Saltwater Farm Vineyard’s Unoaked Chardonnay Hits Its Sweet Spot

Saltwater Farm Vineyard

I recently visited Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington, Connecticut with the Eastern Connecticut Chapter of the American Wine Society. It’s a cool old WWII private airport right outside of the elegant coastal village of Stonington Borough. You can still fly a private plane right to the vineyard—just call ahead to make arrangements.

Our tasting room attendant, Gregory Post, was an amazing host. Be sure to ask for him when you book your tasting—he’s one of the best parts of the experience! Saltwater Farm offers tastings until mid-December from Wednesday through Sunday, so start your holiday celebrations with a fun weekend afternoon at the vineyard and follow it up with a picturesque stroll and dinner in the village. You’ll be happy you did!

The atmosphere at SFV was delightful: rustic-industrial in a bucolic shoreline setting. What’s better than that on a crisp fall day?  The group of people who attended the event with us are wine lovers and epicureans, so there was a banquet of gourmet treats to share along with the chardonnay, rosé, and cabernet franc wines provided in the Signature Tasting ($10 for four wines and an additional $3 for a commemorative Saltwater Farm Vineyard glass). Saltwater Farm also produces a merlot, a reserve cabernet franc/merlot blend, and a young red blend, Runway Red, all offered in the Reserve ‘Red’ Tasting. We didn’t taste those wines on this trip, but my husband and his posse bought and shared several bottles of the Runway Red. At $28 a bottle, it’s not a super inexpensive option, but is right in line with many other Connecticut vineyards’ wine pricing. Saltwater Farm’s wines range from $25 to $37 a bottle, with the rosé and chardonnay wines being the least expensive and the cabernet franc/merlot blend and the merlot being the most expensive, respectively.

On that particular bright fall day, Saltwater Farm Vineyard provided an onsite oyster bar and many of the event attendees loaded up on ice-cold, plump, fresh, local oysters to pair with the chardonnay and rosé wines provided. SVF also had live entertainment at 3 pm (as they do on most Sundays), and the vocalist had some of the women swooning (and not from too much wine, I don’t think). We had a large group, with almost 30 attendees. It really was a great day for all, with old and new friends and even strangers sharing in the hospitality of Saltwater Farm Vineyard, Gregory, and our AWS group.

Spaz on Wine, Uncorked Goes Live!

I did my first-ever Spaz on Wine, Uncorked live podcast broadcast from SVF. Note to self: Never, ever do a show after doing a wine tasting! My mistake regarding the rapid swigging, not Saltwater Farm. My husband and co-chair of AWS, Gary, believes hosting entails role modeling having a seriously great time for oneself. So, I was alone on an island actually doing the work of hosting the event. And, in order to keep up with the wine tasting offerings, each time I returned to the table after passing around shared culinary delights, I had to do a hefty shot of the previously poured wine in order to make my glass available for the next offering. And then—brilliant plan of action—I did a live recording immediately following! As I flubbed my intro and forgot I couldn’t edit (all while live on air)—my only consolation was that my listener-base is small and, therefore, so too should be my humiliation. Ahhh…why, why, why does life never work that way?  As I re-entered the huge tasting hall a massive cheer erupted. They had all been listening LIVE inside! Eeeeek! Fortunately, Gregory, who could seriously work in television, radio, or on Wall Street, provided a seamlessly polished performance (unlike mine) and carried the episode.

Here’s the thing—I am not a natural podcaster. I am insecure and self-conscious. I try all types of different approaches and am never as smooth or charismatic or charming as I imagine that I will be. But I keep plugging along, knowing that someday I’ll hit the sweet spot, and become exactly what I am supposed to be. I owe thanks for this in large part to Nate Caron, host of A Veracious Self on Green Ink Radio, who has been patiently working with me to help me find my authentic voice.

SVF Estate Chardonnay Hits Its Sweet Spot

Hang on, that line of thought actually does loop back to the unoaked chardonnay at Saltwater Farms: I believe that the SVF Estate Chardonnay has definitely hit its sweet spot (and with no help from Nate!). At $25 a bottle, it’s not your everyday bargain brand, but it’s also not cost prohibitive, either. Saltwater Farm Vineyard describes it as, “Clean, firm, and vibrant with notes of citrus and Granny Smith apple. Untethered from oak, it is the essence of Stonington’s terroir: minerals, wet rocks and seashells.” I don’t know about you, but I suck at sussing out the flavors of terroir. Wet rocks? Seashells? I tasted nary a shell or a wet rock, but I did love the lingering, dry, minerally balance. Admittedly, I also didn’t actually miss that I didn’t notice any eau de conch on my palate. 

The 2017 Salt Water Farm Estate Chardonnay was the belle of the ball at our Signature Tasting. And my father, renowned wine connoisseur and author, Gene Spaziani, agreed. When I asked him to share his tasting notes, he said it was “Crisp and sharp, fruity, and nicely balanced with a lingering finish.” Pour me another, baby!

Cin cin!*

*Cin Cin (pronounced chin chin) means cheers in Italian. 
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9/11 Compassion Re-set for Global Healing

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The Phoenix from the Ash 

This piece is dedicated with love to all those affected by the 9/11 tragedy, and with gratitude to “D” for sharing her story. May your healing be amplified.

What is your first thought when someone says, “9/11”? The majority of people in the U.S. would reply without effort: “Twin Towers,” “World Trade Center,” or “terrorist attack.” The magnitude of devastation on September 11, 2001 was unprecedented in the United States and its immediate effects were cataclysmic and far-reaching. In the aftermath, those two numbers—9 and 11—were branded into our brains with the power of fear and destruction.

Where were you when you first heard the news? Take a breath and be with that for a moment. Time stood still for many of us…and almost instantly, the collective global shock and disbelief radically shifted our energy patterns and neuropathways to realign us with a very different reality than the one in which we had been previously living. Our memories of 9/11 play a critical role in perpetuating our fear and our hold on the energy of suffering.

Time for a Change

We need a 9/11 memory reset. We need to first set the intention that the task shall be done and then we need to find something electric and magnetic that has the power to override and replace the fear and devastation thrust upon us from that attack. We need to connect to the phoenix that rises from the ash.

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From the Last Spark by amorphisss

What if we retrain our minds to pull up something beautiful and positive that will assist in the healing of these ailing souls? Instead of calling up death and destruction right away, let the mind call upon love and compassion.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. (Dalai Lama)

Do you know someone who was directly affected by the 9/11 tragedy? Nearly 3,000 people were immediately killed in the attacks on the Twin Towers in Manhattan, at the Pentagon in Arlington County Virginia, and on the downed airplane near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Over 6000 people were injured on that day. (CNN.com) Long-term health effects have emerged as complications arising from that deeply-imprinted psychological trauma, and the numbers of fatal illnesses and chronic issues related to the release of toxic airborne debris continues to rise to this day. Further, “It is estimated that there are between four and 50 psychological victims for every physical casualty in a terrorist attack” (WBUR.org/Cognoscenti). The exponential effects of the tragedy are mind-boggling.

The Energetic Reality

Seventeen years have passed since that devastating event. For those indirectly affected, daily life may not have shifted much. The reminders and emotional triggers—the energetic connections—are likely to be random and infrequent, and to be spurred on by the media, the source from which many of us have logged our memories and established associative neural connections.Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 9.26.03 AM

For the growing numbers of those directly affected, it may seem as though the event occurred yesterday. For these victims, life has forever shifted. So when behaviors, thought processes, and communication affected by the trauma show up, they may not be identifiable as an outcome of the event and are perhaps not even consciously related to it!

Clinical social worker “D” (a fictitious identifier to hold confidentiality) was part of a FEMA-assigned first response support team. In spite of previous training and preparation for dealing with trauma, the magnitude of the 9/11 trauma was unprecedented and, once the team was immersed in the chaos, there was no tried-and-tested way to know what to do.

D recalls that “it was a 24/7 vigil.”  Every moment became a prayer, an asking for help, an opening for higher wisdom to channel through and assist. As it turned out, she felt as though the victims were helping the supporters understand how to minister to the needs of other victims through their innate state of compassion for one another.

The deep-reaching effects on her psyche that D absorbed during the body recovery and victim-support process eventually gave way to a fresh perspective, a perspective that unfolded preciously and naturally during D’s interview on Energy Amplified! The realignment was so subtle that it wasn’t until the interview was over that D realized just how much the energy of compassion had vanquished chaos and taken over the mechanics of rescue, recovery, and healing. D is now riding on the wings of the phoenix.

For most victims of 9/11, the world moved on while the fragmented pieces of their own lives came together only somewhat and at a much slower pace. The tendency for those affected by 9/11 to feel pushed to move on with the rest of the world may have placed unwarranted pressure on many of them to get themselves “back to normal.” Recovery and grief are unique to each individual, however; there is no format or timeline. Such unrealistic expectations and inaccurate measures of health create a wide separation between victims’ inner and outer worlds and make for a painful disconnect.

Our Deeper Connection

There is no way to relate to such an unprecedented event without experiencing it; sadly, there is no real go-between, only islands of separation in a universe where everything is connection.

And everything truly is connected; perhaps more so than what is commonly acknowledged. Our ancestors understood this without effort. Ancient communities knew instinctively how to foster this knowledge and utilize its presence as a threshold for developing ways and means to keep unity alive and awakened. Long before the arrival of the internet, our ancestors were living by the creed that we are all connected and they didn’t need scientific proof to believe it.

All things are connected like the blood that unites us. We do not weave the web of life, we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. (Chief Seattle)                                                                         

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Chief Seattle was indeed talking about the World Wide Web (and beyond), but not the one we presently pay for. And although his quote may not have directly spurred on the direction of science at the time, it certainly paralleled the discoveries and conceptual understanding of connectedness borne of the scientific minds that came forth shortly thereafter.

Albert Einstein and his colleagues were probing the constructs of our micro-world just decades after the death of Chief Seattle, and their work led to the creation of String Theory.String Theory states that our universe is made up of tiny little string particles and waves. These strings are the building blocks of the universe we experience”(learning-mind.com). Einstein himself thought String Theory to be “spooky.”

So, given the fact that our spiritual ancestors and our scientific ancestors agree that we are all somehow connected by strands and strings, I’m proposing that we use this concept and perspective as a tool for healing, as our rising phoenix.

Tune into Energy Amplified! and listen to D’s story in The Transformational Energy of Compassion episode. Take it in. Be with it. Imagine you are witnessing compassion-inspired support. Feel the authentic, raw emotion in her recall and make it yours. Remember how she speaks of the victims exiting the train covered in ash. Then see the Phoenix. See it rising from the ash. See its wings of compassion.

Just as the negative effects of those fatalities can multiply, so can the positive effects when our first response to 9/11 is connected to the vibration of Compassion. Reset the mind. Create a new groove. With a single intention sent out into the web, we can initiate a rise in our collective vibration. Together, we can override the vibration of fear each and every time it gets triggered.

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If Everything is Connected, So Am I by Jill Slaymaker

Sources in order of appearance:

https://www.deviantart.com/amorphisss/art

https://www.cnn.com/2013/07/27/us/september-11-anniversary-fast-facts/index.html

http://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2017/04/17/boston-bombing-three-years-mental-health-richard-beinecke

https://www.learning-mind.com/dimensions-string-theory/comment-page-1/

https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-If-Everything-is-Connected-So-Am-I/314593/184649/view

Are Your Thoughts Killing You?

Written by Janice Messino 

Do 100 Year Old People Say The Glass is Half Empty?

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I feel like a lucky person. I take care of my health and I intend to be in my son’s life for decades to come; I want to get to know my grandchildren and great grandchildren. Time doesn’t have to be running out—it’s about how we choose to age. Every day is a new day.

I often tell the stories of certain residents who I came to know in various healthcare facilities. There were some residents who got together and talked about their ailments and there were others who made the best of every day.  Those who chose to enjoy their days seemed to be happier people than those who lived in their problems. As time went by, I noticed that those who lived in a happier state actually lived longer. Unhappy residents with negative health beliefs became ill and passed away sooner. How many people do we know who are in their 90’s or 100’s and who look at their glass as half empty? Not many.

Are We Signaling Our Bodies to Live or Die?

Our subconscious mind has triggers; it triggers our bodies to react to what we’re telling the brain. This phenomenon is known through the science of epigenetics.

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Epigenetics Unravel the Mystery of Life

Epigenetics looks at the ways in which our body “turns on” certain genes and not others. The basis of this idea is a recognition that just because we have a certain gene doesn’t mean that gene will express. Every day, our body is getting one of two signals: the signal to live or the signal to die. The body takes those signals and produces what it needs to live, or to begin the process of deterioration. There are “signals” that impact life, our thinking, our level of exercise, our diets, our social lives, and our mental engagement.  We don’t know our future or when our end will come, but I think it’s important to manage our thoughts and feed the right triggers, so that no matter our chronological age, we don’t trigger ourselves into a dying mode.

Training Your Brain

Be careful when thinking negative thoughts. When I have a cranky back or a pain somewhere in my body, I don’t utter anything age-related about it. Instead, I simply tell myself that I want to work hard at not accepting physical limitations. After all, some limitations may be genetic and age-related, but they are usually worsened by some other factor in our lives, like proper diet or regular exercise. I do everything I can to assist my good health rather than just accept my limitations and then call it “aging”

Six years ago, I discovered multiple challenges with my back. Movement was painful and that slowed me down. I refused surgery and kept consulting professionals and doing research until I learned that there were other ways to address the issue. As a result, I enhanced my yoga practice, learned mind-body wellness techniques, and began a daily practice of qigong.  Now through further studies, I am also able to help others as well.

We Become What We Think About

What we talk about, what we spend our time on, is what feeds our mind. I try to avoid talking about my health and, when friends start sharing their aches, I try to change the subject to talking about positive solutions.

My answer to aging is that we should assume that we have unlimited amounts of time.hammock-2239788__340 (1)

I am not insensitive to major health challenges; I am saying that your attitude can make a significant difference. The key is being engaged mentally and physically. Feed your mind to trigger a long healthy life. Don’t place limits on yourself about how much time you have left. Assume you have a lot, because maybe you do! Include behaviors and a lifestyle that supports your energy level and good health.

There is so much we can accomplish throughout our lives. I ask myself, what am I doing that is not supporting my ability to live a strong, healthy, long life, then I take appropriate action.  You might want to ask yourself the same thing.

Janice Messino

Create Health, (860)970-7383, Facebook/CreateHealthCT

creatinghealthmindbodyct@gmail.com

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Elevensies!

Infinity

 

It’s November 11 and that’s 11/11, even in the UK! Yeah yeah, you say, but so what? It’s just a set of two repeating digits. Whatever. In the larger scheme of things, those numbers don’t matter a bit. Do you think animals know what the date is? And what about places where dates are reckoned differently or not at all? And how do we know for sure that it’s really the 11th of November? Maybe somebody lost count way back when and it’s actually two days later?? At any rate, calendar dating is a human construct. Humans just made it up.

Calendar, Schmalendar

Yes, yes, that’s all true. Calendar dating (and time of day, for that matter) is a human construct and, although it’s based on the seasons of the year, basically random. The months could have totally different names and it will still be grim and bleak in the northern hemisphere in January. We could have assigned each day a letter or a symbol instead of a number and the moon will still cycle through its 28-day phases. Hey, it’s the 6th k’in of the 17th uinal in the 13th Baktun, according to the Mayan calendar. There’s no elevens in that!

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But, unless you live by the Mayan calendar or some calendar system other than the Gregorian (which is the most widely used and accepted international calendar system at this time), today IS November 11 because the accepted calendar—and the one you live by—says that it is. You’ve accepted it into your life, you schedule your workouts by it, you make lunch dates according to it; it’s yours!

Okay, okay, you say, fine—it’s my calendar, it holds meaning for me, sure. But only for organizing my life. What’s the big deal about today being the 11th day of the 11th month?

The Big Deal

Numbers aren’t just scratches on a page. Do you have a favorite number? A lucky number? Why? How can one number stand out as more or better than another number? I remember that, when I was a kid, there were several numbers I thought of as very friendly and others that I didn’t like because of their “sharpness.” Silly kid’s stuff or was I on to something? Something like numerology?? 

The most frequently invoked figure for the basis of the ideas behind numerology is Pythagoras. That’s right, of Pythagorean Theorem fame. A philosopher and mathematician in ancient Greece, Pythagoras believed that the natural world and the universe could be understood in terms of numbers. His studies revealed that everything that exists has a sort of underlying mathematical “signature.” If you’ve ever looked into sacred geometry or Fibonacci numbers, you know what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, do it now!

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This idea goes beyond ancient Greece—many other civilizations have noted that all numbers emanate their own particular energy. And that mathematical signature of all things that I mentioned earlier? Many ancient peoples knew that the combined energies of all the numbers in that signature form a sort of vibrational symphony. The signatures of all that is, taken together, give us the song of the cosmos. That’s the Big Deal!

What Do I Do With That??

 

Well, first let’s take a look at the energy of 11. And then double it! Because it’s a double number, 11 is said to be a “master number.” It takes the vibration of the 1 and kicks it up a notch. An 11 as a doubled 1 has a very spiritual vibration and is sometimes referred to as the Spiritual Messenger. It brings messages of enlightenment, insight, intuition, and balance. But on 11/11, that doubled 1 becomes double doubled 1 and now we’re really kicking it up!

When it’s 11/11, it’s a good time to take a look at where you can begin to bring your life into better balance. Where does the see-saw of your life sit on the ground instead of float in the air? The 11th card of the tarot is Justice, the sign of balanced give and take. Does what you get out of each aspect of your life equal what you put into it?? Don’t be afraid to ask for more “give” from others—it’s very likely they they have been looking for a way to serve you! The human systems leans into equilibrium and your over-giving causes a dis-equilibrium that is felt on some level by all involved. And if they aren’t willing to equalize the give-and-take and are all set with their take-and-take, well, maybe it’s time to reassess that relationship.

How else can we work with 11/11 energy? Open up to your intuition. Look for ways to increase and embody your whatever spiritual practice you follow. Realign with your soul’s purpose. Work on opening your inner or third eye. Spend the day being super-aware of the symphony of the cosmos all around you by noting the signs and symbols that are being thrown into your path!

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Karen M. Black http://www.karenmblack.com/intuition-meaning.html

Yeah, But It’s Not 11/11 Anymore

Sure, okay, November 11 doesn’t happen every day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work with the 11/11 vibration. Whenever you see the number 11, stop for a moment and breathe. Look around you, listen around you. Pay attention to the moment! Ask your guides or angels or inner being or who/whatever you turn to for guidance for a clear message. Reflect on what you’re dong in the moment you saw the 11 and ask yourself whether or not it’s in alignment with your truth and whether what you’re doing maintains or disrupts your balance.

The number 11 and the 11/11  combination are cosmic reminders. Even if it is later discovered that numbers have no vibrational pattern and no effect on the world around us, pausing to reflect and receive is a powerful tool for self-awareness, growth, and change. When 11 shows up in your life, make it your practice to become conscious, open up to your inner wisdom,  and show up in the present moment! It’s the little things that count the most.

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To Detox or not to Detox? Meet Judy Seeger ND

 

 To Detox or Not, and How?

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Feeling sluggish? Drained? Overwhelmed? Are you chronically ill? If you’re uncertain about trying and/or choosing a Detox strategy, make certain you are grounded and rooted in your own body before making a decision. There is a lot of information and opinion out there on the subject,  possibility creating more confusion than clarity.  Keep in mind that the best detox approach will come from YOU.

Making an educated decision to cleanse, not to cleanse, or how to cleanse requires more than researched fact.  What is essential to any individual’s decision relative to personal health and hygiene is that the individual ALWAYS remains in the driver’s seat (Insert medical disclaimer here). Listening to your body’s energetic response will cue you in on your best options. Your body will either expand energetically with a “Yes” or contract with a “No”.

An energetic expansion may invoke a sense of lightness in the body, a lift of the Spirit, a fresh deep breath or a feeling of peace or excitement.  An energetic contraction may provoke slumping shoulders, a sinking chest, tightening of the muscles and held breath. If you are new to this technique, ask yourself yes or no questions you know the answers to (ie Do I like spaghetti?) and ask a few times over to observe and confirm your responses.

Despite the simplicity of this natural technique for decision-making, listening energetically to your body may take some practice before you achieve a trusting level of confidence you can depend upon.

To Detox or not to Detox?

Some believe that the body is amply capable of eliminating metabolic waste through the use of its five dynamic organs (lungs, skin, kidneys, colon and liver) and is without need of additional help. Others say that current trend and marketing ploys are the forces responsible for the rising interest in the detoxification process.

But this fact is clear: Our global environment is infused with unavoidable toxins.

Toxins are lurking everywhere. They are in the air we breathe, the water we wash with and drink, the soil in which we grow our crops. There are myriads of toxins in many, if not most, of the products we use on a daily basis. So despite living a super clean lifestyle to try to keep the natural detox workload manageable, toxic overload may be unavoidable. Your five cleansing organs may not have the energy to provide and sustain you with optimum health.

Cleansing is an ancient practice. People sought out advanced detoxification long before the onset of industry and pharmaceuticals. The Ancient roman bathGreeks and Romans had their baths. The Nordic culture had their saunas. Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine developed various cleansing strategies to address the problems of toxic burden. For thousands of years, all major religions used some form cleansing as part of their Spiritual practice. This process has accompanied Human evolution.

When choosing to detox, having a competent, trustworthy and inspiring co-pilot is a wise move. Changing food habits can be an arduous task.  Our surrounding environment does not support this challenge.  I was fortunate enough to find one of the leading pioneers in alternative medicine specializing in the detox and cleansing process. Her passionate, make-no-bones-about-it Detox & Cleanse approach gives you the best odds for achieving success. Please allow me to warmly present:  Judy Seeger ND!judy sJudy grew up in New York City with European parents and poor eating habits, eventually leading to the early onset of illnesses ranging from chronic fatigue and severe back pain to migraines, dizzy spells and more.  But as her good fortune had it, she stepped into a health food store and began to take the first steps on her healing quest. She learned early on that doing a liver cleanse was not enough and that the process of detoxification included adding things to her diet and lifestyle as well as taking things away.  Fresh juices replaced soda, fresh veggies made their way into her diet.  She discovered new ways to take better care of herself and soon began to heal!

Judy trained with world-renowned healers like Master Herbalist, Dr. Christopher; Nutritionist, Dr. Bernard Jensen; and Dr. Joel Robbins. MD, DC, ND. With their guidance, she learned about the importance of naturally detoxifying the WHOLE body, not only isolated organs.  She learned that alongside the physical aspects of detoxing, there are natural supportive therapies in the mental, spiritual, emotional and energetic realm that are necessary components to attaining optimum health!

Making a Difference in Our World

Inspired and determined to make a difference in the world, Judy became a Naturopath. She worked in the field of alternative medicine for 35 years, helping thousands of people heal. Her experiences and insights led to the meticulous fine tuning of her detox process which led to the development of her 3 Step Detox System (Pre-cleanse, Detox, Post-cleanse). She soon began to realize that the number of people she could help was limited to the hours in her day.  This realization inspired an entirely new approach to her healing outreach.  She began authoring books, creating video tutorials and webinars, and designing specific programs for specific needs.  She created her space on the internet!scaleI discovered Judy online and was pleasantly surprised to get a quick response to my inquiry.  My first professional experience with her was very powerful.  My father booked an online appointment with Judy early in his terminal illness diagnosis. Her candid approach to that very difficult initial discussion gave us a very realistic choice of options, and very importantly, awakened the denial of urgency we had succumbed to in that initial shock period.  We gained hope and inspiration.

As for engaging in Judy’s one of Judy’s detox strategies, Judy stays close with you during her assist.  You will not just get lists to follow and instructions on file, you will receive direct contact with her via email and private Facebook groups.  She will honor your energetic answers and help you navigate your best way to success.  I was able to receive immediate help when questions arose during my detox process. Whether your health is in a critical state or you simply desire optimum health for enjoyment of life and for preventative measures, Judy Seegerexpert is a trustworthy go-to.  She respects where you are in your level of personal care and understands the barriers that often sabotage the best of intentions.  She encourages you to pay attention to what your own body needs and desires and will customize your journey along the way.   You can meet Judy at judyseegerdetox.com and discover whether a formal detox is for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You a Maniac?

What is a Maniac?

Some time ago, I was overwhelmed by how stressed I was feeling, how many deadlines loomed, and how much I needed to ground myself and meditate. But, I couldn’t get myself there. Why, you ask?  Because the monkeys had control. I have The Meditation Pillow and everything. I understood perfectly that there’s nothing stopping me but me. The Pillow is still collecting dust in my front room, forlorn, lonely, neglected, but also a raging nag. That unused Pillow is a source of guilt. I must confess, I sort of hate The Pillow.

I concluded I couldn’t engage in a regular meditation practice because I’m a Maniac. And then I thought, if I’m a maniac, there must be a lot of other people like me that also have the best intentions, but just can’t get there. We just can’t seem to acquire the habit of expanded focus and time commitment that meditation requires.

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According to Merriam Webster, a Maniac is a person who behaves in an uncontrolled way, and also is a person exhibiting extreme symptoms of wild behavior. Okay, so maybe not in the classic asylum kind of way, but many of us struggle with uncontrolled worry and thoughts. Does that ring a bell? Gong a gong? Bang a drum? So, I might be getting a little carried away (hence, the need for meditation), but you get my drift.  I own up to being a Maniac. One hundred percent. Not arrogantly nor boastfully proud, but not sorry either. It just is what it is.

Are You a Maniac?

Are you often stressed out and easily distracted? Is it hard for you to settle in and settle down? Is mindfulness something you’re only vaguely aware of in theory but not in practice? Do you overthink and over worry about, well, everything? Do you have a mind that just will not shut off? If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you just may be a Maniac. Welcome aboard.

So, What’s the Fix?

I realized at the same time that I discovered I was a Maniac that I really needed to develop a meditation technique for myself that was a quick, drive-thru approach. Think McDonalds of meditation versus the Four Seasons (Sorry, John Kabat-Zinn but we are who we are. No apologies). Meditation for Maniacs. That’s it! I had the proverbial “Ah Hah” moment. Meditation geared towards the Less than Zen.

Because we are a group of crazy risk takers,  Green Ink Radio is developing an app called Meditation for Maniacs and it will provide targeted, short meditations for all types of occasions. Asshole boss? Meditation for a Challenging Boss.  Bingo! In a traffic jam? Meditation (eyes open!) for Traffic Jams. Ba da boom!  At dinner with a pompous bore? Meditation for Patience in Social Situations.  Much calmer now.  And while we love all the Zen mindful meditations out there, what about the real world situations we encounter on a daily basis? We need some guidance and relief from those circumstances as well as transcendence and actualization meditations.

No Lotus Position Required

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The Meditations for Maniacs can be performed anywhere anytime. Of course we want you to self-actualize in addition to getting through life’s daily challenges, so those options are included in the app as well. Eventually, we will progress to longer and more mindfully based practices. For those that are already there, we will have a full library of options within the app for a deeper experience. However, our first goal is to help you get through the day in a more grounded, less emotionally laden way. And we’ll escort you through each step. You are no longer alone on a mindfulness island. We’ll captain your journey so you can relax and enjoy the ride. The meditations are only a few minutes in length, they’re guided, so no more having to figure out what to do, and you can easily fit them into your day.  They are small slices of peace in our otherwise often chaotic world. Who doesn’t need that?

Affordable

I bought access to a meditation app a while back, one that is very popular, and I was amazed by how expensive it was! So, Meditation for Maniacs will be far more affordable than other directive meditation  apps. It will be great to develop a community of Maniacs meditating for the very first time! Then the second! And third! And twentieth! It takes 66 days to change a habit, so I am coming on the journey with you! Let’s shoot for 66 days together! Every meditation I write (I am certified in meditation—I know—the irony isn’t wasted on me, either.) and record, I too will do. There will be daily meditations as well as circumstance specific meditations.

Benefits

The benefits of even a few minutes of meditation can last throughout the day by reducing heart rates, decreasing anxiety, increasing your quality of sleep, lessening tension headaches, lowering blood pressure, strengthening your immune system, reducing PMS symptoms, and  improving airflow to your lungs. A more consistent practice will yield even greater results and is recommended to assist with traditional treatments of chronic illnesses and to increase your overall quality of life.

 Tune in to Tune Up

The app is in production, so, in the meantime, for an introductory, quick and easy breathing meditation, tune into Green Ink Radio’s Spaz on Health Episode, Meditation for Maniacs. If you follow us on Facebook, the first 20 people who like us will receive the app free for one year. Please post in the Facebook comments that you would like the free app.

We are also looking for recommendations on what you would like to see included in the Meditation for Maniacs’ app. Please post your suggestions for development on this site. We will answer every post!

See you on The Pillow. Not! (Or not yet, at least). girl-eye-wink-16602174

 

Inflammation Proclamation

What is inflammation and why it is important to your longevity?

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Written by Janice Messino of Create Health

When I started to connect the dots between diet, lifestyle, chronic inflammation, and disease, I felt inspired to take control of my health.  Why?  Because our daily choices in our diet and lifestyle create our health, and inflammation is a big part of that.

Over the past five years I have improved what goes into my grocery cart, and my mind.  I have moved from a more stressful life, both physically and emotionally, to a more balanced existence with plant based nourishment, lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.  I have also chosen inner growth and consciously living and breathing.  

How to start connecting the dots in your life?  We will start by clarifying our understanding of inflammation since they play separate roles in our life.  Then we will cover ways to reduce inflammations effect on our health.

What is inflammation?

Acute Inflammation is your body’s natural and helpful response to tissues damage.  When you cut yourself it swells, reddens, and feels inflamed.  These are signs your body is busy sending white blood cells to the site of the injury, to repair damaged tissue.  At this stage inflammation is very important to our well-being.  An increasing body of evidence shows that chronic inflammation causes and advances many common diseases.

Chronic Inflammation:  The body’s over compensating immune response to a plenitude of environmental, and dietary, assaults.  Chronic disease is driven by inflammation, and there is more and more evidence showing the chronic inflammation causes and advances many common diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer ’s disease.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492709/.

Some of the causes of inflammation:

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Poor dietary choices:  Standard American Diet (SAD) sugar, processed foods, excess alcohol, certain unhealthy omega 6 fats

Chronic infections:  Bacteria, yeast, viruses, parasites

Gut health:  Bad bacteria, food sensitivities, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4579563/

There are other causes of inflammation.  Please don’t take inflammation lightly – it is a killer.

What is an anti-inflammatory diet?

To overcome chronic low – grade inflammation, have a diet rich in omega 3’s, (EPA and DHA).  Always choosing to eat protein when eating other foods to combat a blood sugar rise which is a big instigator of chronic inflammation.  Colorful non- starchy vegetables are full of polyphenols to also help inhibit inflammation.  Calorie restriction is also advised for longevity.  A diet with 40% protein, 30% complex carbohydrates and 30% healthy fats, 40:30:30 diet is recommended from the National Institute of Health as the proportions of macro and micro nutrients.  This might seem overly simplistic, but it is that simple to have good health, remember inflammation is no joke.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26400429

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For more information on this topic and other ways to create your health go to Facebook/CreateHealthCT.  Or janicemessino@gmail.com

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Contact Janice Messino of Create Health for a lifestyle evaluation and health plan. The life she saves may be yours!