Your Home, Your Environment and Neuro Topo Graphics Will Influence Your Wellness

Why are we overweight? How can we improve our mood each day?

What about our diet and exercise, is there a way that our environment can net better health?

Can urban planning make a difference in our body thermostat?

Dr Georgia A. visited The Kiki Vale Show and shared an exciting concept that carries credence 

in the area of wellness. 

During this interesting and eye-opening commentary, Dr Georgia shares knowledge on the BUILT ENVIRONMENT.

She explains how a friendly feeling, accessibility, an aesthetic pleasing environment and sidewalks are all part of the formula called the BUILT ENVIRONMENT.

Click the play button to be enlightened and moved to health and wellness.

Dr Georgia D Andrianopoulos discusses the health benefits of a BUILT ENVIRONMENT

The earth is what we all have in common.

Wendell Berry

Create a life of Ola Kala by creating your healthy environment!

Mix Up That Workout!

Friends, COVID seems to want to hang around, but that doesn’t mean you should let the pounds do the same. Work to maintain a healthy body by keeping your weight in a healthy range. Furthermore, protect all aspects of your immune system by eating right, sleeping well and moving often.

On that topic of movement, variety will encourage you to stay in motion. Did you ever consider the hula hoop?

Listen to the Kefi podcast to learn more.

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being.

Plato

Remember, fit is not a destination, it is a way of life. Find your special groove.

Ola Kala,

xo kiki

Trident The Turtle Emmualtes Ikarian Longevity.

Trident The Turtle Lives

TODAY WE SAVED A TURTLE. A routine drive down Livingston presented an unexpected opportunity to rescue and preserve a piece of the natural world. As we approached the red street light, my family and I noticed passing traffic in the midst of a vulnerable turtle attempting to find its way home. As the cars zipped by, we instantly put our car in park, jumped out, grabbed the little guy, and returned him to his normal habitat.

TODAY WE REALIZED THE POWER OF NATURE. Like our little friend crossing the street, instinctively retracting his head into its shell to protect himself as cars drove by, we too intuitively felt the urge to protect. Nature has this way of helping us help ourselves, and it’s truly magical, thus we felt grateful for the opportunity to lend a hand in the name of mother earth.

TODAY WE DISCOVERED WHY REPTILES LIVE SO LONG, AND HOW WE HUMANS CAN LEARN FROM THESE LITTLE GUYS. We named our friend Trident, bonded with him during the car ride back to safety, and then set him free to find his way to where he came from. Trident’s personality and behavior prompted us to learn more about his way of life. We discovered that he has much in common with the islanders of Ikaria, which is to say they live a very long time due to the lifestyle.

Ikaria is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 10 miles southwest of Samos. On this island, people live healthy and happy, at least from what I experienced during my visit in 2018. Here, longevity is the culture of the people, and it has similarities to our buddy Trident.

According to Pets On Mom…

“The longest-lived of all the turtle species, the Galapagos giant tortoise, eats a strict vegetarian diet that’s full of greens and free of fat and cholesterol. These slow-moving gentle giants are extremely docile and peace-loving creatures that generally live stress-free lives. This combination of calm and healthy living is likely another explanation for their extreme longevity.” Healthy food, movement, no stress, and peace of mind are excellent habits to practice for enjoying a long and healthy life.

Interestingly, “turtles and tortoises are some of the most long-lived members of the reptile family. Even small species that are typically kept as pets, like box turtles and terrapins, live between 30 and 40 years if they’re kept healthy. Larger species such as sea turtles are estimated to live about 80 years. The giant tortoise, the largest of all land turtles, typically lives at least a century. Some have even been known to live for more than 200 years!”

TRIDENT THE TURTLE
Missing Trident….but enjoying the beach

In Greek we say…για μασ καλη ζωη—Cheers to our good life.

Ola Kala MOMENT: Go slow. Eat well. Keep peace with yourself. Move regularly. Control stress. Venture out for some fun.

Wishing all of it for you, I remain committed to harmonizing my mind, my body and my spirit.

YIA MAS!

The Fastest Growing Sport Gives Me Kefi!

Yia mas! Hello, thank you for stopping by today to learn about a fun sport that energizes mind, body and mood! Now this is worth investigation.

Since COVID-19 officially locked Chicagoans into Shelter In Place, I have lost touch with my friends. Outdoor activities have been limited to watering my garden and walking my beloved black lab- Athena. Sidebar, Athena is the most beautiful Greek goddess canine. Love her to pieces. God knew what He was doing when he created animals to befriend humans!

My lovely Athena.

Friends make life sweeter and help you remember that as a humans we are created to connect and commune with others. Additionally, you get to know your friends in different scenarios, so mix things up a little!

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

Plato

On this subject of friends and play, I was so happy when one of my gal pals reached out to me impromptu a few days ago to join a pickle ball quad. Although I have never before played the sport, I jumped at the invitation to try. This isn’t the first time I have heard about pickle ball. However, since I’ve been so cooped up and I miss my good buddies, I experienced a shift in thinking regarding fitness and friends. Moreover, the word on the street is that pickle ball is fun, fast and great for improving fitness. Maria, Paula and Laura assured me that I would quickly pick up the rules. Awesome! I ordered my racquet and we coordinated when to meet. All week I was anticipating our get together on the courts at a park near my home. And- I would put my new tennis shoes to work! Thank you Brian.

This morning we did it, we played pickle ball!!!!

For any of you who are looking ways to stay fit, shed pounds, socialize, compete or just spend a morning/evening outdoors, please consider this invigorating sport.

PICKLEBALL

Being a person of adventure, variety and Kefi, I must always make things fun, especially with my workouts. Pickle ball meets all the qualifications.

First and foremost, the κίνηση, or movement, invigorates the three pillars of wellness. Moving releases endorphins, it clears the mind and in a group setting it strengthens the spirit sharing a positive experience with others. The link between mind, body and soul is scientific fact. Research reveals we have three separate neural pathway networks, leading to the head, the gut and the heart. This is why it’s important to understand the Ancient Greek wisdom of mind, body and soul and identify ways to improve and maintain health and well being in each area. Pickle ball does all this for me, and I will play all summer!!!!

I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and explore new ways of staying vital while having a good time.

TIP: Limitations are in your mind, and you must release those and replace with possibilities. You will be so glad you did.

Health, happiness and Ola Kala to you my friends!

kiki

A Smart Tool To Shed COVID-19 Pounds

Blessings in the name of good health!

This world wide pandemic named COVID-19, which we are navigating in a plethora of ways, is reeking havoc on our minds and bodies. Now more than ever, we must do everything in our power to harmonize our health, and one vital component of that is maintaining a sensible weight.

Severe obesity increases the risk of a serious breathing problem called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is a major complication of COVID-19 and can cause difficulties with a doctor’s ability to provide respiratory support for seriously ill patients. People living with severe obesity can have multiple serious chronic diseases and underlying health conditions that can increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

CDC.gov

It’s time to rethink our food consumption and reclaim our healthy physiques.

At #IIN, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, we are taught that there are over 100 dietary theories to consider for fuel implementation, and thus no one diet works for all. It’s up to you to listen to your body and allow it to reveal which nutritional plan is suited to your wellness.

I can say with certainty that portion control, measuring food and tracking weight each lend an element of weight loss or maintenance success. These all have to do with numbers!

kiki

In ancient times, the Pythagoreans practiced a simple and organized life with the power of numbers. A sense of numbers will connect us to progress as numbers allow us to measure how far we have come or how little we have accomplished.

When it comes to being of sound mind and healthy body, one will benefit from paying particular attention body weight. Excess weight fogs the mind, injures the body, decreases confidence and impairs movement. For these reasons and avoiding COVID, let us work hard to keep weight in check. The tool to physically and mentally keep us on track is the almighty scale!

Scales don’t lie.

Eat better, sleep better and live well when your weight is in check with the truth of a scale.

In the meantime,

Ola Kala- kiki

Ari You Hungry?

During this COVID-19 pandemic where we have been mandated by the state of Illinois to Shelter In Place, one thing is for sure; we will keep eating! The key is to eat for health while building and sustaining strong personal immunity!

Like my cool ancestral doctor believed, prescribed and touted…

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” 

Hippocrates

Hippocrates considered nutrition one of the main tools a physician can use. When we reference the famous Hippocratic oath which most modern day doctors take upon graduation, we find that the central importance of diet is hidden. However, the original Greek oath, literally translated, says:

“I will apply dietetic and lifestyle measures to help the sick to my best ability and judgment; I will protect them from harm and injustice.”

Hippocratic Oath

The dietetic and lifestyle measures are just one word in Greek, διαιτήμασί, pronounced as deaytimasy. Do you notice the word “diet” in there. It means as much as a lifestyle regime, with a focus on diet.

To be sure, food has dual functions.

In food excellent medicine can be found, in food bad medicine can be found; good and bad are relative.

De Alimento

In these times of health/wellness uncertainty due to the spread of Corona, let us implement positive and preventative action with food that will boost immunity!

Today, I would like to share an interview with you, which I recently conducted with Ariana Ziogas, the founder of Ari You Hungry. Ariana masterfully creates her recipes to nurture mind, body and spirit with a Hippocratic approach! Ariana is a practicing public accountant with a marketing background. Her love of cooking led her to design @Ari_You_Hungry as a creative outlet.

Join me in Ariana’s kitchen for an insightful Q & A regarding healthy eating, meal prepping, recipes and more.

Ariana Ziogas – Founder ARI YOU HUNGRY

KIKI: What’s the secret to eating healthy every day?

ARIANA: The secret to eating healthy everyday, is to plan ahead! The main reason I am able to stay on track is because I meal prep. I discovered that when I’m not prepared with food options and I get home late, I’ll just grab and eat the first thing I see in my pantry! During college my shopping guidelines helped me to stay on track with food.

If I don’t buy it, I wont eat it.” I always make smart decisions at the grocery store, which includes buying a majority of real, whole foods instead of unhealthy snacks and desserts. Overall, I follow an 80/20 rule. 80% clean eating and 20% of the time I eat whatever I’m craving- life’s too short to not enjoy dessert!

Ariana Ziogas

KIKI: What motivated you and keeps you motivated to eat and stay healthy?

ARIANA: What motivates me the most is realizing that food is medicine and I really want to take care of myself now, so I am healthy for my future self. Longevity is very important to me. Generally speaking, my family eats and cooks very clean, we are conscious and mindful of what we put in our bodies. This ultimately keeps me motivated as well!

KIKI: You told me that you began experimenting with recipes in college. Why?

ARIANA: Freshman year of college I was on the dorm room meal plan, and I had a negative relationship with food. I did not really know how to listen to my body and I didn’t fully understand which foods were good for me. During my sophomore year I decided to get off the meal plan, which meant I had to learn to cook for myself. Between sophomore year to senior year my meals got A LOT better. Looking back, in the beginning of my experimentations, I’m not even sure if my meals year were edible. Overall, I learned to cook and prep through trial and error (and google!)

The summer before my senior year of college was when I became really interested in nutrition leading me to do a lot of reading and research on the benefits of what we as people should eat. As soon as I graduated from college and I moved back home, I was able to cook most meals with my Dad. This is the time period for when the art of cooking really clicked for me!

Ariana and her dad Alex!

KIKI: Do you cook for your family?

My family and I always cook together- this is how we bond, and growing up it was something we always did.

KIKI: Do you follow any certain diet?

I do not follow a certain diet, but I mostly eat and prepare Mediterranean meals. That means a lot of fruits and vegetables, clean proteins, legumes, fish, whole grains, etc. I consume a moderate amount of poultry and dairy, and rarely do I eat red meat.

KIKI: Which cuisine do you connect with most?

I love and eat Greek because I grew up mostly eating that type of food, and this cuisine connects me to my heritage and family. My dad was born in Greece (Igoumenitsa, Greece). Its intriguing to go back to his village and experience the connection between eating Greek in America and how it emulates my dad’s meal time routine growing up in his hometown village in Greece.

KIKI: How did you come up with the catchy name Ari You Hungry?

ARIANA: My cousin helped me come up with the name of my instagram and business. Last July, I was taking lots of pictures of recipes because I had the idea and desire to launch a food account, but I could not think of a good name for it. Then one day I experienced an auspicious omen when my cousin came up with the name @Ari_you_Hungry and my instagram was born. I posted my first picture and the account continues to grow every day and in every way!

KIKI: Your meal prepping is GOALS! I noticed on your insta page that you prepare an entire meal instead of having all options separated to piece together later. I love that you package food as a meal…do you precook your meats before placing in package?

ARIANA: Yes, I pre-cook all my food so when I’m ready to eat, I just pop meal in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

MEAL PREP TIPS: 

Write out your meals for the week, make a list of ingredients you have in stock at home and items you need to buy at the store. This preparation list will allow you to shop efficiently when you head to the grocery store avoiding overbuying, or coming up short with missing ingredients once the cooking process begins. Preparation is the big time saver and helps so much with executing wonderful meals during the week!

MEAL ORGANIZATION:

*Have at least two options for each meal (breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner)

*Breakfast- oatmeal or a smoothie

*Lunch- a salad with at least 3-4 toppings

*Snack- vegetables + hummus, apple + almond buter, protein bar, popcorn

*Dinner- a protein, vegetable, and a grain

KIKI: What is your favorite vegetable?

ARIANA: My favorite vegetable is broccolini because it’s so easy to make and it’s a tastier version of broccoli in my opinion!

KIKI: What is your favorite fruit?

ARIANA: Strawberries for sure

KIKI: What is your favorite protein?

ARIANA: Favorite protein is salmon or grilled chicken.  

KIKI: What’s your favorite fat?

ARIANA: Avocados! They’re the best and I have at least 1 avocado a day. I incorporate avocados in a smoothie, on toast, with my eggs, smashed at the bottom of my tacos, alone or with some chips. Avocados are so versatile, beneficial and good for you!

KIKI: What is your favorite Starch?

ARIANA: Sweet potatoes are my favorite starch! I love making sweet potato fries, and this is one of my favorite sides for dinner or when I add to my salads.

KIKI: On your insta page (ari_you_hungry) you share a lot of information about Orgain. Why do you suggest Orgain powder and how do you mostly use it?

ARIANA: Orgain is my favorite protein powder! I’ve been drinking orgain for the past 6-7 years and it’s a very clean, organic, plant-based protein powder. It’s soy free, dairy-free, gluten-free, no added sugars, and has an amazing taste! I add a scoop of vanilla protein to my morning oats and always add some to my smoothies. (use code “AYH” for 30% your first order online!)

KIKI: Which utensils must you have in your kitchen?

ARIANA: Since I love to meal prep, I definitely use my microwave a ton. Also, a baking sheet is mandatory because I roast vegetables in the oven at least twice a week.

KIKI: What’s your view on sugar?

Out of everything I eat, I try to monitor my sugar the most.

Sugars are sneaky, especailly in food products. Yogurts, kombuchas, protein powders, and so many other foods contain hidden sugars.

Ariana Ziogas

KIKI: Do you use sugar replacements, which ones?

For baking, I use coconut sugar as an alternative. If I’m preparing a refined dessert, I’ll use the sugar free replacement. Also, I use monk fruit as a sweetener in my coffee or frappes.

KIKI: What message do you want to spread about eating?

ARIANA: Cooking and eating do not have to be a chore, rather something to look forward to creating an opportunity to bond with family, significant other, roommates, etc.

When it comes to eating specifically, do so in moderation. From my experience, whenever I restrict my eating or avoid certain food groups, I end up binge eating it in the future, which isn’t ideal. Instead, listen to your body and choose foods to make you feel good, this is the best way to go. Also, there’s always a healthier alternative! (For example, my healthier version of Reese’s!)

RECIPE: HEALTHIER REESE’S COPY CAT PEANUT BUTTER CUPS

First, mix together 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and 1/4 cup coconut flour (or sub almond flour). Next, line a muffin tin with 6 cupcake holders and scoop the peanut butter mixture into it. Tip: to flatten the peanut butter hit it on the counter a few times so it holds the mold perfectly. Freeze for about 10 minutes. Then melt 1/2 cup of dairy-free chocolate chips with 1 tbsp coconut oil and pour into the cups. Optional: sprinkle some sea salt on top. Finally, add them back to freezer for about 10-15 minutes before eating.

Healthier Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

KIKI: As an adult why do you cook?

Cooking a meal packed with nutrients and whole foods is one of the best things you can give your body. It’s honestly my main form of self-care. Eating right and treating your body with respect is so beneficial not only in the present, but for your future self. In this lifetime, you only get one body so it’s really important to treat it right, and it all begins with what you feed yourself. When I take the time to cook and meal prep, I know I’m setting myself up for a successful week. Preparing my meals on Sundays automatically removes the stress of cooking and cleaning during the busy week ahead.

My dad inspired my love of cooking because he’s the best cook I know. Growing up we always participated in family dinners and cooked together as a family. Everyone helped each other out and it was/is really good quality time that we spend together.

My childhood included many family dinners. My dad was the cook and my mom cleaned up. For our family, the rules were that you either had to help cook the food or clean up after the meal. I hated cleaning, so I naturally ended up helping my dad cook while my sister did the post clean up with my mom!

Ariana Ziogas- founder of Ari You Hungry

KIKI: What is the Ari_You_Hungry niche?

Meal prepping and easy recipes is a niche of mine! I relate to students in college or post-college grads that now work 9-5. Generally speaking, meal prepping saves A TON of money, so I always try to post deals or cheap-hacks @Ari_You_Hungry insta page!

KIKI: How do you plan your meals?

My goal is to make sure each meal has 4 foods: fats, fiber, vegetables, and protein. I read a book called “Body Love” by Kelly Leveque- I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Kelly reveals why it’s important to ditch diets all together and implement the “Fab 4” formula to balance our blood sugars, and eat well-balanced meals, which will keep you full and reach satiety! Kelly uses science to explain our bodies and food in a simplistic method, which is easy to understand.

KIKI: What is something you hope your followers will gain from your @Ari_You_Hungry page?

ARIANA: I hope my page shows people how EASY it is to eat real foods. My goal is to demonstrate that anyone can cook for themselves, and gain healthy habits to set self for a healthy/ sustainable lifestyle without harsh restriction-based rules! Also, it is my goal to share the importance of meal prepping and how it can set you up for a successful eating week ahead.

Many thanks to Ariana Ziogas for sharing her story and giving us excellent meal prepping tips to inspire Ola Kala during COVID-19 and beyond!

Enjoy your food by meal prepping, making it easier to sustain a healthy and happy body!!

xo kiki

Flowers/Plants Aid In Healing COVID-19 Symptoms & So Much More!

Yiasas!

Today’s “Ola Kala” moment is an opportunity to appreciate the value of flowers & plants, especially in these days of COVID-19.

Let us begin here, the place at which the human race is standing amidst a global pandemic called Corona Virus.

RECAP:

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (6 feet) with people who are unwell.

Please review the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention for additional helpful & comprehensive information/prevention regarding COVID-19.

In the meantime, we address how flowers and plants can offer a bit of assistance with reducing breathing difficulty, one of the COVID-19 symptoms.

Scientists have proven that when you breathe, your body takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. During-photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This opposite pattern of gas use makes plants and people natural partners, thereby being impetus for us to place flowers/plants in an area.

Moreover, in the home and at night, photosynthesis ceases, and plants typically respire like humans, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. A few plants –orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads –do just the opposite, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Place these plants in bedrooms to refresh air during the night.

Our lovely orchid

Adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels & purify the air acting as a huge sink for carbon.

FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY COVID-19, FLOWERS ADD FAR MORE OXYGEN TO A ROOM, ESPECIALLY A HOSPITAL ROOM, THAN THEY USE.

During this time when the potentially deadly Corona virus has us captive, plants can be helpful, especially in clinics, medical centers and hospital rooms. For example, these green friends can speed the recovery rates of surgical patients, according to researchers at Kansas State University. Compared to patients in rooms without plants, patients in rooms with plants request less pain medication, have lower heart rates and blood pressure, experience less fatigue and anxiety, and are released from the hospital sooner.

Pertaining to everyday living…The Dutch Product Board for Horticulture commissioned a workplace study that discovered that adding plants to office settings decreases fatigue, colds, headaches, coughs, sore throats and flu-like symptoms. In another study by the Agricultural University of Norway, sickness rates fell by more than 60 percent in offices with plants. Now, more than ever, as the work force is laboring remotely from home, plants are a simple method of helping your immune system remain vibrant.

Furthermore, flowers are an essential part of daily living, as they are the source of sustenance for humans, animals and the environment.

IMPORTANCE OF FLOWERS/PLANTS

  1. Provide food
  2. Source of honey
  3. Source of medicine
  4. Help in pollination and crop yield
  5. Give beauty to nature and surroundings
  6. Provide Perfumes and scents
  7. Decoration
  8. To prepare dyes
  9. Insect repellents
  10. Support breeding

It’s safe to say that plants, or living organisms, interact with your body & mind in ways that enhance quality of life.

Anthophiles (lover of flowers) need and adore all types of blooming beauties. If you haven’t already implemented nature’s gifts in your life, consider doing so in order that your mood will be enhanced and you’ll breathe a little easier.

Where flowers bloom so does hope.

Lady Bird Johnson

COVID-19 will run its course any way you experience it. However, keep in mind that flowers and plants are one more beautiful and beneficial way to deal with the way in which Corona will travel.

A prayer and a flower, can potentially be a powerful combination to improve your breathing pattern and lift your spirits during these stressful times, and in all times!

Wishing you Ola Kala,

Your anthophile

kiki

Corona Connects All of Us: It’s A Time for Reflection, Shift and Cleansing

If you are reading this, you are a living, breathing person and you have most likely been deluged with Coronavirus thoughts, opinions, facts, and predictions. We are hearing the severity of the virus, we are hearing about the deaths, we are hearing about those infected, including celebrities Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, we are reading and hearing about the measures one should take in order to avoid the infectious disease and many are panicking.

Take a deep breath!

Educate yourself on prevention and maintenance.

Focus on keeping your immune system and your mind healthy and strong.

Remain calm!

Certainly, for the most part, physicians are explaining the pandemic in a similar format, the media is presenting various interviews with a myriad of experts, such as infectious disease doctors, commissioning their experience and education, and of course, the community is buzzing with their commentary. However, what would our ancient and brilliant Greek philosophers say regarding COVID-19?

Quite possibly we would hear something like. this:

Hello, my just and good citizens!

For a moment let us focus on the purpose of human life vs. the analysis of the real world. There have been disasters, tragedies, war, and disease since the beginning of time, and the human race has learned, rebounded and to this day still exists through it all. Today, what will we take away from this COVID-19 virus? How can we help each other become a stronger republic?

Aristotle argues that everything has a purpose or goal and that the purpose is always to attain some good. The “Chief Good” for humanity is the purpose for which all human action is performed. Aristotle believes that the Chief Good for humans is Eudaimonia or a state of serene and permanent happiness, rather than the momentary exaltation of the senses. In this way, our actions will be good or bad depending on this ultimate goal.

Aristotle’s Ethics

Friends, the beginning points to the end.

In the case of Corona, the happy conclusion will lead our republic to “A LIFESTYLE SHIFT.”

According to Stanford health, by in large, those severely and fatally affected by the consequences of the virus, are persons with chronic medical conditions and those over 60 years of age. The Joe Rogan Experience #1439 podcast recently presented an interview with Michael Osterholman internationally recognized expert in infectious disease epidemiology, which educates listeners about infectious disease, mostly about Corona. During the informative and interesting conversation between Joe and the Medical detective, Michael reports that those most affected by Corona are the elderly, persons with a compromised immune system, the obese and persons who are diabetic.

How can we as humans suffering from so many chronic ailments, which make the body ripe for contracting serious disease, shift our lifestyle to learn, implement and spread good health in mind, body, and spirit? And furthermore, remember that the mind, body, and spirit are connected, as we humans are linked to one another across the globe. The evidence lies in the spread of COVID-19 from China to distant corners of the planet.

In the case of our current scenario, Aristotle’s Eudaimonia would be for us to get and stay healthy. Would you agree? Living healthily, for example, is a “good” action because it provides us with good health, which in the long run gives us happiness. Each of us can do our part in this pandemic by healthfully harmonizing our mind, body, and spirit.

MIND:

Remain calm.

Prepare, but don’t overreact.

Read and heed the advice of the medical experts, but avoid inundating yourself with negative and frightening thoughts.

Do not fear the virus, focus on actions you can take to support a strong immune system.

Reflect on your day to day lifestyle and the choices you make. Think about how your choices impact your body, your nervous system, and your vitality. Is it time to shift to cleaner and healthier living for the sake of your wellness and your neighbors?

BODY:

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

VOLTAIRE

Wash your hands frequently.

Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and hydrate with clean water.

Clean your house to kill germs that may land on your body. I’m a big fan of the plant-based essential oil doTerra product, ON GUARD. My family and I use the natural and therapeutic oil blend all over our home. On Guard is a powerful proprietary blend that supports healthy immune function when used internally and contains cleansing properties which will help kill off harmful bacteria and viruses. This powerful immune and respiratory boosting blend includes Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils. It smells wonderful with this warm, spicy, camphoraceous woody aroma. To order the pure and therapeutic oil blend please click here, and by all means, email me with questions about the oil and or how to order.

Get at least 7-8 hours of restful sleep a night. To reinforce and prepare the body for rest, consider an Epsom salt bath with rosemary oil which will relax, detox & decrease muscle pain in the body allowing for a deeper sleep. Some experts believe good rem sleep is more nourishing to the body than food. Certainly, sleep recharges and repairs the cells of the body for performance.

Baths have all kinds of benefits!

Carry and apply hand sanitizers. OnGuard hand sanitizer is fresh and supports immunity naturally while killing bacteria.

Move and stretch your body. Moving around, preferably doing an exercise routine, will increase your endurance, increase bone mass, keep resting heart rate low and maintain normal blood volume. Stretch to keep things limber and flexible.

Breathe deeply, but in the confines of your home or private space because of possible airborne germs. Once you are in a clean and clear area, try the stimulating breath 4-7-8 exercise. I first learned of this practice as a student of Dr. Weil in the school of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. You will love 4-7-8 because it also helps when you are nervous or anxious.

SPIRIT

Slow down. You don’t have to do everything right now. Allow time to nourish the soul and spirit with goodness.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Phillipians 4:8

Stay grounded in the fact that your head and heart lead your body. Reflect on your lifestyle, and remember that a balanced life is a Kefi life of OLA KALA.

COVID-19 Corina Virus- this too shall pass!

Ola Kala,

kiki

Self Care

Yiasou,

Although today’s post is prompted by the cautionary and vigilant actions taken worldwide to protect immunity against the Corona Virus COVID-19, the necessitate to safeguard mind, body and soul has been embedded into my person since childhood. Part of this “Ola Kala” mindset is certainly attributed to my Greek ancestors, but even so, I was raised in a modern day household that emphasized proper rest, nutrition, movement and faith. These health-giving tenants are also part of the 12 month curriculum taught at the school of Integrative Nutrition, where I graduated last September. Since I would prefer to write this blog in under one year, let’s get right to the to the point by asking the following:

What does self care look like to you?

Do you care for yourself emotionally, physically and mentally?

How can you care for you?

Seeing that we are Bio-Individuals, the self care routine looks different on every body. Therefore, its helpful for you to honestly answer these questions in relation to your bio-individual self.

Below is a list of my essential self care routine.

KEFI L!FE ESSENTIAL ONE: Let go of the notion that you are being selfish when you routinely look after yourself.

If you are weak and not feeling well, how on earth can you be of service to others and to self ? Creating a routine which will support your wellness and maintain a healthy immune system will benefit you and your community. Each day when you take a little bit of time to feed yourself with goodness, you strengthen your being.

KEFI L!FE ESSENTIAL TWO: Get plenty of sleep. Restful sleep keeps me healthy, happy & energized.

A rejuvenating nap in Ikaria, Greece nets exhilerating energy for the remainder of the day.

More importantly, the doctors of Mayo Clinic report that during sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. … So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.

KEFI L!FE ESSENTIAL THREE: Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

Fuel your body with foods that nourish, energize and taste good. The food we eat has a direct result on how we feel physically and emotionally.

One nurse at Speaking of Woman’s Health shares that, besides tasting great and nourishing the body, food also has an influence on appetite and moods. Research shows that certain foods affect powerful mood-modifying brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are made from the foods we eat, and are present in higher concentrations after meals than between them.

Fabulous salad with 3 different lettuce, Haloumi cheese, dill and breadsticks.

Of the many neurotransmitters present in our bodies, only a few affect appetite:

  1. Serotonin: a chemical released after eating carbohydrates (sugars and starches). It enhances calmness, improves mood and lessens depression. Serotonin is made from the amino acid tryptophan. High levels of serotonin control appetite and satisfy cravings.
  2. Dopamine and norepinephrine: chemicals released after eating protein (meats, poultry, dairy, legumes). They enhance mental concentration and alertness. These neurotransmitters come from the amino acid tyrosine. Learn more at Speaking of Woman’s Health.com

KEFI L!FE ESSENTIAL FOUR: Move it or lose it.

Your body will begin to deteriorate if you do not move and allow for blood flow and oxygen to circulate. Ever notice how much better you feel after an outdoor walk? Did you ever pay attention to your body mechanics and energy after keeping consistent with physical activity for 3 months?

Doing stairs in beautiful scenery makes movement fun!

More from Mayo: Movement is a fundamental aspect of life. Movement is greater than just ‘exercise’ and does not necessarily require effort, though it does require action. Movement affects everything, from circulation to digestion to metabolism to immunity. With movement, our bodies regulate hormone activity, detoxify and respire.

Moving can be as simple as gardening or walking the dog or as challenging as training for an Ironman. Make movement enjoyable to you.

KEFI L!FE ESSENTIAL FIVE: Pray.

Daily prayer is the radio signal to God. Prayer allows you to reflect and hear a voice that guides your path to the truth & healing.

Being an avid reader on the topic of faith, I highly recommend the book titled Beginning To Pray by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom. You will be inspired by his worldly experiences, his education and his thoughts on prayer life.

KEFI L!FE ESSENTIALS SIX: “Παν μέτρον άριστον “Pan metron ariston”: Everything in moderation”

Ancient Greeks strongly believed that you should live your life choosing the mean and avoid the extremes on either side, as much as possible. Too much of anything is not a good thing. Because having both qualities produces harmony; goodness and beauty.

And now to the Corona virus... Take the time to balance all areas of your life and put into practice the suggestions of Dr. Frank Lipman, one of my favorite doctors who taught at the school of Integrative Nutrition.

Read here….30 WAYS TO BOOST IMMUNITY RIGHT NOW

I believe when you begin to care for yourself, everything will turn out Ola Kala!

kiki

Oregano- The Wonder Herb

Oregano is time-honored in almost every way, beginning with its age and origination, to its medicinal and meal purposes. We can look back over 3,000 years during Greek and Roman times when the herb was used to cure a number of health-related issues like coughs, colds, asthma, tonsilitis and toe fungus.

Of course, I’m happy to share with you that the name oregano can be credited to the Greeks. Oregano is a combination of the Greek words “oros” and “ganos” which together mean “joy of the mountains.” Incidentally, oregano is believed to have originated on the mountainsides of Greece and other Mediterranean countries making its name quite appropriate.

Mountain grown fresh oregano in Armenistis, Ikaria

The natural oregano, I captured in the above photo, was growing wild and emitting a gorgeous aroma from a sprawling patch high in the mountains of Armenistis, Ikaria. Fresh and organic foods supply the greatest desideratum of home-cooked meals, and for this reason I enjoy nurturing multiple herbs in my backyard garden. However, the human diet is the not the only aspect of life benefiting from oregano.

Historically, it is noted that Aristotle used oregano for snake bites. One day he noticed that after tortoises ate snakes they would immediately eat the leaves from an oregano plant. It is also used as a massage oil and antiseptic.

Hippocrates, my beloved ancient physician, known as the “father of western medicine,” used oregano on a regular basis to protect against respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.

 So, how did oregano make its way to America? During the first half of the 20th-century soldiers coming home from World War I had developed a taste for the herb after tasting it throughout Europe. With the pizza boom of the 1940s and 1950s, oregano found its way into American homes, and was used for a host of internal purposes.

One such use was for hot drinks. Oregano was often steeped in hot water to create tea. With the addition of some honey, this was ancient Greek’s cure for coughs, colds, and asthma.

A blast from the past comes full circle with:

KIKI’S KEFI TEA RECIPE

Ingredients:

1 large cup of hot water

2 tbsp honey

1 lemon

1 drop of oregano oil (order here)

Kefi Tea

Preparation:

Pour one drop of oregano oil into a large tea mug. Boil hot water and pour into large size mug. Squeeze juice from lemon into mug and add the honey. Drink 3 times a day to soothe sore throat until pain dissipates.

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KEFI RELIEF FOR CANKER SORE

According to Amchara, the herb oregano is a potent antibacterial with its polyphenol called carvacrol. This ingredient aids in the curing of canker sores.

Preparation of recipe:

Dilute 1 drop of oregano oil with 4 drops of Kefi L!fe extra virgin olive oil

Put the Kefi blend on the end of your finger and apply to your mouth ulcer.

ALTERNATE SUGGESTION:

Use as a gargle by adding four drops of oregano oil to a 1/4 c water.

Swoosh mixture around your mouth, then spit out.

With the spread of Corona virus , it’s critical to take vigilant cautionary action to stay well.

Get plenty of rest, proper hydration and nutrition, wash hands frequently .

If you feel a tickly or sore throat coming on, prepare and drink an antibacterial Kefi Tea to rid yourself of the sore throat.

Oregano is a HOT oil and can burn you if used carelessly and in high quantity. Please note that a tiny bit of oregano goes a long way. Use a carrier oil with Oregano when applying to skin.

Kiki

Every kitchen should have the oil and the dry herb ready to go at any time! Feel free to order pure therapeutic oregano oil from my site now.

Hope you keep it OLA KALA with Oregano.

kiki