Friday, September 30, 2016

Santosha: Contentment, the 2nd Niyama

September is Yoga Awareness Month, so it is fitting to end the month discussing yoga philosophy. The Niyamas are internal disciplines offering peace and freedom from personal suffering. They are a roadmap toward achieving optimal health and wellbeing. (See previous posts to read about the 5 Yamas (the external disciplines), and the first Niyama).

The second Niyama in sanskrit is Santosha, translated means contentment.

When you practice these internal and external disciplines, you will discover that Santosha, contentment is a choice. Yoga teaches us that it is not what happens in life, it's how we react to it that matters. Face it, S___happens. How do we raise our consciousness to achieve more ease? How do we remain calm in the midst of a storm?

This week was particularly stormy for me.
  1. I lost my beloved cat on Tuesday morning.
  2. Wednesday, the heavy winds and rain created power surges that set off alarms in my house throughout a sleepless night.
  3. Thursday, my ceiling literally caved in from the leak in my roof that was just "fixed" a few weeks ago. 


How do we "go with the flow" and "roll with the punches"? Yoga teaches us how to remain flexible and cultivate inner strength.

I was reminded of this today as I had bodywork done by a very talented physical therapist and fellow yoga practitioner. Marge Kalfon observed that I've developed a bad habit of locking my knees. This adds unnecessary stress and tension to my back and legs and creates instability.

When I stand to ride the tram at the airport, I like to play a little game with myself. I try to move with the motion of the train without holding on to the bar. If my body is stiff and rigid, I fall. When I'm relaxed, I can move with the motion of the car. This is similar to windsurfing, skating, or partner dancing. Slightly bent knees utilize our core strength and allows for flexibility. Key properties for contentment.

How to be content with who and where we are? We are bombarded with marketing messages telling us that we are incomplete. Messages that we need to wear certain clothes, buy cosmetics or fancy cars and houses. Commercials brainwash us that we need drugs for every human condition. (This week I read there's even a drug for "episodes of laughter and crying". I kid you not. If I were diagnosed with cancer, I might expect to experience episodes of laughter and crying, don't you?)

How many feel like we need more education? That what we know is not enough? Or that there is never enough time? We constantly tell ourselves if we just hit this milestone...then....we can relax or be happy or have time to do what we want.

When we are focused and dependent on external events or external validation, we suffer.

When we practice Santosha, when we practice contentment with ourselves, focusing on internal disciplines and our own sense of balance, we find freedom and peace.

What if we all accepted ourselves as perfectly imperfect?

Can you give yourself the same love and compassion that you give to a crying child or a loved one? This is one way to practice contentment.

Try focusing on gratitude, stay present in the moment, and view each challenge as a lesson towards growth and development. Through flexibility and inner strength you build resilience.

How to stay in the present moment? Use anxiety or stressful situations to be a reminder to simply breathe.





Use the tools of yoga to increase flexibility, inner and outer strength and self compassion. Yoga is a rich toolkit encompassing breath work, meditation, physical and mental exercise and philosophy.

Carpe Diem!

Lisa

About Lisa Jackson, RN, CYT, RYT-500

Lisa is an author, inspirational speaker, and coach with a mission to inspire and empower others to feel their best at any age. She is also the Executive Director of the Integrative Wellness Program for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
Lisa's book, Savvy Secrets: Eat, Think & Thrive  outlines seven steps that are fun and transformational. Lisa is part of the New Self Health Movement and the Wellness Inspired Network. When she is not coaching, speaking or writing, you can find her practicing yoga and joyfully sharing Carpe Diem Dance at every opportunity. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sharing an excerpt from my book as a Birthday Wish to You


This is a love story. It is written and given with love to those I love
in hopes all of us will learn to have the biggest, most passionate
and life-affirming love affair of our lives with…ourselves. I hope to
demonstrate that the most important person in your life must first
be you. When you are operating on all cylinders, you feel whole, balanced
and happy, more joyful and at peace. My hope is this book will
be your guidebook and together through love, we can change the
world; one healthy, happy individual at a time.

This includes my story about love, fear, courage, and the power
to heal from within. I am a retired registered nurse, certified health
coach and mother of children affected by chronic illness. When my
daughter, at twenty-eight, was diagnosed with cancer, it shook me to
the core as a wake-up call to rethink everything—everything including
how and what I eat, what I think, and what actions I take in my
daily life to obtain optimal health. This is a guidebook for feeling
and looking your best, and it will show you how to move from being
overwhelmed to empowered. It breaks through common marketing
myths that keep you stuck, with the goal to create a shift from disease
management to true wellness.

I will show you how you can feel and look your best at any age and
how to become the leader of your life by taking charge of your own
health and wellbeing.

I titled this book Savvy Secrets because people are always asking
me two questions:

1. “What’s your secret?” (Meaning, “Give me some solutions.”)
2. “Why doesn’t everybody know what you are telling me?”

Savvy means wise and knowing. I feel and look better now in my
fifties than I did in my thirties and forties. And so can you!

The Savvy Secret truth is that your body is innately designed
to be self-regulating and self-repairing.

I now look at chronic illness very differently than I did as a practicing
registered nurse. I’ve discovered that much of what I learned
about treatment for chronic illness as a registered nurse is now being
refuted. We will discuss some of these misconceptions about food and
how they affect your personal wellness goals. We will address common
myths like “cholesterol is bad,” “fat makes us fat,” or that certain
diseases are to be expected in old age.

Just because chronic disease is now common 
does not mean it is normal.


Often mistakes are made by well-meaning health practitioners who do not know any better. The truth is that no one has all of the answers. The good news is that your body knows whats best. Discover how to listen and take the right action. 

"Ask not what is wrong with me, but what is right with me."

My mission is to inspire, educate, and promote true wellness, not
merely the absence of illness. It is to teach others the power to heal from within and to recognize that dis-ease is the bodys only way to communicate; so it is time we learned how to listen.

This book will summarize the seven-step process Ive created for my private coaching practice so you can begin your own self-discovery. 

I do not believe in the no pain, no gain mentality that goes along with diets and deprivation. In fact, we are constantly moving towards one of two statesliving or dying. The good news is that your daily choices determine which one.


Here's wishing you a weekend of love, laughter and life-affirming actions!

Carpe Diem,

Lisa

PS
This Sunday consider joining The Center for Wireless Safety's
Documentary screening & TED Talk @
Virginia Hospital Center's Auditorium
September 18th, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM



About Lisa Jackson, RN, CYT, RYT-500
Lisa is an author, inspirational speaker, and coach with a mission to inspire and empower others to feel their best at any age. She is also the Executive Director of the Integrative Wellness Program for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. 

Lisa's book, Savvy Secrets: Eat, Think & Thrive  outlines seven steps that are fun and transformational. Lisa part of the New Self Health Movement and the Wellness Inspired Network. When she is not coaching, speaking or writing, you can find her practicing yoga and joyfully sharing Carpe Diem Dance at every opportunity. 


Friday, September 9, 2016

Guest Blogger-Vincent Renner of Tasty 6 Love the Beets!

This week I invited the founder of Tasty 6 to our nutrition support group to give us a tasting and am so impressed with his company that we have included a refrigerator of his USDA Certified, FDA approved raw fresh juices for our patients. I also asked him to write a blog on some of the benefits. I've been drinking his beet juice to keep my BP down and was not aware of the studies showing cytotoxic effects for breast and prostate cancers while protecting healthy tissues from chemotherapy. Yes, LOVE the Beets! Here's what else Vincent has to say (read to the end for a special offer):

Feel the Beets – Become a Staminator
Amazing Benefits of Raw Beet Juice

While the initial reaction I get from people who try our beet juice STAMINATOR is that they either love or hate Beets, the scientifically researched health benefits are truly amazing. And hence make it important that we all try to show the Beets some LOVE! And while many love it and for others yet it is an acquired taste, it is a further amazing how speedy and easy it is to unlock the benefits once you integrate beets into your diet.

It has only been in recent decades that scientific research has focused on the health benefits of BEETS as a “functional food”, and the benefits are mindboggling (1), (2), (3):
·      Improves blood flow, increases stamina and balances oxygen;
·      Very high in antioxidants and nitrates;
·      Good for cardiovascular health, as it lowers blood pressure significantly and manages hypertension;
·      Lowers oxidative stress and inflammation;

Significantly improves Blood Flow – increased Stamina, allows for better use of Oxygen, improves Brain functioning and reduces Blood Pressure
Beets contain high amounts of nitrates, a compound which improves blood flow throughout the whole body, including muscles, the heart and brain. It has been shown that “…dietary nitrate may be useful in improving regional brain [blood delivery] in older adults in critical brain areas known to be involved in executive functioning” (6).

Increasing nitric oxide in the blood vessels allows blood vessels to open up further and thereby enhances uptake of oxygen. Beet juice “…improves muscle efficiency and endurance exercise” and “…improves performance during intense intermittent exercise” (3), and also “… beetroot juice supplementation [is] associated with a significant reduction in systolic Blood Pressure” (2),

Beet Juice as a high source of Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Beetroot is a rich source of “phytochemical compounds, that includes ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phenolic acids and flavonoids”(1), and one of the few sources of the betalains, which are strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities and are being investigated for “…helping with reduction in oxidative stress, chronic inflammation such as liver disease and arthritis and cancer (4)(5)”.

Just 5 oz of Raw Beet Juice a day needed to get the necessary benefits
Research shows that with just 3 to 5 oz of Raw Beet Juice not large quantities are needed to obtain the beneficial effects to beetroots, but rather 3 to 5 oz of raw beet root juice a day (7). 
While often it is best to eat the whole fruit or vegetable to get all the nutrients and fiber, beets when cooked or fermented may loose some of the vitamins and anti-oxidants. Drinking raw beet juice may allow for maximum nutrient availability and easy absorption.

Are There Any Side Effects to Drinking Beet Juice?
People who have naturally low blood pressure should use caution when drinking beet juice, as it may lead to an unsafe drop in blood pressure and make them feel lightheaded (7).  Also, the red betalain pigmentation of beet juice color your urine and bowel movement red, which is harmless.

The nitrates found in Beets are naturally occurring and convert to safe nitrites in your body, and have nothing to do with the unhealthy nitrites used in preserving meats.

Conclusion:  LOVE the BEETS – be a STAMINATOR
Raw Beet Juice is a useful and very healthy addition to your diet and for a healthy lifestyle. Tasty6 offers a powerful Raw Beet Juice, called STAMINATOR [https://tasty6.com/products/staminator-beets-supreme ]. It was designed to bring close to 7 oz of raw Red Beet juice, plus the power of Italian Parsley, Cucumber, Lemon and Apple and Himalayan Salt. 

*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; it is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

Sources:
(1) “The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease”, Nutrients. 2015 Apr; 7(4): 2801–2822. Published online 2015 Apr 14. doi:  10.3390/nu7042801PMCID: PMC4425174 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425174/
(2) “Blood pressure-lowering effects of beetroot juice and novel beetroot-enriched bread products in normotensive male subjects.” Br J Nutr. 2012 Dec 14;108(11):2066-74. doi:10.1017/S0007114512000190. Epub 2012 Mar 14.Hobbs DA1, Kaffa N, George TW, Methven L, Lovegrove JA.
(3) “Dietary nitrate supplementation improves team sport-specific intense intermittent exercise performance”. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Jul;113(7):1673-84. doi: 10.1007/s00421-013-2589-8. Epub 2013 Feb 1. Wylie LJ1, Mohr M, Krustrup P, Jackman SR, ErmĪ¹dis G, Kelly J, Black MI, Bailey SJ, Vanhatalo A, Jones AM.
(4) “Cytotoxic effect of the red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract compared to doxorubicin (Adriamycin) in the human prostate (PC-3) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cell lines” .Kapadia G.J., Azuine M.A., Rao G.S., Arai T., Iida A., Tokuda H. Anti -Cancer Agent Med. Chem. 2011;11:280–284. doi: 10.2174/187152011795347504. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
(5) “Beet root juice promotes apoptosis in oncogenic MDA-MB-231 cells while protecting cardiomyocytes under doxorubicin treatment. “Das S., Williams D.S., Das A., Kukreja R.C. J. Exp. Second. Sci. 2013;2:1–6.
(6) “Acute effect of a high nitrate diet on brain perfusion in older adults.” Nitric Oxide. 2011 Jan 1;24(1):34-42. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2010.10.002. Epub 2010 Oct 15.Presley TD1, Morgan AR, Bechtold E, Clodfelter W, Dove RW, Jennings JM, Kraft RA, King SB, Laurienti PJ, Rejeski WJ, Burdette JH, Kim-Shapiro DB, Miller GD.

(7) “One Week of Daily Dosing With Beetroot Juice Improves Submaximal Endurance and Blood Pressure in Older Patients With Heart Failure and Preserved Ejection Fraction.” JACC Heart Fail. 2016 Jun;4(6):428-37. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2015.12.013. Epub 2016 Feb 10. Eggebeen J1, Kim-Shapiro DB2, Haykowsky M3, Morgan TM4, Basu S5, Brubaker P6, Rejeski J6, Kitzman DW7.




We are the first and only cold-pressed juice company in DC, MD and northern VA that is USDA Organic Certified!

Carpe Diem,

Lisa

About Lisa Jackson, RN, CYT, RYT-500

Lisa is an author, inspirational speaker, and coach with a mission to inspire and empower others to feel their best at any age. She is also the Executive Director of the Integrative Wellness Program for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. 

Lisa's book, Savvy Secrets: Eat, Think & Thrive  outlines seven steps that are fun and transformational. Lisa part of the New Self Health Movement and the Wellness Inspired Network. When she is not coaching, speaking or writing, you can find her practicing yoga and joyfully sharing Carpe Diem Dance at every opportunity.