Did You Say Beef Liver?

What do you think when you hear the words beef liver? What’s your initial reaction? Does you face cringe? Do you get a disgusted look on your face? Do you think no way I’m touching any of that? Or maybe your one of the very few people who enjoy beef liver? If that’s the case, kudos to you. You are getting many healthy benefits from it. However, if you are anything like me with the face cringe, the disgusted look and the thoughts of not touching it, like Phoebe from Friends reaction after eating veal, I have a solution for you.

Honest Reaction

My first reaction to beef liver was pretty similar to Phoebe when she ate the veal to impress Mike’s parents. She had a sicken look on her face, she took a while to convince herself to put the piece of meat in her mouth and then she did it quickly to try to get it down fast. This was me when I was handed a beef liver supplement. Not the real food, not a recipe with liver in it, a supplement.

Every year in March, I go to the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. It’s a big health and wellness event where vendors hand out free samples of their products or have deep discounts. They have a lot of products I use already and also have many products that I like to try out. Vital Proteins is one of those vendors that I really like so I always go through their booth. They give out great samples and they bring a lot of their products with them for purchase. One year, they gave out a ton of free samples plus a $50 gift card to everyone who signed up for email. I was super stoked about this because I had already been using their collagen. I went through their booth and noticed they were handing out a bottle of beef liver supplements. Cue the face….. it scrunched up in disgust and I told the group I was with “No way I’m taking these.” That name just gives me a bad taste in my mouth.

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I’m Taking Beef Liver Now???

They sat in the cabinet for a while but always in view. After some time, it was like these supplements were staring me in the face saying, “Take me, take me.” I did some research on why I should take them. What was the purpose and what was I going to get out of them? Vital Proteins uses grass-fed beef which I knew was a plus but some other benefits caught my eye, too. I decided to start trying them. I wasn’t expecting too much of a difference. I was thinking I would have to take it for a week or longer to notice a difference in my performance. Besides, I was only taking 1 when the serving size was 4. I was proved wrong in about 30 minutes. I was shocked! I had energy that I never knew I had. I felt focused. I just felt really, really good. And this effect lasted throughout my work day. That was just after taking 1!!! I can only imagine what 4 would do. I knew it was the beef liver supplement because it was the only new thing I had introduced that day and it definetely made a difference. It has had a huge impact on my daily performance and when I forget to take it (because we are all humans, right? :)), I miss it. I mean really miss it and so does my body. I still only take 1 instead of 4 because that is all I need. You have to listen to your body, it’s always telling you something important. But I know others who take the full dose because it is what they need. They have noticed a difference in their performance as well and continue to buy them.

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The Dreaded Time I Ran Out

About 7 months ago, I ran out of Vital Proteins beef liver supplements. I was okay with it because I would just go get some more and only be without for hopefully 2 days. That was not the case. Vital Proteins was out of stock!!! Instead of having a meltdown, I put my email in to be notified when it would be back in stock. I week had gone by and it still wasn’t in stock and I was noticing a difference. My energy felt depleted, I was dragging. I felt like a zombie in the beginning of The Walking Dead, slow, no energy.

How I feel after not taking my beef liver supplement… like a zombie from Walking Dead

Even taking all my other supplements, it didn’t help. I was still getting the benefits from them but none of them made me feel like my beef liver supplement. I had to wait 3 weeks for the supplement to be restocked so I could order. By that point, I felt like I dwindled down from a zombie to a slug… even slower. When I got that email, I was on their site ordering quickly. Please send me my beef liver! I need it! I was so grateful when I got my shipment. I could start feeling like a human again.

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Benefits of Taking Beef Liver Supplements

There are many benefits to taking a beef liver supplement. First, most of us out there are probably not eating beef liver on a regular basis, if at all. This means we are not getting the many health benefits from it. A high-quality beef liver supplement has no taste at all, thank goodness. You don’t have to eat beef liver to get those benefits anymore because I’ll just say it… YUCK! In my opinion, not having to eat beef liver and still getting the healthy impacts is a huge benefit! I have already talked about energy levels. Beef liver is known to increase your energy levels by helping your body metabolize collagen and protein. It helps the body convert the collagen and protein you are getting from your foods or other supplements into energy. I believe this is why my supplements did not work as well when I ran out. What I was taking was not being converted into extra energy. It is the supplement that enhances all your other supplements and make them all work in unison. This is another way I have benefited and increased my performance because I have so much more energy. Beef liver is packed with essential vitamin A and B12 to help support healthy hair, skin and nails. Vitamin A is important because it helps many of the organs in your body function properly including digestion. It promotes better digestion. If you are having digestion problems, first look at what you are putting in your body and next start taking beef liver supplements.

Just like I said in my last post about B12, high quality=high performance. Low quality=low performance. Do not get supplements that are made with GMO minerals and fillers. Your body also absorbs those and makes it harder to get the essential minerals you actually need from the supplement. Vital Proteins is made from grass-fed cows and nonGMO ingredients. It is an ethical company that I trust with my health. Get HIGH QUALITY so you can perform at a higher rate of performance!

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A Book Review

Feel the Fear… And Do It Anyway! by Susan Jeffers

Do you fear confrontation? Do you fear opening up to others? Do you fear living your life because of all the bad things that are happening in the world? Check out this book… it may help you recognize your fear, how to push past the feelings of fear, help you talk over your negative thoughts and create more meaning in your life by helping you do the things you have always been too scared to do. If you are not a book reader, sign up for Audible from Amazon and you can listen to it anywhere on any device.

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Summary from Amazon: Are you afraid of making decisions . . . asking your boss for a raise . . . leaving an unfulfilling relationship . . . facing the future? Whatever your fear, here is your chance to push through it once and for all. In this enduring guide to self-empowerment, Dr. Susan Jeffers inspires us with dynamic techniques and profound concepts that have helped countless people grab hold of their fears and move forward with their lives. Inside you’ll discover

• what we are afraid of, and why
• how to move from victim to creator
• the secret of making no lose decisions
• the vital 10-step process that helps you outtalk the negative chatterbox in your brain
• how to create more meaning in your life
And so much more!

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With insight and humor, Dr. Jeffers shows you how to become powerful in the face of your fears–and enjoy the elation of living a creative, joyous, loving life.

Stay healthy and happy everyone! And remember to love yourself every day because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Ashley

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Photo credit by Brandon Allen @branndonallen

Use B12 to Strengthen Vitality of Life

Vitality: The state of being full of life and energy. A vital life equals energy, liveliness, empowerment, kind of like the energizer bunny. That bunny could go all day! As human beings, we are always searching. Searching for ways to get promoted, seaching for ways to make more money, searching for ways to meet our goals, searching for ways to feel better, searching for ways to help our bodies PERFORM at a higher state each day. Acupressure mat, affirmations, astaxanthin, switiching to clean, chemical free products are some of the ideas I have searched, as well as wrote about in earlier posts, and my vitality of life has been strengthened. Now, I add B12 and folate to the mix to continue my journey of living a vital life.

The vitality of life

Many people have said to take a multivitamin. I was raised taking a multivitamin as a child and I carried that belief on with me into adulthood. I never felt different after taking it and I never felt that my performance had changed. I thought if I take this multivitamin, obviously I am healthy right? Without the desired effects, I decided to do some research. Why continue to take something I didn’t feel was helping me? Why waste my money if I wasn’t getting the desired results?

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Why I Don’t Take a Multivitamin

Multivitamins do not get the job done. They do not help me be in a state of high performance or help me live a vital life. First, multivitamins do not have the correct amounts of each vitamin. I mean, it would be really hard to get all those essential vitamins with correct amounts in them. Think of how big that pill may be if the correct amounts were in them! Some vitamin amounts are too high. You may be getting enough of that vitamin through the food you eat and then you take a multivitamin on top of that which also has a high amount in it. This coud lead to vitamin poisoning which could potentially cause a lot of side effects. Other vitamins do not have enough. For example, D3. There is a very low amount of D3 in multivitamins. Many of us are working inside all day and not getting enough sun. The sun helps us produce vitamin D3 but we are not even close to getting enough of it at least not in Ohio. Floridians you may be okay ;). But if you are not getting enough sun throughout your day (and no I’m not talking about tanning, I’m talking about being outside in the sun for 30 mintues a day or longer), you need to be supplementing more of D3 rather than only getting a small dose from a multivitamin. Since the amounts of the vitmains are not substansial you may be lacking in many of the essentials vitamins you need to live a vital life.

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Another reason I don’t take a multivitamin is because of its low quality and low quality equals low performance. A multivitamin is a way to save money. You get what you pay for. Many multivitamins are made with fillers that make it harder to absorb. Vitamins need to be released in a timely manner in order to be most effective. The many fillers in a multivitamin are not able to release vitamins in a timely manner because the fillers are aimed to make a bulk product stick together. Because the fillers are aimed to stick many essential vitamins together, it is not able to release the vitamins in a timely manner. It’s like processed foods. There are many fillers and most of the time low quality ingredients are added because it saves a buck. Those foods transfer to our bodies and hurt our guts, leading to low performance. Doesn’t sound like a win-win to me… In other words, I’m running for the hills and looking for something better!

B12 Deficiencies

Many Americans are deficient in B12 because of the foods we eat. A few foods that offer a natural source of B12 include feta cheese, high quality beef such as grass-fed, swiss cheese and tuna. If you are not eating a healthy amount of these foods, you may not be getting enough B12 in your diet. A B12 deficiency can cause balance problems, cognitive difficulties, fatigue and weakness. A high quality B12 supplement such as Jarrow Formulas Methyl B12 with Folate could up your B12 game and strengthen your vitality of life.

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The Benefits of B12

B12 is known for helping our bodies produce energy and although this is true, there are a few other benefits from taking B12. B12 is also beneficial for your brain and your immune system. It helps keep your brain healthy and it helps improve your immune functions. It can protect you from dementia when you get older, it helps regenerate cells in your body and it boost your immune functions. In other words, it helps keep your memory sharp for longer, it helps your cells regrow and it boosts your overall health by strengthen your immune functions that ward off infections.

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Early Prevention

Start taking a high quality B12 supplement now. The defiecieny is mainly in older adults according to recent research. The deficiency can be reduced if we start taking B12 supplements earlier on in our lives. That way, as we age we will have the necessary B12 because we started taking it already and we will have started a good supplmentation practice before it’s too late. Another added benefit, is you don’t have to worry about taking too much B12. Get a high quality supplement like the Jarrow Formulas pictured above, take it, and your body gets rid of what it doesn’t need when you use the bathroom! It’s a win-win! Your body gets what it needs and then gets rid of what it doesn’t need. Sounds like an all-natural process to me.

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How I Take B12

You can take B12 either in capsule form or a lozenge. I personally like the lozenge the best. Jarrow Formulas B12 has a good flavor. I can pop it in my mouth and forget about it while easily soaking up the supplements benefits.

You can take it whenever. There is not a suggested time, however, I would not recommend taking it in the evening. You may have trouble falling asleep. I take my B12 in the afternoon, about 30 minutes before I eat my lunch. I take 6 other supplements in the morning so I make sure those have had enough time to settle in my body so I can get the full benefits. Then, I take the B12 by itself so I can get the good benefits from it. I have also noticed a difference in my afternoon performance if I wait to take the B12 in the afternoon. Before, and sometimes still occassionally, I hit a wall at 2 pm. The dreaded brain fog. When I moved my B12 to the afternoon, the brain fog doesn’t seem to happen as often. I want to perform my best all day long. So moving back when I take B12, proved to be beneficial for me. Check out the B12 on my page and find out when it will work best for you!

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Affirmations Challenge

So, about 3 posts ago I wrote about affirmations and how using them can help transform your negative thoughts to positive thoughts. I wrote about 2 different card decks, The Universe Has Your Back and Affirmators!. I did some searching on Amazon for a specific affirmations journal and found that Affirmators! also has an affirmations journal. I was so excited to have stumbled across this that I wanted to start a challenge with all my followers on WordPress, email and Facebook.

I challenge YOU to use this journal for 30 days! 1 affirmation journaling page per day= 5 minutes of time to get into a good habit! During your 30 day challenge, comment on my blog about how your thoughts have shifted, challenges or any other advice/suggestions you have. Use this 30 days to create a positive affirmations habit! Use the link below to get your journal and reply to this post to let me know if you are in! I look forward to joining you on your journey to positivity 🙂 The challenge will start October 15th 2019!

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Stay healthy and happy everyone! And remember to love yourself every day because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Ashley

Photo credit by Brandon Allen
@branndonallen

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Clean Product Alert…Contact Solution!

A few years ago, I started listening to health podcast that was ran by a man named Dave Asprey. I started following him, listening to him and reading his blog. He made me realize that I am surounded by so many chemicals and taught me ways that I could do my part to keep my environment as clean as I possibly can. I started doing some research on the products I was using. I used an app called Think Dirty that Dave Asprey suggested (I will write more about this app later on in this post). I started scanning the products in my bathroom with this app. I could not believe how many chemicals were in my bathroom products. I was surrounded by dirty products that were not good for my health. Not one product I had was clean! My bathroom was like one big, giant monster made out of chemicals! Picture the Mindflayer from Stranger Things Season 3 when he is running after the car while Dustin is singing to his girlfriend. Me being the people in the car, chemical products being the Mindflayer! I needed to take this monster down… maybe not by singing though 🙂

If you’ve never watching Stranger Things, this is the scene I’m talking about. Especially seconds 39-48. Check it out!

Clean Goals

The chemicals in most of my products could either cause cancer, reproductive issues, or allergic reactions over time. Some products could cause more than one issue. Those issues caused enough alarm for me to start making the switch. I know there are many other things that can cause these issues but I didn’t want the products I was using on myself to be the cause of them. I felt that was almost self damaging because I was putting that product on myself. Buying clean products was something I could control and I knew it was better for the environment. I made it a goal to start buying clean products a little at a time until my bathroom products were clean and chemical free.

My Painful History With Contact Solution

I use a lot of products so it has taken me a while to gather up all these clean products. I didn’t want to break the bank so I accepted the dirty products I had and slowly started to make the switch. I first started with my contact solution. I had a terrible experience with contact solution so this needed to be the first switch. I was using Clear Care solution, the solution with the red cap, that was supposed to be deep cleaning my contacts. It was going okay for a while but the next bottle was painful. I opened the bottle and continued my normal routine. But this time it wasn’t so normal. Something happened that had never happened before. My skin turned white, bubbled up, and I had a burning sensation. My eyes turned red and were burning. I had to quickly wash my hands and get the contacts out of my eyes. My eyes watered for a while afterwards. I couldn’t believe it. I had to wear my glasses the rest of the day. I tried the solution again the next day, thinking it was just a fluke situation. Nope. Same thing happened. I went out, got something else, and started doing research about which contact solution was the cleanest.

Making the Switch

I found that Clear Care had phosphoric acid in it, an ingredient that is found in cola beverages, coffee, breakfast cereal bars and more. I’m not sure if that is what caused the reaction but it was a major difference in the contact solution I am using now, which has no phosphoric acid. It was pretty hard to find a completely clean contact solution because many contact solutions on the market have sodium borate in it which is an ingredient that is half clean and half dirty. I found a contact solution that was rated at a 5 on the Think Dirty App instead of an 8 so I decided to go with it. It is Opti-Free Replenish. The ingredients listed are sodium borate, rated at a 5. Propylene Glycol rated at a 3. Sodium Chloride, raed at a 0. It has a lower risk of respiratory and skin irritation and a lower risk of damaging fertilty than other contact solutions. Switching to this, I have no issues like I did with Clear Care. My dry eye irritation has cleared up, my eyes are not red, and my contacts are clean. I feel much better using this solution. I was on my way to wiping out the giant chemical monster that was my bathroom!

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Think Dirty App

The Think Dirty App has been a gamechanger in my life. I am able to have an app on my phone that is unbiased and easily accessible that helps me keep my products clean. This is an app that scans products, tells you what ingredients are in them, and whether they are clean or dirty. If an ingredient is dirty it tells you why and what it can cause. They take the ingredients and assess the overall risk on potential health impacts. It’s a companion that has helped me stick with my goal of switching to a cleaner home. You can also shop through their app. When you scan a product, they give you a list of cleaner options to choose from. You click on the product and it tells you where you can find it. The clean product list is pretty extensive for most products, so you will have no problem finding something you want or like. Check it out on Google Play or Apple Store. It’s FREE to download! Start seaching for chemical free products you can check out today!

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Book Review

The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh

This book is a simple read about meditation. In this book, Hanh gives exercies to help the reader learn skills to practice mindfulness throughout your entire day. He helps readers bring themselves back into the present moment and gives tips on how to focus on your breath to bring you back after stressful moments. He also gives tips about how to sit properly while practicing mindfulness and why you shoud sit that way. One thing I despise is doing the dishes and one exercises was about being mindful while doing the dishes. Think about what you are doing, what do you smell, how hot the water is, the bubbles. Through his exercises, he is able to bring you back to the simplicity of life. It gives you a sense of peace which everyone needs in this busy modern way of life. Check his book out here! I have also added simple links below if you are more of an audio listener and want to listen to books on audio while driving to work. Another link is for kindle users if you use electronic books. The last link is about teachers, since I am one 🙂 Go to this link to get your teacher some supplies for the classroom. We appreciate you!

https://amzn.to/2nqoBDz
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Photo Credit by Brandon Allen
@branndonallen

A Simple Guide to… Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin… what a strange word! It’s super hard for me to say and half of the time I don’t even say it right or have to ask someone else how to say it. Astaxanthin comes from algae and it’s actually what gives salmon its color. Although the name is complicating, the benefits, however, are not. Supplementing your body with Astaxanthin can help your skin, eyes, brain, and cell energy.

Improved Eyesight

Taking Astaxanthin as a daily supplement can improve your eyesight. It can also slow down or reverse eye degeneration. My family’s eye history is not that great. My mom has glasses, my dad has glasses, and my brother had to be flown to California to get a special surgery for Keratoconus. I found out I needed my eyes checked during softball. I went from being able to hit to not being able to hit at all. This was very frustrating especailly as a 12 year old. My parents decided to take me to the eye doctor and they said I definetly needed glasses. I probably couldn’t see well enough to hit the ball. I started wearing glasses at age 12 and my eyes kept getting worse, fast. I started wearing contacts at 14. My eyes continued to get worse as I got older. Thinking it would slow down, I was a little disappointed. As each eye exam came, I remained hopeful that I wouldn’t hear those dreaded words. But I did, leading to a stronger prescription once again. I started taking a product from Baush and Lomb called Ocuvite. This was a commercial off-the-shelf brand. The decreasing of my eyesight became slower but that wasn’t good enough for me. I was still hearing that I needed a stronger prescription. I wanted to stop the negative progress or possibly even improve my eyesight. About 2 years ago, I started going the more natural route with Astaxanthin, taking 4 mg a day. I have had 2 eye exams since then and guess what?? My eyesight has stayed the same! This daily supplement has helped me get to where I want… no more changes in my eyesight 🙂 It ‘s been rewarding going into an eye exam, not hearing those dreaded words and being able to order the same prescription. It’s even more rewarding that I took it upon myself to help my eyes just by taking a natural supplement. The kind I take is below, it’s from a brand that I really like called NOW.

Protects Your Brain

Astaxanthin is a very powerful antioxidant. We should all be supplementing with antioxidants because of all the chemicals we use now. These chemicals are in the air, soil, all around us. Another substantial benefit of this supplement is it protects your brain from aging too quickly. It protects your cells from oxidative stress and free radicals. It is impossible to avoid free radicals. Our environment is filled with them but we can use antioxidants to help combat and protect ourselves from them. I want my brain to last as long as possible, even when I’m older. When I retire, I want to be able to see the world and continue traveling. I don’t want to be one of those people who has nothing to do which causes the brain to age quickly. I want to do everything I can to keep my brain sharp and young. Astaxanthin can help with that by slowing down brain-aging. If taking astaxanthin is going to help with it in a more nautral way, I’m going to take it.

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Strengthens Mitochondria

Your mitochondria is a very important working organelle in each and every one of your cells. It is the thing that produces energy in your cells. Each cell has a different amount of mitochondria in it depending on what the cell is used for. For example, muscle cells need more energy because your muscles are used more. Some cells don’t have mitochondria in them. There are cells all throughout your body so protecting the mitochondria is essential. Astaxanthin strengthens your mitochondria, your cell membranes, by locking out those free radicals I talked about above. When you improve your mitochondria, you improve your cell energy production and most functions of your body will follow and improve.

Many people believe astaxanthin is only for eye health. This is not the case. It does so much more. It works on your whole body. Improves eye health, protects your brain from aging too quickly, and increases cell energy production creating a positive domino effect throughout your whole body, increasing your performance. 1 supplement, 4mg, 1x per day can positively have an effect on your whole body and the way it functions.

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Book Idea For Personal Growth

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck.

This book is about the difference between fixed mindset and growth mindset. The fixed mindset leads to a desire to look smart leading to avoiding challenges, give up easily, or feel jealous of the success of others. Growth mindset leads to a desire to learn, therefore, being more open to challenges, constructive critism, and being inspired by others. The author has done extensive research on this topic and explains how different mindsets in different areas of your life can effect what you think about your own ability and talents. Do you believe your talents are fixed and there is no room or way you could learn a new talent? Or do you believe you have talents but you can also learn new things and be just as talented? Check this book out if you want to learn about the growth mindset and how it can change your attitude about your outlook on life. She also has a really neat resource on her website where you can take a quiz to learn more about your own mindset by answering some questions. Here’s the link to the quiz:

http://blog.mindsetworks.com/what-s-my-mindset?view=quiz

Stay healthy and happy everyone! And remember to love yourself every day because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Photo credit: Brandon Allen

Check him out on Instagram

@branndonallen

Ashley

A Simple Guide To… Affirmations

Do you ever think “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not capable,” “I don’t deserve love”, I don’t deserve the things I want?” If you do, you need affirmations in your life. Affirmations are quick, positive sayings that you can either say to yourself, in front of the mirror, write them, read them or say out loud. There are many benefits to using affirmations and I’ll be honest about the ones that I have seen in myself since I started this daily, quick practice.

My First Thoughts

My first thought about affirmations was a negative thought. I thought they were too cheesy, they made me uncomfortable and they were a waste of literally two minutes. I didn’t take affirmations seriously at all while I was writing them down in my journal. I continued to write them anyways because it was part of my daily journal routine and I really enjoy that part of my morning. But even though I wasn’t taking them seriously, I was still seeing a slight benefit. During stressful situations or when I was feeling incompetent, I found those morning affirmations sneaking up to the front of my brain. It was odd. I didn’t take it seriously enough for this to happen. I had been writing affirmations since January. It took me 5 months to decide that I was going to try more with affirmations.

Accepting Affirmations

I continued writing my affirmations in the morning but I also included mirror writing. Every other day I would write a positive affirmation on my bathroom mirror so I would see it each time I looked in the mirror. I would say this affirmation in my mirror every time. I found I didn’t really enjoy mirror writing so I stopped doing it and tried the light box. I have the light box in the bedroom with an affirmation and I see it every morning when I wake up. Right now it says “You are valuable.” This one has been up for a while now because it has been my favorite and I have found myself saying it when I am feeling down. I was feeling pretty positive about myself and really good vibes were starting to settle in my brain. Writing my affirmations and the light box started to show its benefits. My thoughts were transformed from negative to positive. The times I felt down or stressed out, my affirmations would kick in quickly to help alleviate the negative. My mind wasn’t in such a constant battle anymore. Let me tell you, the battles in your mind are exhausting. I was overwhelmed with all the negative thoughts and wanting to get rid of them but not knowing how. These battles have started to sbuside the more I work on affirmations.

I decided to try one more thing. I wanted affirmations to be present in my work environment. I purchased affirmation cards to take to my work. I place one affirmation card on my desk where it is visible. The first thing I do, before I even turn on my computer, I read my affirmation card. I keep the same card for a week so it sinks in. Then, I switch to another card and do the same thing all over again for the next week. This was a great way to start my work day and has helped me stay positive throughout my day. The cards I have used are pictured here in my blog if you want to give them a try. They are quick, easy, empowering, positive and some are even funny. They inspire me and have been a good addition to my affirmation practices.

Reduce Negative Thoughts

After doing my own experiment, I decided to look up the scientific research and benefits of affirmations. One benefit is you become more aware of your daily thoughts. If you’ve never paid attention to your thoughts, I encourage you for one day to be more aware of what you are thinking about yourself, others, your environment, the things around you. Think about how many negatives there were compared to positives. This will give you a good idea of how you should practice affirmations. Do you need more of it in your life or a small amount? Affirmations are small but you will notice your thoughts starting to change. There was a day when I accidentally scheduled a dentist appointment and hair appointment on the same day. I was stressing out. I really dislike being late to anything. My heart was racing, my face was red. Within minutes of my heart starting to race, an affimation popped into my mind. A fleeting, one sentence affirmation ” I am okay and I am in control.” My racing heart slowed down and I smiled. I made it to both of my appointments on time, with time to spare. I realized my affirmation practice had become a habit and it was sinking in everywhere I went. That’s the great thing about affirmations… they go, where you go. A daily habit of affirmations WILL reduce your negative thoughts.

Keeps Small Things In Perspective

Affirmations help to remind you that the small successes in your life are just as important as the bigger ones. Most days, you have small accomplishments and don’t even realize them because they are not as obvious as the big ones. It’s really important to be aware of the small wins because so many people walk around looking for something big when in reality those things do not happen as often. This leads to feeling like a failure which leads to more negative thoughts. You have to look at where you came from to where you are now… your journey. Those are the small successes and they happen every day! Every one is on a journey. You have to go on the journey to reach those big wins. Affirmations have helped me remember my journey and I am more aware of my small successes which has lead to a positive mindset. I use a stainless steel straw to drink my coffee with and just the other day I was told “You use a straw to drink coffee with… that’s weird.” The old me would have been upset and I would have gotten defensive with this person. Here’s what happened… all in about 15 seconds. At first, I thought “really” while imagining the eye roll. Then , an affirmation came “I am in control of my emotions.” I very calmly told her why I do it and walked away. While walking, I thought about what the old me would have done and what actually happened… a journey. That was a small success for me and I was aware of it because of my affirmation habits. Affirmations KEEP small things in perspective.

Surrounds You With Things You Want In Life

When you surround yourself with positive energy, positive energy will come back to you. When you suround yourself with negative energy, guess what? Negative energy will come back to you. Affirmations help surround your mind with positive thoughts. Those positive thoughts show through your actions every day. When you are talking with friends about something negative, how do you feel? Is your vibe positive or negative? I’m going to guess it’s negative and that’s the vibe you put out, too. Compare it to how you feel when you have a positive conversation with your friends. Positive attracts positive. I like to surround myself with inspiring people and in order to do that, I have to be positive because negativity does not attract inspiration it attracts gossip. When you choose to add daily affirmations, you dream. When you dream, it leads to actions. The actions lead back to your dreams which become reality. Stay positive with daily affirmations and surround yourself with things that you want in your life!

Affirmation Examples

Affirmations are tailored to you. You can make them specific to what you want in your life. As long as they are positive. Try to steer away from using words such as “can’t” or “not” because that turns the affirmation into a negative saying. Here are some examples I’ve used and below is a photo of my affirmations from this morning. I look at the world around me and smile with joy. I love my partner for who they are and enjoy all their qualities. I want the best for my partner and will support them on their journey. I take bold action in spite of fear and use it as fuel for my success small or big. I am confident and live in the present moment. I am healthy and well on the inside and the outside. I have integrity and I am reliable. I have a strong immune system. (This is a good one if you are a teacher and everyone is getting sick, so the placebo effect kicks in and you “feel” you are getting sick to, when you’re really not!) I release my stress with every deep breath. I am peaceful.

A Book Review

I really enjoy reading personal growth books and I’d like to share ones that have really inspired me. Many of these books I enjoy, but they don’t get me fired up enough to take action. The one I will write about on this post is called You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero. It changed the stigma and definition I had with the word “rich.” I thought rich people were the people with all the money. She challenges you to change that and make your own definition that pertains to you. Are you rich with experiences? What makes your life rich? What kind of life do you want to live and what kind of money does that require? This book goes on to say that making money doesn’t always have to be hard. There are ways to make money doing something you find fun. The universe has given you the opportunities, you just have to take them! This book reads as if the author is talking to you face-to-face and it was funny! That personal feeling really kicked my butt into gear, I felt like she was talking TO me, not AT me! I highly recommend this book, I can’t recommend it enough, if you want a book that shifts your paradigm, makes you think about what you want in life, and gets your behind going to accomplish all those awesome goals you have in a personal, humorous way!

Featured Image: Photo credit to Brandon Allen @branndonallen

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A Simple Guide to the… Acupressure Mat

Photo credit by Brandon Allen Check him out on Instagram for your photography and videography needs! @branndonallen

Have you ever thought laying on something spiky would be good for your health? Have you ever heard of “a bed of nails”? If you think NO WAY…. that would be too painful! Think again! An acupressure mat has many health benefits and I am going to tell you the four that I have benefited from.

Acupressure and acupuncture have been around for a while now. It was introduced in Chinese medicine about 5,000 years ago. But there is a difference between the two. Acupuncture is invasive, where a professional sticks needles in your skin in certain points on your body. Acupressure is non-invasive and you can get the same benefits from the privacy of your own home.

The first benefit is natural pain relief. This mat has done wonders for my back, my shoulders, my neck, and my IT band. I have been to massage therapists who have told me the pressure points in my shoulder are tight and I need to come back. They said the tightness in my shoulders is causing the tightness in my neck. I knew exactly what they were talking about because I could feel the tension in my shoulders. My muscles just could not relax. I would have to tell myself to relax my shoulders and I could instantly feel my shoulders drop and the tension relieved. I heard about the acupressure mat and decided to try it out. I felt the tension relief very quickly so I added it to my nightly routine. My IT band has really benefited. I have an extremely tight IT band due to overuse from being an athlete for a very long time. The IT band is a tendon that runs from your hip to the top of your shin bone, that’s a pretty long tendon so it hurts my entire leg. Just an achy, dull pain. Very annoying. When I use my mat, I start on my back and then roll to the side of the tight IT band. In seconds, I feel the pain go away and the tension melt away. It’s like going to a beach in Aruba… it takes about 20 minutes for you to melt and your stress goes out to the sea! You can literally feel it. It’s a beautiful feeling. (Side note, I highly recommend going to Aruba, this sensation really does happen!) If you have tension or pain in your back, shoulders, neck, legs I highly suggest you get this mat into your life and into your bedtime routine.

The second benefit is improved sleep. Are you an overthinker? Does your mind race at night? Are you up thinking about that project that is due in 2 weeks? Try the acupressure mat. The spikes on the acupressure mat are geared to hit certain pressure points in your body that help you sleep. It does this because the pressure points in your body that are being pressured are responsbile for also releasing endorphins, your feel good hormones! Those pressure points also help with tension relief. The reason why most people have trouble sleeping is because they do not have enough endorphins going to their brain or they are stressed out about something. The acupressure mat takes care of both of these things. I have been in such great moods and am able to maintain that mood all day long during my teaching day. My sleep quality has really improved as well. When your brain is happy and your body is happy, you feel more relaxed and are able to sleep better. If your mind is racingor your stressed, I highly suggest laying, standing, sitting, sleeping on this mat for at least 15 minutes every night.

The third benefit is relaxation. Even if there are no problems and you’re feeling really good one day, still use the mat! You are still getting the benefits of relaxing your muscles. Probably muscles that you didn’t even know were tense in the first place! You will notice a difference in how your body feels when you are the mat into your nightly routine and people will notice a difference in your mood throughout the day! Do your mind, body, and heart a favor and get yourself on an acupressure mat.

The fourth benefit is the privacy of your own home. You do not have to go anywhere to get all these benefits. You can stay at your own house! This was a huge benefit for me because I live out in the country and where there are not a lot of options around. If I didn’t have this mat, I guarantee I would be less likely to do acupressure because I would have to drive an hour just to go do it. With this, all I have to do is get my mat out, lay it on the floor, and it’s ready to go! Plus you can travel with it, which recovery after travel is super important if you want to enjoy your time adventuring! That’s for another post at another time though 🙂

Let me tell you about my first experience with an acupressure mat because I’m sure it will be similar to your first time and I don’t want it to scare you! I was having some issues with some shoulder and neck tension so I decided to give this mat a try. I was pretty scared at first. I thought to myself, “You want me to lay on this thing, that looks extremely painful, almost like I’m going to cuddle with a porcupine? I don’t think so.” I thought about it for a few more minutes to push past the fear of pain and decided to lay down anyways. It was painful at first, like I said before it felt like I was cuddling with a porcupine. It felt like a burning sensation. I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish, let alone ever get on the mat again. But in my mind, I thought about all the benefits of it and I wanted those benefits so I stayed on for a few more minutes. When I got up, I could feel that my muscles felt more loose and I felt more relaxed. I continued laying on the mat, building up a tolerance, starting at 5 minutes for a while, then to 10 minutes. I can now lay on the mat for much longer and sometimes almost fall asleep on the mat. I have definetely reaped the benefits of this amazing product! There are also two reviews from others who use the mat who have also reaped the benefits… don’t forget to check those out, too! Do yourself a favor and buy an acupressure mat, you will not be disappointed! Your body, mind and heart will thank you! Stay healthy and happy everyone! And remember to love yourself every day because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Ashley

Jae and Nicole, owners of At the Core Lifestyle- “We’ve seen acupuncture work on animals (horses and dogs) and we were interested in the benefits but we especially like the mat because it gives us the privacy of our own home.  We incorporated the mat 3-5 days per week for around 10 minutes each session to help control pain caused by inflammation/overuse.  Try using it for about 10 minutes before going to bed and you’ll almost be asleep on the mat- before you can even get into your bed!  We highly recommend it.”

Check out At The Core Lifestyle, a health and wellness business, on Facebook or Instagram

@ATClifestyle @thecore_lifestyle

Nicole, from Florida, said “I bought the acupressure mat to help with some constant muscle tightness in my back. The mat hurts at first- but I felt much better after! I can count on it to help every time I use it!”

Why I Am Here

Hello everyone! My name is Ashley and I am a self-care geek! I love taking some “me” time at night to make sure I am unwinding from long days of teaching little ones and preparing myself for a brand new day.

I have been practicing self-care for about 2 years now and have really noticed a difference in myself. I once was a very negative person, always seeing the worst. So I started researching and finding new ways to get out of the cloud of negativity. The way was through self-care. I started loving myself, making goals for my life and accomplishing them, being more mindful and more calm throughout my day. The purpose of my blog is to share my knowledge with others and to be as transparent and helpful to others as possible.

Topics will include supplements I take, infrared lighting, flourescent lights and what to do about them, accupressure mats you can use at home and more. All the things I use can be used at home and I will also give suggestions about ways you can keep the self-care going on the go or at work.

I hope to connect with people who are looking for ways to be better and feel better in their day to day routines and with people who enjoy self-care but are looking for some fresh ideas to add.

With this blog and the knowledge I have acquired, I hope to inspire you to take care of yourself and love yourself for you because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

With love,

Ashley