Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart

Happy Thanksgiving is almost here in the USA! For all of my Canadian friends I know that you celebrated last month.  Personally, I am looking so forward to spending Thanksgiving Day with almost all of my family including my mom and her husband; my oldest son and his wife and two children; my youngest daughter and her husband, along with her mother-in-law and their six-month old baby;  my youngest son and his girlfriend.  We will miss our oldest daughter and her husband but we know that they will celebrate and give thanks elsewhere.

Thanksgiving is a time where we stop and give thanks for all that is good and right in our lives.  Even if you've had a rough year or have tragically lost something or even worse someone, each and everyone of us has something to be thankful for.

If you are having a tough time giving thanks this year I want you to stop what you're doing right now.  Go and get several notebook style, lined pieces of paper and title the first page, "My Gratitude List."  Next, take a good look around you.  Start with where you are sitting and notice anything that you are thankful for, maybe it's as simple as your favorite chair or unique family heirloom on one of your shelves.   Write those items down.  Go outside and notice your surroundings: the birds, the trees, the flowers, the sun or the snow.   Do you have a pet who loves you unconditionally?  Go to your closet and list your favorite items.  Do the same in your drawers.  Give each thing a separate line on your page.  Most importantly make a line each for every member of your family and each close friend or co-worker whom you give thanks for.  As you make your list you can also say a silent prayer for each person who provides you with love and friendship.

Meditate on Psalm 100, verse 4

"Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."  

Here's a breakdown of that verse that may help you practice gratitude.  You can slowly say it over and over as it fills your heart and your mind with peace and comfort.

Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise.  Give thanks to him and praise him.
Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise.  Give thanks to him.
Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise.  Give thanks.
Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise.
Enter his gates with Thanksgiving.
Enter his gates.

Remember:  Today is a gift and no one knows what tomorrow may bring.  Give thanks today!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

You may contact me here:  Donna@DonnaSchuller.com

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How To Sleep Well For Better Health

In one of my recent posts titled "Sleep Deprivation Can Be Deadly" I reviewed a bit from chapter 3 of my newest book, "Healthy Family, Happy Life: What Healthy Families Learn From Healthy Moms."
Since I continually talk to people who say "I just don't sleep well at night" I was really intrigued when my friend, Brad Grossman sent me his "Zeitguide To Sleep" statistics since studies included in this facinating and educational article not only supported what I know about but added to the information by providing some of the latest scientific information available. 
This is the thing I love about the "Zeitguide, Cultural Almanac";  I learn intriguing facts and find out the latest cultural trends in regards to subjects I teach others about and other things I never even knew I wanted to know about!  Following is the article on sleep.  As you read it keep in mind that sleep deprivation is an epidemic in our society so if you don't need the advice I'm sure you know someone who does! 

My grandson, Christian at 4 mos. Sound asleep while his parents play cards

Do you get enough sleep? And the right kind of sleep?
That topic was buzzing in recent weeks on Quora, where the question, “How do CEOs who sleep for only 4-5 hours daily manage to function and run multimillion dollar companies?” drew hundreds of opinions.
Answers ranged from “I really, really, really love what I do” to avoiding carbs to the recent studies that suggest genetic mutations of “short sleepers,” who represent less than 1% of the population.
But according to Alice Park’s recent article in Time magazine, “The Power of Sleep,” new scientific research proves that people must get at least seven hours of sleep per night. It wasn’t the usual story about sleep’s role in improving concentration, alertness, memory, and happiness.
Rather, it provided the latest research on how sleep reduces toxic waste from our brains.
During sleep, our glial cells slow electric activity down, and the size of our brain cells literally shrink. This allows more spinal fluid to slosh around and clean out biological debris. “It’s like a dishwater that keeps flushing through to wash the dirt away,“ says Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester.
Because we multi-task, live attached to our smartphones, and hyper-schedule, our brains are on daily overdrive. And with that over-action and energy consumption, our brains produce more waste today than ever before.
When we don’t get enough sleep, the glial cells can’t clear away all that garbage. Scientist now think this could contribute to brain disorders. Alzheimer’s, for instance, is caused by a buildup of excess of amyloid protein that isn’t washed away.

But do we have to get seven hours of sleep all in one shot?
Scientists and historians are discovering that bimodal sleep might be our natural behavior. Roger Ekirch, a professor of History at Virginia Tech, found historical and literary evidence that two shorter periods of sleep was common in the pre-industrial era. In between was a 1-to-2-hour period when people would visit with neighbors, chat with bedfellows, or have sex. We switched to a single sleeping period only when streetlights, indoor lamps, and coffeehouses made nighttime the prime time for socializing. Current sleep studies see these same patterns reappear when artificial light is taken out of the equation.
Rather than panic when you wake at 3 a.m., think of it as an anthropological throwback.

But if you have trouble falling back to sleep or continue to get less than 7 hours of sleep on a continual basis, try to change your patterns.
As Brown University’s Mary Carskadon told Time, we should think about sleep depravation the same way we do smog, secondhand smoke, or chemicals in our drinking water. Insufficient sleep pollutes our minds.

How to get a better night of sleep?
ZEITGUIDE friend, Ari Miesel, Founder of LessDoing.com, gives us 5 tips:
1. Wear Blue-light blocking sunglasses an hour before bed to remove the melatonin reducing effects of TVs, laptops, and iPhones
2. Cool your bedroom; 68 degrees is optimal sleeping temperature
3. Take a bath before bed with Magnesium flakes
4. Use the Stress doctor iPhone app before bed to help you breath deeply and reset your heart rate variability
5. Use Beddit sleep tracker kit to quantify and identify aspects of your sleep that are sub-optimal
Keep Learning and Sleep Well...
Brad Grossman and Team ZEITGUIDE

ZEITGUIDE 2014 is available on Kindle and Amazon paperback
Our weekly newsletters can be found here

Join me for "The Call" on November 15th at 6pm Pacific time.  Dial 530-881-1300 and key-in 642848#
To reach me write to:  Donna@DonnaSchuller.com

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Good Posture For Great Health

 Good Posture For Great Health

 I am a very physically active person so when I recently injured my knee I was motivated to do anything that would help it heal quickly.   I know all kinds of strengthening exercises and I also go to a great chiropractor who is experienced in how to treat sports injuriesI know how to eliminate foods that cause inflammation and add foods which promote healingFortunately for me, as great timing would have it,  I was contacted by Dr. Insole within a few days of my injury.  Since I was looking for ways to create more comfort and fast-track the healing of my knee I was quite interested in what the company representative had to say about their affordable orthotics.  I have used orthotics over the past several years and in fact I was considering going to my doctor for a new fitting and to place an order when, just in time I was introduced to Dr. Insole!!   Dr. Insoles retail for only $50 and the orthotics I was used to buying cost over $200 so I was no longer replacing them when they wore out but instead continuing to wear them way past their recommended "expiration."  This being said I am so happy to have been introduced to Dr. Insole!  After wearing them for only a week I felt significant improvement in my knee.  For one, they helped both my knees track properly over my feet as they also helped create even more comfort in my athletic shoes.  To learn more you can click here.

I highly recommend trying Dr. Insole to improve your posture, your balance, your foot issues, back pain, and knee and hip problems.   I also want to stress how important it is that along with your regular strength training and cardio exercises you practice balance moves as part of your daily routine.    
Unless you engage in regular balance exercises you may lose yours sooner than you need to.  Loss of balance may start as you get a bit wobbly getting in and out of the bathtub, or need to walk down the stairs more slowly. It happens as we age, but your balance may be “off” for other reasons — injury, illness, poor posture, poor vision, obesity, weak core muscles, or a brain that is not properly trained to stay balanced.
Balance is your body and your brain’s equilibrium, or stability.  It’s at the core of nearly every physical and mental action you perform.  In fact, building your “core” muscles — those that surround your trunk — is the key to staying strong and upright as you age. Without a strong core, you’re more likely to suffer back pain, lose your balance and fall, or be more prone to injury during exercise.  In the same way, maintaining and building balance in your brain is just as important for your overall health.
Test your balance: Stand on one foot with your eyes closed. If you can’t hold still for at least 10 seconds without becoming wobbly, it’s time for some easy balance training. Don’t forget to wear supportive shoes (with your Dr. Insoles) and keep a chair nearby to rest your hand if need be.

Eyes-Closed Balance Routine
  1. On one leg, arms out to each side, eyes closed, balance for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
  2. On one leg, arms hugging your chest, eyes closed, balance for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
Eyes-Closed Balance Hop
  1. On one leg, hop forward and back 10 times; stabilize between hops. Switch legs and repeat.
  2. On one leg, hop side to side 10 times; stabilize between hops. Switch legs and repeat.
Improving your balance is just one great benefit you receive if you also practice good posture.  When your body is in alignment all of your organs work better.  Good posture also decreases the stress hormone cortisol and increases your testosterone.   It will help you breathe properly and protect your joints and ligaments.   Those who have good posture look more confident thus they feel more confident.  
Also, when possible make sure that you always opt for stairs instead of using the elevator.  This too will help keep your body and your mind sharper and more balanced.  You may want to work on your posture as you navigate the stairs!

To reach me by email:  Donna@DonnaSchuller

Friday, October 10, 2014

The "Stigma" of Mental Health Disorders

It's the Friday of Mental Health Awareness Week here in the U.S.A.  I thought it important that I say something about this issue since I am a health-care practitioner.   I coach people in physical, emotional, and spiritual health and although I am primarily a nutritionist by training I think I have a responsibility to talk to each of my clients about their "whole person."   More often than not I find that although I may be asked to help with dietary, exercise,  or sleep issues;  at the end of a period of assessement, most everyone I talk to is really dealing with an emotional or a spiritual issue.  These issues are always affecting their physical health or productivity in some way.

Image result for photos of mental health

 I am really perplexed on why, in the year 2014 we still look at mental health as something that is so difficult to address.  This can be especially true when it affects someone in our own family.  Or, even if we are honest and open about discussing a mental health issue that may prevail in our own families, others can be very hesitant to enter into a discussion about it.  It's as if they want to rationalize it away.  Denial ( Stands for:  Don't. Even. Know. I.  Am.  Lying.) in this way is very, very strong.   Somehow talking about cancer, heart disease, or any of the other serious ailments is acceptable but saying that someone has bi-polar, schizophrenia, any kind of dementia,  or even depression or PTSD somehow implies that they are weak.  I've even heard people deny that a loved-one has severe mental issues because for some reason they are embarrassed or ashamed to admit it.  (As if the person affected has done something wrong to cause it?)   Sharing the news of a family mental health issue can be received with the same emotion as delivering a four-letter word. 
 We need to change this perception of mental health.  I believe that we all need to address this epidemic affecting our societies and be honest about the stigma surrounding it.  We need to get our heads out of the sand.  I also don't think that  pharmaceutical drugs are necessarily the answer.  In fact, in some cases, with the exception of stabilizing the patient, the drugs can do more harm than good.  (If you are currently on medicine this is not meant to shame or scold you....just saying that often times there are other options)  If you are taking medicine I am not saying to stop taking it!  Please don't misunderstand me.   I am only saying that medicine is not always the answer.   However there are many things you can do about your diet, your neurology (your brain health), and by adding certain nutrients.  I can help you with these things. 

I love what I do.  Coaching people and talking to them about body, mind, and soul health is my passion.  If you are struggling and need to talk to someone you can reach out to me. I don't accept payment, I only ask for a tax-deductible donation to my ministry.   If I think your issue is beyond my scope of education and expertise I will refer you to a trusted professional.  To reach me you can email:  Donna@DonnaSchuller.com

If you suspect that you may be having trouble with any mental health issues,  in order to take a complimentary assessment of your mental health you can use this link  here to take your anxiety and depression questionnaire which is sponsored by The Amen Clinic.  I know Dr. Amen.  More than once he has been a big help to my family and friends.  I trust him.

God wants you to be healthy in body, mind, and soul.  Please don't be afraid, embarrassed, or ashamed of not being in tip-top mental health.   There is help for you!  Reach out to me or to someone you trust.

**Also join me for "The Call" on October 15th at 6pm Pacific time.  Dial 530-881-1300 and key-in 642848#   Tell anyone you know who may need some mid-month encouragement (who doesn't?!)   Join me every month, same time, same phone number. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Personal Experience of Loving God

It's time to get back to reviewing my book, "Healthy Family, Happy Life: What Healthy Families Learn From Healthy Moms."   We are on chapter 9 so we only have two chapters left after today. I think these last three chapters might just be the most important of the entire book as they deal with loving God, loving others, and (a real toughy) loving yourself.   When people think about health they often skip the notion that spiritual health is at the center and the beginning of everything that comes after.  If things are not well with one's soul it's tough to feel at peace in life and if we don't feel at peace our emotions will be off kilter thus creating unrest and struggling through life,  resulting in physical problems.

When talking about spirituality and loving God I believe what Tozer writes when he says, "What comes to our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us."  If you were to close your eyes right now, take a deep breath, and think about God, what visions and thoughts come into your mind?  Are they thoughts of love and acceptance or are they ones that make you doubt or fill sad?  Maybe this is something that you need to work on or maybe you have learned that God loves you no matter who you are or what you have done.  If you decide to follow Jesus and learn to become more like him I believe you will find greater health in body, mind, and soul.  It doesn't mean that you won't have hardships or trouble but when you do he will be your constant friend and guide as you follow his teachings.  In knowing him you will discover new tools to help guide you through your roughest days and as you read the scriptures and meditate on his goodness your life will become more manageable and productive.

How much time do you spend each day in personal reflection and prayer?  The longest living cultures in the world have one great things in common and that is that they embrace an attitude of gratefulness by staying in touch with their spirituality.   This living with an attitude of thanksgiving and praise goes beyond any socioeconomic backround so it is something any one of us can adopt at any time.  It is never too late!


If you need help believing that God loves you and has a plan for your life, or if you want to learn how to meditate on the great scriptures, I can help you.  For any of your body, mind, health needs you can get in touch with me at Donna@DonnaSchuller.com

Here is just one helpful hint found in the back of Chapter 9:

#4  Open your heart.  Recognize that you are powerless to control every situation and have an open heart, mind, and soul for allowing God's grace into your life.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."  
Matthew 22:37

**Remember to join me for "The Call" on October 15th at 6pm Pacific time.  Dial 530-881-1300 and key-in 642848#  Join me on the 15th of each and every month if you want to learn more about body, mind, spirit health.

 For Robert Schuller's health update click here