6 Reasons Why Reading is Good for Your Health

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

There are many benefits of reading, but did you know many of these include improving health. Including reading into your daily or weekly routine is a good idea for many reasons. Here’s a list of a few reasons you should read.

It stimulates the brain. Reading books has been proven to stimulate the brain. I can even decrease your chances of having Alzheimer and dementia. The brain is like every other muscle in your body. It needs exercise. The more you use it, the better it becomes. Reading is a great way to exercise your brain and keep it healthy.

37-1013-A0039It increases knowledge. Whatever you find interesting, you can learn more about in books. Reading can teach you all kinds of things. President Abe Lincoln only had one year of schooling, but he learned everything he needed to know to become a lawyer, a businessman, and the president of the United States by being an avid reader.

It improves your vocabulary. The more you read, the more you will pick up vocabulary words’ meanings. After a while, you’ll start to use them in every day sentences without even realizing it.

It reduces stress and encourages tranquility. Reading can actually help you relax. It has been scientifically proven that reading religious texts such as the Bible or a Christian book can lower your blood pressure.

It helps you achieve your goals. People who consistently read are more likely to have goals and achieve them throughout their lives.

Stack of vintage books isolated on white

It enhances the ability to focus. People who read are able to focus easier and are better at making decisions. Readers also, over time, learn easier by hearing information as well as by reading.

So the conclusion is that reading can make you smarter, and fiction reading can make you kinder and more creative. The best thing about reading is it is great entertainment and so much better than anything on television or playing social media games.

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5 Tips for Taking Power Naps

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Power naps are becoming more popular as people become more sleep deprived. Even if you have a full seven to eight hours sleep, you may find yourself sluggish during the middle of the day. Power naps can help you feel more energized after only 20 minutes. But if you allow your power nap to drift into full blown sleep mode, it will cause more harm than good. Here’s five tips to help you take an effective power nap and wake up refreshed.

Find a good place to nap. The ideal is a dark quiet room, but if that’s not possible, at least make sure it’s a place where you won’t be disturbed. If you’re in your office at work, hang a do not disturb sign on the door.

Drink a caffeinated beverage. This might sound wrong, but it works. Caffeine takes 45 minutes to get into your system. This gives you enough time to take your nap and have the caffeine start to kick in when the nap is over. You’ll wake ready to go.

Set an alarm to go off in 15-25 minutes depending on how long it takes you to go to sleep. You shouldn’t sleep for more than 20 minutes. If you do, you’ll wake up sluggish. Also if you have a tendency to snooze your alarm, set it across the room.

Try simple sleep techniques if you have difficulty falling asleep. Try counting backwards from 100 or concentrate on relaxing each muscle in your body. Or you can buy a sleep machine or play a sound track that induces sleep. As you get used to taking power naps, you will train your body to sleep during your nap time.

Get up and get moving. As soon as your alarm goes off, get up and do some physical exercises or splash cold water on your face. Do whatever you need to do to wake up.

The SuperStar: Dandelion

by Carole Browndandelion-free

I love dandelions. Many people find them annoying. Most consider them a weed. But they are so much more.

  • Edible. It’s recommended pairing dandelion greens with bacon, goat cheese, nuts and lemon to complement the taste. You can eat every part of the dandelion—roots, stems, leaves and flowers. … People have also incorporated dandelions into several beverages: grinding the roots for a coffee-like drink, or even making dandelion wine.

This innocuous, “weed” is actually one of the most nutrient-dense plants you can eat. It blows superfoods like spinach and kale out of the water. Examples:

  1. one half cup of dandelions contain more calcium than a glass of milk, and more ironvitamin free than spinach.
  2. One cup of dandelion greens contains 19 mg of Vitamin C, and the leaves contain more Vitamin A than carrots.
  3. And if you need some Vitamin K in your life, there’s no better source than dandelion leaves; 55 mg of leaves contain a whopping 535% of your daily value.
  4. Dandelions are also chock full of other essential minerals such as potassium, folic acid, and magnesium. 
  5. Dandelion leaves are a great source of fiber (which helps relieve constipation). The high fiber content also makes you feel full, making it a great food to eat if you’re trying to lose weight. 
  6. They also help stabilize your blood sugar, making it a great food for diabetics.
  7. They are also incredibly high in antioxidants, and because they are a diuretic, they help cleanse your body of toxins.

Here’s a quick recipe to try if you’re brave enough:

  • Raw dandelion root, chopped up
  • Tea kettledandelion tea free
  • Mug
  • Strainer, sieve, or cheesecloth
  • Hot pad
  • Cast iron skillet or other heavy pan
  • Flavoring herbs, milk, and sweeteners
  1.  Roast the dandelion root lightly to bring out the very best in its flavor. (You can use raw root, but roasted root has a complex and earthy flavor that makes the perfect compliment to cool mornings and cold weather nights.)
  2. Bring the water to a full boil.
  3. For each 8 ounces of water, you’ll want to add one heaping teaspoon of roasted dandelion root. Steep for 10 minutes to get a full, robust flavor and color.
  4. Once the steeping has finished, pour through a strainer, sieve, or cheesecloth to separate the root from the water. Flavor, if desired.
  5. When your drink is a safe and comfortable temperature, sip and enjoy!

 

 

butter free

  • Proof! They are a tried-and-true method of proving whether someone loves butter or not. Check it out. Pick the most perfect dandelion blossom you can find, pluck it, and gently but steadily hold it beneath the person’s chin you’re dying to know about their butter likes. IF that said chin shows yellow, well, you’ve got your answer. Butter lover! 🙂

 

little-boy-in-dandelions free

 

 

  • They’re available as bouquets of flowers for the kids to pick. It’s a ritual that many, many kids have used to gain favor from mothers, grandmothers and other influential people to gain a smile!

 

 

 

 

Last of all, they’re FREE! Who could ask for more from a SuperStar! 

stars free

 

 

 

 

Five More Important Ways to Stay Healthy during Winter

by Carole Brown

I’m not a professional dietitian, doctor or whatever in diagnosing what ails you, but here are some thoughts and/or suggestions to check out. Be sure to talk with a professional/doctor before using any of these vitamin/herbals.

active

Keep active. It’s essential to support our health and well being. Moving your exercise indoors during winter will help to keep you warm as well as fit and healthy. Be sure to spend time warming up before you start your exercise as it can take a little longer for your joints to loosen up in the cold weather.

 

beauty-skin-free

Skin health. The cold weather can affect our skin and contribute to conditions such as dry, itchy skin, chill blains and eczema. Reduced humidity, drinking less water than you would during summer or possibly due to reduced circulation which may decrease the flow of blood and nutrients to the skin are some reasons.

  • Use moisturizers daily to help keep the skin moist and supple. 
  • Supplements containing vitamin E or garlic help assist blood circulation.
  • Psoriasis or eczema? Try taking fish oils which provides omega-3.
  • Sunscreen. Sunburn can happen even when the weather is cold!

 

cold-free

Keeping bugs at bay. Although we can do a lot to support our health and immunity during winter it is not always possible to avoid catching a cold or flu. The viruses that cause colds are spread by sneezing, coughing and hand contact.

  • Wash or sanitize your hands regularly.
  • Avoid close contact with someone who has a cold.
  • Keep household surfaces clean as well as kids’ toys when someone in the family has a cold.
  • If you are ill, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, including water, hot tea and soup.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine and get plenty of sleep.
  • Supplements such as vitamin C, zinc and echinacea may help relieve the symptoms and reduce the duration of a cold.

 

stress-free

Stress and healthy mood. 

  • Stress is a part of everyday life.
  • Some stress helps us to meet challenging situations, but excessive amounts of stress can have negative effects.
  • Stress can lower the resistance to nasty bugs (it depresses the immune system).
  • Stress increases your need for dietary magnesium which is important for muscle and nerve function.
  • Many of the B vitamins e.g. B1, B5, B6 and B12 are also needed for a healthy nervous system.
  • The herb St John’s Wort may help to relieve nervousness, irritability and help support emotional balance. It may also be beneficial to help promote healthy mood balance. But make sure to talk with your doctor or healthcare practitioner before starting a supplement like this.

 

circulation-free

Circulation. During winter hands and feet often are cold. Since they are extreme parts of our bodies (the most further from our heart which pumps the blood that keeps us warm) . Vitamin E and the herb Ginkgo help to support peripheral blood circulation, thereby alleviating cold hands and feet. MOVE with gentle exercise: helps improve circulation. Wear socks and gloves!

Stay healthy. Stay positive. Most of all, enjoy winter–whatever works for you!

5 Tips for Taking Power Naps

Power naps are becoming more popular as people become more sleep deprived. Even if you have a full seven to eight hours sleep, you may find yourself sluggish during the middle of the day. Power naps can help you feel more energized after only 20 minutes. But if you allow your power nap to drift into full blown sleep mode, it will cause more harm than good. Here’s five tips to help you take an effective power nap and wake up refreshed.

Find a good place to nap. The ideal is a dark quiet room, but if that’s not possible, at least make sure it’s a place where you won’t be disturbed. If you’re in your office at work, hang a do not disturb sign on the door.

Drink a caffeinated beverage. This might sound wrong, but it works. Caffeine takes 45 minutes to get into your system. This gives you enough time to take your nap and have the caffeine start to kick in when the nap is over. You’ll wake ready to go.

Set an alarm to go off in 15-25 minutes depending on how long it takes you to go to sleep. You shouldn’t sleep for more than 20 minutes. If you do, you’ll wake up sluggish. Also if you have a tendency to snooze your alarm, set it across the room.

Try simple sleep techniques if you have difficulty falling asleep. Try counting backwards from 100 or concentrate on relaxing each muscle in your body. Or you can buy a sleep machine or play a sound track that induces sleep. As you get used to taking power naps, you will train your body to sleep during your nap time.

Get up and get moving. As soon as your alarm goes off, get up and do some physical exercises or splash cold water on your face. Do whatever you need to do to wake up.

 

Guest Author Carole Brown – 5 Ways to Renew Your Youth

CaroleBrown 2Carole Brown

Carole Brown lives in Southeast Ohio and is always on the lookout for catchy titles and suspenseful plots. The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, her debut inspirational novel, was a ACFW Genesis semi-finalist. The first book, Hog Insane, in her cozy mystery book series, has recently been released. She has also written five children’s books, Racy, the Rabbit, dealing with character traits, and won two awards for her poems.

Carole has written her whole life as newspaper reporter, editor of journals and newsletters, and research manuscripts. When not penning her own novels, she enjoys mentoring beginning writers and founded a writer’s group called Circle of Pens where she can mentor to her heart’s content. Her passion for serving continues in her secretarial work and coordinator for the state of Ohio with ACFW.  

She and her husband have traveled extensively throughout the United States ministering and counseling. They have particularly enjoyed the western states where they’ve labored with the Native Americans and many other specific places where she gathers folder for her writings. They continue to enjoy traveling, their grandsons, the country life and city lights, gardens, and good food.

Connect with her here:

Personal blog
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Goodreads

She also is part of several other blogs:

Stitches in Time
Barn Door Book Loft

5 Ways to Renew Your Youth!

by Carole Brown

I wanna stay young in heart forever!

Centuries ago people were fascinated with the thought of remaining young forever. As far back as the 5th century, Herodius wrote of the Fountain of Youth. But the enthralling legend really comes to life during the reign of Ponce de Leon (Governor of Puerto Rico) when his search for the Fountain of Youth took him to what is now known as Florida in 1513.

Healers and Doctors offer proof of what this vegetable or fruit or some new vitamin can do for our “healthy young” looks. Billboards and advertisements taunt us to try this or that. Society measures our success on our youthful looks.

Everywhere we read or go, everywhere we turn, youth and vitality and energy is thrust into our faces and heads and lives. It’s no wonder America is obsessed with our size, looks and youth. It’s totally necessary for our lifestyle.

Or is it?

Don’t get me wrong, I want to live a healthy, joyful life as much as the next person. But the approach to getting there is what has me worried. I believe each of us must choose for him/herself, with no false values, how to proceed. The prophet, Isaiah, in the Bible says those who love God (and wait upon him) shall renew their strength, mount up as eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not faint.

Here’s a list of some things that are important to me:

Exercise: How I choose to do this must work with my life schedule whether it’s running while playing games with my grandson, taking walks with family, using my exercise bike, or running up and down the stairs many times during the day. The important thing is choose what’s best for me, choose what I can do, and keep at it.

Eating: Making healthy choices for us has been something we’ve always tried to do, but as hubby and I advance in years, we’ve worked harder to include more things that we feel are beneficial to our well being. I’ve cut back on certain items, changed how I cook things and cook much smaller portions. Works for us.

Live simpler: More is not better and whether it’s cutting back on scheduled events that are not important or discard unnecessary items in our life that no longer mean much to either of us, we’ve done that. The result: more time for the really important people and events that relax us and bring smiles to our faces.

Make my own choices: This is a personal one with me. Everyone reaches this period in their lives when you know it’s time to change some things. For me, I’ve had to drop out of some volunteer duties–too much stress with keeping up with all of them, hence, no feeling of joy. Realizing I can’t attend every writing meeting, every ministry meeting, every event going on around the country. I must study and choose with wisdom what will benefit my writing career the most the move on those choices. And finally, choosing the people and things that are the most important to me.

Finally, drawing closer to God, the way I feel he’d have me do. Prayer and more Bible memorizations and study are filling me with a renewed sense of accomplishment and peace. And most of all, I realize that the youthful feelings I’m enjoying come from these most prized things: health, good food, simpler living, confidence in my own choices, and God. What more could a person want?

HogInsaneCentered1(1)Hog Insane

A Denton and Alex Davies Mystery

by Carole Brown

Award winning fiction author, Carole Brown, offers a new suspense driven cozy series featuring Denton and Alex Davis. With writing full of turns and twists, Her ability to build suspense has been likened to the early works of James Patterson.

The Davis couple load up their RV and eagerly head for the Smokey Mountains, with the Mountain Mist Campground at Pigeon Forge as their final destination.

Newly retired, Denton hopes to use this trip to rekindle the dwindling flame of his marriage. In spite of her protests, he is sure his wife looks forward to the rest and relaxation as much as he does.

They barely arrive at their destination when a risk-taking motorcyclist speeds past them, followed by a careening sports car.

Denton remembers the fatal tangle of his nephew ten years earlier … with the bike Denton taught him to ride.

Things continue to go south the rest of the evening, culminating in Denton finding a body sprawled in the brush beside the path to their cabin.

The man’s booted feet toe down, as if they had dug into the ground. Biker gloves on his hands indicate Denton may have seen him earlier in the day.

Denton squats and presses two fingers alongside the neck of the victim. No pulse. Just as he expects.

The bullet hole in the victim’s head says it all. Denton has a job to do and a mystery to solve.

To buy this novel, click on the novel cover picture.

To read Tamera Lynn Kraft’s review of Hog Insane, click this link.