Sipping Tea: The Benefits of Chamomile

chamomileSo I am a lover of tea. I used to drink a lot of sweet tea but now I am strictly hot teas and I do not sweeten them so I try a lot of different flavors to get my mind off of wanting to sweeten them.

So chamomile is made using dried chamomile flowers. It is an herbal tea and most herbal teas are not safe for everyone. The potency of the tea does matter when it comes to chamomile. You have to brew it according to directions because if you are vulnerable to the tea, you could endure some side effects.  I would start with the tea bags and use them as directed and work your way up.

Chamomile is one of my favorites. It has been used for a lot of different health concerns. chamomile1Researchers have even started looking into it helping to manage cancer and diabetes and so far it has been showing some good signs. Thankfully for most of us, chamomile is safe to use as a supplement to other treatments but I would not try to replace my current medical treatments, especially if my illness is a serious one.

So what are the benefits?

  • Reduces menstrual pain. There have been studies that link the tea to reduced cramps. The study found that after drinking the tea for a month, women in the study reported less anxiety and distress that is associated with period pain.
  • Lowering Blood Sugar. Researchers have found that chamomile is not a viable substitute for diabetes meds but it has been found to lower blood sugar and can be used as a supplement.
  • chamomile2Slowing or preventing osteoporosis. The loss of bone density increases our risk for broken bones and posture issues and anyone can get it! It is more common in post-menopausal women due to the effects of estrogen. Chamomile tea may have an anti-estrogenic effect and also helps promote bone density.
  • Reduces Inflammation. Chamomile has chemical compounds that may reduce inflammation. As I am getting older, this has become an issue for me. I usually look to Tumeric because of its anti-inflammatory properties but this possible benefit is a plus.
  • Helping you sleep better and/or relax. In studies, there were patients that fell asleep shortly after consuming the tea, which also suggests that it does help to relax people. Many researchers believe that chamomile behaves like the medication, benzodiazepine, which is a drug that is used to reduce anxiety and induce sleep.
  • Treating a Cold. Anecdotal evidence and a few studies have shown that inhaling the steam from the chamomile tea can relieve some of the symptoms of the common cold. This has not been proven yet.
  • Treating mild skin conditions. A 1987 study found that applying chamomile extract directly to a wound can assist with wound healing. If you can find an ointment with chamomile in it, it may help with your eczema and mild inflammatory skin chamomile4conditions but it is not as good as hydrocortisone cream.
  • May promote digestive health. A few studies have shown that chamomile is helpful in preventing stomach ulcers because it may reduce the acid in the stomach and prohibit bacteria growth that contributes to ulcers. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it protects against diarrhea, nausea, and gas as well.
  • May improve heart health. The flavones have the potential to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are important markers for heart disease risk.

Other benefits are improving skin health, relieves anxiety and depression, and boosting immune health.

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Who should not consume chamomile tea?

  • People with a history of severe allergies, especially pollen. Chamomile may have pollen and other plant contamination so be careful.
  • People who have had a previous allergic reaction to chamomile, of course.
  • Infants and young children. It is similar to honey where it may be contaminated with botulism spores. Healthy adults can fight the infection but infants may not be able to.

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So, if you decide to try chamomile tea to treat an illness or condition, it should be used as a supplement to any medical treatments you are currently doing. It is definitely possible to see ongoing health improvements with regular doses, like 1-2 cups per day. Chamomile tea is a healthy drink that is rich in some powerful antioxidants that have varying health benefits. 

Try some today!

 

So Much More Than You Think

selfworthI don’t know why, but self-worth is a confusing thing to many.

Emotions move from one extreme to the other. One minute you just know you are the *ish and the next you feel worthless. Emotions can make us crazy! We have all had moments of low self-worth which is honestly ludicrous to me because we are all so freakin’ awesome…seriously.

Now, when I get in my mood and recognize my *ish, I try my best but I sometimes still get the urge to feel less than fabulous…small. When I get this way, I do a lot of things to get out of my funk, first things first though…my thinking. I used to look for my self worth in other people and things, pretty much many things outside of myself. I mean in a far off distant land somewhere…waaay over there…there I was looking for my value. selfworth3

I looked for it in people. When we think we are not enough, we look for people to tell us who we are. We look for them to give us value and hand us our self-worth. The problem is these people are usually unavailable and uninterested in having this job.

We also try to find our self worth in the successes. Since we are in a place of feeling like we are not good enough, we get to a place where we are desperate to prove that we are the bomb and we work ourselves half to death and look for our values in the abilities and the things that we can purchase to make us seem valuable.

Some people try to fake their way through to their self-worth. We are who we are. You can fake all day, but just like when you try to paint over a wall with no primer, the true colors are gonna come bleeding through. Do not overcompensate by faking your character or emotions.

selfworth2There are people who will chase that dollar down so that they can get all of the things that “Joe” has and prove that they should be valued. They are out there flexin’ in that brand new car and living beyond their means but eating Oodles of Noodles at home alone.

We have to stop searching for our self worth in external things. It is a human or natural tendency so we have to work on that one. Please do not beat yourself up about it. Recognize it and work on it.

What we have to realize is we can change this habit, any habit really that we do not want. If you have aligned your self-worth up with things, you will never have enough or be enough. That money, success, and that person will never be enough. And another thing, you will never be that person on social media that is more confident, funny, or successful than you…it is impossible.

So what can we do?

First of all, you have to realize that you matter! Everything about you is important. Whatselfworth1 you say and do matters. You have the ability to make an impact with just your presence before you say or do anything at all.

AND, realize that you are just not going to be perfect. And guess what? You do not need to be. I believe that as long as we commit to being better, doing something to improve as a human, it is all good. We should accept who we are, as imperfect as we are, and be better, because YOU want to, not because someone has a problem with you being you.

IMG_0874Knowing these things and putting them to practice has really helped to center me. What you see when you see me, is someone who is the product of all of my experiences thus far. All of my experiences, upbringing, and personality quirks all wrapped up in one hot mama! The more experience that I gain, the more value is added to me. The more unique I also become.

I have value because of what I have experienced…so do you!! Stop underestimating your value…and definitely, do not let anyone else do it.

SO we need to show ourselves that we like what has been created in us…LOVE it, actually. We can do that by being and living as our authentic selves. SO just like you “like” and “love” someone else’s post on Facebook, do the same for yourself…give yourself a high five because you like what you did and who you are becoming….

Let’s get it!

I’ve Got Good Intentions

intention1I remember a time in my life when I was just existing. I had no real intentions at all, I was just going with the flow. At this time in my life, I am growing and living my life with intention….how about you?

Some intention? Maybe just a little?

We have to have some intention, even if it’s just a little! I am not saying that you have to have the rest of your life planned out, vision boards and a 5-year plan…every single moment, just an intention. I am guilty of having a vision board and a mission statement. I have them because when I get too busy doing nothing or begin to wonder why I am doing what I am doing at all, I can look back and see that I once had “these” intentions and I need to get back to my mission.

I talk to a lot of people daily and a lot of them are just existing, they have no intentions intention3right now. Existing…floating…blowing with the wind, excepting that “it is what it is”. We need to have some kind of intention, any kind. Whatever intention that will give definition to what you are about right now…and we know that intention will change at some point…but right now, its your intention…own it and do something!

Don’t be a “I wonder what I should do for my birthday” kind of person. Be more like, ” Alright, I am calling up the girls and we are going out to celebrate” kind of person.

Be the one who states what their intentions are and gets out there and lives it…out loud!

Make an intention, a selfish one. One that is all about you and what you know is best for you at this time in your life. We have to stop living with ambiguity when it comes to what we want in our lives right now.

Say what you want! and say it with your CHEST!!

intention2Are you not interesting in dating right now? Say it!

Are you focused on your passion right now? Or finding a genuine connection? Say it!

Are you more focused on traveling? Making new friends? Making positive changes in your life? Say it!

And after you tell yourself those things, whatever they are, live it..live with those intentions. Sometimes we have to tell ourselves those things out loud so that we can hear them. I am an over-thinker so if I don’t say some things out loud they just get lost in the shuffle of the many things I tell myself…… (oooook they may have been too much but, anyway…)

You know what happens when we speak things out loud? We are more responsible for them, accountable to them and the universe hears you loud and clear! The Universe and God hear you loud and clear… and reacts to the words you speak…SO watch what you say! Mean what you say!

Right now I am back to wanting to be healthier on the inside so I am declaring out loudintention that I want to make better choices with the foods I eat, what I watch and the people that I communicate with. My insides just need a whole makeover…but I am not just thinking it…I am saying it out loud. NOW, I am holding myself accountable and so is the Universe. I now have more awareness of what I am putting in my body, soul and mind because I repeat it to myself; it is no longer just a thought in my head.

I believe that part of living this life is doing it with some intention. We should have a life where we have intention- that is personal, selfish, and just for YOU…and then go out there and live it. If you don’t, you’re just talking, lost in the wind, taking whatever is given to you.

Go out there and live your life on purpose, with intention. If you think that it is cuffing season, go on out there and cuff away! If you are passionate about music, fitness, traveling, reading, swimming, or art,  get out there and find a space to enjoy it!

IMG_5122Say what your intentions are and do your thing. It will bring so much clarity to the way you do things and you will have a “why” to go along with that. Once it comes out of your mouth, you will have things and people put in front of you that support what you’ve said. Again, watch what you say because that is the good and the bad, believe me!

It seems like a small thing, but making my intentions known out loud has changed how I do things, whether someone was there to hear me or not.

So say it! Then go do it…

 

 

 

10 Reasons to Vacation Right Now!

 

IMG_0300Now more than ever I love traveling! My boys are older so I am more inclined to get up and go, with or without them to get away from home and get some downtime. We all need it. We need to be able to remove ourselves from the “every day” and refill our tanks. Even if we take a day off, I don’t know about you, but that day off from work is just a day off from work. I can find a trillion things to do at home that will make me think I should have just gone to work.

vacation1I have been taking yearly vacations now for about 6 years and I need it! It is like breathing for me now. And at least one vacation is a cruise. Actually, I will be going on one soon and I cannot wait!! I love seeing new places, trying new dishes that I never would have tried at home, and getting to know a foreign culture. Now that I started this, I do not know how I did life before. I have a wanderlust spirit now and it gets stronger with every new adventure I take.

Here are some reasons why you should take at least one big vacation a year…

  1. You will get to know yourself better. You get a chance to think in your quiet times and the opportunity to see how you react when you are in different situations. I journal during my vacation to check in on my feelings and think about my life. I also record things that happen that I may forget when I return home to the craziness.
  2. You become smarter. Going to all of these different places helps you to gain moreIMG_6276 knowledge about the world, maps, geography, cultures, and languages. I definitely have a better sense of direction after all of my travels so far.
  3. You get to experience something new. Nothing can really surprise you about where you live. It is different when you get out there and travel. There will be plenty of culture shocks…and it is a  beautiful thing. Staying in one spot for me is boring…might as well travel and get out of that.
  4. You make wonderful memories. Nothing compares to that! Collecting special moments will always be better than collecting things. I mean, after a while, where will you put all of that stuff? If you spend your life in one place, every day seems the same.
  5. You may just find out what the meaning of life is. I believe the meaning of life is a little different for all of us because we are called to different things and we have different gifts. While I travel, I spend time with me and think…write…pray. I always think about my purpose and the things I want to work on or change about me and my life while I am away. Almost looking for a fresh start in some areas.
  6. vacation2You sometimes get to see places that you have only seen in pictures. When you step into a foreign land that you have looked at on Google or Pinterest, it seems so magical. It is such a gorgeous feeling to actually BE in the places that you have dreamed of being in, knocking things off of your bucket list.
  7. You will inspire others to travel. Even though traveling is not a hard thing, it can be hard for someone to begin doing it. When you decide to get out there and make your dreams come true, you will inspire others to go and do the same.
  8. You will have exciting stories to tell. Our passports tell some exciting stories! When you have gone out there and experienced other places, you will have hundreds of stories to tell. Each day of travel brings something spectacular to your life.
  9. You meet some amazing people.
  10. vacation3 Every person on vacation has a beautiful and unforgettable story. You learn and you are reminded of the fragility and the intensity of life. I will never forget the awesome people that I have met on vacation, some of them are now great friends of mine and we plan to travel together in the future.
  11. You will become a better person. When I travel, I see a different perspective on life. Since I have been learning these new cultures, I feel like it is easier to be more tolerant. I am more compassionate, understanding, forgiving, and definitely more at peace.

IMG_6233These are just some of the benefits of travel. Every time I pack my bags, I am deciding to create another adventure and leave my mark in those special places. I am no longer afraid to step out of my own little world and see what is out there. Memories and excitement are out there waiting for us…I am actually getting ready for my next vacation as I write and I can’t wait. See you out there.

 

 

Have You Heard Of Smudging?

smudgingHave you heard of smudging? It is becoming more popular as of late but Native Americans and indigenous people have burned sage for centuries as a part of a spiritual ritual to cleanse a person or space of negative energy, and to promote healing and wisdom. It has been used since Roman times to treat digestive issues, memory problems, and sore throats. The name sage comes from the Latin word “salvia”. It means “to feel healthy”.

The practice of “smudging” has become more popular in other cultures as well. Recently at the makeshift memorial of Nipsey Hustle, a young lady burned sage to rid the area of any negative energy.

It is said that sage “metaphysically un-clings the things that cling to us that are no longer needed–spiritually, mentally, and physically…almost the way a sponge does.” The medical benefits have not officially been well- studied.

Sage comes in different varieties. Most healers and herbalist use white sage. The white sage is used for purifying and protection. There are others like lavender sage, black sage, smudging3common sage, and blue sage, which is used for cleansing and healing. They all have their own unique qualities.

You can harvest sage yourself or buy it in bundles at a health food store, farmer’s market, or on the internet of course. Just make sure whether you grow it or purchase it, it was harvested sustainably and responsibly.

How do you burn sage? 

You light the end of the bundle and let the smoke waft into the air. If you are cleansing a room, you walk around the space with it. You can also just place it in a shell to catch ashes as it burns and just let it sit in the room.

smudging1Sage is a flavonoid–plant compound that has medicinal properties; lavender is in the same family. Some of these compounds appear to improve brain health and guard against diseases like Alzheimer’s. In some studies, sage helped against depression and anxiety, digestive problems and soothing upset stomachs. It is calming to the gut and mind in the same way that lavender is.

Be careful burning the sage because although there are no studies on the risk, it is just like burning incense and that has shown to give some people allergies or lung issues with prolonged burning. Burning for a short period of time should not cause any issues but if you have asthma or lung issues, I would consult a physician and get their opinion.

If you are worried about burning the sage, you can always try essential oils as ansmudging2 alternative.

Have you tried smudging before? Do you do it as a regular practice? I would love to hear about your experience and how you feel about the practice.

Why Have Boundaries?

boundaries1No matter how much I have accomplished in this life, I know that I am capable of achieving so much more. I am capable of finding what it is that I am looking for…even if I am not quite sure what exactly that looks like right now. I am definitely capable of being happier than I am now, capable of having the right people around me that add value to me. I am learning myself and understand me more thoroughly and I am capable of being the best version of myself, the one that hides nothing, whose confidence glows and she who exudes beauty, empathy, and purpose. That is my mission…what I am adopting as my philosophy. I wake up like this…with this on my brain.

Now this took a lot of work, and I am honestly not fully living this way, but I am working on it, intentionally. It took me what seemed like forever to realize that if I really wanted this I would have to honor and respect myself in a way that reflects this. I mean, if I really wanted to grow in this way, learn about myself, and create the ideal version ofboundaries2 myself, I have to behave in a way that allows me to do so. I had to get to a point where I would be free of expectations, the pressure of commitments that make no sense and negative people.

This is why I needed some boundaries REALLY bad! Setting personal boundaries is so huge for someone that is looking to become who they are truly capable of being. Without boundaries, there was so much drama…

 

 

  • I was a horrible people pleaser. It was so hard for me to tell people “no” and I suffered and complained but still said yes.
  • I took on everyone’s needs, wants and desires as my own and before my own.
  • It was hard for me to let go of dead relationships or relationships that did not add to me
  • I let people stay in my inner circle too long, family and friends, that drained my energy and all of my good vibes.
  • I let other people’s needs outweigh mine. I mean where I barely acknowledged my own needs at all.

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I spent many years like this and as a result, I had lost my sense of self and the relationships, especially the one with myself, suffered anyway. Because I was letting all of that occupy space in my life, it took on a life of its own.

Boundaries!!!

Setting boundaries reminds you to say no to bad habits and things that are not serving good to you…mind, body, or soul. This is not just from others, but from yourself; you do not want to be influenced to do anything or be anyone outside of who you want to be or what you want to do. “No” is not a negative word….not at all! boundaries

Saying no, to someone, something, or yourself, just shows that you are being authentic and clear about what you want in your life. You are loving yourself! Doing something just for you…something you don’t have to feel guilty about or apologize for. You should never feel guilty for wanting to better yourself. We should NEVER feel shame when we are living and speaking our truth.

When we say no for our own personal reasons, there is so much power in that…the biggest thing is your truth. And you don’t need an excuse to live it. No explanation needed! That is a boundary…that is your truth. You are putting out into the world what controlyourself2your truth is…and how you want to live it.

At the end of the day, you are human and you have a vision for who you wanna be and how you want to live this life. There are things that you are not going to stand for, nothing less than what feeds your personal best.

A boundary is you having the courage to love on yourself, even at the risk of disappointing someone else. The sooner we see that the sooner we can get on with truly being happy…having joy.

Easy Peasy…just like that. Say no….stop putting up with things, people and thoughts that do not serve you. You know what is not healthy for you; what is not going to help you get to where you wanna be…yeah that….boundaries!

boundaries4I started small and just showing that little power has affected me in some big ways. Boundaries are powerful and you will grow more consistent and aggressive with them.

Things have gotten so much easier with boundaries. Once you put up one small boundary, you will see the effect it has on your life as a whole. It will give you room to add the things that will bring nothing but goodness in and push you toward being your best you…

 

 

 

4 Reasons You Should Be Picky

picky1We cannot be afraid to say no! I have learned over the years to be choosy about saying yes. You have to trust yourself. I am not saying that you have to turn down every new opportunity that comes your way. Know your comfort zone and know the difference between stepping out of it and feeding bad habits.

 

Why should you be picky?

  1. You get what you give. Think about it. If you hate your job, you won’t be productive, have a good relationship with your co-workers, you won’t care if you are on time, and you won’t be fighting for a promotion anytime soon. If you are going into something doing half-ass work, you are going to get half-ass results. If picky3you don’t want that for yourself, make the change…trust yourself! Quit…break up…or whateva! I know it sounds easy, but being picky will be to your benefit in the long run. It is not enough to want what you believe you deserve, you have to position yourself for it.
  2. You know what makes you happy. If you don’t, you better get alone with you and find out! What you DO know is what won’t make you happy so you can’t start there. If you want a banking career, it is probably not the best idea to accept a job being a teacher. Being picky about the jobs youpicky4 accept or the company you keep will impact your happiness. Think about how much time and energy those facets of your life use.
  3. You will not be satisfied with being comfortable for long.  Sometimes it is hard to determine whether you are just comfortable doing something or if it truly satisfies you. A lot of times in relationships, people settle for someone they believe has the same interests, but the person is comfortable with who they are and they do not push them to grow as a person. Those kinds of people may be good people, but not necessarily good for you if you want to grow. Just saying….don’t date down. In the end, it won’t be worth it. There is someone out there that can help make you apicky5 better person, they just aren’t easy to find. If we are talking about employment, a good salary with a few perks, but they don’t challenge you or have room for growth may work for you for a moment, but you will lose your fire and zest for climbing the latter. Stay hungry for what you want…then go get it when it reveals itself.
  4. Environment is everything! Your environment does shape you. These are your friends, family…..your people, are the ones that have a huge impact on your life. You have to hang with people that are going in the direction that you are headed. I heard it said somewhere that if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room! If that isn’t the truth!! We don’t have to completely cut ties with people that don’t have that going on but we do have to be mindful of how much time we put into those relationships…especially if it feels like they are impeding your growth. Keep your standards high…

picky2It is never too late to start planting seeds for the future you want. We all have the power to alter what we experience in this life. That is an amazing thing!! Like I said, we are not shutting every new opportunity down, but we should be mindful and picky about what we let enter our world. Know your comfort zone and avoid feeding bad habits. Getting to know you and know what choices will keep you on track for the future you want. Trust yourself and move forward.