Gardening Improves Health and Happiness

If you weren’t hit by unexpected snow storms in the past month, it is time to prep your soil for planting seeds for vegetables that will keep you healthy through the summer and fall. Don’t think of it as a spring-time chore, but as the doorway to get you outdoors for health and happiness! The health benefits of gardening not only come from the end result, but also the labour of creating a garden.

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Yoga forHealthy and Mommy Sanity

Yoga Health and Mommy Sanity

Yoga wasn’t something I actively sought out. It was more of a solution to a problem I had that eventually changed my life.  In my early 20’s I was in the passenger seat of a car accident.  I got a severe case of whiplash and was told to seek help from massage therapy, physical therapy, and a chiropractor for the out-of-place bones along my spine and hip.  All of these were great for a while, but costly on my limited budget. I had read about yoga helping with the manipulation of muscle and bone alignment, and this is where my life-long journey to exploring yoga began for my health and sanity. What I didn’t expect is how important yoga would become when I became a mother.

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Reiki for Better Breath and De-Stress

Until I practiced Reiki I never realized I held my breath when I was tense or stressed. Holding your breath when stressed doesn’t allow the body to get enough oxygen, compromising your well-being, and increases your chances of fatigue. Reiki helped me improve my breathing habits.

Lack of oxygen to the brain does not allow it to think clearly. Things can get confusing, foggy and tiring quickly. Our bodies tense up and often lead to poor sleep patterns. We can also begin to compromise relationships, whether at work or personal, if we don’t cope with that stress.

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Express Positive Impressions

We often admire qualities and traits of others from afar, but don’t express them to those individuals. Sometimes it’s because we don’t know them well. Other times we assume that person has it all together and doesn’t need positive feedback. Yet, we are human, we have good and bad days, pings of self-doubt and self-destructive thoughts. It’s on those days that your positive impressions of others are needed most.

Something like this happened to me today. My son often talks about how much he loves one of the older child-care workers at my gym, Ms Sandy. He gets upset when she is not working when I put him in child-care there. He’s painted pictures for her when at home, and often talks about how much he likes her. So I let her know today.

Ms. Sandy’s response was quite surprising to me, but not negative. She told me she had been having a bad morning and really needed to hear that feedback. She almost burst into tears. “You don’t know how happy that makes me feel. I was really feeling bad about myself. Thank you for telling me that, I really needed it today.”

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Response to a Senseless Act

Perspective on Las Vegas Shooting October 2017

Does the killing of innocent people who are enjoying themselves at a concert make sense?

No, it doesn’t. Nor is it right. Many lost their lives senselessly by a man who had no criminal or psychological record.  From the outside he looked like he had success in business. What would push someone like this to harm others?

We have free will. We all have the ability to make the choice between being kind to people, or doing them harm, either physically or mentally.

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Weather Influence on Health

Why being a lump on the couch on miserable days  is not healthy

The other day the weather was miserable, foggy, rainy and cold. First thing in the morning I got news that a friend was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. It was one of those moments in life where you just want to throw your hands up in the air and just shut down. Curl up on the couch with a blanket and hot cup of tea, and watch feel-good movies to forget. But, I didn’t. I looked after me, my health, and forgot about the weather – both outside and in my life at that moment.

Everyone knows someone close who is suffering, but our duty to those we love who are suffering is to stay strong for them. If we do not nurture ourselves we won’t have the energy to be strong for others in their hour of need. Our health is our priority – physically, spiritually and mentally.

My choice that day was to drive through the fog and get to the gym. A great metaphor for life. Just push through those unclear moments and you will find a positive end.

I did a spin class. I’m not good at it, but I felt good after it. My mood changed, and it gave me the energy to be there for a family suffering with some pretty horrible news.

Don’t shut out the world and the problems that you encounter by neglecting your health. With rain comes growth and new beginnings. Stay focused on your health no matter the weather. Your healthy balance keeps those around you balanced. In your time of need they will be there too.

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

Don’t Let People Take Your Fire

I had the honor and pleasure of participating in a yoga session at my gym a few days ago with one of Colorado’s best Yoga Instructors, Gina Caputo (www.ginacaputo.com). She taught our class of over 60 people about the metaphors of yoga in daily life while in our practice. For me, the most important metaphor that resonated was not letting people take your fire.

Ms. Caputo let us understand how each section of our yoga session connected to daily life. Yoga sessions begin slow and get to a point of fire, where our muscles are burning and aching and we are certain we are going to fall over and lose our balance. Just as in life, things can get tough. We feel like the pain and suffering we are going through at certain points in our life (or people in our life are causing), are going to do us in, knock us over and not allow us to get back up again. But we do get through those painful times. The fire we feel ends at some point. No more straining. We find ourselves breathing normally again, finding a calmer point.

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Reiki for a Balanced Life

Finding Balance in an Overwhelming and Stressful World

When you feel overwhelmed with everything in your life – work, family, community involvement, etc. – and you just don’t have an extra minute to give to yourself, it’s time to find balance in your life. Reiki helped me look deep inside myself to understand how I got into my frazzled overwhelming world. Reiki also helped me understand how to get in control of my life again and feel balanced.

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Reduce Menopause Symptoms with Reiki

By Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

Your brain feels fuzzy, you’re exhausted, emotional, have moments of depression, and sometimes you feel like you no longer have control over your body that now feels like an overheated car. Women at various stages of their lives have felt at least one of these symptoms, but before, during, and after entering menopause all these symptoms can hit you at once. If you aren’t ready to take supplements or medication for your stage of menopause, Reiki may be something you want to try to manage your symptoms.

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Gout During and After Menopause

By Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

Red wine is a known antioxidant that fights free-radicals in the body, yet for some, especially if over-weight and not exercising, red wine can be a trigger to overwhelming pain in the big toe and an indicator of gout in the body.  Women going through menopause and post-menopause are highly prone to getting gout, and although their big toe may not hurt, if there are aches and pains in the joints, gout may be present.

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Presence Over Perfection: Recovering from Postpartum Depression

First Published on June 13, 2015 on the website of Reiki Expert Pamela Miles at:  http://reikiinmedicine.org/daily-practice/reiki-helps-postpartum-depression/

Reiki Helps Postpartum Depression – by Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

On the morning of my first Mother’s Day, I was sobbing uncontrollably. My mother and mother-in-law were trying to console me, but my hormones were on a roller coaster ride. I had postpartum depression.

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Yoga Poses for Menopause

By Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

First Published on May 28, 2015 at: http://menopausemission.com/yoga-poses-for-menopause

Yoga instructor since 1983, and author of the book, Alpha Omega Yoga: The Art and Science of Self Transformation, Angela Kolias suggests two key yoga poses for everyone, but for women going through menopause these are quite helpful for getting through menopause symptoms.

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Menopause and Yoga

By Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

First Published on April 20, 2015 at: http://menopausemission.com/menopause-and-yoga

Exercise is essential when going through menopause.  It helps keep the blood circulating properly, strengthens muscles, decreases stress and mood swings, and most importantly it helps keep your mind centered.  Yoga is a great form of exercise to do during menopause for all these reasons, but as for helping to keep your mind centered, it is probably the best form.

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Colorado Healthy Heat – Green Chilies

By Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

The Colorado Rockies are not only hot during the summer months, but they also mark the growing and harvest season of a favorite vegetable in southern Colorado, the Green Chili. Roasted they are smoky and sweet, and come in a variety of heat levels. They also pack a punch when it comes to health benefits.

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Cancer and Menopause

By Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

First Published at: http://menopausemission.com/menopause-cancer  – on March 18, 2014

I attended a seminar at the most popular Herbal Shop in the Mid-West USA, Cheryl’s Herbs, that focused on Natural Support For Cancer Recovery.  I was amazed at the amount of women that were attending and were going through both some stage of menopause and either recovering from cancer or fighting cancer. Others had a friend or family member going through both menopause and cancer and wanted more information. The key link between menopause and cancer was estrogen levels in the body, and how lifestyle and diet can regulate estrogen levels to make going through cancer recovery and menopause not only more tolerable, but less stressful on the body.  The following is what I learned.

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Chickens in the Backyard Can Balance Community

By Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

Would you put a chicken coop and chickens in your backyard if your city by-laws approved it?  I recently moved to Colorado and although I knew that anyone could raise chickens in their backyard, I never thought my neighbor across the street would actually have them. The benefits: cleaner environment, healthier product, educational, and encourages community interaction – all of which, when combined promotes a balanced community lifestyle. Read on to understand why these are benefits.

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Latest Information on Global Obesity Studies 2014 – Who is Responsible?

Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

ON BBC World News yesterday Tam Fry from the National Obesity Forum spoke about the increase of obesity world-wide.

Their Global Obesity study showed:

  • Almost 30% of people are obese or overweight.
  • The US makes up 13% of the obese population
  • Two-thirds of obese people live in developing countries.
  • China and India represent 15% of obesity world-wide.
  • No country has cut obesity since the 1980’s

Mr. Fry suggests those in China and India are adopting western habits and moving away from their traditional cultural diet by eating at well-known fast food places, mostly because it’s a chic thing to do.  Some countries in the Middle East also have the thought of obesity as a sign that one doing well economically.   Continue reading

Chestnuts – A Winter Classic for Christmas and Health

By Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

First Published on December 23, 2013 at: http://menopausemission.com/chestnuts-winter-classic-christmas-health

You can’t help but think of Christmas when you hear the word “chestnut,” but this little nut not only provides a little extra lean protein to your diet in the late fall and winter months, but  also boosts the immune system and has been known to be nourishing and tonic to women going through menopause.

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Greek Healthy Desserts and Snacks

Pes Alevri - store photo065

By Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

Many people think baklava, galaktobouriko, kourambiethes, kataifi, diples and karidopita are some of the most common Greek desserts. They aren’t exactly low-fat or low in sugar, and often people avoid entering Greek bakeries in Greece when on vacation to make sure they look great in their bathing suit. Believe it or not, there was a time where sugar was not easily accessible in Greece and there were desserts and snacks made that did not compromise one’s health. If you pay attention, you will find these traditional bakeries across Greece that are slowly becoming more common. My favorite healthy snack in these types of bakeries is called “Kritsinia Iliosporou” or written in Greek “Κριτσινια ηλιοσπορου,” and are a little narrow cigar-shaped multi-grain cookie that is as light as a feather and rolled in sunflower seeds.  Pites, or savory pies, are another thing you can find at these traditional bakeries, with a variety of ingredients.

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My Digital Photo Given an Honorable Mention Award

Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

I entered a digital photo in the Scott Air Force Base Annual Art and Craft Show 2013, where quite a lot of talented artists work or have a spouse that work on base. I was fortunate to win an Honorable Mention Award in the Photography Category, where I also entered my photo in the show’s theme, “America the Beautiful.”  My photograph was titled Hope, Strength, and Faith in our Soldiers.”  This Art show is apparently one of the US Air Force’s best.  I am truly honored.  My digital photo was purchased by one of the attendees to the art show, another honor, but if anyone else would like to purchase it I will be making copies of it for sale.

Description of Photo:  The Saint Louis Gateway Arch resembles the image of a rainbow symbolizing hope. Its metal structure is a symbol of strength.  The American flag in front and centered under the Arch symbolizes the unity of all states and how each state contributes to that strength.  A member of the National Guard is parachuting through the Arch with the colors of the United States, symbolizing the faith we have in our military to get the nation through every crossroad (smoke from plane in the form of an X) the country may face.