There are quite a few different reasons why you may be considering a fast. Often our first step into fasting is ordered by the doctor for a particular test or medical procedure. Or maybe you’ve read about the health and spiritual benefits of fasting and are interested in giving it a try.
By definition fasting is willing abstinence from food and drink. Different people fast differently. Some will take a little food or nutrition in the form of juice; others will stick to only water, black or green tea, or black coffee during for the duration of their fast. I personally do what is considered a "clean fast" meaning I only have water, black coffee or green tea, and nothing else during my fasting window. Because you are either fasting or you are not.
Fasting for Spiritual Reasons
Fasting has a long tradition in all major world religions. The idea is that the removal of food and with it the worrying about food preparation helps you turn inward. Fasting is used as a way to meditate, pray and get closer to a higher being based on your faith.
In Christian faith, fasting is used as a tool to atone for sins and bring us closer to God. Quite a few Christians will fast for 40 days during lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter). In other faiths - Native American and yogic traditions come to mind; fasting allows the person to reach a higher level of spiritual awareness and is used to gain visions. No matter what your faith, your soul and mind can benefit from a fast.
Fasting for Health
There’s been a lot of talk in the alternative health industry about the benefits of fasting. The basic idea is that if we abstain from food for a period of time, our bodies move energy from processing the food we eat to maintenance mode. The idea is that when food is scarce, our body does everything it can to keep us in good shape to go out and hunt and gather.
Without food in your system, your body shifts to burning fat for energy, resulting in fat loss. This shift away from burning sugar for energy also helps with insulin levels and certain types of fasting (in a controlled environment under the supervision of your doctor) can help reverse diabetes. In addition, fasting has been shown to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. There is even healing on a cellular level going on. It's called autophagy, and we will discuss this in future posts.
Intermittent fasting is a particular type of fasting where you go for long periods of the day without food, but end up having one or two meals. In essence you’re extending the period of time you usually go without food (while you’re sleeping) by several hours to give your body a chance to switch into fasting mode with all its health benefits.
Unlike traditional fasts where you go without food and most drink for three or more days, intermittent fasting still allows you to eat during a smaller window in your day. Other forms of intermittent fasting have you fast for one or two days per week, eating normally the rest of the time. Either method is a good alternative to traditional fasting and often easier to do and maintain will going on with our everyday life.
Maybe it was because I grew up relatively poor and it seemed like people on TV, like the Brady's or the Bradford's, were this ideal family and the two-story house was just this pinnacle of finally having the good life.
It's funny the things we pick as an ideal in our youth and how those change as we grow older and more wise.
I worked hard after I graduated and moved up in my career. Not the accounting career I envisioned, because my kids came first, but one I'm good at. I've finally reached the level I've been striving for - a Director-level position. To get there, I had to leave all I knew, move to a new state, and start over.
And what I've learned as I've gotten older, and hopefully wiser, is that ideals and dreams change, and we can change with them, or we can get stuck in what we think is ideal, without ever doing anything about it.
I'm back in a two-story house right now. It's a rental, because at this point I can't yet afford to buy again, but that's OK. It's just a step on my road to the next thing. But after spending 30 minutes vacuuming the stairs this morning I do still want a housekeeper! And actually,I never want another two-story house again, ifI can help i. 😂
A Well Trained Dog
Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring .... It was peace. - Milan Kundera
It is particularly important to have a well-trained dog if you have young members of the family or children in the neighborhood. Just like having well-behaved children, a well-trained dog makes for a happier household.
Eventually I convinced the boys to call their mother to come help. They were quite concerned they would be in trouble. Mom came finally and after another 10 minutes finally convinced the dog to leave the nutria alone and come to her. Of course, the dog was just as afraid as the kids that it was going to be in trouble so it basically crawled out on it's belly to the mom.
So, what is the moral of this story? The more control you get of your dog when they are young, the better for all. Maybe if the dog was better trained it would not have pulled from the kids, or it would have come when called. In all honesty, my dog Twinkle would have reacted exactly like this and she would not have come when called either. Why? Because I did not do a good job training her when she was a pup. She is 7 years old now and is better, but I have taken a much more firm hand with her since moving to a place where she has to be walked more often near nutria, ducks, crows, and other dogs.
The time that you spend training your puppy initially will impact on the pleasure you can get from your dog for the many years of its life.
Taking the time to train your dog will strengthen the bond you have together and this will ensure a long and happy friendship where both you and your dog benefit. Considering the amount of time that you will be with your dog the time involved in training is minimal and well worthwhile.
There are a few basic commands that need to be mastered and they are all relatively simple. These commands are...
Down: this is where you teach your dog to lay down on command, and is one of the main aspects of any successful training program.
Heel: this is where you teach your dog walk beside you at the same pace without pulling on the lead. Twinkle is a puller by nature. I have found that with her I have to still use a pronged collar to keep her from pulling. Not to mention, a dog that pulls too much can damage their trachea.
Learning the 'No' word: this is a particularly important word for your dog to know and can save you a lot of trouble. In fact it is probably one of the most important aspects of training, if you can get your dog to understand and respond to the word no. Personally I use the term 'Leave It' and have found that to be more successful for me.
It can certainly save you a lot of trouble in the future.
Sit: sit is one of the most basic of all dog training commands and is one that you'll want to teach from the outset to maintain control of your dog's behavior.
Stay: and finally 'stay' - this is important to ensure that no matter where you are, you'll know that your dog will stay precisely where you want it. Gotta be honest, Twinkle does not follow this command at all.
If there is nothing else that you train your dog to do beyond these basic commands, it will certainly improve the relationship you have with your dog and the enjoyment and happiness that you and your dog will have together.
It is well worth the time while still a puppy, as it will improve the quality of life for many years to come. Take it from me, I will be much more firm and consistent with my next dog. At least that is the story I tell myself.
Training will also let your dog know that you're the boss and in doing so eliminate many behavior problems.
Dogs that are untrained can often get depressed, despondent, and unhappy and display symptoms of anxiety and confusion.
You are actually giving your dog a purpose in life, where they will get pleasure out of the fact that they are pleasing you.
What are your favorite tips for having a well trained dog? Share them above in the comments.
Want more pet and human wellness tips? Check out my community where I share more great content.
Fast forward to now. I don’t know about you, but I have tried pretty much every diet known to woman. The first diet I ever did back in the early days was the Cabbage Soup Diet. Did I lose a few pounds? Yep. Was that sustainable over the long-term? Nope. And like every DIET I have tried since then, once I wasn’t being strict and following the P.L.A.N. I gained all the weight back – and then some!
I’ve done them all. Here’s a recap of the ones I have tried over the years (at least those I can remember):
Cabbage Soup Diet, HcG Drops, Weight Watchers, Isagenix, Diet Power.com, JJ Virgin Elimination Diet, some weird chalky bark like substance that made you have to use the bathroom immediately, with no notice. I tried to find the name of it, but it no longer shows in my Amazon history. I think it has been pulled from the US market. Probably with good reason.
I am sure there are others I’ve tried over the years that I just don’t remember.
So, what about this IF and hypnosis thing? Well, I met someone in my women’s business networking group who is a hypnotist and focuses on weight loss and smoking cessation. I thought, well hypnosis is one thing I haven’t tried yet. Because let’s be honest. One of the main reasons those other options have not worked for me long-term is because I’m great out-of-the-gate, but when the diets are restrictive I just can’t keep to them long-term. So, I met with her and she explained she uses Intermittent Fasting (IF) and hypnosis. I figured I had nothing to lose – except the weight – so I jumped on board.
The first thing I had to do was homework. What? I thought she would just hypnotize me, tell me what I needed to know, and then voila – weight loss. Guess not.
So, here’s what I am going to do. I am going to chronicle my IF and hypnosis journey here in my blog. The deal is, I don’t know how it is going to turn out. But, if you are interested, I’ll be sharing my journey along the way. My research, my wins, my struggles, all of it. Maybe you’ll learn something too.
For now, you can start with the resources I have used so far or have been recommended to me. In future blogs, I’ll try to recap some of the takeaways from the books as well. As of now, I have completely read Delay, Don’t Deny (https://amzn.to/2PfvBxL) , and most of The Obesity Code (https://amzn.to/2PgsaXE) and they are eye-opening.
I will tell you all about my first hypnosis session I just had and my first week of IF (I’m starting Monday, August 3, 2020) in my next blog. Most likely it’ll post a week from the date of this blog. My goal is to post at least weekly, but if anything super exciting happens, it might be more often.
Feel free to leave comments by clicking the word comments at the top. See you next week.
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Keepin' Real, as always ----Cathy
Healthy Dogs – Happy Dog Owner
Symptoms of High Cortisol
What Are the Main Contributors to High Cortisol?
Medication Side Effects
Tips to Reduce Cortisol Levels
Get Enough Sleep
Eat Healthy Foods
Probiotics and Prebiotics
Cortisol and Stress Reducing Diffuser Blend
With all that is going on in the world, now is the time to make sure your immune system is in tip-top shape. Here are a couple of simple ways to give your immune system a much needed boost.
The rich content of vitamin C in elderberry means that elderberry helps improve your immunity and prevent infection.
Raw, Organic Honey
- 1/2 cup elderberries
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- 4 cups filtered water
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