Why You Need A Hug

I just love this website for it’s uplifting and inspirational comments.

Check out:  www.Happify.com



Happiness May Be Just a Tight Squeeze Away: The Link Between Mood and Touch


By Jessica Cassity

from:  Happify.com 



You know that warm and fuzzy feeling you get while hugging someone you really like? Well, part of that sensation comes from feeling cared for—affection is a usually clear sign someone wants you nearby. But much of the happiness-boosting power of a hug, a pat on the back, and even a squeeze of the hand is actually physiological, not psychological.

How Your Brain Reacts to Touch

“A number of studies show that when people touch you, your brain produces oxytocin,” says Paul Zak, PhD, director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University and a self-proclaimed “hugger”. Oxytocin is that powerful brain chemical associated with bonding and relationships, characteristics that that have earned it nicknames including “the love hormone”, “the trust hormone”, and “the happy hormone”.

But the amazing powers of touch actually start at that first moment of contact.

When you hug, cuddle, or hold hands, the physical pressure stimulates touch receptors, tiny nerves embedded in your skin all over your body. A biological chain reaction is triggered when these touch receptors are activated, sending signals from the skin to the brain’s reward center. As these signals are interpreted, the brain releases oxytocin, producing a feel-good flow of chemicals. It sounds complicated—and it is—but this process happens almost instantly, thus the immediate boost in happiness and feeling of connection with touch.

It Doesn’t Need to Come from a Loved One for You to Feel the Effects

Hugs and kisses are two surefire ways to get oxytocin flowing, and one reason physical affection is often an important part of close relationships. But the mood boost from physical contact doesn’t happen only after touching a close friend or loved one: “All kinds of touch produce this sensation,” says Matt Hertenstein, associate professor of psychology at DePaul University and head of the school’s Touch and Emotion Lab.

Shaking hands with a stranger, giving a high-five to a teammate, or getting a hands-on adjustment from a yoga instructor can all result in this feel-good effect. And, as most people already know, so can massage, says Hertenstein. Even 10 minutes with a massage therapist (or a generous friend) will light up your brain’s reward center, get the oxytocin flowing, and have a big effect on your mood, not to mention help relieve aches and pains. Most scientists think that even self-massage—like rubbing your own feet—can trigger these sensations.

Why Touch Also Lowers Stress Levels

While these various types of touch are sending your happiness levels soaring, they’re doing another equally important thing, according to Tiffany Field, PhD, founder of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine: “Touch lowers the production of the stress hormone cortisol”. You know how a big hug from a good friend can miraculously help your worries disappear? Science says this actually happens! The mechanism that causes this is still somewhat unclear, but Field believes it has something to do with the way touch typically slows the heart rate, shutting off some fight or flight instincts.

Get the Benefits

It may be cheesy to say “reach out and touch someone” but that truly is one of the easiest ways to trigger this positive chain reaction. If you’re in a romantic relationship you can probably come up with a number of ways to meet this goal. But there are countless ways to get the same sort of effect from interactions with friends, family members, acquaintances, strangers, and even yourself.

Here’s how:

• Have kids? During story time rub your child’s back. You’ll both benefit from extra touch.

• Regularly see friends or acquaintances? Become a hugger. Seriously: Paul Zak says he’s hugged thousands of people and he’s all the better for it.

• Like fitness? Sign up for a partner yoga class, a team sport, or an obstacle event like a mud run. Each has numerous built-in opportunities for connection.

• Want to volunteer? Altruism is of course good for happiness, but charity work that involves teamwork—like manual labor—likely has built in hugs and high-fives too.

• Squeamish about reaching out? Take matters into your own hands by learning a few acupressure techniques, giving your feet or hands a self-massage, or by lying on a tennis ball to roll out the kinks in your shoulders. Per Field, even skin brushing before a shower can help activate your touch receptors, so seek opportunities to put a little pressure on your skin whenever you can. 

Your body and mind will thank you!

Are You Thriving or Surviving?

Environmental toxins can be found in what you eat, drink, breathe, feel and think. You may not be aware of toxins, but if you want to be healthy, being educated on the latest in toxins is a must! Chronic conditions, like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity, may be associated with environmental toxins in your body.

The pearls of wisdom from expert speakers at The Detox Summit are essential to your health. Join us online for free from August 4-11.

This Detox Summit will provide you with the information you need to:

• Learn about environmental toxins in food, air and water
• Understand internally-generated toxins, like thoughts, emotions and behaviors
• Recognize toxins of all types and eliminate them
• Focus on breakthrough solutions to gain more energy and vitality

Navigate your way through today’s toxic terrain when you register for the free, online Detox Summit today: https://dm177.isrefer.com/go/detoxreg/Authenticqi/

Come listen to The Detox Summit ONLINE for FREE from August 4-11, and learn to survive your toxic world! https://dm177.isrefer.com/go/detoxreg/Authenticqi

“Detox” is a multi-faceted term that means many things to people, from drug and alcohol detoxification to nutritional detoxification, or cleanses using food, smoothies and juices.
Deanna Minich, PhD, has selected 30 experts in various areas of medicine, nutrition and personal growth to offer a well-rounded, credible approach to the issues of environmental toxins and holistic health.

Here are a few of the incredible presenters:

Jeffrey Bland, PhD, Father of Functional Medicine
The Science of Nutritional Detoxification

Mark Hyman, MD, Functional Medicine Expert
Toxins and Chronic Disease: Why Detox is a Necessity for Good Health

Jeffrey Smith, Leading Spokesperson on GMOs
Genetically Modified Foods as Toxins in Everyday Eating

David Wolfe, Superfoods Guru
Foods to Enhance Vitality and Detox

Rainbeau Mars, Fitness Model and Actress
A Full Spectrum, Superstar Approach to Everyday Detox

Better yet, if you register today you’ll have access to the following FREE eBooks as soon as you register!

•Food & Spirit Nourish Your Whole Self™ Report, by Deanna Minich, PhD

•Detox Your Medicine Cabinet: 26 Herbs and Supplements that Treat Common Symptoms, by Aviva Romm, MD

•Top 7 Therapeutic Foods, by Kelly Brogan, MD

•10 Tips for Helping Your Loved One with Autism, by Martha Herbert, MD, PhD

•Benefits of Vitamin D, by Soram Khalsa, MD

Come listen to The Detox Summit ONLINE for FREE from August 4-11, and learn to survive your toxic world!

I’ll see you at the Summit!

Kelly Haigh, RN
Authentic Qi Health Coaching

Rewire Your Brain


Rewire Your Brain for Lasting Well-Being and Inner Strength

by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

view original at: www.happify.com


The brain is the organ that learns, so it’s designed to be changed by your experiences. It still amazes me but it’s true: Whatever we repeatedly sense and feel and want and think is slowly but surely sculpting neural structure for better or worse. Sure, most of our mental and therefore neural activity flows through the brain like ripples on a river, with no lasting effects on its channel. But intense, prolonged, or repeated mental activity—especially if it’s conscious—will leave an enduring imprint in neural structure, like a surging current reshaping a riverbed. Day after day, your mind is actually building your brain (scientists call this “experience-dependent neuroplasticity”).

Inner Strengths: Growing the Good Inside Ourselves

I’ve hiked a lot and have often had to depend on what was in my pack. Inner strengths are the supplies you’ve got in your pack as you make your way down the twisting and often hard road of life. Inner strengths include a positive mood, common sense, integrity, resilience, love, or determination.

So what’s the best way to develop greater happiness and other strengths? It’s to simply have experiences of them, which help these good mental states become good neural traits. This is taking in the good: activating a positive experience and installing it in your brain.

You Can Use Your Mind to Change Your Brain

The science shows that each person has the power to change his or her brain for the better—what research psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz calls self-directed neuroplasticity. If you don’t make use of this power yourself, other forces will shape your brain for you, including pressures at work and home, technology and media, pushy people, the lingering effects of painful past experiences—and Mother Nature herself.

Why Is This So Important?

To survive and pass on their genes, our ancestors needed to be especially aware of dangers, losses, and conflicts. Consequently, the brain evolved a negativity bias that looks for bad news, reacts intensely to it, and quickly stores the experience in neural structure. We can still be happy, but this bias creates an ongoing vulnerability to …..(due to copyright of this material, please use link below to read the rest of the article at Happify.com)

                                                                      Please click here to read the rest of article on Happify.com


Adapted with permission from Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson, Harmony Books. Copyright © 2013 by Rick Hanson

Grow Your Own Food Summit

You’ve probably seen my invitation to attend the Grow Your Own Food Summit this week. If you’ve attended, you’re already one of tens of thousands of people in 100+ countries who are learning how to care for their soil, compost and grow their own food–not necessarily all of their own food, but something, because growing one thing reduces pollution and transportation, as well as builds community and self-confidence.

These are wonderful things. Which is why I encourage you to join us any time through Monday, July 14th–there are amazing talks going on every day for free.

Click here to register for free and learn something today:
Register Here


Feel like you missed it? Don’t worry! All 34 of the Grow Your Own Food Summit talks are also available for purchase, giving you the freedom to listen to the audios or watch the videos on your computer or mobile device. Your purchase includes the complete transcripts so you can study them and make a plan to start growing something today.

The Grow Your Own Food Summit package gives you
step-by-step information to build or improve your garden,
and that act, large or small, can change the world.

If you learn even one fact from one expert that changes your life, it will be worth it! And I guarantee you will learn, at least, one thing!

Click below to learn more about owning the Grow Your Own Food Summit. It also comes with FREE bonus gifts, like eBooks, videos, coupons and much more (over $300 in bonuses for FREE)!
Own your own copy of the Grow Your Own Food Summit


Healthy Banana Cookies

Another great recipe from Real Food e-book, a free publication of recipes from the holistic health coaches at IIN.


Banana Cookies
2 ripe bananas (mashed)
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup uncooked millet
1/3 cup cacao nibs
1/3 cup dried dates or raisins (or any dried fruit)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the above ingredients.
Scoop out 6-8 cookies onto cookie pan.
Bake for 12 to 14 min till cookie tops turn light brown.
Eat immediately.
Any leftovers store in an airtight container and keep in refrigerator for up to one week.

recipe by: Nikki Cleary, Sarasota, FL, USA,
Nikki’s Nutrition and Health Coaching,
Connect with me: 
http:// www.facebook.com/NikkisNutrition
Nikki is your connection between food and your health.

Metabolism Boosters


Metabolism is the process your body uses to convert food into energy. If your weight loss has plateaued, it could be a sign that your metabolism is in need of a boost. Learn what to eat and drink to turbocharge your metabolism and shed unwanted pounds fast.

See this clip from Dr.Oz
Metabolism Boosters

Soy is NOT A Health Food

That’s right, Soy is NOT a Health Food

Soy milk has enjoyed an undeserving health label in recent years. According to Dr. Mercola, the Chinese have enjoyed the health benefits of soy for centuries. The difference between the healthy soy that they eat and the soy that we get here in the United States comes down to fermentation. Fermented soy is good and healthy, unfermented soy is downright dangerous.

Why? Our soy is genetically modified to stand up to poisonous pesticides. The studies are showing that the damage is showing up in 2nd and 3rd generations instead of those who are originally exposed. Even if you have organic soy, (only about 5% in USA), it is dangerous. Soy has estrogen components and phytic acid.

Soy can be incredibly healthful, but ONLY if it is organic and properly fermented. After a long fermentation process, the phytate and “anti-nutrient” levels of soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties become available to your digestive system. You may have heard that Japanese people live longer and have lower rates of cancer than Americans because they eat so much soy—but it’s primarily fermented soy that they consume, and it’s always been that way. Fermented soy products are the only ones to consider consuming.

Natto, tempeh, miso and soy sauce are fermented.

Shocking to think that soy gets such a good reputation without ever thinking or considering the facts behind the good and the bad! Tofu is not fermented. There are a lot of foods that vegetarians eat, like tofu, edamame, soy yogurt, soy cheese, soy oil, soy burgers, etc. These are not healthy. Most of these products are highly processed and made with genetically modified foods.

The most troubling soy food to me is something that a lot of people feed their kids on the advice of their doctors. What is it? Soy formula. Research finds that the amount of manganese found in soy formula for infants causes brain damage in infants and behavior problems in adolescents. The manganese found in soy milk is 200 times the amount found in mother’s breast milk.

From Dr. Mercola’s site….
“The best-selling brand is Isomil (Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories), followed by Enfamil ProSobee (Mead Johnson), Nursoy (Wyeth-Ayerst) and Alsoy (Carnation).
According to Crinella and Tran, the discovery of potential harm from such products began in 1980 when a federal agency then called the Food and Nutrition Board established safe and acceptable values for manganese in adults, toddlers and infants.”

Some of the illnesses associated with soy are cancer (specifically, prostrate and breast), brain damage, infertility, thyroid disorders, infant abnormalities, immune dysfunction and severe allergy. Soy is an endocrine disruptor and it disturbs regular cell formation.

Silk bought Chinese soybeans for years, building a commanding share of the soy milk market, before substantially decreasing its support of organic agriculture altogether. Few Silk products are certified organic anymore, and some are processed with hexane, a neurotoxin. While the green “USDA Organic” seal is gone, hexane-processed soymilk can still be labeled “natural,” and if it contains organic ingredients, the label “made with organic ingredients” is still used.

Check out this article by Dr. Mercola for a list of natural toxins called “anti nutrients” found to be present in soy.

You just have to wonder how these things can be sold to us.

Please eat whole foods that are not genetically modified. Do not eat processed foods, not even those that have been pushed as health foods. Anything that has been altered in a factory should not be on our plates or in our baby’s bottles.

Because of the way we have “learned” to eat, healthy eating sounds difficult. It is not. All you have to do is break out of the old paradigm of box, can and bag eating and go back to the older values of whole foods. It isn’t hard, it is just different for many of us. Once you do the changeover, you will find, it is worth it and you will be so glad that you did.

Thanks for “listening” to me! If you feel inclined, please share your thoughts on soy…

©2013 The Health Coach Group
All rights reserved.

Wilted Organic Baby Spinach with Garlic Chickpeas

Wilted Organic Baby Spinach with Garlic Chickpeas
4 Tbsp organic olive oil
2 cloves finely minced garlic
1 can organic cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
16 oz organic baby spinach
1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add beans to skillet and toss with oil and garlic about 3 mins. 20140426-152228.jpg
3. Add baby spinach which will overflow pan. Squeeze lemon over spinach. 20140426-152243.jpg
4. Cover with lid to wilt the spinach. Remove lid occasionally to stir so spinach cooks evenly and beans don’t burn. 20140426-152728.jpg
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste and more lemon if desired.