My Top Ten Favorite Moments

I recently thought about what my ten favorite moments in my life have been, and I decided to compile a list. I was astonished to see that eight of the ten moments occurred while I was traveling, and six of them involved water. Every single one of these moments is special and sacred to me, and full of meaning. I’ve made sure to list them in chronological order. I will add ten blog posts in the future which will discuss each of these magic moments.

Aegean Sea

The night I gazed at stars in Yosemite

Japanese-American beauty pageant win

Medical School graduation

Swimming with dolphins in Kihei, Maui

Winning IFBB Pro status at Team Universe

Budapest at 7 pm

Mornings in Maldives

My last night in Porto

Chaweng Noi Beach

The Acu-Hump Massage Tool

I was recently given the opportunity to try a self-massage tool called the Acu-Hump, which is designed for home use by individuals who are suffering from back, hip and buttock issues. Generally speaking, I am definitely a fan of at-home self-massage devices, and am happy to promote any such products which not only are effective, but also easy to use. The Acu-Hump fits the bill on both counts. Now that I have used the device, I am now able to write a review here so that you can learn more about it and decide whether you might want to purchase one for your own use.

Let’s start with the general design of the Acu-Hump. The Acu-Hump is made of a slightly flexible polyurethane, and is rigid enough to support one’s body weight if someone sits on the device or lies on top of it during therapy. Granted, I’m only 126 pounds, but it certainly doesn’t feel like the Acu-Hump is in any danger of caving in on itself when I use it. There are 14 humps on the treatment surface which work like shiatsu or pressure point nubs, and they are extremely effective at causing a release of tight, tense muscles, just like a deep tissue massage from a professional masseuse. In addition, the gentle curved design of the Acu-Hump gently stretches the muscles which are being treated, whether you place the unit under your upper back, your hip, or your buttocks. Simply stated, if you like deep tissue massage like I do, you will LOVE the Acu-Hump.

I am very impressed by how effectively the Acu-Hump causes a myofascial release in any area it is used on, whether it is in the upper back (latissimus dorsi, trapezius), hips (piriformis, sacroiliac joints), or the buttocks (glutes, muscles which surround sciatic nerve). You can use the Acu-Hump daily if you want, since it will cause a wonderful reset of overused or tight postural back muscles and muscles in the buttocks. It’s great for everyone from those who sit at desk jobs all day, to people who stand or move around a lot, and it’s fantastic for athletes who pretty much live with muscle aches and pains.

The Acu-Hump is well designed, and the pressure points sit in excellent positions for just about anyone who uses it. It is also surprisingly lightweight for how durable it is, so it can be taken to the office, to sporting events, you name it. My favorite use for the device is to sit on it, because I always have pain in the muscles of my buttocks, but I also love using this on my upper back right below my shoulder blades, and I also love using it at my sacroiliac joints in my lower back to soften the tendons and to get some relief from stiffness and pain which I experience on occasion. It’s so versatile that you can use it on numerous areas to get a great stretch while also benefitting from the self-massage properties of the device.

The Acu-Hump is available on Amazon. For more information on the Acu-Hump, and to visit their website, please go to  https://www.acuhump.com

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was given free product and compensation for my time to put together this informative blog post, but the opinions expressed here are truly my own.

The Best Ways to Boost Your Confidence Today



Image via Pexels

Here is another outstanding and motivating article from Karen Weeks of elderwellness.net which you will enjoy reading!

Are you struggling with your confidence? Signs of low self-esteem include being overly sensitive to criticism, having anxiety, lashing out, and being socially withdrawn. These tips, courtesy of Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog, can help you boost your confidence.

Start Exercising

Exercise helps boost your confidence in different ways. Your improved health, strength, and appearance make you feel good about yourself. Working out gets your endorphins going, which boosts your mood. Feeling happier and improving your mental health can help you feel confident. Plan to fit in the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of exercise weekly.

Improve Your Nutrition

What you eat can affect your attitude and how you feel about yourself. Pay attention to how different foods impact your mood and enjoy more of the healthy foods that improve your outlook. Filling your diet with nutritious, whole foods also helps you stay healthier and either lose or maintain your weight, which can boost your confidence in your physical appearance.

Change Your Career and Update Your Resume

Millennials held an average of six different jobs by reaching the age of 26, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whether you’re on track to reach that number or you’ve been in your current job your entire career, looking for something new can help with your confidence if your job is stressful or you deal with difficult coworkers. 

Before seeking a new position, you can create a slick and professional-looking resume by utilizing an online resume creator. You can choose from a library of professionally designed resume templates, and then add your own copy, photos, colors, and images. What’s more, this tool is free to use and a resume can be created in minutes.

Master Positive Self-Talk

Negative self-talk about the things that make you different chips away at your confidence. You might tell yourself that you’re too nerdy, aren’t worthy, or don’t fit in. You may not even realize you’re saying these things to yourself. Realizing you’re using negative self-talk and switching to a positive internal voice can boost your confidence. It might seem awkward at first, but keep saying positive things about yourself to change your thoughts and grow your confidence.

Learn to Relax

A survey from the American Psychological Association shows that 49% of people surveyed had negative effects on their behavior due to stress, including tension, getting angry, and yelling. Feeling constantly stressed can interfere with your confidence. Make time for self-care, try yoga, do breathing techniques, or meditate to relax. 

Volunteer

One of the benefits of volunteering is enhanced self-confidence. Feeling good about helping others can improve how you see yourself. You might also discover new skills and talents as you volunteer. Look for a cause that speaks to you and find ways to help. 

Improve Your Circle

Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel better about yourself can help your confidence. If your friend circle constantly breaks you down, it’s difficult to overcome your insecurities. Find a group that accepts you as you are and has a positive attitude to uplift you. If you want to meet new people, check Meetup for groups in your area that match your interests.

Boost Your Confidence

Little changes add up to increased confidence. With the tips above – including sticking to an exercise regimen, eating nutritiously, switching up your career and updating your resume, and learning to relax – you’ll be able to improve your self-esteem. 

Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog is as varied as the blogger herself, who works as a physician, certified nutrition coach, body transformation coach, fitness trainer, model, writer, researcher, and sponsored athlete. Read more informative articles today!

Goals to Give You the Confidence to Return to the World

Image: Pixabay

Check out this inspiring and motivating article written by Camille Johnson on how to get back in gear after being on lockdown for so long.

Do you lack the confidence to re-enter the world after being indoors for an extended period of time? Maybe you lost your job due to the pandemic and are just now going back to work. Or maybe you were affected by lockdowns and are just now finding it safe to socialize again. Whatever the reason, it’s important to make sure you are confident enough to get back into the swing of things. Employ the tips below to help you build the confidence you need to overcome your fears.

Build your confidence and fitness with customized nutrition and fitness programs from Stacey Naito!

The Importance of Setting Goals

Setting goals is one of the most important parts of any lifestyle change. With just a few small changes, it’s possible to dramatically improve your life.

Many people have trouble setting and achieving their goals. This is because they don’t have a clear idea of what they want or need in their lives.

To avoid this, create a list of goals to give yourself the confidence you need to take on the world again. You could create lists with short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals that will help you reach your ultimate goal: happiness!

Reduce Debt, Reduce Stress

Debt is a major source of stress for many people, with 47% of Americans feeling overwhelmed by their debt. While there are a number of factors contributing to the level of debt Americans hold, one major factor is student loans.

Some people might believe that they are not able to take on more debt as they try to pay off existing balances. However, there are ways you can reduce your debt while still saving money, such as refinancing your home.

Refinancing allows qualified homeowners to decrease the equity in their homes and free up cash or reduce their monthly mortgage payments. Additionally, refinancing can be beneficial if you’re looking to take out a different type of loan. For instance, some people refinance a low-interest mortgage for one with an even lower rate.

Go Back to School

Oftentimes, people stop going to school when they get married and have children or they simply start to feel overwhelmed with life. But if you’re interested in progressing in your career, then why not consider going back to school?

Back in the day, it was common for people to care for their kids as a stay-at-home mom. In today’s society, women and men work outside the home. That said, being a working parent can be extremely difficult, and sometimes it might seem like there isn’t an alternative.

Fortunately, there is hope! Going back for an online degree in business, criminal justice, or nursing allows you to complete your education in a more flexible way. It also offers a lot of perks, such as:

  • The ability to balance work, family, and school
  • Not having to commute every day
  • Learning at your own pace
  • No dorm fees

If you’re considering going back to school for a degree or certificate program, now is the perfect time. It’s an investment that can pay off for years to come in higher wages and better job prospects.

In Closing

Setting goals, both short and long term, is not only a great way to stay on track, but it gives you the confidence to return to the world. When you are clear about what you are trying to accomplish, it’s easier to plan a course of action.

How To Treat Depression Naturally

Copyright: yarruta / 123RF Stock Photo

Despite the fact that I was trained in the traditional ways of medicine, I prefer to utilize natural supplements and foods to treat conditions, only turning to prescription medications as a last resort for my patients. I have a particular aversion to prescribing antidepressant medications, and honestly believe that such meds only serve as a bandage for the root cause, which almost invariably is a combination of hormonal imbalance and malnutrition.

If you are experiencing new symptoms of depression, the first thing you should do is visit your primary care provider and have bloodwork drawn. Issues such as thyroid dysfunction, low progesterone, and low testosterone can often pop up in an individual who is experiencing depression. Make sure to also ask your provider to check vitamin D3 levels, since that substance actually acts like a hormone in the body. Other blood values which can be tested include DHEA, IGF-1, and estradiol.

When a patient comes to me complaining of symptoms of depression, I always recommend the following three supplements as part of the patient’s daily regimen:

Vitamin D
Folate 800 mcg
B-Complex

Once my patients are on this daily regimen for a few weeks, I have them visit for a follow-up to see if their symptoms have improved. If the improvement is marginal, I add SAMe and 5-HTP to the regimen, both of which are great for treating pain issues. If anything is off balance with respect to a patient’s hormones (and in most cases, something is), I will treat the imbalance directly with organ support compounds and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

In addition to natural supplements, I also recommend that patients consume whole foods, and avoid processed foods at all costs. If possible, I also urge them to engage in regular exercise, as such activity can have an immense positive impact on mood. I encourage people to find balance in their daily lives, and will often demonstrate breathing exercises or discuss meditation with them while they are in the office. I also remind them to stop and enjoy what they have in their lives, to be grateful for what they have instead of dwelling on what they lack.

Rather than turn to SSRI’s, please consider the natural approach first if you are dealing with depression!

Soothing Sounds You Can Customize

Source: 123rf.com
Copyright: fermate

Check out this interesting website I found, which enables you to customize soothing sounds which you can use as a nice background or “white-noise” experience:

https://asoftmurmur.com/

The dashboard for A Soft Murmur, which is available as an app for both iOS and Android, allows you to adjust the volume or omit different nature or soothing sounds: waves, rain, wind, thunder, fire, birds, crickets, singing bowl, white noise, or coffee shop. For example, combining rain and thunder sounds will mimic a thunder storm. If you choose to upgrade to their premium plan, you can then access 13 more sounds, and have access to any new sounds as they are added to the app.

Simple Yet Effective Self-Care Tips for Entrepreneurs — And Why It’s So Important You Make Time for Them

Check out this very informative article by Jason Lewis, targeted towards entrepreneurs to help them learn how to practice self-care.

Jason Lewis is a personal trainer, who specializes in helping senior citizens stay fit and healthy. He is also the primary caretaker of his mom after her surgery. He created StrongWell.org and enjoys curating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.

Most entrepreneurs are of the notion that they have to clock an inhuman number of hours each week to obtain some semblance of success. This is the only explanation for the fact that 33% of small business owners put in an average of 50 hours per week and another 25% clock 60 or more. Yet, while many of the world’s most successful business owners agree that a nine-to-five workweek just won’t cut it, most also concede that self-care is an integral component of long-term success. If you have plans to make it big in your industry, take time out of your busy schedule to treat yourself.

The Case for Self-Care

According to Psychology Today, self-care is a key driver of leadership and workplace success. Below are a few benefits of self-care that back this assertion:

  • The most effective self-care activities, which include eating healthy, working out, getting enough sleep, and spending quality time with the people you love, are all known workplace performance enhancers.
  • Self-care keeps you from working more, which actually helps your productivity. Research shows that working more than 50 hours a week produces zero productivity gain.
  • Self-care activities boost your creativity and confidence and decrease your stress and anxiety.
  • Self-care prevents career-crippling crises from occurring.

Now that you understand the importance of self-care, explore ways you can incorporate it into your schedule for the most impact.

Get Plenty of ZZs

Successful people may burn the midnight oil or wake up at the crack of dawn, but rest assured, they sleep. According to a CNBC report, some of the most successful people — including Jeff Bezos, Tobias Lutke, Bill Gates, and Lebron James — get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. So, wake up or go to bed at whatever time you want, but be sure you clock your eight hours.

Hit the Gym

Exercise is important regardless of how you choose to make a living. However, if you won’t rest until you find success as an entrepreneur, then get moving. Per one survey, 76% of some of the most incredibly successful business leaders workout for at least 30 minutes each day. Research shows that exercise releases brain chemicals that improve memory, boost concentration and increase mental awareness.

Exercise does not have to be your typical weightlifting and running routine. Richard Branson plays tennis and kitesurfs. Jessica Alba does yoga and Krav Maga. Oprah averages at least 10,000 steps per day.

Remember to Breathe

Though relaxation seems like the opposite of productivity, you need to take a breather if you want to have more energy to put toward your business. Relaxation techniques will vary for everyone, but a few of the more effective ones include listening to music, writing, walking, and simply breathing. It also doesn’t hurt to say no to tasks that add a lot of stress and little benefit to your life.

Another way to relieve stress is by choosing to structure your business as an LLC. An LLC comes with numerous tax advantages, limited personal liability, minimal amounts of paperwork, and ample flexibility. They are easy to form on your own or via an online formation service — call the Zen Business phone number for assistance.

Find Ways to Save Time

As an entrepreneur, you may feel like you have to do it all, but know that you really don’t. In fact, by outsourcing menial but still important tasks, you can save time, money, and energy — all of which you can put toward the growth of your startup.

Self-care is crucial to your success as an entrepreneur. Start showing yourself some compassion today by doing any of the above. Reach out to Stacey for the fitness and nutrition guidance you need to be your best self

Image via Unsplash

Living Room Makeover

Have you ever lived with the same furniture and decor for so long, you just need a change? I had the same living room sofa, throw pillows and area rug for 15 years, and was so tired of looking at the same color scheme and the same items, that I was itching to switch it up. Another compelling reason to redecorate was the fact that the living room I have had for the past 3-1/2 years is much smaller than two previous living rooms I had before, so the dark color story which I had selected made my living area feel very dark and cavelike, to the point where it just depressed me. It was also painfully obvious to me that when I moved into my current space three years ago, I had thrown the living room furniture into the space without any regard for design, flow or mood. At no point did I take any pride in that particular space. It took three years of me avoiding that one room in my house, only because the colors were too drab, before I became aware of how much it was affecting my mood.

Living room before
Living room after

Since I could not afford to replace the espresso leather sectional I have had since 2004, I decided to purchase a light colored rug, light colored blankets, and light colored pillows. By June of this year, I began searching for and purchasing new items for the space. I also sold the 8 foot tall artificial palm which was wedged in one corner of the room, and I got rid of the second ottoman which took up much needed space. When I chose the textiles for the living room makeover, I made sure to select soft, cozy fabrics, so that when people sat on the sofa, they would feel snug and comfortable.

What do you think of the redo?

Corner before
Corner after
Entertainment unit before
Entertainment unit after
Entertainment unit form above
Living room from above

Beautiful wool lotus rug is the centerpiece of the living room redo

How the Pandemic Made Wine O’Clock Acceptable

Copyright: iridi

Shortly after COVID-19 caused a global lockdown in early 2020, many of us began to regard having a cocktail before 5 pm as acceptable. Conventional rules about how most people used to live were thrown out the window when we were suddenly trapped inside our homes, bored, stressed out, and uncertain about our futures. I don’t doubt for a second that many people turned to booze as a coping mechanism, to quell concerns over the mysterious virus which froze the world in trepidation, and to soothe anxiety over job security and financial wellness. Perhaps some individuals also turned to libations to manage the aggravation which resulted from the constant close proximity to family members from whom they used to be able to escape when they were able to leave the house for work. I suspect boredom has triggered a fair amount of drinking as well.

Copyright: ajlber

During full lockdown, alcohol merchants made it easy for people stuck at home craving a glass of cabernet sauvignon to order online or through apps and have ethanol elixirs delivered to their residences. Even now, with restrictions largely lifted, restaurants and other food-centered businesses have come up with cheeky suggestions on how alcohol can calm spirits ravaged by the chaotic and confusing events which COVID-19 created. It’s surprising to me how so many people who never drank on a regular basis admitted to drinking on a daily basis during full lockdown, because it smoothed the rough edges of a tumultuous and frightening time in history.