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Healthy Holiday Gift Basket is Loaded With Local (and Naturally Delicious) Products

Healthy Holiday Gift Basket is Loaded With Local (and Naturally Delicious) Products

When Jill Lemen started creating her organic fruit and nut bars, she wasn’t the most healthy eater on the planet. But as caregiver to a wheelchair-bound health nut, she was challenged to come up with a grab-n-go organic food bar that was tasty AND gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free.

What started as a healthy snack for a clean-eating friend surprised and inspired Jill to create Noshsense. I met Jill at a women’s small business gathering, where she brought samples of her tasty treats. It was love at first taste.

Every time I turn around, there’s a locally owned business getting started by a woman with a great story. Everything from yoga and massage to specialty baked goods and handmade body butters are being crafted by local businesswomen with a mission.

I thought you should know about these local products and services I’ve discovered, so I put them all into one big Gift Basket. And I’m giving it away.

How can you WIN this?

If you’ve signed up for my monthly newsletter or offered a comment on one of my blogs, then you’ve already entered the drawing. If not, leave a comment below this blog. The drawing to WIN the Healthy Holiday Gift Basket, compliments of Natural Healing Omaha, is December 2nd.

Even if your name isn’t drawn, you still win! These are some great gift ideas for the upcoming holidays.

Give something local, handmade, herbal, natural, organic (and all that good stuff ) and feel good about holiday spending.

But let me get back to the drawing. Look at all these items you could WIN:

  • Black Iris Botanicals rose toner for naturally healthy skinRose Water Toner – ‘Mildly Astringent — Mighty Refreshing.’ That’s how SeaRose describes her Rose Facial toner, a product of her local small business, Black Iris Botanicals https://www.facebook.com/blackirisbotanicals.
  • Gift Certificate for 1 dozen gluten-free and vegan muffins from Two Birds Bakery www.twobirdsbakeryomaha.com.
  • Hyp-Yoga weight loss CD’s and green “Peace” t-shirt, for the cool person in your life. See what it’s all about at Hyp Yoga Omaha.
  • One dozen gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free organic fruit and nut bars made by their local creator Jill Lemen and her small business http://www.Noshsense.net.
  • A signed copy of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, A coming-of-age tale of fanfiction, family and first love. It’s local, it’s handmade (ok, not so much) and it’s juicy, good reading!
  • One hour massage from Summer Schwery, one of our very talented massage therapists at the Four Winds Natural Healing Center. She’ll melt your mind into a state of bliss.
  • Metta Handmade sampler soaps for naturally healthy skinSample handmade soaps in four ‘flavors’ – Lemon Poppyseed, Calendula Olive Oil, Avocado Shea Butter and Rose & Lavender – from Metta Handmade, the brainchild of local owner Stacia Hoover. More soapy love at http://www.MettaHandmade.com.
  • Personal notecards created with artful calligraphy designs by Jen Waltemath of Omaha. Check her stuff out at http://www.jafix.info/!
  • Generously large planter full of greenery, perfect for a corner of your sunny room, from The Potting Shed Garden and Gift Center, compliments of owner Amy Weir.
  • A selection of gluten-free, organic, handmade veggie wraps from April’s Wraps. These babies are to-die-for delicious, smeared with your favorite spread and loaded up with veggies.

Need a gift item for a birthday or graduation?  Find links to most of these items all year long on my ‘Resources and Affiliates’ page.

This drawing is my way of supporting local small businesses and connecting you with unique, local, quality products and services you can’t get just anywhere.

Do these businesses a favor and Share this blog on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, or wherever you do your socializing on line!

Happy, Healthy holiday season to everyone from Natural Healing Omaha. Remember, leave a comment on this blog or sign up for my herbal newsletter to enter.

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Are You Listening or Just Waiting Your Turn?

Are You Listening or Just Waiting Your Turn?

Are you guilty of being this kind of friend? Sadly, it’s so common that you might not notice the problem at first. You ask someone ‘How’s it going?’ and the conversation goes like this:

Friend: I’m annoyed because I feel like I’m giving my all at work, but no one recognizes the effort.

You: Yeah, I know how that feels. My boss sucks in that department.

Friend: Right. The boss just walks right by without ever asking how I’m doing or to say ‘good job’.

You: I know how you feel. Sometimes I just wanna scream. One time, I worked overtime on this big project for two weeks and nobody even said ‘thanks, good job.’

Friend: Geez, that sucks. I hate my job. I wish I could quit.

This conversation is going nowhere fast, and both of you are bound to end up resentful and bitter. Neither one of you is really hearing the other person. You’re both waiting your turn to tell your own sad tale of woe.

What if you stopped to really listen to your friend? You could change the whole direction of the conversation.

In this next scenario, you’ll see how the dynamic changes when you stop to hear the words. See if you can figure out what’s different about this:

Friend: I’m annoyed because I feel like I’m giving my all at work, but no one recognizes my efforts.

You: It sounds like you don’t feel appreciated.

Friend: Right. The boss just walks right by without ever asking how I’m doing or to say ‘good job’.

You: Hmm. I’m guessing there’s something you’re especially proud of that you’d like your boss to notice.

Friend: Actually, there is. I just finished a project in record time and the client was so happy because she saved quite a few dollars in the process.

You: So, your client took the time to say how great your work was? That’s cool.

Friend: Hey, you know, that is cool. I’m feeling pretty good about that.

You: Way to go. How about we celebrate over coffee?

What’s different about this exchange? The focus is not on you.

Instead of offering an example of how lousy your life is, too, you can turn it around. Demonstrate that you hear what was said by saying it back in a different way.

Let your friend be heard.

You’ll get your turn another time. This is her moment. Make an effort to listen. Don’t expect the favor to be returned. Give without asking for anything back.

It’s the holidays and lots of us start feeling stressed right about now. Stress is a major cause of health problems. Being heard is a simple, powerful, natural remedy for stress.

Like most natural healing, the effects are subtle but profound. Relationships start to heal. Anxiety and depression lessen. Stomach aches and headaches and body pain ease up. I’ve seen it hundreds of times.

When you use a simple tool like this to shift the course of a conversation, you raise the vibe of your relationships. Step by tiny step, resentment, helplessness and that ‘poor me’ attitude dissolve. A problem becomes a celebration.

Can you do it? Can you offer your generous, complete, undistracted, attention to someone?

It’s not necessary to completely understand and share in their feelings. It’s only necessary to listen. Try it.

What better gift can you give this season?

 

Related Post:  A Naturally Healing Tea for This Time of Year

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Is Your Attitude About Money Holding Your Health Hostage?

I never used to think money had anything to do with how I feel from day to day. The decisions I made at the grocery store, shopping mall, church, gym, pretty much everywhere, belonged in different folds of my brain – far away from ‘health’.

healthy attitude about money means healthy woman

Attitudes about money can hold our health hostage

Then, I went to see someone who helped me sort out my attitudes about money.

She asked me to write down what money meant to my family when I was growing up. And how I felt about it in my relationships and now as a small business owner.

Talk about a hornet’s nest! I had no idea I carried around such ridiculous stress and self-judgement.

I was going through life with the notion that I didn’t deserve things unless I earned them. Which is not so abnormal until you heap guilt on top of it.

So, the only way to earn a new coat, or a night out with my friends, was to be someone better, someone skinnier, nicer, more productive, a better mom. And since there is no way to quantify those ‘standards’, I rarely thought I deserved what I got. Regardless of where this self-defeating thinking started, it was still dogging me in my middle age.

Every day, I meet someone who uses this same kind of thinking to deny themselves care that could improve not just their wardrobe or social life, but their whole health.

Naturally we apply the same destructive, unhealthy thinking patterns over and over in different areas of our lives. Maybe we develop an attitude of ‘not deserving’ that leaks over into our relationships, our diet and even our connection to a higher power. Imagine the havoc that can play on a person’s life!

Herbs are great, and I’ve seen them do wonders for women’s health. But, physical and emotional health are absolutely connected to every other decision we make every day, including  how we think about money.

Ten years ago, I started looking at what needed change in my life. Herbs and yoga and a better diet got me 50% of the way there. But it wasn’t until I understood how my thoughts were holding me back that I made real progress. Talking to a professional whose job it was to understand the ins and outs of money took a load off my shoulders.

A group of women are meeting at Omaha Integrative Care for 5 weeks this Fall – starting October 14 and ending November 11. We’ll take a close look at 5 critical areas of our ‘whole’ health, including attitudes about money, relationships, spirituality and food.

Join us. Email info@naturalhealingomaha.com for details. Or visit www.NaturalHealingOmaha.com. Become a healthier version of you while 2013 is still here!

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Autumn – No Time For Hangups

The other day, a patient shared with me that after a very long relationship, she decided it was time to get her own apartment, move out and start taking care of herself. The day she told her partner she was leaving, all the digestive symptoms that had been plaguing her for months of visits quickly cleared up. No more constipation, no more tummy problems. Just like that. She could breathe easily again.

Maybe you’re hanging on to an unhealthy relationship, or maybe it’s a bad habit you can’t shake, like gossiping or nighttime snacking. Sometimes, we just get hung up on what someone said to us 20 or 30 years ago and can’t let it go.

Whatever your hangup, it’s time to hang it up.

The weight of your emotional baggage is a giant burden on your physical health, whether you see it or not. Letting it go means a chance at feeling light and playful again. Smiling and joy are guiltless pleasures that we owe ourselves.

Fall cleansing means letting go and finding fun again

Let go of worries and feel playful and healthy again

I swear, letting go is one of the hardest lessons to learn in life.

Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes a clear connection between the Lungs – which play a role in expressing grief, releasing the past and detaching from unhealthy patterns and behaviors – and the Large Intestine, where another kind of ‘letting go’ happens.

A healthy and balanced Lung/Large Intestine pair helps you withstand the stresses of respiratory threats like colds and flus, and environmental imbalances like dryness or excess humidity and dampness. Did you get that? Letting go of unhealthy people, patterns and even poop 🙂 gives you protection from seasonal illnesses.

My patient discovered on her own that simply making up her mind to let go helped her physically release, making space for something new.

The season of the Lungs and Large Intestine is here right now. This is a great week to start a Fall cleanse.

A seasonal diet and herbs that focus on preparing your lungs, large intestine and lymphatic system for the cold weather can give you a leg up on immune system challenges.

Two weeks of delicious foods like squash, root vegetables and wild game, and herbs like cleavers, burdock root, stillingia root, poke root and cascara sagrada bark provide a lymph, lung, large intestine and deep tissue detox that stimulate and renew your sluggish system.

I tell my patients to get a good massage and indulge themselves in an afternoon nap. This is time to really let go of unhappy thoughts and enjoy the shocking blue skies and comfy sweater weather to the fullest.

I can help you understand how to accomplish cleansing with healthy, nourishing foods, herbs and simple daily practices. Everyone deserves a healthy start to Fall. Email me at info@naturalhealingomaha.com and get started.

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What’s the Monkey in Your Mind Saying?

My life coach says I’m ‘up to big things’, which explains why my mind’s been chattering lately with lots of self-talk. Not the happy Oprah kind.

Monkey mind interferes with healthy thinking

Is your monkey mind distracting you from success?

I’ve learned this is a good time to sit on the floor beside my bed, take a few breaths, and listen to what’s going on between my ears. Instead of calm, peace and universally loving thoughts about my life, the words lately sound more like this:

“I can’t do that”

“I’ve had it hard and that’s why I’ll be a failure”

“I’m not smart enough – so-and-so is better at this than me”

“You’re not successful enough to try”

“People will be watching and you might make a mistake”

“You don’t know enough”

“You’re gonna fail”

“Someday you’ll be good enough to do this, but not right now”

“You’re selfish to even try”

“It’s gonna cost too much money”

It’s like I’m trying to talk myself out of success so I’ll have an excuse when things don’t go like I expect.

This pattern of self-destructive thinking is sometimes called monkey mind. Pretty accurate description, I’d say. That monkey in my head is distracting me, jumping all over the cage, throwing insults and trying to push me off my game. She’s on full blast when I’m getting ready to accomplish something I’ve never done before.

I used to think I was the only person who struggled with this. Other people just got up in the morning, made up their minds to do something and did it. No self-doubt, no ‘poor me’, no excuses. Now I know better.

The most successful people you know hear this same monkey jabbering away when it’s time to face a big task or step out of their comfort zone. Somehow they learn how to tame the monkey and go ahead anyway.

Me? I wrestle with the mind chatter every day. Sometimes the monkey wins, sometimes I do. On the good days, I manage to keep calm and focus on where I’m going and what I love – sharing what I know about holistic healing, herbal medicine, and how it changed my life.

On those other days, when the self-doubt bubbles up and threatens to sabotage my plans, I forgive the monkey, act gently with myself and breathe. Sometimes, I just write a blog.

How do you handle the self-destructive mind chatter? What’s your strategy to keep the monkey mind from holding you back? Do you have a little retreat in your home or office, or a mantra that helps you cope or get beyond the critic in your brain? I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

 

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7 Coolest Things About a Farmer’s Market

farmers market berries selected by happy child

Fresh goodies from your farmer’s market tempt tastebuds

Why don’t more people shop at farmer’s markets? Heck, why don’t I shop there more often?

After last weekend, I’ve concluded that the only possible answer is this: habit. I’m just not in the habit of stopping at more than one place for groceries.

The thing is, the food at these neighborhood markets is so ridiculously cheap and fresh, I almost feel like I’m cheating someone. But really, I’m only cheating myself by not taking advantage of it more often.

Every time I walk into the deep freeze they call a grocery store these days, I wonder why I didn’t start at the market.

White and red radishes for 75 cents a bunch, spinach for $1, huge bundles of turnip and mustard greens for $1 (don’t know what to do with them? Click here for a photo and recipe).

Here’s what I discovered about the farmer’s market this weekend:

7 BEST THINGS ABOUT YOUR LOCAL FARMER’S MARKET:

1- You can find a farmer’s market almost every day of the week somewhere in your city [Omaha peeps, scroll down for a listing].

2- A $20 bill gets you enough veggies and meat protein for two people for at least 3 days.

3- Talk to the guy/girl who grew your food. It’s almost a little humbling to realize how much we depend on these gracious growers.

4- Eat your groceries while you’re still shopping. That’s how we discovered the white radishes are less spicy than the red ones.

5- You find out what’s in season, and discover that seasonal eating is healthier eating. [Here’s a link to a recent blog explaining why]

6- Fresh-picked food (within 2-3 days of market) has SO much more taste/flavor than supermarket food. Hands down.

7- Even if you don’t buy anything, you’ll be entertained. Street musicians, crowds of interesting people and pets, and displays of local crafts made my visit last weekend SWEET!

And now, here’s a listing of Omaha area farmer’s markets. Go get some fresh food today!

Bellevue Farmers Market / Flea Market – Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

  • May 18 – September 14, Washington Park on Franklin Street at West 20th Avenue, Bellevue

Benson Farmers Market – Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  • May 4 – September 28, Military Avenue at Maple Street

Charles Drew Health Center Market – Wednesdays, 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

  • July 10 — October 2, 2915 Grant Street

Florence Mill Farmers Market – Sundays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

  • June 2 – September 29, 9102 North 30th Street

Main Street Farmers Market Council Bluffs – Thursdays, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  • May – September, Corner of 9th Avenue and South Main Street, Council Bluffs

Omaha Farmer’s Market in Aksarben Village – Sundays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  • May 5 — October 20, 67th and Center

Omaha Farmer’s Market in the Old Market – Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • May 4 — October 19, 11th & Jackson Streets

Papillion Market Faire – Wednesdays, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  • June 5 – September 18, 1st Street Plaza located off 84th and 1st Street in Downtown Papillion (New Location in 2013!)

Wohlner’s Midweek Market at Midtown Crossing – Wednesdays, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

  • May 1 – September 25, Parking garage next to Wohlner’s at 33rd and Dodge

Village Pointe Farmers Market – Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  • May 4 – October 5, 168th & Dodge
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