nikki's picture

Join Our Team or Sponsor Us in the TAKE STEPS BE HEARD Walk for Crohn's & Colitis

When asked to set my goal I sat back and thought what is my highest vision?

That would be to find a cure for digestive diseases, improve the quality of life for YOU, Me, and Everyone we know, AND HAVE FUN DOING IT!  Getting active is one of the best ways to improve your well-being, so let's do it together!  Please help me reach my goal and join me in getting healthy!  Join the Team or Sponsor!

If you are reading this you probobly already know that I just recently had my second bowel resection due to Crohn's Disease.  Let me say, nothing motivates you to want to exercise and move your body like having your ability to move with ease taken away.  For each of us every day that we have the ability to move our wonderful bodies is a day to CHOOSE to celebrate life.  It is so precious to have the strength and ability to have a healthy body that is capable of moving, walking and enjoying life!

While recovery from surgery like this is never on your top 10 ways to spend your time, having fun with others while making a difference most certainly is!  I thought that having this as motivation to connect with others, while improving all of our health by adding in some motivation to get our bodies moving would be a good way to "TAKE STEPS" for all us to improve our lives.

This year, I have started a team and we will be walking in the Take Steps for Crohn's & Colitis Walk. Take Steps is CCFA's national evening walk and celebration and the nation's largest event dedicated to finding cures for digestive diseases. It is a casual 2-3 mile stroll to raise money for crucial research, bringing us closer to a future free from Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Over 1.4 million American adults and children are affected by these digestive diseases. While many suffer in silence, Take Steps brings together this community in a fun and energetic atmosphere, encouraging them to make noise and be heard.

Your donation will help support local patient programs, as well as important research projects. This cause is very important to me and I appreciate your help as we fight for a cure! In addition to donating, you can join me at the event. There will be food, music and kid's activities. The more money we raise, the closer we will be to making life more manageable for patients who live with these diseases every day.

Please join me or donate to my efforts to support CCFA in finding a cure!


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nikki's picture

Using Lavender Essential Oil to Aid in the Healing of Sunburns

Lavender is one of the most popular and well known essential oils for relaxation, but did you know that it is also good for treating mild sunburns?   Its soothing, natural anti-inflammatory qualities and ability to promote new cell growth help to heal the tissue and soothe the pain associated with sunburns.  Lavender it one of the few essential oils that can go directly onto the skin without dilution, however it is also very beneficial when combined with aloe vera jell in this case.  I can say that over the years I have personally seen amazing results from using lavender essential oil with our clients, my family, my friends and myself! Lavender is a must to take with you to the beach or to just have in your natural remedy medicine cabinet.

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Ashlee's picture

2012 Safe Sunscreen Report

According to the Environmental Working Group’s 2012 analysis of sun protection products, only one in four sunscreens are considered safe and effective.

Sunscreen, like the majority of perfume, lotion and cosmetics on the market today, contains harmful chemicals that could outweigh its beneficial, sun-blocking effect. While most experts still promote sunscreen usage for skin safety, they disagree on the way it works. There is no conclusive evidence linking sunscreen usage to skin cancer prevention; In fact, some researchers have even found sunscreen users to be more susceptible to the disease than non-users. One reason for this is that Vitamin A, a common sunscreen ingredient beneficial to the skin, develops carcinogenic properties when used on sun-exposed skin.

Find out if your sunscreen is safe with the Environmental Working Group’s 2012 Sunscreen Guide.


Photographer: Bryan 

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nikki's picture

Even When You Want to Run Away

While in a recent class on spiritual growth I had the opportunity to witness the bravery of new students as well as more parts of myself that were, not quite knowing how to open, to trust, to surrender to the beauty that is who we truly are. When I recevied this beautiful poem from a teacher in California,   Chameli Ardagh, Founder of Awakening Women Institute

I hope it inspires and moves you just like it did for me!

"Even when every inch of you wants to run the other way,

when the pain seems too deep to bear,
even when the the jungle of entanglement seems way to thick.

You stay.

Even when you fail,
when you find yourself crawling knee-deep in rancid stories,
even when you betray yourself, again.
Your being keeps opening through it all.

Your holy being unfurls like a flower,
through the unbearable,
through the longing,

through the doubt,
through the silence,
through the fear,
through the stunning simplicity of each breath.

Your roots are no longer clinging to mirages of certainty,
they now draw their nectar from deep within the movement of life,

from within the magnificent pulse of Shakti.
A new breath, A new moment,"

Chameli & The Awakening Women Team.

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Beth's picture

Slow Down, Give Yourself Time

I am on the go a lot.  But something I do give myself credit for is being slow sometimes.  The thing that allows me to be slower is that I give myself time. You may call me a putzer. On the days where I can be the putzer that I remember being as a child, life is so much less stressful. Everything goes a lot more smoothly. I think to some people this may sound unrealistic.  But it is not really unrealistic at all.  And it keeps you calmer...which in the end gets things done the right way and in return you feel at ease and less anger arises when something does not go right. Because if you are rushing and have less time, when something doesn't go the way as planned, it is so much more stressful finding a solution than if you had actually given yourself time in the first place.  Think about it... isn't it strange how every time you are driving and you are running late every driver around you seems to be moving too slow? It makes you angry and anxious. It seems every driver around you is a jerk and doesn't know how to drive correctly. If you really took the time to reflect, that mostly occurs when you made the choice to leave the house at the last minute. Every driver out there can't possibly be getting in your way on purpose. Right? Isn't it funny how when you wake up at the last minute you rush around so much that you spill things which take time for cleaning....the coffee seems to take longer when it is brewing and the toaster just isn't toasting your bagel fast enough? That is not a way to start your day. Why not make the habit of setting your alarm a little earlier?  If you are a big time snoozer then set it even earlier. To me, it is worth it.  Getting up a little earlier is nice.  Waking up my daughter is less hectic and sometimes I can even hop into bed and lay with her for a couple of minutes and slowly wake her up.  The battle goes away and there is a calm beginning of the day that you can already feel affecting your mood immediately. It sounds like torture to some people when I tell them what time my daughter and I get up in the morning to get ready for school. But I believe we do not feel as much stress as others getting ready in the morning. She takes time getting out of bed, we take time getting dressed, we can relax and watch cartoons, we eat a full breakfast sitting down, and we putz. The funny thing is, with all of this time, I still sometimes find us rushing right at the very end:)  But I think you get the idea here. Every second after opening my eyes is not a hectic rush..., which I know, can be the case for a lot of people. So for this blog I will simply suggest for your health...give yourself more time in the morning. And then continue this time allowance throughout your day.  Some more examples of what I do for myself so I can be the putzer I was meant to be is I leave for work with an ample amount of time to not feel stressed while driving. Along with a nice drive, I can even find the time to do nice things for other drivers such as letting cars in front of me and other little favors like that. I also give myself more than enough time to be at work before the day gets busy. It is a grounding thing for me. There I can slowly set up the massage room I will be working in that day, chat a little with my co workers and maybe even help them set up and complete anything else that needs done with ease. We work to teach stress relief and to give stress relief and this is one way that I can suggest the reduction of stress that I actually try to do in my life. Of course this is not always the case for me...but it is something that I know from experience, works and feels good and definitely brings me some peace in my life....extra time gives me time to putz without feeling stressed. I love it!  It works really well while hanging out with my family:)  My husband, who is a chill man originally from the south and my seven year old girl are slow movers and it is a good feeling to be on their wavelength:) Good luck with putzing....and remember to be a successful putzer, you must give yourself the time!

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