CONTEMPORARY STILL LIFE: HONEY DOO! PAYS HOMAGE TO BEES, OUR INVALUABLE POLLINATORS
A new series of the limited edition contemporary still life, Honey Doo! which is printed on polished aluminum, has been released by Matt McKee and is available in several popular sizes from his website.
Honey Doo! is an image that was created to dramatize the urgency of food security and the dangers of man manipulating our food supply in many ways, including endangerment of the bee population. McKee hopes that the image which comes in 40” x 50”, 16” x 20”, and 5” x 7” sizes will get people talking about food bioengineering, nutrition, and sustainable lifestyles.
It is McKee’s hope that by drawing attention to bees, people will become more conscious of their critical role in our food supply. Honey Doo! is part of the Sweet Blasts portfolio that features food items on the fuse of a hand grenade to spark conversations about our food supply and sustainability. The image comes in 40” x 50”, 16” x 20”, and 5” x 7” sizes.
Honey Doo! is priced at $3,175.00 (40” x 50”), $675.00 (16” x 20”), and $100.00 (5” x 7”). These are limited editions; all signed and numbered.
Although you should be looking after your health all year round, most people feel more inspired to go on a health kick as the summer season approaches. It’s probably because the colder time of year makes people want to stay inside and enjoy comfort foods, and overindulging during the festive period can be quite common for most. It could also be because the lighter days can give you a bit of an energy boost, inspiring a little bit more motivation to get up and be active. If you’re ready to shed your winter clothes and feel like you could do with a bit of a healthy boost, here are a few points you should focus on.
Get into a Good Exercise Routine
As gyms have been closed for months on end, this has meant that a lot of people have fallen out of their usual exercise routines. While going out for runs and doing home workouts might have worked for some, others might not have had the opportunity or motivation to do so. If you want to give your body a boost, you will need to get back into a good routine when it comes to your workouts. If you weren’t much of a gym-bunny, to begin with, and you still aren’t keen on signing up to one, don’t worry. Just find an exercise you enjoy, whether that’s going for an evening walk or taking a dance class. The more fun you make exercise, the greater the chance you will keep it up.
Consume a Healthy Diet
Another issue you might have struggled with during lockdown restrictions is maintaining a healthy diet. As people haven’t been able to go out for meals or stick to normal routines, many of them have been taking comfort in junk foods and take-out. Doing this occasionally is perfectly fine, but if you have been overdoing it you might have noticed some weight gain, or that you’re feeling more sluggish in general. Try to focus on eating a more balanced diet to make yourself feel more energized and to give your body all the right nutrition that it needs. This means plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, and healthy carbohydrates and fats such as quinoa, sweet potato, avocados, and nuts. You should also make sure you’re eating enough protein as this will help to stay you fuller for longer. Red meat is a good source for this, but there is a lot of protein in salmon, which might be a healthier option.
You need to keep yourself hydrated so your body can function normally. Drinking plenty of water will make it easier to flush out toxins, keep your skin looking great, help to keep you alert, and should help keep headaches at bay. It’s recommended that you aim to drink around two liters of water a day.
Getting a good night’s sleep is another essential factor in good health. During this time your body can recover and recharge, but if you don’t get enough sleep, you might find yourself craving more sugary and fatty foods to give you an energy boost. If you do struggle to settle down at night, try having a hot shower or bath before bed, or perhaps some meditation to help calm your mind.
If you want to start feeling healthier this summer, use these simple tips to help you achieve your goals and feel your best.
2020 was a year like no other. Driven by a global pandemic, many of us experienced more time at home sheltering with family. Baking became a hobby and working out at the gym was limited. Because of this, many of us gained weight and fell off our health goals as we shifted priorities and gave ourselves forgiveness in a challenging year. Good health is a combination of physical and mental health, which is greatly strengthened by nutrition and exercise, sleep, and connections with others. By making a few small adjustments to your life, you can be more vigorous in 2021 and ready for any future challenges.
Fuel with food
Most people know that healthy eating helps us maintain a healthy weight. But what Is often overlooked are the additional benefits of eating a well-balanced diet. A diet that provides good nutrition means getting the necessary nutrients, the vitamins and minerals along with the macronutrients, to help your body work its best. From improving your emotional wellbeing to maintaining the body’s systems to reducing food sources of heart-threatening bad cholesterol, the advantages of eating healthy are manifold. Most of us start the new year with goals, including eating better, but we often fall off our plans as the year progresses. As a health professional, I have found that many people benefit from eating healthy and losing weight when they are part of a community, all working, collaborating, and supporting one another. While many of these groups are unable to meet in person, they have blossomed online, and the camaraderie has been shown to help healthy weight loss and meet nutritional goals.
Focus on overall wellbeing
Eating healthy is a must – but so is having a balanced lifestyle. To keep stress at bay, look at all aspects to improve your wellness. If you are not eating a nutrient rich diet, be sure to supplement – and remember that hydration is an important aspect of balanced nutrition. Exercise will also improve your overall health; and may improve your sleep quality.
Mental health also plays into our wellbeing – with stress being a contributing factor in conditions from heart disease to obesity. According to WebMD, 75% to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints, including headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety. There are wonderful new apps like Headspace and Calm that can help you navigate several stress-inducing scenarios. Remember that if you are already suffering these or other medical conditions, reducing stress remains important, but you should seek medical treatment.
For overall wellbeing set a daily routine that includes nutrition, exercise, sleep and mental breaks.
One of the insights that 2020 taught us was how much we crave connection. Isolation has led to higher rates of depression. Multiple studies have shown that social connection “can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and improve our immune systems.” While the beginning of 2021 will still have its challenges in this department, try picking up the phone more often, try write good old-fashioned letters and cards, and plan for late-year meetups and vacations. There is light at the end of the isolation tunnel.
Reinvest time in things you enjoy – or find new things
Participating in activities we enjoy gives our brain a boost – and learning new things impacts our overall brain health. It can be hard to find time to do something we want, but it benefits us to prioritize it. So, get out and garden, volunteer for a meaningful cause, take a dance class this summer or learn a new language to prepare for a future trip you have always wanted to take. I have personally undertaken all of these in my own personal quest to tap into a source of joy of new experiences. Keeping your mind busy and finding hobbies may protect you from that dreaded stress.
While 2020 brought many challenges, there is hope as we take control of our choices and stay connected with a healthy supportive community. So, let us embrace the future and our opportunity to go into it strong and healthy. Here’s to a happier, healthier and better new year.
When it comes to dieting, you may dread it because you think it involves omitting yourfavorite foods. The good news is a balanced diet can include many of your favorite foods. Here is a guide to fresh foods and balancing your diet without feeling guilty.
What Is a Balanced Diet?
A healthy and balanced diet includes foods from all food groups, such as:
Fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and Vegetables
Your diet should include a daily serving of fruits and vegetables. You need to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables. These foods are essential diet components because they provide your body with important minerals and vitamins. Fruits and vegetables help prevent disease, helps with digestion, and lowers cholesterol. The foods in the fruits and vegetables food group are low in fat and help with satiety, feeling full.
What Counts as One Portion of Vegetables and Fruits?
Half an avocado or grapefruit
One slice of a large fruit (pineapple, melon)
Two plums (or similar sized fruit)
A dessert bowl filled with salad
One pear, apple, or banana
Keep in mind canned, dried, and frozen fruits and vegetables also count towards your daily serving for this food group.
Starchy foods include bread, potatoes, pasta, and rice. This food group should account for one-third of the food groups you eat. Starchy foods are an essential source of fiber and energy. These starchy foods also provide ample amounts of vitamins, calcium, and iron. Avoid adding extra fat sources to these foods by not using spreads, butter, jam, oil, or cheese. A good diet technique to practice is to base most of your meals around high-starch foods. Consider starting your day with a whole grain breakfast cereal and having a sandwich made on whole grain bread for lunch. Your dinner can include rice or potatoes with your meal.
The protein food group contains many foods, includingfresh seafood.
Pulses include beans, lentils, and peas. These foods are naturally low in fat and a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Pulses are great additions to soups, sauces, and casseroles because they provide additional flavor and texture to your meals. Other sources of vegetable protein include Quorn, tofu, mycoprotein and bean curd.
Fish is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and proteins. You should try consuming at least two portions of fish weekly. One portion of fish should be oil rich, and the other portion should be tinned, frozen or fresh fish. Oil-rich fish includes mackerel and salmon that contain Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids promote heart health and are a great source of vitamins A and D. You also have the option of white fish and shellfish. Skate, haddock, hake, plaice, cod, and coley are white fish that are low in fat and contain different vitamins and minerals. These fish are healthy meat alternatives. When you’re buying fish tinned in brine or smoked fish, check the high salt content label. Marlin, shark, and swordfish are other protein options. You should not consume more than one portion of this type of fish per week because it contains mercury, a toxin that can cause liver and kidney damage, among other adverse health effects. You can prepare fish by baking, steaming, grilling, and frying it, but fried fish is the option that contains more fat.
Eggs are a part of a balanced diet because they are a great source of vitamins, protein, and minerals. Although there are no limitations on the number of eggs you can consume, avoid adding unhealthy fats, such as oil and butter. Eggs are the healthiest when they are boiled, scrambled or poached. If you prefer frying your eggs, use vegetable, olive or rapeseed oil.
Meat is an excellent source of B12, a vitamin that is solely found in food from animals. Meats are also a good source of vitamins, proteins and minerals. You have the option of red or processed meats. Red meat includes venison, beef, pork and lamb. Processed meats include salami, sausages, burgers, ham, bacon, and other cured meats. Consuming an excessive amount of red or processed meats increases your risk of developing bowel cancer. You should limit your meat consumption, red or processed, to 70 grams per day (about two slices of roast meat or equal to two sausages). Consuming ample amounts of meat that is high in saturated fats increases your risk of developing heart disease, having a stroke, and increases your blood cholesterol levels.
The fatfood group includes oils and spreads. Many fats in diets are essential, such as those found in olive oil, vegetable oil, and rapeseed oil. These oils contain unsaturated fats, which help reduce your risk of developing heart disease and lower cholesterol. Some foods contain unhealthy fats, such as cakes, full-sugar soft drinks, biscuits and snacks, such as chips and snack cakes.
Hydrating yourself with water is excellent for your overall health and well-being. Drinking water flushes toxins from your system and improves every aspect of your body’s functions. When you’re dieting, consider each of the five food groups to ensure you’re maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Following the food pyramid will help you understand your food needs, and you will not feel guilty about many of the foods you consume daily.
Accomplished personal trainer and digital entrepreneur, Vicky Justiz, is taking her workouts to the next level with the debut of her fitness app, Daily Thrive by Vicky Justiz, now available on the App Store, Google Play, APPLE TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire, and ROKU.
Justiz started her career on her YouTube channel, where she has grown an impressive following of 1.69M subscribers, and is one of the platform’s top trainers. The fitness guru is now expanding her brand to her very own app, which features full-length workouts organized by difficulty, body part, and length, as well as hosts challenges, exercise schedules and fitness programs. A new exclusive workout is updated every Monday, granting users the versatility to switch up their routines and target different areas of the body. All of the workouts require zero equipment or commitment, so you can work out from the comfort of home alongside a professional personal trainer and community of like-minded individuals with similar fitness goals. Daily Thrive’s workouts can be downloaded from the app, so you can bring your virtual personal trainer everywhere you go.
Justiz demystifies nutrition and fitness in an approachable and exhilarating way, leaving users feeling and looking their best. Here at 360 Magazine, we chatted with Justiz about the exclusive content on her very own app, her dream of hosting a post-pandemic bootcamp workout, and her best tips regarding staying motivated to follow a consistent workout routine:
What inspired you to transition from only making videos on YouTube to creating content on Daily Thrive?
“I always knew I wanted to have my very own platform with the freedom to grow and expand and inspire others. I love YouTube and I owe all my success to that amazing platform, but at the end of the day, being on YouTube leaves me to the mercy of their algorithm. The YouTube algorithm is set up in a way that many creators have to resort to clickbait to be seen by a bigger percentage of their audience. For vlogs and entertainment videos, this is more than fine, but in the world of fitness, using clickbait can be damaging and harmful. It can make people feel like they can take quick fixes to get fast, drastic results. But that’s not how wellness and fitness works! Having Daily Thrive by Vicky Justiz, my very own workout app, allows me to focus on the stuff that truly matters-which is creating effective, fun workouts and content that will get people excited to be active, make them happier, and help them build habits! My focus is now on quality content that people truly need and want rather than what can get more “clicks” or more attention.”
Do you plan to keep creating YouTube videos, or do you see yourself transitioning into only using the Daily Thrive app?
“Absolutely! I do not plan on leaving YouTube any time soon. I will be putting most of my workout content exclusively on Daily Thrive, but leaving YouTube open to educational content, nutritional content, vlogs, etc. And of course, I will still be uploading workouts here and there for all my ladies (and gentleman) that cannot afford or do not want to commit to an app.”
Do fans who buy the app have access to any exclusive content that isn’t available on your YouTube?
“Oh yes! Absolutely–that’s the point. So far, we have about 30 full length workout classes that cannot be found anywhere else. These range anywhere from 10 mins to over an hour long. I also release a brand new, exclusive workout every single Monday. I was originally planning to have ONLY exclusive videos on the app, but I made a last-minute decision to import (most) of my YouTube content into the app as well. This will make it easier for those who want to use Daily Thrive but still have their favorite YouTube workouts they like to do. A key difference is that for the Daily Thrive app, we have removed any ads or sponsors from the YouTube videos. This way, you can go straight into the workout with no distractions!”
Obviously the classes on Daily Thrive are virtual. When COVID allows, would you be interested in guiding in-person workout classes as well?
“It is literally my dream to host a huge bootcamp workout class. You just can’t compare the energy you get in-person to virtual. It would be super hard to decide where to do these because my audience is very diverse. I literally work with someone in every single country in the world! It’s definitely a dream post-covid though…”
What is your biggest tip regarding sticking to a consistent workout regimen?
“My biggest tip is to start small. I like to go by something called the 5-minute rule. When you don’t feel like doing a workout, when you are coming up with a million excuses as to why you can’t, just show up and do something for 5 minutes. Many times, we talk ourselves out of doing things, we let the idea of working out overwhelm us, but if we just show up, we get through the hardest part, and many times we muster the energy to keep going and finish through the actual workout. But my motto has always been that ‘something is better than nothing.’”
Do you have any tips for readers who may be interested in your app now that they’ve heard of it, but are new to working out?
“Start with the 28 Kickstart Challenge. This is a great challenge for any fitness level, and we have two “pre-retraining” workout classes that go very in depth on the form for each exercise. To stay motivated, join in on the fun in the Facebook community, on Instagram, etc. Seeing other likeminded women doing the challenge and workouts right alongside with you will give you motivation and you won’t feel alone! Daily Thrive also has a 7-day free trial with no commitment, so you can always try before you buy to make sure you love it (but I absolutely know that you will!).”
What is your favorite feature of your app?
“I wouldn’t necessarily call it a feature – it’s more of an approach. I am never ever afraid to show my struggle in my workouts. You will see me red faced, hair all over the place, having to stop to take a breath, cursing the workout, laughing at myself, and more. Its real and raw and I want you to feel like you are doing the workout with a friend rather than a robot fitness instructor. I want you to know that it’s absolutely okay to take a pause, to struggle, and to find it difficult. This is where growth comes from.”
USDA Announces $218 Million Investment in Land and Water Conservation
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the USDA Forest Service will invest more than $218 million to fund Great American Outdoors Act projects to conserve critical forest and wetland habitat, support rural economic recovery, and increase public access to national forests and grasslands.
Leveraging the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) provided by Congress, this investment will improve public access by funding strategic land acquisitions. Funds will also support work with state agencies to encourage private forest landowners to protect their land through conservation easements or land purchases.
“These investments reflect President Biden’s commitment to supporting locally-led conservation efforts from coast to coast and to honoring and building on the proud private land stewardship traditions of farmers, ranchers, and forest owners,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The investments will not only protect our natural heritage, but they will also create jobs, expand access to the outdoors, and help tackle climate change.”
The Forest Service administers two LWCF programs: The Forest Legacy Program and the Land Acquisition program. Together, these programs conserve critical and strategic lands across the nation’s forests on both private and public lands. The Forest Service will invest more than $94 million to fund 28 projects under the Forest Legacy Program and $123 million to fund Land Acquisition Program projects, including projects for recreation access and other needs.
Land Acquisition Program highlights include:
$6.4 million in FY 2021 to acquire 8,590 acres for the Lolo Trails Project in Montana. This project aims to mitigate the effects of climate change by providing the cold water that federally listed bull trout and other species need to sustain healthy populations in a warming climate.
$3.7 million to acquire 1,550 acres in the Yakima River Basin for the Washington Cascades Project. Supported by a wide coalition of public, private and non-profit partners, this project seeks to ensure a long-term water supply in the face of climate change.
Forest Legacy Program highlights include:
Protecting 12,500 acres of habitat, water and timber on the Ceylon Forest in Georgia. 2.5 million people depend on the Ceylon for drinking water that flows from and through the forest. As a working forest, the Ceylon supports a local wood-based economy that includes 121 mills, with a $1.69 million payroll impact. Once completed, the area will also become part of a much larger Wildlife Management Area and serve as an ideal hunting and fishing destination for sportsmen across the Southeast.
The East Grand-Weston in Maine builds on a century-old tradition of sustainable forestry and expands recreation opportunities over more than 4,300 acres. The property supports a thriving local recreation industry by protecting lands, waters and trails while also providing sustainable wood products to up to 15 mills. The property will remain in private hands while continuing to be managed for public benefits.
The second phase of the Kootenai Forestlands Conservation Project will permanently protect nearly 28,000 acres of land in northwest Montana. The project area belongs to the Stimson Lumber Company and contributes to the local economy while allowing free public access as a recreation destination for hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, snowmobiling and more. The project will also protect the area from further residential development, reducing future firefighting costs by more than half.
The Forest Service has been administering LWCF projects since 1964 along with the Department of the Interior. The fund supports Forest Service-led conservation projects including acquisition of critical non-federal lands within the boundaries of national forests and grasslands. Now, with full and permanent funding through the Dingell Act and the Great American Outdoors Act, the Forest Service is poised to strengthen its conservation program and provide greater recreation access to national forests and grasslands.
The agency worked with partners, considered multiple criteria and used established competitive processes to select projects for fiscal year 2021. During the review, the agency evaluated the environmental, social, and economic benefits of proposed projects and whether they contributed to other conservation initiatives. The Forest Service also considered local recreation access needs, the level of local support for strategic land acquisitions and how likely it would be for project areas to be converted to non-forest uses.
For more information on the Great American Outdoors Act and related projects, visit the website.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration under Secretary Vilsack, USDA is committed to transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit USDA.
Since YouTube was founded in 2005, it has become something we take for granted as a source of information. If you want a taste of other ways of life, search YouTube. If you need to know how to do something, watch a YouTube video. If you need advice, find an expert on YouTube.
When it comes to the medical profession, however, YouTube experts need to walk a delicate line. Giving general advice regarding medical treatments can put undiscerning viewers at risk. At the very least, it can cause the doctor tremendous legal and career issues.
The best YouTube doctors have found that balance and give information and tips without crossing over into medical guidance. Here are the 5 doctors who do it best.
Dr. Mikhail Varshavski is a Russian-born American medical expert. He became popular online when he was named People Magazine’s Sexiest Doctor Alive. However, he is far more than a pretty face (with an adorable dog). Doctor Mike has millions of followers, to whom he provides health tips (but not medical advice). He explains different medical conditions and terms as well, along with lifestyle changes for improved health.
During the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, he used his channel to debunk false information, providing a clear vision of the real risks of the virus.
In the realm of eye care, there is no one better than Joseph J Allen OD. Dr Allen dispenses information via his YouTube channel, Doctor Eye Health. He is also the CEO of Vision Excellence Eye Consulting LLC.
In his videos, Dr. Allen shares interesting facts about the eye, important eye health tips, and insight into both common and rare eye conditions. He also recommends some of the best eye care products available. With over 250,000 subscribers to his channel, he is extremely influential and uses his platform carefully and responsibly.
Go to GlassesUSA.com to read some of the latest health articles, with whom Dr. Allen collaborates.
There is one type of health care that is a basic responsibility of each and every person. Skincare. Not everyone takes skincare as seriously, but proper care is not only important for aesthetic reasons but for general health as well. Skin issues may be a sign of illness, and overexposure to sun can contribute to skin cancer.
Dr. Dray is a dermatologist who uses her channel to dispense tips and review various skincare products. Considering that the variety of skincare products is huge, it is great to get a professional opinion on which actually work.
Dr. Morsand differentiates himself from the other doctors on this list because he doesn’t just provide general tips. He posts extensive Q&A sessions in which he answers people’s questions about a myriad health issues in depth.
There is a lot to learn from Dr. Morsand’s decades of experience, and you’ll find more specific information on his channel than on most others.
Dr Ezgi Ozcan is a junior doctor in the UK who records vlogs about her life. Rather than providing medical advice, she shows what the daily life of a junior doctor is like. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, junior doctors are essentially the British equivalent of American residents.
Having recently given birth, she is portraying what it is like to be a mother in this line of work as well. Her channel is entertaining, informative, and she is incredibly personable.
Tea Drunk is a Certified Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise in New York City and is known for being the most prestigious Chinese tea house in the North America. Founder and Tea Expert Shunan Teng travels to the historic tea mountains of China each spring to commission some of the rarest tea in the world to showcase their top terroir, superb craftsmanship, and true-to-origin varietals.
Shunan commissions and sources teas in the most conservative fashion to bring discerning connoisseurs the utmost traditional essence of historical teas. Teas that are meticulously curated like Gua Pian Green Tea (Melon Seed Tea) from Lu An. Lu An is one of the oldest tea-making regions in China with over 1000 years of tea-making history. This historically famous style of tea goes through a unique La Da Huo processing step that gives the tea a pleasantly toasty flavor that compliments its grassy umami taste, buttery mouthfeel and bold sugary undertone. We feel this flavor profile and mouthfeel rivals that of the hip Japanese Matcha. Gua Pian is being highlighted as the next trend in tea, with whole loose leaves, there is a lower extraction rate of caffeine, allowing your body to get all of the benefits of the complex compounds found in green tea (such as l-theanine and catechins) with a more body friendly level of caffeine.
Although many different flowers and herbs can be dried, steeped in hot water, and called “tea,” actual tea leaves come from the plant camellia sinensis. From just this one plant alone, humans discovered that through manipulation of heat, moisture, and physical disturbance of the tea leaves, this one plant can yield almost endless variations in taste and aroma. It’s a fragile ancient art form and through education and access, Tea Drunk aims to cultivate awareness in preserving it for years to come.
You can also increase your level of tea savvy straight from the source with Tea Drunk. Experience teas such as Gua Pian right from the comfort of your home (or wherever you may be) with Tea Drunk’s Educational Tea Club. Their twice monthly expert led Zoom sessions allow you to travel deep into your cup and senses in a welcoming community of tea lovers. They have two tiers of sessions, a Sampler and a Reserve, with the Reserve specializing in the highest tier of rare teas. Each box is hand curated based on concepts such as vintage, location, or theme to help you develop your palate in comparative tastings. The tea club grants you unparalleled access to transparency and high-quality education while having a blast exploring teas with others virtually.
Shunan, is an avid educator on tea and has spoken at many prestigious institutions including: Yale University; Christie’s; Van Cleef & Arpels; World Tea Expo; and Stony Brook University. She has collaborated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to execute a temporary Chinese tea house in the museum and is the educator for TED Ed lesson – The History of Tea.
It’s truly an experience that goes well beyond any other tea subscription service on the market. You are able to deepen your personal tea knowledge alongside other like-minded individuals and grow together in community while connecting with this ancient art form of traditional tea processing. It’s an act people have been doing for tens of thousands of years, and today we get to do the same thing with people all over the world. With Tea Drunk, tea is not just a beverage; it’s an experience meant to be savored and shared.
Wellness Thought Leader/Podcaster of “Living Your Life Without Limits, Shannon Jackson, Reveals Tops Tips To Stay Well In 2021
2020 brought in a year of unprecedented loss and grief. The COVID-19 pandemic is not only epidemiological crisis, but also a psychological one that has provoked anxiety, stress, sadness, and pain. Although grief is a normal human emotion, it should be transitory– according to Los Angeles wellness thought leader, RN, philanthropist, and podcaster, Shannon Jackson. “2021 is the year for a turnaround. Maybe you are struggling to envision what your new season of good fortune can look like. You’ve been stuck in your present circumstances for so long that it’s hard to imagine life being any different, but I believe there is hope,” says Jackson.
Here are the entrepreneur’s top tips to help prepare for hope and a new chapter in 2021:
Take time for spiritual renewal and mental clarity: Take time daily for moments of solitude and mental clarity so you can focus on what’s important: your vision of a more fulfilling life. Step away from mental chaos when possible by finding a quiet place to collect your thoughts and eliminate emotional clutter. Sometimes you have to steal these moments for yourself, but TAKE them—these moments can set the stage for true growth.
Embrace change: Do a soul-searching assessment of your life. If you see circumstances holding you back from growth or productivity, embrace the idea of making necessary changes. Relationships, jobs, and even environments may be holding you from your true potential. If you recognize an area of your life that’s keeping you confined, be honest enough with yourself to move on.
Think outside the box: Step outside of pre-established boundaries, try a new approach, and consider how to approach old challenges from a new direction. Problems sometime look much smaller from a new perspective or direction. For example, if you struggle to overcome self-doubt, taking on a totally new project or learning a new skill may help.
Recognize and eliminate personal negativity: Replace fear, insecurities, and self-doubt with positive encouragement instead. You can be your own stumbling block if you’re not careful. Listen to your inner voice, recognize what damaging things that voice may be saying, and replace those sentiments with positives. For example, instead of telling yourself, “you’re too weak,” tell yourself instead, “you are incredibly strong.”
Stay Persistent: One of the definitions of the word persistent states, “continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action, in spite of difficulty or opposition.” My definition of persistence is stubbornness with a purpose. That’s right, you heard it here from me. Despite the challenges and obstacles you may face or maybe facing in life, you must be determined and steadfast in pursuing your goals. So here are a few tips to make sure you stay on course:
Keep your attention on the long-term plan: Give your vision, your goals, and your priorities unwavering attention. Avoid focusing on what’s in the past and don’t get sidetracked by current challenges. It’s much easier to get where you want to be when you have a clear view of where you’re going at all times. If something in your life has no place in your long-term vision, let it go.
Drop irrelevant emotional weight and adjust your focus: Avoid focusing on resentment, worry, fear, or anger as you transition into your new life and focus on your goals. Learn how to recognize the emotional weight that is holding you back. When you’ve pinpointed this baggage, pulling it out of your everyday life makes all the difference.
Prioritize your day according to what’s most important: Prioritize your everyday tasks by making the important things most worth your time and energy your priority, and eliminating distractions in the way. Weave small steps into your daily plans that will eventually help you align with your vision. For example, if you want to see yourself become more healthy and capable, choose healthier actions and accomplish something new today. Remember, good days become good weeks, good months, and great years.
Reinforce spiritual foundations: Achieving optimism, positivity, and self-esteem with a strong spiritual foundation is key to emotional clarity and peace of mind. Do what it takes to feed your spiritual soul–whether that is meditating, praying, or reading divinely inspired text. Nurture your own spirituality to ensure it delivers stable ground for you to live your best life.
Most importantly, practice self-affirmation daily: Affirm your worthiness, your value, and your power every day with the power of your own tongue. Remind yourself of your importance to the world, your career, your family, and yourself. Remember, no one sees the true value in you unless you see it in yourself first.
In addition to practicing ways to stay healthy during these challenging times, the wellness coach created a “Living Your Life Without Limits” (LYLWL) wellness box to help those affected by COVID. After answering the call of duty as an essential worker in Los Angeles, she completed a two-month tour-of-duty as a Covid nurse in New York. Here, she witnessed first-hand the pandemic’s effect on people from all walks of life. She especially noticed how the outbreak has challenged people’s mental wellness, and was inspired to create the Wellness Box.
Her professional and natural response was to put together her new LYLWL Wellness Box, serving as a specialty health-and-wellness support kit to share with your loved ones who wish to keep their wellness in check year round.
“We are elated to give people what they need most in 2021” states Jackson. “My Wellness Box is designed to give the individuals we love the tools they need to help keep their own physical health and emotional well-being in check, particularly during these stressful times.”
With a unique combined background as a certified life coach and a registered nurse, Jackson understands how intrinsic staying healthy is to quality of life. “Staying healthy is a foundational necessity for living your best life possible, without limits. One must be armed with physical well-being to overcome challenges, both emotional and physical in nature. The Wellness Box is full of important items–hand-picked and curated by me–to deliver the optimum essentials of what people need to monitor their wellness.”
The beautifully packaged floral patterned LYLWL Wellness Box is filled with items all individuals need to keep their health a central focus in their everyday life. For $49.97, customers benefit from this gift that is ideal for themselves, their family and friends. This special gift of wellness contains Jackson’s carefully sourced tools ideal for today’s health-focused climate, including:
Meditation Music: The ideal emotional fix, this meditation music is selected to encourage positive love, calm the mood, inspire positive feelings.
Scented Candle: Take a time-out for self-love to achieve mental clarity and allow the dancing flame and soothing fragrance of this candle to calm one’s thoughts, re-center, and re-focus.
A First Aid Kit: The ideal kit to help treat minor scrapes, cuts, and burns with all the necessities for this process.
Thermometer: Keep tabs on body temperature with this handy thermometer, which can signal many changes in one’s health.
Keep the Heart Beat Up | Blood Pressure Wristband and Magnet: Keep blood pressure levels in check with this convenient blood pressure wristband and companion magnet as daily reminders in case one feels especially stressed or winded.
LYLWL Wellness Journal and Ink Pen: Another Jackson inspired product, her LYLWL Wellness Journal is a mini self-help workshop in journal form helping to support and recognize self-awareness, gratitude for special moments, and staying on track for reaching personal goals.
Through Jackson’s weekly podcast, life-coaching skills, numerous hosted speaking appearances, and naturally inspiring energy, she has helped thousands of individuals to find clarity and reach their own levels of mastery in life. The LYLWL Wellness Box is another way for Jackson to extend her feel-good help into the lives of people who need her. Know anyone who could use some wellness, love, and “me time”? The LYLWL Wellness Box is available for purchase here.
Next to her new Wellness Box, Jackson also has her signature Feel-Good Shop offering message-inspired items for added shopping value.
For more information, visit Jackson’s website, which provides her podcast announcements, guidance for forward-thinking individuals, and valuable free resources.
When COVID-19 hit, there was an instant collective response of panic. People rushed to fill their pantries with nonperishables and toilet paper. Schools closed, businesses closed, and lives were flipped upside down as our routines were disrupted by lockdowns and uncertainty. In a moment in which we most needed comfort and connection, we were forced to isolate for fear of spreading the virus to our loved ones. I remember countless sleepless nights where I obsessively checked the dashboards and reviewed the little data provided on how this virus operated, who was being affected, and the odds of survival. I called my parents frequently to remind them to “stay home, wash your hands, wear your masks”. I knew then if my father were to become infected, he would not survive. He was elderly and his lungs had much damage from decades of exposure to dust and cement as a mason.
My father was the humblest, hardest-working man with the biggest faith I’ve ever known. He taught me patience, integrity and to never take life seriously as it is but a journey in the span of our existence. As an emigrant from Mexico with an 8th grade education, he faced adversity with relentless courage, and boundless humor. When he contracted COVID in July 2020, my heart shattered and my heart plunged into agony. Even then, Dad persisted: “no te preocupes mija, todo va estar bien” (don’t worry, my daughter, all will be well.) And yet, on July 27th, he passed.
How can things be “well” when our world is shattered as we face our worst fear? Grief is the price of love. Years of working with trauma survivors as a clinician have allowed me to see that not all people can withstand the weight of tragedy and loss. Grief rips away our sense of normalcy, leaving us feeling broken, raw, and exposed. Many people lapse into survival mode to weather grief, a constant battle of managing misery and pain. Unresolved anguish, like unattended mold, can weaken our body structure, infect our attitude with anger, cloud our vision with resentment and spread toxic spores of bitterness towards others. And yet, there are those who rise up in the midst of adversity, seemingly fueled by the pain, and transformed to a more resilient, truer self. Like steel, refined through the fire. But how?
Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” The human race has continued to thrive through plagues, war, genocide, famine and tragedy. Death is not the only loss we experience; we also grieve the loss of hope, health, relationships, or such as in this pandemic, loss of “normalcy.” Loss creates change. Change is only constant in life and outside of our control. It is in the acceptance and embracing of change that we can refine and solidify the core of what defines us. Even in the face of death, my father’s courage did not relent as he reaffirmed his identity: “I am a soldier and I will fight till the end – bruised and battered, I will fight until I am called home.” And fight he did.
Just like many other ‘essential’ workers, my sisters, both of whom are nurses, and I had to return to work. With the raw pain of loss, we found ourselves facing others in the midst of the tragedy we had just endured. I had never felt such gratitude for the tool that had become my specialty: Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), an evidence-based technique that enables clients to reframe their memories of troubling events. Without ART, I could not have held space for the grief many clients brought to my office. When we experience severe emotional events, the memory is imprinted into our subconscious mind through images. It is this deeply-rooted, emotionally-laden memory that causes our body to experience reactive responses such as extreme fear or panic long after the event has passed. Talking about painful memories can sometimes exacerbate symptoms since we cannot reason our way out of the pain. The subconscious does not speak in words; it speaks in images. Thus, metaphors are the language of emotion.
Clients often share an inability to forget the image of their loved one’s death as it haunts them both in their waking life through flashbacks. ART targets these images through a brief, succinct process called voluntary image replacement. Grief work enables us to redefine the connection to our loved ones through memories of their life, rather than their death. ART helps to facilitate that process. It has enabled me to transform my suffering to fuel my purpose as I help others navigate through the process of healing and post-traumatic growth. Post-traumatic growth is an undergoing of a significant shift in one’s relation with the self and the world. It’s the ability to extract wisdom from suffering, create purpose from the pain and become more of our truest, most powerful selves as we break through perceived limitations. It leads us to acceptance of reality and enables us to feel more connected to our own humanity and that of others as we embrace our vulnerability.
Through ART, I now hold the memory of my father in a space full of love and resoluteness. I see him sitting in my sister’s living room, watching his children chat and grandkids play with a look of blissful pride on his face. It brings comfort to the void left by his departure, a reminder that life is finite. And every time a client returns to my office after an ART session and tells me “The images are gone – all I see is my mother’s smile,” my heart is filled with hope.
For additional information on Estefana Johnson go here.
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