Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Don’t “Fall” Into Deficiency

Find out why you need the “sunshine vitamin,” especially during the fall and winter seasons.
With the days getting shorter and chilly weather keeping most people inside, the fall months can deprive us of the much needed “sunshine vitamin.” When we are exposed to direct sunlight, our bodies can produce vitamin D; however, science shows that our levels deplete during the fall and winter months, putting many at risk for health complications.
In fact, you may even be surprised at how many people have significant decreases in vitamin D during the fall and winter. A recent study conducted at Vanderbilt University examined vitamin D levels of 244 women during the winter months and found that over 50 percent of them had levels that counted as either vitamin D deficient or insufficient. In comparison to vitamin D levels observed by the scientists during the summer months, this wintertime drop was substantial.
Maintaining vitamin D levels during the winter months is important for numerous reasons. Not only has vitamin D long been touted as a key player in bone health, but over the last decade research has discovered that vitamin D plays important roles in the immune system, aging, and metabolism, to name a few. Here are five reasons why it is important to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D this autumn and winter:
1. Activate T-cells in the Immune System. Ever wonder why more people fall victim to the sniffles, coughs, and sore throats during the fall? Research out of the Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Copenhagen found that T-cells (active cells of the immune system) are not as efficient when there is a lack of vitamin D (1). Without vitamin D, T-cells will not mobilize or perform their vital functions when exposed to invading pathogens.
2. Age Well. Telomere length represents an important biomarker of aging—as we age, telomeres get shorter and this causes the onset of various age-related complications and diseases. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionshowed that subjects with lower levels of vitamin D also had shorter leukocyte (white blood cell) telomere length (2). The cumulative effects of oxidative stress, nutrient deficiencies, and telomere shortening are likely culprits behind accelerated aging.
3. Support Muscle Strength. Vitamin D metabolites have been found to affect muscle metabolism through multiple pathways including gene transcription. Because of this, adequate vitamin D levels are especially important for elderly individuals who are subject to both bone and muscle weakness. New research is also investigating the improvement of athletic performance through vitamin D supplementation.
4. Feel Good. Vitamin D receptors are even found on brain cells. The active form of vitamin D stimulates the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being or happiness. Ever felt pleasantly relaxed after a healthy amount of sun bathing? Vitamin D may be the one to thank.
5. Lower Metabolic Syndrome Risk. People tend to think that fat cells are inanimate blobs of lard. However, they’re actually active participants in telling the brain whether or not you are full. Fat cells secrete a hormone called leptin that tells your brain when you are full and done eating. Lack of vitamin D may interfere with this appetite-suppressing hormone and can lead to obesity and its related diseases. A study out of the University of Minnesota found that participants with the highest intakes of vitamin D were less likely to have abdominal obesity, low HDL, and high blood glucose.
As Michael Holick, Ph.D., M.D., states in his book the Vitamin D Solution, “The fact that every tissue and cell in your body has vitamin D receptors raises one question: why would those receptors be there if they weren’t meant to have any effect?” To make sure your body is getting the nutrition it needs during the fall and winter months, make sure you get your vitamin D from Ageless Essentials Daily Packs with Product B.

Monday, November 12, 2012

What I Learned When I Stopped Trying to Control Everything

I am almost 46 years old and have been teaching yoga for more than ten years. I started practicing yoga before the Internet was invented. Even before Lululemon! That's a long time to some, a short time to others.
Recently I called on the incredible R.R. Shakti Redding from Colorado to host Inner Power Yoga Teacher Training at my studio in Frankfort, Illinois, Yoga 360. Frankfort is a suburban town located just south of Chicago in the heartland of the conservative Midwest. I'm pretty sure Shakti had never heard of it.
I called upon Shakti as I knew her program might shake up some things in this “meat and potato” community. The teachings of Inner Power, I knew, went beyond what many teacher trainings in the Midwest offer. 

Shakti’s background is deeply rooted in Yoga and Traditional Eastern Arts and she's currently pursuing an M.A./Ph.D. in Mythology and Depth Psychology. Given that, I knew most of us were headed into new territory. 
As the time approached for her training to begin, I had butterflies as I anticipated what this would bring to my community and to me. However, I had no idea that this process would lead me personally on a year-long tumultuous journey.
As a mom, wife, business owner and teacher, I'm quite used to things going my way. I'm the one in charge. I set the agenda. 

But not in this case. 

From day one, I had to give up control. It wasn’t my place. I was not the leader.
I had great expectations, but no authority. For months, I fought the insecurities of going back “to school” as a dyslexic student, carving out 16 classroom hours each month, weekly self study sessions, the Sanskrit written language, the relationship between Purusha and Prakriti and the story of Hanuman. I fought the process, Shakti and myself every step of the way. 

That is, until today.

In the shower, as the warm water ran over me, I had what Wayne Dwyer refers to as The Shift. It's a place and time in your life where something shifts and you'll never be the same. 
As we entered the last month of training, I was still fighting the frustrating process. But then… The Shift. I reflected on all that I did learn. Not just the knowledge, but also all of the wisdom I'd gained through this process. I came home to a deeper version of myself that I never knew existed. 
Here are six lessons I learned from my yoga teacher: 
1. You don’t know what’s around the corner until you go around the corner.

We fall into habits, whether its using the same mantras, performing the pranayama exercises, getting into a headstand the same way, even wearing the same pair of jeans or dining at the same restaurant every Friday night. We all have habits. They're comforting and have a place in the ritual of our day. 

However, until the moment when we are open to the possibilities that there are other ways of getting there, other ways of doing “it,” we stifle ourselves. We must go around the corner to see what is around the corner or we will never know.
2. Witness the process. 

With smart phones, computers, televisions and tablets, we're an over-engaged society. Our minds and fingers are constantly buzzing. As a result, we're prone to over-thinking, and being overly anxious. We lack compassion, gentleness and patience. Stop, lean back and witness as the process unfolds exactly as it should.
3. When you fight something over and over and over, you are off your path. 

Every challenge is an opportunity for growth. However, beating yourself up over and over again on the same situation, same circumstance, is the Universe telling you that you are doing it wrong. 

Take a left turn on your path and try another way to get there.
4. My cup may runneth over but I am filling up with what I need. 

Business can take us away from our passion, our path, our truth our dharma, our (as I like to describe it) "reason this soul dropped into this vessel." This passion exists with in you when you are doing what you love and time and space cease to exist. 

What is it in you? We have an internal fire within us that needs to be stoked. The self chatter of, If I only had time I would love to do that. My cup is too full. Your cup is full but are you full? Have you filled up with what makes you whole? Make room and space in your life to fill yourself back up. This is when you will have more to give.
5. Play in the rain for the rainbow is coming.

Life gets hard. Obstacles are thrown on our path. This is the time of true self-exploration. First comes the rain, then the thunder, then the lightning, and then the hail. But then the hail lessens, the lightning lessens, the thunder lessens. The rain stops and there is a rainbow.
6. Let Go. Let God.

Sometimes you have to unclench your fists and release your jaw. You need to just give it up and see where you go. You are not always the driver of your chariot. The Chopra Law of Least Effort will teach us, we get maximum results with minimum effort. Give it up to your higher power and just let go.
And the journey continues.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Published October 17, 2012 at 1:26 PM
About Colleen Rose
Colleen Rose is the founder and Director of Yoga 360, Inc, creator of the Conway Rose Skin Care Line, Yogalife Visionary, and most recently the founder of Granola Gear. A third generation yoga teacher, she approaches her professional endeavors with the same yogic principles she emphasizes with her students and in her own life: love, compassion and nurturance of self and others, reverence and responsibility for the planet, and an acknowledgement that we are all connected. With love and laughter, she works toward finding a comfortable balance in her classes, challenging her students to move toward positive change in all aspects of their lives.

Friday, November 9, 2012

10 Things to Remind Yourself on a Daily Basis

Bad days can be extremely overpowering sometimes. When we're having a bad day, everything feels wrong and the day seems to get even worse as we sink further into frustration and despair. By the end of the day, all we want to do is pull the covers up over our heads and block it all out.  

When I clawed my way out of a depressive phase last year, it was a daily challenge to keep myself from falling back into that phase again. I had to go through a process of re-building my self-esteem and re-evaluating my life. But there were days when I was not very successful with these things and the negative thoughts that stayed with me for so long would interfere again. 
It sort of felt like climbing up and over a steep hill and every time I let a negative or discouraging thought sink in, my foot would slip and I would roll all the way back down to the bottom of the hill and have to start all over again.   

On the bad days, I would feel like it would never end and that I would always be unhappy.  

To achieve mental balance, I have to make a habit of reminding myself of a few important things that I think we all tend to forget when there is a black cloud looming over our heads.  

1. Do not lose sight of what truly matters. Does that clogged sink signify the end of the world? Are you going to remember or even care that the stranger you smiled at in the coffee shop didn’t smile back? When we’re having a bad day, we seem to zoom in on petty things and complain about them. Next time you’re pulling your hair out over something, ask yourself if it really matters. 
2. It is okay to be alone or pull back from the world. Sometimes we just need to step back and re-evaluate a situation, a relationship, or just life in general. When I went through my healing period, I spent a lot of time alone as I tried to become my own best friend again. If you need to go into hiding for awhile and work on stitching yourself back up, take the time to do that. It is so important to pull back and spend quality time with yourself every now and then.
3. You are not always in control. You cannot predict when certain things will or should happen, or how everything will turn out. Sometimes you just have to stop pushing and let go.
4. What other people think is irrelevant. I was a miserable slave to the opinions of others. It got to a point where I was trying so hard to please everyone but myself. Don’t let your immediate reaction to criticism be to change whatever it is you’re being criticized for. Do whatever feels right to you, regardless of what other people have to say about it.
5. Don’t give up. If you’re fighting for something that means a lot to you, do not stop fighting whenever you happen to fall short. Remember why you are fighting for it.
6. You don’t have to know all the answers. No one ever has life all figured out. We are always learning and growing. Life itself is a mystery and it’s okay to feel clueless sometimes.
7. You are enough. All of us have had times in our lives where we have thought, “I’m not smart enough or pretty enough or strong enough or exciting enough to do _____.” Give yourself a chance instead of forming limiting beliefs.
8. Stay present. Try not to dwell on the past or worry about the future. Take everything one day at a time.
9. Your feelings will not kill you. I know that heartbreak, grief, depression, or resentment might make you feel like you’re dead and breathing, but you have the strength to get through whatever life throws at you. Hold on and see yourself through it.
10. You are human. This is probably the biggest reminder of them all. You will make mistakes. You will hurt other people and other people will hurt you. You won’t always feel happy and positive. Next time you feel the urge to beat yourself up over any of these things, remind yourself that you are an imperfect human being instead.

Published February 7, 2012 at 10:30 AM
About Madison Sonnier
Madison Sonnier is a writer who has written for several online publications and is seeking connection and fulfillment. She loves to express herself and ultimately hopes to make people feel inspired and less alone through her writing. You can follow her blog atjourneyofasoulsearcher.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @MyLyricQuotes

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How You Can Help Those Impacted By Hurricane Sandy

Dear Isagenix Family,
One week ago, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the northeast, destroying entire towns and coastlines, and leaving families, friends and neighbors out on the street without food or power, and many without homes. Our thoughts are with those who are still displaced and suffering in the aftermath of the storm.
Isagenix was founded with a vision to impact world health and free people from physical and financial pain. In the wake of so much devastation, it is imperative that the Isagenix family do its part to help alleviate the hunger and hardship of those trying to rebuild in Sandy’s path.
We have identified a network of regional organizations serving communities from Connecticut to Cape May County – the areas hardest hit – that have pledged to work with us directly in delivering Isagenix products to storm victims.
For our part, Isagenix is immediately donating 50,000 of our meal replacement IsaLean Shakes and Bars, which are spread among the following organizations:

 Community Food Bank of New Jersey (serving New Jersey and New York)
o Contact: Theresa Forsman – (908) 355-3663
Community Food Bank of New Jersey
31 Evans Terminal
Hillside, NJ 07205
• Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
o Contact: Cody – (848) 932-6978
Student Activities Center
613 George St
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
• The Reformed Church of Highland Park
o Contact: Lisa – (732) 249-7349
9-21 South 2nd Ave
Highland Park, NJ 08904
• Salvation Army Atlantic City
o Contact: Major Thomas Pierce – (609) 344-0660
SAAC Headquarters
22 S Texas Ave
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
• The Township of Fairfield, NJ Health Department/Emergency Community Center 
o Contact: Officer Chris Tursi – Call: (203) 610-9058
100 Reef Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
• The Office of Senator Andrew J. Lanza
3845 Richmond Ave, Suite 2A
Staten Island, NY  10312
• Hurricane Relief
c/o Gold Medal Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric
11 Cotters Lane
East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Contact: Jennifer at jenagug@yahoo.com
• The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation
2361 Hylan Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10306

Kathy and I are aware that many of you already are generously giving your time to volunteer in affected areas – we’re proud to call you our colleagues.  We encourage you also to donate Isagenix products through your personal and community networks.  You are in no way limited to the organizations listed above. 
For those Associates not regionally located wishing to participate, you can place an order for any of our bars and shakes and have them drop-shipped to the location of your choice; just place the order in your Back Office as you would normally, but make sure to change the shipping address to the organization of your choice. These orders will be treated the same as any other orders for the purpose of the compensation plan.
Please note that Isagenix is sharing this press release over the news wires in an effort to make victims and relief volunteers aware that our meal replacement IsaLean Bars and nutritional IsaLean Shakes are available for those in need. I invite you to share the press release with other individuals and organizations championing relief efforts.
Thank you for support in this effort fulfilling the mission and vision of our company. Stay safe and stay well.
Your Partners in Success,

Jim and Kathy Coover
Isagenix Co-Founders