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Wellness

A Better Buillon

A Better Buillon

Click aqui para español- >Un mejor caldo

By  Lia Threat

Fall has arrived, and with fall, our eating habits change. Heavier, richer foods are usually incorporated into our daily menu alongside more soups. A common ingredient of Latino households is the little yellow

squares with the chicken on the package. Bouillon is added to many familiar recipes throughout Latin America to flavor soups, rice dishes, and more. However, a closer look at the label may provide a good reason

to make your own chicken stock.

 

#1. Unilever makes it, yes, the company that also makes your soap.

#2. It contains palm oil, one of the most environmentally destructive crops. Large areas of the Amazon have been cleared to produce this oil.

#3. The oils are hydrogenated. Hydrogenated oils may lead to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, metabolic diseases, and obesity (Kochan et al., 2010).

#4. The salt intake for just ½ a cube amounts to 48% of the daily recommended intake at 1110 mg/serving.

#5. It lacks vitamins, minerals, protein, and other beneficial spice components in a whole food broth. A healthier alternative that will deliver maximum flavor is to make your own! All you need is a chicken carcass/bones, vegetables, and herbs.

See the recipe.

Chicken Broth Recipe

Here is a recipe for a chicken broth. If you would like to make more, double or triple the recipe depending on the size of your stockpot and how much chicken you have available.

You will need a stockpot, cutting board, knife, and large spoon to skim any debris and fat that rises to the top while cooking.

At least 3 lbs. chicken bones, cleaned and trimmed

2-3 carrots

1 onion (skin included)

1 bay leaf

½ dried pepper (optional for spicier dishes)

About 3-4 sprigs of thyme/oregano

6 cloves of garlic (skin included)

½ bunch parsley

½ bunch of cilantro with or without leaves

Peppercorn

Sea salt or Himalayan salt

¼ tsp. of turmeric

 

Cover ingredients until they are submerged in water.

Simmer for about 2-3 hours, depending on how strong you would like the flavors.

Skim fat and foam during the cooking process and remove.

If water decreases too much during cooking, you may add a bit more. However, for concentrated flavor, do not add water.

Upon completion, strain, cool, and freeze in small, medium, and large containers for multiple uses. A quick internet search for “souper cubes” (ice cube trays that fit the perfect amount of soup or stock) will provide you with a silicone tray that pops out the ideal amount of broth when you need it. It is like an ice tray with larger compartments! Not only will you have a healthier alternative to bouillon, but you can always build your stock as you trim vegetables while cooking. Pop trimmings into a freezer bag for later use!

A Vegan Diet- How to Obtain Crucial Nutrients

A Vegan Diet- How to Obtain Crucial Nutrients

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Una dieta vegana: cómo obtener nutrientes cruciales
Those who choose to follow a vegan lifestyle may do so for several reasons- a general detox, a specific health goal, or moral, religious, and ethical beliefs. Veganism- the practice of refraining from all foods of animal origin, including dairy, eggs, and even honey, may include challenges to obtaining vital essential nutrients daily without supplementation. Micronutrients lacking in a vegan diet include vitamin B6, B12, choline, vitamin D, and iron. Supplementation for these nutrients may be necessary, and your health practitioner can run labs to assess any deficiencies.

B6
Plays a role in creating those “feel good” brain chemicals, helps maintain red blood cell function, and regulates hormones and the nervous system. Plant sources: fortified cereals, fruit, nuts, and whole grains.
B12
Essential for energy production, and a deficiency may be related to various forms of anemia. Plant sources: soy milk, breakfast cereals, mushrooms, seaweed, and other fortified foods such as flaxseeds.

CHOLINE
Required for brain health- nerve impulses, cell signaling, and fat metabolism amongst other functions. Especially important for the neurological growth and development of a fetus, babies, and young children. Plant sources: wheat germ, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, legumes such as peanut and soy, and sunflower lecithin.

IRON
Responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body, DNA, and hormone synthesis. Also, it functions as an antioxidant. Plant sources include seaweed, spirulina, dark leafy greens like Swiss chard/spinach (best consumed with a source of Vitamin C); lima beans, kidney beans, cowpeas, potatoes (with skin), peanut butter, soybeans, herbs and spices, and fortified cereal and grain products.

VITAMIN D
Functions like a hormone regulating many different systems throughout the body. It is best to obtain this sunshine vitamin through direct sun exposure to the skin. Plant sources include mushrooms and fortified foods like orange juice, cereals, and bread.
With careful planning and supplementation, it is still possible to acquire the nutrients needed but be mindful that plant sources are not always the most optimal sources of specific nutrients.

Hydration and Your Daily Dose of Fruits and Vegetables

Hydration and Your Daily Dose of Fruits and Vegetables
By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >La hidratación y tu dosis diaria de frutas y verduras

Sometimes, the New Orleans summer heat can make us feel like we are struggling to stay hydrated! With so many conflicting ideas about the ideal amount of fluid consumption, it is logical to wonder how much water is enough. The human body needs water for homeostasis as all our cells require water for optimum function. In extreme cases of deprivation, dehydration even results in death.

A general way to make sure you are getting enough fluid is to divide your body weight in half and consume that amount in fluid ounces of water. You can also calculate 1/3 of your body weight in fluid plus 8 ounces for every alcoholic drink and 8 ounces for 30 or more minutes of exercise.

An example would be a healthy 130 lb. woman who would consume approximately 65 ounces of water per day, considering she is not experiencing any other health issues or changes in her body due to pregnancy and nursing.

Adequate fluid intake can vary from person to person based on physiological needs. Fluid intake requirements may occur based on temperature, physical exertion, consumption of fruit and vegetables, and other fluids. The effects of pregnancy, aging, and other health issues related to the kidney and bladder may also influence fluid intake.
There are physical signs of dehydration which may be helpful indicators for people of all ages to notice. A darker and more intense yellow urine may indicate a need to increase water consumption. Additionally, increased thirst, dry mucous membranes, and changes in skin color may be signs that hydration is needed.

Since foods are also a great way to increase hydration, choose those with a high water content to meet your daily goals.
You can include the following foods to boost your fluid intake:

Melon (especially watermelon)
Cucumbers
Peppers
Berries
Grapes
Citrus fruit
Celery
Lettuce
Zucchini

Ideas for recipes that may incorporate more than one hydrating food and drink: smoothies, fruit, and cucumber-infused water, dips utilizing the above vegetables, or using veggies in place of chips, a chilled tomato soup such as gazpacho, and fresh fruit popsicles, which are to keep children hydrated.

Addressing Spring Allergies Naturally

Addressing Spring Allergies Naturally

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- > Tratar las alergias primaverales de forma natural

Spring is here. Now is time to enjoy the beautiful, breezy weather minus the humidity, but what about those with allergies? Time outside can be far from enjoyable for those with a susceptibility to seasonal allergies, especially when pollen is abundant. If that sounds like you, below are a few natural ways to counteract a flare-up. 

Antihistamines are effective because they calm our body’s inflammatory histamine response. If one encounters an allergen such as pollen, it will cause the body to trigger the release of immune cells known as mast cells. Mast cells are responsible for initiating an inflammatory response and triggering the release of histamine. Sinus-related issues like itching, runny nose, sneezing, mucous secretions, and headaches will soon follow.

 

Thankfully, there are multiple ways to lower histamine levels in the body. A few are related to food and easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

1. Lower the number of histamine-rich foods that you are consuming daily. Often, histamine-rich foods are also aged or fermented. Think alcohol, pickled foods, sauerkraut, aged cheeses, cured meats, and highly processed foods. As these foods age, histamine levels increase. Also, different levels of naturally occurring molds are present, which can also cause similar inflammatory responses in the body. Instead, opt for fresh fruits, meats, cheese, and be cautious of alcohol intake during periods when pollen counts are high. 

2. If you are taking probiotics, consider one that does not contain histamine-producing bacteria, adding to your body’s histamine levels. Check out your probiotic label for strains such as Lactobacillus gasseri, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifidobacterium longum. Recent studies have shown these strains to help those with seasonal allergies.

3. Help screen what is getting in. Opt for a natural saline rinse to loosen mucous in the nasal passages. It is generally safe for adults and children to use without side effects and may even help prevent the adhesion of bacteria and viral pathogens.

4 Most weather stations issue high pollen counts, so check these out before venturing outdoors!

* As always, check with your doctor before adding anything to your routine, especially if you are taking medication.

 

Why Inflammation May Be the Key to Your Weight Loss Goals

Why Inflammation May Be the Key to Your Weight Loss Goals

By Lia Threat @wellnesswithlia

Click aqui para español- > La inflamación puede ser la clave en sus objetivos de pérdida de peso

Worldwide, obesity is triple what it was in 1975, and those statistics are steadily rising.

Those who commit to losing weight can have a hard time maintaining weight loss. Sometimes, obstacles to maintaining weight loss may be due to a lack of support, education, availability, motivation, or discipline. Other times, there may be health conditions that affect how we maintain a healthy weight.

Often, there are underlying inflammation levels in the body that may trigger a stress-response causing the body to release the hormone cortisol. A stress response, also known as fight-or-flight, can be triggered by trauma, injury, or chronic stress, to name a few.

Also, something as simple as eating foods that your body may perceive as inflammatory can affect the body’s ability to lose weight.

Below are some known sources of inflammation alongside ways in which you may counteract them.



 

Food intolerances

Food intolerances can cause inflammation, bloating, digestive upset, and numerous other symptoms.

To pinpoint food intolerance, try eliminating the most common food allergens: gluten, dairy, corn, soy, nuts, shellfish, peanuts, and fish.

After removal for 30-60 days, a slow reintroduction will help identify which foods give you trouble.

Injury

If you cannot move properly, chances are you will not be as physically active as possible.

Address your injuries to decrease the levels of inflammation in your body. You will not only feel good, but your body will be able to function better.

Lower the stress levels in the body, starting with sleep

One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by regulating sleep, addressing emotional trauma and other stress sources.

Establish a calming night routine and connect with anything that helps your body get into the rest-and-reset mode. Some examples are meditation, interacting with nature, connecting with others, and including daily physical activity.

Those able to check off a few of the items on this list will see that they have already jumpstarted their weight loss goals making them more attainable.

As always, consult with your healthcare practitioner before making any significant changes.

 

Hidden Holiday Gems: Winter Herbs That Double as Immune Boosters

Hidden Holiday Gems: Winter Herbs That Double as Immune Boosters

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- > Sorpresas Navideñas: Hierbas de invierno que mejoran la inmunidad

The talk during the holidays this year will most likely be politics, COVID-19, and who is coming over to visit. Many will still gather around the table, albeit in lesser numbers, while others will be visiting from a distance. Whatever the conversation may be, building the body’s resilience by consuming whole foods and herbs may boost immunity if we are unknowingly sharing the table with someone sick.

Two common herbs are fresh thyme and rosemary. Both herbs are great with roasted vegetables, proteins and added as infusions for honey, oils, and vinegar. They are delicious minced in a salad dressing, hearty stew, or casserole.

 

Rosemary and thyme are anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, and thyme is known for being antiparasitic. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of over 300 patients, thyme and ivy syrup was used in acute bronchitis patients to relieve symptoms associated with their cough.

Another herb to pay attention to is sage. Sage is an excellent addition to casseroles and meat dishes. Sage also shines with roasted squashes or potatoes. In traditional medicine, sage is well known in Latin America for inflammation, diarrhea, heartburn, dizziness, and seizures, to name a few.

Try to find multiple dishes that incorporate more than one of the herbs above for your holiday meals this year.

Happy Holidays!

 

Healing for the Holidays

Healing for the Holidays

By Dr. Cristy Cali

Click aqui para español- > Paz para el día de Acción de Gracias

This issue will be out for only a few days before the next President of the United States is elected. With so much tension incrementally building up towards this great moment in history, I feel focusing on healing would be the best contribution I could offer. My mission with these contributions is to challenge you to think independently for yourself without the pressure or influence of anyone outside of your authentic self.

Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us before we know it, coming up only a few short weeks from November 4. If we are to witness a wave of peace from this chaos within our lifetime, then we must become a channel for this change to manifest into the world through us. We need to honor this sacred time of family, gratitude, love, and yes, even forgiveness.

 

The spirit of the holidays is love. There has been so much finger-pointing, name-calling, and bullying going on in the media and television programs, but that does not have to exemplify nor influence how we conduct ourselves - mind, body, and spirit.

Mother Earth has her seasons for a reason, and reasons for her seasons. In the spring, we experience a re-energizing of energy after the long, cold, and lazy winter that makes us want to retreat within a warm and cozy space. Spring prepares us for the intense heat of the summer, and the fall is her cool-down period. The energy from the seasons, air pressure, temperature, precipitation; all of it has a deep subconscious influence on our being.

The summer heat causes tempers to flare more easily, causing spikes in road rage or other anger-related incidents. The sun brings us out while the winter calls us inside - literally and figuratively. In metaphysics, we have a deep understanding that as above, so below and vice versa. As we come upon these winter months, November & December, we are asked to come back inside, an opportunity to reflect and meditate about our own greater calling. So, when a challenge creeps up before you, ask yourself the question: “How can I be a channel of love?”

When our character is challenged, that’s when our most authentic energy is expressed and expelled into the Universe for all to see. If that energy is creating further separation through hurtful words, how are you doing your part to bring about peace and healing during this time where we need more love? After all, isn’t that the reason everyone’s hurting in the first place?

I’ll never forget a quote a wise empowerment coach once told me. He said, “Only people who are hurting hurt other people.” And I would like to remind you that you already are enough. You are loved. You are valuable. You are worthy. You are so worthy, when you choose to live your life led by love you become the healer. You become the gleaming light of kindness & gratitude that becomes inspirational and contagious, thus elevating the vibration of those around you with you. You become of service to them through being the best version of you. So, when you see your friends and family this Thanksgiving, see past the artificial differences of society and into the light in their eyes. Remember their souls are pure, but the ego, the face the soul uses on this journey, is privy to corruption; and quite often through deception and manipulation. This is where forgiveness & compassion are key, and that’s the grand lesson we, as a collective, are being challenged to learn right now. Choose love.

Wishing you all a blessed and safe Thanksgiving holiday season!

Opals of October

Opals of October

By Dr. Cristy Cali

Click aqui para español- > Ópalos de Octubre

Even if your birthday is not taking place this month, the metaphysical properties of opals may attract you to become a wearer.

Do you remember the first time you set your eyes on an opal stone? I was young and remember thinking the stone looked like it harnessed a rainbow within it. To a child and the eyes of an innocent, opals would appear to be quite a magical stone. The word itself comes from the Latin opalus, which means “precious stone.” It was also called opallios in Greek, meaning “to see a change in color,” pederos meaning “the child of love,” and paederos “the delicate complexion of a lovely youth.”

This month, we celebrate opals as October’s birthstone. Unlike many gemstones, opals are not crystals at all; in fact, they are a silicic acid gel that has been solidified through the loss of water.

The silicic acid in the gel forms tiny silicon dioxide globules between which up to 2% water and gas remain enclosed. It is the bending of light by these globules that gives the opal its wonderful play of color. It shows a variety of flashing colors called fire or opalescence. The fire appears as flecks or sparkles of vivid colors floating on top of the background.

In the jewelry industry, opals are highly valued, especially when they are shaped and cut by professionals who provide the ability to display the stone eloquently as a nicely designed piece of jewelry. Even if your birthday is not taking place this month, the metaphysical properties of opals may attract you to become a wearer.

When we discuss metaphysics, keep in mind this one law of the universe - As Above, So Below. Opals retain a certain degree of water, and symbolically, water represents emotions, yin, and femininity. Our bodies release water as tears when we become emotional and opal’s reflective properties help show these emotions back to ourselves. In effect, opals serve as a sort of mirror, allowing us to take an inward journey to discover the light, colors, and beauty we hold within. Only when our emotions are brought to the surface are we then able to consciously examine them and explore feelings we may have buried for too long.

Another characteristic of opals is the ability to bring a sense of peace and calmness to individuals, including children, suffering from too much stress, anxiety, and even fears-- especially if one is living too much in the past or the future. Opals are said to help bring a clearer sense of presence and relax an overstimulated mind cluttered with endless thoughts and chatter. Oftentimes, an overstimulated mind is due to the absorption of energy from other people, which results from a lack of personal boundaries. Since opals reflect, they can shield undesirable energy away and keep you from absorbing their negativity.

Whether you are a true believer in the healing properties of gemstones, Mother Earth’s precious gifts, no one can deny the physical elements and chemical compounds necessary for their creation. As quantum physics has proven, everything vibrates. As energetic beings emitting frequencies, we would be wise to consider the possibility of utilizing the natural elements available to us to create more balance and harmony over our vibration. After all, aren’t we here to explore, discover, learn, and grow to become the best versions of ourselves?

Enjoying the Fall Weather by Incorporating Outdoor Movement

Enjoying the Fall Weather by Incorporating Outdoor Movement

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Disfrutar del clima otoñal incorporando movimiento al aire libre
 

Whether you are still working from home, have children participating in virtual or in school learning, one thing is for sure- we are moving less. We are no longer walking to the office or down the street for lunch. Children are sitting more in class to avoid physical contact. Some schools are shortening or eliminating recess and PE to minimize interactions between students. Now, more than ever, parents will need to get creative to incorporate movement breaks into the day.

 

To reach your daily goal of outdoor activity, try to set a written intention to add in new forms of exercise slowly. To prioritize training, add it to your planner or daily schedule. Scheduling it into your calendar will make it easier to create a habit. 

Here are some ideas to get started:

Cook in bulk

Fill the time you would spend cooking with a fun stroll or bike ride.

Cooking for two days will free up time in the afternoon and evenings. As the weather gets cooler, use this extra time for some added outdoor physical activity.

Take up a new hobby

Most of us have stumbled upon the skilled jump ropers on social media lately. Jump rope is one idea, but any new hobby will help us engage in a novel activity that keeps the boredom away. Alternatively, you can try a new form of dance. A 15-minute dance break on the patio is a great way to get children fresh air and exercise- no equipment required!

Try a new desk set-up

Is your little one moving all the time during online learning? Try an exercise ball for them to sit on and allow frequent breaks. If you find yourself slouching, having bad posture, or back pain, consider an adjustable standup desk.

Remember, any amount of activity can go a long way in keeping our bodies moving and our minds alert!

 

Supporting Local Community and Immunity

Making Groceries:

Supporting Local Community and Immunity

by Lia Treat

Click aqui para español- > Apoyando a la comunidad y la inmunidad con las compras de mercado

The seasons are changing soon, and the coolness of fall is approaching. Everything looks different this year. Small businesses that have become cultural and iconic mainstays throughout our communities are slowly disappearing. How can we contribute to keeping them open while also supporting our bodies and families during a pandemic? How can we keep the momentum going to help those in our society that are struggling?

One way is to support our local and minority farmers, small food co-ops, and mom and pop stores. It is through these grass-roots type organizations that the community can take back control of accessibility to real, whole foods. The pandemic has reminded us what an important role our farmers play in food production, the stability of our economy, and the hospitality industry in New Orleans. I have seen countless farmers, bakers, restaurant owners, and other growers and makers supporting their community through donations of food, service, space, and time. Therefore, I encourage you to support your local farmers and makers!

By eating locally and seasonally, you will support your body’s immunity by inoculating it with local, beneficial bacteria from soil nearby, nourish it with foods that thrive in our climate, and that have ripened naturally.

Buying local food increases the nutrients available to the consumer. Food is higher in antioxidants, fresher, and cheaper. Many of our farmers deliver to homes or facilitate orders through pick-up. Many of them are donating to local families and organizations. Food that was previously only accessible at a farmer’s market is now available for ordering online. Take advantage!

 

Grow Dat Youth Farm. Growdatyouthfarm.org

New Orleans Food Co-Op. www.nolafood.coop

Major Acre Farm. majoracrefarm.com

River Queen Greens. Riverqueengreens.com

Veggi Farmer s Cooperative. Veggifarmcoop.com

Poché Family Farm. pochefamilyfarm.com/veggiebox

Crescent City Farmers Market. crescentcityfarmersmarket.org

America’s Growing Pains

America’s Growing Pains

How will you choose to experience the transformation process?

By Cristy Cali

Click aqui para español- > Dolores del crecimiento en América

How will you participate in the inevitable healing process that must take place as a result of today’s toxic energetic environment?

The political and media pressure is compounding each day, making it more difficult to do what people came to America to do: to commit themselves to the pursuit of happiness.

America is currently experiencing a process of transformation. Many outdated ways of thinking are being broken down and pushed out of the way to make room for newer, more efficient, and harmonious norms. But this is an uncomfortable process and many people are hurting because they are confused. Those who are stuck in disempowering belief systems are going to suffer the most because they believe their future is completely out of their hands. They continue to focus on aspects outside of themselves for answers, happiness, and security.

Right now, you have a choice as to how you wish to participate in this process and not only accept, but also be happy with the consequences of your actions. Without purposefully asking yourself this question, you unconsciously live your life reacting to what you encounter instead of remembering deep within yourself that you have a sincere desire to make a positive difference, which influences who you are. There is only one way to truly make a positive difference, and that is to live your life with intention and a purpose. How do you accomplish this? Beginning the journey inward.

The founding fathers may not have been perfect, in the sense of the word, but like you, they were indeed perfect works-in-progress. They sincerely understood the importance of making sure the opening line of the Declaration of Independence clearly mentioned, the words “Creator,” “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Notice each of these words were capitalized, symbolizing that they held greater importance as if they held a mass of energy that needed to be acknowledged as essential. Happiness was just as important as Life, Liberty, and the identification of your “Creator,” your Higher Authority in life.

In her book, Path of Empowerment, Barbara Marciniak describes the human body as a biological computer and explains in her own words why and how our bodies respond to our personal beliefs. If our bodies are suffering, our happiness suffers.

Your biological computer is more sophisticated than any manufactured technology, because it is directly influenced by the symphonic complexity of your emotional responses to life. Remember, your body dutifully loyal in giving you feedback on the effects of your thoughts and feelings. Essentially, health is a state of mind. The decision to see your life as filled with inherent meaning, and the realization that everything occurs for a very good reason, are a prosperous use of your personal power. Health is wealth, and a well-fortified immune system is the key to good health, and the simple key to a strong immune system is happiness.

The people who help elevate others are the ones who make the greatest contributions to life, for those are who intentionally commit to a life of service to others. But the key to service is to take the journey inward first, for one cannot commit to serving in the first place if they have not experienced an elevation in their own life through their own efforts. How could these individuals serve (via the output of product or service) if they do not know their services are effective?

You choose to contribute to the further division of our country through the unconscious, emotionally reactive responses that derive from an underlying, yet unidentified, fear; which is birthed through a lack of understanding, empathy, and most importantly, love. Fear blocks the natural flow of love we can give and receive. And to live in a harmonious environment, the key ingredient is love.

Or, you can make the conscious choice today to help heal America’s growing pains through being open to accepting more love into your life and giving more love. When you do this, you elevate, and you serve. People will be drawn to your healing energy and seek your support or guidance. Alas, you become an opportunity magnet to be of service and help heal those who need you most.

The moment you believe you are unequal or separate from your fellow brothers and sisters is the moment you block the natural flow of energy flowing through you that you were meant to disperse. You were born to share love, not hate. You were born to elevate those you love, not hurt them. You were born to shine your light brightly upon others, not suppress the light of others.

Shine bright!

Calming an Anxious Mind Naturally in a Time of Unrest and Uncertainty

Calming an Anxious Mind

Naturally in a Time of Unrest and Uncertainty

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- > Calmar naturalmente una mente ansiosa en momentos de inquietud e incertidumbres

A tight chest, changes in breathing, nausea, racing, repetitive thoughts, worry, sweating, these are just a handful of the physiological changes in the body that can occur when someone is experiencing anxiety.

Lately, there have been copious amounts of negative news on TV and social media, coupled with frequent and constant images of violence and COVID-19 statistics. But the body and mind are resilient, and these feelings can be temporary. I would like to provide some alternatives that may be helpful in times of high stress. Below is a routine that I go back to again and again.

Take a break from the consumption of images and negative news

Could you remove it from your day? Negative images and traumatic stories can influence the psyche. If it is not necessary, take a break.

Ask yourself- what can I do immediately to calm my mind and body?

Check-in with your breathing

I practice a breathing exercise: five seconds of deep belly breathing in and five seconds of breathing out. This method can help to calm the autonomic nervous system responsible for the fight or flight response. Anxiety is associated with fear, so by signaling that you are safe and well, you can also calm some of the physiological responses that your body is experiencing.

Try to alter your environment

Go outside, go for a walk, and get out in nature. Also, adding calming forms of exercise while outside will give you a nice boost of feel-good endorphins.

Add in some calming herbal teas*

Some of my favorites are Lavender, Lemon balm, Ashwagandha (also an adaptogen), CBD oil, Tulsi aka Holy Basil, Chamomile, Rose, or Passionflower. If it is daytime, I will also have some matcha tea full of the calming amino acid L-theanine. A bonus is most of the herbs will also help you sleep! These methods are just a handful of ideas to tap into when feeling stressed. Hopefully, you can find one that works for you!

*Check with your health practitioner if you have a health condition, are pregnant, nursing, or taking medications before consuming herbs.

When We Support Black Communities, We Support Our Communities

When We Support Black Communities, We Support Our Communities

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Cuando apoyamos a las comunidades afroamericanas, apoyamos nuestras comunidades.

As I write this, George Floyd has just been laid to rest, and Breonna Taylor would have been celebrating another year of life. Sadly, they lost their lives to senseless police brutality like many others before them. So, I would like to dedicate this space to remind readers to reflect on the struggles of those blacks being oppressed in the United States and worldwide. We share similarities in culture and our strong sense of community. Daily, we fight systemic oppression complexly linked to a history of slavery and colonization. In a holistic approach to health, we cannot truly thrive if one part of our life is out of balance. When a community suffers, we suffer, and there can be no joy when a person harbors hate and fear.

As an action step, I encourage you to support black businesses and other communities of color. Visit black-owned restaurants and donate to organizations that are doing important work with children to inspire change. Please pay attention to those in our food industry, working to end systemic forms of racism that limit access to fresh foods. Systemic oppression also affects other marginalized communities of color. Below are some local organizations to explore and is by no means an exhaustive list. For a list of black-owned restaurants and businesses, check out- https://www.neworleans.com/things-to-do/multicultural/black-owned-businesses-in-new-orleans/

Liberty’s Kitchen- providing hands-on training programs for youth in the food and service industries. http://www.libertyskitchen.org/

Grow Dat Youth Farm- Inspiring community members to grow food while supporting youth and adults to fight oppression in their communities.

https://growdatyouthfarm.org/

Café Reconcile- Job training program to help at-risk youth in a restaurant setting. https://www.cafereconcile.org/about/

Navigate Nola- Providing Social-emotional wellness programs in New Orleans Public Schools and throughout the New Orleans community.

Kingsley House: Providing social, educational, and senior programs to help strengthen communities.

https://www.kingsleyhouse.org/

YEP (Youth Empowerment Project)- Mentor programs for at-risk youth that have been in the juvenile justice system.

https://youthempowermentproject.org/

Forgiveness for Freedom

Forgiveness for Freedom

By Cristy Cali

Click aqui para español- >La Libertad del Perdón

The act of forgiveness is a choice and a quite powerful one. Forgiveness is not just an act of love, it is a selfless act, one which reflects our integrity and self-love. We are ourselves conduits of energy. Without forgiveness, we slow down and impede the natural flow of life force energy that lives through us. What you resist will persist. Until you make a conscious choice to do something about the unease, disappointment, heartache, betrayal, and any other harmful emotion, you will continue to suffer the ramifications of these low vibrational emotions.

Let’s talk about emotions for a moment. Emotions are energy in motion (e-motion). This energy in motion takes place within the energy centers of our bodies, known as chakras. You may have heard of this term before, but perhaps you have not fully understood the role of the chakras and why they are important to our awareness.

 

Since we are speaking on the topic of forgiveness, I am going to focus on the most relevant chakra, which is called “Anahata” in Hindu. In English, we identify this as the Heart Chakra. Imagine an energy field expanding eight to ten feet around you, spinning in a spiral motion. It is said that if one is in good holistic health, this energy spins in a clockwise motion, which makes sense because the clockwise motion propels forward (growth).

Simply put, the heart chakra is the energy center of love and relationships. When our relationships are in a state of disharmony, the exchange of energy between these two individuals clashes and quite literally creates discomfort and dis-ease that can be felt. I know you know what this feels like.

For a more scientific point of view, consider the findings from this 1991 discovery published in a peer-reviewed journal. The article was titled “Neurocardiology,” which explored the intimate relationship between our hearts and our brains.

A team of scientists, led by Dr. J. Andrew Armour of the University of Montreal, discovered that about 40,000 specialized neurons, called sensory neurites, form a communication network within the heart itself. What made this discovery so incredible is that the neurites in the heart duplicate many of the same functions found in the brain.

In simple terms, Armour and his team discovered what has come to be known as the “little brain” in the heart. And it is the specialized neurites that make the little brain possible. A key role of the heart is to detect changes in the body, such as levels of hormones and other chemicals, and then communicate those changes to the brain so it can meet our needs accordingly. The heart sends a form of electrical linguistic messages that the brain can understand. The heart’s coded messages inform the brain as to when we need more adrenaline in a stressful situation (fear, rage, anger) or when it is safe to create less adrenaline and focus on building a stronger immune response.

If the heart communicates to the brain, the organ responsible for releasing hormones & chemicals into our entire system, then matters of the heart are of great importance and extremely relevant to our overall health.

When we fail to forgive, we are failing ourselves. The low-vibrational emotions we feel in our hearts as a result of a betrayal, an insult, a heartache, etc. hurt us directly, not those who have caused the hurt. Trust me, they have their own issues to deal with. But you are responsible for your own. Waiting for an apology is creating a dependency of resolution outside of yourself and your own control; thus, you have willingly given away your own healing power of forgiveness to someone or something else.

“While intelligence or ‘mental energy’ is generally considered superior to emotional energy, actually emotional energy is the true motivator of the human body and spirit. Love in its purest form – unconditional love – is the substance of the Divine, with its endless capacity to forgive us and respond to our prayers. Our own hearts are designed to express beauty, compassion, forgiveness, and love. It is against our spiritual nature to act otherwise.”

If you wish to be truly free, take the first step to unlocking yourself by reaching deep into your heart to discover the key of forgiveness to forgive yourself first.

A Medicine Cabinet Full of Fruits and Vegetables

A Medicine Cabinet Full of Fruits and Vegetables

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Un botiquín lleno de frutas y vegetales

Now that businesses are reopening and more interaction is taking place, I have increased my intake of various foods to help my body stay strong. I believe in a food first approach to boosting the body’s immune system. If you see something new to you, try it!

 

Foods rich in antioxidants with protective qualities include watercress, onions, cilantro, kale, red leaf lettuce, dark berries, cherries, green tea, apples, broccoli, and citrus fruits. These foods are rich in an antioxidant known as Quercetin. It plays a vital role in protecting the body from oxidative stress on a cellular level. Oxidative stress is the type of stress that damages cells and tissues.

Zinc, which has immune-boosting properties can be found in pumpkin seeds, beef, chicken, lentils, quinoa, cashews, garbanzo beans, shellfish, and sesame seeds.

Foods rich in Sulfur and Glutathione (our body’s master antioxidant) are cabbage, kale, swiss chard, bok choy, garlic, and cauliflower. Don’t forget about Brussels sprouts! Brussels sprouts are great roasted with garlic.

Also, make sure you are getting fresh air, sunlight, and lots of healthy fats from foods like fatty fish, eggs, mushrooms, chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts. This will help to increase your levels of Vitamins D and A.

A note to remember: seasonal, frozen, and canned items are great alternatives and more affordable options!

Another item, although not food-related, that you should consider keeping at home right now is an Oximeter. If you have

ever gone to the emergency room or urgent care, you may remember the small device placed on your, or a loved one’s finger while the vital signs were being taken. This device measures the saturation of oxygen in your blood. If you feel like you may have COVID-19, and you or a loved one are having trouble breathing, this is an excellent way to see if your oxygen levels have decreased, which may be an indicator for early stages of pneumonia.  If levels have dropped, call your doctor to discuss results and optimal range for you. Oximeters can be found online and at major drugstores.

Stay safe!

Time Is an Illusion

Time Is an Illusion

By Cristy Cali

Click aqui para español- >El tiempo es una ilusión

Fear and anxiety seem to be at an all-time high, not only within ourselves but globally. In the midst of this world crisis, it can be easy to forget how powerful we are as individuals. Our conscious thoughts, and personal energetic state, have a direct effect on the world consciousness.
The future and the past do not exist outside of our own imagination. All that truly exists is the present moment – the now. Anxiety, worry, and fear of what the future holds is a self-generated emotion as a conscious or unconscious consequence.


When we are unconscious about what we expose ourselves to – news, social media, negative people – we are allowing anything to enter the sacred space of our minds. Your input, what you absorb, has a direct effect on your entire being. The information enters your thoughts, and if negative, can stimulate fear, which creates a chemical reaction in your brain that triggers your pineal gland to secrete reactive hormones to protect you in a fight or flight state.
Too much stress, worry, fear, and anxiety will cause your body to chemically overreact; thus, compromising your immune system because it has been overridden with cortisol.  Your body is trying to protect you by giving you a boost of energy to run from a bear, but you’re worried about paying your bills or when you can return to work. You become mentally exhausted and your body is not far behind.


This is the hamster-wheel cycle of living in the future or the past, and not in what matters most – the present moment. So, what can you do to be more proactive about your thoughts?

I have a few tips to guide you in the right direction:

Treat your mind as a sacred space. 
Choose. Your attention is energy. Consciously decide what you want to invest your energy into. Fear is contagious because fear is electrified energy. You do not have to absorb this energy if you have the willpower to choose a counteractive thought or activity.

Breathe.
Breathe consciously. Your breath is what gives life to you and to the trillions of cells that make up your being. Oxygen is your friend. YouTube breathing exercises to explore different techniques to bring you back to the present. This is a great exercise to practice in the beginning of meditation to relax your mind, body, and spirit.

Express yourself creatively.             
Bring back your inner child. Remember that worry-free child you once were? That child spirit within you still exists. Stop taking yourself & others so seriously all the time. Laugh at yourself. Play. Draw. Write. Color. Create. Creativity is how the soul expresses itself and major innovations or inventions are the direct results of this divine creative energy.

Rhythmic motions.
Dance. Exercise. Yoga. Walk. Run. Your body encases the energy of your spirit. When you dance or move your body in a rhythmic pattern, your mind is concentrated on the motion and staying in rhythm. Seriously, have you ever worried about your taxes in the middle of a salsa or bachata dance?!

High Vibe Reads. 
Read a mystery novel, a self-empowerment book, or even an educational textbook about how magical Planet Earth is. Remember, your input determines your output. If all you read all day is nerve-stimulating news, your output is going to be nervous energy, and that’s not fun to be around.

The Bible refers to our bodies as temples, which I strongly agree with. If we treat our bodies as temples and sacred spaces, we are much more mindful of what we choose to expose ourselves to. We always have free will. We do not have to give in to the fear. In fact, I believe we have a responsibility, a spiritual duty, to say no to fear-stimulating energy. The imagination that has the power to create fear is the same imagination that has the power to create inner peace. You may not be able to eliminate fear & anxiety for everyone else, but you can for yourself – that’s where world-healing begins. 

Small Steps to Improve Our New Daily Normal

Small Steps to Improve Our New Daily Normal

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Pequeños pasos para mejorar nuestra nueva normalidad

So, here we are. Many of us are still wondering what happened to our normal life and when or if our old life will return to the way it was. Our jobs may change, we may lose a loved one or a vital person from our community. Our finances and living situations may be altered, and we may be walking around wearing face masks for months. However, there are ways to retain a sense of normalcy through routine, human connection, and tuning into our fragile emotional and mental state.


 
I wanted to share a few tips I am implementing to stay sane during 
“Stay at home orders.”

Keep Devices out of the Bedroom
Blue light can be very disruptive to your circadian rhythm. Keeping these devices out of your sleeping environment will make it easier to get to sleep. A disruption in your circadian rhythm can influence mood as well as insulin levels. 

Disconnect to Reconnect
It is hard to disconnect when many of us are working from home. Try to establish a designated workspace and consistent work hours. Even if it is a tiny corner of your home, keeping work separate can be helpful. Be consistent about your hours of availability. Having a schedule gives you something to look forward to when your workday is over and will help to minimize your hours online. Check out apps that disable you from scrolling mindlessly while you are supposed to be working.  

Reconnect with loved ones, especially your elders!
Many are battling mental decline along with loneliness, anxiety, and despair. Volunteering to pick up groceries or prescriptions is a great way to help them feel cared for.  

Practice gratitude daily!
It is easy to look at the negative aspects of the current pandemic and feel hopeless or discouraged. Instead, start your day by writing in a gratitude journal.

Getting fresh air and sunshine is an easy way to lift your mood
Bonus if you get in exercise! Find free workout videos to stay active. You will feel refreshed after a few minutes in!

Wishing health and wellness for all!

A Life with Christ

A Life with Christ

By Dr. Cristy Cali

Click aqui para español- >Una Vida con Cristo

From a metaphysical point of view, Christ represents the God-consciousness personified - a real, incarnate representation of Divine Energy walking the Earth.
In 1 John 4:7-8, the bible reads,
“7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love.”

Love is the absolute highest-vibrational energy frequency in the Universe. In fact, this energy is so strong that studies have shown miraculous healing through an intense concentration -  a unification and reconstruction of atoms even after destruction - and so much more. The point is, every human being is born with the capability and, I would argue, the responsibility to love.

So, if God is love, then the energy of the God-consciousness lives within us. Compassion and empathy are the results of harnessing and aligning with this Divine power. How powerful, beautiful, and poetic is that? Nevertheless, included with this inherent power of love is the contrasting polarity of hate, division, and destruction. To the extent that we have the ability to utilize this power for the greatest and highest good comes the potential to do the opposite to the same degree. In other words, we can hate at the same level of intensity to that which we can love if that is a path we choose to take. 

We must recognize the responsibility of free will with the Divine grace of love. Each one of us has access to the greatest power of the Universe - love. To lead a life with Christ is to consciously and intentionally align ourselves with the mission of unconditional love through the acceptance of ourselves, of others, the respect for free will and the recognition of self-responsibility.

Whatever we are capable of, we realize others are capable of as well. Self-acceptance means we accept ourselves fully for who we are, acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses. Accomplishing self-acceptance is the first step to self-love and the development of unconditional love for your neighbors. Respect for free will is necessary for world peace and harmonious living, which includes the right for others to make the necessary mistakes to learn life’s greatest lessons. This leads to self-responsibility, the principle of not doing for others what they could and should do for themselves. This, essentially, is accountability for your own actions. Jesus demonstrated this very principle in Matthew 4:19 when he said, “19 And He said unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” By teaching his followers how to fish, Jesus created a ripple effect that allowed his knowledge to be passed from person to person.

We live a life with Christ whenever we utilize our free will to teach and inspire others, respect their decisions, respecting and allowing the learning processes of others to play out. How many times did we “see something coming” for someone we love or care for? Especially our children, family, friends, and partners? Sometimes our role is simply to be an observer and have the compassion and empathy to be present as a support system to others. This is kindness, and kindness, in turn, is an expression of love.

The challenges and obstacles we experience in life may never go away, but the way in which we respond when they appear is the only variable left within our own control. When we have self-control, we have self-mastery. Our bodies obtain both the power of love and of destruction - it is the necessary opposite required for us to understand all the options available to us under free will. Therefore, self-mastery is consciously aligning with our hearts, the home-base of our love frequency, where the God-consciousness we channel lives. This is how we come from a place of love by default and how we lead a life with Christ. 

Meditation Exercise
Read the following quote out loud:

“Let me help you through this day. The challenges you face are far too great for you to handle alone. You are keenly aware of your helplessness in the scheme of events you face. This awareness opens up a choice: to doggedly go it alone or to walk with Me in humble steps of dependence. Actually, this choice is continually before you, but difficulties highlight the decision-making process. So, consider it all joy whenever you are enveloped in various trials. These are gifts from Me, reminds you to rely on Me alone.” - Psalm 46:1; Psalm 63:7-8; James 1:2-3

Now read the quote again, but this time imagine Jesus speaking directly to you from your heart chakra, radiating green rays of light. In this quote, Jesus is saying you always have the option to walk with Him, but usually, you forget that He lives in your heart until a great challenge is presented before you. Jesus is asking you to depend on him by consciously making the decision to align with his energy of unconditional love. He lives in you. You are born of the same Eternal Flame as Christ himself. By trusting in Him, you are essentially allowing His words and actions to be lived through you channeled through you as a vessel of Truth. 

Boosting immunity amid the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) outbreak

Boosting immunity amid the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) outbreak

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Mejore su sistema inmune en medio del brote de Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The world is on high alert from the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus. Stores are selling out of hand sanitizer, chemical-based cleaning solutions, and cleansing wipes. My first instinct was to think about ways in which I can naturally support the body’s immune system and ability to heal. Many foods are already incorporated into my diet on a daily basis, but others can be added for additional support. Below are some of my favorites:

Cook and consume plenty of herbs and roots daily
Garlic, onion, and ginger are at the top of my list. Other foods and herbs that are known for their antiviral and antimicrobial properties include thyme, oregano, cilantro, tea tree oil, rosemary, and lemon. Incorporate them into your meals by making garlic and oregano pesto, adding tons of garlic and cilantro to guacamole, soups, stir-fries, and adding ginger, lemon, and dark leafy greens to smoothies. You can also brew roots and herbs in boiling water to drink as a tea.

Get adequate sleep
When a body is able to rest and recover it will be that much stronger to fight viruses and bacteria.
Wash your hands and practice good hygiene
Always wash your hands before eating or touching your face. Also, sanitize frequently used surfaces, like your smartphone, and those used for eating. You can make a natural solution by adding some of the essential oils above to a spray bottle with white vinegar.

Take plenty of vitamins and minerals
Boost your immunity with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D, Zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. My favorite supplement to get a boost of Vitamins D and A is cod liver oil - one of the highest orally ingested sources available.

A calm and vibrant body is a strong body
Practice stress-reducing activities such as being in nature, mediation, and plenty of exercise.

 

Do You Know Your Life Path Number?

Do You Know Your Life Path Number?

By Dr. Cristy Cali

@drcristycali

Click aqui para español- >¿Sabes tu número de vida?

The moment we are born into this life we are blessed by the stars with specific numbers that represent the energy of our identity – why we are here, the lessons we should learn, the essence of our soul and the personality that others see.

Should you allow yourself the opportunity of being open-minded to identify and understand your personal numerology, you could discover supportive information on your mission to knowing yourself on a level you had not yet explored.

Your personal numerology data is derived from your birth date and the legal name your parents gave you at birth. Your life lesson number is calculated by adding the numbers of your year of birth together, with your month and day. For example, mine is 2/8/1990: Add 1+9+9+0 = 19, plus 2+8 = 29. In numerology you work with numbers 1-9 or master numbers, which are pairs limited to 11, 22, 33, and 44. The last step is reducing the number, in my example 29, to a single digit by adding them together: 2+9 = 11.

If during the process of reducing the number to a single digit you notice one of the master numbers, this means you have bigger responsibilities and challenges since you have been blessed with special gifts, such as a heightened sense of intuition, an inner knowing, intelligence and all around potential. These numbers have their own unique meanings; yet, you may still refer below to the reduced single digit meaning.

Here is a brief description of each life lesson number meaning:

1 You are here to learn to be original, strong-willed, creative and innovative. Pioneer is your keyword. You may be stubborn in the sense that you do not like to be restricted or directed. You are efficient, well-organized and work best alone.

2 You are here to learn to be a good mixer through your gift of persuasion. A career in sales or marketing would be suitable for you. Playing a supportive role behind the scenes is where you excel because you achieve greatness through helping others achieve. Bringing people together is what you do best.

3 You are here to express your creative, artistic and intellectual abilities. You must manifest and see the results of your visions; self-expression and freedom is essential. Beauty, fruitfulness, luxury and pleasure are your keywords.

4 You are here to build a solid foundation on which to base your life, which includes a well-ordered system of conduct and morals. You are a provider through honest, hard work and prefer to save your money, cautioning on the safe side.

5 You are here to express your freedom. Boundaries and limitations hurt your enthusiasm for life. Traveling and learning different cultures or schools of thought fascinate you, which makes you a great conversationalist with lots of knowledge of different things.

6 You are here to learn a sense of responsibility for your family and community. The number six is the love and domestic vibration which requires you to be responsive to the needs of others. This requires a fine balance of self-love and nurturing to care so much for others.

7 You are here to use and develop your mind. Your words should be full of wisdom when you decide to talk. Understand the difference between solitude and isolation. You are going to spend a lot of time alone, but view this as a blessing to experience a deeper connection with yourself and you will experience connection to everything around you.

8 This is the number of power and ambition. This is the number of the executives and bosses. You can encourage and inspire others to be successful. You are here to learn how to handle power, authority and money. You could build a business empire through your desire to create success for your family.

9 You should be the universal lover of humanity, patient, kind and understanding. You easily acquire money and wealth and know how to preserve. Communication and service through leadership is your key. You usually always know exactly what happiness means to you.

If you have a master number, please refer to the blog section on my website for a description of the significance of these numbers, plus more detailed information on the numbers discussed, at drcristycali.com.

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