The Health Benefits of Watermelon

So I have had this problem with my right knee swelling and starting to make a weird scrunching noise like the cartilage rubbing against the bone.  This has been going on since I turned 40 years old (give or) so approximately 10 or so years.  (Can you guess my age? LoL)

Anyways, just the other day I saw a whole watermelon in the store and I don’t usually buy watermelon, but I decided I wanted something different that would quench my summer thirst.  When I got it home I let it set for about a two or three days, then put it in the fridge to get cool and then I finally cut that puppy open.  And boy was it cold and delicious!  It was sweet, ripe, juicy and awesome.

So after eating on this watermelon for a couple of days I noticed something about my knee.  The swelling had went down and I didn’t feel the pain and stiffness that I usually feel when I do my jump rope exercises or walk down stairs.  And I was like wow something is going on here.  It seems like after eating this watermelon, my knee is trying to heal itself.

So of course me, with my always needing to research everything self, I came across this website called http://www.whfoods.org (world’shealthiestfoods.org) and after reading this it stated that according to scientific research watermelon has in it a high concentration of lycopene (a carotenoid phytonutrient) making it an excellent source of everything from anti-inflammatory to anti-oxidant nutrients for the body with phenolic compounds of flavonoids, carotenoids, and triterpenoids.  Whodathunkit???

So, though I have no idea what all those big words mean, the point is that watermelon is a fruit you want to keep on your summer list of fruits to buy.  It is also believed to be a good source for cardiovascular health benefits.

Apparently, watermelon gets it reddish-pink coloring totally from lycopene, whereas most other fruits do not.  Grapefruit and guava also have a high concentration of lycopene.  The riper and redder you let the watermelon get, the higher the concentration of lycopene and according to this article, there are also more nutrients in the rind of the watermelon the closer you get to the bottom of the watermelon.

Watermelon is also of vitamin C, biotin, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin A, copper, Vitamins B6 and B1 etc…  It is believed the red and pink watermelons are the best for the lycopene nutrient.

So after about a week, the swelling is still down, though I can still hear the cartilage scrunching, the stiffness and pain has gone away.  Of course I will be doing research on knees and cartilage next.

For more info. visit WWW.whfoods.org to find out other health benefits of watermelon.  This is not a paid advertisement.

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Ways to a Flatter Tummy2- Bedroom Exercises (Use a bed or floor mat)

1. Stretch first by bending your knees to the right then to the left touching the surface on each side holding for 10 seconds.

2.  Lay flat on your bed or a mat and breath in and hold, then lift your legs in the air for 60 seconds or as long as you can then release.  You will feel the tension in your stomach muscles and in your lower back muscles.  If too much pain stop and rest.

3. The Scissors:  Lay flat or prop your head with a pillow, hands to your sides, lift your legs straight out moving them in opposite directions up and down for 60 seconds/counts.

4. Leg bends:  Lay flat, stretch your legs outwards, then bending them back towards you one at a time pushing your feet outwards 25 times. Stop if feel tension and rest.

5. Lay flat on your bed or mat, hold your legs outward about 30 degrees up from the bed or floor and hold for 60 secs or until feel pain then relax. Try again once more.

6.  Lay flat, stretch arms behind your head holding your hands one under the other, then bring up your arms and legs to 30 degrees then lower.  Do this 10-15 times.  Stop if feel tension and rest.

7. When finish with exercises, just breath deeply five times, then stretch to help cool down your muscles as in step #1.

Make adjustments as you see fit.  These exercises will help in building your stomach muscles and building muscle memory.  Limit these exercises to every other day, then take a two day rest for muscles to recover. **Any movement is better than no movement. It is better to exercise before you eat, your body will focus on your muscles, than burning your calories from food and believe it or not you actually have more energy. You may even want to write down the days you exercise to keep track whether its muscle toning, walking, running etc…  Consult your physician before starting any new exercise regimen.

Switzerland’s Referendum to give each resident $2,800 (2,500 francs) Proposed.

Switzerland had a referendum to give each citizen 2500 francs per month.  The idea came about in 2013, but if passed would take one to two years to enact.  Do you know what that would do to end poverty if this was enacted.  It would be unconditional and guaranteed no matter if you work or not.

Boy if the US did something like that, it would end poverty. If the world did it, it would end world poverty over night.   I read this article in the RT blog and it stated that Enno Schmidt is the creator of the Swiss Basic Income Initiative and he (Schmidt) stated that “It would be a historical landmark similar to the abolition of slavery or the civil rights movement.  This man is a genius.  Its citizens would not have to worry about how to pay their living expenses; would not have to make the hard decision of whether to put their elderly parent into a nursing home or stay home and take care of them; they could stay home with their newborn babies longer.  The quality of life would change dramatically.  The worries, stress, hopelessness, homelessness all would change overnight. God would look down on earth and say, “Well done good and faithful servants.”  To not have to worry about how to survive.  Hallelujah!

There is 6.7 billion people on this earth if each person was to get a fair share of dollars to do what they wish, that would add up to approximately $7,000 per person.  There is enough money in the world to do this, but as usual politics always gets in the way. Or someone feels that it is unfair.  But the question is: Do we really want to eradicate poverty?  On the World Bank website, China says to end world poverty, people need access to a bank account or a card.  I say no, people need m-o-n-e-y and then they will go get a bank account.  People need to be able to create, to have access to business ventures and utilize their ideas with freedom without worry.   The systems built up has failed us, companies have left to go to foreign countries, others are laying off at record numbers and prejudice still runs rampant.

Of course questions arise if it would replace the current welfare system, well of course it should and how will it be paid for.  Well I say, “Just Do It.”  The money is there and if it is not there they always find a way to do the things that they want to do, but I say the money is there.  The world is rich.  I use to think the world was poor until I saw all the money being poured into the governmental elections.

So the question next is what would people do with this money?  Well they would spend it.  Pay for the  high cost of utilities, a decent place to live, take care of their kids, and whatever is left over they would go to the local businesses and shop.  This means helping the economy, help more businesses to be created, help to build the world’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) that is what the money would be used for.  To start businesses, get out of debt, live in peace and harmony.

Think about this:  How much money would be enough money for you to live off of comfortably?  $1000 a month, $3,000 a month, $1 million, or $1 billion.   They key word here is “comfortably.”   How much do you think would get the stress off, the worry, the hopelessness. And I haven’t even mentioned health care.  Think of how much crime would be reduced if people did not have to worry about money.  Think of how happy the world would be.

Lastly, the reason the economies of the world are in such bad shape is because they are not putting the money into the hands of the people who will spend it.  Its called the velocity of circulation of money.  Velocity is the rate of speed that it takes for money to exchange hands from one person to another and this determines GDP.

I know many will think this is socialism or whatever other political term they can think of, but most people will see this as “survival.”  Manna from heaven.  Look into this Swiss referendum I think it is a “genius” of an ideal.

Thoughts for June: PURPOSE: Food for Thought

Some thoughts that I just would like to kick around.  Just think if every person was able to live their true purpose or calling.  Let’s define purpose:  It is the reason that something is created or done or the reason something exists (Oxford Dictionary).

I was recently on a photographer’s blog who travels around the world to take photos and she ended up in China and she took a lot of photos of many people young, middle age and older Chinese citizens of various cities including Shanghai.  And as I looked through her photos and comments, she said something very enlightening.  “What if you could make a living doing the things you really enjoy instead of having to work at a job where you are constantly watching the clock to go home.”   She then realized how grateful she was that she could travel and take photos which is what she really enjoys doing most.

I remember in college thinking this same thought while working jobs that I could not wait to clock out of.  I thought one day “what if”……..and I would daydream of other things I would rather be doing.  Oh how I remember those days so well.

This particular photographer took a pic of an elderly woman who was smoking a pipe and she stated that the elderly woman stated that that(cigar) is what they give them for living to their ripe old ages.  And I’m thinking really a cigar, really….  I hope that’s not all she’s received for all her hard work and contributions to their society.

But, anyway, back to the subject of purpose.  Though there are many who have successfully found their lot in life, however, much more are living under their destined purposes.  I have read Rick Warren’s :Purpose Driven Life.  He has workbooks and worksheets to help in assisting people to finding their true calling in life.

Just think of the many people who begrudgingly go to their jobs just to make a paycheck just to pay bills and/or take care of family.  Are these people really happy and better yet….Is this their true calling.  Is there something else pulling at their heartstrings, a hobby, a special interest, a bigger talent.  Purpose is also honing in on special skills and talents and mastering these skills and only that individual knows what that gift is though others may notice it also; say a family member, friend, or teacher.

The most important thing about purpose is that it is not for yourself.  Your purpose really is to help others in this generation.  A quote from Rick Warren ” The only really happy people are those who learned how to serve others.”  Purpose is not restricted to just men, but women also have purpose.

With purpose life has more meaning when you begin to ask yourself, “Why am I here?”.  Purpose is for every human being whether they have one parent, two parents, adopted, or even thrown on the street. Purpose is for both rich and poor; it is for the bruised and the battered; the oppressed and repressed.  The world would be a much better place if everyone were able to realize their purpose.  The next time you see a talented individual whether young, middle aged, or elderly let them know that you see their gift and their talent and encourage them to pursue their gift no matter what it is.

More on this topic later.

Ways to a Flatter Tummy

I love to eat.  Nowadays they call that being a “foodie” I guess.  Yes I like trying new foods and dishes, but they have to be appealing to my eye or I will not eat it.  But as I get older, I’m finding my body is doing things that I have minimum control over, but what you can control is what you eat.  I know that I will not nor do I want to get my weight back down to 100 pounds soak and wet; however, I do have a goal to try to get my tummy as flat as possible.  I did buy one of those tummy control garments, but I love challenges (sometimes) and when I am able to see my stomach shrink I get excited and feel like I have accomplished a great feat.  I think tummy flattening is a better than saying, “I need to lose weight.”  You can better set your goals and you know if you are getting results or not.

So what I have decided to do is first of all:  (1) No eating after 8 pm.  This can be hard at first and your body tells you (by grumbling) that you want and need to eat.  So in order to stave this off, I will eat for example; raw carrots or you can eat a small amount of your favorite crackers to help get the hunger off.  Wheat Thins has some tasty crackers.*  Fruit is also a good option, such as an apple, pear, grapes.  However, I read somewhere that bananas can cause bloating.  You may want to research that.   I know weight lifters eat bananas to build their muscles and they also help in preventing muscle cramps.  (2)  I had to stop consuming some of my favorite foods and drinks because they cause bloating these include: coffee, some teas (caffeine), I do like my bananas though, of course soda pop (diet or reg), some chocolate foods like donuts and most yeast filled and sugary treats have to go( I will splurge on these at least once a month), If you have a craving for chocolate, going dark is said to be healthier, also most foods with high carbs are culprits such as potatoes, pasta and breads, fast foods of any sort, (however I will splurge once a week on pizza), anything with aspartame (man-made sugars) should be avoided for a flat stomach.  (3) The site “Active Beat” actually has a list of foods that cause bloating.  Some on this list include peppers, apples, milk, even celery (who knew?)  Their list is called ” 33 Trigger Foods for Bloating: Control Your Tummy Bulge.”  It will surprise you what’s on the list.  A lot are actually healthy veggies.  Most of the foods are some of my favorites, so that will leave you down to carrots and crackers if you follow that list literally.  It also includes spicy foods. (darn!). There are other tummy bloater lists sites out there too.

So my best plan of action is to eat mostly vegetables and stay far away from the starchy carbs and sugars as much as humanly possible.  Beans are another culprit, but I just cut back to once or twice a weak; they do have proteins that are good for your body.  I don’t eat a lot of meats, but I have not totally committed to becoming a vegetarian yet.  Of course all things in moderation.

I won’t stop eating my favorite fruits though.  So next is the dreaded eight letter word “e-x-e-r-c-I-s-e” (doh!) Yes, fortunately I love a little bit of it. However, I’m not necessarily the workout gym type, but I have a jump rope that I like to use and will do up to 100 jumps a day.  (when I’m ambitious), stretches are good to do, I do tummy targeted exercises.  I will list these tummy exercises in my next blog update. I like long walks and then I like to sit and meditate.

One other exercise that I do that is very easy and considered a tummy memory exercise is called the pelvic breathing exercise. First stand straight, then breath very deeply squeezing all the way down to the pelvic muscles, then count 25 pushes(actually these are squeezes). After 25 squeezes, you may feel a little muscle pain because these are muscles you do not usually use(unless you have a medical condition, then see a physician).  If no pain immediately, you will feel it the next day.  This means progress in beginning to firm the muscles in your stomach. I do 25 pushes at least once a day.   **Consult your physician before starting any new exercise or new diet regimen if under a physicians care.  This exercise may also be helpful for anyone with bladder control muscle issues.**

So that is basically how I do my tummy flattening regimen.  Of course you can come up with your own. It’s always good to set goals for yourself; it gives you the feeling of self-empowerment and accomplishment.

Peace and Love

Music, Art, and Warm Baths

This world is moving so fast paced and with the internet and social media, it is nice to break away and just enjoy the simple things like music, art, and my most favorite… warm baths. I love music from every genre.  From folk music, classical, country, however, my favorite is melodic uptempo music as with some r&b, jazz, and even some rap collaborations.  I love to dance, especially two-step and this type of music allows me to whisk my dreams and imagination away to a world of dance and music.  Some of my favorite r&b artists of the past are Amy Winehouse, JonB, Usher people like that.  Of course I can’t forget my ol’ skool music of moments past.

Next I love art, always have and always will.  When I get my camera fixed, I will post some of my recent creations I promise.  But art with all the various types from upcycling to mixed media, to abstract.  Art is visualized in many different ways by many different points of view.  Right now, I am attracted to vibrant and colorful works of art where colors are mixed then diluted, dried, then other art abstracts are then added which brings about a 2D or 3D illusionary affect which also brings wonderment to where you eyes travel with the piece.  Something like a “Where’s Waldo” thinking or “I Spy with my little eye” type of mind action.  Finnabair is one of these types of mindsets where the eye travels and looks to see what else is hidden in the media.  It reminds me of advertisements that get into the psyche of one’s subconscious or hidden messages.  Of course most art is not to get into one’s subconscious, but I like both the appeal to the eye and figuring out where an artist is going with their art and what the artist is trying to display.  Okay, I’m weird and taking the joy out of art, but I am a thinking person; however, I do enjoy the aesthetic eye appeal of art the most.

Lastly, I love, love, love to take warm baths.  Especially after a very hot and muggy day or just to relax the muscles in the body and take your mind to a different place in paradise like being on a beach, in a park, a garden, or any place of beauty. I love getting my favorite scented bath soaps and scents and lavishing in the bubbly suds and listening to the bursting of the sudsy bubbles.  The scented aroma of the bubbly soaps to ease the senses and relax the nerves.  It is also nice to add a little extra hot water to help get toxins of the day out of your system and boy do you feel refreshed and ready to start a new day again.  It’s amazing what a  warm bath can accomplish.

So to end May I will wash away the month and begin June with a  new refreshed outlook and restart.  It’s all about taking things a day at a time.

Favorite Musical Artist for May- From Germany- Xavier Naidoo

I came upon this artist via Etsy.com whereas a woman had posted pics of  Afro-Europeans and hence Xavier Naidoo.  This man is an “AWESOME” singer and writer.  He seems of a very sincere nature.  All the way from Germany.  I don’t know any German words besides the few words that I have just learned from the music and he gives Germany and the language a whole different perspective. His music is of soul and R&B and he is a very compassionate singer.

I also like how he is able to attract a massive appeal, but also stay true to who he is.  He has also incorporated other artists from other countries for collaboration.  Totally cool and totally awesome; the band is awesome group of musicians in which he could not do what he does without them; a wonderful mix and composition of words and music.

A wonderful, beautiful surprise.