Inspire Health Issue 50

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Empowering Natural Living


Uchuva s e i r r e B



Fitness FADS

Settling Smart

DANA LOOK-ARIMOTO A New Slant on Balancing Life



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contents issue 50  2020



Settling Smart




Using Nutrition to Prevent Macular Degeneration



Uchuva Berries

Avocado Chocolate Pudding



5 Health Benefits of Ginger

Dehydrated Winter Vegetables



Fab Fitness Fads

Corn Soup with Turkey Tasso


Boost Your Immunity the Natural Way



The Smell of Dark Chocolate May Help You Lose Weight


Stop Your Cat from Trashing the Christmas Tree

27 HEALTHY MIND Role Fatigue


Screen-Free Family Time


What Should You Know About Sustainable Fashion?


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s o d a c o Av


s e i r r e B a v u h Uc

super food



he uchuva berry is packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Unlike other supposed superfruits, the uchuva is available fresh and tastes great. Grab a handful of delicious uchuvas and treat yourself to a nutrient-dense, low calorie snack that comes in its own packaging. The uchuva is also known as the Cape gooseberry, physalis, golden berry and Inca berry. It’s a small fruit up to an inch in diameter and comes in a papery sheath that looks like a tiny lantern. Uchuvas are yellow or orange when ripe and contain lots of seeds. They are sweet and tart at the same time, tasting somewhere between a ripe tomato and a pineapple. Because uchuvas come in their own casing, the berries are free of pesticides and chemicals. A serving of uchuvas weighing 140 grams contains only 74 calories but contains 20 percent of your daily vitamin A and 26 percent of your daily vitamin C. Uchuvas also have B vitamins, calcium and iron.

Uchuvas are rich in melatonin, an antioxidant hormone that may protect against degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The fresh berries are believed to be anti-inflammatory, and also contain withanolides, which have anti-carcinogenic properties. Uchuvas are tropical but come from high-altitude areas of Peru and South America. This means that you can grow your own uchuvas easily during the summer. Plant the tiny seeds in a pot of damp compost during the spring. Keep it on a sunny windowsill until the plants appear. Put your uchuva plants into the garden or on a windowsill once the last frost has passed. Choose a sunny spot with open soil.

Uchuva plants only need to be watered if they start to wilt, and produce plenty of fruit even in poor quality soil. Harvest ripe fruit as they drop of the plant, about 80 days after planting. Expect fruit in the late summer and into the fall before the plants die as soon as they are exposed to frost.

t are sweem s a v u e h c a U at the ste t r a t d n a tas time anredbetween e somewhom ato and a t e p i r a . pineapple



editor’s letter

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON We are living in a time of the unknown. Would you have ever thought that our lives would be turned upside down because of a pandemic? We've all heard of it happening in the past, but if you are like me you were blindsided by this one, especially at a time when we have access to the new age of medicine. Now more than ever, you should take every precaution to stay healthy and prevent illness. Everyone has their own theory, but it all boils down to one thing: the state of your existing health condition. Vitamin D deficiency, hypertension, obesity, respiratory and heart disease are just a few of the issues that can take you from fighting off disease to being overcome by it. Make an effort to take better care of your health; it could save your life. Eat fresh foods that are rich in vitamin C and vitamin D. Stay away from fast food. Don't smoke and keep your alcohol intake to a minimum. We are all in this together and together we can make the world a healthier place to live. Frequent farmers markets and buy local to support small businesses in your area. Stop buying from national conglomerates that import from other countries and look in your own neighborhood for goods. You will be surprised at what you find. Take care, read Inspire Health, keep your family healthy and carry on. Peace, Love and Greens, Suzanne Fox

M A G A Z I N E executive publishers Hal G. Fox & Suzanne Polk Fox

managing editor Suzanne Polk Fox

copy editor Chad Ruiz

contributing writers Anthony Baker Patricia Danflous Annie Franklin Judi Gaman Amber King

Help us inspire others! We want to know what inspires you to live healthy. You could be published in the next issue of Inspire Health magazine. Email us at

Sarah Kirckland Laine Morris Nellie Palmer Amy Reid Katherine Tallichet Dina Zelden

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Suzanne Fox Claire Thomas The information contained in Inspire Health is intended for educational purposes only. A reader should never substitute information contained in Inspire Health for the advice of a health care professional. Jumpstart Publishing, LLC and publishers of Inspire Health, do not endorse or promote any of the products or services described in the pages of Inspire Health and the publishers do not verify the accuracy of any claims made in the editorial or advertisements contained in Inspire Health. Readers should not use the information in Inspire Health for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Readers should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or have or suspect they have a health problem. V4

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natural beauty

r e g Gin

By Nellie Palmer


inger is incredibly versatile. It has long been used in Chinese medicine to treat a whole range of ailments and conditions. In some Eastern cultures, particularly in Japan, slices of ginger are eaten between dinner courses in order to clear the palate. In Western culture, ginger is often used to prevent travel sickness and morning sickness during pregnancy. It is also sometimes used to treat colic, flatulence, and other stomach and intestinal disorders. In cooking, fresh root ginger, dried ginger, or ground ginger can be used to add a spicy tang to sweet or savory dishes. The oil from ginger is also sometimes distilled so it can be used in perfumes. Here are five health and beauty benefits of ginger: 1. Ginger can stimulate hair growth by improving blood circulation. Finely grate a small piece of fresh ginger and then extract the juice by passing it through a fine sieve or piece of cheesecloth. Mix the ginger



juice with a little avocado oil and massage into your scalp. Leave for 30 minutes before washing out. 2. Ginger may provide relief from migraine headaches and the accompanying symptoms. Research has been conducted into the affect of ginger on migraines and the results have been encouraging. Ginger is thought to help by stopping prostaglandins from causing the dilation of blood vessels, which is a common cause of migraines. 3. Including fresh ginger as a regular part of your diet could help to alleviate the pain of arthritis. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and has been successful in helping to relieve the pain and inflammation of arthritis in some people. The effect is cumulative, so you need to eat the spice regularly to feel the full benefits. 4. Ginger can boost your immune system and help to fight off colds and infections. For an immune-boosting drink, infuse some slices of fresh ginger in a cup of boiling water, and ยง #inspirehealthmag

add a squeeze of lemon and a spoonful of honey for additional benefits. The drink can also help to clear your sinuses and settle your stomach. 5. Ginger can help to clear spots and treat acne. Finely grate a piece of ginger and extract the juice using a sieve. Dab the juice directly onto spots, pimples and areas that are prone to acne. Leave it for thirty minutes before rinsing off with cold water.

One tablespoon ginger 1. juice, 2 tablespoons aloe vera and 1/2 tablespoon honey. 1 tablespoon ginger juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Brewed green tea and grated ginger.

2. 3.

Mix ingredients of each remedy. Apply to your face with a cotton ball. Leave on for 5 minutes. Reapply once a week.










By Anthony Baker


etting fit and staying in shape is incredibly important to people of all ages, especially in the 21st century. Even though only approximately 15 percent of Americans belong to an actual gym, more people are getting involved in outdoor fitness activities as well as joining yoga studios and Pilates. Certain fitness fads are incredibly popular and effective for weight-loss, endurance and strength. The first of these major fitness fads is hot yoga. Often called Bikram yoga, hot yoga is taught in a studio with the heat turned up to 90 degrees or more. Hot yoga is helpful for increasing flexibility and cardio. Even though you are engaging in a rather typical



yoga routine, it is much harder for your heart rate to maintain a normal level while enduring the heat. One of hot yoga's most desired benefits is the detox your body will receive. All that sweating will help to clean out your system and purify your organs and muscles. Another popular current fitness fad is Zumba by Beto Perez. Zumba is an exciting, calorie burning dance exercise that blares music, typically with a Latin flare. These classes are usually taken in a gym with a certified instructor, but can also be purchased on CD to get a work out in your living room. Typically an hour long, Zumba is great for men and women of all fitness levels who want to sweat while having a blast. The dance styles ยง #inspirehealthmag

Zumba is an exciting, calorie burning dance exercise class, typically with a Latin flare. are a combination of salsa, hip-hop, tango, meringue and more. The choreography is fun and incorporates strength movements to help promote muscular endurance. One of the most highly ravedabout fitness programs right now is Insanity created by Shaun T. The Insanity workout is a variety of high impact workouts that shred calories and build cardio endurance fast. Insanity is quite difficult and requires the individual to be able to push past their physical and mental boundaries in order to keep going, even when they feel the need to quit. Plenty of fitness experts find the Insanity program to be fun, addictive and super effective.

Hot yoga, Zumba and Insanity are just a few of the top exercise programs that are all the rage right now. Luckily for some people with gym memberships, they can take all the classes whenever they are available at their fitness center. Otherwise, many programs can be purchased online and you can work out to the videos in the comfort of your own home.

HOt Yoga, often called Bikram Yoga is taught in a studio with the heat turned up to a minimum of 90 degrees.

Insanity Fitness is a variety of various high impact workouts that shred calories and build cardio endurance fast

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eat fresh



s o d a c o v A

By Katherine Tallichet


vocados are one of the few fruits that are high in fat, specifically monounsaturated fat, the heart-healthy kind that many dietitians recommend. Avocado used to be called the alligator pear because of its bumpy outer texture, and while you might love it for its creamy texture; this popular fruit also has surprising benefits. Here are five health benefits of avocado you should know about.


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Avocados Fight Inflammation Inflammation is a driving force behind a number of chronic health problems, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. There aren’t many health problems that inflammation doesn't contribute to. With inflammation being such a threat to health, avocado is a helpful and healthy addition to the dinner table. It contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties and oleic acid, one of its fatty acids that helps keep inflammation in check. Good for Eye Health Vision is important to humans, but eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration rob people of their ability to see clearly. Sadly, the risk of developing macular degeneration is 30 percent by age 75. So how can you lower your risk? A healthy diet, moderate exercise and not smoking are lifestyle habits that may lower the odds; but eating more avocado might give you an edge too. They contain nutrients called carotenoids that support the health of the retina, the portion of the eye affected by age-related macular degeneration. What a delicious way to help prevent loss of vision! Beneficial for Weight Control A cup of avocado contains 10 grams of fiber, giving it the highest fiber content of any fruit. A study published in Obesity Reviews found consuming more dietary fiber reduced appetite by 5 percent, lowered long-term energy intake by 2.6 percent


and reduced body weight by 1.3 percent. They also contain healthy fats and proteins that reduce sugar cravings. Avocados are nutrient-dense and packed with antioxidants. When you're trying to lose weight eating less can help, but you need to consume more nutrient-dense foods to prevent nutrient deficiencies. When you combine the satiety benefits of avocados with their high nutrient density, it's easy to see why they're a weight loss friendly food. Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease A diet rich in avocados may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Despite their high-fat content, studies show that the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats in avocados lower LDL-cholesterol, the type linked with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies also show that adding more avocado to the dinner table, especially if you use it as a replacement for starchy vegetables and processed carbohydrates, may improve insulin sensitivity and how the cells in your body handle glucose. Since


insulin resistance and elevated LDL-cholesterol are both risk factors for cardiovascular disease, you're doing something good for your heart when you bite into one. Avocados Enhance Nutrient Absorption One nutritional fact about avocados that many people don't know is that they boost the absorption of certain nutrients when you eat them with other foods. The monounsaturated fats in avocado help you absorb more of the beta-carotene, an antioxidant nutrient and precursor to vitamin A, from orange vegetables and leafy greens. An Ohio State study found that people who ate around 5 ounces of avocado with carrots and tomato sauce absorbed more of the beta-carotene available in these foods. So add avocado to your next


salad for optimal nutrient absorption. The Bottom Line Avocados have a creamy texture that makes them irresistible. They're a natural for salads, wraps and sandwiches. You can use avocado as a sandwich spread and replacement for butter.You’ll get hearthealthy monounsaturated fats when you make this substitution, making it a smart and healthy move. Try cutting an avocado in half, removing the pit and filling the space with fresh chicken or tuna salad.You can even open one up and spoon the inner flesh out with a spoon with a sprinkle of sea salt for added flavor. You'll find many uses for the versatile avocado and you can rest assured that you're getting lots of great benefits.

Use Avocados as a sandwich spread.








ancakes have been a breakfast staple for almost 2,500 years. References to this popular breakfast dish date back to Ancient Greece, and people have been calling them by the name "pancake" since the Renaissance. However, traditional pancake recipes are falling out of fashion because they don't reflect modern ideas about healthy breakfast choices. But there is good news for pancake lovers. Even in the age of avocado toast and overnight oats, there’s still room for a pancake breakfast. You can boost the health (and flavor) of your favorite pancake recipe by making any of these simple changes.

Use Whole Grain Flour

Try replacing one cup of white flour with ¾ cup of whole-wheat or multi-grain flour in your favorite pancake recipe. This adds extra vitamins and minerals, and the added fiber will help you feel fuller for longer.

Toss in Some Berries

Add a cup of fresh or frozen berries to your favorite pancake batter. This simple addition increases the amount of antioxidants and fiber in the pancakes without adding too many extra calories. The natural sweetness of the berries can take the place of sticky syrups as well.

Add a Super food Supplement

You can mix super food powders in with the other dry ingredients. Start with one teaspoon and adjust accordingly. Maca is an adaptogen that helps regulate hormone levels while adding a mellow flavor similar to vanilla. Beetroot powder will turn your pancakes a bold shade of pink and is packed with Vitamins A and C. Add a tablespoon of raw cacao powder for a kid-approved, chocolate-flavored mood enhancer.

Increase the Protein

If you follow a plant-based diet or don’t eat very much meat, you can help reach your daily protein goals by adding a scoop of protein powder to your pancake mix. Add one scoop of protein powder for every one cup of flour without impacting the texture of the pancakes.

Ditch the Mix

Pre-packaged pancake mixes often contain unhealthy ingredients like added sugar, partially hydrogenated oils and artificial colors. If you don't have time to make pancakes from scratch during the week, then batch cooking might be right for you. Double or triple your favorite pancake recipe, allow them to cool, and then freeze them in a resealable plastic bag with a piece of wax paper between each pancake. For two perfect, mid-week pancakes, just reheat them in the microwave for forty-five seconds on high. There's no need to throw out your griddle or restrict yourself to boring cereals. With these simple changes, you and your family can enjoy delicious, healthy pancakes for breakfast anytime.


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Slowly melt your chocolate and closely monitor its temperature because it easily burns and seizes. Before beginning, make sure all working and melting surfaces are dry.




t s o o B


By Sara Kirckland hat dreaded time of the year is almost here – cold and flu season. This means sicknesses brought on by cooler temperatures, back to school Petri dishes and a general abundance of germs. You may be looking to enhance any immunizations or shots you receive with some good old fashioned natural immune system boosters. Follow these guidelines for you and your family to enjoy a more comfortable fall.


Get plenty of sleep. Getting enough sleep

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each night is essential to keeping your immune system operating at peak efficiency. When you don't get enough sleep consistently, vital processes in your body begin to shut down. Adequate sleep is essential to regulating your immune system and keeping it able to fight off external infections and germs. Strive to stay well-rested with around eight hours of sleep each night.

Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

It's no wonder that parents everywhere admonish their children to eat their fruits and vegetables. Plantbased foods are rich in nutrients and vitamins that are critical to proper immune function. Some foods that are believed to naturally boost your immune system are blueberries, foods with omega-3 fatty acids, broccoli and spinach. This can also help you maintain a healthy weight which keeps your immune system functioning properly. It‘s a win-win! If you don't like vegetables, a daily multivitamin added to your diet can make up for any vitamin deficiencies. § #inspirehealthmag


Practice good hygiene. Keeping your hands washed during cold and flu season is one of the most sure-fire ways to avoid getting sick. People touch their eyes, nose and mouth a lot throughout the day, so washing your hands is essential to keeping germs away from those areas. This also includes oral hygiene - brushing teeth, flossing and mouth washing are important to keeping germs out of your mouth and out of your body.


Exercise regularly. In addition

to helping you maintain a healthy weight, regular exercise keeps your body and immune system functioning properly. Exercise helps improve blood circulation and allows white blood cells to travel rapidly to fight infections. Pursuing the healthiest lifestyle possible will help you avoid an uncomfortable cold season.

Simplicity is often best. These basic rules to live a healthy lifestyle through good eating, adequate sleep, proper hygiene and exercise will provide benefits to fighting off infections. Herbal supplements may help, but it's important to understand there isn’t scientific evidence supporting such claims. If you want to avoid the cold and flu season altogether, follow these tips to boost your immunity the natural way.


Women who report the most strual severe men For additional information on menstrual cramps, and llyweight loss to caand pi ty ps issues rangingcr from ammenopause of book “Radiant ls ve le depression and mental fog, see Dr. Hall’s w lo have Again & Forever,” a guide tonhelping esiumwomen live the best mag possible life before, during and after menopause.



cover story

t r a m S g n i l t Set A NEW SLANT ON BALANCING LIFE By Patricia Danflous


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ettle up. Settle down. Let’s settle our differences. It’s not available in blue, so you will settle for green. How often do you settle? Stop now. Follow the advice of leadership specialist, consultant, author, and entrepreneur Dana Look-Arimoto and start “settling smart.” The 52-year-old, dark-haired, super-active Californian, with a bright smile, equally bright eyes and glowing skin defies age. Her words and experience demonstrate wisdom and maturity. Glance at her resume, look her up on Linked-In, listen to her speak, or see an Instagram notification and you’re going to want to learn more about her and what she has to say. A former executive specializing in strategy, solutions and growth initiatives for Fortune 500 companies, Look-Arimoto was recognized by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as the 2015 Woman of Influence. She’s delivered international keynote addresses for a variety of industry events and has a reputation for leading companies to focus on “what’s next.” What was next for Look-Arimoto just over four years ago was powering up her entrepreneurial spirit to another level. She founded Phoenix5, a leadership and executive coaching company that transforms individuals and organizations with the holistic energy of Stop Settling®, which aims to end the myth of work-life balance. She recently started a podcast and her latest book, Stop Settling, Settle Smart: Rethinking Work-life Balance, Redesign Your Busy Life highlights the well-defined, logical method, mindset and movement to help individuals understand priorities and live a more harmonious life. In its name, the business reflects Look-Arimoto’s life experience on a professional and personal level. “Phoenix5 is kind of the fifth in a series of phoenixes in my life,” she explained. “The symbolism of

the mythological creature rising back to life from its own ashes is the brand that is authentic, genuine and experiential for myself and inspirational for others.” “The story behind the story, goes back to my strategy advisory work,” she said. “I co-led an analyst strategy house for six years, and I thought, ‘Well, wouldn’t it be cool to help people take the most complex thing- the most multi-dimension thing, their fifth-dimension life their quintessence, and boil it down into the simple, most common denominator of clarity?’ So Phoenix to the fifth dimension was a logical choice.” Choice is a core element in Look-Arimoto’s approach to Stop Settling. “Redesigning your life is making deliberate, conscious choices based on what you truly want out of life and learning how to prioritize your time,” she said. In Stop Settling she offers question and answer scenarios which guide individuals in determining priorities, while providing guidelines for understanding, accepting and working within priority boundaries. “You can define a method and mindset that helps you choose the things you say ‘yes’ to in a way that not only fits your individual life but also gives you the push to move forward.” Look-Arimoto’s “yes” or ah-ha moment to redesigning her life came during a high point in her career. While moderating a Women’s Tech Networking event, a time management question was addressed to one of her mentors, Kate Purmal, a contributing author

to business-oriented Moon Shot Effect. Kate’s answer included the observation, "Oh, your problem is you don't have enough white space." “I felt like time froze,” Look-Arimoto said. “It was as if Kate was speaking directly to me, not the audience member who asked the question. I knew then it was time to make a decision. I pulled the trigger; became a corporate defector, and launched my own company. Up until then I lacked confidence.” Twenty-four hours later she resigned her company president role. “When Kate said ‘no white space,’ I was inspired,” she said. “I remember thinking, ‘Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I have some money in the bank. I'm a single mom, but my kids are alright, we're very stable. I was with a great guy clearly leading to marriage, and I just thought, if not now, when? I had to do it quickly because I didn’t want to lose the nerve. I always saw myself as the woman behind the entrepreneurs, but not the entrepreneur herself. But I was at the point where I didn’t want to build another business for anyone else. It was a choice – it was solo ownership or stay the corporate route.” Her decision-making story is a good one, but not all roses and sunshine. “My first on-my -own client came with a significant lesson learned. I sounded all ‘ballsy’ as I got started on my own, but I was still risk-adverse underneath. I took what I call a soft landing pad client right away and it was a big mistake. I had to fire her. I have never again repeated

Learn how you can be more human and less robotic as you discover your priorities and start settling smart. ”



that mistake and I know that I never will. I'm really good about what I call, ‘doing the fit’ call. I make sure that my clients are a good fit for me and me for them. Now part of that is I'm really booked up. I've got a wait list and I am in an amazing, fortunate position.” While Phoenix5’s reputation and client list continues to grow, Look-Arimoto points to the women in her life who continually inspire and validate her decisions. “Brené Brown’s work on courage has really changed my life and I am grateful for her work, her vulnerability and her teachings. A book I love is Kim Scott's Radical Candor, and my daughters, 16 and 20, have really inspired me, frustrated me, taught me, challenged me. My 16 year old, for example, is very outspoken, very assertive, unbelievably clear about what she wants, what she doesn't want, how to get it. She's a crusader. When I went out on my own, she actually said, ‘So it's about time you practice what you preach.’ That was a powerful moment for me.” Stop Settling is not about stopping, she emphasizes. It is about living smart to get where you want to be and that is a constant journey. “Yes, I have achieved success financially. I am helping people and making a lasting impact,” she stated. “Am I where I want to be? Not even close. My husband asked me ‘what if you only touch one life and make a difference for one person? Is it worth it?’ I immediately said yes, but a million would be good, too. I’m very driven when it comes to helping making the universe better, particularly during this time of racial injustice and economic uncertainty and health issues. I feel very driven to make a difference for as many lives as possible while I'm on this planet.” She is not settling. “I have not settled for stretching my own ability to be more public-facing, more social, reaching beyond my usual comfort zone of leaders and executives,” she emphasized. “It’s not easy. I have fought, and fought, and fought against this whole social media thing and then



finally, it dawned on me like, ‘Duh, if you don't get on, you will never touch the lives you want to touch.’ So that has been a super-stretch and and I'm absolutely loving it.” She is settling for the opposite, however. “That’s not doing it all at one time, taking breaks, using white space and doing nothing. I will not give up on my reading time,” she said, adding that she typically has three diverse genres going at one time. “It's really only been probably the last three out of four years that I've really gotten my act together in terms of what I want and what I don't. What I'm willing to accept and what I don't. I'll give you a good example, I was asked to do a 5:30 am major top 10 news spot this week. It was really hard to do, but I said, ‘no, thank you, can’t do 5:30 am. It’s not because I'm a prima donna and I need to be in full makeup. It's because my sleep is vital, I struggle with sleep, and it's just not worth it. That was all about making a good choice for me.” The Phoenix5 leader advises her executive clients to navigate their day in a similar manner. She recommends planning the day around individual optimal performance. “If I am better at writing or speaking in the morning, I plan my stuff that way,” she said. “If § #inspirehealthmag

I am better at strategizing thinking or just allowing myself to do research or contemplate in the afternoon, I do it that way. My number one rule for time mastery is 15 minutes between meetings. We need to pet the dog, do outside we need water, we need to get up and stretch, we need a break. We need mental relaxation and the ability to reset.” “If you've ever had lunch in Mexico City, let me tell you, it is a two-hour glorious experience and it is more than just food, and a break, and relaxation, and bonding and eating, it's work,” she said. “It's performance-enhancing and incredibly relaxing as well. There is a dichotomy in this country. We see those who say, ‘I'm a superwoman because I take 80 hours worth of meetings every week.’ That's not the truth. Actually, productivity, joy and value goes up when we take more breaks because we have limits. We are human after all, we're not robots.” Learn how you can be more human and less robotic as you discover your priorities and start settling smart. You can learn more in Look-Arimoto’s book, Stop Settling, Settle Smart: Rethinking Work-life Balance, Redesign Your Busy Life or visit her website:




healthy body

e t a l o c o h C k r a D



Who doesn't like a nibble or two of dark chocolate? When you have an urge for something indulgent, a bite of bittersweet chocolate is like ambrosia to the tongue. However, chocolate has a reputation for adding inches to the waistline. It isn't a low-calorie food, but despite the abundance of calories in the average chocolate bar, studies show that even its aroma could help you eat less. By Amber King


study conducted by researchers in Denmark made a delicious discovery. They challenged a group of young women to either smell or eat 30 grams of melted dark chocolate with 85 percent cocoa content. They found the women who devoured the dark chocolate felt less hungry afterward. Ghrelin is a hormone that goes up when you don't eat for a while, and when it rises you experience hunger pangs and cravings. When the researchers measured how much ghrelin the participants had in their bloodstream, their levels were lower. This isn't surprising since dark chocolate is a satiating treat. More surprising is how the women who only smelled the dark chocolate reacted. Their hunger was satiated and their ghrelin levels dropped. The subjects who only smelled the dark chocolate had a similar response as those who ate it. Why would the aroma of dark chocolate suppress appetite? As you might have noticed when you have a cold, your sense of taste is closely tied to



your sense of smell. If your sinuses are stopped up and you can't breathe easily, food tastes bland. One theory is that tasting or smelling dark chocolate tricks your brain into thinking you've fed it chocolate. Because your body thinks you've eaten, your brain tells the cells lining your stomach to release less ghrelin and your appetite diminishes. Dark chocolate isn't the only scent that can curb the desire to eat. Some studies show that a whiff of peppermint or banana can calm appetite and food cravings. Therefore you may not have to eat to calm your hunger; the aroma may suffice. It's Okay to Eat or Take a Whiff Fortunately, studies show that dark chocolate is a rich source of anti-inflammatory compounds called flavonoids. Research finds that the flavonoids in dark chocolate lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation inside the artery walls. That's important since inflammation contributes to cardiovascular disease and stroke risk. § #inspirehealthmag

So don't feel guilty! Even cardiologists recommend eating a little dark chocolate each day. The key is to control portions and not devour an entire bar. If you're trying to lose weight, you could instead take a whiff when you feel an urge to snack. Look for a dark chocolate bar that contains at least 70 percent cacao, an indirect measure is the flavonoid levels in the bar. Choose one with less than 7 grams of sugar or sweetened with the non-calorie natural sweetener Stevia. Don't choose milk chocolate because it’s higher in sugar and lacks the heart-healthy flavonoids that dark chocolate has. The Bottom Line Keep some dark chocolate on hand when cravings strike! A whiff may be all you need and even if you eat a square or two, you're still getting health benefits. Dark chocolate is even a source of some minerals like iron and magnesium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure and is important for our health. So enjoy a whiff or a bite!





Your Cat from Trashing the


By Annie Franklin

Cats and Christmas trees can be an impossible combination. Cats love to climb, they are attracted to things that shine and love to pounce on anything that dangles. With a bit of forethought it is possible to have both a Christmas tree and a cat at least minimize the potential for damage. These six tips should help stop your cat from attacking your Christmas tree.


Strategically position the tree Make sure your tree is in a secure position and the stand is stable. If you place the tree in a corner it's less likely to get knocked over. The same applies if it's far away from tables, chairs or anywhere high enough for your cat to use as a launch pad. Smaller trees are also less likely to topple over.


Distraction Place cat goodies like a scratching post or cat tower in the room. Add kitty gifts containing catnip to keep your cat interested in that part of the room, rather than in the Christmas tree. Any time



your cat looks like they are going to head for the tree, distract them with a jingling bell or squeaky toy to divert them. It's also a good idea to make sure that no cat toys or treats are left under the Christmas tree. If you have a gift for your cat, especially something that it might be able to smell, don't leave it under the tree or you may be inviting trouble.


Scent the tree Cats tend not to like citrus scents so giving the branches an essential oil spritz before decoration may help keep kitty away. Other suggestions include a vinegar spritz or scattering citrus peel around the base.


Secure the Christmas lights Twinkling lights are a magnet for cats, so if you must have them, make sure they are ยง #inspirehealthmag

secure. Wrap them closer to the trunk rather than have them dangling in a reachable position. You could also tape the wire down or use a sturdy cable tie for any slack.


Avoid tinsel and glass ornaments Some decorations will be too tempting for your kitty, and dangerous. Glass baubles, glitter, decorations that attach with wire and tinsel all fall into this category. Broken ornaments, wire and tinsel could cause serious damage if ingested. Think about more natural ornaments made from wood and tied with string, or paper, felt and silk decoration alternatives.


Double-sided sticky tape and aluminum foil Cats don't like the feel of anything sticky on their paws, so a layer of double-sided tape around the base of the tree should stop most cats from trying to climb it. This isn't fool proof, as some cats will jump over the tape, but in combination with the other suggestions it may work to ward off your cat. Aluminum foil works on a similar principle - cats tend not to like the feel of it under their paws.

It may not be possible to completely deter a determined kitty. But these tips should at least help to make your Christmas tree less likely to be trashed by your cat.

healthy mind


By Judi Gaman

Is Wearing All Those Hats Making Your Head Spin?


f you’re past forty, you’re probably the leading lady of your own home, while playing many supporting roles on the larger stage of life.You’re most likely the mother to children of various ages, daughter to parents who have new and unique needs, and friend to those you would never turn your back on. Often these roles are balanced around a myriad of tasks in the home or at the workplace. At the end of the day, your head may be spinning and your brain is feeling heavy or drained. It would be easier if the roles were played one at a time, but instead we’re flipping back and forth between what we need to accomplish, and in what capacity we need to be present. For example, one day after a busy day at the office, I came home and signed a card to one of my children with my first name, rather than signing it ‘Love, Mom’. My brain didn’t have quite enough time to switch from boss mode to mom mode. Role fatigue is real, and it comes with a list of symptoms that include headache, back pain, malaise,and even sexual dysfunction. The best way to manage the symptoms is to manage what’s causing them. Here’s a list of tips on how you can manage the hats you wear, and in turn reduce fatigue. SET BOUNDARIES WITH YOUR CHILDREN (even if they’re grown) – Many of us were “yes moms” when

our kids were young, always there to help no matter what. The downside of that is when the children grow up they still haven’t figured out how to manage their issues without calling for help. Help with the big stuff, the life changing things, but encourage them to tackle the smaller stuff on their own. Even if they get it wrong, they will learn from the experience. Don’t rob them of the opportunity to grow. PUT DATE NIGHT ON THE CALENDAR AND MAKE IT NON-NEGOTIABLE – When all the kids leave the nest there will be this moment of truth. Do you really know this person you’ve been living with? Don’t wait another day. Pick a night of the week and make it your night to reconnect. Trade off each week and allow the other person to plan the evening. Just be sure that this night is also about intimacy. It’s so easy to get distracted that weeks can go by without sex, but this guarantees that you’ll connect at least four times a month. SCHEDULE YOUR PARENT TIME – If you’re like many others your age, your parents may be aging and facing health issues. These issues can be stressful alone but when you tag on the emotion of watching a parent decline, it can become overwhelming. Pick a day of the week that you check on them, review their medications, discuss any concerns and then write down the action plan for that week.

Role fatigue is real, and it comes with a list of symptoms that include: headache, back pain, malaise and even sexual dysfunction.

This will also help you gauge when it’s time to bring in more help or move to an assisted living center. TIGHTEN YOUR CIRCLE – In a world where social media has us calling everyone a friend, it’s easy to forget who your besties are. Pick three to five people for your inner circle and stay close with them.You can still have friends at lower levels of closeness, but by focusing on a smaller number you can reserve your energy for the more immediate needs of family and self. DATE YOURSELF – That’s right, you need to have time to yourself. Find a few hours each week that you take all the hats off your head, turn in your titles and just be you spending time with you. Take in a good book, a bubble bath, a dip in the pool or your favorite show – uninterrupted. Not everything about middle age is bad. Finding ways to manage all the external pressures you’ll be able to find the simple joys that come at the most unexpected time. When you wear your hats, wear them proudly. But never be afraid to take them off, let your hair down and just be you. AUTHOR: Judy Gaman is the CEO of Executive Medicine of Texas ( and author of multiple books. Her latest book, Love, Life, and Lucille (www. is about how Lucille Fleming, a centenarian (over 100), changed her life forever. Judy’s also an award-winning speaker who travels the country inspiring and engaging audiences of all sizes.



mighty kids



echnology is here to stay—like it or not! Families must learn to navigate in a world filled with screens and digital distractions. Parents are often warned of the physical, mental, and emotional effects of technology on children and adults alike. How do they best respond to studies and the commonly cited findings? Here are some ideas for moderating technology in your life. Parents should examine their relationship with technology by admitting their own struggle with screentime limits. They are the first example to their children about moderating screen use. Remembering to put down the devices and interact with family members goes a long way in setting the tone for their children. Families that develop and enforce their rules regarding technology have a better understanding of limits. Limits on time, as well as website and app approval, need to be discussed ahead of time. If children feel that they have a voice in the why and how of their family’s digital ground rules, they are more likely to abide by them. No-Device Mealtimes are one way to ensure family



interaction. Interpersonal and communication skills suffer when we are plugged in and relating on social media. Mealtimes free of devices will encourage and develop communication skills which are necessary to succeed, even in a technology-saturated world. Especially during the holiday season, requesting that everyone keep devices away from family time may be a good start to future meals and gatherings without devices. Cyber-Free Sundays, or even a portion of a day, can provide rest for technology weary brains. Families can brainstorm non-digital ways to spend time together such as outings to the zoo and other local attractions, enjoying nature while picnicking or hiking, or participating in indoor or outdoor games. Again, if children are allowed a voice in generating ideas and making choices about how to spend time as a family, they will be more enthusiastic about those activities. Provide alternatives for children to enjoy on their own. Encourage real life play by setting aside time for screen-free activities, depending on your children’s ages and interests. Activities they enjoy on a § #inspirehealthmag

By Dina Zeldon screen can be encouraged in real life as well. Cooking games can inspire junior chefs to create snacks and even meals with your help, and cyber architects can be introduced to classics such as Lincoln Logs and Legos. Hobby kits and books that go along with these interests encourage children to stay unplugged a little longer.

In today’s world, families cannot avoid technology. While there are drawbacks to technology, if parents are intentional and careful about what they expose themselves and their children to, families can enjoy the benefits it has to offer…all in moderation.


AD If you’re stru ggling with BDD issu I suggest you es, therapist righ find a t You can ask away. y family doctoour r for advice an d go online to find lots to help you. of websites have to sufferYou do not . Y overcome BDou can D. Good luck!






Let’s get the cat out of the bag at the get-go ­–100% sustainable in fashion is a myth. Why? When you do your laundry, microfibers get infused into the environment. You also use water, electricity, and detergent (unless it’s eco-friendly) to wash clothes. However, a little goes a long way and by understanding sustainability in fashion, you can do your bit.






Brands need to think about creating fashion that is fair to humanity and the environment. They must think about leaving the lightest carbon footprint. You, the consumer, need to be more aware of what you are buying. Read up on the philosophies that the brands you invest in, hold close.


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Question yourself before you buy that next piece of clothing - "do i really need this?










Macular Degeneration By Annie Franklin


he ability to see the beauty of the world is one of the most precious senses we have. It’s easy to take this ability for granted until it’s lost. One of the most common causes of vision loss in adults is a disease called macular degeneration, a condition most commonly seen in those over the age of 50. This disease is associated with a loss of central vision which makes it difficult to see and recognize details such as faces, but some peripheral vision is retained. The most common type, known as dry macular degeneration, is the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. As many as 10 percent of retirement age Americans have some degree of macular degeneration. Fortunately, there may be a way to prevent macular degeneration – through nutrition. A study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology showed that a diet rich in the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, reduced the risk of progression to serious macular degeneration. To determine this, researchers looked at dietary information on 2,924 subjects. They found that those who had a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids reduced their risk of advanced macular degeneration by about a quarter. Several previous studies have also shown that macular degeneration is less common in those with high



intakes of omega-3 from sources such as fatty fish This isn’t the first study to focus on nutrition as a way to prevent macular degeneration. The National Eye Institute sponsored research which showed that supplementing with high doses of beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc and copper reduced the risk of severe macular degeneration by 25 percent. Studies to further determine the effects of antioxidant supplements on the progression of this disease are ongoing. While there’s evidence that nutrition plays an important role in advanced macular degeneration, using antioxidants in supplement form has its own potential health risks. Antioxidant supplements, including vitamins C, E and beta carotene, have been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in smokers. Omega-3 supplements

appear to hold some promise for the prevention of macular degeneration and are safe to use in most people as long as a brand is chosen that’s free of impurities such as mercury and PCB’s. Omega-3’s have other positive health properties including benefits for the heart and blood pressure, but should be avoided if taking blood thinners. Always consult a doctor before taking any type of nutritional supplement. The safest approach for preventing macular degeneration may be to increase the amount of fresh vegetables and fatty fish in your diet. Fresh vegetables are a good source of the antioxidant vitamins C and E, while fatty fish are rich in omega-3. Care should be taken to select orange vegetables such as pumpkin and carrots since they’re the best sources of beta-carotene.





Avocado VEGAN CHOCOLATE PUDDING By Nellie Palmer Vegan chocolate avocado pudding is the real "no guilt" pudding. The ripe avocado makes a creamy replacement for milk or heavy cream. The combination of cacao powder, pure maple syrup and Madagascar vanilla turn the creamy avocado into a delightful rich chocolate pudding. Raspberries will help mask the avocado flavor and can be replaced with blueberries or cherries. Taste the pudding as you make it and adjust the ingredients to your liking.

 Ingredients • 1 avocado (ripe) • 2 tbsp cacao powder • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup • 1 tsp Madagascar vanilla • Pinch of salt • 2 tbsp water (or more as needed to blend) • 1/8 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, blueberries or cherries • Cacao nibs and berries for garnish  Directions  Scoop the flesh of the avocado into a food processor or blender.

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Add in the cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, water and berries. Blend until smooth.  Taste the pudding and add more maple syrup, cacao, vanilla or berries, if needed.  You can serve this right away, or put it in an airtight container in the fridge to chill.  Leftovers can be stored in small jelly jars in the fridge for up to 48 hours. The pudding can sometimes separate, but stirring it should restore the texture.



By Nellie Palmer


ith winter approaching and fall harvest in sight, having a variety of ways to store vegetables can be vital. Freezing and canning are fine, but what about dehydration? Dehydrating vegetables is easy to do, even if you are not a regular gardener with a dehydrator. Since root vegetables are mostly water and fiber, it’s fairly easy to rehydrate vegetables for soups on cold winter days. Simply follow the instructions we found at and be on your way to preparing dehydrated vegetables for your snacks, casseroles and soups. How to Dry Veggies in the Oven • Set your oven to 140 degrees or its lowest setting (some ovens won’t set below 170). • Use the convection setting if available. The convection setting mimics a food dehydrator by circulating heated air in the oven and reducing the drying time needed.

• Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces. • Blanch raw vegetables until crisp-tender. Rinse to cool. • It is not necessary to blanch raw onions, mushrooms, greens, zucchini or peppers. • Raw vegetables that must be blanched before drying include carrots and other root vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower and winter squash. • It's possible to blanch small amounts of vegetables in the microwave. • Frozen vegetables that have been thawed may also be dehydrated. Blanching is not necessary for vegetables that have been previously frozen. • Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends placing a cooling rack (like those used for cookies) on the baking sheet and placing the cut vegetables on the rack. However, you can spread the cut veggies directly on the baking sheet. • Dry vegetables until they are brittle, occasionally turning the vegetable pieces. Timing varies, although usually

takes a bit longer than it would using a food dehydrator. Using the oven set on 140 degrees with the convection setting, the above vegetables all took less than 6 hours to completely dry. • Vegetables dried in the oven don’t have to be conditioned like dried fruits as they are dried until brittle, not leathery. Uses for Dehydrated Vegetables • Make your own soup mixes. • Add dehydrated vegetables to purchased soups. • Use dehydrated vegetables when making casseroles. • Dehydrated vegetables are perfect for camping or backpacking meals. • Make your own vegetable powders from dried veggies. Vegetable powders can be used for: • Broth powders • Homemade pasta • Adding nutrition to meals for picky children




p u o S Corn

Makes about 8 servings


By Nellie Palmer


• 1 tbsp vegetable oil • 1 onion, chopped • 1 clove garlic, minced • 2 tsp chili powder • 1 tsp ground cumin • 4 cups vegetable stock • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained • 2 ( 8.75 oz) cans white shoepeg corn (or one frozen package of Pictsweet corn, or 16 oz fresh corn off the cob) • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper • 1 (28 oz) can stewed Marzano tomatoes • 8 oz of cooked and diced Turkey Tasso (any type of spicy ham or sausage will work here)


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STEP 1 In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Add cooked tasso, chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add stock, beans, corn, and pepper; bring to boil. STEP 2 Meanwhile, in food processor or blender, puree tomatoes leaving chunks of tomato, add to pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until tasso is tender. STEP 3 Season to taste with salt and pepper and ENJOY!








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