Continuing Our Wellness Journey, Mama Duck & Roadblocks

mamaDuck_4687 In our continuing journey, Mama Duck has hatched her eggs and her little brood headed for water. She said goodby as she got ready to leave but I missed the departure. As the last egg is laid, the female starts to incubate. She rarely leaves the nest apart from short breaks. About 28 days later the eggs hatch together. This takes about 24 hours. The ducklings stay in the nest for at least 10 hours while they dry and get used to using their legs. Then, usually in the early morning, the female leads them to water. It is probably a good thing I missed it, as you aren’t supposed to scare them during this time and taking pictures might have made them all run in different directions. So the fencing came down and my dogs have checked out their territory and declared it theirs again. We wait for the next wildlife adventure.

Are you continuing your journals? What feelings did your journal reveal?   How is your journey of self-discovery coming along?  Are you hitting roadblocks? I finished my first Ta’i Chi classes, but I fell this weekend and will have to wait until my knee heals. Again life’s little happenings.  I stubbed my toe on the rubber on a speed bump. Although it is aggravating, as I didn’t do this before the accident, I am healing and sending positive thoughts to my bruises. The only thing I can think of that depicts the fall is SPLAT!!! like the comic books. Trying to see the humor in this :). Laughter is the best medicine.  How are your exercises? Have you tried any of the exercises I suggested like chair yoga or water yoga or Ta’i Chi?

Why Should We Be Vegetarian

We started discussing being vegetarian. This week we will look at our health in more depth. The Vegetarian Times has some great reasons.  You will ward off disease as vegetarian diets are more healthful than the average American diet, particularly in preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. A low-fat vegetarian diet is the single most effective way to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually.

You will keep your weight down and you will live longer. Who doesn’t want to live longer? According to Dr. Michael F. Roizen, If you switch from the standard American diet to a vegetarian diet, you can add about 13 healthy years to your life. More proof of longevity is seen in the residents of Okinawa, Japan.  They have the longest life expectancy of any Japanese and likely the longest life expectancy of anyone in the world, according to a 30-year study of more than 600 Okinawan centenarians. Their secret is a low-calorie diet of unrefined complex carbohydrates, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and soy.

You will have more energy as too much fat in your bloodstream means that arteries won’t open properly and that your muscles won’t get enough oxygen. The result? You feel zapped. Because whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables are so high in complex carbohydrates, they supply the body with plenty of energizing fuel and energy.  You will build strong bones with a healthy dose of calcium from dry beans, tofu, soymilk or coconut milk, and dark green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, collards and turnip greens.

You will avoid toxic chemicals because the EPA estimates that nearly 95 percent of the pesticide residue in the typical American diet comes from meat, fish and dairy products which you won’t be eating. You’ll also reduce your risk of food-borne illnesses. The CDC reports that food-borne illnesses of all kinds account for 76 million illnesses a year, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the United States. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), foods rich in protein such as meat, poultry, fish and seafood are frequently involved in food-borne illness outbreaks. Just a beginning in the reasons to be vegetarian.

Rather than asking yourself why go vegetarian,  the real question is: Why haven’t you gone vegetarian?

Weekly Gardening Update

IMG_4903The garden is growing nicely and the beans and sunflowers are peeping out of the ground with the onions. Eating this summer is going to be fun! The watermelon didn’t make it as something found it very tasty and there is only a little stub to say they were there, but the strawberries and raspberries are blooming abundantly.

This Week’s Healthy Food Tip

No recipe, but a tip for salads. This week a friend brought a delicious salad to share and I loved the little chive blossoms and hint of mint. It gives food, even simple salads, such a lift when we add fresh herbs from the garden and many of the blossoms are also edible. Be sure to look up a flower before eating it though. Nasturtiums are edible and can’t wait until I can add them to my salad. It makes it so colorful.

The Road to Self-Discovery

What are your questions about Wellness? Are you dreaming of new things? Are you still making new plans?  Do you take the time to dream or meditate? Have you finished everything you wanted to do? If not, why not? Share with me! Do you have any favorite healthy recipes?  Do you like to garden? Since we have discussed the health reasons we should be vegetarian this week, in the next few weeks we will be looking more closely at other reasons for vegetarianism and also the vegan lifestyle. It should be fun comparing the two and going a little further in our exploration of a healthier dietary lifestyle. We will also look at healthy ways to garden. And I will continue with the next steps I am taking as I did this week. I have started decluttering my house, which has been an interesting journey in itself.  So we will talk about the positive effects of decluttering in the next few weeks too.

I also will be taking the  time to stop and smell the roses and the lilacs (one of my favorite flowering trees), and enjoy today, as I hope you will.   I am enjoying all my newly potted flowers and the neIMG_4790w signs of life popping up from the ground.

We can learn from yesterday, enjoy,  grow, and be mindful in today, and dream and plan the future. Safe journeys until next week :).  I really like the fact that I am becoming a mindful traveler and gardener. If you like my photography and art, you can see my paintings and photography on my art website.