Honoring the Cycle of Life
where one tree falls a seedling springs to life
My little sister and her husband gave birth to their second child Lauryn yesterday afternoon. Mother and daughter are doing well and thriving.
Last weekend I took my canine companion Dignan camping, something he used to love. I think he has become more of a bed and breakfast kind of dog instead of a camper. There was one particular stretch of the river I was keen to access. It required about a six mile trek through some high desert. About five miles in Dignan decided he was done and he laid down in the shade of a cedar. He has been a very good companion to me and it struck me that he is aging. In fact seven times faster than me. While I look into the mirror and see a new wrinkle every few months and have aches and pains in the morning, I recognize that he is just not as spry as he once was. I picked him up and wrapped him in my shirt to keep the sun off of him and started our journey back to the truck. It was like carrying a twenty-five pound water balloon for five miles. About a mile into the walk back he fell asleep and his legs were bouncing in tune with my steps, priceless.
The take home on all of this is while Lauryn is just beginning her journey some of us are in the middle or making our way to the end. Dread, denial or cosmetic surgeries do not affect the cycle of life from taking its course. Embracing the cycle of life and honoring all living things that pass through it brings us a sense of connectedness since this is something we all share and have in common.
As far as Dignan and I go, well, I will cut my hikes with him a bit shorter and be prepared to carry him when I have to. I will also do this for all who are in my life and graciously accept their help when I start falling behind. We are all in this together and the glue that binds us is the cycle of life itself, the beginning, the middle and eventually the end.
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FITNESS (special cycling series)
Charting Your Course
planning the perfect ride
There are many variables to consider when charting your cycling course. Some of these are: whether or not you are using a trail or taking one of your Trek bicycles on a road way, the condition of the trails or road, the weather, type of terrain, your abilities and length of ride.
As a beginner, whenever I charted a longer ride, I taped a small note in the middle of my handle bars to remind me of the directions, especially if the route was new to me. And, just to be safe, I always made sure someone else knew my plans when I went riding alone.
If you are riding on a trail, you can get a copy of the trail map to look over. It will have a legend explaining any hazards, distances, types of terrain and any obvious obstacles you may encounter. Most bike trails are fairly safe and you're likely to see other cyclists if you run into trouble.
Now let's say that you are planning a road ride. Your best option here is to access Google maps and select 'terrain.' This will show hilly and flat. Enter a place to finish and under options select 'walk.' A route will be charted out for you to bike. Make sure you keep in mind that there may be biking paths along this route as well.
Here are a few more things to consider when charting your course.
Road conditions are very important. In some cases, you can find out on-line the current condition of certain roads. If you know some roads are bumpy as heck, try and stay away from charting your course along them. I'm sure you know what happens if you hit one of those potholes with your bike. OUCH!
Road Closures also need to be considered. When charting your course try to avoid road closures that are set. For instance, certain sections of roads may be closed from 6 pm to 6 am for work. Or the road may be closed for organized rides like the American Diabetes Tour de Cure. It really is no fun getting part way into your course and realizing you have to change it or head back. Plan ahead as best you can.
Construction is also problematic when charting your bike course. These areas are not only inconvenient, they are very dangerous. Unfinished roads have all sorts of debris, not to mention an uneven surface. It may be OK for a car to go through but on a bike you may do a face plant.
Make sure you are aware of hills and valleys as they will affect your timing. If there is a lot of hill climbing you will likely want to shorten your distance.
Traffic and lights also need to be considered. It's not much of a work-out for you if you are stuck in traffic at a light or stop sign every few minutes. If possible avoid the traffic and stick to roads that are straight through.
Common sense when it comes to weather is required. If there is a torrential down pour and the wind is strong enough to blow your roof off, you better reconsider going for a ride at all. If the weather is wet and cold, you may want to stay away from bridges that may ice over. The last thing you want to do is hit ice on your bike.
If you keep these ideas in mind when charting your course, you'll have a much better chance of experiencing a great ride. When it comes to cycling routes, a little research goes a long, long, way.
Don't have a bike? Register to win a Trek and get $10 to use in the Steviva Store: http://www.steviva.com/news/trek-bike-sweepstakes/
This information and other information on this site is intended for general reference purposes only and is not intended to address specific medical conditions. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Prior to participating in any exercise program or activity, you should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition.
The Heat is On
three easy steps on keeping hydrated
Now more than ever during these hot summer days hydration is of utmost importance. A person can go with out food for sometime, however water is a must. Your body uses water to carry out a myriad of basic biochemical functions, and when it is lacking it will produce symptoms to give you the sign that you need to drink up! Common symptoms of dehydration can be headache, constipation, dizziness, fatigue, chapped lips, dry mouth, and muscle cramps. More extreme signs could be nausea and vomiting, and possibly heart palpitations. All of these noted symptoms could also be due to other medical conditions, so please speak with your doctor.
Average Daily Water intake: You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces every day. For example a person who weighs 150 lbs should be drinking at least 75 ounces. Remember though that when you are loosing more water or drinking other beverages that are dehydrating (caffeine, alcohol) you need to compensate. For example if you drink a 12 oz coffee drink you need to drink an additional 12 oz to make up it.
Urine output: Since you have increased your fluid intake now, you should have more out flow, as in needing to urinate every few hours. Take note of your urine color, note that it may be lighter or pale yellow or darker yellowish color, which the later would indicate it is more concentrated and thus your body didn't have enough fluid to dilute it. The color can change depending on what you are ingesting. B vitamins will make urine turn a brighter yellow, and beets can change it to a reddish hue.
Electrolytes: Sodium and Potassium to name a couple are some of the main ones in your body that can affect your hydration status. Sodium in particular helps regulate water in our body. One of the healthiest electrolyte drinks available is coconut water, as it naturally contains sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Choose to enhance your electrolytes when you are more concerned about hydration, perhaps after physical activity or being outdoors where you have sweated more, or have vomited, and thus have lost more water than usual.
These 3 things are your basic guide for your body's hydration. Be proactive and don't wait until you are thirsty to drink, as then your too late, and your body is already having work harder to compensate for the liquid deficit. Drink through out the day. A good trick I recommend to my patients is to use a stainless steel or other non-plastic drinking container. Figure out how much fluid it holds and thus how many refills you will need to drink to get in your daily dose. For example take our average person who needs to drink 75 ounces and they have a 20 ounce water bottle, so they should drink about 4 bottles, rounding up some for 80 ounces of water. Here is a special trick a patient taught me, take 4 rubber bands and place them around the bottle. Each time you finish one bottle, remove one rubber band; this will help remove the guessing factor of how many you have drank.
Now for a little bonus tip to accomplish this mission, divide up your day according to drinking those 4 bottles; drink right after you wake in the morning, and finish your first bottle by 10am. Take bottle number 2 from 10am-1pm. Drink your 3 rd round from approximately 1pm-4pm, and last 4-7pm or so. Find something that works for your personal schedule, so that the day doesn't pass only to realize you've fallen short on your sipping.
Last but not least, I encourage you to think about the property of water. The book The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto and shown in the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know” highlights water's ability to hold vibrational frequencies, such as love or an opposite state of being. Some people actually write out different words and attach them to their bottle; perhaps you want more gratitude or forgiveness in your life? Your water can become in tune with that and thus help hydrate you with that happiness.
Further, water flows downstream, with ease and no resistance at its best. At is worst, it maybe stagnant or polluted. Your health and different states of bodies of water can be analogous. Take a look at your life and health and see where you can improve, and know that what you resist will persist. Live your life, in all its facets, being in the flow, for this gives you freedom.
Focus on Your Future Not Your Past
Your future is a big adventure. Prepare for your future don't live in the past.
Savor your good memories, use any bad ones as lessons in life.
Carve out a niche for yourself in your imagined future. Think, feel and see yourself as successful. To achieve any goal in life, you need to project your end result. Think of the elation, the satisfaction, the joy you'll feel. Carry these ecstatic feelings with you every day
and they'll bring your desired goals into view.
Sooner or later, you can win if you think you can. The cards you are dealt in life are less important than the way you play them. Everyday you're offered a new deal and new cards.
Success is in your future if you're willing to work for it.
Copyright 2011 www.yourdailymotivation.com
Empathy in Action
An Experiment in Gratitude
Sometimes we forget to take the time to recognize the richness that defines our lives. This may be because many of the messages we encounter as we go about our affairs prompt us to think about what we don’t have rather than all the abundance we do enjoy. Consequently, our gratitude exists in perpetual conflict with our desire for more, whether we crave time, convenience, wealth, or enlightenment. Yet understanding and truly appreciating our blessings can be as simple as walking a mile in another’s shoes for a short period of time. Because many of us lead comparatively insular lives, we may not comprehend the full scope of our prosperity that is relative to our sisters and brothers in humanity.
If you find taking an inventory of your life’s blessings difficult, consider the ease with which you nourish your body and mind, feed your family, move from place to place, and attend to tasks at hand. For a great number of people, activities you may take for granted, such as attaining an education, buying healthy food, commuting to work, or keeping a clean house, represent great challenges. To experience firsthand the complex tests others face as a matter of course in their daily lives, try living without the amenities you most often take for granted. This can be a great experiment to undertake with your entire family or a classroom. Understanding working poverty can be as easy as endeavoring to buy nutritious foods with a budget of $100 for the week. If you own a car, relying on public transportation for even just a day can help you see the true value of the comfort and conveniences others do without. As you explore a life without things you may normally take for granted,! ask yourself for how long you could endure.
The compassionate gratitude that floods your heart when you come to fully realize your abundance may awaken pangs of guilt in your heart. Be aware, however, that the purpose of such an experiment is to open your heart further in gratitude and compassion. This awareness can help you attain a deeper level of gratitude that will allow you to savor and, above all, appreciate your life with renewed grace.
Low Glycemic No Added Sugar Citrus Shrimp Salad
Total Servings 4
Serving Size 2 cups
Carbs Per Serving: 12.9 g
Prep Time:<20 minutes
Skill Level: Easy
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pound medium peeled and de-veined shrimp
1 cup watercress, chopped
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons Fructevia, Steviva Blend or a tiny dash of Steviva Brands Pure Stevia Powder
Nonfat cooking spray or a dash of olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds (optional)
In a food processor, add the garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and blend until smooth.
Pour lemon juice mixture into a medium sized bowl then add shrimp. Toss to coat evenly, cover with plastic wrap then marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
In a large serving bowl, add the watercress, cabbage, and carrot and mix until combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice with Fructevia, Steviva Blend or Steviva Brands Pure Stevia Powder then pour over salad mix. Toss until well-coated.
Spray a small skillet with nonfat cooking spray. Pour shrimp with the marinade into the pan and cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes or until shrimp is completely pink in the center.
Place cooked shrimp in center of salad and garnish with optional basil, sesame seeds and peanuts.
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