Thoughtful Thursday

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The Benefits of Exercise

I wake up groggy like most and go through my morning routine, sometimes half asleep. But before I do any work of any kind, I work my body. I do 30 minute weight training and 30 minute cardio either on the elliptical or outside for a walk, weather permitting. On the days I don’t do my workout, it takes me longer to get going.

My morning workout literally crank starts my engine. It gets my blood flowing and my mind starts to click along. Exercising increases your energy levels too. It also helps you feel better and puts you in a better mood to start your day. Working out tones your muscles and helps build bone density and helps you avoid injuries by maintaining your strength. Plus it helps with weight loss and to get a better night of sleep.

Now I’m not saying you have to workout for an hour a day. For some that’s too much and for others, it’s not enough. You need to create a workout routine that works for you. It doesn’t need to be complicated with lots of equipment. You can do yoga, sit ups, push ups or walk in place to name a few. Make it easy so you’ll do it and stick with it. If you have limitations, there is a lot of information available online for doing modified exercises. Before starting any new exercise routine you should consult with your doctor or health practitioner. Just moving your body for 5 minutes a day will benefit you greatly and make you feel good!

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Thoughtful Thursday

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Plant Based Diet

Five years ago, I was a pretty big meat eater. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. I thought I ate healthy for the most part but as the years rolled by, things slowly started to go wrong. Looking around at everyone else, I thought this is how it’s supposed to be. This is what happens when you get older. But every now and then, I’d see an older person who was not the norm. They looked great, were in shape and had their wits about them. I thought Wow! They must have good genes because they weren’t like everyone else.

Then one day, my kids thought it’d be fun to gross me out by having me watch Food Inc. Great documentary by the way, but it definitely changes your perspective on food. After seeing it, I went even more organic than I already was with my diet and thought I was safe but more problems started showing up like joint pain, weight gain, the never ending cold/flu that would last for 2-3+ weeks when the season would come around, fatigue and head aches to name a few.

The cherry on the cake was when I developed sciatica. This was extremely painful. On a scale of 1 to 10, my pain was at 18. I was bed ridden for 2.5 months. I could barely walk, had to eat standing because I couldn’t sit down. I saw the chiropractor and physical therapist 3-4 times every week with little or no improvement.

I was getting desperate as the pain was unbearable and I’d search the internet on my phone in bed on how to alleviate sciatica. One of the things I found was that meat along with other certain foods, makes the body acidic and worsens the pain. So I decided to go cold turkey, no pun intended, and eat only plant based foods. I had very little appetite because of the excruciating pain and for over 2 months I lived on vegan shakes. Everyday I would have 1 plant based protein shake and 2 raw plant based shakes.

Then a funny thing started to happen. I began improving. The pain lessened and I lost weight! I lost a total of 25 pounds in that 2.5 month period with no exercise at all, just changing my diet. I felt so much better. Then just as I was getting back to my normal self, we were going to be hit by a hurricane which can be a little stressful and I resorted back to my old eating habits of meat, cheese, etc. It only took 2 days, and pain started to return. There was no way I was going back to that! I immediately started eating a vegan diet again and never looked back.

It’s been over 3 years now since I went vegan and all of my symptoms are pretty much gone. The weight stayed off, I rarely have headaches, the joint pain is gone, I have more energy and the fog lifted from my brain. Now when I get a cold, I get very mild symptoms and just feel a little off for about 2 -3 days instead of becoming really sick and feeling miserable for 2-3+ weeks like before.

Being vegan is not for everyone. We are so programmed from birth to eat the meat, dairy products and sugary processed foods that we think we can’t survive without them. But I’m living proof you can. Even if you only replace 1 meal a day with a vegan one, you’ll notice improvements in your body and how your feel. You can also replace dairy with plant based products that taste really good.

I think we all pretty much know how to eat more healthy but choose not to and that’s okay too. But I know for me, I didn’t want to spend the later years of my life in pain or with limited mobility and being stuck with constant doctor visits and lots of prescription medications. I want to enjoy life to the very end with strength, vigor and vitality!

If you want to give it a try but don’t know where to start, Forks Over Knives has a website with lots of information and recipes. They also publish a quarterly magazine full of delicious plant based recipes and success stories to inspire you which can be found in most grocery stores.

So ask yourself, what is it going to take for you to change your diet and eat more healthy?

Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.” – Hippocrates

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Thoughtful Thursday

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10 Ways to Share the Happy

Everyone can use a little cheering up, especially these days. So I’m sharing with you a few thoughtful ways to brighten someone’s day. Again, these are just ideas to help get your creative minds going:

  1. Help a neighbor in need by bringing them a meal.
  2. Call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while and chat for a while.
  3. Create a bookmark with inspiring words and leave it in a library book for someone to find.
  4. Buy the person behind you in the coffee line, a cup of coffee or a cookie or both!
  5. Create a small piece of happy art and leave it in the park or by a tree for someone to enjoy.
  6. Let someone having a tough day go in front of you at the check out.
  7. Buy a small bouquet of flowers and give them out to those who need a little happy in their day.
  8. Hold the door open for someone who needs a helping hand.
  9. Leave a note with kind uplifting words in a friend or family member’s bag to brighten their day when they least expect it.
  10. Smile at the beautiful souls you pass by throughout your day!

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” LaoTzu

How are can you brighten someone’s day?

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Here’s another idea, give your loved one a morning greeting with their coffee!

Thoughtful Thursday

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Benefits of Chamomile

Growing up mom always gave us Chamomile tea for anything that ailed us. Whether we had a cold, stomach flu or just feeling blue, there wasn’t anything that a cup of warm Chamomile tea with honey couldn’t fix. I still drink a lot of it today, especially if I’m starting to feel a little sick.

Chamomile works great to relax you at the end of the stressful day. It has also been shown to be antiseptic against bacteria and helps to bring down fevers and relieve achiness due to flu’s. Chamomile is great for relieving nausea, upset stomachs and head aches. These are only a few of the benefits of Chamomile and I hope this helps you get through the cold and flu season a little better this year.

However, a word of caution. Chamomile is considered to be a ragweed and anyone with ragweed allergies should avoid Chamomile altogether.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn

Thanks for stopping by, Share the Happy!

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Spooky Halloween Decoration

I found this wooden cut out in the Art and Craft store and thought it would be fun to make it into a Halloween Decoration. It’s fairly easy to make with minimal supplies and would be a great project to make with kids, supervised of course 😉

Supplies:

  • Wooden “Spooky” cut out with hanging wire
  • Gesso
  • Folkart Crackle Medium
  • Acrylic Paint: Red, Black
  • Acrylic Paint Pens: Red, White
  • Stickles: Xmas Red
  • Inkssentials Glossy Accents
  • 2 Black glitter pumpkin bell ornaments

Instructions:

  1. Paint the wooden cut out with gesso. Let dry.
  2. Paint cut out with red acrylic paint. Let dry.
  3. Paint cut out with Folkart Crackle Medium. Let dry.
  4. Paint cut out with black acrylic paint. Note: While this layer dries, the paint will start to crack and you’ll see the red paint underneath show through. Make sure to let this completely dry before moving on.
  5. Using the white and red acrylic paint pens, outline the letters a little to make them stand out more. Note: If you don’t have the pens, you can also use a liner brush dipped in white and red acrylic paint to make the thin lines.
  6. Add drops of blood to the letters with the red Stickles. Let dry.
  7. Using the Glossy Accents, go over the Stickles blood drops. Once dry, this will give the droplets a 3D effect.
  8. Last, tie on your pumpkin ornaments to the ends where the wires are and that’s it!

Thoughtful Thursday

I thought I would write a post, once a week about something other than art. I love creating with my whole heart, but if you’re not taking care of yourself, if you’re not happy, it’s a lot harder to get creative. 

One of my New Year’s Goals was to get in better shape so I decided I would go on a 2 mile walk every other day. I knew there would be times when this wouldn’t go according to plan so I promised I wouldn’t be too hard on myself. But I really wanted to stick with this plan as best as I could. 

When I first started going on these walks, my time was about 45 minutes for 2 miles. I was okay with that at first, but it didn’t take long and I wanted more. Over time I’ve become more and more competitive with myself, a part of me that I didn’t even know was there. I kept pushing myself and was able to get my 2 mile walk down to 27 minutes. Sometimes I’d even get into the 26-minute range. But that was it, I hit a plateau. 

To break the barrier, I added a few minutes of running and I was able to get my best time down to 24 minutes, 43 seconds so far. I don’t do a lot of running; it’s primarily walking because I’m so not a runner. Nevertheless, I feel victorious when I beat my best time, even if it’s only by 1 second! It still feels like I accomplished something extraordinary and I’m ready to shout it from the roof tops for all to hear!!! 

Bottom line is, to feel good about yourself or anything for that fact, you don’t need a big win. Sometimes it’s the smallest victories that feel like the biggest and have the most impact on your well being and state of mind. You are your own biggest fan when it comes to personal accomplishments.  So, what is your victory worth celebrating today?

Photo by Maria / Sunset in Key West, Florida

Art Calms the Mind – Coloring Page

Welcome! I hope this post finds you well in these changing times. With so much going on I thought it would be fun to create a Free Printable Coloring Page.  You can easily create your own with a few simple steps.

Everyone is an artist! If you can draw a line, squiggly or straight, circles, squares, etc then you’re an artist! Your sketch doesn’t need to be a detailed drawing, just draw whatever makes you happy.  Anything goes.

This page was created on 9″ x 12″ Canson Illustration paper. I started with a light pencil sketch then went over it with a Sakura Micron Pen 03. You can use any type and size of paper. You can even draw your design with a regular ball point pen. The choice is yours. Once you’re done, all you have to do is color it and you’ll have a unique design that’s uniquely you!

Have fun and enjoy!!!

Note: The image was downsized to fit on standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper.

download your free printable here

I used alcohol ink markers to color mine and added a little Stickles for bling. I would love to see your work and post it here. Just email a jpeg of your art to FlowingWatersArt@gmail.com