Mason Bee Time!

I am a huge fan of my mason bees. Over the years, my bee condos have grown so well, I am a veritable bee condo baroness! They are easy to attract, maintain and support, and in turn, they support us by bee-ing master pollinators. Read along to see if these solitary bees would have a home in your yard too! Now is the time to start your own little bee condos!

Mason bees are named for their habit of using mud or other “masonry” products in constructing their nests, which are made in naturally occurring gaps such as between cracks in stones or other small dark cavities.

I speak for the bees

The benefit of Mason Bees is that they are excellent pollinators, 120 times more effective than honey bees or bumble bees. This is because those bees have a colony to support and carry most of the pollen they collect back to the hive. Mason Bees do not have a hive so all of the pollen they collect stays with them.

Unlike carpenter beesmason bees are never destructive to homes or other wooden structures because they do not excavate nest holes themselves.

Cardboard, bamboo, reeds or other hollow tubes make great homes for a myriad of mason bees.

Orchard mason bees collect pollen and nectar from a wide array of wild plants, but they show a strong preference for fruit tree flowers when they are available.

To attract mason bees and keep them happy, they need access to a nest, flowers for food, and a mud source. You can easily make a nest yourself, or you can buy one from a gardening store. Choose flowers that have one ring of petals to make pollination easier, and create a hole filled with soil to form a mud source.

Learn more from the Oregon State University. (PDF for Western Oregon climate)

Are you ready to add some mason bees to your garden?

Mail order through Crown BeesMake your own bee condo; buy bees and houses

Pick up in Portland at:

Portland Nursery: mason bees (check for availability)

Birds and Bees PDX Nursery: mason bees (check for availability)

Love your heart – lose weight

 

Carrying too much body fat is generally not good for your health, especially if it’s around the midsection.  A quick check of that is to take a tape measure and measure your waist, which is right at the level of your belly button.  The American Heart Association recommends that women be less than 35 inches and then the less than 40 inches.  This weight around your midsection is especially bad because it is around and in(!) your internal organs.  Excess body fat increases your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Slim waist measuring

 

Postural Retraining

OK, so we know we should stand up straighter.  It makes us look taller and slimmer, it takes excess physical stress off our spine and it allows our organs to function more optimally.  Plus our mom’s told us to, and mom’s know some stuff!

Follow these guidelines to help reset your postural habits.

 

Don’t forget, habits can change, though change can be hard.  Stick with it!  Your body will thank you in many ways.

Brugger’s postural relief position

Named after Swiss neurologist Alios Brugger and invented in the 1950’s, Bruegger’s Relief Pose is a simple exercise you can do throughout the day to strengthen your posture and relieve back pain. Brugger’s Pose is also a great tension reliever. It can be done sitting, standing or even lying down

Image result for bruegger's position of relief

The Steps

For those who work in a seated position for the majority of the day, practice Bruegger’s Relief Pose for 5-10 seconds every 20 minutes or so. (Use that smart device most of us carry around to help remind you)  Here’s how:

  • Hold your head up high
  • Sit with your legs slightly apart
  • Turn your legs out slightly
  • Rest your weight on your legs and feet and relax abdominal muscles
  • Tilt your pelvis forward and raise your breastbone up
  • Keep your hands palms-up
  • Turn your arms slightly outward
  • Hold this position while taking deep “belly” breaths for 5-10 seconds

Repeat.  And repeat.  And repeat.

Habits can take 6-8 weeks to change, congratulate yourself on your efforts to be healthier and stronger.

1/9 ways to Curb Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is an essential part of our immune response. Short term inflammation protects us against invaders like viruses and bacteria by triggering heat and swelling after an injury. But when the immune system is overactive or dysfunctional, it mobilizes an attack against harmless substances, and can even damage its own cells. Then, inflammation can become chronic. In fact, uncontrolled chronic inflammation plays a role in almost every major disease, including  diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Inflammation can become chronic for a variety of reasons, and sometimes the reason isn’t apparent at all. It may be brought on by a condition such as obesity, an abnormal immune reaction, environmental toxin exposure, or an infection that doesn’t go away. Or it may stem from a disease that is characterized by inflammation such as colitis, pancreatitis, or hepatitis.  (-Itis means “inflammation of..” in medical terms).

What can we do?

Genetics are believed to play a strong role in our susceptibility to chronic inflammation, but that doesn’t mean all is lost and there’s nothing you can do. There is a lot that can be done to quell the fire so that you can live the healthy, active life you want. The good news is that daily lifestyle habits are the key, and results can happen fast. It’s never too late to take action against inflammation.

For the next nine weeks we will go through 9 ways to do just that!

Look! My exercise bike smiles at me every time I use it! 😉

1/9 – Exercise!

Research points to exercise as the single most effective step you can take to reduce systemic inflammation.  Anti-inflammatory effects can come from both high intensity (sprinting, cycling, jumping rope) and low-intensity (swimming, walking, yoga, Tai Chi) cardio exercises as well as resistance / weight training and calisthenics. (Incidentally, the muscle damage that happens when we lift weights spurs our immune system to remove inflammatory cellular waste products faster., Way to go, body!)

Regular, long term exercising is optimal, with the best results being seen at the 12 – 24-week mark; with 8 weeks being the minimum to see reductions in inflammation.

Not currently exercising? Starting slowly with 10 or 15-minute exercise increments will help limit possible injuries (and remember 15 minutes is only about 1% of your day, you can do it!) and gradually increase as your body gets comfortable with your new routine. And, if you have questions or pre-existing conditions, or, have ANY concerns, talk to you health care practitioner before starting any exercise program.

Oily Fish Consumption and Supplements can help Lower your Risk of Diabetes

Consumption of oily fish, but not nonoily fish, is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to a study published online Jan. 11 in Diabetes Care.

Mmmm! Tuna and salmon poke!

Click here for summary of report from Health Day.

The researchers found that during a median 10.1 years of follow-up, there were 7,262 incident cases of T2D.

There was a 9 percent lower risk for T2D among participants who reported regular fish oil use at baseline versus nonusers and an 18 percent lower risk among baseline regular users of fish oil who also reported consuming oily fish as well.

Which means, enjoy oily fish – examples of oily fish include small forage fish such as sardines, herring and anchovies, and other larger  fish such as salmon, trout, tuna, swordfish and mackerel. Oily fish can be contrasted with whitefish, which contain oil only in the liver and in much less overall quantity than oily fish.

And if you don’t like oily fish, or are not eating it at least once a week, consider a fish oil supplement (Cod Liver Oil is an excellent source of omegas – even though it’s considered a whitefish, good supplement producers extract the oil sustainably and cleanly).

10/52 Ways to be Happier

It’s the little things that lead to big things.

Move your body

There’s no doubt that exercise is beneficial for your physical and mental health, mood, productivity and longevity. If you don’t exercise on a regular basis because you dread exercise, then it’s important to find some activity that you really enjoy.

Do you love yoga, dancing, hiking, tennis, swimming, spin classes, Pilates, cycling or lifting weights? When you find something physical that you enjoy, you’re having fun, and it doesn’t feel like work. (And remember, start off small and build up, you will feel more motivated to continue if you don’t feel like a train has run you over!)

Exercising also improves your cognitive function which is vital for being successful and making good decisions. On top of that, it positively affects blood sugar regulation, which makes you more energized and, in turn, more productive.

🙂

Excerpt from Life Hack, full article here.

Love your heart – Eat better

These days there’s a lot of information out there on what to eat, and what not to eat, so making good choices can be confusing.  In general, stick to minimally processed, natural and nutrient rich food.  More quick tips:

  • make half your plate fruits and vegetables
  • enjoy your food but eat less
  • avoid oversized portions
  • drink water instead of sugary drinks

(check out older posts from me if you need more ideas…

 

Healthy_Eating

Celluma Light therapy for improved cellular health

Celluma LED light therapy is FDA approved for pain management and skin care.

It uses light energy to improve cellular health by accelerating and the repair and replenishment of compromised tissue cells.

Boosting cellular energy leads to a cascade of metabolic events that can lead to increased microcirculation and decrease arthritic joints, muscle spasms, and muscle and joint stiffness.

I am so excited I get to share this amazing technology with you!

If you have questions, or would like to book a consult / LED session, contact me here.

Science-backed facts about Omega- Fatty Acids – #2

Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important.

They have many powerful health benefits for your body and brain.

In fact, few nutrients have been studied as thoroughly as omega-3 fatty acids.

From Healthline

Omega-3s Can Fight Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural response to infections and damage in your body. Therefore, it is vital for your health.

However, inflammation sometimes persists for a long time, even without an infection or injury. This is called chronic — or long-term — inflammation.

Long-term inflammation can contribute to almost every chronic Western illness, including heart disease and cancer.

Notably, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation, such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines.

Studies have consistently observed a connection between higher omega-3 intake and reduced inflammation.

Snippet from Healthline, click here for more.