By Deborah McCormack.
Years ago I read an article that said we needed 12 hugs a day to be mentally well. The author went on to write that the hugs could be physical, verbal or visual. I never forgot that article. To this day I am still unsure as to why that particular article resonated so strongly within me. I unfortunately did not keep a copy of the article however Virginia Satir, a family therapist was quoted, “To survive this life, we need 4 hugs a day. For healthiness, we need 8 hugs a day. To keep ageless and happiness, we need 12 hugs a day,” In recent years there has been more research on this subject. Hugging by definition is: “To embrace” or” to keep close to” A hug is the most commonly accepted form of touch among people in the world.
Hugging, a simple expressions of affection, improves and strengthen peoples connections and relationships with other people and themselves. The simple truth is that a hug creates those feelings of acceptance and compassion.
A smile conveys warmth and acceptance. It makes us feel good about ourselves and others. Smiling releases natural feel good drugs such as endorphins, natural painkillers and serotonin. Smiling also helps us stay positive.
A verbal hug is a sincere acknowledgement said to make the person feel warm, loved and honored. A sincere compliment can have a profound, positive impact on our emotional state. A compliment given in the right way can be likening to verbal sunshine.
Age doesn’t matter! Infants to seniors, we all require hugs to flourish. Hugs are important when we talk about the CAR or Mental Fitness. Picture a parent or grandparent smiling, embracing a child and saying,” I am proud of the choices you have been making.” or saying to a friend,”One of the things I like about you is that you have a terrific sense of humor.”
A smile is priceless; a sincere compliment worth its weight in gold and an old fashion bear hug tells me how important I am to you.
Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Debbie McCormack’s educational background is in the Nursing profession. One of her passions is volunteering with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). CMHA is a not for profit agency whose vision statement is, “Mentally Healthy People in a Healthy Society”. Debbie has facilitated programs that include topics such as Parenting, Self Esteem for Teens and educational sessions for individuals coping with Panic and Anxiety Disorders. Debbie would tell you, “I am not an expert, just a person whose has had the opportunity to learn Mental Fitness (C-A-R) skills.” As you read this blog, she hopes that you are encouraged to begin your own journey to Mental Fitness.
By Elaine Shannon
Wellness has many dimensions beyond the obvious health one...it encompasses our mental, spiritual, emotional, occupational, environmental and social aspects of our selves. Actually there are many more facets of wellness.
Wellness is more than a movement, it is a whole new approach to living, and it is all about taking responsibility for your well-being.
Welcome toSimply Zen a new TV show that will provide information and Inspiration. An approach that emphasizes the whole person. This new 30 minute TV show is available on your Bell Aliant Community One Channel and online at http://www.bellaliant.net/communityone/
Wellness is the integration of the body, mind, and spirit; and the appreciation that everything you believe, think,
do and feel has an impact on your overall state of health. Simply Zen brings stories of Inspiration from people just like you who are taking a positive approach to living.
Simply Zen is a show that will Inform and Inspire Atlantic Canadians with CONCRETE ways of improving their
Physical, Mental and Spiritual Well BE-ing.
The show is Executive Produced and hosted by Elaine Shannon of Rothesay NB. She is a Wife, Mom, and
Entrepreneur. Her hunt for simplicity in her own life has led her to some of the most fascinating people you will meet...and they can be found right here in Atlantic Canada. Alternative Doctors, herbalists and yogi’s, just to name a few!
With all of this information and knowledge, people near and far contact Elaine for advice on where to go for help. She helps others navigate the maze of Wellness/Lifestyle options and simplify the complexities, so they can live Simply
Kirsten Stanley is the Producer, the person behind the camera, and responsible for the filming and editing of Simply Zen. Kirsten is a 2012 graduate of the film program at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University Film Academy where received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in film, she is the owner of 181 Productions.
The joy of living Simply Zen, the search for wellness through new lifestyle choices, is growing, and this new TV show will appeal to a very wide audience.
In our busier than ever world; with financial stress, evolving family dynamics and a planet that is in crisis...we
have stress! Stress affects every aspect of our wellness.
The good news is that people who take care of themselves and manage their lifestyle are happier, healthier, and
more productive, have fewer absences from work and are less taxing on the health care system.
About Elaine: A powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm packed into a four-foot, ten-inch frame, Elaine Shannon has been pinned as “The Empress of Inspiration”, and is well-known for her talents in networking and connecting others, locally and via social networking. In addition to being the Show Host and Executive Producer of Simply Zen on Aliant Community One, she is a leading expert in de-cluttering time and space issues—a highly regarded inspirational speaker, workshops facilitator, and corporate trainer. She is well connected and ever-present on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and live streaming events. Featured in the Financial Post magazine (May 2010), Country Guide (April 2010),Via Rail Magazine (2009) and CARP (May 2008), she is a regular guest on CBC radio locally and nationally and writes for two local newspapers. http://www.elaineshannon.com/ Follow Simply Zen on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SimplyZenTVElaineShannon
By Manon Pelletier
When was the last time your family worked together as a team? Think about how it would feel to laugh together, play together, and walk the Fundy region together.
The Fundy Wellness Network has just launched its “Walk the Fundy Region” challenge where you get to track your steps from your Fundy Wellness Network pedometer. The Fundy region (St. Stephen to Sussex) is approximately 200 kilometers. 1 km = 1,250 steps, therefore 200 km = 250,000 steps. Once you have recorded 250,000 steps in your log book, submit it to the FWN to receive your swag.
The purpose of this challenge is to get “in motion” and reap the benefits of walking.
In Drs. Oz and Roizen Speak Out: Top 10 Benefits of Walking, it is stated that “walking is one of the best thing you can do for your health. The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other makes you healthier, gives you more energy, and makes you younger. Plus, doing it lets you talk with friends, think through problems, and see what's new in the neighborhood.”
Here are the Drs. Top 10 reasons to step out:
1. Fends off the #1 killer: Regular walkers have fewer heart attacks and strokes, have lower blood pressure, and have higher levels of healthy HDL cholesterol than couch sitters do. In one study of women, a regular walking program did just as much in the heart-protection department as more vigorous exercise did.
2. Changes your RealAge -- pronto: As little as 90 days after starting a regular walking program, its age-reducing effects can be measured.
3. Dims your chances of diabetes: Thirty minutes of walking a day makes your muscles more sensitive to insulin. That allows glucose to do its duty inside your cells rather than pile up in your bloodstream (that's what happens when you have diabetes) and cause other havoc.
4. Helps you kick the habit: Taking a daily 30-minute walk is one of the keys to the success of our YOU Can Quit plan. Even just a 5-minute walk cuts down on cigarette cravings — it engages your brain's emotion centers, unleashing mood-enhancing hormones that decrease cravings and take your mind off that cigarette.
According to the Live well, be well New Brunswick’s Wellness Strategy 2009-2013, we need to decrease screen time and be more active. The “Walk the Fundy Region” challenge is an EXCELLENT and FUN way to start a new program — one step at a time.
5. Slims you down: Burn more calories than you eat, and — voila! You're wearing one-size-smaller clothes. Plus, walking can help squelch chocolate cravings and nix the stress and anxiety that often lead to overeating.
6. Keeps you sharp: Physical activity nourishes brain tissue and stimulates its production of neurons, synapses, and blood vessels. Some studies have found that walking can counter faltering memories in people over age 50.
7. Reduces stress: Anyone who has come back from a walk in a different frame of mind than they went out with can attest to this. Studies back up that walking benefits your mood and may even ward off depression and anxiety.
8. Revs up your energy: Not only can a walk perk you up when you need it, but also it helps improve the quality of your sleep, so you're more energetic all day long.
9. Boosts your immune system: Walking regularly can lower your risk of arthritis, macular degeneration, and even cancer by an astonishing 50% compared with people who don't exercise.
10. Keeps you going: Walking has the highest compliance rate of any exercise.
To get your free pedometer and log book, email the Fundy Wellness Network at firstname.lastname@example.org
Manon Pelletier is a lifestyle coach inspiring people to make healthy choices for a long, happy, healthy & loving life.
Source of walking benefits: http://www.realage.com/walking/walking-benefits
By Wendy Scott
As anyone with health related dietary issues knows, the holidays can be deadly. As a firm believer in “all things in moderation” I do believe that you should sometimes enjoy a little taste of the sweet things in life. During the holiday season there are so many temptations that can make life very stressful for someone who must, because of serious health issues, be cautious about what they consume. Whether it is allergies, diabetes or a fat-restricted diet, it is very difficult to know what you are eating when it has been prepared by someone else, not to mention the temptation of all the goodies constantly being offered this time of the year. I am one of the lucky ones, my issues are solely that what I eat ends up on my rump and when I diet, my cleavage evaporates. A pain in the body image, yes. Fatal? No! Last December 22nd, my husband discovered that he had coronary artery disease that required a quintuple bypass. We had always eaten in a healthy fashion, tried to exercise on a regular basis and thought we were doing things right. Wrong! More changes were on the horizon.
That aside, this year we are determined to survive the holidays and enjoy them! I wish I could tell you that there is a magic bullet that will render you impervious to succulent sweets and decadent dinners. Alas, there isn’t and even during the holidays you have to be vigilant about what you eat if your health is a concern. One of the tricks we use is that if we are going out for cocktails, we make sure we have a light, health conscious meal beforehand as this makes it easier to resist overdoing the snacking. We can have a treat or two and be satisfied. Another trick is to alternate cocktails with ice water or sparkling water. Or, make that glass of wine a spritzer. You will be cutting your calorie and sugar intake by half, ditto the fat if eggnog is your poison. Enjoy a no-guilt turkey dinner by making careful choices of offerings, go lightly with sauces and gravies. Finally, don’t skip the exercise, even a brisk ten minute walk around the block is better than nothing, especially if your issues are heart disease or diabetes.
Moderation is the key to avoiding a holiday hangover, whether it be from alcohol, fats, carbs or sugar.
******* DINNER SALAD FOR TWO *******
One large handful fresh baby spinach
One large handful romaine lettuce
Six ounces diced or shredded chicken or lean pork (either hot or cold so great for using up leftovers)
Four inch piece of cucumber, sliced
Handful of fresh mushrooms, sliced (you can lightly sauté in olive oil or leave fresh)
One fresh spaghetti nest, cooked in boiling water for three minutes and chopped into bite-sized pieces. (I usually buy Compliments brand or you can use 1 cup of any type of pasta you prefer)
¼ cup of dried cranberries (sweetened or not)
2 tbsp toasted, hulled sunflower seeds
Toss together in a large bowl, drizzle with not more than two teaspoons of walnut oil (rich in Omega 6) and grate a one inch square cube of parmesan reggiano over the salad and season with freshly grated salt and pepper. Toss well and enjoy a meal that will be satisfying and healthy!
Whether you suffer from high cholesterol, diabetes or high triglycerides, this salad is a winner and I never find it filling out my new size 8 jeans.
Wendy Scott is an instructor at the Rothesay Superstore Cooking School. She and her husband, Mark, own an upholstery business, Road & River Upholstery, in the Valley. A lifelong cook from a long line of great cooks, Wendy has recently turned her focus to healthy cooking following her husband’s recent health issues. By doing research and developing recipes specifically for his needs, Wendy has seen Mark’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels have changed dramatically.