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This site is an archive of our Well Written Blog posts until April 2020. For the most up-to-date content visit NWIJournal.com.

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Quotes (November 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Monday, November 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind. – Malayan Proverb

Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls. – David Thomas

Not what we give,But what we share,For the giftwithout the giverIs bare.– James Russell Lowell

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. – G.B. Stern

I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks. – William Shakespeare

The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. J– ohn E. Southard

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. – G.K. Chesterton

I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom. – Author Unknown

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. – Oscar Wilde

Gratitude is the memory of the heart. – Jean Baptiste Massieu, translated from French

How far that little candle throws his beams!So shines a good deed in a naughty world.– William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, much later adapted to "So shines a good deed in a weary world" by David Seltzer for the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. – Author Unknown

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. – Mark Twain

How beautiful a day can beWhen kindness touches it!– George Elliston

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. – Thornton Wilder

I feel a very unusual sensation - if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude. – Benjamin Disraeli

Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel. – Author Unknown

Something that has always puzzled me all my life is why, when I am in special need of help, the good deed is usually done by somebody on whom I have no claim. – William Feather

Tags:  Emotional  Inspiration  Intellectual  November 2010  Quotes 

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Quotes (October 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

October has many important holidays and observances. This month's quotes are dedicated to woman (both by and for women) as October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and October 15 is National Mamography day. Check out the National Wellness Institute's Health Observances Calendar (http://www.nationalwellness.org/pdf/2010HOC.pdf) for more worthy events!

As we celebrate women, please don't forget that approximately two percent of breast cancer cases are found in men.



Woman must not accept; she must challenge.She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her;she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.

– Margaret Sanger

The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.

– Gloria Steinem

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the budwas more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

– Anais Nin

People with clenched fists cannot shake hands.

– Indira Gandhi

So many gods, so many creeds,So many paths that wind and wind,While just the art of being kind,Is all this sad world needs.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We need 4 hugs a day for survival.We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.We need 12 hugs a day for growth.

– Virginia Satir

People are like stained-glass windows.They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealedonly if there is a light from within.

– Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

There are two ways of spreading light ...To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.

– Edith Wharton

The most common way people give up their poweris by thinking they don't have any.

– Alice Walker

Courage is like a muscle.We strengthen it with use.

– Ruth Gordon

You may be disappointed if you fail,but you are doomed if you don't try.

– Beverly Sills

If we don't change, we don't grow.If we don't grow, we are not really living.Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.

– Gail Sheehy

The best index to a person's character isa) how he treats people who can't do him any good andb) how he treats people who can't fight back.

– Abigail Van Buren

It's not what you call me, but what I answer to.

– African proverb

A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.

– Diane Mariechild

I'm not afraid of storms,for I'm learning to sail my ship.

– Louisa May Alcott

Look at everything as though you wereseeing it either for the first or last time.Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.

– Betty Smith

Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do.Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.

– Ella Fitzgerald

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens?A terrible thing: no one to blame.

– Erica Jong

If you look at what you have in life, You'll always have more.If you look at what you don't have in life, You'll never have enough.

– Oprah Winfrey

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.

– Anais Nin

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,what is essential is invisible to the eye.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

We never know how high we areTill we are called to rise;And then, if we are true to plan,Our statures touch the skies.

– Emily Dickinson

You must learn to be still in the midst of activityand to be vibrantly alive in repose.

– Indira Ghandi

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.

– Mary Jean Irion

Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.

– Audre Lorde

If you do not tell the truth about yourselfyou cannot tell it about other people.

– Virginia Woolf

Remove those 'I want you to like me' stickers from your foreheadand, instead, place them where they truly will do the most good—on your mirror!

– Susan Jeffers

Your own words are the bricks and mortarof the dreams you want to realize.Your words are the greatest power you have.The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience.

– Sonia Croquette

Tags:  Emotional  Inspiration  October 2010  Physical  Quotes  Social  Wellness  Women 

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Fun Facts (October 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

October has many important holidays and observances. This month's fun facts are dedicated to our mental health as October is National Depression and Mental Screening Month, and October 4-10 is National Mental Illness Awareness Week. Check out the National Wellness Institute's Health Observances Calendar (http://www.nationalwellness.org/pdf/2010HOC.pdf) for more worthy events!

The best way to understand psychology might first be to understand some of the terms used in the study and practice of psychology. The following is an abridged reference guide.

A

  • Addiction: A condition in which the body requires a drug in order to function without physical and psychological reactions to its absence; often the outcome of tolerance and dependence.
  • Ageism: Prejudice against older people, similar to racism and sexism in its negative stereotypes.
  • Aggression: Behaviors that cause psychological or physical harm to another individual.
  • Altruism: Prosocial behaviors a person carries out without considering his or her own safety or interests.
  • Anxiety disorders: Mental disorders marked by physiological arousal, feelings of tension, and intense apprehension without apparent reason.
  • Attitude: The learned, relatively stable tendency to respond to people, concepts, and events in an evaluative way.

B

  • Behavior modification: The systematic use of principles of learning to increase the frequency of desired behaviors and/or decrease the frequency of problem behaviors.
  • Belief-bias effect: A situation that occurs when a person's prior knowledge, attitudes, or values distort the reasoning process by influencing the person to accept invalid arguments.
  • Biological constraints on learning: Any limitations on an organism's capacity to learn that are caused by the inherited sensory, response, or cognitive capabilities of members of a given species.
  • Bipolar disorder :A mood disorder characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania.
  • Blocking: A phenomenon in which an organism does not learn a new stimulus that signals an unconditioned stimulus, because the new stimulus is presented simultaneously with a stimulus that is already effective as a signal.
  • Body image: The subjective experience of the appearance of one's body.
  • Bystander intervention: Willingness to assist a person in need of help.

C

  • Catharsis: The process of expressing strongly felt but usually repressed emotions.
  • Child-directed speech: A special form of speech with an exaggerated and high-pitched intonation that adults use to speak to infants and young children.
  • Chronic stress: A continuous state of arousal in which an individual perceives demands as greater than the inner and outer resources available for dealing with them.
  • Closure: A perceptual organizing process that leads individuals to see incomplete figures as complete.
  • Cognition: Processes of knowing, including attending, remembering, and reasoning; also the content of the processes, such as concepts and memories.
  • Cognitive behavior modification: A therapeutic approach that combines the cognitive emphasis on the role of thoughts and attitudes influencing motivations and response with the behavioral emphasis on changing performance through modification of reinforcement contingencies.
  • Conditioned reinforcers: In classical conditioning, formerly neutral stimuli that have become reinforcers.
  • Conditioning: The ways in which events, stimuli, and behavior become associated with one another.
  • Conformity: The tendency for people to adopt the behaviors, attitudes, and values of other members of a reference group.
  • Contact comfort: Comfort derived from an infant's physical contact with the mother or caregiver.
  • Convergence: The degree to which the eyes turn inward to fixate on an object.
  • Coping: The process of dealing with internal or external demands that are perceived to be threatening or overwhelming.
  • Counter-conditioning: A technique used in therapy to substitute a new response for a maladaptive one by means of conditioning procedures.

D

  • Daytime sleepiness: The experience of excessive sleepiness during daytime activities; the major complaint of patients evaluated at sleep disorder centers.
  • Decision aversion: The tendency to avoid decision making; the tougher the decision, the greater the likelihood of decision aversion.
  • Declarative memory: Memory for information such as facts and events.
  • Deductive reasoning: A form of thinking in which one draws a conclusion that is intended to follow logically from two or more statements or premises.
  • Delusions: False or irrational beliefs maintained despite clear evidence to the contrary.
  • Diffusion of responsibility: In emergency situations, the larger the number of bystanders, the less responsibility any one bystander feels to help.
  • Dissociative amnesia: The inability to remember important personal experiences, caused by psychological factors in the absence of any organic dysfunction.
  • Divergent thinking: An aspect of creativity characterized by an ability to produce unusual but appropriate responses to problems.
  • Dream analysis: The psychoanalytic interpretation of dreams used to gain insight into a person's unconscious motives or conflicts.

E

  • Ego defense mechanisms: Mental strategies (conscious or unconscious) used by the ego to defend itself against conflicts experienced in the normal course of life.
  • Egocentrism: In cognitive development, the inability of a young child at the preoperational stage to take the perspective of another person.
  • Emotional intelligence: Type of intelligence defined as the abilities to perceive, appraise, and express emotions accurately and appropriately, to use emotions to facilitate thinking, to understand and analyze emotions, to use emotional knowledge effectively, and to regulate one's emotions to promote both emotional and intellectual growth.
  • Encoding specificity: The principle that subsequent retrieval of information is enhanced if cues received at the time of recall are consistent with those present at the time of encoding.
  • EQ: The emotional intelligence counterpart of IQ.

F

  • Fear: A rational reaction to an objectively identified external danger that may induce a person to flee or attack in self-defense.
  • Fight-or-flight response: A sequence of internal activities triggered when an organism is faced with a threat; prepares the body for combat and struggle or for running away to safety; recent evidence suggests that the response is characteristic only of males.
  • Fixation: A state in which a person remains attached to objects or activities more appropriate for an earlier stage of psychosexual development.
  • Frustration-aggression hypothesis: According to this hypothesis, frustration occurs in situations in which people are prevented or blocked from attaining their goals; a rise in frustration then leads to a greater probability of aggression.

G

  • Gender identity: One's sense of maleness or femaleness; usually includes awareness and acceptance of one's biological sex.
  • Gender roles: Sets of behaviors and attitudes associated by society with being male or female and expressed publicly by the individual.
  • Group dynamics: The study of how group processes change individual functioning.

H

  • Hallucinations: False perceptions that occur in the absence of objective stimulation.
  • Hierarchy of needs: Maslow's view that basic human motives form a hierarchy and that the needs at each level of the hierarchy must be satisfied before the next level can be achieved; these needs progress from basic biological needs to the need for transcendence.

I

  • Impulsive aggression: Emotion-driven aggression produced in reaction to situations in the "heat of the moment."
  • Incentives: External stimuli or rewards that motivate behavior although they do not relate, directly to biological needs.
  • Insanity: The legal (not clinical) designation for the state of an individual judged to be legally irresponsible or incompetent.
  • Interference: A memory phenomenon that occurs when retrieval cues do not point effectively to one specific memory.
  • Intimacy: The capacity to make a full commitment-sexual, emotional, and moral-to another person.

J

  • Job burnout: The syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment, often experienced by workers in high-stress jobs.
  • Judgment: The process by which people form opinions, reach conclusions, and make critical evaluations of events and people based on available material; also, the product of that mental activity.

L

  • Learned helplessness: A general pattern of nonresponding in the presence of noxious stimuli that often follows after an organism has previously experienced noncontingent, inescapable aversive stimuli.
  • Life-change units (LCUs) : In stress research, the measure of the stress levels of different types of change experienced during a given period.

M

  • Major depressive disorder: A mood disorder characterized by intense feelings of depression over an extended time, without the manic high phase of bipolar depression.
  • Manic episode: A component of bipolar disorder characterized by periods of extreme elation, unbounded euphoria without sufficient reason, and grandiose thoughts or feelings about personal abilities.
  • Meditation: A form of consciousness alteration designed to enhance self-knowledge and well-being through reduced self-awareness.
  • Mood disorder: A mood disturbance such as severe depression or depression alternating with mania.
  • Morality: A system of beliefs and values that ensures that individuals will keep their obligations to others in society and will behave in ways that do not interfere with the rights and interests of others.
  • Motivation: The process of starting, directing, and maintaining physical and psychological activities; includes mechanisms involved in preferences for one activity over another and the vigor and persistence of responses.

N

  • Nature-nurture controversy: The debate concerning the relative importance of heredity (nature) and learning or experience (nurture) in determining development and behavior.

O

  • Observer bias: The distortion of evidence because of the personal motives and expectations of the viewer.

P

  • Pain: The body's response to noxious stimuli that are intense enough to cause, or threaten to cause, tissue damage.
  • Panic disorder: An anxiety disorder in which sufferers experience unexpected, severe panic attacks that begin with a feeling of intense apprehension, fear, or terror.
  • Parental investment: The time and energy parents must spend raising their offspring.
  • Perception: The processes that organize information in the sensory image and interpret it as having been produced by properties of objects or events in the external, three-dimensional world.
  • Personality disorder: A chronic, inflexible, maladaptive pattern of perceiving, thinking, and behaving that seriously impairs an individual's ability to function in social or other settings.
  • Phobia: A persistent and irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that is excessive and unreasonable, given the reality of the threat.
  • Positive reinforcement: A behavior is followed by the presentation of an appetitive stimulus, increasing the probability of that behavior.
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) : An anxiety disorder characterized by the persistent reexperience of traumatic events through distressing recollections, dreams, hallucinations, or dissociative flashbacks; develops in response to rapes, life-threatening events, severe injuries, and natural disasters.
  • Prejudice: A learned attitude toward a target object, involving negative affect (dislike or fear), negative beliefs (stereotypes) that justify the attitude, and a behavioral intention to avoid, control, dominate, or eliminate the target object.
  • Psychological dependence: The psychological need or craving for a drug.
  • Psychosurgery: A surgical procedure performed on brain tissue to alleviate a psychological disorder.

R

  • Racism: Discrimination against people based on their skin color or ethnic heritage.
  • Reasoning: The process of thinking in which conclusions are drawn from a set of facts; thinking directed toward a given goal or objective.
  • Reciprocal altruism: The idea that people perform altruistic behaviors because they expect that others will perform altruistic behaviors for them in turn.
  • Repression: The basic defense mechanism by which painful or guilt-producing thoughts, feelings, or memories are excluded from conscious awareness.

S

  • Self-actualization: A concept in personality psychology referring to a person's constant striving to realize his or her potential and to develop inherent talents and capabilities.
  • Self-awareness: The top level of consciousness; cognizance of the autobiographical character of personally experienced events.
  • Self-concept: A person's mental model of his or her abilities and attributes.
  • Self-efficacy: The set of beliefs that one can perform adequately in a particular situation.
  • Self-esteem: A generalized evaluative attitude toward the self that influences both moods and behavior and that exerts a powerful effect on a range of personal and social behaviors.
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy: A prediction made about some future behavior or event that modifies interactions so as to produce what is expected.
  • Self-handicapping: The process of developing, in anticipation of failure, behavioral reactions and explanations that minimize ability deficits as possible attributions for the failure.
  • Self-serving bias: A class of attributional biases in which people tend to take credit for their successes and deny responsibility for their failures.
  • Stress: The pattern of specific and nonspecific responses an organism makes to stimulus events that disturb its equilibrium and tax or exceed its ability to cope.
  • Superego: The aspect of personality that represents the internalization of society's values, standards, and morals.
  • Synapse: The gap between one neuron and another.

T

  • Tolerance: A situation that occurs with continued use of a drug in which an individual requires greater dosages to achieve the same effect.
  • Type A behavior pattern: A complex pattern of behaviors and emotions that includes excessive emphasis on competition, aggression, impatience, and hostility; hostility increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Type B behavior pattern: As compared to Type A behavior pattern, a less competitive, less aggressive, less hostile pattern of behavior and emotion.
  • Type C behavior pattern: A constellation of behaviors that may predict which individuals are more likely to develop cancer or to have their cancer progress quickly; these behaviors include passive acceptance and self-sacrifice.

U

  • Unconditional positive regard: Complete love and acceptance of an individual by another person, such as a parent for a child, with no conditions attached.
  • Unconscious: The domain of the psyche that stores repressed urges and primitive impulses.

W

  • Wellness: Optimal health, incorporating the ability to function fully and actively over the physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social, and environmental domains of health.
  • Wisdom: Expertise in the fundamental pragmatics of life.

Tags:  Depression  Emotional  Fun Facts  Mental Health  October 2010  Social 

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Genetically Engineered Salmon Safe to Eat, but a Threat to Wild Stocks, Expert Says (October 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

Craig Altier, a member of the Food and Drug Administration's Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee and an associate professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, comments on potential FDA approval of the first genetically engineered animal for use as food in a recent Science Daily article.

According to Altier, advances in fish production are a must because the fisheries of the world are being rapidly depleted. Although genetically engineered animals might help to feed the world, they must first meet the most stringent requirements for human and environmental safety, he says. Altier asserts that the studies designed to determine if the introduced growth hormone gene was safe for the fish itself, were flawed. He calls on the producer of this fish, Aquabounty, to perform further research to establish safety for the fish.

The good news is that thorough research by the FDA concluded that the fish was safe for human consumption and moreover, showed no increase in allergens when the fish was consumed.

The largest issue, according to Altier, are the possible environmental impacts associated with the fish if it is not contained.

For more on genetically altered salmon visit: Cornell University (2010, September 25). Genetically engineered salmon safe to eat, but a threat to wild stocks, expert says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 27, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/09/100925105209.htm

Tags:  Diet  Nutrition  October 2010  Physical 

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Depression and suicide in midlife: Increasing suicide rates (October 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

According to a new study done by sociologists Julie A. Phillips (Rutgers University), Ashley V. Robin, Colleen N. Nugent, and Ellen L. Idler (Emory University), baby boomers account for a stark rise in suicide rates among the middle-aged.

The baby boomers, people born between 1945 and 1964, have broken the pattern of suicide decline in the United States. By 2000, most people aged 40 to 59 were baby boomers and the suicide rate started climbing steadily for these middle-age ranges. The authors found significant increases of more than two percent per year for men, and more than three percent per year for women, from 1999 to 2005. The increase is most evident in populations who are unmarried and those without a college degree. Middle-aged people with a college degree appeared largely protected from the trend.

Because the baby boomers experienced higher suicide rates during their adolescence and young adulthood than older populations, they are at higher risk because research shows knowing someone who committed suicide is considered a risk factor for later doing it yourself. Higher rates of substance abuse and the onset of chronic diseases are among other possible factors in the rising baby boomer suicide rate.

Data for the study were drawn from the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Source:

Julie A. Phillips, Ashley V. Robin, Colleen N. Nugent, Ellen L. Idler. Understanding Recent Changes in Suicide Rates Among the Middle-aged: Period or Cohort Effects. Public Health Reports, Volume 125, Issue Number 5 September/October 2010

Tags:  Adults  Depression  Emotional  Intellectual  October 2010  Social 

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Improve your friendships, make new friends and improve your health (October 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

The Mayo Clinic offers the following suggestions to improve your mental state by focusing on relationships and friendships. Most importantly, they offer several suggestions to strengthen relationships as well as ways to make new friends.

Why friendships are so important?

The connections of friendship can:

  • Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
  • Boost your happiness
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve your self-worth
  • Decrease your risk of serious mental illness
  • Help you weather traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
  • Encourage you to change unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise
  • Share in your good times, such as a new baby, a new job, a new house

Ways to actively seek out friendships

Some people need more friends, some people need less. One thing is clear, sometimes developing new friendships is difficult: new communities, busy schedules, lack of hobbies, etc. all can lead to a more difficult time finding new friends. Developing good friendships does take some work. But remember that friends don't have to be your age or share a similar cultural, religious or educational background.

Here are some ways you can develop friendships:

  • Get out with your pet. Seek out a popular dog park, make conversation with those who stop to talk on your daily neighborhood jaunts, or make pet play dates.
  • Work out. Join a class through a local gym, senior center or community fitness facility. Or start a lunchtime walking group at work.
  • Do lunch. Invite an acquaintance to join you for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • Accept invites. When you're invited to a party, dinner or social gathering, say yes. Resist the urge to say no just because you may not know everyone there or because you may initially feel awkward. You can always leave if you get too uncomfortable.
  • Volunteer. Hospitals, places of worship, museums, community centers, charitable groups and other organizations often need volunteers. You can form strong connections when you work with people who share a mutual interest.
  • Join a cause. Get together with a group of people working toward a goal you believe in, such as an election or the cleanup of a natural area.
  • Join a hobby group. Find a nearby group with similar interests in such things as auto racing, music, gardening, books or crafts.
  • Go back to school. Take a college or community education course to meet people with similar interests.
  • Hang out on your porch. Front porches used to be social centers for the neighborhood. If you don't have a front porch, you can still pull up a chair and sit out front with a cup of coffee or a good book. Making yourself visible shows that you are friendly and open.
  • Join a church or faith community. Many churches and faith communities welcome new members.

Remember, even the most mundane meeting can be the start of a life-time friendship.

Tags:  Emotional  Friends  Intellectual  October 2010  Social 

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You are what you eat! (October 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

I recently saw a forwarded email called God's Pharmacy and it laid out what to eat based on what something looked like (a you-are-what-you-eat forward): e.g. A cut carrot looks like a iris and a carrot has vitamin A which is good for the eyes. I thought this was a great way to teach kids about nutrition, but the article wasn't sourced. So I went to the National Institutes of Health: www.nih.gov and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food & Nutrition Center for all of the following information.

I list a few suggestions for each vitamin. All suggestions have high levels of the nutrient for their category. Feel free to think up some of your own.

Vitamin A (Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and retinol are all versions of Vitamin A.) helps

  • cell reproduction—cantaloupes have many seeds and we have many cells,
  • stimulates immunity—chestnut trees are strong and chestnuts (with their vitamin A) will help your immune system to grow strong,
  • needed for formation of some hormones—hormones are associated with passion and passion fruit is rich in vitamin A,
  • elps vision—cut Carrots look like irises and are good for our eyes,
  • promotes bone growth, tooth development—milk is white like our bones and is rich in vitamin A,
  • helps maintain healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes—grapefruit has thick skin, and plenty of vitamin A for healthy skin growth,

Vitamin B1/thiamine is important in the production of energy. Note: Most fruits and vegetables are not a significant source of thiamine. Vitamin B/thiamine helps

  • the body cells convert carbohydrates into energy—catfish, tuna, herring and salmon swim all day. They are full of energy and eating them gives us more energy,
  • for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system—the heart of an avocado is a very large seed…and avocados are rich in vitamin B1 which is great for our hearts.

Vitamin B2/riboflavin helps

  • the body grow—and oats grow prolifically filled with B2,
  • reproduction and red cell production—red blood cells are red like the pomegranate,

Vitamin B3/niacin helps

  • the functioning of the digestive system, skin, and nerves—spaghetti squash is long and stringy like our intestines.

Vitamin B5/Pantothenic acid is good for

  • the metabolism of food —and buckwheat is no stranger to conversion as it is usually turned into flour,
  • the formation of hormones and (good) cholesterol—hormones can give us goose bumps, gooseberries are great for hormone formation.

Vitamin B6 is good for

  • the creation of antibodies in the immune system—think of brown rice as little anti-bodies being formed within you through their high levels of B6,
  • helps maintain normal nerve function and acts in the formation of red blood cells—think of pumpkin seeds as little cells as they help you to form red blood cells.

Vitamin B9/folate and folic acid. Folate occurs naturally in fresh foods, whereas folic acid is the synthetic form found in supplements. These nutrients are good for

  • maintaining normal brain function, and is a critical part of spinal fluid—think of halved chestnuts as little brains as you feed your own brain function, think of the tall and sturdy sunflower and eat its seeds for a healthy spine,
  • (even vital for)proper cell growth and development of the embryo—think of dates as little embryos. Strengthen a growing baby with this source of vitamin B9.

Vitamin B12 (only found in animal sources) is good for

  • metabolic functioning, red blood cell development and the nervous system—eat cottage cheese to increase your metabolism and avoid cottage cheese-looking fat. Eat eggs that look like cells to develop your cells.

Vitamin C is one of the most important of all vitamins. It is good for

  • its antioxidant qualities and cell protection ability—eat butternut squash to squash free radicals that harm your cells,
  • use as an anti-viral agent—while you can have breadfruit, grapefruit and guava loaded with vitamin C, maybe try brussel sprouts like little bullets to fight off viruses.

Vitamin D is known as the "sunshine vitamin" since it is manufactured by the body after being exposed to sunshine. Ten to fifteen minutes of good sunshine three times weekly is adequate to produce the body's requirement of vitamin D. This means that we don't need to obtain vitamin D from our diet unless we get very little sunlight—usually not a problem for children. It is good for

  • promoting the absorption of calcium and magnesium, which are essential for the normal development of healthy teeth and bones—cream cheese, cow's milk, whipping cream are all white like our healthy teeth and bones,
  • maintaining adequate levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood— sardines keep for a long time and help to keep calcium and phosphorus in your blood.

Vitamin E, like vitamin C, plays a significant role as an antioxidant, thereby protecting body tissue from the damage of oxidation. It is good for

  • helping to minimize the appearance of wrinkles—eat pine nuts and blueberries to have skin as smooth as the outer core of these fruits and vegetables,
  • helping to heal minor wounds without scarring, as it is valued for its ability to soothe and heal broken or stressed skin tissue—blackberries stay together in clusters and also help to keep your skin together.

Vitamin K is good for

  • the critical role it plays in blood clotting—think of cashew butter as a natural bandaid,
  • regulating blood calcium levels and its role in activating at least 3 proteins involved in bone health—use alfalfa sprouts to sprout some protein usage of your own.

Tags:  Diet  Nutrition  October 2010  Physical 

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Beat the Winter Maladies: Four Good Ideas (December 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

Along with the winter season comes cold and flu season. This is the time of year when drinking plenty of fluids, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and dressing appropriately are extremely important. Although these three suggestions are helpful in avoiding the winter maladies, there are many more things you can do to remain healthy.

Not only is it important to drink enough fluids during the winter season, but it is even more beneficial if those fluids are hot. So, you don't drink tea? That's okay! This suggestion also includes hot liquids such as soups and warm fruit drinks (i.e. apple cider). It is said that warm liquids not only keep you hydrated, but also help to loosen any congestion.

Getting plenty of vitamin C is also important during the cold winter months. Eating fresh oranges, grapefruits, and other foods high in vitamin C (or drinking them in juice form) can aide your immune system functioning.

Aside from everything you can do to prevent illness, one of the most important things you can do is something you were probably taught as a child: Wash your hands. Using soap and water to frequently wash your hands is one of the easiest steps you can take to help avoid becoming ill.

If you do happen to get sick during winter, it benefits everyone when you think in terms of sanitation. Be sure to sanitize your toothbrush (or buy a new one) after getting over an illness. This will provide you a fresh start, free of any contagious bacteria that may have been left on your toothbrush while sick. Also, be sure to wash any pillows and pillowcases you used in order to avoid spreading viruses to other people. Plus, consider treating surfaces such as door knobs, cabinet handles, the refrigerator door, and other commonly touched services with anti-bacterial washes. These easy steps will help to keep you, as well as those around you, healthy.

Winter has only just begun. For the benefit of yourself and others close to you, make every attempt possible to have a safe, happy, and healthy season!

Source: www.health.com

Milena Damjanoy: "How to Sick-Proof Your Winter"

By Amber Stieve, NWI Intern

Tags:  December 2010  Depression  Diet  Health  Physical 

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Declaration of MY Independence (December 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

Every year millions of Americans set new goals, write down their wants, and decide that this year, is a new year. Every year millions of Individuals set New Year's Resolutions. This saying has lost all true meaning when analyzed. After asking family and friends, most people could conclude that last year's resolutions have gone unresolved and unnoticed. That is why this year things are going to be different. This year were starting the Declaration of MY Independence.

It's time the millions of people who want to change something about themselves or their lives really make that change. In a recent study, 40-45 percent of Americans make a New Year's Resolution. Of those 75 percent will continue their efforts past the first week, 71 percent past the first two weeks, 64 percent after one month, and 46 percent after six months.

We want to get people away from the idea of a "New Year's Resolution" And move towards real change. Let's face it, this isn't about doing something for 2011, it's about doing something for yourself and making a change in your life. So, we want it to last well past 2011.

The first thing is to set that goal. It might be aiming to lose the first twenty pounds you have been dying to get rid of, or maybe it's losing the last twenty. It may be to quit smoking or exercise more. It may simply be to eat more fruits and vegetables. Every goal, no matter how small, is worth something. But do remember, when making these goals, we do want them to be realistic. Losing 100 pounds may not be the place to start. Think about losing the first twenty and then working from there.

After a goal is set, formulate a plan. Make a Declaration of MY Independence so everything is set in stone. When something is written down, the likelihood of itt happening is much greater. Also, set a time line. Make a calendar or spreadsheet to make dates more concrete. Don't write, Eat more vegetables, instead write, eat a serving of carrots on Tuesday, broccoli on Wednesday, and so on.

Put pressure on yourself, but remember everyone screws up. Don't get down on yourself for not making your morning workout or for eating that extra piece of pie. Just move on from your slip and try not to let it happen again. Many people, after they have a mix up, end up giving up on their entire program and might even forget all the progress that they have already made.

Also, some people find it helpful if they set rewards for themselves if they achieve their goals or if they continue to stay on the right track. Remember, these goals don't have to be, I get to eat an extra piece of pie, they should be something more like, I get to buy myself a new dress, or I get to buy that new kitchen appliance I want. This way the goals are not directly linked with the goal in mind, and they don't undermine the goal, but act as their own reward.

Now it is time to write it down or think about the goal that you have been dying to achieve. Make sure it is something that you truly want and something that is achievable. You can use our attached sheet to fill out some simply questions, or write it down in your journal or planner. This is about you. It's your turn to make a change and it starts today. Take back your independence and give yourself the freedom to make real change! Say good bye to failed New Year's Resolutions and say hello to YOU!

Declaration of MY Independence

I, _____________________, am declaring that I am going to make this change in my life:

The reason I want to make this change is for the following reason(s):

I am going to achieve my goals for doing the following:

I am hoping to achieve my goals by this date:

My reward to myself for achieving this goal is:

Signed:

Tags:  Behavior Change  December 2010  Emotional  Intellectual  physical  Resolutions  Social 

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12 Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellness (December 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

Stress can have a negative effect on everyone from time to time. When life gets ahead of you or you're just feeling down, it is important to remember what matters most in your life. The following is a list of 12 tips to help improve your emotional wellness.

The National Wellness Institute suggests selecting one item a day and looking for ways to incorporate it into your life…don't worry about doing them all at once! Sometimes moving slowly in small steps can be the fastest way to achieve a goal!

  1. Make more friends: Keep the friends you already have close to you, but be open to meeting new people and forming new relationships.
  2. Enjoy alone time: Take advantage of opportunities to meditate and listen to nothing other than your thoughts.
  3. Exercise: Studies have shown that physical activity can improve your mood and enhance your quality of life.
  4. Seek pleasure: Don't let your responsibilities control your life. Take time everyday to do something you enjoy.
  5. Find a passion: Create a bucket list of things you want to do and accomplish in your lifetime. Developing a list of things you want to do gives you something to strive for each and every day.
  6. Prepare for problems: It is a false hope to believe that everything in life will go smoothly every day. Plan for some things to not go well from time to time. Being prepared reduces the impact of when things do not necessarily go as planned.
  7. Seek constructive criticism: Ask others around you for their input about the work you are doing, who you are as a person, etc. Do not take offense to their opinions, but embrace them and use what they say to improve your self.
  8. Take risks: Encourage yourself to step out of your comfort zone and take healthy risks. Accomplishing tasks you never thought you could is extremely gratifying.
  9. Manage your success well: Embrace your successes and be proud of yourself when you do well, but do not let it overwhelm you. Instead, use your success to help others.
  10. Remember, you are never alone: Adulthood can be difficult for everyone; never think you are the only one struggling. It is very healthy to discuss your emotions with friends and/or explore therapy options to share your stresses with an expert. They are here to help.
  11. Write!: Instead of letting stress and fear overtake your mind, write them down on a list. Then, write a list of things you are grateful for. Your list of stress and fears will become nothing more than words on paper, and your list of positive things in your life will remind you how blessed you really are.
  12. Protect yourself from "Debbie Downers": Most everyone knows someone who is always in a bad mood, upset about something, frustrated with life, etc. It is important you do not let these people have a negative impact on your mood. Listen to what they have to say, and try to help if that is something you are comfortable with, but if the situation becomes too much, don't be afraid to walk away and take some time to preserve your own happiness.

Source: www.medicinenet.com

By Amber Stieve, NWI Intern

Tags:  December 2010  Emotional  Social 

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