Master Of Meditation


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Hello everyone. Did the title of this blog post get you? Sorry, it won’t be about the master of meditation but it will be about my thoughts and experience on meditation. Feel free to keep reading or if you aren’t interested, check out our other posts!!

Anyways, during my sophomore year in college, I had taken a class on religions of the world. Three fourths of the way through the class, there was an assignment that required us students to physically attend a religious event at a site of our choice. My friend, Nancy, and I decided to go to the Zen Meditation session at Bluestone Zen Practice Community (dedicated to the practice of Zen and the fundamentals of Buddhism). I never really thought about how hard meditation could be. It just seemed so easy, having to sit most of the time. After this session and lessons from class, I realized that meditation was more than just having your eyes closed and breathing.

Nancy and I entered the building not knowing what to expect. It was around 7am so there were no lights turned on. Curtains were not put up either so it created darker/dimmed lighting. Candles were lit and it was quiet, but in a way where everything just seemed so soothing and peaceful. The session finally started when it was time. We all sat on a pillow on the floor. There wasn’t much talking at all and so Nancy and I just did our best to follow along. The whole experience was eye opening, showing me that there is so much more to it. Having to clear my mind while meditating was so much harder than I thought. I kept talking to myself in my head and thinking about trying not to think. I just couldn’t seem to clear my mind, and still haven’t mastered it. In the end, I appreciated the art of meditating a lot more. I definitely saw how this could be a really good routine for my body and mind.

After reading the article written by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on lessons from meditating with the Dalai Lama, it made me feel a sense of comfort and happiness. He talked about how he had a personal one-on-one meditation session with the Dalai Lama. The part that I loved from his article was the part where he talked about how the Dalai Lama smiled and laughed while replying back with “After doing daily for 60 years, it is still hard.” I felt so comforted that someone as holy as the Dalai Lama was so sweet and encouraging. The overall article also talked about how Dr. Sanjay Gupta became a changed man because of this experience and the decision of applying what he learned to his everyday life routine.

Giving things a chance before judging was the reminder that came to me after this experience and again, after reading this article. Meditation is a way to calm the mind and help people with their body. It is just so cool to me now because there is such a deep meaning to it, and it helps a person in so many ways. Keeping the body healthy and staying in shape is so important but sometimes we forget to help the mind. Definitely give meditation a try. It won’t be easy but it will definitely benefit and satisfy you.

 

 

I highly recommend you to read Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s article. Click the link below to go directly to the webpage.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/15/health/sanjay-gupta-dalai-lama-meditation/index.html

Trends in Obesity Among Early Age Children

CDC

Obesity is a present health concern in the US and it’s important that it is continued to be discussed about. In order to prevent and decrease obesity rates in the US, there have been many attempts and programs to help people better understand what causes obesity, how to prevent it, and the ways we can educate people on it.

Some quick facts from a research conducted by CDC:

“Childhood obesity is associated with negative health consequences in childhood (1) that continue into adulthood (2), putting adults at risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers (1). Obesity disproportionately affects children from low-income families (3).

Overall obesity prevalence increased from 14.0% in 2000 to 15.5% in 2004 and 15.9% in 2010, and then decreased to 14.5% in 2014. During 2010–2014, the prevalence of obesity decreased significantly overall, among non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, American Indian/Alaska Natives and Asians/Pacific Islanders, and among 34 (61%) of the 56 WIC state agencies in states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.” – CDC

Who is generally at risk for obesity:

  • Low-income families
  • Young mothers
  • People without access to healthy food/alternative food options

What can we do to prevent obesity?

  • Spread the knowledge of obesity among friends, families, peers, co-workers, etc. through various use of communications and social media platforms
  • Encourage people to live a active, balance, and healthier lifestyle by:
    • Encouraging healthy habits
    • Participating in activities outside of home/schools/work environment
    • Buying produces at local markets/groceries or partaking in a community garden or growing your own produces
    • Using other methods of transportation such as walking, biking, skating, etc.

Find recommended resources for minorities here.

Community Efforts Towards Healthier Living

“Community efforts across the country are improving the health of more people by working with groups that include public health professionals, hospitals, local community members, and more.

By Nolan Ly

A lack of access to healthy living opportunities in communities can affect obesity and other preventable chronic diseases. Learn more about community efforts to support healthy eating and active living: http://bit.ly/2knQTvl” – https://www.cdc.gov/

What are the benefits to a active community?

  • Reduce pollution and trash to the environment
  • Provide social and economic opportunities for the people of the community to collaborate and develop better relationships
  • Support social cohesion, events, and activities

What can you do to take part:

  • Going out to explore and enjoy the community by walking, biking, via other outdoor activities etc., either with yourself, friends, or family members.
  • Volunteering at a community garden to help grow veggies/fruits for the community and learning more about gardening along the way.
  • Educate your family, friends, and yourself on recycling, the benefits to it, and how it’s a little step towards making the Earth cleaner.
  • Volunteer for local parks and recreation centers to support and spread awareness for environmental concerns.

Tips for this Holiday!

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1) Keep the focus on fun, not food. Indulge in only the most special holiday treats.  For example in the Chinese new year eve dinner, the dumpling is the most special dish, and when families prepare the dumplings, they will hind the couple coins in the dumplings, who gets to bite on the coins, who will have the best luck at coming year.  It’s fun to eat the dumplings to find the coins, but keep in mind not overdoing it.
2) Staying physically active during the holidays.  A study conducted by the U.S. government found adults gained, on average, more than a pound of body weight during the winter holidays – and that they were not at all likely to shed that weight the following year.  The good news is that the people who reported the most physical activity through the holiday season showed the least weight gain. Some even managed to lose weight.
3) Toast the new year with just one glass of bubbly.
Alcohol can interfere with your blood sugar by slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream; it also contain a lot of calories – 89 calories per glass of white wine or champagne, 55 calories in a shot of vodka, and 170 calories in a pint of stout beer. What’s more, alcohol breaks down your inhibitions and judgment, which makes you that much less likely to resist the junk foods that you would otherwise be able to pass by.
4) Shop wisely this season. It’s easy to be tempted to buy things that you don’t need that are on “sale” and “clearance”. Best thing you can do to prevent this from happening is:
  • Set a budget to limit your spending on gifts.
  • Make a list of all the people you are going to buy gifts for and the things you plan on buying.
  • Differentiate wants from needs. “I want this, but do I need it?”
  • Use coupons when applicable. There are coupons available through online websites, in your mails, and in stores.

The Unmarried and Single Americans

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http://www.census.gov/

We want to highlight the contributions of people who are unmarried and/or living the “single life” in society. Let’s celebrate the idea of living and being single in the US. We are always told that we need to be with someone most of our life to be happy. But being happy starts within yourself. By being alone, you can discover what you enjoy doing, what you dislike, things that makes you happy, and so on. And best of all, the single life also means you are responsible for yourself.

Fun facts:

  • 109 million – The number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2015. This group made up 45 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older
  • 88 – The number of unmarried men 18 and older for every 100 unmarried women in the United States in 2015
  • 59 million – The number of households maintained by unmarried men and women in 2015. These households comprised 47 percent of households nationwide.

All statistics accredited to http://www.census.gov/.

Tips for the School Year!

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Staying active, productive, and attentive in school can be a challenge. Whether you’re in high school, college, or middle school, there’s something that we all need to do to be successful in school: maintaining balanced lifestyle! Here are some tips that can help you survive your school year:

  • Set your priorities on a list. What’s important to you while you’re in school is your grades. Although it doesn’t define your intelligence or who you are as a person, it does reflect on your commitment to academic achievement. List everything that you will be busy this year/semester. Is it your homework that you need to focus on? Or being able to take better notes? Or is doing a sport/club activity also important to you? See if you can determine what will impact you the most and what you have to focus on first.
  • Balance your time on a calendar or using a reminder! Timing in school is very important; deadlines, due dates, & scheduled meetings. If you know you have a lot of things to do, make sure you set at least a week or a couple days to finish. The length of time will vary depending on how much work you need to do, whether it’s a solo or group project, and the type of project.
  • Need help on homework? Don’t fear because you aren’t alone in this. You may be struggling in math or writing or reading but there are many experts and resources out there to help you. You can rely on your family members to tutor you, if not, there are tutor programs, and you can always turn to your peers/teachers/friends for extra help. Don’t feel like you have to take everything on your own because there are resources and people around you who are willing to help.
  • Make a year end goal! What’s your goal by the end of the school year? What is it that you want to achieve or maintain? It doesn’t have to be a academic goal, it can be anything. Set a goal for yourself that you can achieve; joining a photography club, getting a internship, going to the gym/working out more during the school year, or volunteering for pet shelters. The main goal is to keep you motivated towards something positive throughout the year and to have something that you want to do.

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and it’s all about promoting healthier lifestyle and spreading awareness of obesity among children. It’s important to become more educated about your health so that you can better understand the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle and the risks of making poorer health decisions. Also, the goal is to not only educate yourself, but those around you; your family, friends, peers, and more! Positive influence can make a difference in people’s perspective on living whether it is being healthier, exercising or going out more, or simply having a more positive outlook.

There are many ways to be healthier and it doesn’t mean you have to be limited in your choices. Whatever your health goal is, try some of these tips:

  • Try to include more fruits & veggies into your diet! Having a healthy diet includes a mix of all kinds of food that can offer your body nutrients. Also, a bonus is that you can eat a variety of things without getting bored of the same diet routine.
  • Cook your own food! Cooking your own food can be time consuming but have no worries, there are tons of recipe out there that is quick, healthy, and easy to make. With this, you know what you are consuming and you can better control your portions.
  • Exercise is important, but don’t stress over it! If find that you don’t like a tpye of exercise, try something else. The great thing about it is that there are many things that you can do to stay active. Daily things such as cleaning your house, going on a stroll to deliver mail, or walking up and down the stairs rigorously. It’s up to you to determine which workout is best for your schedule and body.

Other social media links listed down below!

  • Learn how one grocer in West Virginia is helping improve the health of customers by stocking toys that promote physical activity and healthy snacks in the checkout lane. http://bit.ly/2aiwILe – #NCOAM
  • Learn how you can take part in the effort to encourage more children in your community to be physically active and eat a healthy diet. http://bit.ly/1pirD0j – #NCOAM
  • Addressing obesity requires the support of communities. This National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, learn how state and local organizations can create a supportive environment to promote healthy behaviors that prevent obesity. http://bit.ly/1JS8YIE – #NCOAM

Twitter Movements!

  • @letsmove – The First Lady’s initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity.
  • @CDCObesity – CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
  • @ACSMNews – The American College of Sports Medicine. Official sponsor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

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Why You Should Be Eating More Fruits!

There are definetly easy ways in which you can improve your eating habits. Whether there’s a certain goal that you want to reach, the best mindset is to start out small. Don’t focus on the end result because it’s more about what you can do now than worrying about the future!

Eating fruits is an easy way to consume healthier food and can you in providing your daily vitamins. The best part is that you can choose fruits to your liking and incorporate them into your meals. Fruits can be eaten by itself, as a side dish/desert, or in a mixed salad. The benefits of fruits varies from each fruit. Also, if you’re craving something sweet, eating fruits is a great and healthier option!

A healthy lifestyle with a good eating habits will help maintain and keep your body healthy. Of course, it is okay to indulge yourself into your cravings every now and then. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Try to drink water on a daily basis/as much as possible. Going on a couple hours without drinking water can leave your body dehydrated and possibly affecting other parts of your body. Your skin, lips, and hair will show signs of dehydration more than any other parts of your body.
  • Daily exercise is necessary to being/becoming healthy. Whether it’s short/long and doing a easy/mediocre/intense workout is up to you. Also, try to leave time (30 min-1 hour) to work out (possibly 2-3x a week).
  • Sleep is very important for your body to rest and reenergize! So try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night! Consistent sleepless nights can do more damage to your body than you know.

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Summer Physical Activities!

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Summer is a time for outdoor activities! So put on your work out gear and get your equipments ready if necessary. Make sure to the take opportunity of the warm weather to enjoy being outdoors and engaging in summer activities. Not sure of what you should do? Listed down below are some recommendations:

  • Walking around your community and neighborhood is a great way for you to discover new restaurants, local stores, and sites you have not seen before.
  • Go running/biking/walking around local trails! It keeps you active while sightseeing and you can control your own pacing.
  • Play a sport! Popular sports in the summer is volleyball, baseball, & swimming! Of course, feel free to participate in any sport activity. Form your own team or play for a local team!
  • Rent a paddle boat, canoe, kayak, and even rent a bike. They are commonly found in areas of Minnesota lakes.

The most important thing is to have fun and be safe! Any physical activities can be harmful when done extensively so remember to let your body rest. But no physical activity is also bad for your body. It’s all about living a balanced lifestyle in different kinds of ways.

Are Instant Noodles Bad For Your Health?

“According to the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA), 52 countries consumed 97.7 billion servings last year alone. Among its highest consumers are China and Hong Kong, which together consumed 40.43 billion servings, followed by Indonesia, with 13.20 billion servings consumed. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. is not too far behind with 4 billion instant noodles consumed in 2015.” – http://nextshark.com/

So what are instant noodles? They are noodles that have been deep fried and packaged along with other seasoning packets. With just boiling water, you make a quick meal. It’s delicious of course and very cheap.

instant-noodles

www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/

Instant noodles have the reputation of being convenient, affordable, delicious, and unhealthy. Although it is loved by people throughout the world, it can be bad for your health if consume daily. Here are some reasons why:

  • The amount of sodium in a instant noodle pack is a lot more than what you should consume in a meal. Ingesting too much salt can lead one to experience dehydration, damaging the kidneys, and other parts of your body.
  • Instant noodles does not offer nutritional value to your body. Most of it is carbs, sodium, and saturated fat.

Like any other junk and fast food, you should consume instant noodles in moderation. You can always add more water to the broth and other veggies to make it a more balance meal. But don’t try to replace your diet with instant noodles and remember to cook your own meals as much as possible.