Physical Wellness

Recycle Nutrients and Compost the Easy Way

When you clean out your refrigerator, do you ever find old, wilted, mushy food you would not eat? Do you toss the old food into your garbage can? This thrown-out food, unfortunately, ends up in landfills, usually in plastic bags.

Throwing away old fruits and vegetables, scraps, or even rotten apples is an unfortunate waste of resources. Reclaim micronutrients through composting.

Food.compostRecycling unprocessed food, plant scraps, leaves, and grass clippings makes an easy-to-create compost.

Compost bins are available for purchase, and comprehensive "how to" information is available online. Bought or homemade composting bins are not the only option. In-ground composting is simple, easy, and costs nothing.

Thirty years ago, I planted my first successful garden. I went to my next-door neighbor for pointers. Her garden soil was rich, dark, and soft. My soil was grey and hard. I needed her help.

Expecting complicated advice that I would not follow, she showed me simplicity instead. She taught me how simple it was to have nutritious soil. I have followed her technique for the past thirty years whenever I had a plot of dirt. This process is simple, easy, and cost-free. The only equipment needed is a gallon glass jar with a tight-fitting lid - an old gallon pickle jar or something similar. Expensive, bulky compost bins are not necessary.

WHAT TO DO: I use a gallon, glass, pickle jar with a tight-fitting lid. I keep it convenient, on the floor near my pantry. I add scraps or pieces of unprocessed foods, such as potato skins, rotten apples or tomatoes, avocado peelings, rinsed eggshells, wilted greens, used coffee grounds, loose tea leaves, and other similar foods.

When the jar becomes full, I dig a hole in my garden or flowerbeds and empty its contents and old leaves or wood chips into the hole. I then fill it with the dirt I dug to make the hole. I put a large rock or three or four bricks on my newly filled compost hole to "mark the spot." I leave it like that for months before I move the rock and dig to check how it is composting. If you throw an avocado pit in the hole, it grows into a fledgling avocado tree that needs removing. It will not survive North Carolina winters. Either throw the avocado pit in your garbage or be willing to pull the fledging twig and toss it.

WHAT NOT TO DO: Do not compost meat, bones, or foods processed with preservatives and unwanted chemicals. Do not compost the entire rotten egg. Only compost the rinsed eggshells. I now crush, dry, and grind my eggshells into powder for my chickens. Most people do not have chickens but have dirt waiting to become fertile soil. Also, be careful if you have dogs that will dig up your composted scraps and eat rotten food. A large rock or two or three bricks placed over freshly buried compost helps keep critters out of your recycled nutrients.

This composting process requires nothing but a glass container with a tight-fitting lid or a container that will not absorb the smells, nor will it rust.

Try it. This easy composting method will cost nothing and is available year-round, even if a bit of snow needs moving. It recycles valuable nutrients for your future fruits and vegetables or your flowers.


8 Tips for summertime Health and Wellness

Karen Best Wright, B.S., M.A., Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

Eight Tips for Summertime Wellness Daisies.croppedWith winter over and spring passing, the full force of summer will soon be here. Summer can be exhilarating and an excellent time to focus on our wellness.

Tip 1: Enjoy the beauty of summer; Notice the sunrises, sunsets, and all the beautiful colors of summer. Summer is a time to let all life permeate your soul.

Tip 2: Eat fresh, healthy foods and go light on the heavy grilled meats that are often associated with summertime. Foods grown in your garden or purchased from a farmer's market are healthier than processed foods or foods fed with pesticides and added sugars.

Tip 3: Stay hydrated in severe heat. High temperatures and high humidity can cause heat exhaustion, which can result in heatstroke, also called sunstroke. Heatstroke is dangerous and can result in organ failure and even death. Older adults, infants, and those with chronic illnesses are at the highest risk. Do not count on coffee and highly caffeinated beverages for proper hydration.

Tip 4: Get your vitamin D from the sun when possible. Vitamin D can stay in the body for months. It can benefit the body even after summer has passed. Some people may still need a vitamin D supplement, but good old fashion sunshine is beneficial.

Tip 5: While getting enough sunshine is beneficial, do not get too much and get sunburned. Cover up with a hat, comfortable long sleeves, and long pants when exposed to the sun for an extended time. Cloth is safer for your skin than many sunscreens, which get absorbed into the bloodstream.

Tip 6: Protect yourself from insect bites. Mosquitoes and ant bites can ruin a beautiful summer day. Look for a natural insect repellant or make your own. Various mints and lemongrass essential oils make excellent insect repellants. Mix essential oils with a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil. Some people can use oils in their concentrated form. Just be cautious.

Tip 7: Take the time to be physically active. When the temperatures are high, early mornings or evenings are excellent for walking or bike riding. Remember to stay hydrated.

Tip 8: Protect your skin with the right foods. Sunburn is a type of inflammation, and foods influence inflammation. Eating plenty of anti-inflammatory foods can reduce sun sensitivity. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, and eggs help reduce inflammation. Antioxidant foods such as vegetables, berries, beans, and nuts also help reduce inflammation.

Be active, eat healthy, stay hydrated, protect your skin while getting enough sunshine, and have a great summer.


Springtime Wellness continued...

Karen Best Wright, B.S., M.A., Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

Springtime Wellness continued...

WellnesswayForWomen.com

HerbsApril's wellness article focused on the many benefits of springtime, such as warmer weather, beautiful colors, and a time for more outside activities that benefit the body and soul. April's article also mentioned new life through gardening. Container gardening or a full-size garden producing fresh vegetables for a healthy summer is encouraged.

We continue Springtime Wellness with aromatic herbs that will grow in our area. Fresh herbs enhance the taste of almost any food eaten. Some herbs also have medicinal purposes and are even added to household cleaners, adding a pleasant smell to a freshly cleaned area.

A novice gardener who does not know the best place to plant herbs (some need more sun than others) should start with containers that are moveable around the flower bed until experienced. Herbs mixed among the roses and flowers add a delightful array of colors and beauty. It also promotes a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. There are few things better than going out into one's garden and picking fresh herbs that enhance the taste of dinner.

Some people prefer to start their herbs from seeds indoors and transplant them when the chance of frost is over. Others buy small plants from the garden center and transplant them. It depends on your interest, time, adequate space, and proper lighting to start plants indoors. Buying small plants from a garden center is more predictable. Some herbs are perennials – they grow year after year. Others are annuals – they last only one season. Know what you are buying and plan accordingly.

ROSEMARY: Rosemary is easy to grow and usually a perennial, except in extreme winters. Rosemary has a woodsy pine-like scent with a strong flavor. Its appearance is a cross between sage and lavender. Rosemary is used to flavor poultry, meats, stews, and casseroles. Long rosemary stems can be hung in the kitchen to dry, giving the kitchen a country look and a pleasant aroma.

BASIL: Basil is a universal favorite widely used in Italian cuisines. It is an annual, so be prepared to replace it in your garden next year. There are different types of basil, from sweet to spicy. Basil is also healthy as it adds vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to foods.

OREGANO: Oregano is a staple in Italian and Mexican cuisines. Oregano's spicy flavor can season beans, spaghetti, poultry, and homemade pizza. It is an easy-to-grow perennial that flourishes easily.

LAVENDER: Lavender is usually a perennial that has a calming floral scent. It is used in recipes and drinks though commonly used in bath salts, sachets, and potpourris for calming emotions. Lavender grows well in hot, dry conditions.

THYME: Thyme is an easy-to-grow perennial that can grow outside or indoors. Its robust flavor seasons meats, roasted vegetables, and soups. Also, add thyme to teas, cocktails, and marinades.

SAGE: Sage is a culinary herb that combines pleasantly with rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf. It seasons meats, root vegetables, and soups. It is a hardy plant and best grown outdoors.

MINT: There are numerous types of mint; peppermint, spearmint, chocolate, and pineapple mint. The pineapple mint plant provides beautiful red flowers as the weather cools into autumn. The benefits of various mint plants have numerous health benefits, such as a digestive aid and an insect repellant. Freshly made mint tea straight from the garden beats hands down the processed little packages purchased from the grocery store.


Springtime Wellness - Holistic Health & Wellness

Karen Best Wright, B.S., M.A., Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

Springtime Wellness

SmilingflowerSpringtime can be a time that fills our lives with warmer weather, beautiful colors, and enthusiasm. Spring is a time for outside activities that lift the soul and strengthen our bodies. Walk fifteen to twenty minutes daily, and focus on the first signs of spring, such as the colorful flowers and the blossoming trees, to promote mindfulness and relieve stress. Spring brings the beginning of new life.

Spring can also fill the air with pollen and other allergens that trigger headaches and sinus issues. Allergies can ruin a beautiful spring day. Prepare ahead of time with either natural or medicinal remedies. Do not wait; prepare now.

To help springtime promote wellness, focus on eating fresh vegetables and fruits, staying hydrated with plenty of water, and avoiding heavy, greasy, processed foods. Incorporate clean air into your wellness plan. If the pollen is thick, with your car covered in yellow powder, have your air conditioner set to recycle the inside air, keeping the outside air outside your car. Room air cleaners can help clean the air inside the home. Make sure to change home air conditioner filters as needed.

Springtime brings life, so plant flowers and a small garden if possible. Even a few potted plants by the front door will be inviting. For those with allergies to coveted flowers and plants, wear long sleeves, long pants, and the dreaded face mask to help avoid rashes and sinus complaints. For those with no allergies to nature, enjoy.

What you think about can make or ruin a wonderful spring day. Whether walking or driving, daily notice the beauty of spring. Notice the colors, the variety, and the regular changes in nature. If you only notice the cracks in the roads and the mess of dogs left unattended, you will miss the beauty and feeling of renewal. Enjoy Spring 2023.


Personal Wellness Goals for 2023

Karen Best Wright, B.S., M.A., Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

 Holistic Health & Wellness – Personal Goals for 2023

Newyear2023.bEvery January, millions of Americans make promises to improve themselves - better health, improved organization, more money, better relationships, and more happiness. Most of these individuals will not stick to their resolutions. Why is that? One reason may be that New Year resolutions rarely consider how all six areas of wellness create balance and well-being, which improves the ability to achieve the desired goals.

Goals such as "losing 20 lbs.," quitting smoking," or "obtaining better employment" are worthy goals, but rarely are they accomplished without the influence of all areas of wellness. Holistic wellness includes physical health, emotional health, social health, intellectual health, spiritual health, and environmental health. These six areas of wellness factor into the success of accomplishing any important goal or resolution.

The three examples of losing weight, quitting smoking, or getting a better job are all influenced by physical health, emotional health, social health, and even intellectual well-being.

This process is called holistic health and wellness. All areas work together to create a synergistic well-balanced life. If a person wants to lose weight, she most likely will not thoroughly study all areas of wellness that could affect her success. However, it is possible to recognize the most apparent areas of wellness that will impact progress. In the example of losing weight, one's overall health is likely the first thing a person will consider. Emotional wellness is also vital because emotions often drive people to overeat or eat the wrong foods simply from habit. Social interactions often influence how and what a person eats. Intellectual wellness is also involved, as it allows a person to learn proper nutrition.

No matter which goals a person chooses to improve during 2023, they will all be influenced by other areas of wellness. When writing down goals for the New Year, note all areas that will impact your ability to accomplish these goals. Those who have become discouraged and don't want to make any resolutions could start with something relatively easy. It may be as simple as walking around the block three or four times a week. Whatever your situation, do something.


Don't Wait until You are Sick to get Well.

SickemojiDon’t wait until you are sick to get well. What the heck does that mean? It basically means prevention. Many illnesses and diseases are long in coming and may not manifest until the later stages of the illness. We may have an imbalance in the body which leads to an illness.

Take a cold sore for example. The cold sore seems to pop out of nowhere. One minute we don’t feel. The next our lip is tingling, and we soon have a full-blown case of a nasty cold sore on our lip. Stress is often the cause that triggers a cold sore. Why wait until the painful sore appears to treat it? Why not prevent it in the first place? There is a prescription medication for a cold sore, but there are also natural remedies that work just as well for many people. When I feel a cold sore coming on, I immediately reach for my L-Lysine and tea tree oil to keep from having a major break-out. If I know I am going to face something very stressful, such as a trip (even a vacation can be stressful for me), any type of crisis, or even house guests, I can prevent the cold sore outbreak by being proactive with taking the L-Lysine and focusing on relieving the stress of the upcoming event – when possible. This is just one simple example of preventing an illness before it happens.

Many illnesses are silent such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and even cancer. They have a process that develops over time. Focusing on eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle with the intention of preventing these diseases gives one a better chance of avoiding them. Prevention is a much better option than treating an existing disease with drugs, that will likely have side effects. If you have lived a healthy lifestyle and still get ill, you have a better chance of overcoming and surviving and maybe even reversing the disease. Maintaining a healthy body is the key to most illnesses.


Detox the Body Naturally

By Karen Best Wright

Published in Albemarle Tradewinds

AlbemarleTradewinds.com

Detox.lemonProducts to detox the body is big business. There is no shortage of products touting body detox. Three things to think about when it comes to detoxifying the body 1) Why detox, 2) How the body naturally detoxifies, and 3) How to assist the body in detoxing.

Why detox the body? Every day people are bombarded with a toxic environment. It may come from the food we eat with pesticides, additives, preservatives, and maybe even the water we drink. It may come from things we physically touch – plastics, cleaning products, poisons, soil in our gardens, or even the dirty public handrail we use when going up or down a staircase. Or it may come from the air we breathe – car fumes, dust, smoke, cleaning chemicals, and even manufacturing by-products. Toxins can damage organs such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, skin, and the heart.

The body has several natural detox processes. The liver starts the detox process by filtering the waste in the blood and excreting the toxins through the kidneys and intestines. Over-loading the liver, kidneys, and intestines with toxins will erode the healthy functioning of the organs.

The skin, being the largest organ of the body, also assists in removing impurities from the body through sweat and skin pores. However, toxins can also enter the body through the skin. Use protection when dealing with chemicals that affect the skin or lungs. The lungs remove carbon dioxide from the body and may remove other toxins through phlegm. Healthy organs can remove most of the toxins that enter the body.

However, the body may need additional help to remove harmful toxins that have been ingested or inhaled. The first step is to avoid toxic substances, to begin with – think smoking, food additives and preservatives, and even heavy perfumes or deodorants. Diligence will not prevent the consumption or inhalation of toxic substances completely. A simple Internet search will yield many products to purchase claiming to detox the body. Avoid as many toxins as possible, then start with a simple detox program.

Drinking plenty of water (coffee doesn't count), specific herbal teas, and certain foods will assist with body detoxing. Drinking lemon water is popular and simple. Dandelion root tea, Burdock root tea, green tea, and apple cider vinegar with "Mother" are also known to be good in detoxing the body. Foods such as fresh leafy greens, apples, broccoli sprouts, turmeric, spirulina, beets, and ginger are also helpful in removing toxins from the body.

Not removing the toxins in the body can result in damaged organs, illness, and even death. Make detoxifying the body a conscious and everyday part of life.


Stress: A Consistent Part of Life.

Stress "management" has become a multi-million dollar industry.

Everywhere you go there are books and magazine articles on stress management. There are entire websites dealing with stress.


ToxicBut let me clarify one thing. I do not like the words "stress management." When I am dealing with excessive stress, the last thing I want is needing to "manage" one more thing. I prefer the terms "easing stress, de-stressing, or stress relief."

Stress is part of everyone's life; some stress is beneficial and some detrimental. What is the most detrimental to our health is stress that builds up and does not get released.

Unrelieved stress can cause depression, anxiety, and chronic diseases. Stress that builds up can complicate chronic diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol levels, and diabetes, along with other conditions.

Many things can cause stress than can become toxic if we do not balance our lives and reduce stress. From childhood to our elderly years, stress is everywhere. We must never negate the stress that children experience as well as the elderly. And adults of all ages and backgrounds live through stressful events.

What complicates stress is when we feel hopeless to do anything about it. How we view stress, the actions we take to reduce it, and accepting it when it cannot be changed are important things to remember when analyzing our stress levels.

What causes you stress?

  • High-stress job

  • No job and not enough money

  • Difficult relationships

  • Illnesses

  • Being a full-time caregiver

  • Depression or anxiety

  • Lack of a support system

  • Unhealthy environment (work or home)

  • Loneliness

  • Too much to do

The list can go on endlessly. The stress you are experiencing will determine specific needed action.

Woman prayerObviously, if you just lost your home in foreclosure, doing jumping jacks and deep breathing exercises will not solve your house problems. But enjoyable healthy activities and a proper diet may help you deal with the stress better, have a better outlook on life, and actually help you come up with creative ideas to solve your problem. Listen to everything that comes into your mind to see if it offers you ideas and ways to improve your stress levels.

Years ago when I was a single mother going to school, I was so stressed that I couldn't even breathe deeply. As I was learning yoga and deep breathing practices, I would cough every time I tried to take a deep breath. I was mega stressed. I realized that when I was the most stressed, I actually would hold my breath unconsciously. That certainly didn't help matters. With practice, I learned how to relax enough to at least breathe properly.

Check out my Wellness Way coaching program to help you get your stress under control. But beware, we will be talking a lot about what you eat and how proper nutrition can help with stress. Your body will thank you for it.


Energy Healing: What is it and why is it Important?

Energy Healing, What is it?

Energy medicine is identified by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in the United States as one of five natural healing modalities. However, theories and approaches vary among practitioners. More mainstream medical specialists are giving credence to various forms of energy healing. This is a modality that needs to be researched and experienced by individuals in order to make the decision if it is a viable route of healing for them

No ethical energy healer would recommend ignoring medical advice and treatment when it is necessary. Energy healing is most often used as a complementary approach to healing, rather than as an alternative to medical care.

My First Experience with Healing

When I was about 27 years old and a mother of six young children, I had a kitchen fire that severely burned my foot. I was in the hospital for about ten days with a dangerous infection. I spent several months in pain with an itchy ugly thick scar covering the entire top of my right foot. A friend told me about her sister who was learning foot reflexology. I had never heard of foot reflexology, but as she was just learning it, she agreed to come to my home for a very small fee to practice on my feet.

She had to be extremely careful with my right foot since the top was still very tender and covered with a scar that was about an inch thick. After massaging my feet using the traditional Chinese technique for foot reflexology, she put her hands around my feet (without touching them) and proceeded to do something I had never experienced. She just held her hands circled around each foot. The foot with the recovering burn on it began to feel like someone was pulling on it, even though she was not touching it at all. The pulling feeling was so strong that my foot actually arched and pointed, reaching towards her. After finishing the session, I looked at my foot. I could hardly believe what I saw. I looked at her, looked at my foot again, and then said, "Do you see what I see?" She said, "Yes, I don't know what to think." Remember, she was a student and just learning about this herself. To simply explain what I saw, the thick ugly scar tissue was thin. The scar was still a bit discolored, but the thickness had actually disappeared right before my eyes.

Now being the scientific thinker that I am, I did not believe anything magical had happened. Whatever she had done,  divine energy, or God had done through her, had simply made the liquid in the scar dissipate back into my system. The amazing thing was that it never became thick again. The only time you can tell that my foot was burned is if I have been barefoot in the sun and I get a tan. The scarred part of the skin does not tan.

That was only the beginning of my learning about natural healing. I personally have had some amazing unexpected experiences. However, I am not claiming that it works for all situations and for all people.

On a very personal note, I attribute all healing to divine power, and my personal goal is to merely be a helper to assist in the healing process.


Physical Wellness Activity part 2


Jump ropeIn regards to physical activity, find your passion and start, small if you need to. Even jumping jax and dancing alone in the living room is a good place to start, along with the go-to jumping rope. Continue this if that is your style. However, many people need others to help keep them motivated. Probably many of us do, and that is okay.

Find your passion and get started!

Do something every day, regardless of how small or insignificant it may seem.

Weight_liftingFitness activities need to be enjoyable and stimulating, even while pushing yourself enough to gain health benefits. Both aerobic-type activities (dancing, walking fast, sports, etc.) and strength-building activities are needed. Weight-bearing activities not only improve muscle mass but increase bone density, especially needed in post-menopausal women.

Remember! Sedentary lifestyles lead to excess weight and chronic diseases. Physical activity is necessary for individuals of all ages, from children to the elderly. Belly.dancing

Whether you join an exercise class, hire a private trainer, exercise with a DVD, walk with a friend, or dance alone at home to your music, anything is better than nothing. Getting started today if you do not already have a regular exercise program is vital to your long-term health and wellness.


Physical Wellness Activity part 1

Fitness and Physical Activity

SwimmingThere are probably few people who would argue against the importance of fitness and physical activity in regards to our overall health and well-being.


Research repeatedly shows the importance of living a physically active lifestyle in reducing stress, maintaining proper weight, and preventing and reducing chronic diseases.

What do you think about when you think about exercise?

  • Enthusiasm
  • Dread

  • Work out at the gym

  • Running a 5K

  • Walking around the neighborhood

  • Playing sports

  • Aerobics class



One thing is certain, not every type of exercise is right for every personality type. There are people who love to exercise and people who do not. Part of the problem is when people who think they do not like to exercise concentrate on the types of exercise they do not like. They then simply assume they do not enjoy exercising.

Many years ago, I saw myself as a person who simply did not like to exercise. I really did not like it. The truth was, I did not like the types of exercises that many others thrive on. After taking a little quiz I found in a magazine about fitness (many years ago) what I discovered was that I simply did not like to exercise in a loud group, such as in an aerobics class. Others loved it. I Walking_exercisedid not. I tried running. That seemed to be the in-thing at the time. I fell and broke my foot, cracked 2 ribs, and sprained my ankle. So much for my running days. I was frustrated.


I discovered; that I like to walk quickly either by myself or with a partner. I like weight training; I like ballroom dancing (probably because I am dancing with one person at a time). I like hiking in the mountains; I do not like aerobic classes. In short, I like nature and I like to be alone, with a partner, or with a small group of individuals.

Other people thrive on loud music, large crowds, and competition. There is no right or wrong thing to like best. I encourage clients to discover their exercise personalities. A person is much more likely to succeed with a fitness program if they select activities they enjoy, not ones they are supposed to enjoy.