Luminous Wellness with Jennifer

Over the past several months, I’ve gotten notifications from WordPress that I’ve had many new followers to this blog.  I’ve also received several nice comments on various blog posts that I wrote over the year that I managed this blog.  I wanted to say thank you, I really appreciate it!!  

However, I’m not posting on this blog anymore, because I finally chose a business name to go with my health coaching business, and created a brand new website where I’m also blogging as well!  

ImageI’m still blogging about my healing journey and fun wellness inspired things that I love to do, like health conferences.  Be sure to go to http://www.luminouswellnesswithjennifer.com to check it out!  

Thanks so much for following me!  ❤  

 

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Guest Post: Jillian McKee and The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

I am so thrilled to be featuring my very first guest post on my blog today!  Jillian McKee of The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog contacted me a few days ago to see if it would be a possibility to have her write an article for this blog and I welcomed the idea immediately.  

As Jillian described, her article demonstrates the “benefits of eating healthy during and after a diagnosis of any kind of cancer. Each different cancer has its limitations, but if one can keep a healthy body, they can have a better chance to overcome this awful disease.”  

I am sure that her article can benefit each of you as well, as I could definitely relate to Jillian’s suggestions and how they can help women with PCOS!  

Fighting Cancer: Foods to Avoid, Foods to Include

If you were just diagnosed with mesothelioma or another form of cancer, it is important to start making changes to your diet. Making minor changes can help improve your overall health, strength, and increase your longevity.

Foods to Avoid

Now more than ever, you want to increase your health. Begin by giving your cabinets and refrigerator a makeover. Foods that zap away your energy or increase the risk of developing health problems in other areas of your body should be avoided.

  • Saturated Fat, Trans-Fat, and Cholesterol. Your heart needs a healthy start!  Minimize     your intake of these fats as recommended by the American Heart Association. Avoid the intake of cholesterol and trans-fat as much as possible and only eat less than 7 percent of your daily caloric intake in saturated fats. Eating too much of these fats, can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol, which causes your heart to work harder and decreases your blood flow.  Foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans-fat are:  junk foods, fast food, processed meats, full-fat dairy, red meat, and poultry with the skin on.
  • Sugary drinks and snacks. People who have cancer or are taking treatment or cancer usually feel fatigued throughout the day. This may come from a high white blood cell count, or side effects from aggressive treatments such as chemotherapy. Sugar may give you a quick energy boost, but it is often followed by a swift energy crash. This is because sugar increases your blood glucose level. Glucose is the body’s fuel source. Once glucose rapidly declines, it leaves you feeling down in the dumps and hungry. This glucose rollercoaster can increase the risk of your developing type-2 diabetes.  Foods and beverages that are high in sugar are: soda, juice, candy, frosted cereal, baked goods, ice cream.

Foods to Include

Now that we’ve gotten rid of the unhealthy food, lets add some good food to the empty space we’ve created in the fridge and cabinets.

  • Fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables are a really good source of vitamins and minerals. In fact, they don’t just carry vitamins and minerals, they also contain antioxidants used to fight cell oxidation, which if left damaged causes cancer.
  • Oats. Oats are a good source of fiber. Fiber helps to control your  weight, boost your energy, increase your heart health, reduce your blood sugar levels, and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Fiber has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
  • Fatty fish. Fatty fish such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon are full of the healthy fats omega 3 and 6. These fats are known to boost brain health, eyesight, and help reduce the risk of developing several diseases including cancer.
  • Fresh citrus juice. Fruit juice contains the water-soluble vitamin C. Vitamin C not only boosts your immune system, which is vital when trying to fight cancer, but it also raises your good cholesterol (HDL), which improves your heart’s health. If you get tired of drinking fruit juice, try a vegetable juice blend.

 

Focus On: Acupuncture

So those of you that have been following me for a while know that I live with chronic daily headaches and that I’ve tried all manner of treatments to see what will help to heal me.  I won’t go through the entire list of what I’ve tried, but suffice it to say that I’ve been pretty exhaustive in my search for a cure.

A few weeks ago, my chiropractor recommended trying a sublingual Vitamin B12 supplement.  Well actually, the conversation stemmed from trying B12 shots, but those are ridiculously expensive and I don’t even have a doctor to go to that would help to administer those on me (in case you didn’t know, I pretty much hate doctors).  Did the B12 help?  No, but I’m still taking it.

Usually I can deal with the pain, because it’s become such a regular part of my existence. Any other person would probably be whining and complaining about having to take a Tylenol and lay down to sleep with the pain I normally deal with.   So when the pain magnifies, I tend to forget how truly bad my pain can get until it gets there.

Yes, that’s what it feels like when it gets really bad, but I just deal with it.

I can’t stand living the rest of my life with constant headache pain though.  As a result, I’ve decided to try acupuncture once again.  Several months ago, my chiropractor tried it on me, but it was only for 2 days and each session was 10 minutes each.

Thanks to another Beachbody coach on my team, I found out about Community Acupuncture.  Instead of paying regular prices for an acupuncture session (which can run from $60 to $85 or more, as far as I know), at the place I go to, there’s a sliding scale of $15 to $40 per session.  You pay what you feel is best, no questions asked.

I had my first session last week and for once, I actually had results!!!  Super exciting.  My pain did not completely dissipate, but it did almost get broken into clusters (normally I feel pain all over), with pain levels almost dulling down in other parts of my head.  It’s hard to explain, but for me, it was like a miracle.  And then I actually had energy!  Me having energy like a normal person is very rare.  If you ever met me, you’d never know I always feel tired, because I play it off well.

I’ve been twice this week and haven’t noticed anything too significant, but every time I go, I get freezing cold, to the point where I feel like there’s a blanket of cold air surrounding me. The acupuncturist told me that that’s a great sign, because my chi (energy) is moving around my body.  He recommended that I go at least 3x a week for the next 4 weeks, then re-assess from there.  Praying that this is finally my answer!!!

Have a great night everyone!  Enjoy the Olympics if you’re watching the Opening Ceremony.

Vegas, Baby!

Wow, it’s been forever since I posted!  June’s just been a crazy month and I have missed blogging for sure!  I’m super excited also because tonight I’m heading to Las Vegas for Beachbody’s Coach Summit 2012, yay!!!!

I’m meeting all my Beachbody teammates and will be learning from the best in the business about how to grow my business, I can’t wait!!

Tomorrow I’ll be waking up in Vegas and I can’t wait to tell all of you about it!  😀

Musings

Hi everyone!  How are you doing?  It turned into winter all of a sudden here & I’m missing the warm weather!  I realized it’s been a while since I posted!  It’s been a busy few days.  I worked at the yoga studio over the weekend and had the opportunity to attend an amazing yoga breath workshop with Katy.  I also had the chance to try my first Kundalini yoga class last Thursday, which was really great.  I want to start getting into a regular yoga routine again.  It’s such an amazing form of exercise and I will love it forever.

I also saw The Hunger Games with Diana and we’re already planning to see it again! Amazing movie that really did the book justice!

I’ve also been busy building up my Beachbody business and yesterday I started my online classes at Institute for Integrative Nutrition!!!  I was so excited that I took out my iPad and started listening & watching the lectures as soon as I was off work.  In fact, I’m listening to my first IIN webinar right now, so I’m going to make this a quick blog post so I can give the webinar my full attention.  😀

What have you been eating lately?  Dinner tonight was brown rice with some wilted kale, spinach, garlic, & red onions.

I’m also super excited because my mom bought me tons of yummy mangoes for my Tropical Vegan Shakeology shakes!

And speaking of Shakeology, my brand new Shakeology t-shirt came in today.  I plan on wearing it on April 14 for Beachbody’s Super Saturday event in Philadelphia, where I’m going to see Beachbody’s CEO Carl Daikeler speak!  It’s going to be an amazing day!!!

All right, I’m off to listen to the rest of the webinar.  Have a great night!

Balanced

The best way to describe how I feel tonight is balanced.  The Universe is truly marvelous in how it works itself out.  I had originally planned on blogging about something else tonight, but that will have to be saved for tomorrow.

I went to work at East Meets West tonight as I do every other Friday, but I knew it would be busier because famed yoga teacher Max Strom was going to be teaching two workshops back to back there.  I didn’t realize that the other classes for the night were cancelled.  Katy and I had originally looked into attending the workshops, but one was from 4 to 6 and the other was from 7 to 9.  We couldn’t make the first one because of our work schedules and the second one occurred during my regular shift.  So I was considering going to one of his workshops that are taking place on Sunday at another yoga studio in DC.

Well, the yoga studio owner kindly offered me the opportunity to attend the 7 to 9 workshop, which I gratefully accepted.  Max talked to us for a little bit before we started our yoga class with him.  It was most definitely one of the best yoga classes I’ve ever taken.  He’s so calm, gentle, kind, and peaceful.  He really had us focus on our breath and look at new ways of doing poses.  He made us laugh several times & really took the time to help people as they moved through their practice.  All I can say is that I left East Meets West tonight feeling extremely balanced and at peace.

I bought his book and had him sign it for me.  I’d glanced through it a little bit previously, but I can’t wait to read it.  I can honestly say that I have a newfound appreciation for yoga and the way that we breathe.

How do you choose to spend your life?  Make sure to make every minute count!

Downward Dog

From the moment I woke up today, my thoughts turned to tonight, because I knew that I’d finally get to go to yoga class!  Katy and I decided to stop by Whole Foods before class to get our delicious food from the food bar and chat.  Even though we work together and see each other everyday, it felt like we hadn’t talked in forever.

Class was amazing.  While I was in Downward Dog, I realized how long it had been since I’d truly stretched out in that pose.  It felt so good to just get back into it and made me think about how much I’ve missed yoga.  I’d gotten into the habit of establishing a regular yoga practice throughout December and January and now I’m so excited to get back into it again. This month my focus is all on working out, eating as best as I can, practicing regular yoga, and meditating, which I’m off to do right now.  Have a great night!

Winter Chill

Considering the winter that we’ve been having, today was pretty windy & cold.  It looks like it’s going to be like this for a few more days before reaching 70 on Thursday, yay!  Even the flowers have started to bloom.

I did work study at East Meets West today and bought one of their brand new turquoise t-shirts.  This picture doesn’t do the color of the t-shirt justice.  Although I’ve been working at East Meets West for the past month, I haven’t taken a class there since January 31, and Katy and I are finally going back to our standard 6 pm vinyasa class tomorrow night, can’t wait!

After work study I met up with Diana for some lunch – it had been forever since we’d seen each other too, so it was great to catch up!  Then I was off to do grocery shopping.  I’m finally committing to eating more raw foods this week, and although I was initially going to go all raw for one week, I decided to slowly incorporate raw with cooked as I get acclimated to it.  I picked up some delicious treats at the store that I can’t wait to try!

Now I’m watching an all vegan episode of Cupcake Wars before prepping my meals for tomorrow, meditating a little bit, then going to sleep so I can be up at 6 am to continue by TurboFire Challenge.  Have a great night!

No Rhyme or Reason

Tonight’s post has no actual rhyme or reason to it, except that I’ve got lots of little amazing things to blog about that I feel all deserve a little love.

A few weeks ago, Whole Foods gave me Flaxmilk to try.  I’d noticed it there a few times, but wasn’t sure what it would be like.

It was a little bit watery, despite shaking up the container, especially since I’m used to using coconut milk or soy milk, which are generally thicker.  It definitely served its purpose in my smoothie though and I didn’t think that my smoothie was any less thick than it normally is.  I also felt like it gave it a slightly different taste, but my smoothie still tasted amazing.  I’m going to try the rest of the flaxmilk in some tea this weekend and let you know what I think!

I also had to post how thankful I am for amazing friends.  Today I was at the point of desperation with my health issues, about to burst into tears, but all it took was an amazing, uplifting conversation with one of my closest friends and I immediately felt uplifted.  She helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel and reminded me that, “each day, you’re one step closer to healing.”  What a positive way of looking at it!  She had me try a few yoga poses and gave me some excellent mantras to use while meditating.  I felt myself feeling happier and my body physically was not in as much pain after talking it out!  😀

I also came home to find this video posted in my Facebook News Feed and it helped to remind me why I’m doing what I’m doing and that my own health woes will one day help others to heal.

Since I finally had an evening to myself for the first time in what feels like an eternity (I’ve only done yoga ONCE this month – eek!) and was able to catch up on my favorite Facebook healthy eating group, I found all these little gems that you might want to check out:

It’s Not A Fairytale: Seattle To Build Nation’s First Food Forest (how awesome is that?!)

The Conscious Food Summit (I registered and can’t wait to see what it’s all about!)

22 Ways To Get Your Vegan Snack Attack On (can’t wait to try some of these!)

11 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

52 Uses for Coconut Oil

Have a great evening!

Yoga Saturday

Katy and I have started a sort of tradition where we head to yoga every Saturday morning, then grab some lunch at a healthy restaurant or Whole Foods.  Today we headed to Dancing Mind Yoga to take advantage of Katy’s LivingSocial deal (I unfortunately was not able to purchase it since I’ve been to the studio before).  After sweating in the heat for an hour and a half, we were definitely ready for some amazing healthy eating at Whole Foods.

It was perfect with a VitaCoco pineapple coconut coconut water!  (no, two coconuts in a row is not a typo) 🙂

We’ve got a lot of the same things in common and have the same sorts of spiritual beliefs, so we always have a great time chatting and today was no different.  After we ate, we decided to head to Barnes & Noble to check out some spiritual books and meditation music, spent some time at Teavana, and stopped at Godiva for a chocolate covered strawberry each.

Some other things I’ve been eating recently:

The rest of the day was perfect – after hanging out with Katy, I ran a few errands and enjoyed the gorgeous weather that we’ve been having lately.  I even snagged some vegan shampoo & conditioner at the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa!  I swear this is the only shampoo & conditioner that truly works on my hair and I had no idea that it was vegan until I happened to see it listed on the bottle.

(I apologize for the quality of the pictures.  I relied on the iPhone because I was too lazy to grab my camera)

I also saw a heart in the middle of the street on the way out of the supermarket (where I happened to see my mom walking in just as I got there too & we hadn’t even seen each other all day – I love it when the Universe shows you synchronicities!)

And I just ordered the brand new Tropical Vegan Shakeology from Beachbody!

Can’t wait to enjoy my next 2 days off!  How’s your weekend going so far?