For What Binds Us


For What Binds Us
Jane Hirshfield, 1953


There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they’ve been set down—
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There’s a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,

as all flesh
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest-

And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric that nothing can tear or mend.


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Caps VS Panthers


Last night, my husband & I watched the hockey game. Per usual, we watched the warm ups & opening.

Last night was intense to say the least. They began with a song & dedication to the fallen students & teachers of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Watching the photos of the fallen scroll by with their names, their ages & a very short description of them was heartbreaking. Watching the grown men of the Florida hockey team & the Florida fans in the crowd (the game was in Florida) cry had me in tears.

They had spot lights on the ice & in each circle was the name of a fallen person.

It was a tragically beautiful ceremony, not to mention the little boy who sang, “God Bless America,” since they haven’t been televising the National Anthem.

It was an incredibly emotional opening ceremony. But because of openings like these & the many, many other things the NHL does to support it’s community, I will be a hockey fan for as long as they are so amazing.

God Bless America y’all! 🇺🇸

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Keep it Together


This week has been CRAY & it’s only three something in the morning on Wednesday!

I’ve been dreading this week for a while now & I know I wasn’t wrong. It’s kicking my butt.

Emotions are high, information is on overload, a lot is left to my faith in God & the decisions of others. I’m praying for positive outcomes.

Heavy duty anxiety is trying so incredibly hard to take me down. I won’t let it though.


“It takes ten times longer to put yourself back together than it does to fall apart” Finnick, Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1

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STOP – You Don’t Know


You don’t look sick.

You don’t seem anxious.

You don’t act depressed.

What are these weird diseases you are talking about? Are they real?

Yoga and cannabis oil will fix everything.

Do you really spend that much time on the toilet? That seems extensive.

Why do you share so much? Do you want attention?

Do you really think you’re helping anyone with your “journey?”



Turn my body inside out, I’m sicker than you could probably ever imagine. I don’t seem anxious or act depressed? Well, there IS a computer screen between us. A face-to-face meeting would change your mind in a heartbeat. YES, these diseases are real and I indeed have them. Don’t read my entire blog for the information I’ve shared about them? Look them up. It ain’t purdy.

I will NOT use cannabis anything. It’s a personal choice. I’m not judging others for using the oils, so don’t judge me for not. It’s not something I’m interested in.

Yes, I’m on the toilet A LOT! Thanks for asking 🙂

I share because YES, people have reached out to me saying that sharing my story and my “journey” has helped them. It’s got nothing to do with attention. I’m a real woman. If I want attention, I will ask.

Step back, think first and then speak – if you must.

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7 Ways to Reduce Cortisol in Your Body


7 Ways To Reduce The Cortisol In Your Body

The stress hormone, cortisol, is public health “enemy number one.” Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels: interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease…The list goes on and on. – Psychology Today

Our bodies produce cortisol when stressed – a byproduct of innate, evolutionary programming that is designed to initiate action and elude danger. Cortisol, in addition to epinephrine, is an important stress hormone that serves a variety of functions. In fact, cortisol helps keep us alive by maintaining our body’s homeostasis (balance). It helps regulate blood pressure levels, metabolic activity, immune system responses, blood pressure, inflammation, heart functions, blood vessel function, and central nervous system activity.

However, elevated stress levels can cause our body to overproduce this hormone. When this happens, the body is prone to a number of undesirable side effects including: high blood pressure, weight gain, elevated cholesterol, heart disease, anxiety and depression, immune system damage, and cognitive problems such as difficulty learning and impaired memory.

That said, it is important that we keep our cortisol levels stable.


Related article: Doing This ONE Thing Every Day Can Reduce Anxiety and Stress


Is there anything that physical activity won’t help? Seriously… there seems to be a new study every other day that links exercise to health benefits. Anyways, getting exercise can help reduce cortisol by “releasing” pent up stress or other counterproductive emotions.

One theory is that fear increases cortisol, and that by exercising we build upon our fortitude, resilience and self-confidence…effectively counteracting potential fear and reducing cortisol levels. Theories aside, exercise in any form is a great way to reduce cortisol levels.


Any kind of meditation or mindfulness practice can lower cortisol levels. Even a few deep breaths in the middle of a hectic workday can reduce our anxiety and stress, which also lowers the stress hormone.


Researchers at Johns Hopkins University discovered a link between social isolation and increased levels of cortisol in mice. It is believed that those with a predisposition towards mental illness who are socially isolated in adolescence are more at-risk for the development of abnormal behavior later in life.

This study confirms what many scientists already knew: human bonding is important to physical and mental health at any age. Familial ties, friendships and intimate relationships are all beneficial to stress and thus reduces cortisol levels.


“Laughter is the best medicine.” How many times have we heard this throughout our lives? Dr. William Fry, a behavioral psychiatrist whose been studying the effects of laughter for over 30 years, states that laughter is inextricably linked to a number of physical and mental benefits.
One such benefit of laughter is its positive effect on stress hormone levels. Studies show that having a sense of humor, laughing and levity are all beneficial in reducing the levels of cortisol and other stress hormones.


Pretty much all of us have experienced music’s mood-enhancing properties. There’s something about putting on a favorite tune and feeling much better for doing so. Turns out that there is a chemical reason for this: music increases the number of endorphins (“feel good” chemicals) and reduces the amount of stress hormones in the brain.


Certain foods such as eggs, fish, lean meat, flaxseed, citrus fruits, berries and leafy greens can help reduce cortisol levels. Another good idea for lowering stress and reducing cortisol is to incorporate five small meals a day. This helps to stave off hunger and reduce the common food cravings that result from high levels of cortisol.

Finally, implementing a high-fiber and high-protein diet will aid in reducing stress hormones. Reducing complex carbohydrates (i.e. sugar and starches) is another idea that helps in keeping cortisol levels at bay.


This one is relatively simple to explain. Not getting adequate sleep (7 to 9 hours a night) produces a systematically negative response from the body. We’re prone to cognitive impairment and are more reactive to the environment around us – both things are very bad for stress.

It is important to establish a sleep routine. Sleep experts recommend going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including on weekends. It is also important to reserve the bedroom for sleep-related activities only. No tablets, cell phones, or laptops in other words.



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5 Drinks to Get a Flat Tummy


5 Drinks To Get A Flat Tummy

Dr. Lori L. Shemek Oct. 19, 2017

Drinks To Get A Flat Tummy
Matcha green tea, Pu-erh tea, Ginger tea, Mango lassi, & Golden milk

Golden Milk: Combine 2c coconut milk, 1t ground turmeric, stevia to taste, 1t ground cinnamon, a dash of black pepper.
Mango Lassi: Blend 1c plain Greek yogurt, 2c frozen mango pieces, 1c water, 1/4t stevia until smooth.
Other than these Matcha Green Tea (1-2c/day), Pu-erh Tea (2c/day), Ginger Tea (2-4c/day) are recommended to create a healthier and leaner you.

Chances are, you think fat is just fat right? Wrong. There are different types of fat and where it’s located is vital to our health and weight. It turns out that the stubborn jiggly fat stored in our belly area (called visceral fat) promotes a steady stream of inflammation that not only slows down our metabolism causing weight gain, but puts you at risk of heart disease, diabetes and other major diseases. Good news is that you can sip and drink your way to a slimmer you and a flatter belly. Fortunately, there are 5 easy-to-make drinks that have a powerful impact upon reducing resistant belly fat.


5 Easy-To-Make Drinks For A Flat Belly

1. Matcha Green Tea

Matcha Green tea is a powdered tea that utilizes the whole tea plant and contains compounds in this special green tea called catechins. Catechins, such as EGCG, creates weight loss by triggering the release of fat from belly fat cells and then speeds-up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy. Another benefit is Matcha increases metabolism to help you burn fat 4 times faster and shed those stubborn extra pounds.

2. Pu-erh Tea

Pu-erh tea can help you reduce weight and in particular, belly fat. It is a fermented Chinese tea used for centuries that not only flattens your belly and shed pounds, but increases your digestive health while reducing stress. Pu-erh tea contains high levels of polyphenols such as flavonoids, catechins and theaflavins, which are known for their powerful effects on blasting stubborn belly fat. Just 2 cups a day is all you need to shrink your belly, block fat cells from forming and accelerate fat loss. Two cups a day is recommended.

3. Ginger Tea

Research shows that ginger is a key player in creating weight loss success. Not only can ginger tea help with weight loss in general, it can also shrink and keep belly fat away. Ginger tea helps you to feel full, so it can help curb the urge to overeat and overcome annoying cravings.

Ginger tea also suppresses one of the main triggers of belly fat – stress. Chronic stress can cause spikes in cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for fat storage and in particular, belly fat. You can find ginger tea bags to steep or make your own with 1 inch of sliced ginger root steeped in boiling water. 2-4 cups a day are recommended.

4. Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi is a creamy and delicious belly shrinking drink. Mango Lassi is effective in reducing weight and belly fat as well as keeping the weight off. This version of Mango Lassi contains no sugar which promotes abdominal fat, the yogurt provides probiotic support, in that it plants healthy bacteria in the gut. A healthy gut promotes weight loss success.

Recent research also shows mangoes help fight obesity as they are rich in fat-busting plant chemicals. Additionally, adding a small amount of the mango skin to the Mango Lassi boosts its weight loss effect as the phytochemicals are concentrated in the skin area. One serving a day is recommended .

To Enjoy This Belly-Busting Drink: Simply combine 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 2 cups frozen mango pieces, 1 cup water and ¼ tsp. of stevia powder. Blend until smooth. Makes 3 servings.

5. Golden Milk

This delicious drink reduces fat cell inflammation to shrink stubborn belly fat and stops additional fat storage. Inflamed fat cells are the core cause of weight gain and curcumin, the active compound in the spice turmeric, is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory in nature. Turmeric has another important feature, it changes bad (white) fat cells into more metabolically active good (brown) fat cells to boost metabolism.

Delicious coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are easily burned as fuel by the body as opposed to being stored as fat. When you combine black pepper and turmeric, you increase the bio-availability of curcumin dramatically.

To Make This Soothing, Healthful Weight Loss Drink: Combine 2 cups of coconut milk, 1 tsp of ground turmeric, 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, stevia to taste (optional) and a dash of black pepper.

Losing belly fat is not just about doing abdominal exercises; it is important that you also change your diet and add foods you enjoy that will shrink and flatten your belly to create a healthier and leaner you.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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Let’s talk, dehydration.



Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don’t replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated.

Anyone may become dehydrated, but the condition is especially dangerous for young children and older adults.

The most common cause of dehydration in young children is severe diarrhea and vomiting. Older adults naturally have a lower volume of water in their bodies, and may have conditions or take medications that increase the risk of dehydration.

This means that even minor illnesses, such as infections affecting the lungs or bladder, can result in dehydration in older adults.

Dehydration also can occur in any age group if you don’t drink enough water during hot weather — especially if you are exercising vigorously.

You can usually reverse mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical treatment.


Thirst isn’t always a reliable early indicator of the body’s need for water. Many people, particularly older adults, don’t feel thirsty until they’re already dehydrated. That’s why it’s important to increase water intake during hot weather or when you’re ill.

The signs and symptoms of dehydration also may differ by age.

Infant or young child
Dry mouth and tongue
No tears when crying
No wet diapers for three hours
Sunken eyes, cheeks
Sunken soft spot on top of skull
Listlessness or irritability

Extreme thirst
Less frequent urination
Dark-colored urine

When to see a doctor

Call your family doctor if you or a loved one:

Has had diarrhea for 24 hours or moreIs irritable or disoriented and much sleepier or less active than usual
Can’t keep down fluids
Has bloody or black stool


Sometimes dehydration occurs for simple reasons: You don’t drink enough because you’re sick or busy, or because you lack access to safe drinking water when you’re traveling, hiking or camping.

Other dehydration causes include:

Diarrhea, vomiting.
Severe, acute diarrhea — that is, diarrhea that comes on suddenly and violently — can cause a tremendous loss of water and electrolytes in a short amount of time. If you have vomiting along with diarrhea, you lose even more fluids and minerals.

In general, the higher your fever, the more dehydrated you may become. The problem worsens if you have a fever in addition to diarrhea and vomiting.

Excessive sweating.
You lose water when you sweat. If you do vigorous activity and don’t replace fluids as you go along, you can become dehydrated. Hot, humid weather increases the amount you sweat and the amount of fluid you lose.

Increased urination.
This may be due to undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes. Certain medications, such as diuretics and some blood pressure medications, also can lead to dehydration, generally because they cause you to urinate more.

Risk factors

Anyone can become dehydrated, but certain people are at greater risk:

Infants and children.
The most likely group to experience severe diarrhea and vomiting, infants and children are especially vulnerable to dehydration. Having a higher surface area to volume area, they also lose a higher proportion of their fluids from a high fever or burns. Young children often can’t tell you that they’re thirsty, nor can they get a drink for themselves.

Older adults.
As you age, your body’s fluid reserve becomes smaller, your ability to conserve water is reduced and your thirst sense becomes less acute. These problems are compounded by chronic illnesses such as diabetes and dementia, and by the use of certain medications. Older adults also may have mobility problems that limit their ability to obtain water for themselves.

People with chronic illnesses.
Having uncontrolled or untreated diabetes puts you at high risk of dehydration. Kidney disease also increases your risk, as do medications that increase urination. Even having a cold or sore throat makes you more susceptible to dehydration because you’re less likely to feel like eating or drinking when you’re sick.

People who work or exercise outside.
When it’s hot and humid, your risk of dehydration and heat illness increases. That’s because when the air is humid, sweat can’t evaporate and cool you as quickly as it normally does, and this can lead to an increased body temperature and the need for more fluids.


Dehydration can lead to serious complications, including:

Heat injury.

If you don’t drink enough fluids when you’re exercising vigorously and perspiring heavily, you may end up with a heat injury, ranging in severity from mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion or potentially life-threatening heatstroke.

Urinary and kidney problems.
Prolonged or repeated bouts of dehydration can cause urinary tract infections, kidney stones and even kidney failure.

Seizures. Electrolytes — such as potassium and sodium — help carry electrical signals from cell to cell. If your electrolytes are out of balance, the normal electrical messages can become mixed up, which can lead to involuntary muscle contractions and sometimes to a loss of consciousness.

Low blood volume shock (hypovolemic shock).
This is one of the most serious, and sometimes life-threatening, complications of dehydration. It occurs when low blood volume causes a drop in blood pressure and a drop in the amount of oxygen in your body.

To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids and eat foods high in water such as fruits and vegetables. Letting thirst be your guide is an adequate daily guideline for most healthy people.

People may need to take in more fluids if they are experiencing conditions such as:

Vomiting or diarrhea.
If your child is vomiting or has diarrhea, start giving extra water or an oral rehydration solution at the first signs of illness. Don’t wait until dehydration occurs.

Strenuous exercise.
In general, it’s best to start hydrating the day before strenuous exercise. Producing lots of clear, dilute urine is a good indication that you’re well-hydrated. During the activity, replenish fluids at regular intervals and continue drinking water or other fluids after you’re finished

Hot or cold weather.
You need to drink additional water in hot or humid weather to help lower your body temperature and to replace what you lose through sweating. You may also need extra water in cold weather to combat moisture loss from dry air, particularly at higher altitudes.

Older adults most commonly become dehydrated during minor illnesses — such as influenza, bronchitis or bladder infections. Make sure to drink extra fluids when you’re not feeling well.

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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