee. Do your part to save them and sweetness will follow.

Putting Down the Pen: When it’s Time to Stop Telling a Story (& Start Telling a Better One)

     Hey There, Well-Beings!

From the moment I could speak my first full sentence, I’ve always been a detailed and passionate storyteller. Being a writer has always been in the cards for me, even when I occasionally try on other career hats in my personal time. I love being able to express myself with language, even ones that aren’t native to me. Regardless of genre, stories entertain us. They elicit response through emotion, and they help us process those emotions into memories so we can hold on to them in a meaningful way. They can be wonderful tools for tapping into our own wells of insight and intuition, and can even help us recognize patterns of destruction or self-sabotage in our own lives so we can nip that ish in the bud.

Sometimes though, the stories we tell no longer benefit us, and we end up just reading aloud from the same chapter to our captive audience. At its worst, bad storytelling can cause us to shut our laptops and shelve a writing project right in the middle of the conflict stage of the story, mere pages away from a climactic plot-twist and a satisfying conclusion. John Greenleaf Whittier gets where I’m going with this. In his 1856 poem Maud Muller he expressed it perfectly:

“For of all sad words of tongue and pen,

The saddest are these: It might have been!”

 

I’m not exempt from bad storytelling, nor am I convinced we haven’t all written ourselves into a corner a time or two. It was pretty recently that I realized how often I was letting anxiety and depression prevent me starting a new chapter on a fresh page. It’s been eye-opening to pinpoint moments when I let unfounded fear, unhealthy environments, and grief that was no longer healing, keep me from the kinds of experiences that make for a captivating memoir.  Of course, I wouldn’t have been able to set our plucky heroine on this path of honest self-revelation without the help of a few Pulitzer Prize winning authors in my life (read: my awesomely supportive doctor, my spiritual support, and other trusted advisors).

When it’s time to stop telling certain stories from your past so you can revel in the present and create a fulfilling future, it’s my hope that you remember that you, too, have a team of bestselling authors to consult should you find your plot has problems and that you always remember that you hold the pen when it comes to writing your own story. You deserve a happy ending.

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

From the Archives: Sun Protection Foods -Nature’s SPF

floating    Hiya, Well Beings!

I’m off this weekend, enjoying some free time with my fella before starting a new job in a week. In the meantime, I thought we could all use a little boost of SPF as we spend the next few days out in the summer sun at all of those 4th of July parties. Don’t forget to stay hydrated!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

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There’s something about Summer that brings people outdoors. Whether it’s block parties, barbecues, or taking the kids on a family vacation, we sure do like to gather under the sun. While Vitamin D is an important building block to health, too much exposure to the sun has consequences that can harm us. We’ve all been told time and time again to wear our sunscreen when prolonged exposure is unavoidable, but there are some additional ways to ward off UVA and UVB rays, and guess what? You get to eat them!


tomatoes and peppers

Vegetables – Your mother was right. You need to eat your broccoli! That’s because it contains sulphoraphane, a powerful antioxidant with anti-cancerous effects that helps the cells in your body protect themselves against UV damage. Leafy greens are a good idea, too. They have been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer by as much as 50%. In the mood for some fresh garden salsa? Bell peppers and tomatoes are both great sources of lycopene, which has been shown to have an SPF of anywhere from 1-3. Sweet potatoes and carrots offer beta carotene and Vitamin C, which help protect the skin against free radical damage with their high antioxidant content. Slice both into long matchsticks, drizzle with olive oil and herbs and bake for a healthy substitute for fries with your grilled goodies.

strawberry watermelon smoothie

Fruits – Watermelon is a warm weather staple, and it’s not just a delicious way to stay hydrated! Its lycopene content is almost 40% higher than that of tomatoes. Other fruits with high levels of lycopene include papaya, guava and grapefruit. Pomegranates are an excellent source of polyphenols like catechins, which strengthen the top layers of skin and allow them to resist UV rays. Vitamin C is found in all varieties of citrus fruit , but can be found in berries and kiwi to fend off nasty free radicals, as well. Blend these beauties into a smoothie or use them to make a fabulous and functional fruit salad.

fruit infused water

Beverages – If you’re going to be out in the sun, it’s just smart to drink water to avoid dehydration, but water also helps keep skin’s Natural Moisture Factor (NMF) high. This isn’t just a fancy name, either. It helps skin protect itself from environmental factors that cause damage, like the sun. While you may not be in a hurry to put the kettle on as temperatures creep into the triple digits, taking your green or black teas iced will provide plenty of polyphenols to help skin fend off the sun’s rays. If the idea of drinking plain tea or water doesn’t excite you, slice any of the fruits above and add them to your glass for color and flavor. Infusing your teas and waters is a tasty trend that’s sun smart, too.

swimming

Sunscreen is still the gold standard in sun protection and you definitely shouldn’t leave home without it, but isn’t it nice to know that salsa and smoothies can save your hide, too? Be the perfect party guest by offering to make a delicious, double-duty side dish. Now that you’ve done your dietary due-diligence, rest easy and enjoy those lazy days of Summer!

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