Browse Category: Healthy body

Lessons in Health and Wellness: Make Better Choices

fruitI usually keep pretty healthy snacks on hand. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to go with the path of least resistance. So if there are candies and junk food snacks nearby and available, that’s where I’m going to head – especially if I’m hungry already. Thus proving again: when you fail to plan you plan to fail.

I’m working on a plan for healthier snacks again and here are some of my favorites:

  • Raw unsalted nuts. High in protein and healthy fats. They add antioxidants and fiber to your diet.
  • Dried apples. Chewy and sweet. I kind of have to limit these they are slightly addictive.
  • Energy bars. I prefer Kind Bars because I can choose from protein, fiber, antioxidants, and other health benefits. They are natural and taste fabulous.
  • Parmesan cheese. I actually like to pair this shredded over popcorn and add a little ground pepper.
  • Almond butter. A tablespoon all by itself is often all it takes to curb my hunger.

What do you like to snack on?

Make better choices: Health & Wellness mp3 Meditations

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Feeling Stuck? Try Some Emotional Therapy Using N.E.T.

Guest Post By Michelle S. Lim, D.C.

“Our emotional reality affects the physiology of our body.”

Whether we are conscious of it or not, we all have conditioned reflexes that we’ve acquired in life. Much of these reflexes are necessary for survival and ensure the safety and well being of others. We hit the brakes when we see an animal on the road, we lift our hands up to protect us when we sense something is falling from above, and we pull our hands away when we feel a hot dish. These are all normal reactions that contribute to our well-being, but what happens when we have deep seated emotional responses that no longer serve us?

A classic example would be a soldier who has returned home from war. Although he is safe and sound in his downtown San Diego neighborhood, the sound of a helicopter flying overhead might trigger his limbic system, dragging along old memories, making him think he was in combat again. He might drop down on the floor and instinctively look for a gun that is not there. His pulse will beat hard, his breaths even faster, while his blood pressure goes through the roof, anticipating the worst. Obviously, this is a dramatic example of what we know as PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

You see, in the emotional brain (the limbic system), time doesn’t exist. Due to the fact that emotions don’t have a linear sense of time, but rather, can effortlessly weave in and out of the past, we may be carrying around emotions that unknowingly dictate our lives. Much like the veteran who’s safe and sound in his home town but still gets a sympathetic flight or fight response every time he hears a loud noise, we may be soldiers of our past, carrying around fears, burdens, anger, resentment, sadness or paralyzed will, unwillingly creating a mental block or emotional prison.

When the emotional aspect of the brain takes over, superceding all rational and logical thought processes, this is called neurological hijacking. The limbic system takes control and as intelligent as we may be, we become immune to our responses because this is how we’ve always known it to be.

From the very first moment we encountered a not so favored situation, we’ve developed a way to cope with the problem and continue to use that emotional response time after time, much like an automated message. We’ve trained ourselves to “feel” a certain way regardless of how different the situation is. If it “feels” like a situation we’ve been in before, we already have a preset reaction to deal with it.

As I mentioned earlier, there are many times when our learned responses serve us well and ensure our survival. But when it no longer serves us, like the veteran who’s returned home, then we need to retrain our neo-cortex to think differently and be “ok” with whatever’s happening.

Research has already proven that stress causes negative physiologic reaction to the body and science has shown that people under stress are more susceptible to getting ill and are slower to recover compared to those who aren’t under any perceived stress. Whether real or perceived, stress directly affects the nervous system, which has a great impact on the immune system.

We are capable of measuring the physiologic effects of stress through monitoring heart rate, monitoring the respiratory system, assessing pulse rate, a Galvanic skin response, a polygraph test and muscle testing.


N.E.T. stands for Neuro Emotional Technique used by many health practitioners, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, M.D.s, Psychologists and MFTPs alike, who are in favor of holistic and conservative techniques.

Through muscle testing, N.E.T. is a mind-body technique that uses a methodology of finding and removing neurological imbalances related to the physiology of unresolved stress. N.E.T. is a tool that can help improve many behavioral and physical conditions.


N.E.T. Practitioners are nearly unlimited in their ability to address the physical and behavioral stress-related conditions of their patients. These conditions include headaches, body pains, phobias, general anxiety, self-sabotaging behaviors, organ dysfunctions and so much more. It’s important to note that N.E.T. does not cure or heal the patient, but rather, N.E.T. removes blocks to the natural vitalism of the body, “allowing” the body to repair itself naturally.

N.E.T. has more than a 60% success rate in treating PTSD and is currently approved by the government as a conservative and cost-effective treatment for soldiers returning home.

To learn more, visit

Dr. Lim utilizes the NET technique in her practice. Call (562) 920-6644 for consultation.

– Dr. Michelle S. Lim, D.C.

My Lesson in Aging Gracefully

beauty concept skin aging. anti-aging proceduresI have amazing genetics and I have almost no stress in my life. Combine that with staying out of the sun for the last 30 years, and I don’t look my age. I recall getting carded when buying a round of beers the night before I turned 40. The bartender was instantly awarded BFF status in my world, which was great until I handed her my license. She then waltzed it around the bar showing everyone the photo and saying, “Can you believe how OLD she is?!” From that moment forward she was no longer my BFF.

The week before my birthday this year, I got carded again. Now I realize I do not look 21 so I asked the bartender what their threshold was – under 40, 35, 30? Her response was under 35. I damn near kissed her on the lips! I turned 48 this year. My husband asked if I’d be sharing these stories at any opportunity I could. My response: I’ll be telling these stories in the nursing home.

Aging is a tough thing for women. Our culture values youth. And men simply don’t have the same pressures that we do. I’m becoming aware that I am aging. While I continue to celebrate birthdays, the aging process is something that I intend to battle to my last breath. Not just how I look but how I feel and how I behave as well.

My hair is beginning to turn “platinum” which is only a problem every fifth or sixth week thanks to my wonderful colorist. And as I look in the mirror, gravity has begun to take its toll. I don’t have major deep wrinkles, but I am getting fine lines around my eyes.

After doing some research I’ve decided to try three different “face-saving” options. I’m not one who is going to rule out plastic surgery if I think it’ll make a difference. But if I can put that option off as a last resort, then great!

FlexEffect. This program is based on facial muscle building, resistance, cross stretching and some other proprietary facial training options. It’s exercise to build and sculpt facial muscles. This one is the least invasive of the three options. I tried a few exercises already and could feel a difference.

NuFace Trinity. This is microcurrent technology – facial muscle exercise done passively. And yes I bought the optional accessories for eyes and wrinkle reduction. After using this for about two weeks (I’ve stuck with this a little longer than the FlexEffect because it was easier to do) my nasolabial fold – also known as marionette lines – was pulled tighter, and not as obvious.

Derma Roller. Well, I’ll be honest, I bought it. I opened the package. I read the instructions. I put it back in the package and put it under the bathroom sink. It’s there … waiting. I haven’t been able to bring myself to do this. I’ve read the reviews, and people are getting great results with this. I had a needle phobia for most of my life. I can’t quite wrap my head around 600 to 1200 micro-needles piercing my skin on purpose.

I’m going to keep up on the NuFace Trinity and add more of the FlexEffect facial exercises and at some point I promise to try the Derma Roller. I’ll keep you posted.

What exactly are you willing to do to suffer for beauty and the ability to age gracefully?

Lessons in Personal Pampering: Body Scrubs

spa backgroundI go to Burke Williams at least once a month, if not twice for a full spa day. There’s usually a bubble bath, some sort of body scrub, perhaps a facial, definitely a massage and time in the sauna and steam room. It’s a little slice of heaven. It’s 4 to 8 hours of blissful personal pampering.

On one of my most recent visits, I had a body scrub – a sugar scrub and she added coffee grounds. It smelled heavenly (of course I craved Krispy Kreme donuts for the rest of the afternoon but that’s beside the point) and the sugar and coffee grounds exfoliated me to a baby bottom softness – the likes of which I had not felt before. And the caffeine in the coffee grounds helped to give my skin a firmer appearance. What’s not to love?

If you decide you’d like to try a scrub at home, here are some basics. Use sugar if you have sensitive skin; salt is more abrasive. Make sure you have a bath mat or towel on the floor of the tub and/or shower so as not to slip.

For the face: 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg mixed with several drops of milk to form a paste. Use it on your nose chin and four head – any areas where you have blackheads or congested pores. Rinse with cool water.

For the body:  3 tablespoons of salt or sugar, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil – add 2 teaspoons of fresh minced herbs/botanicals (basil, mint, chamomile, rose petals, lemon peel or citrus Blossom) or a few drops of essential oils (make sure they’re safe to use topically – lavender, chamomile, lemon or mint). Massage all over, rinse completely.

Yes, you can find happiness! Listen in: Anne Riley on Lessons in Joyful Living Radio


Are You Still Awake? 10 Tips to Help You Sleep Better at Night

Sleeping woman, picture in pink colorsI remember I got a nifty little black and white television for my sixth birthday. My very own TV, to watch in my room, to watch whatever I wanted! And about a week later that baby was confiscated and taken from me. Evidently staying up and watching Johnny Carson do his monologue at 11:30 on school nights was not what my parents had in mind. It wasn’t my fault their genetics combined to create the insomniac that I am. Let’s blame them.

Seriously, even at that age I had trouble falling asleep. Today at 48 years old I often don’t find myself tired before one or two in the morning. I’m usually up reading or creating until at least that time. And then I’m up between 5 and 6 every morning. So I often average between three and five hours of sleep nightly for weeks at a time. It’s just how I’m wired.

As I’m getting older I’m beginning to understand the cost of not sleeping (you should see the foundation and concealer investments I’ve made so as not to look like a zombie the next day).

Here are some reasons for you – and me – to focus on catching our Z’s, because lack of sleep can lead to:

  • Weight gain – higher BMI is often found in people who average less than six hours sleep per night. People who sleep more than eight hours per night have the lowest BMI typically. The reason for this is lack of sleep impacts your hormones, which impacts your weight significantly.
  • Diabetes – researchers are finding that inadequate sleep impacts the way the body processes glucose and is ultimately a potential for higher flood sugar levels leading to type II diabetes.
  • Mood disorders – long-term mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and mental distress have been associated with chronic sleep issues. Short-term issues include irritability and moodiness.
  • Heart disease and hypertension – lack of sleep is being shown to impact hypertension causing elevated blood pressure throughout the following day. Chronic high blood pressure increases risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
  • Reduced life expectancy – studies show that sleeping less than five hours per night increases your mortality risk by roughly 15%.

Sleep needs to be treated in the same manner nutrition and exercise are. You’re gonna have to work on it. It’s vital that you get the appropriate rest to allow your body to heal, rejuvenate, process hormones and shut down for periods of time for rest.

Here are 10 tips to help you get a better night sleep:

  1. Start with a routine. Reset your internal clock by going to bed and waking at the same time each day.
  2. Establish a pre-sleep routine. A bath or light reading about an hour or so before bedtime gets your brain ready to get ready to sleep.
  3. Step away from the electronics. Most of our electronic devices have a light source in them. Cell phone, iPad, Kindle, television to name a few. That internal light tells our brain it’s not time to go to sleep. Begin your electronic fast two hours before your desired bedtime.
  4. Use light to your advantage in the morning. Pull the curtains back and expose yourself to natural sunlight early in the day to help reset your circadian rhythm.
  5. Eliminate caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and other stimulants that are known to interfere with sleep.
  6. Keep the bedroom for sleep and sex. This should not be your storage room, workout room, office or serve any other purpose. Begin to anchor only the activities that you want taking place in that bedroom. If you can’t sleep, get up and go into another room until you can.
  7. Make it comfortable. Make your bedroom sleep friendly: quiet, dark, cool and make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable.
  8. Quit eating and drinking 4 to 6 hours before your desired bedtime. This will eliminate the urge to get up and empty your bladder in the middle of the night as well is any potential for indigestion.
  9. Do not nap. If you simply can’t function without a nap until you’re on track with your sleep, keep them short (under 20 minutes) and do it before 5 p.m.
  10. Exercise early in the day. Regular exercise has been shown to help people sleep more soundly, just make sure you completed at least four hours before you go to bed so your body has time to wind down.

If you still need help sleeping, try my guided Deeper Meditation.

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