Weekly Wisdom Wrap: From Stress to Serenity… Discover the ‘Contagious Movement’ Inspiring Wellness Culture

May 29, 2015 by

 

 

 

Psst…have you heard about the latest trend in wellness culture? To sum it up in one word it’s creativity! Over the last year I’ve been sharing all kinds of posts on my Facebook page about the healing power of art and your creative spirit. In fact just today I shared a wonderful piece from Spirituality & Health magazine entitled ‘Color Your Way to Peace’. It might seem a little childish at first, but using art to heal and soothe our spirits has been used for hundreds of years. Below is a bit from the article mentioned, and as you can see drawing and coloring is ‘serious’ therapy!

EXCERPT: The prominent psychiatrist Carl Jung would notice a distinct calm come over his patients as they drew mandalas during therapy. He frequently used mandala art as a form of treatment, as he believed that the process helped his patients work through the outer chaos of their lives and get in touch with their inner being.

 

 

Coloring Books for adults are the hottest selling items in wellness culture right now. The one artist that really put ‘coloring books’ on the map is Johanna Basford, a young woman from the UK who has gone viral internationally with her beautifully illustrated coloring books. I also shared her story back in March on WWB Facebook from Bored Panda a great digital site I just love that will surely get your creative juices flowing.

 

 

Since we are on the subject of art therapy, I also shared a WWB ‘Ideal Find’ on this very blog last Christmas which is called the ‘ Buddha Board‘. You have probably seen this special gadget in a Barnes & Noble store here in the states, but you can also easily find it on Amazon. When I interview founders of mission oriented companies for my ‘Ideal Finds’ department, I always ask them to define their ‘authentic dedication’. Below is the Buddha Board’s dedication and I just love their mission and concept. It’s a different kind of therapy from the coloring book, because it helps us practice the stress reducing art of ‘letting go’, which is the basis of ‘Zen’ philosophy.  Zen essentially means experiencing fully the present, and delighting in the basic miracle of life itself. We can all use more Zen moments!

 

Original Buddha Board

 

Authentic Dedication: Buddha Board is dedicated to the Zen concept of living-in-the-moment, we believe in the importance of doodling, creating, and having fun. Enjoy! You simply paint on the surface with water and your creation will come to life in bold design. Then as the water slowly evaporates, your art will magically disappear leaving you with a clean slate and a clear mind, ready to create a whole new masterpiece. Buddha Board is environmentally friendly as it only uses water – no ink, no paint, no chemicals – and it will last for years with proper care.  

 

Mona Lisa Smile Poster

 

 

Besides all the fantastic things creative endeavors do for stress management, there is also a lot of research that shows art and nature ( we chatted about nature in last weeks wrap) can truly be a healing power and boost your immune system. It does this by  lowering levels of chemicals that cause inflammation that can trigger diabetes, heart attacks and other illnesses. It gets better because what they are finding, is you don’t actually have to be creating art yourself, you can also just experience it! The study came from the California University of Berkeley and it’s another ‘report post’ I shared on Facebook. Follow WWB on Facebook as well as this blog because you will truly be up to date on all things beauty, health and wellness!

EXCERPT:Psychologist Dr Dacher Keltner, of California University in Berkeley, said: “That awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests the things we do to experience these emotions – a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art – has a direct influence upon health and life expectancy.”

 

I hope you enjoyed my romp across the highly contagious ‘creativity’ movement in wellness culture. There is so much to explore when it comes to art & creativity and so many ways to incorporate them into our wellness lifestyle. To quote the wise genius Albert Einstein again, “Creativity is Contagious…Pass it On.” To honor his wisdom, below is a printable coloring book page I am passing on to you, to help you get you started on coloring. Right click on image, save image, and select PRINT. Hope your weekend is filled with fun, play and healthy creativity…

P.S  If coloring is not your thing…Pass It On!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WWB’s Culture Wise News: France leads in ‘ideals for wellness culture’ with new legislation the world could model after…

May 28, 2015 by

 

STORY CONTEXT: Before you read on about the French legislation, it’s important to share that earlier in the year ( Feb 2015) there was a report previously released by a UK organization called WRAP Waste and Resources Action Program for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. The report found that reducing food waste worldwide can make a significant contribution to tackling climate change. It found waste is responsible for around 7% of all greenhouse gas emissions globally. Dr Richard Swannell, director of sustainable food systems at WRAP said: “Food waste is a global issue and tackling it is a priority. This report emphasizes the benefits that can be obtained for businesses, consumers and the environment. The difficulty is often in knowing where to start and how to make the biggest economic and environmental savings.” He concluded with a call to action “Reducing food waste is also a great way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. These findings should serve as a wake up call to policymakers around the world.”

 

Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bravo to France for stepping up to the plate and taking steps to address major social issues for not just France but the world. The full story is reported in the following article from the Guardian a UK newspaper. You would think that we humans would practice what this law entails around the world. Yet the headline reads, ” France to force big supermarkets to give unsold foods to charities.” and sounds almost negative. Negative headlines sell newspapers but if you read the story context above, many countries are trying to tackle very big urgent issues which pertain to the environment, as well as economic social issues. More importantly, the French National Assembly voted unanimously to pass the legislation. Hardly seems forced…

See highlights from this story below, and think about how this type of legislation could apply to your area of the world. Remember that this law tackles a number of social issues that all end up affecting your lifestyle and well-being. Wellness culture is more than just yoga centers and wellness retreats, and often is determined by public policy. This is why learning about important issues, and voting on these issues whenever you can is necessary, especially if you want to see wellness culture thrive…

 

 

 

WWB Takeaways from Guardian Story

  • French supermarkets will be banned from throwing away or destroying unsold food and must instead donate it to charities or for animal feed, under a law set to crack down on food waste.
  • The French national assembly voted unanimously to pass the legislation as France battles an epidemic of wasted food that has highlighted the divide between giant food firms and people who are struggling to eat.
  • In recent years, French media have highlighted how poor families, students, unemployed or homeless people often stealthily forage in supermarket bins at night to feed themselves, able to survive on edible products which had been thrown out just as their best-before dates approached.
  • Of the 7.1m tonnes of food wasted in France each year, 67% is binned by consumers, 15% by restaurants and 11% by shops. Each year 1.3bn tonnes of food are wasted worldwide.

 

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Never Underestimate the Super-Power of WWB’s ‘Beauty Food’ of the Week

May 27, 2015 by

Beauty Food of the Week: Chia Seed
WWB’s Ideal Find: Annamarie Gianni Skincare

 

WWB’s Beauty Food of the Week is the Chia Seed. Some of you who are foodies may have heard a lot about this newly ordained ‘superfood’, while others may remember the ‘Pet Chia Plant’ craze of the early 80’s! Let’s skip over the chia plant story and get right to the ‘super’ facts about the Chia Seed. They actually go much further back than the 80’s and have been around for hundreds of years. Thanks to the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans rich cultural history (found in Mexico and South America), we know chia seeds were used as staple foods, but were also revered as a potent nutrient. The ancient Mayan culture called the powerful little seed ‘Chia’, which also meant ‘strength’. The seed became known by the Indians as ‘Running Food’ because of the sustained energy it gave runners and warriors of the time. So we can confidently say…never underestimate the super-power of chia seeds!

 

 

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein and fiber, these now ‘trendy seeds’ are loaded with nutritional power. Wouldn’t it make sense then that they’d do just as much good for the outside of your body as the inside? Chia seeds are so rich in hormone balancing fatty acids, it only makes sense that they would be great for skin. The presence of ample fiber also helps in elimination and reduction of environmental toxins, which can lead to skin problems. Add in their incredible antioxidant power and you’ve got yourself a skin healing superfood.

The naturals and organic folks who are creating beauty and natural products for you are really in love with the Chia Seed right now, because these little seeds when cold pressed into an oil, work ‘miracles’ on the skin. Chia seed oil is super moisturizing. In the Mexican culture today Chia means ‘oily’ so this totally makes sense! It hydrates, rebuilds, protects, and calms the skin. The powerful antioxidants in the oil work to protect skin against damage from free radicals associated with aging and UV damage. You can reap the beneficial beauty benefits of chia in a bottle by checking out my Ideal Find or you can try your own DIY mask below.

 

CHIA SEED BEAUTY MASK

 

Avocados are high in Vitamin E which helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and Chia Seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation. Paired together you have a ‘mighty’ spa treatment for your skin! As summer fun in the sun begins, you will want to take extra care good care of your skin…

  • Mash 1/2 of an avocado in a bowl

  • Add 3 tablespoons of ground chia seeds to avocado, mix well.

  • Apply mixture to face and neck, leave for 15-20 minutes.

  • Gently wash off with water.

 

Just as a wise reminder, when it comes to beauty products and ‘miracle ingredients’, I believe a good balanced diet filled with a plethora of all the beauty foods I feature at WWB contribute to healthy skin. So try to eat across the color spectrum of nature’s bounty as they all work together synergistically to beautify your skin. When seeking ‘enhancement’ from a bottle try to look for some of the super beauty foods featured here, that naturally nourish your body from the inside out. We all  love a good ‘miracle’ but we also love wisdom. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekly Wisdom Wrap: Nature Therapy, Ancient Wisdom, and the ‘New RX’ for Body, Mind, and Spirit

May 22, 2015 by

 

 

Today unofficially begins Memorial Day Weekend here in the States which typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. For people on the East Coast of the U.S, taking off to the beach is a tradition many people have been embracing for generations. After a long winter of snow, ice and rain, a day at the beach is the ultimate spa day filled with sunshine, salt water and fresh air. There is something special about the combination of all three that heals the body, mind and spirit and we often take these things for granted.

As a young girl, when I spent summers with an Aunt who lived close to the ocean, all I can remember is sleeping like a baby. I just had the best slumber! It’s hard to know if it was the ocean air that lulled me into a sound sleep or just the beautiful day I spent outside riding my bike to beach, swimming in the ocean and soaking up the sun. Nature was a wonderful elixir and sedative for me and there is no other comparative experience that both stimulates the senses and calms the body except sex! Don’t you agree? Think about what I am talking about here! lol

 

 

 

Just today, I read this great short piece from a UK newspaper on the healing powers of the ocean, and you will be thrilled especially if you aren’t headed to the ocean this weekend. Much of what they share in the article are spa treatments but they also recommend contacting a The General Council of Natural Homeopaths, which you can find here in the U.S or your part of the world too. I am providing the U.S directory here for your perusal, because you may want to explore it when seeking a healing modality that looks to nature for cures.

What is really interesting, is learning more about water therapy wisdom, which has been carried on for centuries by many cultures and began with the great ancient Greek healers. It is in Greece that the healing tradition called ‘The Water Cure’ evolved.  The Water Cure is the common term for a collection of therapies which, in one way or another, creatively make use of the healing virtues of Water:

Hydrotherapy:  techniques of therapeutic bathing and use of water

Balneotherapy:  therapeutic bathing in medicinal and thermal springs

Thalassotherapy:  the therapeutic use of ocean bathing and marine products

So you can understand why we all head to the ocean when we can! Yes, nature provides and we need to protect and cherish beautiful mother earth, because she is a part of us. ‘Nature therapy’ is just a modern term used for ancient wisdom. But wait, there are many who love the mountains. No surprise, because all of nature is restorative and healing. Read John Muir’s (the famous naturalist) quote I have highlighted from over a century ago, and pay attention to the ‘century’ part, because it is amazing how culturally relevant his words are today.

“Thousands of tired, nerve shaken, over civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home, that wilderness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber, and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life’. ~John Muir

As mentioned earlier, ancient cultures have been turning to nature or rather immersing themselves in nature for thousands of years! Chinese Taoist created gardens and greenhouses to improve human health. But today in Japan the belief in the benefits of connecting with the earth is so strong that a national movement  ‘shinrin-yoku‘ was launched, supporting the use of nature to improve health and well-being. The Japanese Society of Forest Medicine has conducted numerous studies showing measurable medical and mental health benefits to connecting with nature. The Japanese government invested more than $4 million in research to prove the tangible benefits of nature, and has also built “forest therapy bases” and has inspired the rest of Asia to follow. This is wellness culture in action!

Kawachi Fuji Garden in Japan

Don’t despair, you know you don’t have to go to Japan to commune with nature. Western science is catching up with ancient wisdom and new research is supporting that nature therapy helps control pain and negative stress. ‘Nature’s RX’  has benefits that may go way beyond just outdoor exercise. Certain scientific findings ( evidence still building) has become so convincing that mainstream health care providers are promoting nature therapy for an array of illnesses and for disease prevention. Don’t forget last weeks ‘weekly wisdom wrap’ where we covered ‘Vitamin D’ and sunshine. Moderation was the key takeaway…

So here is the good news! As I said, you don’t have to go to Japan, you don’t even have to go to the ocean or the mountains to reap the benefits of ‘Nature Therapy’. You can just go for a walk outside. Many docs and experts promote the benefits of reconnecting with Mother Earth simply by walking into our own backyards barefoot, also called ‘earthing‘ or “grounding.” Research has shown that this simple action may offset some of the harmful effects of the electromagnetic fields surrounding us and transfers the negatively charged free electrons in our bodies into the earth.

I personally wanted to share some of my passions in addition to loving the beach. I am a certified Flowerista which essentially means I love flowers! Gardening is a great way to dig in and commune with nature. There is an old book from 1699 called the ‘English Gardner’, and it advises “spend spare time in the garden, either digging, setting out or weeding, there is no better way to preserve your health’. Remember the Chinese had this down thousands of years before this!

Since I’m a Flowerista you would think I have my own personal garden–but surprise I don’t! I have lived in urban city apartments for a big part of my adult life but always found my way ‘out into nature’. My work allowed for International travel and guess what I always did no matter what part of the world I was in? I found a Public Garden! I still do this is my own area and always find gardens greatly uplift my mind and spirit. I also love visiting working farms and farmers markets which keeps me ‘grounded’ and healthy in numerous ways, especially from the inside out. Below is one of my fav local farms in New Jersey…

Here are two links I thought you would find useful and hopefully will inspire you to get outside for some nature therapy. Of course there are National Parks, Eco-Travel vacations and tours but communing with nature doesn’t necessarily have to be saved for a vacation. If you live in a concrete jungle like New York just go over to the new ‘High Line’ and enjoy a wonderful path along the outskirts of the city. Green Spaces are becoming more available because ‘the wisdom’ is becoming understood that nature is good for communities. Go figure! How this escaped us I will leave to the historians of industrialization!

Find a Public Garden

http://www.nationalpublicgardensday.org/search-gardens

Find a Farmers Market

http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/

So here we are again, coming to a familiar conclusion. Mind, body, spirit are all interconnected and health is dependent on caring for all three. It’s truly amazing how Mother Nature provides healing medicine for all three and it is often right outside our front door…

Enjoy the Holiday Weekend!

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Get A-Peeling and Be Appealing with WWB’s ‘Beauty Food’ of the Week…

May 20, 2015 by

Photo Credit: Anna Pleteneva
IDEAL FIND: Burt’s Bees

 

The Banana is WWB’s Beauty Food of the week and one that is available and affordable to most people around the world. Bananas were originally found in South East Asia, mainly in India. They were brought west by Arab conquerors and moved from Asia Minor to Africa and finally carried to the New World by the first explorers and missionaries to the Caribbean. Which is why for many of us in the western world we think of it as a “Tropical Fruit’.  While it is well known that this humble fruit offers a host of health benefits, bananas also offer several beauty benefits. Available throughout the year, bananas are filled with nutrients and are great for your skin and hair as well. Here are some of the nutritional and beauty benefits found in the power-house banana…

  • Vitamin A–Gets rid of dark spots and blemishes. Evens out rough skin
  • Vitamin B–Delays aging, lessons dryness, moisterizes and lightens skin
  • Vitamin E–Works as a protector. Combats free radical impairment, diminishes the appearance of wrinkles
  • Potassium–Gets rid of dry skin by moistening and hydrating skin cells

 

You won’t be hard pressed to find a beauty spa on any tropical island that doesn’t include bananas in their ‘exotic’ treatment. But don’t wait for a vacation to pamper your skin! You can combine bananas with other natural ingredients, and formulate effective banana face masks that can help remedy many skin problems, such as combating wrinkles, removing pimples, skin brightening and many more.

In the summer you want to spend as much time outdoors as you can, so keep your beauty rituals simple! Below is an easy way to reap the benefits of the beautiful banana. It’s all about the mashing and how easy is that? Don’t forget how incredibly healthy eating a whole banana is for your overall health. Beautifying from the ‘inside out’ is always very wise…

Truly Herself, Lauroly

 

 

SIMPLE DIY: Mash a ripe banana and apply on your face and skin. Let it sit on your face for 15 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water. If you have time, massage your skin with ice cubes after this. The application of banana will make your face glow and even out the rough skin.

SUMMER BONUS: If your hair is starting to show signs of damage from heat styling or color treatments, try this Hawaiian secret for super-shiny hair. Use a fork to mash one banana in a bowl, then slather the mixture from root to tip. Leave the treatment on for 15 minutes, then wash with shampoo. Bananas help improve the health and natural elasticity of your hair thanks to their high levels of potassium.

 

 

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