May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

What’s In Your Tote Bag?

Here’s a tip to help make sure you and your family stay sun-safe. Get ready for summer with a tote bag full of different ways to protect your skin. Keep the tote bag handy so you can grab it whenever you head out for some fun in the sun!

Photo of a colorful tote bag containing sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, towels, and shoes.

Some important things to pack—

  • A lightweight long-sleeved shirt or cover-up.
  • A hat with a wide brim that shades your face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection.

From the CDC

World Digestive Health Day

You literally are what you eat, maybe even more, you are what you DIGEST.

Seventy percent of the human immune system is thought to reside in the gut. Over 39 trillion bacterial cells reside within the human body, particularly in the GI tract, which is close to a 1:1 ratio of human to internal bacterial cells. When the gut microbiome (aggregate of all microbiota) is out of balance, this is called dysbiosis: a condition linked to several health concerns. A well-balanced microbiome can support healthy digestion, absorption, elimination, and support overall immune function.

ProSynbiotic is a synergistic blend of four research-supported probiotic strains and two prebiotic fibers to support gut flora and overall intestinal health.*

Why I like Standard Process:

Since 1929, Standard Process has been the visionary leader in whole food nutrient solutions. The company is dedicated to the whole food philosophy of the founder, Dr. Royal Lee, and their goal is to carry on his mission to provide nutrients for the body that are as close as possible to how they are found in nature.

SP’s products include foods that are prepared in a way that safeguards their nutritional value. The majority of these ingredients are grown locally on their certified organic farm in Wisconsin and may require chopping, dicing, juicing and/or drying for use in their products.

The resulting whole food ingredients are then added to a formula that may include whole food extracts, animal tissue extracts and concentrates, botanicals, whole food isolates and lastly, synthetic ingredients. These highly complex combinations contain a variety of elements designed to trigger trophic effects that support the body’s healthy balance and wellness.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Talk to you health care practitioner before using any/all supplements.

Essential Oils for Combating Stress and Anxiety

Smell is the most underutilized sense we have yet one of the most powerful. It taps directly into the part of the brain responsible for emotion and memory!

Scents have a direct route into our brain and can effect our emotions

It is our most primal sense. Smells can protect us: it stops us from drinking sour milk, alerts us to natural gas, and can even detect a fire 30 miles away. It can also relax us; have you even walked into a place and felt immediately calmer or happier? A kitchen with baked good fresh from the oven, a walk through the forest, and sitting outside on a sunny day near a flower bed come to mind.

Aromatherapy can be a very helpful technique to elicit a relaxation response. Due to the complex chemical constituents, essential oils can play a role in transforming unpleasant emotions, inducing relaxation and potentially reducing the damaging effects of stress and anxiety on the mind and body.

Research into aromatherapy has also shown positive relaxation effects on stressful settings like waiting rooms or anxiety-provoking appointments; during challenging situations like child birth or surgical interventions; it can even be measured with slower breath rates, slower heart rates and more heart rate variability. *

Here are few ways essential oils can help:

  • Calm emotional state by decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity
  • Promote sleep
  • Ease tension
  • Enhance energy levels
  • Encourage health coping skills
  • Allow us to feel grounded in the present moment
  • Promote positive thinking
  • Enhance memory and focus

Some essential oils that may help with stress and anxiety**:

Citrus scents like: Lime, Bergamot, and Tangerine can uplift, rejuvenate and relax at the same time

Woodsy scents like: Cypress, Hinoki, Black Spruce, and Copaiba can give a sense of grounding and centering

Flowery scents like: Lavendar, Ylang-ylang ease tension and can promote general well-being

Resin like Frankencense has anti-inflammatory properties that can help settle feelings and emotions

Photo by Valeria Ushakova on

Making sure you are eating a diet full of colors from fruits and vegetables, moving your body every day, getting adequate rest (mindfulness and sleep) are your foundations for health and wellness, and essential oils may be another tool in incorporate from your self-care toolbox.

Breathe slowly and deeply, inhaling those scents that you respond well to through your nose, exhaling through your mouth and releasing any tension held within the body.


  • Lv XN, Liu ZJ, Zhang HJ, Tzeng CM. Aromatherapy and the central nerve system (CNS): therapeutic mechanism and its associated genes. Curr Drug Targets. 2013 Jul;14(8):872-9.
  • Watanabe E, Kuchta K, Kimura M, Rauwald HW, Kamei T, Imanishi J. Effects of bergamot ( Citrus bergamia (Risso) Wright & Arn.) essential oil aromatherapy on mood states, parasympathetic nervous system activity, and salivary cortisol levels in 41 healthy females. Forsch Komplementmed. 2015;22(1):43-9.
  • Han X, Gibson J, Eggett DL, Parker TL. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) Essential Oil Inhalation Improves Positive Feelings in the Waiting Room of a Mental Health Treatment Center: A Pilot Study. Phytother Res. 2017 May;31(5):812-816. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5806. Epub 2017 Mar 24.
  • Hwang JH. [The effects of the inhalation method using essential oils on blood pressure and stress responses of clients with essential hypertension]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2006 Dec;36(7):1123-34.
  • Hongratanaworakit, Tapanee & Buchbauer, Gerhard. (2007). Autonomic and emotional responses after transdermal absorption of sweet orange oil in humans: Placebo controlled trial. International Journal of Essential Oil Therapeutics. 1. 29-34.
  • Gong M, Dong H, Tang Y, Huang W, Lu F. Effects of aromatherapy on anxiety: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Affect Disord. 2020 Sep 1;274:1028-1040.

**As always, talk to your health care provider before starting any program that may effect your health and wellness

Adapted from Science of Essentials, click here for more.

Why a Self-Care Routine is Crucial to your Well Being

It’s easy to put yourself last on the list. You have children, a husband/wife/partner/dog/others and a job. This doesn’t leave much time for yourself.

But learning how to take care of yourself isn’t just a minor issue. If you don’t have a steady self-care routine, you’re going to reach “burnout,” the point where everything is overwhelming and impossible to get through.

A quiet spot for meditation is part of my daily self-care practice

Self-care is something you practice daily, and it’s taking care of your mind, body, and spirit, not just a massage, extra ice cream or a mani-pedi (though these are all lovely ways to treat yourself too).

You can start with calling a friend, going for a walk, or ten minutes of mindfulness. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Make sure it is something you like. That way you will continue with the practice.

Here are some self care things to try and their possible health benefits.

Get a good night’s sleep to improve your memory

We have become a sleep-deprived culture. The cost is forgetfulness. Have you ever noticed that when you don’t get enough sleep, you are more prone to making mistakes?

This can affect your family and your work performance. Make sure to get between seven to nine hours of sleep. Maybe take a thirty-minute power nap in the middle of the day if your lacking?  Your mind will thank you for it.

Exercise for a heart-healthy boost.

Exercise is one of the best forms of self-care. Start to schedule time for exercise. You can start by walking in ten minutes one direction from your house, and then walking back.

There you go, you added twenty minutes of exercise into your day, and you’re off to a great start.

Look! My exercise bike is smiling at me!

Saying no can improve your mood.

Have you been more irritable these days? This can happen when you put yourself last on the list.   Not only have our physical boundaries taken a beating lately (shelter in place either alone or with the same people for the last month), emotional boundaries can be battered if we don’t say no once in a while.  Taking care of yourself will help you feel better about yourself. It will also help you set better boundaries.

So, you can stop saying yes when you mean no. Your friends and family will thank you for this in the long run.

Laugh!  Your life is your party, enjoy it!

You will be able to ride through the highs and lows of life more easily. You will begin to realize you don’t have to be perfect, and neither does anyone else. You have realistic expectations of yourself and others.

You have already gotten through some difficult times, and realize you can do it again if you have to.

Self care is not selfish, You can’t serve from an empty vessel.

When you don’t take care of yourself, you’re putting yourself at risk of burn out. This makes it difficult to take care of others.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on

Right now is a gift, is that why it’s called the Present?

Tired of always worrying about the future or can’t stop thinking about the past.  These “What If” dragons as I like to think of them, can leave scorch marks on today.  In fact ruminating is a known happiness-suck, stealing our joy.

Not only do a some people spend way too much time trying to predict the future, they often predict it will turn out bad. If you can’t stop trying to predict the future, then try predicting a positive outcome and see what happens.

Next time you feel those “What If” dragons take flight, acknowledge them, then wrap them up in a beautiful iridescent blanket and tell them to go to sleep, you got this.

Look out for the What-If Dragons…

Now, think of three good things that happened today. Better yet, write them down in a gratitude journal, a place where you note the beauty and joy in the everyday.  True magic happens here with regards to your mindset.

Best foods for skin health

From Nourish Doc, click here for full article.

A healthy diet striking the ideal equilibrium is the secret to radiant-looking skin. The crucial minerals and vitamins required for soft, flexible & healthy skin are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Omega 3 fats.

Here are some of the best food choices – good for your skin (and the rest of you!)

Eat the rainbow!
  • Avocados: Avocados are a rich source of healthful fats and vitamin E, known to support skin health. Researchers in 2013 noted that avocados additionally consist of substances like zeaxanthin and lutein, which assist in shielding the skin from both UV and visible radiation damages.
  • Olive oil: Among cooking oils, olive oil might be one of the most healthy selections for the skin. Outcomes of a study from 2012 confirmed that a diet abundant in olive oil minimizes the effects of photoaging on facial skin.
  • Fatty fish: Foods rich in omega-3 fats can profit the skin. Most people with skin issues avoid fatty foods due to the bad rap fat has on all the health-related problems. Science has proven that not all fats are the same. Fatty fish, including sardines, herring, and salmon, may benefit the skin, as they are mother lodes of omega-3 fats. A diet high in omega-3 acids may help reduce inflammatory signs and make the skin much less responsive to UV rays from the sunlight. Fatty fish additionally give vitamin E, an essential antioxidant. Vitamin E shields the skin from inflammation and dangerous free radicals.
  • Sunflower seeds: Like nuts, sunflower seeds are abundant in protective fatty oils, zinc and vitamin E, all which might assist in protecting skin cells.
  • Flax seeds: Flax seeds are a rich source id omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid. Grinding fresh flaxseeds right into a shake or onto a salad can be a simple way to add even more omega-3 fats to the diet and maintain the skin looking healthful.
  • Walnuts: Nuts may provide the same advantages as fatty fish, making them an excellent enhancement to the diet, specifically for vegetarians and vegans. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids, according to research.
  • Almonds: Almonds are rich in unsaturated fats, and they are an especially great resource of vitamin E. Many seeds are abundant resources of antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids that may assist promote healthy skin.
  • Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate with a high cacao ratio may additionally help to shield the skin. Cacao is rich in antioxidants and minerals that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin.
  • Bright colored fruits: Chock full of antioxidants like vitamin C and carotenoids (they give yellow, orange or red vegetables and fruits there bright colors and are the pre-cursor to vitamin A) have many health advantages: securing the skin from damage brought on by free radicals (like from too much exposure to the sun).

Yoga and You

When you think of yoga, you often think of flexibility and calmness.

But, did you know that yoga can actually improve your strength? Give you better control of your muscles?

Read on for more amazing fitness benefits!

(Adapted from MrBack. See more here.)

Decreases Breathing Rate

As is the case for the cardiovascular system, a slower respiratory rate is often a sign of a healthier body overall.

In one study, it was found that respiratory control was positively affected through yoga practice.

Even though this study did not conclude that the observed outcome led to an athletic advantage, it is interesting to note, and has wide implications in terms of treatments for lung issues and future research.