Archive for the ‘Guest Blogger Series’ Category
Posted May 10, 2013on:
Part 1: De-clutter – Spring Cleaning of the Home!
With spring, a season of nature’s renewal, well underway, it is a good time for us to renew ourselves with what I like to call the three D’s; De-clutter, Detox and De-stress. Very important to our overall well-being but too many of us do not get round to doing any one of the three.
Why De-clutter, Detox and De-stress? They all mean the same thing but address different areas of our lives; we De-clutter our homes, Detox our bodies and De-stress our minds! It is a wonderful way to rejuvenate our bodies, free our minds and create spaces (spiritually, metaphorically and physically) for the wonderful things and people we want in our lives. Besides, your junk could be another persons’s treasure, why hang on to things you do not need or use?
Here are some ways you can achieve all of the 3 D’s.
De-clutter – Spring Cleaning of the Home!
Our immediate environment often reflects the state of our minds. Do you have a store of ‘treasures’ you seem to never get the time to sort? Are there items still in (a) box(s) from your last move, well over a year ago, that you have not and don’t seem likely to get to anytime soon? Are there appliances and ‘important’ papers that you never seem to need or use but are taking up precious counter space? Is your closet full of old or fairly new clothes that you never wear but think you must have? If you answer yes to any or all these questions, then you are not alone and there is a way out.
Trying to tackle this issue can be overwhelming, especially in the case where items have accumulated over years, but it is achievable. It is one of those things that you really do need to approach in a very systematic way. For those who have the resources who can hire a professional organizer to come in and work with you to get this done, by all means do so! it is money well spent. But those who cannot afford this or would rather channel available funds elsewhere, this is for you. Follow these tips; they will help you move forward.
- The first rule is, do not despair! This is one problem that definitely has a solution.
- Designate a donation box where you will put everything you think still has some use in them and could be used by others even though you may no longer have any use for them. This will cover from clothes to shoes, books, appliances, crockery, linen and even furniture. Granted you cannot put furniture in a box but you can put it aside
- If you have the space, create a designated area, either in the basement, shed or garage, to keep all these items together as you accumulate them. I however prefer to keep a donation box in each bedroom to be readily available throughout the length of this exercise.
- Start off by time-blocking at least half an hour every day to de-cluttering. Note that it does not matter what time of the day you schedule this in but make a firm DECISION to complete everything on your ‘to do’ list. Have a ‘Task-Consequences-Rewards’ mechanism to keep yourself on track. This creates a sense of a commitment and accountability. Regard this as an appointment or ‘contract’ with yourself. Keep it!
- How do you decide what goes into the box? Here’s a simple rule of thumb: If you have not used the item for 6 months or more, you are most unlikely to need or use it; it is a sure candidate for donation or trashing. Either way, decide to get rid of it, today!
- Get the family involved. This can be difficult, especially if they are not usually involved with chores. It is necessary for all other members of the family to take responsibility in de-cluttering the house. It is also a great way to create some family bonding time.
- Pace yourself and put things away methodically. This is easier said than done! And if you have the attention span of a gnat like I do, after a while, it becomes tedious and boring. Switch it up by alternating chores and taking breaks in between.
- Play some good music as you organize your stuff. Choose “Pick-me-up” tunes that would keep you feeling like dancing, it does incredible things to your energy level. By all means sing along if you want.
- Keep at it till your box is full. At this point take a look around, could you still do with some more clearing? If yes, then do so.
- Take the reusable items in your box to the nearest donation centre and throw away all unusable items. Consider having a garage sale. It’s a fun way to meet people in your neighbourhood and get some extra cash too! And remember to reward yourself for your efforts and make sure you have lots of F.U.N in the process!
P.S: There are many wonderful organizations that you may donate your gently used items such as furniture, clothing, utensils to. Examples are Value Village (www.valuevillage.ca), Salvation Army (www.salvationarmy.ca) and Goodwill Stores (www.goodwill.on.ca). Visit their websites for any additional information.
Bloggers Note: This blog post is part 1 of 3 in my spring cleaning series: “De-clutter! Detox! De-stress! Spring Cleaning for Your Home, Body and Life!” Visit WWN’s blog for subsequent posts #2 (Detox – Spring cleaning for the body!) and #3 (De-stress – Spring cleaning for your life!)
The preceding is a guest post from Diana Barikor, M.Ed- Program Manager at Whole Woman Network. Diana is an Educator and Community Developer with over 15 years experience. She’s passionate about facilitating conversations on growth and empowerment for women both personally and professionally. She engages life with a deep sense of curiosity and an understanding that development issues are dynamic and always evolving. Follow Whole Woman Network on Twitter @wholewomaninc.
- spring cleaning with a health focus… (revampologist.com)
- A Short Guide to Spring Cleaning Your HEART (thelifemeblog.wordpress.com)
- How to Spring Clean…Your Mind! (justjennee.com)
- It’s Time For A Social Media Spring Clean (fliptop.com)
- 3 Steps to Turn Spring Cleaning into Charitable Giving (community.ally.com)
“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet like they would be dead by midnight! Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” ~Og Mandino~
Whether you are out networking with your peers, interacting with your family members and loved ones, communicating with the aim to sell a service or product or you are simply selling your ‘personal brand’, the ability to connect deeply with your audience is key to a meaningful interaction and positive outcome.
Poor communication has led to wars, feuds lasting generations, the loss of business sales/opportunities and even the breakdown of once loving relationships between friends and family members. ”Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening.” ~Emma Thompson~
Here are 11 simple and effective strategies/principles for empowered and meaningful Interactions with others:
1. It all begins with Rapport! In order to be in rapport with others you have to be in rapport with yourself. Rapport means you genuinely step out of yourself and add value to others by making a seamless shift to them. “You get to speak to people’s unconscious mind when you’re in deep rapport.” ~Kim Redman~
2. Set the tone for the communication by blessing the person(s) with a sincere prayer in your heart, and meditate on the outcome you desire even before you engage with others. “Intention governs everything! Set the right intentions. It must be good and ecological for all. That is, WIN-WIN-WIN outcomes for you, the other party and the Universe.” ~Kim Redman~
3. Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen to the other person with ALL your senses-your ears, eyes, gut, body-language and most of all with your heart…and hear what isn’t being said. Listen actively. Active Listening is using sensory acuity to notice shifts in the other person and subsequently using the right language to respond accordingly. Heart-centered listening means you are communicating at such a deep level that transcends mere words and gestures! “One learns about people through the heart, not through words, eyes or the intellect.” ~Mark Twain~
4. Shift the energy by speaking from an authentic, caring and loving place. Think of how you can add value to the other person and how they can add value to you. The whole interaction should be an exchange of values for both parties. (Do not repress your feelings or pretend to be something you are not, because people can sense insincerity from a mile!) Feel all your emotions, even negative ones such as anger, fear, guilt, sadness, frustration and MASTER them. “Feelings are like a see-saw, they come and go, up and then down. Your feelings should not be your driver, they do not express you, rather you must take control and direct how you express your feelings in a healthy way. In the end, YOU are responsible for feeling your feelings!” ~Whole Woman Network, WWN~
There are no coincidences in life. The people you encounter in life are there for a reason. You’ll get a chance to meet some people many times over, and some others you may only come across once. Always leave a lasting impression. You have the power to touch and inspire everyone you meet. “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet like they would be dead by midnight! Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” ~Og Mandino~
5. Be less focused on being RIGHT and channel your energy on DOING right. Give up that unattractive and unproductive attachment to being right. It is simply your selfish, egoistic self crying out for attention and self-worship! Let it go and treat people with courtesy, always! In the words of Bestselling Author and Speaker, James McNeil; ‘Treat everyone you meet with respect because everyone has something of inestimable value to add to the world.” Understand that we all want the same things: a deep need to be valued, appreciated and loved. “The basic building block of good communication is the feeling that every human being is unique and of value. ~Unknown~
6. Understand what dominant representational systems they are operating in, such as Visual, Kinesthetic, Auditory, Audio-Digital etc. Then, respectfully, enter their version of the world and then gently bring them out to a good meeting point (Examples; Avoid interrupting auditory people, use/mirror body language with people who are more kinesthetic and use words to paint a vivid picture with visual people).
7. Be comfortable with silence…allow the pauses in conversations to breathe, connect without words and give room for the other party to collect and articulate their thoughts. It is okay to be quiet if you have nothing to say. It is better to be a great listener than to pretend to ‘fake it’ and speak about things that you are clearly not versed in. “If you have nothing to say, say nothing. It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” ~Mark Twain~
8. Perception is projection. This framework of thinking popularized by Carl Jung simply posits that everybody standing before you is a projection of your unconscious mind. So in communicating, it is critical to be gentle with others and be gentle with yourself. Avoid being judgmental. It blocks the information and connection pathways between people. “When you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ~Mother Teresa~
9. Create healthy boundaries in all your interactions. Be clear on what your value system is and understand your guiding principles. Once you have clarity on who you are, it is easier to communicate with others and share your essence with them. ”In the last analysis, what and who we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.” ~Stephen Covey~
10. Consciously enter a co-creative space and value plane with each interaction you engage in. Your mission is to speak from an empowered place and add value. Communicate from a state of awareness and do it with passion, power and purpose. You have the ability to lead the dance and direct the movie. And you must be present to do it well. If you are communicating to sell products or services, be aware that there is a shift towards an empathy-driven and value-based economy.
Now more than ever, all other parameters being equal (service quality, benefits and product performance etc.), people tend to buy from and/or do business with those they know, like and trust. “In today’s world, it is more difficult to fake integrity. All the skills in the world are for naught if you do not communicate and operate from an authentic core.” ~Bob Burg~
11. Post-conversations/interactions, release people with love in your heart. Every opportunity you get to network and interact with others is an opportunity to improve your communication skills. Simply reflect on all your interactions, take the learning, celebrate what you did great, identify what needs improving and resolve to do better next time!
Join the conversation on our Facebook page and share your what’s working well for you so far! Let’s connect better by communicating better!
The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Wealth Management Consultant & Life-Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. Her mission is simply to engage women, regardless of their levels of income or background, to return to ‘wholeness’ and live Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier Lives using Faith-Based, Scientific and Common-Sense principles! Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc, @julietumeinc
- Do You really listen (ralanenterprisesllc.me)
- Communication to Keep Your Relationship Strong (drlauraberman.com)
- Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master (lifehack.org)
- What is e-rapport and how can it help you win more new clients? (mikeames.wordpress.com)
“Everyday ask yourself a simple question: ‘How do I become the story I want told?’ Then choose to take actions that align with this vision of your life. By HIS death, you earned a gift; you became a co-heir with the son and a co-creator with the father. Don’t crouch, defeated, in the darkness, ARISE and step into your light!” ~Whole Woman Network~
Two thousand years after, we still marvel at the story of a certain carpenter’s son. Part of that story is the remarkable events of the greatest Friday that ever was. It was the day that DEATH finally died!
It is our way of heaving a sigh of relief from the exhaustion of our long commutes, waking up at unholy hours and grueling days of earning a ‘living’ with tears, sweat and blood!
We look forward to Friday as a beacon of light, a door into a 3-day safe house zone when we revitalize, re-energize and re-deploy new strategies on how to use our energy, hearts and heads for another week of meetings, presentations, productivity and performance measurements!
We often get so caught up in the rat race of survival and sometimes forget to focus on the eternal race of our existence. The race that determines how your life is retold and remembered. We forget that no matter how we love a our great jobs/careers, they can never love us back. We sometimes lose focus of our purpose here: to shine our light on everyone we meet, to connect meaningfully with loved ones, family members and friends and to serve ourselves and others with everything we’ve got-our skills, talents and passions!
This week, the TGIF proclamations are like no other. Today is Good Friday, and in fact, it is the greatest of Fridays! Regardless of faith and creed, it is a day for true celebration of faith, hope grace and the promise of salvation. Most of all it is a celebration of unconditional love and the sacrifice of an ordinary life for an eternal life. It is a re-awakening of our senses to revisit the sacrifice of God’s begotten son. It is a season of reflection on how we can CHOOSE to design and create an authentic life and not merely how we can earn/make a living!
Today, as we celebrate Good Friday, let’s reflect on the ultimate sacrifice of love and life gifted to us by God’s begotten son, Jesus Christ. Are you still living your life as if all hope was lost? Do you think there are no solutions to your challenges and problems? Are you eating crumbs off the table of life, blind to and oblivious of the special banquet and beautiful feast already laid out specially for you?
This is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by your loved ones to get you where you are today. Are you making life only about YOU? Are you living your life selfishly, without paying it forward? Who are you sacrificing for? Who are you shinning a light for?
In every sphere of your life (Family, Relationship, Health, Career/Finance, Spirituality, Social Responsibility etc), everything that is dead or broken is made alive and whole by the salvation of the CROSS! Everything you need is already within you! It was given to you as a gift over 2000 years ago. You have to dig deep to activate the switch of manifestation. You are created in HIS image and likeness. Therefore, be certain that your life comes with a promise: Whatever you seek, you’ll find. HIS grace is SUFFICIENT for you, always!
However, you must first take the time to know yourself, to know whose you are and whom you are. Have clarity on what you actually seek. Have a reflective Good Friday, bask in the awareness that you are loved unconditionally and completely. it is indeed the greatest of Fridays! Celebrate the beauty of this Agape Love, reflect on the passion of the cross and enjoy the freedom and salvation granted by God, our creator.
P.S: During this season of lent and Easter, we welcomed a new Pope, aptly named after Saint Francis of Assisi. The new Pope Francis is inspiring the world by showing us the hidden beauty and grace of a life of simplicity, charity and humility. Thus, I’d love to end this reflective piece by asking you to enjoy and imbibe the Prayer of Saint Francis below:
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.”
Live beautifully, live passionately, live freely.
Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.
You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!
The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Wealth Management Consultant & Life-Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. Her mission is simply to engage women, regardless of their levels of income, to return to ‘wholeness’ and live Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier Lives using Faith-Based, Scientific and Common-Sense principles! Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc, @julietumeinc
“Let us go forward with courage, conviction and commitment, with the message that women’s issues are global issues that deserve urgent priority. There can be no peace, no progress as long as women live under the fear of violence”. ~Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women.
The future for women looks brighter than ever as we celebrate another international women’s day. Over 160 countries around the world have enacted laws that address the issue of violence against women. In the past decade alone, more than ever before in our modern history, more women have risen to positions of authority in different countries around the world. This has helped to break down some of the traditions and stereotypes that often support violence against women.
It has also placed women in a unique position to both enact and influence policy that will hopefully address and eliminate violence against women. It is clear that much has been achieved since the UN declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in 1993. Although, we should be proud of how far we have come, we must also be aware that a lot still needs to be done. Different women’s organizations and agencies along with governments and businesses will be engaged in a variety of events and activities to mark 2013’s International Women’s Day.
In Canada, the White Ribbon campaign is focusing on engaging Men and boys in the elimination of violence against women. The UN programme for gender equality in collaboration with UN Women is releasing a one-off single called One Woman. Even Wall Street (along with the Dow Jones), is joining in on the celebrations by recognizing female Executives of the past decade.
All over the world women will be coming together to acknowledge the successes and some of the challenges facing societies moving forward. What will you do in solidarity with other women on this important International Women’s Day? You do not have to be a Malala Yousafzai, battling aggressive ignorance in a hostile environment. Recognize that in your day-to-day lives as mothers, lovers, wives, sisters, daughters, friends, bosses etc., you too are on the front lines and can contribute to the story of women.
Do something to acknowledge yourself, where you have come from and what you have achieved. It is the efforts of individual women and men that make up the foundation of our collective success, so own your part of the story. If you are a mother, you can work with your young children to build a ‘Society Tree’ with the roots made up of the traits that you believe underlay a violence-free and equitable society for women; for older children it can be getting them engaged in a discussion about the issues of a safe, violent-free world for all women.
If you are a wife, lover or friend, take your significant other through a journey of some of your challenges, triumphs and successes. Show them the beautiful, confident and loving person you are. Even if you start this as a one day activity each year, for that one day in the year, you would have created a sphere of positive energy for yourself and those around you. Try to expand this for more than one day in small ways, believe me, it becomes a deep-seated habit where you and those around you develop an awareness that makes violence harder to spread.
Remember, the most important person in your life is YOU! As the bible states and other major religions also espouse, treat your body as a sacred temple; this requires self-love and self-respect. Love and value yourself; learn to recognize signs of potential violence; remove yourself from a potentially violent situation or environment and do not be afraid to ask for help. This is a challenge we can only win individually and collectively, together! Happy International Women’s Day!
The preceding is a guest post from Diana Barikor, M.Ed- Program Manager at Whole Woman Network. Diana is an Educator and Community Developer with over 15 years experience. She’s passionate about facilitating conversations on growth and empowerment for women both personally and professionally. Her mission is simply to engage life with a deep sense of curiosity and an understanding that development is dynamic and always evolving. Follow Whole Woman Network on Twitter @wholewomaninc.
- International Women’s Day 2013: ‘stop violence against us’ (theweek.co.uk)
- International women’s day: voices from around the world – interactive – The Guardian (guardian.co.uk)
- Happy International Women’s Day To All Women (renardmoreau.wordpress.com)
- Why Do We Need an International Women’s Day? (mombloggersforsocialgood.com)
- 2013 International Women’s Day (willowweddings.com)
Why is financial literacy a necessary skill for couples in today’s evolving world? According to a survey done by the Huffington Post in 2012, the #1 cause of divorce was NOT infidelity but Financial Stress (and this is a worldwide trend!) Surprised? Well, don’t be. Financial compatibility is very important to the overall health of a relationship because it is a powerful indicator of how other areas will manifest. Is money used as a tool to control and manipulate OR as a tool to empower and create a more loving relationship?
A couple’s mindset on money matters often influences their individual and collective approach to life in general, their faith and how they worship God, their parenting styles, how they show emotions, their spending/saving habits, how they accumulate and view debt, how they solve problems, their relationship with in-laws and other extended family members, their ability to plan, be responsible and the actions (or inactions) they take.
Is financial literacy important for couples? You bet it is! The present economic climate has changed the dynamics of most relationships, there’s a lot of unpredictability in the business and work environments. Coupled with the fact that women are increasing becoming more educated, thus taking advantage of more career opportunities, the dynamics in most homes have changed.
Furthermore, the era of clearly defined responsibilities for each party in a relationship are fast coming to an end. Most men are no longer the primary breadwinner. Not because of choice or abilities but because of opportunities available and the rising cost of living! Yes, it is indeed time to make ‘money-talk’ part of your ‘pillow-talk’. There’s a pseudo reversal of roles and in some cases, a total blurring of lines regarding the roles for each person in a relationship.
We all know what happens when members of a team have no clear ideas of what constitute their roles/responsibilities: CHAOS, RESENTMENT, STRESS, BREAKDOWN OF COMMUNICATION etc. Besides, we now live in a ‘purpose-focused and empathy-driven economy’ in which more and more people are turning their passions into businesses and taking the non-traditional routes to financial independence and freedom. This often takes a toll on the financial stability of a family. Financial stress is real and must be addressed in time before it degenerates into something more serious!
Here are some general money tips for married couples:
1. Couples must seek to understand and appreciate that they each come from different backgrounds, with different ingrained perspectives of money and wealth management. However, they must willingly and consciously create a common-ground and evolve a united vision that accommodates their respective values, backgrounds, personalities and goals. Each party needs wisdom, a spirit of discernment and a deep sense humility in order to navigate the resulting mesh of cultures and perspectives;
2. As a matter of priority, women must begin to take a more proactive role in the overall financial well-being of their families. This is a role that has been traditionally reserved for only men. Now, more than ever, men seek partners in progress and not merely dependent spouses. And vice versa. Both parties must respect the fact that each person brings value to the relationship. You have something to offer, even if you are a stay-at-home mom/housewife, your ideas and insights are worth more than gold! A team of two offers better perspective than a single individual. Working together also reduces physical, mental and emotional stress and conversely, increases the couple’s ability to bond with and respect each other.
3. Couples must focus on what they want to achieve with money rather than money in itself. Establish the short and long-term goals of the family and also your individual goals. Be specific in mapping out your plans on the type of life you want to live: the home(s) to purchase, cars, children’s education, budget for caring for your loved ones (parents, siblings, family members), mechanism for giving back to society/charities, tithing, set aside funds for fun, entertainment, travel and leisure, professional and personal development/education, retirement and legacy plans (wills, estate planning, trusts) etc.
4. Set boundaries and have clarity on what are acceptable ‘money behaviours’ and what constitute unacceptable ‘deal breakers’. Hold each other accountable and establish consequences;
5. Always act in the overall interest of your family and know when to compromise and make necessary sacrifices;
6. Family budgets: Have a personal budget and also have a family budget. Most importantly, ensure that they both align (note: your personal money goals must not be at variance with the overall family goals, if they are, seek ways to integrate them). Do not become slaves to money by working your whole lives without creating time to spend together; working for hours to pay for a mortgage without actually spending time to create wonderful memories in the home, buying gifts without giving your hearts and placing unreasonable monetary demands on each other, just to keep up with appearances! Make sure that you have a healthy balance between enjoying what money can buy for you and the glorious God-given gifts of love, laughter and life;
7. Have plans and time-lines for moving through the 3 silos of wealth: i. Financial Stability ii. Financial Independence and iii. Financial Freedom. Communicate and be clear on what each phase means to you. Hire a Financial Advisor and/or Money Coach to guide you. You do not know it all! And a third party often offers a unique and insightful perspective;
8. As soon as you get married and/or have children, it is no longer about YOU! You are now part of a team and that team is only as strong as its weakest member. There should be no room for selfishness or anything ‘self’. You must work as a team or risk total failure and misery. This is time to think about various risk management strategies: wills, estate-planning, insurance, long-term care(especially if you have kids with special needs, have a high-risk career or have a family pre-disposition to certain diseases). And hire a financial advisor, money coach or wealth consultant when necessary;
9. Your plans are not permanently carved in stone. Revisit, revise and refine them. Life happens, just don’t let it ‘happen’ to you. Be the one in the driver’s seat. Financial freedom for couples is less about ‘money’ and more about learning to communicate, to take control and have mastery of both the financial and non-financial areas of your life. It is about building good habits and becoming a ‘guru’ at matching your supply to your demand (with lots of room to indulge and have fun!)
10. As you adapt to the ever-changing economic and environmental realities, make sure that all your actions are hinged on basic universal/faith-based principles of love, respect, reciprocity and accountability. Build your financial foundation God, on the divine and universal principles. Make your plans from a place of deep faith, contentment, wisdom, abundance and authenticity! Avoid a head-space and mentality of selfishness, consumerism, ego and lack/mind-poverty. Remember, if the biggest problems in your relationships are money problems, you really do NOT have any serious problems! Celebrate your health, your family, your friends and your passions. Money is merely one of many fruits in life. It is a tool and NOT an end in itself! Focus on the seeds, on the roots and you will enjoy a joyous, purposeful life. Look around and within you, count your blessings and enjoy your relationships.
In conclusion, couples must rise to the occasion and be consciously involved in charting and implementing a joint financial plan, together. They should develop a financial blueprint, be on the same page in order to build sustainable wealth, live a fulfilling life and leave an enduring legacy behind. If you plan well together, you’ll plug your ‘leaks’ and discover that you ALREADY have more than enough.
Interested in learning more tips about navigating financial stress? Send us an email (email@example.com) and sign up for WWN’s Financial Literacy Program for couples. We use Faith-based Principles of wealth, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Adlerian principles and plain old ‘common-sense’ to change your money blue-print/DNA and redefine your ‘wealth’ mindset.
Money is not just tangible, it is also an energy. Discover how to live a happy, purposeful life of abundance and not one of ‘lack’ (no matter how much you earn). Learn how to view ‘money’ as a conceptual tool and gain mastery over it!
“A family that Prays together, Plays together, Saves and Invests together, most likely stays together and happily so! Time to make ‘money-talk’ part of your ‘pillow talk’, resolve your money matters today before they become serious life matters tomorrow! ” ~Whole Woman Network~
Live beautifully, live passionately, live freely.
Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.
You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!
The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Wealth Management Consultant & Life-Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. Her mission is simply to engage women to return to ‘wholeness’ and live Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier Lives using Faith-Based, Scientific and Common-Sense principles! Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc, @julietumeinc
- How to Help Your Kids Be Financially Literate (ally.com)
- Jacob Gold: Let’s Talk Money (huffingtonpost.com)
- Money is the new pillow talk (uswitch.com)
- Couples’ Money Secrets: Financial Counselors Reveal Tales of Lies and Debt (dailyfinance.com)
Posted January 21, 2013on:
The article below was written by Pastor Bimbo Odukoya (RIP). Ladies, read it thoroughly, share with your network of friends and family. Most importantly, don’t forget to Practice! Practice! Practice! with your husband. Do not be deceived by the misrepresentations in the media and pop culture, SEX is still a sacred act for couples; It is fun way to connect, a beautiful way to communicate, a healthy way to relax, a profound way to worship your creator and celebrate each other. Through sex, you share your innermost essence, your bodies, souls and spirits! Monogamy and fidelity are still the best; To any young person reading this: Your virginity is not old-fashioned, it is still very ‘cool’, don’t ‘give it up’ just to ‘belong’! Of course, as humans, we all make mistakes but we should dust it off, seek grace and start all over again! Choose to wait rather than settle for crumbs! Meaningful, loving relationships lead to stronger families ties. Empowered Families=Empowered Society=Empowered Nations and a much better world! Enjoy the article.
10 things (in no particular order) that husbands wish their wives knew about sex: FOR WIVES!!! (I mean married women only). Lol
Sex is not optional in his mind – To a husband, sex is about right up there on the list with eating and breathing. Can he survive without it? Yes, but it’s not fun at all. Sex is to the man, what talking/communication is to the woman. If you would ask several wives if it would be okay if their husband didn’t listen or communicate with them for weeks at a time – well, you get the idea. Frequent sex = happy, attentive, listening, cuddling, caring, talking husband.
Husbands use sex to reconnect – Think of it this way: Let’s use the example of a cordless phone (bear with me here). Let’s say the husband is the cordless handset, and the wife is the base. The handset may hold a charge for a while off the base, maybe even for a couple of days. But sooner or later, the handset is going to have to be recharged/reconnected to the base to keep the battery charged, the programming updated, and the phone usable. When your husband comes home from a long day at work, and the first thing on his mind is sex, it’s not that he’s some sort of sex addict, it’s just him longing to “return to his base” and reconnect with his wife in a “ I’ve had a long day, and I need assurance that no matter how hard life gets, you and I are okay” way.
He doesn’t always want to be the one asking – Most husbands are fine with being the “sexual aggressor” most of the time, but if he is ALWAYS the one that is trying to start something, he starts to feel like you just “put up with him”, and don’t really care about sex. Every husband’s fantasy is to be sitting there on the couch, watching TV or whatever, and have his wife come over out of nowhere (obviously the kids aren’t around), straddle him, and start going at it. He wants to know that his wife DESIRES him sexually, not just PUTS UP WITH HIM sexually. This is a huge boost to his self-esteem and overall confidence.
He thinks you’re GORGEOUS, and you can’t change that – It doesn’t matter how you feel about that left over baby fat, or how you cringe when you look in the mirror and see those stretch marks – your husband couldn’t care less! He thinks you’re the most beautiful woman on the face of the earth, and even when he tells you this, you dismiss it, and say stuff like “thanks hon, but I don’t think so”, or “well, you may feel that way, but nobody else does”. Please don’t do this! Your husband isn’t trying to “put you on” by telling you he thinks your body is amazing – he truly thinks it is! You have to learn to accept the compliment as him being honest, and say thank you, instead of trying to play it off. And that leads me to my next point…
Sometimes he just wants to look at you NAKED – I can already see you rolling your eyes, but hear me out. If your husband is working hard to avert his eyes from every other sexual source besides his wife, not viewing any porn, not checking out the girl on the billboard, etc – he has a God-given need/desire/appetite to admire his wife’s naked body. I know this may seem strange to you, but it’s true. So, when you’re getting dressed in the morning, or ready for bed at night, don’t try to position yourself so he can’t see those parts of you. It’s okay! He’s not going to attack you and want to have sex (as long as you have a regular sex life), he just wants to appreciate your beauty for a little bit! Remember, you are his only sexual source!
Wouldn’t you rather have him looking at you, than some billboard model? I’ve heard a lot of wives say that they are scared if they allow their husbands to see them nude, they will want to have sex right that minute. If it’s been a week since you’ve made love, this may be true, but if you have sex regularly, sometimes it’s nice for him to just be able to admire what he thinks is the most amazing body he has ever seen. So linger a little while when you bend over to pick up your socks off the floor, or let your robe “accidentally” fall open a little when he walks by. Not only will he love it, but you just might find yourself thinking about sex a little more during the day, leading to a greater chance of you desiring intimacy later that night.
He loves it when you surprise him – By this I mean do something totally out of the ordinary, just for his benefit, and to see the look on his face. I’ve heard several wives say that they love to see the look on their husband’s face when they surprise him like that. You’ll have your husband wondering what’s gotten into you!
If you have to say “no” to sex, watch how you say it – I know it seems silly, but you have no idea how hard it is sometimes, for a man to get up the nerve to ask his wife if she wants to have sex. Usually he will try to “test the waters” first, by hinting at it, or maybe a little grab here and there, to see how you’ll respond. All this time there is a little argument going on in his head sounding something like this – “Just ask her! No, last time I asked her flat-out, she rolled her eyes and said something about that’s all I think about. Yeah, but this time it might work. Come on, I really want to make love. Can’t she see that? Maybe I’ll ask her later after dinner. Yeah, I’ll help with the kids and the dishes, and then ask later. (fast forward to 7 p.m) Okay, see, I got the dishes done, maybe I should hint at it now. Nah, I’ll wait until the kids go to bed. As soon as the kids go to bed, she’ll be able to think about me. She has to know it’s been a couple of days, I’m sure she’ll be okay with it. Right? (The kids go to bed). Okay, I think I’ll ask now! Wait, she looks like she’s got something going there on the computer, I’ll give her some time to get that done. I’ll just ask her when we go to bed, it will be more of a sure bet then anyway. (10 p.m rolls around, and they’re crawling into bed) Okay, I’m going to ask! “hey hon, do you want to make love?”
This is how it goes in a guy’s head when he’s thinking about asking for sex. Why? Because guys have this strange tendency to make sexual rejection (even with a good reason), a personal rejection. Since the need for regular sex with his wife is so much a part of who he is, any rejection of that need, feels like a rejection of HIM to your husband. I know this is hard to understand, and wives don’t mean it that way, but this goes for almost every husband I have ever talked to. Now obviously there are times when you are going to have to say “not tonight hon”, but the key is HOW YOU SAY IT. Don’t do it in a nonchalant or dismissing way. Remember, he has been working up the nerve to ask you for the past several hours most times. When you deny him, say something like this – “Hon, I love to have sex with you, but I just can’t do it tonight because (fill in the blank)” Then if he’s really pent-up, you could offer to help him out in another way besides intercourse, or give him a realistic date to “get a rain check”, like tomorrow morning, or the next evening.
That way he feels like you understand he has a legitimate need, he feels like you care, and he feels like you want to help him as soon as possible. You’re still saying “not tonight”, but he doesn’t feel like you don’t care, you’re just blowing him off, or that you think sex is not important. One other thing – sometimes if your husband has been thinking about you all day, and then for whatever reason, you have to turn him down that night, he may feel like he “can’t wait” until tomorrow (no fault of yours , sometimes it’s just hard to turn it off, after it’s on). If you roll over and offer him your help to get a quick release before you go to sleep, he will sleep much better, and you’ll be a hero in your husband’s eyes. You just showed him that you care, even if you can’t offer him sex right now. I can’t understate how much this will mean to him.
He LOVES to see you turned on – There is nothing quite as sexy to a husband, as seeing his wife thoroughly turned on, and enjoying sex. In the same way, there’s nothing quite as discouraging to a husband, as you laying there with an almost bored look on your face, and with the attitude of “would you just get it over with please, so I can go to sleep”. To your husband, his ability to arouse, stimulate, tease, drive you crazy with desire, and help you climax, is a huge part of what he feels his “worth” is as a husband. If he feels like he is failing in bed, he is going to be discouraged in other areas of life too. In contrast, if he feels his wife thinks he’s amazing in the bedroom, he is going to be much more confident and have a “I can conquer the world” attitude. You can help this by showing and telling him (not in a faking it way) how much he turns you on, or makes you feel good, as you’re making love. Obviously he’s not going to do everything right, but make sure you let him know when he DOES hit the right spot, or do something you find particularly hot.
Now I’ve heard wives ask the question “but what about those times that I’m not really into it, but am doing it because I love my husband, and know he needs it tonight?” Husbands understand you’re not going to have the same drive for sex that he has every time. He gets that. All he’s hoping for when this is the case, and you’re just giving him a “quickie” for release, is to not make him feel like he’s annoying for wanting it, or that he is interrupting your day and you have so many other things you could be doing. He needs to feel accepted by you, even when you’re not particularly into it this time. Smile and give him that “come here baby, I know you need it and I’m here for you” attitude. Whispering a little encouragement in his ear in the process is a huge bonus too.
He wants sex to be adventurous sometimes - I’ve gotten the question from husbands “how do I get my wife to be a little more adventurous with sex? (different locations, positions, etc)” Here’s the deal – there are 3 basic “kinds” of sex for a guy. There’s what we like to call the “normal” or “go to” sex (mostly in the bedroom, consisting of what we know always works, and satisfies both parties), there’s “Quickie sex” (a quick but passionate encounter that provides release when a longer session isn’t realistic at the time), and there’s “out of the ordinary” or “adventurous” sex (sex in a not normal location (outside, back of the mini van, etc), or learning a different technique or position that may be out of the “normal sexual menu” for the couple). This is usually a tough one for wives to understand, because I think for the most part I think a woman approaches sex with a “I like to stick to what works, and what is comfortable” , where a guy’s attitude may be more “I like normal most of the time, but sometimes I want to make it exciting and try new places”. While I’m not suggesting you go make love in the city park and get arrested, what I am saying is to try to understand where your husband is coming from. He sometimes sees sex as an adventure that you both are going on together.
He wants you to be excited/thrilled to be on this adventure with him. For example, say you are taking a hike through the woods together somewhere, and when you stop for a break, he makes a move toward turning it sexual. Try and resist the urge to slap his hand away and say “honey! not here!” Even if you’re not comfortable with right here, right now, see if you can find another location down the trail where you would be. Remember, adventure! Even if it’s not exactly what you would have fantasized, you will have just made your husband’s day, and maybe even year. He’ll be talking to you about “that day we went hiking” for years to come!
Be a student of your husband. Learn and observe what your husband likes in the bedroom (or out…lol). What color of panties/bra does he like best on you? What parts of your body drives him most wild? What turns him on the most? What turns him off? Does he like it when you express yourself loudly when you have sex? What is his favorite position/location? A wife who is willing to learn the ins and outs of what her husband likes most when it comes to sex, will have one of the happiest husbands on earth.
(I know I said 10, but I guess I can’t count!) He loves it when you sexually flirt with him – Whether it’s the “for his eyes only” text you send him during the workday, suggesting what you’re going to do later, or the surprise little “grab” you give him when he’s helping you dry the dishes after dinner, flirting with your husband this way let’s him know you desire him, and are thinking about the next time you are going to be together. Little things like wearing cute panties, or a skirt (there’s something about a skirt that drives most husbands wild) with some sexy underwear underneath, go a long way in letting your husband know that you love being his only source of sexual attention, and get a kick out of keeping him guessing with what you’re going to come up with next. I know it’s easy to go into “mommy mode” and just wear what’s comfortable/practical, but when you remember, it drives your husband wild if you give him a little “eye candy” when possible.
Most of all, your husband is longing to be accepted by you in this area. He wants to know that even though you may not understand his seemingly constant desire for you, you accept it as part of who he is, and are not only willing, but love helping him in the way that only his amazing, beautiful wife can.
If you as a wife can make it a priority to do some of this stuff on even a semi-regular basis, your husband will be willing to conquer the world for you, and will be more than willing to be there for you emotionally, be strangely communicative, and you will feel closer to him than you would ever believe.
- 50 is…coming to terms with monogamy (thisisfifty.me)
- Help! I’m the Pastor’s Wife! (sharpenher.wordpress.com)
- “My Husband Wants to Go WHERE!?!?!?!” (peacefulwife.com)
- Are Wives Who Are Supported by Their Husbands “Prostitutes”? (psychologytoday.com)
- Sexual Satisfaction Survey:The Results Are In! (passionatechristianmarriage.wordpress.com)
(Source: This article was written by Mae Chan and was originally published on the website myscienceacademy.org on Dec 25th, 2012).
The tendency to eat one or two large meals per day of all the wrong foods is what eventually leads us to tip the scales. You need to consume more meals, and of the right foods to weigh less. If you make one weight loss resolution in 2013 (in addition to exercise), make it to include and frequently consume the following 25 foods above all else.
* Signifies sources should be organic to minimize pesticide load and maximize nutrient content.
Walnuts serve as a delicious-tasting weight loss food. To fully enjoy the benefits of walnuts for weight loss, it is important to remember that these nuts are a high-calorie food that should be eaten in moderation. Make sure to add only 1.5 ounces (about 20 walnut halves) for maximum benefit to your daily menu. Eat them on their own or add them to your salads. This is probably the best way to include them. Don’t make your own salads? Just take them out of your bag and sprinkle them over the salad at work or restaurant. You’ll feel fuller for longer and the salad will have a far more interesting texture.
When losing weight, it’s important to favor chlorophyll-rich foods, including asparagus. Asparagus is a nutrient-rich vegetable packed with folate, vitamins A, C, and K, and fiber. Asparagus also contains a carbohydrate known as inulin (not to be confused with insulin) that promotes healthy bacteria in the large intestine – which in turn promotes a healthier digestive function which ultimately results in better assimilation of nutrients and weight loss.
3. Almonds *
Loaded with important nutrients like mono-saturated fats, vitamin E, folic acid, protein and dietary fibre, almonds are your answer for dipping energy levels and quick healthy snacks. These filling, snack-able bites can help keep your blood sugar steady.
A study from the University of Toronto found that people who ate almonds with white bread didn’t experience the same blood sugar surges as those who ate just the slice. And the higher blood sugar levels rise, the lower they fall; that dip leads to hunger, causing people to overeat. Plus, blood sugar changes cause the body to make insulin, which can increase abdominal fat.
Regarded as a sacred food by the Incas, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals. A complete protein, it has all the essential amino acids needed to build metabolism-revving muscle. Swapping refined grains for whole proteins such as quinoa is not only more nutritious, it can help you lose belly fat. How? Quinoa contain fiber, which makes you feel fuller on less food. One study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, found that reduced-calorie dieters eating about 115 g of protein daily lost 22 percent more fat after four months than those who ate 70 g per day. Quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc, and lower in sodium compared with wheat, barley and corn. It the most nutritious gluten-free grain known.
5. Apples *
Apple is one of the best weight loss foods. Apples are a sweet and crunchy snack full of all sorts of nutritional goodness, and they taste good on their own and in salads, desserts, and savory dishes, too.
A study from Penn State University at University Park revealed that people who ate an apple before a pasta meal ate fewer calories overall than those who had a different snack.
Research shows that just two apples a day could help protect women against heart disease lowering blood fat levels by almost 25 percent, a claim unattainable by cardiovascular prescription medications.
6. Black beans
Beans have always been the undervalued protein that could work best when used as a substitute for meat. They stay in your digestive system longer and add to the feeling of fullness and a satisfied feeling, aiding weight management. They contain soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, and a type of fat-burning carb called resistant starch. Black beans are really one of the greatest weight loss foods.
According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, bean eaters weigh less and have slimmer middles.
7. Coconut Oil
One of the healthiest cooking oils in the world, coconut oil enjoys one of the highest stabilities of all oils when heated. 50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Lauric acid is a powerful virus and gram-negative bacteria destroyer, and coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on earth! Coconut oil is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids produce a whole host of health benefits. It’s nature’s richest source of these healthy MCFAs.
Researchers at McGill University, in Quebec, Canada are now advocating the use of a MCT treat and prevent obesity. The reason most people are overweight is because they simply don’t eat enough good fats.
The simplest way to prepare cauliflower is to boil it and add pepper and salt. But this flowery vegetable is an enemy for toxic compounds in your body. The cauliflower is rich is indoles, glucosinolates and thiocyanates that bumps off all the toxic waste in your body.
Cauliflower is low in calories while still offering filling fiber. This veggie is also super versatile and can make a great replacement for heavier foods. It is a member of the Cruciferous family of vegetables; other members of this phytonutrient-rich family include broccoli, Bok choy, cabbage, and kale. Eating cauliflower and other Cruciferous vegetables at least three times a week may significantly reduce your risk of developing all types of cancer. Eating cauliflower may also give your immune system and healing mechanisms a natural boost, as cauliflower is naturally rich in real Vitamin C.
9. Cinnamon *
Everything is nice about this spice. Just 1/2 teaspoon each day can help control your blood sugar and prevent the post-meal insulin spike that can trigger your body to store fat rather than burn it. You can also use cinnamon to bring out the natural sweetness in foods, rather than adding calories from sugar. All spices help you trim down when used to add flavor to foods instead of oil, butter and calorie-laden condiments.
Valued in ancient times as currency and once considered more precious than gold, cinnamon — one of the world’s oldest known spices — has one of the highest antioxidant values of all foods and its use in medicine treats everything from nausea to menstruation and energy to diabetes.
10. Coffee *
Raise your mug to higher metabolism! The caffeine in coffee can raise your resting metabolic rate by about 15 percent, and the effect can last up to four hours, that adds up to 30 to 50 calories burned per day. Plus, people who sip 3 to 4 cups of regular or decaf coffee per day are 30 percent less prone to type 2 diabetes. Chlorogenic acid, found in coffee, may help prevent insulin resistance, which can lead to obesity and diabetes.
11. Eggs *
Eggs are a good source of vitamins, proteins and minerals. As said by nutrition experts, eggs are not only a great source of nutrition, but also very useful to help lose weight. When combining eggs with other dishes you will limit the consumption of complex carbohydrates in the body. Your hunger and food cravings will occur less frequent. Egg itself is sufficient in helping in weight loss.
The breakfast staple is loaded with choline, a compound known to help block fat absorption. Eating protein-rich eggs for breakfast reduces hunger and decreases calorie consumption at lunch and throughout the day. After eight weeks, dieters who ate two eggs, toast and jelly for breakfast five days a week lost 65 percent more weight than those who had a same-calorie bagel breakfast without eggs, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity.
Like other types of vegetables, cooked raddish contains approximately 3 grams of fiber per half cup to help you stay full and satisfied. Raddish are considered as starchy vegetables, so it is recommended to be eaten in place of rice, bread or other starchy foods.
Garlic help prevent various cancers, fight cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and respiratory problems. Garlic also helps fight various infections.
Overweight people who sprinkled their food with the zero-calorie spice lost an average of 30 pounds in six months, compared to only a 2-pound loss in the control group. Strong flavors like garlic may make food more enjoyable so you feel fuller faster.
Many people are shocked when they first learn that avocados are one of the best foods for weight loss. Avocado is high in monounsaturated fat. Research indicates diets high in monounsaturated fat are more beneficial for weight control because monounsaturated fat exerts beneficial effects on how blood lipid profiles, insulin function and directly affects how the body utilizes blood glucose.
Avocado contains a unique weight loss friendly carbohydrate called mannoheptulose. Mannoheptulose is a rare form of sugar which has been found to lower insulin secretion. Avocados help to reverse the problems that we see with insulin resistance, by virtue of the presence of mannoheptulose and its high content of good fats. Could Guacamole Be The Ultimate Cancer Fighting Food?
These legumes are rich in resistant starch (RS), a carbohydrate that may encourage fat burning and shrink fat cells. One cup serving of cooked split peas or lentils provides up to twice as much fibre as other fibre-rich foods. When study participants enjoyed a meal with 5 g of RS-about what you get from 3/4 cup cooked lentils-they burned 23 percent more fat over 24 hours than when they had a meal without the starch, researchers at the University of Colorado in Denver say.
People who consume lentils at least three times a week reduce their risk of developing polyps — small growths in the lining of the bowel which can become cancerous — by a third, researchers say.
16. Olive oil (advisory)
Like avocados, olive oil has healthy fat that increases satiety, taming your appetite. But that’s hardly its only slimming feature. Research shows it has anti-inflammatory properties, and chronic inflammation in the body is linked to metabolic syndrome. Drizzle your salad with olive oil and you’ll increase the antioxidant power of your veggies, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition notes. Healthful monounsaturated fats found in olive oil could potentially switch on genes related to fat burning and storage. The only deficiency with olive oil is its lack of polyunsaturated fats, which contains Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). While ounce for ounce, all oils have the same calories, olive oil has a fuller flavor so less is needed for tantalizing taste.
17. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato yams are packed with antioxidants (like carotenoids), vitamins and minerals. They are quite low on the glycemic scale, meaning you’ll digest them slower and stay full longer. Moreover, nutritionally dense yams in your diet can trigger the satiety center in the brain quickly, make you feel full faster. If you want to lose some pounds, sweet potato yams may be one food to include in your diet next year.
These spuds have RS, the same carbohydrates found in lentils that may turn up the body’s fat-scorching furnace. RS may also increase production of peptide hormone compounds that signal the brain to stop eating. After a breakfast and a lunch containing RS, subjects ate about 10 percent fewer calories over the next 24 hours compared with when they had similar meals with a placebo, research from the University of Surrey indicates.
A green algae that contains 18 amino-acids, magnesium, zinc and other nutrients; over 4,000 studies published in Japan and Taiwan show chlorella helps cut blood pressure and cholesterol numbers down to size, boosts metabolism, and clobbers abnormal cell growth. It’s like a tiny green magician with the power to make you feel and look 20 years younger and help many of your medical concerns simply vanish.
19. Pears *
Pears deliver a dose of fiber (about 5.5 grams per medium-sized fruit), which helps keep you satisfied long after you eat them. But that’s not where their fat-fighting power ends.
A Brazilian research team found that a group of women who included pears in their diet each day lost more weight than the group who included oat cookies even though the pears and the oat cookies had the same number of calories.
They look like rubies and we believe that they are as precious as them too. Pomegranates reduces arthritis, increase your immunity, and improve fertility. Long known for its antioxidant properties, the humble pomegranate is a heart patient’s best friend. Scientists believe that the super-food has the power to reduce the fat stored round the stomach — the ‘spare tyre’ in men, or ‘muffin top’ in women. While the benefits of drinking pomegranate juice have gained a lot of attention recently, you will be more likely to lose weight by eating the fruit fresh to increase your fiber intake and keep the calories down.
Using pomegranate seeds instead of nuts on salad, or eating on their own, prove to be incredible.
21. Red bell peppers *
This vegetable adds flavour whether it is baked, roasted, cooked or stuffed. Capsicums help to break down waste that is in the blood, hence a prefect veggie for those suffering with kidney disease.
These are sources of vitamin C, and adequate intake of the nutrient has been associated with having a smaller waist. Plus, vitamin C has been shown to bolster immunity and prevent cell damage.
Hemp foods are expanding onto the shelves of grocery and natural food stores across North America. By definition, these are foods containing whole hemp seeds or the oil, nut (hulled seed) and/or flour (ground seed cake) derived from the seeds. Overall, hemp’s main nutritional advantage over other seeds lies in the composition of its oil, i.e. its fatty acid profile, and in its protein which contains all of the essential amino acids in nutritionally significant amounts and in a desirable ratio. This has a significant effect on metabolism allowing the body to shed fat 10% faster than those who don’t consume hemp daily.
23. Tomatoes *
Whenever you munch, your body releases a hormone called cholecystokinin, which tightens the valve between your stomach and your intestine. As a result, CCK boosts feelings of fullness making you less apt to overeat.
Tomatoes contain oligofructose, a fiber that helps sustain the effects of CCK in your stomach. Bonus: Lycopene, a compound found in tomatoes, has been shown to protect you against sunburns and may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Millet is a beneficial and delicious staple of any whole grain diet. This non-glutinous grain is over 10-percent protein, has high amounts of fiber and B-complex vitamins, and because it isn’t an acid forming food, is easy to digest. A research team led by Charles S. Brennan at Lincoln University, New Zealand found that replacing traditional wheat and maize flours in extruded cereals with flours such as millet could lower carbohydrate digestibility, which is linked to the glycemic impact.
Millet and other whole grains are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion.
25. Blueberries *
Researchers found that blueberries can break down existing fat cells and prevent new ones from forming, making them a potentially powerful weapon in the fight against rising obesity. Essentially, blueberry polyphenols fight adipogenesis, which is the development of fat cells, and induce lipolysis, which is the breakdown of lipids/fat.
Blueberries also have a low concentration of glycemic carbohydrates that mildly and gradually change into sugar. This sugar does not occur in an amount that is high enough to raise insulin levels.
*Signifies sources should be organic to minimize pesticide load and maximize nutrient content.
About the Blogger
Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also blogger and and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health.
Read more at: Prevent Disease
- Top 25 healthy muscle building foods (hangthebankers.com)
- Eat More,loss More! (kamify.wordpress.com)
- Two “Forbidden Foods” That Can Give You Instant Energy (articles.mercola.com)
- A Super Superfood Breakfast (nourishingwords.net)
- Why Coconuts Are So Good For You (fitsofhealth.com)
- 15 Habits of Highly Effective Eaters (wendymyers.me)
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Bucket List [Definition]: A number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime. (Source: oxforddictionaries.com)
With every new year many people make resolutions, goals, bucket lists of things they hope to accomplish. A lot of these are serious, life-changing, deep and meaningful things they’ve always dreamed of achieving. However, at WWN we wanted to put a different spin on it. We are aware that as women we’re all so busy taking care of everyone around us and hardly ever have time or energy to put ourselves on any ‘to do’ list. So this blog post is about treating yourself to some fun, exciting and enjoyable adventures. Our question for you is simply: ‘What’s on your ‘fun’ list for the year?’
Here are some ideas to get creative your juices going:
1. Go on vacation to places you’d never ordinarily visit. Tour different lands with interesting histories/cultures and meet diverse people. Make sure your travels tell a story worth sharing with your grandchildren. Examples: visiting all the countries in Africa, back-packing through Europe, visiting the home countries of your top three heroes etc
2. Learn a new style of dance (preferably in a group or with a partner) and have a choreographed dance routine/recital for your friends and family at the end of your sessions.
3. Do something that scares the life out of you but also guarantees a good rush of adrenaline such as bungee-jumping, hiking up a mountain, running a marathon, camping, learning how to fly, telling off negative people in your life etc
4. Collaborate with others and start a fun and exciting campaign on any of the social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc) on a burning topic that you’re very passionate about!
5. Get together with some friends, your alumni group, colleagues or family members and have a themed-costume party, reunion or ball (remember to donate a portion of the proceeds to charity or a worthy cause, if applicable).
6. Go on a fun spiritual retreat. Journey into a new awakening of your inner self, your essence and your soul.
7. Have a full-wardrobe and make-up make-over. Do the whole works; hire a personal stylist/image consultant, clear out your old wardrobe, pamper yourself with a weekend-long spa treatment and transform your image.
8. Go for some wonderful live events at home or abroad, such as a tv show, comedy, jazz or movie festival. Or attend a music concert/show by your favourite artiste(s).
9. Learn a new skill. Think of all the wonderful stuff you’ve always wanted to do when you had enough time, enough money or enough courage such as: baking/cooking, writing, learning a new language, swimming or starting an exciting new business.
10. Take risks with all your relationships, shake them up a bit and ask for exactly what you want out of them. Take the time to create the memories you’ll cherish forever by doing fun, sensual and sacred activities together.
As you make your list make sure you actually get to do as many things on it as possible. You only live but once, give it your best shot and make it your duty to enjoy the heck out of life! Remember to send us postcards as you embark on your many, wonderful adventures!
P.S: If you haven’t done so already, watch ‘The Bucket-List’, a fantastic, funny and insightful movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.
Live beautifully, live passionately, live freely.
Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.
You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!
The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Wealth Management Consultant & Lifestyle Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. Her mission is simply to engage women to return to ‘wholeness’ and live Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier Lives! Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc
- Top 7 – Things on Your Bucket List? (myblogexactly.wordpress.com)
- The Beginning of a Bottomless Bucket (hawth.me)
- 2013 Family Bucket List & To Dos. (crazyadventuresinparenting.com)
- An Author’s Bucket List by Guest Blogger Tara Nina (wildandwickedcowboys.wordpress.com)
Posted January 3, 2013on:
An important message to all women of African Descent: Dear sisters, please! please! please! Learn to love the beautiful skin you’re in; dark, brown, light. Just own it! There’s nothing wrong in wanting to look your radiant best but use healthy and sustainable products or methods.
There is a big difference between seeking a glowing, healthy and even-toned skin and an unhealthy fixation on becoming light-skinned by using harmful skin products/chemicals. The former comes from a place of ‘wholeness’ while the often latter stems from a deep-seated sense of ’insecurity’.
“Take good care of your skin, for it houses your body, and your body is the only true home you’ll ever reside in. For as long as you are alive, it is the home that you can never run away from.”
~Whole Woman Network~
There was a recent study done at the University of Capetown that suggests 1 in 3 women in South Africa bleaches her skin. Unconfirmed reports from the Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), also suggests that 77% of Nigerian women bleach their skin! There are similar stories in Ghana, Liberia, Senegal etc. All across Africa and even Asia, the habit of skin bleaching is becoming more and more prevalent.
Look around you and the signs are everywhere. You probably know a friend, aunty, sister, neighbour, colleague who is fixated on skin-bleaching.
For women of African descent, the scourge of skin bleaching is made worse because most women (and even men!) use creams made with the potent bleaching agent: Hydroquinone.
Some important facts about Hydroquinone:
1. Hydroquinone works by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase, which is important in skin pigment (melanin) development. It is important to be aware that Melanin actually provides protection against UV radiation. It is more effective than any sunscreen known to man. It diffuses UV radiation and turns it into harmless heat.
2. Combining Hydroquinone with skin products that contain benzoyl peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, or other peroxides, (found in most acne treatment) is harmful to the skin. This causes temporary staining of the skin. Also hydroquinone should not be used with any of the new resorcinol-based skin lightening treatments such as Clinique dark spot corrector.
3. 4% and above hydroquinone concentration is generally considered by most dermatologists to be one of the most effective skin-lightening and age spot-brightening agents. Overall, it is considered to be safer for Caucasians and light-skinned asians BUT not as safe for darker-skinned people (Africans).
Are you a woman of African Descent? Here are 10 Reasons why Hydroquinone is bad for your skin:
1. It is harmful to your health! Although many European and American researchers argue that hydroquinone has NOT been directly linked to Cancer in humans only to mice. However, Hydroquinone clearly has a proven serious side-effect on humans as it causes pigmentation of the eye and permanent corneal damage (Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venearology, 2006). This only occurs when the eye is directly exposed to hydroquinone (So if you are still bent on using hydroquinone based products, avoid direct contact with the eyes).
2. It causes Ochronosis: For lighter-skinned women of colour (Indians, Chinese, Filipinos etc), dermatologists often recommend the use of hydroquinone in 3 to 4 months cycles and then alternated with less harmful lightening products. However, in darker skinned women (particularly of African descent), continued use of hydroquinone has been associated with ochronosis, which is a skin disorder characterized by progressive sooty darkening of the skin.
3. It whitens skin by killing your skin’s pigment cells. It also degenerates collagen and elastin fibres in the skin (Note: Collagen should be strengthened in order to have a youthful, smooth and glowing skin!)
4. Using Hydroquinone is counter-productive. It defeats the purpose which you want it to achieve. You want glowing, radiant, healthy and brighter skin. The long-term use only leads to these horrible signs and effects: unseemly dark knuckles and ankles, unsightly purplish vericose veins, a patch-work of colours on once beautiful skin. Have a rethink!
5. It can cause irritation and contact dermatitis and increases the risk of other types of skin irritation and/or severe itching.
6. Even if you succeed in bleaching the skin whiter with hydroquinone products, it often has an unhealthy, pasty look. Also, once you stop using it, your skin re-darkens. And since using it long-term is unhealthy, it’s basically a catch-22 situation!
7. If you live in the tropical region, the combination of hydroquinone and the sun is a bad one. Increased risk of ochronosis have been linked to excess sun exposure while using hydroquinone. As such, dermatologists often recommend to always use hydroquinone with a sunscreen. (Note: In the hot African climate, sometimes, even sunscreens do not offer enough protection for the skin!)
8. Most products with hydroquinone have an awful smell and cause intense body heat and sweating. Users often try to mask the odour by profuse use of perfumes which seems to make it even worse. There is off-the-shelf hydroquinone-based product(s) that’s so potent that users have to constantly stay in air-conditioned rooms!
9. It thins out the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis), which is dangerous especially during or post- surgical procedures, as it may take the skin a longer time to heal from cuts, wounds and/or stitches.
10. It ages your skin and as you get older the effects become even more pronounced. It is not a pretty sight to see someone whose skin has been damaged by prolonged years of hydroquinone use! Age gracefully and not with disgrace. Love your skin today so that it keeps well and not fall apart tomorrow.
As one gets older, it is not uncommon to have the skin lose its luster, glow and smoothness. It may be due to a number of factors: age-spots, pregnancy, hyper-pigmentation, post-inflammatory pigmentation, melasma, sun damage due to over exposure, stress, poor diet, lack of exercise and improper sleeping patterns. This may be corrected by using the right skin brighteners, vitamin/supplements and eating a proper diet.
Healthier alternatives to Hydroquinone
If you still desire a lighter, brighter skin tone, some healthier alternatives are products with Kojic acid, Azelaic acid, Arbutin, Vitamin C etc.
1. A healthier skin lightening agent highly recommended by award-winning scientific researcher and writer, Nicki Zevola, (Founder and CEO of FutureDerm) is Cape Fear Naturals Kojic Acid Cream Skin Brightener ($11.95, Amazon.com) with 4% kojic acid, the highest concentration available on the North American market without a prescription.
2. Lumixyl: This was recently developed by Stanford University researchers and has been found to be effective in the treatment of melasma, and general brown patches. It is said to deliver results similar to hydroquinone, but without the toxicity. One of the best product in the Lumixyl line is the Topical Brightening Creme, which contains a non-toxic and non-irritating peptide that you can use indefinitely—no need to stop after a few months like Hydroquinone. It can only be obtained from participating physicians. (Note: The product is still relatively new, it was released in 2009, so there few studies of noted side effects thus far). If you are interested in purchasing it, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Cod Liver Oil! According to the recommendations of the Weston A. Price Foundation, which can be found here, CLO is great for treating both acne and dullness of skin. After 8 weeks of use, there is a very noticeable brightness and radiance of the skin. According to Michelle of beautyeditor.ca (The WWN community follow her insightful recommendations on all things skincare), the best kind of CLO is the high-quality, fermented variety because the cheaper, highly-processed ones tend to be stripped of the very vitamins that make them beneficial (for your skin and health). Her brand of choice is Green Pasture’s (which can be ordered from the U.S.). She also recommends Carlson, the Norwegian brand of CLO. Note that the cod liver oil/high-vitamin butter oil blend, is said to be even MORE effective than the CLO alone.
4. Know your Minerals and Vitamins! Vitamin A, E and C are particularly good for radiant and brighter skin. They reduce sunspots, skin dullness, wrinkles, UV-induced erythema and sunburn and increase skin firmness and elasticity.
5. Exercise and keep fit, stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet with foods rich in Omega-3. To learn more about the right fruits for a radiant, healthy complexion, see our previous post on ‘Eating’ your way to Beautiful Skin: http://wp.me/p1o3v6-9E.
So in conclusion, remember that the skin is the largest organ of the body, so we should take good and proper care of it. We all come in different shapes, sizes and colours. Our skin tones may fall across a wide spectrum similar to Nigerian actress Genevieve Nnaji, Supermodel Iman, Ms Universe 2011, Leila Lopes or Ghanaian actress Nadia Buari…yet the one thing that’s common to all of us is that we are African Queens, beautiful, radiant and regal!
So let’s celebrate the skin we’re in, nurture it and pamper it with natural and healthy oils/creams (such as Shea and Cocoa butters), healthy diets and proper habits of sleep, relaxation and exercise, rather than damage and disrespect it with harmful products and bad habits. So this new year, enjoy and celebrate the unique woman you are and love the skin you’re in!
Live beautifully, live passionately, live freely.
Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.
You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!
The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Wealth Management Consultant & Lifestyle Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. Her mission is simply to engage women to return to ‘wholeness’ and live Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier Lives! Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc
Sources: Drugs.com, BBC Documentary on Skin Bleaching in South Africa, 2012, bbc.co.uk, (Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 1997), NAFDAC Nigeria, Futurederm.com, Beautyeditor.ca, (Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venearology, 2006).
- Fight Facial Aging with Chemical Peels, Laser Resurfacing and Dermabrasion (aboutplasticsurgery.com)
- Africa: Where black is not really beautiful (bbc.co.uk)
- How To Lose Weight and Look Young (ireport.cnn.com)
- Skin-lightening creams face west African backlash (guardian.co.uk)
To those of you already in a serious relationship or about to get married, these are nuggets I’ve learnt so far:
A Wedding and a Marriage are two different things. Know and understand the difference. Do not spend so much time preparing for the former, that you ignore to plan for the latter.
Marriage is a mystery. It is a sacred union, a holy sacrament. Do NOT defile it. Get married for the right reasons today, so you can stay happily married tomorrow. Build it on a solid rock. Even if you start off on a shaky foundation, know that all relationships can be restored by faith, if both parties are sincerely willing to change and commit for the better. It is simple BUT it is not easy. Be yourself, have clear values, have boundaries, avoid pretense and deceit, if not, you WILL most likely be miserable for life! Respect your spouse and teach them to respect you too! Whatever you’re feeling-anger, love, hurt, gratitude…allow yourself to feel it and let it go. Holding on to grudges is a slow-killing cancer and like a deadly poison, it is toxic to ALL relationships, especially marriages. Have a short memory and forgive easily. Have a sense of humour, laugh and play together. Marriage is freestyle, so choose your own style, as long as it is right before God.
There are few things sexier than a man or woman who fears and pleases the lord. Every other thing fades…looks disappear, wallet shrinks, shoe sizes diminishes, health disintegrates, but a man with the heart of King David? His love is eternal. A woman with the inner beauty of Queen Esther? Her beauty shines forever! Take time to understand the difference between men and women and they relate an d communicate. A man often wants to be a ‘hero’ and needed, a woman often wants to be ‘cherished’ and appreciated. There may be those off-day(s), you get so mad at your spouse and question: ‘who is this stranger I married? Either rant out loud, talk about it as rationally as possible (whatever suits your personality). If you decide to just shut up about it, then you MUST let it go. No one is a mind reader. Don’t go revisiting and re-enacting the pains at some undefined time in future. Time heals all wounds but you must allow time to do its work. Pray…thereafter, simply default to the 5 A’s of a relationship (Acknowledgement, Affection, Attention, Appreciation and Acceptance). Love unconditionally but understand that love requires conditioning. The best conditioning oils are also free: Kindness, Loyalty and respect!
It is nobody’s role or duty to complete you. Only God can do that. Don’t place people on pedestals. Your role is to complement each other, beautifully. Love is a two-way street. Learn to know and love yourself, so you can give love with all your heart. Overall, marriage is a wonderful union and will help you serve and bear witness to each other of God’s awesomeness but BOTH of you, together, have the power to build and nurture the home of your dreams. It takes two to tango beautifully and it also takes two to have an epic fail! It is like a seesaw, both sides must play, if not the whole point of the game is lost. Be aware that anyone who has time to poke their noses in your business, in a negative way is running away from dealing with the sh*t in their lives because happy people simply wish others well. Other people’s opinion should not be of concern to you. Become more discerning in spotting a friend from a foe. Pray together. Let your love be inclusive of other members of your families but both of you must agree on acceptable boundaries.
It won’t be rosy all through. The rough tides WILL come. Most likely, you may be hurt deeply at some point(s). People in love also have a capacity and power for cruelty. Don’t put up walls to guard your heart. Leave it open and free. This is life and sh*t happens. There are no guarantees, period. Promise each other that should either of you check out physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally from the relationship, the other person will FIGHT with every thing they have to restore the relationship. It is more important to DO right than BE right. Don’t forget the little things. Be kind and courteous to each other. Create wonderful memories together. Go on dates. Have shared hobbies. Have individual hobbies. Give each other room to breathe, grow and create. Be passionate about life! Seek new ways to always deposit into your respective ‘emotional/goodwill’ accounts. (The ‘surplus’ will serve you well in stormy seasons). Someone has to be a fool at different times but know the difference between a beautiful compromise and a resentful sacrifice. Christ already died on the cross, no one should be a martyr in a relationship. There are no victors here. Don’t allow yourself to be or play the victim. It should be enjoyed and bring joy, to both of you!
Don’t play the compare and contrast game. The grass may seem greener at the other side but you may be allergic to that sort of grass or the chemical that keeps it green will poison you to death. Focus on building your own relationship. Be content. When all else fail, learn to nail any challenge you face to the cross because no one else can restore relationships like your creator, trust me on this, it is a tested truism. Again, let me reiterate, marriage is simple BUT it is not easy.
Nothing in life should be a DO or DIE affair, and that includes marriage. Sadly, there have been too many cases of physical assault by spouses, sometimes resulting in death! I’ll like to end this piece by stating that if a marriage becomes a source of danger to your physical, mental, spiritual, financial and emotional survival, know when to stay on or move on. Marriage should give your spirit freedom to grow, bloom and soar. It should not be a bondage union that diminishes, kills and dries out your essence. Listen to that voice within, seek it with sincerity of heart and you will hear it speak. IF GOD WILLS IT, it will BE, if not, just take the next exit and become a life-long member of moveon .org! Whatever path God has called you to be on, single or married, live beautifully, passionately and freely. Serve him and serve the society well. It is your birth-right to have a fulfilled, joyous and blessed life either way. Claim it. One size does not fit all. Do not let anyone convince you otherwise! Good luck and God’s grace!
P.S: Today, I am thankful to celebrate my 18th Wedding anniversary! Hopefully, in 7 years (on my 25th), I’ll share more nuggets. This is simply an opinion piece, based on my experiences. It should be taken accordingly, and applied with wisdom.
The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Wealth Management Consultant & Lifestyle Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc
- The death of the golden anniversary (thegrio.com)
- Are you really in love? (ramsonmumba.wordpress.com)
- Top Relationship Counseling Blog, RockinMarriage.com, Announces Importance of Making a Romantic Lunch Date with Spouse (prweb.com)