Tag Archive | young living essential oils

The Google Drool

The Google Drool. This is the reaction we may have upon learning about the employee perks at companies like Google, Facebook and other big startup or tech companies. We may find spit running down our chins when hearing about such things as barista-staffed coffee bars, top level chef-prepared fare at various campus restaurants, snack bars arranged to foster healthy choices–not to mention arcade game, bowling and ping pong rooms; mid-day yoga and fitness classes, shower rooms with provided towels, lava lamp decor, and even the ability to bring one’s dog to work!                                                       Orange, Office, Fruit, Juicy, Food, Ripe

Tucked behind the big and small amenities that these large and hip companies are able to provide is a strong employer commitment to employee well- being. Clearly, these business savvy entrepreneurs have recognized the value of recruiting and having happy and healthy workers–and while floating in the tech bubble–have taken time to figure out what promotes such benefit.

For those of us living outside the Google Universe, we may consider ourselves lucky just to have a coffee maker, a vending machine, and maybe a water dispenser; and are giddy when someone brings in a box of donuts to start the day. That’s OK we say. We’ll trudge into work daily loaded down with our necessary sustenance carried in various totes, or use our precious lunch breaks–which we are not paid for–to frantically run out for a sandwich or slice of pizza. We’ll rush to the gym before or after work, if at all, and stuff that soggy or soaked towel back in our bag. We’ll come to work sick because we don’t have sufficient–if any–health care benefits or sick days.

While it may be unrealistic to presume that every business, workplace or employer could even provide a modicum of the level of benefits and types of environments as the Google-type giants, it can still be an important exercise to step back and consider what changes could be implemented in one’s specific setting to enhance the well-being of those who work there–dedicating a big chunk of both their life time and energy on another’s behalf.

With the sorry state of healthcare in our nation, and the associated high costs of health insurance premiums burdening both the business sector and individuals, governmental and private entities are trying to find solutions to the problems associated with an increasingly unhealthy populace. While we sit and wait for that to happen, what are some ways employment sites can, on their own, support the health and well-being of the hard working masses with some small homeopathic doses of supportive care?

If you are responsible for or can affect workplace environments, here are a few little ideas that may just spark the imagination of possibility. They are intended to be relatively easy and hopefully cost permitting. However, each are certainly not applicable or realistic for all settings, in which case, consider them a starting point for what may be for yours.

The Food Culture: The bane of our society. While we seem to understand that what and how we eat really matters, we continuously create apologies for ignoring this, and the workplace is no exception. Foods offered in workplace settings are classically “happy foods”–those which compromise health but which feed the mentality of rewarding everyone for the drudgery at hand. The assumption is that we need these sugary and junk food enticements. But, what if we thought about workplace food as replenishment–and maybe even increased productivity–rather than reward?

  • Beyond the coffee machine, offer a station with a variety of healing teas, good quality water (perhaps an infused water dispenser), a bowl of seasonal fruit or a vegetable platter when possible.
  • Institute Healthy Vending and Healthy Meetings practices. These can send a powerful message to employees, clients and business partners alike.
  • Investigate being a drop-off site for a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, where local produce boxes are delivered to participants on a weekly basis.
  • Establish relationships with health food vendors and establishments. Hire them to cater any workplace events and see if they can offer an employee discount in return.
  • Model healthy eating behaviors to inspire others.

The Physical Environment: Take a walk around the physical space and look and listen. Well-being can be depleted by a flickering florescent bulb, a slamming door, or a moldy carpet. And, it can be enhanced by simple attentions.

  •  Check to ensure that where possible that walls are nicely painted, that there is nice artwork, and that the flooring is comfortable and clean.
  • Soften the internal environment with good lighting, some plants, and relaxing sounds. Consider diffusing essential oils. Create some room to provide employees with a quiet area, and make sure you can accommodate nursing moms with a private lactation area–this is the law in many states.
  • Enhance any outdoor areas so employees can take a walk, do some stretching, take breaks or even do their work.
  • Install a bike rack, a ping pong table, provide a few pieces of fitness equipment and some yoga mats, and display signage encouraging stair climbing and other health promoting activities.
  • Make sure that No Smoking policies are strictly enforced and restricted areas are fiercely protected.

The Work Day: Here is where it can get fun to elevate the work day to something a little more special for everyone.

  • Create a “quiet hour” encouraging work in silence to mitigate background noise and foster creative thinking.
  • Create a “movement time” encouraging walking or stretching. Promote a “tag” system where a five minute movement activity, such as a lap around the building is passed from one employee to the next. There can be “play time” as well.
  • Review human resources policies. Can any “rules” be re-visited to ensure they promote caring for all rather than preventing abuse by a few? Can flexible leave time replace specified allocations? Are there ways to promote stress reduction simply by reducing punitive leaning policies or by making up your own nice ones?
  • Take advantage of the array of healing arts practitioners in your community. Create a monthly wellness schedule bringing in various specialists for some mini-sessions. These specialists might be glad to provide discounted pricing to your employees. Reward dedicated (and lousy) employees with a healing arts or healthy food gift certificate.
  • Offer in-house chair massages. Many local massage schools have students eager to practice their skills for free.

Essentially, once you begin to look at the workplace as an environment for health the possibilities are many. Become your own Google when it comes to employee perks. Even a small investment might yield some large or unexpected returns. The bottom line: let your employees know that your business is committed to health promotion because you care about them.

I would love to hear your ideas. What workplace health perks have you provided or received? What do you wish for?  Can you bring your dog to work? Please leave me a comment. Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day. Here’s to a kinder and gentler world.

In health, Elyn

quinoa cake

Chickpea Quinoa Cakes

My Plate Haiku:  Two restaurants’ menus/ Surprise me on both to find/ Chickpea Quinoa Cakes. by Elyn

Here’s how to make Chickpea Quinoa Cakes: Hench Herbivore’s Chickpea Quinoa Cakes 

 

 

 

meditation v medication march madness rerun

This is a slight revision of one of my earliest posts.   I present this older one while I am busy meditating this week on matters such as the recent break through news about saturated fats and heart disease; 24/7 automated cupcake dispensaries; and, the myriad of nutritional dilemmas that cross my path daily.  

Once upon a time, I was walking down the hall of the Health Center. Passing a closed exam room, I heard the doctor who was inside with a patient say, “Here’s a meditation for you”.  Ah, meditation. Instantaneously, I felt my spine lengthen, my breath deepen and my third eye got a nice little buzz.

Anne-Marie’s eggs

But wait. Which of the Young Living Essential Oils that I frequently use had I just inhaled? Was it the oil blend Hope or Dreamcatcher? I must have been hoping or dreaming. By the time my foot that was in back had overstepped the other one and placed itself in front on the cold, hard and very clean commercial tile, I realized she hadn’t said meditation. She said medication. Of course, silly of me. Where did I think i was?

I must digress for a moment.  The floors in the Health Center are incredibly shiny.  Everyday, they are cleaned in Zen-like fashion by a woman named Pam.  After dancing with the waxing machine,  she traces every seam with a long stick with a tennis ball attached to the end, and then with tiny little tools she meticulously erases every scuff mark with the hands of a surgeon.  The place glistens.

Perhaps my momentary delusion was fueled by the fact that the night before I had seen this amazing film called, May I Be Frank.  It is the true tale of transformation on the physical, emotional and spiritual planes of an overweight, lonely, ill, middle-aged ex-addict named Frank, living in San Francisco.  His soul yearning unexpectedly leads him into a raw food restaurant named Cafe Gratitude and the story begins. Through the use of whole foods, affirmations, holistic health modalities, and the receiving of love, true and profound healing ensues. In the film, there is a scene where he goes to a massage therapist. The massage unleashes a deep emotional release in Frank that simultaneously relieves his chronic back pain. I noticed that on the table in the massage room was a collection of Young Living Essential Oils that I am sure were used.  I tell you, these oils are powerful.

How many times a day is the word medication used in the Health Center?  I even say it about eleven times — and  I am mainly talking about green beans and sardines. Venturing a guess–seven hundred and nine times. No, I don’t think I am exaggerating. If anything, I am underestimating.  There is a lot of medication going down.  (Just today I saw a statistic that said 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription medication.)

Imagine if we could subliminally say meditation instead of medication this many times. What meditation are you taking? I am going to prescribe you some meditation. What’s that? You are calling for a refill on your meditation? Which one? You can pick it up at the sanctuary–along with your wheat grass. That would simply and certainly alter the medical paradigm.

We would do well to consider our health facilities more so like holy temples with acolytes arriving for sustenance and to promote meditation as a veritable ally in the healing of ills.  Though the practice of integrative medicine is growing in acceptance and availability–my yearning is to see it accessible and as a model of care–particularly in high risk communities. This film is one of many these days that provide witness to inspiration, possibility and even necessity.  Pam’s devotion to her task has prepared the sacred ground.  When the time comes, may we be ready.

In health, Elyn

In honor of the egg–its promise of rebirth, its seasonal symbolic representations and its role as an example of dietary dithering–for the month of April I will gladly accept submissions of MyPlate Eggs of your own inspiration.  Thanks to my multi-talented friend Anne-Marie for her beautiful  Ukranian pysanky eggs.  Please submit in comments or at zimcat@verizon.net).

IMG_0612

Emma’s My Egg

 

My Plate Haikus

The farmers’ market/Each egg at the dairy stand/A different color.  by Enki

Food made joyfully/As a gift of time and self/Feeds body and soul.  by Anne-Marie

how can you say no to a brownie?

Yesterday, I attended a conference on Bariatrics and Nutrition, put on by the Bariatic Department of my local university medical center. Bariatrics is the science of obesity.  Spell check is questioning my use of this word, so let me go appease it.  My quick search into its derivation informs me that its root bar is the same as in the  word barometer–the measure of the weight of air.  The word was created in 1965 and first used in 1977.  Fascinating. It rhymes with allopatric, geriatric, pediatric, podiatric and psychiatric, in case you wish to use it in a song or poem.

A brownie on a napkin

A brownie on a napkin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We mainly use the word regarding bariatric surgery, or the surgical approach to weight reduction.  I have worked with a few people who have had this surgery.   But, there are increasingly newer and easier procedures and more centers doing them–and thereby more people having them–so I chose to attend the conference to better inform myself.

I walked into the dimly lit hotel conference room, with bad feng shui, grabbed the last seat at a table with a few other women, put my stuff down and made my way over to the breakfast spread in the adjoining room.  From left to right there was coffee, tea, small glasses of orange and cranberry juice, a big tray of danish, another of white bagels with little individual cream cheese servings, a platter of fruit and an icy bin filled with Sierra Mist, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Brisk iced tea.

The morning session was well presented by highly credentialed physicians, a pharmacist and a psychologist.  I did learn some things that were of professional interest to me, but I was finding myself with another one of my nutritional dilemmas.  Even as the endocrinologist spoke about how these procedures and their concomitant weight loss results are greatly reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, sleep apnea, and even the high blood sugar levels of diabetes–and are thereby also reducing the cost burden to our health care system of these conditions– I was still unsettled by such invasive methods with major implications for nourishment and still uncertain as to how these experts felt about their own program.

After a few hours, I was drained from the bad room energy and  hungry.  I stuffed my dilemma and headed out to the more naturally lit lunch area. I sat next to a woman I had correctly identified as a possible kindred spirit and was pleased to find myself satisfied by a meal that met my own personal nutritional needs.   I threw on some of my invigorating Young Living peppermint oil, poured myself a glass of unsweetened iced tea and headed back feeling much better and fortified for the afternoon session.  It was a good thing too.  Three surgeons, whose mothers or kindergarten teachers must have taught them very good craft skills, were soon to reveal to me the gorier aspects of the art of bariatrics.

Currently, there are three major types of either restrictive or malabsorptive bariatric surgeries that are performed in this country–gastric bypass, gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy.  Sleeve gastrectomy is the newest of the three.  While I imagined something more benign, a young  boy wonder doctor described the procedure by way of both very virtual and actual slides of our insides.  He explained that the procedure entails using a stapling device that creates a thin vertical sleeve of stomach while the other two-thirds of stomach on the other side of the staples–is lopped off.  Oh.

The next surgeon, who at least looked like he was born before the first use of the word bariatric, also described various procedures.  He was very careful to explain that all of these come with some significant complications. Despite his obvious experience and calm demeanor, transparent in his message was that the safest surgery is no surgery.

As I was digesting this, the woman I had been sitting next to all day raised her hand and asked that if one had already had gastric banding, which has the highest weight loss failure, could they be a candidate for sleeve gastrectomy.  It had been slowly dawning on me as the day progressed, that the women at my table were not medical providers.

At the next break, at the risk of being intrusive, I asked the woman who had made the inquiry if she had the band procedure done.  She replied that she had, and that she was frustrated that she only lost 50 pounds.  She had the band re-tightened which is done by filling it with more saline solution. Quietly, she admitted that she was responsible for having made some bad choices.  I left it at that.  A few minutes later she returned from the break room which had been freshly stocked with a new array of sodas and sweets, with a Pepsi and a brownie.  Her friends muttered something to her and she replied, “How can you say no to a brownie?”

The final speaker of the afternoon was a plastic surgeon.  This guy was a Michelangelo in GQ clothing.  Through a series of slides I witnessed the graphic photos of about twenty post bariatric surgery patients clad only in their underpants, before and after the liposuction and body contouring procedures he had sculpted on them.  I saw the flaccid flesh of breasts, bellies, arms, thighs and butts hanging in folds from alien-looking bodies.  One woman’s belly flesh reached almost to the floor.  Matter-of-factly, he showed how he lifted skin, sucked out fat from one area, stuffed it back into another, and sewed people back up often around their entire circumference.  He told of removing up to twenty-five pounds of skin and fat during a single procedure.

As shocked as I was by what he was showing, it was what he explained in closing that was more distressing and deeply telling.  Some of his patients have said to him, that in retrospect, even though they may even feel better, they actually liked their bodies more before the procedure.  They may have been fat but they felt they at least had a healthier glow or more natural body. Some, despite all this, begin to express dissatisfaction with other minute parts of their bodies that they had never thought about before, and many still perceive themselves as fat as they ever were.  There is no guarantee that the person will experience a greater sense of well-being and less depression though probably many do.

At the end of the day, the director of the program who had been facilitating the conference, asked the panel of presenters, where did they think we are heading in the next five to ten years.  Are we going to be doing way more procedures as the obesity rates continue to increase?   Do we fully know what percentage of people who have undergone these procedures truly keep the weight off and the diseases at bay?  Do we know the correct prevention measures?  The presenters looked a bit deflated in response.  Regarding the prevention question, I left one respectful suggestion on my evaluation form–that the medical community should be particularly mindful of the food it offers at conferences.  We talk about healthy eating and yet are unable to establish a new food paradigm in this culture.

Digging for my car keys, I found my dilemma at the bottom of my pocket book where I had stuffed it.  I pulled it out, looked it in the eye, and asked it, “How can you say no to a brownie?”  I headed out into the late afternoon traffic.

How do you say no to a brownie?

In health, Elyn

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/14948716

my plate

My Plate Haiku

Thanks to our farmer

Blueberries kissed by the sun

So much to enjoy.

By Nan

meditation v. medication

Once upon a time, like this past Monday, I was walking down the hall of the Health Center where I work. Passing a closed exam room, I heard the doctor who was inside with a patient say, “Here’s a meditation for you.” Ah, meditation. Instantaneously, I felt my spine lengthen, my breath deepen and my third eye got a nice little buzz.

But wait. Which of the Young Living Essential Oils that I frequently use had i just inhaled? Was it the oil blend Hope or Dreamcatcher? I must have been hoping or dreaming. By the time my foot that was in back had overstepped the other one and placed itself in front on the cold, hard and very clean commercial tile, I realized she hadn’t said meditation. She said medication. Of course, silly of me. Where did I think i was?  cafegratitude

I must digress for a moment. The floors in the Health Center are incredibly shiny. Everyday, they are cleaned in Zen-like fashion by a woman named Pam. After dancing with the waxing machine, she traces every seam with a long stick with a tennis ball attached to the end, and then with tiny little tools she meticulously erases every scuff mark with the hands of a surgeon. The place glistens.

Perhaps my momentary delusion was fueled by the fact that the night before I had seen this amazing film called, May I Be Frank. It is the true tale of transformation on the physical, emotional and spiritual planes of an overweight, lonely, ill, middle-aged ex-addict named Frank, living in San Francisco. His soul yearning unexpectedly leads him into a raw food restaurant named Cafe Gratitude and the story begins. Through the use of whole foods, affirmations, holistic health modalities, and the receiving of love, true and profound healing ensues. In the film, there is a scene where he goes to a massage therapist. The massage unleashes a deep emotional release in Frank that simultaneously relieves his chronic back pain. I noticed that on the table in the massage room was a collection of Young Living Oils (www.youngliving.com) that I am sure were used. I tell you, these oils are powerful.

How many times a day is the word medication used in the Health Center? I even say it about eleven times — and  I am mainly talking about green beans and sardines. Venturing a guess–seven hundred and nine times. No, I don’t think I am exaggerating. If anything, I am underestimating. There is a lot of medication going down.

Imagine if we could subliminally say meditation instead of medication this many times. What meditation are you taking? I am going to prescribe you some meditation. What’s that? You are calling for a refill on your meditation? Which one? You can pick it up at the sanctuary–along with your wheat grass. That would simply and certainly alter the medical paradigm.

We would do well to consider our health facilities more so like holy temples with acolytes arriving for sustenance and to promote meditation as a veritable ally in the healing of ills. Though the practice of integrative medicine is growing in acceptance and availability–my yearning is to see it accessible and as a model of care in high risk communities. I encourage everyone to google the trailer for this movie (www.mayibefrankmovie.com) and then find a way to get Frank and his film to a theater near you. You will be inspired by being witness to possibility. Pam’s devotion to her task has prepared the sacred ground. When the time comes, may we be ready.

In health, Elyn