Use Your Brain, Not Insulin, to Control Your Diabetes

Because I was told at one point that I was “Pre-Diabetic,” I thought it might be helpful to pass on some of this information since Diabetes seems to be gaining ground in many countries around the world.

The word Diabetes strikes uncertainty and fear in anybody.  Once you have been diagnosed, you start thinking about your future, such as taking insulin shots every day. However, there are ways to control the disease by changing your diet and exercising.

What may be the most important thing for you to do is lose weight.  You may not realize it, but the statistics for overweight people getting diabetes is far higher than those people in their ideal weight range. For every pound you lose, you lower your risk.

As a diabetic, one of your responsibilities is to check your blood sugar.  When you monitor your glucose levels will depend on your diabetic type, what medication you are on, how you take your medicine, and what kind of life you lead. Depending on your type of diabetes and your medicine regimen, you may not need to use a fingerstick every day. Basically, if you take care of yourself, you take care of your disease and will need to test less frequently.

There are guidelines you will need to follow regarding your new diabetic diet.  The proposal of smaller meals throughout the day has been thought to be a foundation to healthier living. By eating six times a day, you will see a less erratic change in your glucose levels.  Eating these smaller meals will also make you less hungry, which will keep you from binging. Since you usually drink when you eat, your body will have constant hydration also.  

While you are eating these smaller meals through the day, you must be aware of what you are eating. Your diet should be balanced with carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Diabetics need to eat more fiber every day. Whether this is in the form of vegetables, fruits, or whole grains, the benefits of fiber are important. Eating plenty of protein is also important. Proteins, such as meat and eggs, take longer to process, therefore, your level of energy lasts longer. With the proper balance of foods, your blood sugar should remain steady.

You will quickly realize that you need to decrease the amount of alcohol you drink, as well as eating snacks high in sugar. Many people do not know that alcohol is considered a carbohydrate, which when ingested, breaks in to simple sugar.

You also need to be aware of sugary snacks or snacks that have carbohydrates. Just as alcohol does, sugary snacks will make the glucose levels in your body increase sharply.

You absolutely must drink plenty of water throughout the day. You have to keep your body hydrated and therefore, keep your blood sugar level. When you get dehydrated, your sugars concentrate, which can lead to problems.

Keep your doctor informed of your daily regimen of food and drinks.  If what you are doing is keeping everything at a healthier level, you probably will not need medicine now or in the future.

Research the disease, plan your meals, exercise and lose weight. This is a basic plan for any diabetic. Keep your mind in the game, your eye on your sugar levels and make it work.

 

 

Five Photography Tips for Everyday People

Anyone who can operate a simple digital camera is capable of taking wonderful pictures. Photography doesn’t have to be done by a professional to be considered great.

Step One: Find a spot with multiple sources of shade and natural lighting, such as a grove of trees or even buildings. Trees make a great backdrop for any picture of people. The color green, whether in the trees or grass, seems to fit any mood or scene.

Step Two: Always try to take pictures spontaneously as opposed to having people pose. I’ve found that it’s easier to get people to have a natural smile if you’re having a conversation with them as you’re snapping your photos. For example, what if you asked them to name their favorite dessert or their favorite funny movie. Both of those ideas will automatically bring a natural smile to someone’s face. My other favorite is to ask “what do you love the most about your sweetheart?” or “grandchildren” or “child.” You get the idea. Start a conversation.

Step Three: If you’re just beginning to start your photography, get into practice by taking lots of candid shots. With a digital camera, there is absolutely no excuse for not taking tons of pictures. Challenge yourself to take one new picture a day. It doesn’t matter what it is; just do it. Lots of candid shots!

Step Four: Most of the point and shoot digital cameras these days have many settings to assist you in getting just the right shot. Take a look at your camera’s manual to see all the things you can accomplish using the various settings and then practice with each one. I got a prize-winning photo with my Epson Point and Shoot of a flower that blooms only at night. I used the camera’s macro flower setting and it was just gorgeous. So find out what your camera’s settings will do and then become very familiar with them.

Step Five: Only your mind can block your creativity. The other day I was chopping the end off of a bunch of celery and the bottom looked like a flower so I took a picture of it. Then I posted it on my blog and Facebook and asked people to guess what it was. Amazing the answers that came in; everything from a desert cactus to a crocheted slipper. Huh? Only the people who cook guessed it right.

Remember not to analyze too much. Just let your natural talent flow. The point is to allow your mind to play, and have fun with pictures by enjoying yourself and others will enjoy your photos, too.

Now that you’ve read the photography tips in this post, I trust that you will feel more confident in taking more pictures.

Managing Tinnitus

If you suffer from tinnitus (or persistent ringing in the ears like me), you know that this condition can often feel crippling and extremely frustrating. Tinnitus is not a hopeless condition, however, and there are specific steps you can take to manage it.

1. Identify food triggers. Salt can be one of the worst culprits because it reduces blood flow to the head, including your ears, eyes and brain. Saturated fat is another contributor to decreased blood flow so Keep an eye on labels of what you normally eat. Try to eat more healthy fats like Omega 3 fatty acids in fish, nuts, vegetables and avocado. MSG is converted into glutamate, which intensifies tinnitus and will usually be labeled as monosodium glutamate. Avoid it if you can. And then there’s sugar. Americans are way too indulgent when it comes to sugar and it can really elevate your tinnitus symptoms. If you have a sweet tooth, try to satisfy it using fruit, especially fruit that is high in fiber.

2. Stress can often exacerbate tinnitus, but before you start taking any over-the-counter medications for stress or anxiety, please see your doctor. Sometimes meditation helps. I find that while I meditate, my mind is completely off the ringing in my ears. Another thing that makes sense to try is playing some soft, soothing music at night while trying to sleep. Before I did this, the ringing and buzzing in my ears actually kept me awake. You might also consider getting a white noise machine, which can be used at night or even during the day, depending on what you do for a living.

3. Avoid alcohol, as it can often make ringing in the ears worse. For some people, it doesn’t seem to have any effect, but for others, they report that when they consume alcohol their tinnitus seems to be more prevalent. It’s hard for me to measure that particular one, since I don’t drink alcohol.

4. Try apple cider vinegar. I use it three times a day not just for tinnitus but for the general overall health benefits it provides, which are too numerous to mention here.  Do an online search for benefits of apple cider vinegar and you’ll see what I mean. Personally I recommend the Bragg brand because it’s organic and has the “mother” in it. The mother contains the natural enzymes and minerals which are important for our bodies’ optimal health. Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar can be purchased in the health food section of most supermarkets and the recipe for the daily health drink is right on the bottle.

5. If you feel that you just can’t live with your tinnitus any longer, consider counseling to learn ways to cope. There are health care professionals who deal with this condition specifically so seek the right one, even if you have to go through many. There are also countless websites that can give you insight from others who have this condition. Just be careful and use your common sense when approaching any health issues.

Understanding tinnitus and the conditions that can exacerbate it can often feel like a relief. So take charge of your condition and make choices to help manage this condition!

Best of luck to you and Namaste!

Tips for Taking Great Pictures

Almost everyone has used a camera at some point, but not everyone has used a camera correctly. Photography can be a really satisfying hobby or you can make a successful career out of it if you have the patience and willingness to learn.  If you give yourself enough time, you are sure to see a vast improvement in the quality of your pictures. With today’s digital cameras, you can literally shoot thousands of pictures and if you don’t like them, you only have to press the delete button. Having a digital camera can really shorten the practice period for any budding photographer.

It’s probably safe to say that almost all professional photographers started out with photography as a hobbyist and then moved forward as they learned the basic techniques and then became more creative.  One of the most creative ways to take beautiful photographs is to learn the art of identifying the right lighting for each picture you take.  For example, if you’re shooting a photo of a landscape, it will look dull and flat if you shoot it at high noon, so use the golden hour(s) to your advantage.  What are the golden hours?  These are the hours when the sun comes up in the morning and when it sets in the evening. In the morning the sun’s rays emit more blue and in the late afternoon and evening, you’ll notice more golds and reds. If you’re shooting a photo of a person, make sure they’re not looking into the sun (so that they don’t squint), or that the sun is at their back.  That will create darkness on their face because your camera will compensate for all of that back light. I suggest getting them into a place where there is some indirect light, which will give their skin a more evenly lit effect.

If you can’t find some good indirect light and find yourself out in direct sunlight, you can use a reflector panel of some sort. These can be purchased at a camera store, online, or just about anywhere photo equipment is sold. Go online to see if someone is selling some used equipment. If you can’t find one, you can always improvise by using a white poster
board, which will reflect the light to fill in shadows on your subject’s face.  Have them hold the board or reflector on the side opposite of the sun’s light so it’s not in your viewfinder but close enough to their face to reflect the light.  Take a picture with it and one without it to compare the difference. Practice with this and you’ll be thrilled at the results.

One of the best ways to learn photography is to simply focus on your subject. I’ve always referred to this as “fill the frame.” What that means is this: don’t have a lot of background in your picture if you’re photographing a person or a pet, for example.  If you’re at an event and you want to capture the essence or flavor of that event, then it’s fine to have a lot
of things going on in the picture. And don’t forget to practice with your lens, moving it forward and backward to see what the shot will look like up close and further away.

Photography is a fun activity to learn and improve your creative skills. If you give yourself enough time, you will love the feeling of taking an excellent picture.

To learn more and see photography samples, visit www.reginaarnold.com

Simple Small Steps to Becoming More Conscious

So you’ve decided that there are some changes you’d like to make in your life.  This is wonderful!  Life should be full of joy and change is good.  Just the fact that you recognize the need for some changes is such a positive step.

Please accept that change takes time.  Try not to be hard on yourself.   Some days you might find yourself taking a giant leap; other days a baby step is enough.  A few weeks ago, I started walking every morning for my health.  The first few days it was tough because I pushed myself too hard.  As a result I was sore and pretty cranky.  So I cut back a little and found it easier.  After a few days of that I just picked up the pace a little so that I could walk a little further; not much, just a little.  Now I’m up to a mile a day and that’s a good change for me.  I feel better!

Keep a conscious eye on all aspects of your life.  What that means is simply to notice what feels good to you and what doesn’t.  For example, if someone is asking you to do something that you don’t want to do, notice how it feels in your body, especially your gut.  If something isn’t right for you, and you check in with your gut, you will always get the right answer.  If you gut starts to churn or you feel butterflies, the answer is probably a big NO.  We all have an inner guide.  Seek its counsel and trust your feelings.

Work on one goal at a time.  So many of us make a list of things we want to change and then set out to make everything happen at once.  Why?  Because we’re an instant gratification society.  Well, sometimes that’s great and sometimes it isn’t.  How many times have you made a knee-jerk decision only to find out the outcome didn’t serve you well.  Take one specific goal and work on that.  Then when you’ve developed a rhythm with that one thing, you will be more apt to work on the next goal and so on.  And what a feeling of accomplishment you’ll have when it all starts to work.  The Universe abhors a vacuum; it will always fill it up with something.  So make that something work for you.

If something doesn’t work out the way you want it to, again, don’t punish yourself.  Learn from whatever it was and just move forward.  Being your own worst critic is hard on you and those who love you.  Just realize that there was probably a very good reason it didn’t work out.  Who knows?  Maybe it was for your safety or that of others.

Stay positive.  The jump-start of creation is gratitude.  Yes, it may be tough, but even in your darkest times, there’s always something to be grateful for.  Make a list of those things, even if it’s that you had a nice cup of coffee this morning.  Or that the sun came up and you felt the warmth on your face.  Or that your dog cuddled beside you to keep you warm.

Keep a positive outlook and you will be thanking God for everything in your life, even the challenges. Once you have started on your journey to being a more conscious person, you will begin to notice stress in your life disappearing!

Namaste!


Eight Easy Ways to Make Your Day Less Stressful

In these times of what seems to be mounting chaos around our planet, do you feel a need to de-stress your days?  Are you looking for ways to feel less overwhelmed and maybe just feel better in general?   Here are some tips and techniques you can use right now to help:

Tip #1:  Take a break from whatever it is you’re doing.  If you’re at your desk, get up and walk around for a couple of minutes.  If you’re driving and find yourself in a traffic jam, that can be a huge source of stress.  Turn on some soothing music on your radio, pop in a slow-tempo CD, or just repeat a self-supporting mantra like, “I am so loved and I choose to be at peace.”

Tip #2:  A breathing exercise can be such a life saver for decreasing your stress level.  Try taking a deep breath in through your nose and focus on just your breath, saying to yourself “Breathe In” and then releasing your breath through your mouth saying “Breathe Out.”  Do this three times, relaxing your shoulders if you can and you will feel an immediate release of stress.  Using this several times throughout the day can literally change your life.

Tip #3:  If you are in a place where you can take a short walk, go outside, or be in nature, it will help a lot.  Try it the next time you’re feeling some stress.  If going outside isn’t possible, move to a window and look out (it’s the next best thing) to see the world around you.

Tip #4:  Treat yourself to something new, something fun or something good to eat.  Do you have a favorite coffee or tea?  Do you have a favorite sweet treat?  Don’t over-do it but be good to yourself. If you over-do it, that in itself may create some undue stress.

Tip #5:  Doing something for someone else naturally lifts our spirits.  Why?  Because we’re all in this thing called the human race together.  So when you make an effort to reach out to another, you are really helping two – you and the other person.  Try giving something away every day . . . a smile, a blessing, a hug, holding the door for someone, picking up something at the store for them.  You’ll know what to do if you look for ways to help.  In fact, if you make it your intention to do so, many ways will just “show up” in your day.

Tip #6:  Saying no can be difficult because most of us don’t want to hurt others feelings.  Let’s take the example of interruptions.  When someone interrupts us without our permission, they are actually invading our space.  That doesn’t feel good to most of us so it might be time to say NO to allowing that.  It’s rather easy to do . . . “You know, [name],
when you interrupt me without asking if this is a good time, it makes me think you don’t care that my time is valuable, too.  So I’m going to have to ask you to stop doing it.  Are you OK with that?” What this does is allow you to take back your personal power and set some boundaries without hurting someone else because you’ve asked them to buy into it, rather than demanding.

Tip #7: According to the American Society of Hypertension, listening to a half hour of music per day can lower your blood pressure.  They actually recommend classical, Celtic or Indian (raga) music for the most benefits.  I personally like light jazz and classical.

Tip #8:  Laughter really is the best medicine.  Here’s what has been clinically proven that laughter can do for you: reduces the level of stress hormones, perks up the immune system, relaxes muscles, clears the respiratory tract, increases circulation, and eases perceived pain.  YouTube has a whole list of comedy videos.  Test them out and take a
laugh break.

Everyone gets stressed sometimes. The important thing is knowing how to deal with that stress when it comes. The advice in this article may seem simple, but it’s a great way to get yourself through a stressful situation. If you work these tips into your everyday routine, you may be surprised at how much more relaxed you feel.

Let the Countdown Begin

A lot of people are saying that the upcoming date of 11-11-11 is going to be very significant in terms of energetic changes.  So what do you think will happen on that day?  Do you think a stargate will open in the Universe and something will charge our atmosphere with new and higher energies?  Or do you think that since we are all connected, that if one person feels an energy shift, we will all feel it?  Or do you think it’s just another day and hope that nothing happens at all?

Weigh in and let me know what you think.  It will be fun to get peoples’ ideas about this.

 

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