Category Archives: Holidays

Join Us For Our Holiday Wish List Pampering Day

Saturday, December 10th from opening to close (special hours 10 am until 5:00 pm)

christmas-1090690_1920 Pixabay freeJoin us for our Holiday Wish List Shopping and Relaxing Party

Click on the Wish List, to print out your own wish list.  Fill it out and bring it in.  Get 15% off your wish list for items in stock and we'll even do the wrapping while you relax.  Enjoy some of our delicious teas or hot chocolate and sample our Vibroacoustic bed or BioMat for free on Saturday only.

If you are not local - you can still shop with a wish list and we'll ship it to you.  We'll even ship your items wrapped (shipping charges may apply).

 

Peace On Earth, Good-Will To Men


lotus-215460_1280-pixabay-freeThis is a wish and a greeting by many different people around the globe.  There is even an international day of peace.

I wish and hope and see peace.  Peace on earth starts with me, my inner peace.

Peace begins with a smile.   Mother Teresa

Go ahead, right now - put a smile on your face.  Keep it there for several minutes.  Notice smile-girl-1245835_1920-pixabay-freehow that makes you feel.  Smile and say hello to the people you greet today and tomorrow.  Were I go to church, there is an older couple and they sit on the back row.  They only stay for 1 meeting.  But they don't leave until they have properly smiled, hugged and given a kiss on the cheek to every person leaving.  When I have had some hard days, this one active of kindness and service has made a world of difference in helping to foster peace in my life.

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.   Dalai Lama

the-stones-263661_1920-pixabay-freeThe dictionary defines peace as a state of tranquility or quiet; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations; and freedom from civil disturbance.

The dictionary defines good-will as friendly, helpful, or cooperative feelings or attitude.  It is synonymous with charity, compassion, goodness, consideration and kindness.

This time of year we tend to think more peaceful thoughts and have more good-will for our fellow man.

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu

Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. Scott Adams

October 8, 2016, my community, which is out of the way in rural Arizona that a devastating national-weather-service-radar-reflectivity
storm never really made national headlines.  Click here to see pictures.  We had what many are calling a 100 year storm.  Many lost their houses and businesses and crops.   I lost my house – I didn’t lose my home.   A year ago, my neighbor lost their house to a fire, they had just moved in when the storm hit.  Then we moved out.  I was actually on my way to the east coast to enjoy some time off.  We drove thru an incredible lightning storm such as I had never seen – the whole dessert was lit up.  My son called to ask if we arrived at the airport ok.  They had a huge rain storm – lots of rain.  But that was just the radar-image-246871beginning.  I told him to check the store for leaks and got on the plane.  We were fine.

2016-10-08-23-32-00After we boarded the plane - “All hail” broke loose – literally.  Not 1, not 2 – but 3 super cells pounded our community.   There was literally a blanket 6 inches deep of hail covering the town.  The streets flowed like rivers with ice bergs.  Our roof suffered so much damage, we need a whole new roof and the ceilings all over the inside replaced.  So we currently live in temporary housing.  The next day, the streets were piled up with a 6 inch layer of hail.... seriously.  For a desert community - this just has never happened in my lifetime.

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We lost part of our business and all of our storage.   Plus we lost a lot of business for the month as everyone in town was affected.

Both cars at home and our RV suffered huge damage, enough for the cars to be totaled out.

The schools were damaged enough that the entire school district got 2 weeks off, one school will be closed until January and the students have be moved into other schools.

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Eastern Arizona Courier

Our community immediately was out helping everyone.  The city trash pick-up was overwhelmed and expected weeks and months of work to clean up.  Instead of sitting at home for an unexpected fall break – high school students went out as volunteers to clean up yards and homes and followed the city trash trucks around to help clean up our town.

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My poor tower garden. It like most people's plants in town were demolished.

Today, 2 months later, the trees still look beat up but the town thanks to volunteers and good-will looks pretty good.

Many are still without homes.  We were in a hotel, and a family offered their basement which we gratefully accepted.  Repairs are slow because so many people need work done.  One third of our business is still getting repairs made.

If it wasn’t for the kindness and good-will of many, so much more would have been lost.  Many people offered their laundry services to wash and dry wet things – to save them.   Many meals were shared.  And, many yards and homes were cleaned up.   Moving through trials with peace and gratitude is the path of least resistance and the path that will benefit you the most.  It allows you to have a clear head and make the best of the situation.

This holiday season will be different for me.  All my Christmas decorations were moved and macro-1251318_1920-dragonfly-pixabay-freesome destroyed.  My house got packed up while I was back East to prevent mold so we are still living out of a suit case and I’m actually missing my holiday sweaters.  For us, it will be a simple holiday without all the decorations.  We are looking for meaningful activities that will help us remember why we celebrate.

Peace on earth, good-will towards men– for me the message of the babe born in Bethlehem was one of peace, good news and good-will.  My heart is filled with joy with opportunities to serve, to visit the lonely, to smile at a stranger, to give and to receive.   World peace begins with me and with you.   It doesn’t matter our differences.  Differences should enrich our lives, not divide us.

The Dalai Lama said, “Going deeper into peace… genuine peace must come through inner peace, not through fear.”  “The key thing is a warm heart of concern for others’ well-being.”  He further explained that a calm mind is the remedy for the loss of hope and a destroyer of fear, distrust and hate.  We have the power within ourselves to restore happiness.  “You must develop compassion, not pity.”  From a visit to San Diego in 2012.

If the storms of your life or the world around you is causing you to feel stressed or upset, let go.  Look for the good.  Find things to be grateful for.  Embrace peace.

lightning-962789_1920-storm-pixabay-free

Tips for cultivating inner peace.

  • Learn to go with the flow and adapt to circumstances. That doesn’t mean you have to accept low standards that you can’t change your circumstances.   My favorite saying is, ‘It is what it is.’ It just is, therefore work with what is.
  • Unclutter your life and simplify.
  • Be grateful. Observe the beautiful and wondrous things in our world.
  • Don’t complain and avoid negativity.
  • Spend time around positive happy people.
  • Spend a few minutes a day meditating.
  • Take deep breaths, especially when you’re feeling negative or anxious.
  • Do something you love or participate in a hobby.
  • Give service
  • Journal
  • Choose Love

We have a choice in this world.  Our happiness and our peace doesn't begin when circumstances are perfect.  It begins with us during trials and challenges nurturing our inner peace and choosing to be at peace and share good-will with our fellow man.

Enjoy this beautiful song and video from my friend Shawn Galloway,
"I Choose Love"

From all of us in our family and at Indigo Mountain we wish you peace, health and happiness.

And we wish you Happy Holidays (which means happy holy days).

Merry Christmas – Feliz Navidad (Spanish) – Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian) – Kala Christouyenna (Greek) – God Jul (Norwegian) – Srozhdestovm Kristovim (Russian)

Shenti jiankang ankang xingfu [Chinese for Wishing you health and happiness]  身体健康,安康幸福!

Holiday Stress Tips

Celebrate Definition Button by Stuart Miles at Freedigitalphotos.netStress Reducing and Organizing Tips for the Holiday Season

Do you find yourself not looking forward to some holidays?  Do you wish you had more time?  Do the holidays overwhelm you?  We have tips to help you get more organize, reduce your stress, and connect to a more joyous season.  Tune into for your tips, click here for the radio link.

And isn't the holiday season about JOY in the first place?  There are many things that can derail us at the end of the year, finances and over spending, shopping, 'Keeping up with the Jone's', the weather, long lines, weight gain, traveling, and even feeling obligated to attend social parties for work, family or the community.

Plan ahead to change how your holiday season will go.  Click here for another article planning for the holidays.  Make a list now to help you prepare for next year.

Click on the recording below to listen now.

Did you know that the thing that stresses most people out - the top of the list is......

They have to pretend to be happy.

Step #1  What is your wish list for celebrating the holidays?  Do you find yourself disappointed when the holidays don't turn out like you want?

True story.... my husband and kids had no idea about my expectations for Mother's Day.  So they never quit turned out like I wanted.  I expected breakfast in bed and that never crossed his mind and the kids were very little.  Once I shared my expectations, he was happy to meet my expectation.  I'm sure many of you can relate.

Your partner was raised by different people with a different view of life.  If you never share your expectations or wishes, they wont know because most people are not great mind readers.

Make a clear decision about what you want.  It does take away a lot of stress.  Decide how you will spend your time and resources.

Step #2 Evaluate last year.  What did you LOVE and what did you just hate?  What new traditions do you want to create or what did you dread?  I use a Christmas notebook to help plan and evaluate.

Step #3 Why do you want to change?  What do you want to change?  What is 1 small change that you can do to bring a lot more peace and happiness?KISS

Step #4 KISS Keep it simple and keep it special.  If you learn the KISS rule, it is like a magic wand to help you transform the holidays.  KISS = Keep It Simple and Special.

Step #5 Plan ahead and budget. It will help you spend less and you'll be able to clearly see where you need to cut back.  A budget really makes a difference especially if you plan ahead and save.  Setting aside money each money to celebrate holidays, special occasions and birthdays helps with the shock of it all at once and it makes it easier to follow your plans.

We even provide a service at our store to help shoppers - especially grandparents.  You provide a budget and a list of people your shopping for and we stay in your budget and pick out wonderful gifts items for you.  For many this helps with planning and budgeting.

Our absolutely favorite budget tool is called YNAB, You Need A Budget. Click here for a link with a discount if you want, or try a free trial.  I consider myself to be good at budgeting, and I absolutely love this software.

Step #6 Prioritize.  What is most important to you?  When your planning and budgeting, it is important to know what is most important.  Who is most important for spending your time and resources with?
holiday shopper with gifts caminoel by freedigitalphotos.netStep #7 Enjoy each and everyday now that you have a plan.  Don't forget that during the December holidays and many other celebrations, JOY is the reason we are celebrating.

Step #8 Take care of your health.  After Halloween there is a noticeable rise in sickness.  One reason for that is all the extra candy and junk food.  So don't completely step away from all your good habits.  Enjoy the celebrations, but don't make it a season of just eating terribly.  Try to maintain some good habits and you'll enjoy the holidays more.  There is nothing worse than feeling sick when everyone is getting together for a celebration.

Follow the simple basics.

  • Drink your water.
  • Keep eating the good, healthy foods.
  • If you want the treats, counter balance that with your healthy balanced meals.
  • Keep exercising.  It boosts moods and helps improve your immune system.  Walking has a tranquilizing effect on the brain and can help with anxiety and sleep.
  • Get your rest.  It is normal to want to sleep longer in the winter, that is the natural rhythm of the body.
  • Laugh and have fun.
  • Check out our boards on Pinterest.  We have saved some healthy dessert ideas.
  • Take your vitamins and use essential oils to help prevent sickness.  For sure take your vitamins all winter.
  • Boost your mood with Vitamin D from sunlight or take a supplement if needed.  Our favorite is Cod Liver Oil with Butter oil.
  • Avoid over-eating.  Make smaller meals, prepare your favorites over several days instead of trying to eat it all in 1 day.

Step #9 Wrap up and repeat.  Get rid of clutter and broken decorations.  Make notes of what went well.  Start the plan for next year.

Ideas and Tips

  • Hand out non-candy surprises for Halloween.
  • Before Trick or Treating or other Celebrations involving lots of desserts eat well.
  • Bring your own dessert to events.
  • Make sure you have had your protein needs met before a gathering, you'll have less cravings.
  • Brink a good cup of herbal tea to drink at events or bring tea bags with your choice of sweetener like stevia.
  • Spend more time away from technology, the phone, email and Facebook.  Spend time with real people enjoying the sights, smells and sounds of the holidays and special celebrations.
  • Use citrus essential oils or others that you enjoy to boost your mood.

Do less and enJOY more.

Kally and Mark for webDon't forget to laugh and have a good time.

If you want more tips and stories, tune into the radio show.

Enjoy your holidays and your celebrations.

Mark and Kally

Photo credits:  Stuart Miles, caminoel at Freedigitalphotos.nes

Happy Holidays from Indigo Mountain

christmas-1090690_1920 Pixabay freeThe holidays are a wonderful time of year – no matter what holiday you celebrate.  The word holiday comes from 2 words, holy days.  During the holidays, especially at this time of year, we reconnect with family and friends and participate in traditions.  Traditions and holidays are both important in maintaining connection with each other and passing on our family heritages.   The holidays are a good time to give the gift of forgiveness to yourself and others.  Check out my article and radio program on Forgiveness.menorah-318641_1920 Pixabay free

I have dear Jewish friends and family members that celebrate Hanuka.  The Jews have been observing this festival of lights in celebration of the re-dedication of
Jerusalem’s temple in 164 B.C.  In fact Jesus celebrated Hanukkah and other Jewish holidays.

The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated is December 25th in the year 336 A.D.  during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor.  Most of the Christians around the world celebrate Christmas and of course many people celebrate the Santa Clause version of Christmas.

nicholas-1007764_1920 pixabay freeAround the world you will find people observing the 12 Days of Christmas – after Christmas until the 12th day known as the Three Kings Day.  Many Latin countries, Día de Los Reyes is celebrated to honor the Three Wise Men and closes the Christmas festivities.  It is the day they exchange gifts.  We have always had an advent calendar to mark the days leading up to December 25th with candles, singing, and other occasions and in many cultures this is a common practice.

Personally, I am starting a new family tradition; adding the 12 Days of Christmas after the 25th to honor the reasons we celebrate Christmas. I hope it is a trend to bring back the 12 Days of Christmas to our local community.  It is a much slower time to enjoy each other's company, ring in the new year, and thing about what is important to us.

Don’t forget that in the Asian culture, Chinese New Year is a major holiday and time to visit family and friends, have special meals, gift giving and of course fireworks.  It is their most important social and economic holiday.

However you choose to celebrate, perhaps it would be a good time to introduce new family traditions or pick up some old ones.  It is also a good time to start some new traditions to incorporate all year long.  Here are some suggestions for you:

  • Family date once a month. Many people already have a couple date night weekly, and if you don’t that is a great idea to do.  It is a good time as a family to have fun and reconnect from the busy pace of life.
  • Have a family game or puzzle night each week.
  • Take a class together as a family or read a book together – have a family book club, especially if your family is moving away.
  • Spend time each month organizing a family photo album.
  • Write a family history together.
  • Launch rockets or some other event.
  • Take vacations or go camping each year.
  • A family music/singing night.
  • Create a family recipe file.
  • Create a secret family handshake.
  • Brunch on regular basis.
  • Family service projects.
  • Rent a hotel room and have a family slumber party.
  • 12 Days of Christmas, after Christmas.

Here is an update for you on our family since many of our customers have become good friends and many of you keep asking.  Many of you have gotten to know our kids as they have worked in our store.  We are very blessed with 7 kids, lots of extended family, a wonderful community, and our dog.

  • Our oldest, Daniel is working as a manager in a kitchen at a restaurant.  He loves food.  He also plays in different bands around his community. He is very happy.IMG_0184
  • Angela is working on he masters in China and will be attending the United Nations conference next year.  She also performs in China and teaches English.  She is doing very well.
  • Nicole is going to school to get a degree in Natural medicine.
  • Trevor is serving a mission for our church in Taiwan and will be home in the spring of 2016.  He uses his music skills in Taiwan and has become quit fluent in Mandarin.
  • Chandler is serving a mission for our church in Brazil and will be home in 2017.  He still gets to use his music skills down there plus he is learning Portuguese very well.
  • Riley is still at home and just starting to learn how to help in the store.  He acts, plays soccer and the piano.
  • Rachel is also at home and loves to help in the store.  She acts and plays the piano.
  • Lizzy, our Shih Tzu keesp us busy with walks and keeps us entertained.  She is sometimes more  like a cat.

This year we welcomed Julie Davis and Mackenzie Davis to our staff.  They always have a smile for everyone that walks in the door.  We love having them at Indigo Mountain.

IMG_0219From all of us at Indigo Mountain, we wish you a very happy holiday season and the Merriest of Christmas'.   We appreciate your support of our family business.  Thank you for letting us serve you.  You may have noticed Julie and Mackenzie in the store.  We were very happy to welcome them to the Indigo Mountain family this year.

Mark, Kally and our 7 kids, Julie and Mackenzie

 

Julie Davis
Mackenzie Davis

The Power of Forgiveness

i-beg-your-pardon-927746_1920 Pixabay freeForgiveness actually benefits your heart health and your mental well-being.  Normon Cousins once stated, "Life is an adventure in forgiveness."

**Note - the recording cuts out midway, but stay tuned, most of the show is there and you still get a great message.  It was just a minor part that is missing. Keep reading below and I'll include the parts that are missing.

Check out this blog:  The Daily Motivator and his post about The Value of Forgiveness.  He has a beautiful message.  It is short, sweet, profound and a perfect complete message on forgiveness.

The holidays are the perfect time to give yourself and others the gift of forgiveness.  You'll have a better holiday.  Some celebrations can be very painful as the past pain sneaks up on you or you hold yourself back.

It isn't always easy to do for everyone, but we've got ideas to help.  Tune into the Get Real! with Mark and Kally show to catch our show:  The Power of Forgiveness.

Peace is not possible without forgiveness. Martin Luther King once said, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”  It is a daily act of living a life of peace.

The dictionary defines the word forgive as:  To grant pardon for or remission of an offense or debt.  To absolve.  To give up all claim on account of.  To cease to feel resentment against.  To cancel liability.

Forgiveness can be very difficult.  However, it is much easier to do than living with resentment.  Forgiveness allows you to learn the lessons of life and move forward.  It is important to forgive yourself and others even when they don't ask for it.

 

Forgiveness is very powerful and it CAN transform your life.  When you forgive, you are NOT saying that the offence is okay.  Your are saying that you are not going to continue to or even begin to feel resentment.Blame...Forgivenss Heals Monson

We can learn a lot about the Amish people and their experience of daily forgiveness.  In 2006, terrible tragedy struck and many might have felt they were justified in being angry.  But instead, they chose to forgive.  Read more about their story.

Cherie Carter-Scott said, "Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were."

Dr. Darren Weissman so eloquently described situations in life as "gifts in strange wrapping paper." The strange wrapping is the experiences in life that you wouldn't always choose, and it is strange wrapping - but there is a gift - there is always a gift.  When you see the gift - the lesson - you can move past the event.  You can gain power from the experience rather than lose your power.

Start by looking at what your'll really upset about.

Next look at how you've handled your pain and your hurt.  What is the cost of holding onto these grudges and disappointments?  What is the cost in energy, intimacy, and self-esteem?

Then you have to decide to let go and forgive.  Don't wait for someone to ask your forgiveness.  Let go of your anger, blame and resentment.  This in turn frees you from what binds you to the person that caused the offence or is at the center of it.

As you let go and forgive you will find you are set free.

Forgiveness requires that you accept the past.  There is no power to change the past.  Holding a grudge or resentment means you want to change the past and that cannot happen.  All you can do is accept what is and what it was.

BUT YOU CAN CHANGE THE MEANING OF IT for you.  This is the key point.  Your interpretation of events can be changed - your beliefs.

Karol Truman has a great chapter on forgiveness in her book Healing Feelings from Your Heart, she teaches to write out forgiveness statements many many times until I releases in us.  Check her book out.love-sign-950912_1920 Pixabay free

Carol Tuttle said in her book, Remembering Wholeness, "…forgiveness of anyone who hurts us in our journey is required if we want to graduate into higher states of light and truth.  Our inability to forgive will keep us stuck, make us sick, and cause us to die eventually.  The opposite of forgiveness is blame and resentments:  two  of the lowest vibratory states we can reach.  Forgiveness is a process of releasing us to higher vibrations of gratitude, charity, of peace…"

Most if not all of us have experienced pain and hurt.  People wrong others - it happens.   Have you experienced anger.  I have and hurt so bad, I just wanted to scream and get off the planet hurt.    I have noticed at those times, my health suffers and I don't grow - I literally can feel a difference in vibrant energy.    I was holding onto so much that at one point I had become so angry and closed off.  I needed to feel unconditional love - I had no idea what that was.  As I was praying and meditating on unconditional love, I had a profound experience - I felt this vibration of unconditional love and it was beautiful!!!!  I knew I wanted more.  I let go of the past, the pain, and the resentments.  I thought I had tried to do that before - but not successfully.  The power of love really did help.

In the coming days and weeks I was forever changed - so much so that people close to me noticed.  In fact one of my aunts "lovingly" said, I didn't like you much before - you were not nice (I didn't realize I wasn't being nice) and now you're so different and I really enjoy being around you.

What is key here is - SHE DIDN'T know I might be entitled to some anger or entitled to the baggage I was carrying around.  SHE DIDN'T know I was wronged, attacked, and hurt.  But whatchurch-820339_1280 Pixabay free happened is - I let the experience take over my life - I didn't set out to do that, but because I held on, it affected me.  While I tried to be a good person, slowly over time, the low vibrations took over.

When I accepted unconditional love - this vibration took over because I chose to let go.  I chose to see others as showing love in the only way they knew how.  I chose to re-frame my perspective of the past and accept love and accept the gifts of those experiences.  I wouldn't trade them for anything - they made me who I am.

Studies show that forgiving others is actually very good for your health and it reduces stress in your body.   Even the Mayo Clinic said forgiveness brings with it plenty of health benefits, improved relationships, decreased anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure, lower risk of depression and a stronger immune system.    Holding grudges can cause physical pain.

One study showed that those who had the ability to forgive, tended to live longer.  http://inspiyr.com/health-benefits-of-forgiveness/

There is a growing trend in November to focus on gratitude.  A great idea.   Let us focus December on forgiveness and beginning a new.

Chronic hostility and anger and are among the most toxic forms of stress and not good emotional baggage to bring to a holiday celebration.

Buddha said, "Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."  Holding a grudge doesn't fix anything.

Forgiveness improves ALL your relationships.

Focus on the the here and now.  What experiences do you want to create.

For some more great tips on forgiveness, check out Wayne Dyer's website.  He has a great article written, "How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You:  In 15 Steps". 

Kally and Mark for webListen in with us for some tips to help make forgiveness a part of your daily life.  If you are struggling, call or come in and talk to us.  The LifeLine Technique and the EVOX are both wonderful tools that help.  Read more about them on this page.

Mark and Kally

Indigo Mountain:  Wellness, Toys & Gifts

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Holiday Weight Gain

Orange Caterpillar with text by twobee at FDPIt seems that this is the time of year when there is food everywhere you go - special holiday food.  Do you remember the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar?  He ate through a whole bunch of food.  Of course at the end - he was huge and then turned into a beautiful butterfly.  Now this works for caterpillars.  But we are not caterpillars.  However, if you find that you gain weight each holiday season - you can have YOUR OWN TRANSFORMATION, just like the caterpillar to a butterfly - but it is through understanding what you really want to eat - and making conscious choices and deal with those cravings.

Most people find themselves gaining 5 to 10 pounds over the holidays.  This is due in part to a belief that you will by abandoning all your healthy eating habits.  Many people start eating food not so good for them, and it is just the Very Hungry Caterpillar, it starts with 1 and before you know it - tons.  We have tips for you to help you, so take a listen to the show for your tips on avoiding the holiday bulge and catch some highlights below.

During the holidays your stress levels may increase and that can contribute to weight gain as well.   You don't have to avoid desserts  either, it is more about consciously eating and not eating everything in sight like the Very Hungry Caterpillar.

 

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You don't have to fall into this trap, it is possible to enjoy holiday goodies without putting on a single pound.  Portion control is the key.

Here are you quick tips for avoiding holiday weight gain.

  1. Never arrive at a gathering hungry.
    1. Eat healthy food before going, get your good food in.
    2. Eat chia seeds to help you feel full.
    3. Make sure you are hydrated, drinking your water needs.Roasted Chicken With Vegetables by Apolonia at FDP
    4. Take a healthy snack or herbal tea with you.
    5. Get your protein needs met.  When you have enough protein you crave less.
  2. Don't save up your calories for the party.  BIG MISTAKE.  If you arrive starving you will have no self control.  Eat your regular healthy meals.  Then go to the party.
  3. Pay attention to the people and the reason for the season or the gathering.  Don't make the holidays all about food.  Connect with people and make memories.
    1. Take pictures
    2. Write down stories by family members
  4. Take your time when eating.
    1. Use a small plate
    2. Fill up on healthier food first
    3. Stay hydrated at the gathering
    4. Talk to people and slow down while eating.
    5. Be picky - only eat what you really want.
    6. If you don't normally eat a food, don't eat it unless it is something you really want.IMG_3432
    7. Don't overeat just because you blew it.  Put the brakes on.
  5. If you drink alcohol, watch the number of drinks and set a limit.
  6. Make sure you really want a dessert.  Don't eat it just because it is there.
    1. Eat small portions of desserts.
    2. Eat what you love, don't eat it if it is not spectacular.
    3. Can you eat a bite and move on?
    4. Bring your own treats.
    5. If you really don't want the sweets at the office or that people bring - don't eat it.  If you do wan them, have a small amount and give away the rest.
    6. Learn to use the 3 bite rule for desserts.  Three bites:  1st amazing bite, satisfying middle bite, and the lingering 3rd bite.
  7. If you are doing the cooking, prepare healthier options.  Many people actually appreciate it.  Most traditional holiday food can be made healthier.
    1. Watch how much you are eating and 'tasting' while cooking.
    2. There are tons of recipes on the internet with a healthier twist.
    3. Whip your own cream and add stevia and vanilla.
    4. Use real food like real butter.
    5. You can make desserts with a lot less sugar.
    6. People love fruit and veggie platters.
    7. Don't keep leftovers unless you really want them and they wont be a problem.  Send them off with guests.
    8. Spread your holiday meal favorites over several days.  We love to eat left over turkey with a new side dish each day.  I don't feel the need to cram all my favorite food into 1 meal.
  8. Keep moving and exercising.  Studies show that when you start your day with exercise, you tend to eat less tempting food.  If your too busy to do a regular workout, then squeeze in 10 to 15 minutes of exercise.  It is better than nothing.
  9. Keep weighing yourself.  Get a new relationship with the scale.  It is a good feedback to tell you if you are gaining weight.IMG_3434
  10. Watch stress levels.
  11. Don't stress eat.
  12. Get your sleep.  When you don't get enough sleep it through off your hormones and you eat more.
  13. Learn to say no.
    1. What do you want to say yes to?
    2. What do you want to say no to?
  14. Get a game plan.  Decide what you want to do and what you really want to eat.  If you want that pumpkin pie, have it.  But then choose not to have a whole piece of every other pie.  Or even better - don't eat the whole pie.
  15. Deal with cravings ahead of time.  Here are some great tools.
    1. Journal
    2. Tapping, EFT
    3. The LifeLine Technique
    4. EVOX, Perception Reframing
    5. Meditation
    6. Focus on what you really want
    7. Visualization
    8. Stay calm and breathe
    9. Before going anywhere, work on your will power and make a commitment to yourself.

Join us every Wednesday at 9:00 AZ time zone on the Get Real! with Mark and Kally on Your True Colours Image Radio Network.

Kally and Mark for webDo you have any tips to share to help avoid gaining weight during the holidays?  Do you have amazing and delicious healthy food recipes that you make for the holidays?  Please share.

We so appreciate you, our readers and our customers.  Thank you for putting up with us and supporting us.  I am also so very grateful to our family for the sacrifices they have made so that we can do what we love, helping others and running our own business.   Our children are our reason for most things we do in life.

Thank you for tuning and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Mark and Kally

Photo credits by Apolonia, twobee at freedigitalphotos.net

Family Traditions and Memories

Kally with her Mother, Sister, Grandmother and son, Daniel
Kally with her Mother, Sister, Grandmother and son, Daniel

Tune in to this show for our experience with family traditions, great vacations, and memorable holidays. We will share with you how our family memories are built around events like these and every opportunity we have to be together.

Family traditions are an important part of keeping a family healthy.  It gives children a sense of security and helps them feel connected.   Making and preserving family memories are a part of family traditions and help remind everyone of the good times.  It really connects a family together.

You really need to create your own unique family traditions.

Interestingly enough, where you sit at the table is a very popular tradition coming in at 15 in a study.  The number 1 family tradition is celebrating Christmas after that is birthdays.  Number 6 is IMG_0615Sunday dinner and visits to relatives.  Number 11 is house cleaning routines and at number 14 - Father cooking dinner.

In our home, the kids have great memories of their dad cooking dinner - especially for special occasions.  As a result, all 4 of our sons are excellent cooks and help a lot in the kitchen.

Family traditions offer kids a sense of security.   The bring a sense of belongingness, commitment and familiarity with each other.  Family traditions pave the way for good times and good memories.

Family traditions and celebrations help to mark transitions.  Recording memories and pictures can help strengthen and unite families.

Continuing family traditions are essential in enhancing family values and strengthening the bond which ties each family.  Old and newly introduced family traditions no matter how grand or simple it is, brings about the sense of belongingness, emphasizes good values and more importantly, creates happy family memories.

IMG_0219Tune in to hear about our family traditions.

Mark and Kally

on the Get Real! with Mark and Kally show on Your True Colours Image Radio Network

Holidays Around the World

holidays-around-the-world-clipart-holidays_around_the_world_21Does Santa wear a big warm suit for Christmas in the land down under?  The Holidays around the World are celebrated by nearly everyone at this time of year.  Many countries have their own unique twist.  This weeks radio program talks about the celebrations around the world.  Click here to listen to this weeks show.

Listen to the show and take a fun holiday tour in the comfort of your home.  You'll find some interesting facts on why the Chinese give red apples at Christmas, even thought they don't celebrate Christmas.

Not everyone celebrates Christmas but there are many festivals and traditions all over the globe.

In many parts of Europe, Krampus, an half-goat, half-demon creature is the answer to kids who are not good.  Krampus is a Pagan relic that was surpressed by the Catholic countries as Christianity spread.  Krampus swats "wicked" children.  Children dress up on December 5th which is known as Krampus Night.  December 6th is Nikolaustag or St. Nicholas Day when many children look outside their door to see if their shoe contains a present a reward for good behavior.

Our modern Christmas Tree comes from the country of Germany.  Advent Wreaths are very common in Austria and Germany.   Most towns will have a Christmas market from November to early December selling decorations and food.  Most towns will have a large Christmas tree in the town square.   The famous Christmas carol Silent Night was written in Austria.

When America was first settled by the Pilgrims, Christmas was not openly celebrated.  And it took years for the Christmas tree to even catch on.

In Belgium people will normally celebrate Christmas Eve with close family and eat the main meal on Christmas Eve.  It will be many courses.  They will also give small presents.  Many go to midnight mass.  A traditional Christmas breakfast is the same as a normal Sunday breakfast.  New Years day is a big deal.  On the 6th of January you would celebrate Epiphany and the 3 wise men.  Children dress up as The Three Wise Men and go from door to door to sing songs.  People will give money or sweets.

Young Lady Holding Apple by imagerymajestic at Freedigitalphotos.net
Photo curtesy of imagerymajestic at Freedigitalphotos.net

Traditional Christmas is not celebrated in Japan, but the Christmas holiday is celebrate by most Japanese eating at.....Kentucky Fried Chicken.  You will need a reservation at least 2 months in advance.   News Years Eve and Day is celebrated and is one of their biggest celebrations - being celebrated for 5 days.

In China on Christmas Eve is celebrated by the giving of red apples.  Stores will sell apples wrapped up in pretty paper.  This is due to the translation from English to Chinese for Christmas Eve - it sounds similar to red apple.  Chinese New is one of the big holidays in this country.  You will also find a huge Harbin Ice Festival that lasts for 3 days.

In Taiwan, most children know about Santa Claus and will sing Christmas songs.  Christmas parties are found, but it is not a national holiday.

Israel will be celebrating Hanukkah, an eight day festival of light and celebrates the triumph of light over darkness.

The biggest celebration in Sweden is S. Lucia's Day on De2014-12-18 15.11.29-1cember 13th.  She was a young Christian girl that was martyred for her faith in 304 AD.

Norway gives a big Christmas tree to the United Kingdom every year as a thank you for the help they gave during World War II and stands in Trafalgar Square in the middle of London.

In the Ukraine people may decorate their trees with spider webs.  This is from a legend of a poor family.  The spiders heard their cries and during the night decorated their tree wit webs and then they turned to gold and silver.

In Spain and most South American countries, most people go to midnight mass.  They will eat their main meal on Christmas Eve before the service.  After the midnight service, people walk through the streets carrying torches, playing guitars and beating on tambourines and drums.  They have a saying, "Tonight is the good night and it is not meant for sleeping."

Many countries including Spain celebrate December 28th as the Day of the Innocent Saints.  It is a lot like Aprils Fools Day in the USA.  They will try to trick people.  This is in remembrance of the babies that were killed on the orders of King Herod when he was trying to kill the baby Jesus.

On to News Years Eve in Spain and you will eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight.  They represent the coming months.  Then off course January 6th or Epiphany is the 12th night after Christmas and is the festival of the three Magic Kings.  Many gifts are opened on this day.  Children write letters to the Kings on Boxing Day - December 26th asking for toys and presents.  They even leave a bucket of water out for the camels.

Mexico will celebrate Christmas from December 12th until January 6th.  From December 16th until Christmas Eve, the children perform the 'Posada', they re-enact Mary and Joseph looking for room.  A pinata will often a part of the festivities.  It has a 7 point star to represent the 7 deadly sins.   Mexico is where we get the poinsettia flowers.

The Irish will leave a candle burning in the window to let Mary and Joseph know there is room.kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a celebration of Family, Community, and Culture.  It is a week-long celebration held in the United States and is based on 7 core principles.  It was created in 1965 as the first specifically African-American holiday.

Thanksgiving to Christmas 2012 104Our American Christmas celebration is a collection of traditions and Holidays around the world.

Check out the radio show - Holidays Around the World.  Follow Your True Colours Magazine and Radio Programs on Facebook.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?  Please share.

We wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and Happy Holidays!

Kally and Mark

The Power of Gratitude

Thanks Flowers by Stuart Miles at Freedigitalphotos.netGratitude is an important quality that should be a daily ritual in our lives.  It is scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve your health and well-being.  According to WebMD, gratitude is a stress buster, immune booster, improves your overall health, and leads to better mental health.

A national day of Thanksgiving has been celebrated for many ye800px-Abraham_Lincoln_O-84_by_Brady,_1864ars in our country, from the Pilgrims to George Washington, our first president in 1789 declaring it a federal and public holiday to our current Thanksiving celebrations.  President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens" annually on the last Thursday of November.

Come share a few minutes with us on the Get Real! real with Mark and Kally radio show as we talk about the power of gratitude and share some personal stories that will inspire you.

Gratitude improves your quality of life, it shifts your focus from you lack to the abundance all around you.  Studies show that gratitude makes people happier, improves health and wellness and strengthens relationships.

It is important to note that the studies on gratitude show benefits when gratitude is a way of life, rather than just an annual or even weekly focus.

Dr. Darren Weissman said, "The attitude that you have towards any experience is a choice.  The most courageous way to move through life is by choosing to fid the good in every instance.  Rather than surrendering to emotions of negativity and despair, consciously and creatively embrace life with the attitude of gratitude.  Without appreciation, life's experiences lack meaning.  By embracing pain, fear and challenges with gratitude, you will discover the real value and meaning of your life." from the book The Power of Infinite Love & Gratitude by Dr. Darren Weissman.

There are many tools you can use to help cultivate an attitude of gratitude including journaling with a focus on the good times, expressions of gratitude, gratitude notebook, Guided techniques like the The  Lifeline Technique, EVOX, and meditation.
DSCN1293Catch our latest episode:  The Power of Gratitude.

I participated in a gratitude journal experiment and it changed my life.  I thought I was a grateful person, but it bcame an important part of me after 30 days of keeping a gratitude journal.   What have you done to foster an attitude of gratitude?  Has it changed your life?

Mark and Kally

 

We are not diagnosing or prescribing.  Please seek professional help when dealing with illness.
Photo credit:  The National Archives and Stuart Miles at Freedigitalphotos.net

 

Stress Less This Season and Enjoy Some Delicious Herbal Tea

I've got two great radio programs to share with you and they are actually related, for me anyway.  When I sit and enjoy a delicious cup of herbal tea, I relax and unwind a bit and the stress melts away or at least I don't think about the things causing stress for a few minutes while I enjoy my tea.

Female Wearing Christmas Hat by imagerymajestic at Freedigitalphotos.netThe first show broadcast on October 22, 2014 - "Stress Less During the Holidays".

For many the holidays mean sickness, stress, depression and lots of busyness.  We've got 10 tips to help you stress less, so take a listen.

Fall kicks off the holiday season helping us transition to the busyness that can dominate this time of the year.  Fall is a time to let go and clear out the clutter and negativity.

If you find yourself dreading the whirlwind of the last quarter, then tune in with us and learn how you can make the most of fall and the holiday season.

One of my keys is from KISS - Keep IT Simple and Special for the holiday and all year really.  You don't have to be brilliant, super crafty, witty, or any other trait you see shared all over the media and internet.  You just need to be you, and you are special just as you are.  Share the good times and moments with those you care about.

If you want to read more about managing stress during the holidays, check out my article on Your True Colours Magazine, page 37.

Chinese Style Herbal Floral Tea by KEKO64The second show aired on November 5, 2014 - "All About Herbal Tea or Rather Herbal Infusions"

Personally, I love sipping on herbal infusion, especially as the weather cools down.  In fact as I'm updating the blog - I'm drink a nice warm cup write now.

Many people think they don’t like herbal tea/infusions, but they have probably not enjoyed a good cup.  Tune in and learn all about the traditions of tea, types of tea and how to get a good cup.  There is nothing I love more than visiting a friend in the afternoon and enjoying good conversation, relaxation and a delicious cup of herbal tea.

Find out which tea has more antioxidants than green tea, making it the super star of tea without caffeine..... I'll give you  a hint, it comes from South America.

And, by the way, herbal tea is really an herbal infusion.  Green tea is really green tea infusion.  Join us and find out why.

Kally and MarkMark and Kally on the Get Real! with Mark and Kally show on Your True Colours Image Radio.

 

Photos by imagerymajestic and KEKO64 at Freedigitalphotos.net