Tag Archives: health and wellness

Rituals. The Tent Stakes Of Our Lives.

Rituals are the tent stakes of our lives. They anchor us in traditions and mark the pivot points of our day. Rituals do not just happen. They require planning and effort. Once recognized for what they are, rituals can be created and modified to springboard us into new healthy habits.

Think of it like color blocking your calendar. For example, the act of lighting a candle before supper can mark your transition from the work day to your evening hours at home. Getting up 15 minutes early to enjoy a hot, fresh cup of coffee in quiet by yourself can mark a positive transition into the busy day ahead. Our rituals can transition us from one daily mode to another. They can move us from work to planned exercise, date night, family time, or down time.

As you know, my new fun activity is hula hooping for exercise (see “That Darn Belly Fat” blog dated 5/26/2020.) I’m good enough at it, finally, to have started an online hoop challenge. It’s addictive and fun but I’m working on setting up a ritual to pivot me into my daily hooping routine. This week I will try out a 7 PM hula hoop ritual. It’s enough time for me to let my supper settle a bit and gives me enough time to settle back down before bedtime too. I will pick out 3 of my favorite tunes each evening and hula hoop away, practicing whatever the online hoop challenge is for the day.

This week, pick your activity, plan your ritual or pivot to point you to your activity, and turn it in to a habit! Kudos to my Platinum Muse readers and followers for already being proactive with creating new healthy mind and body rituals by reading the Platinum Muse. The Platinum Muse is all about support, staying motivated, having a positive attitude, sharing tips, and encouraging you along your own individual journey toward increased wellness.

Thank you for spending a moment reading Platinum Muse! Start a new uplifting ritual for yourself now and subscribe to Platinum Muse! We here to support and encourage each other so share your favorite health and wellness ritual with us here on Platinum Muse! You can also find me on Facebook. Search The Platinum Muse and follow me there if you like.

Platinum Muse readers, stay in the moment! I wish you an amazing week ahead!

Install Update: ME.2020

No blog post last week as I was otherwise occupied helping to welcome a beautiful new granddaughter into the world. Looking into her eyes I was reminded that life is resilient and continually cycles forward. But, I’m off on a tangent. Let me get back to my blog topic: Install Update: ME.2020.

Have you ever gained or lost a significant amount of weight or had another significant physical change occur and then had trouble spotting yourself in a group photo? Or, didn’t immediately recognize yourself in a crowded public restroom mirror? That’s because your brain does not always update your own self image accurately to the most current point in time. Your mind warps and bends and photoshops your own self image to meet what ever needs your psyche has. It fills in missing pieces of information on it’s own and presents you with a picture of yourself based on the input it has received and it’s own modifications. It can make you feel pretty good about yourself or pretty bad about yourself on any given day. Your image of yourself may or may not be real. It might just be a feeling you have about yourself and the world around you.

Feeling good about yourself is all about what is swirling around in your own head. Take a look through some pictures of yourself and take a good look in the mirror. Who are you? Does the image in the pictures match the image in your head? What do you love about yourself? What is beautifully unique? And, what do you want to change about yourself? Update your mind’s eye self image. Love your body for all of it’s unique features and beauty. Your body will follow wherever your mind leads it and that is a good thing. Try to steer what is swirling in your head. Keep your image of yourself real and grounded and always keep moving forward with your goals of health and wellness.

As you head in to the new week, take a good look at yourself and get your feet back under you. Set up your goals and rewards, and make a decision to move forward strong and grounded through these turbulent times. The world is changing fast. Look past and through the COVID 19 Pandemic and street violence. There are good things happening in the world. Love yourself. Be your own best friend. You have the power to change yourself for the better and help lead the way into a better future for everyone around you.

Thank you for reading my blog this week. I welcome comments. If you like what you have just read please hit the “like” icon or better yet, subscribe to my blog! Thank you.

That Darn Belly Fat

I remember the day. I was sitting at my desk at the hospital where I work and was checking off my tasks as a RN Care Coordinator while chatting a bit to my co-worker along side me. I happen to glance down and there it was. Even though I had had lost a significant amount of weight by then, I spied a roll of belly fat. I swear it appeared overnight. I mumbled to my office mate “What the heck is going on with my body fat! It’s migrating around on my body!” We laughed and were soon having one of our usual in depth conversations about aging, fat, health and wellness, and what we ate yesterday.

My plan? Ditch this belly fat, one way or another. I’m not much in to fads or gimmicks. I’ve read up a little on the subject though. It seems belly fat is kind of like that expanding foam packing material. It gets in between your organs and in them and in the expandable curtain covering your belly–the omentum. It is not the pinchable subcutaneous fat, but the deeper visceral fat. Not the brown healthier fat, but the problematic yellow fat. It acts like an endocrine organ and spits out all kinds of bad secretions. It can account for your ever expanding waistline as you age.

I remember my mother always aspiring to the idyllic 24″ waist of the 50’s and 60’s. Now, it’s my understanding the goal is less than 40″ for men and less than 35″ for women. I am somewhere between the 24″ and 35″ but not ready to actually put my waist measurement up on a public post. Not yet. I’m also not quite at the BMI I would like, although close.

So, my plan: Cut back on my calories/points a tad to get me to my personal goal weight and doing some targeted exercises to see what happens to this waist measurement of mine. Specifically, checking my heart rate during exercise to make sure I am in my target zone and, doing my planks…..again. And here goes, yes, working out with my weighted hula hoop to keep it real, and fun!

I will update you when I either see results or have to rethink my plan. Give me 4-6 weeks and I’ll fill you in.

I hope you had a safe, enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend and thank you to those of you who worked through it to keep our world turning. Thank you too for taking a moment to read the “Platinum Muse.” Leave me a comment! I would love to hear your thoughts!

Find “The Platinum Muse” on Facebook. Follow my blog on platinummusecom.wordpress.com

Monday. Starting Line.

You can. In this moment you are safe and well. Readying for the week ahead. Strong. Ready to press forward. Finding your new rhythm within the pandemonium.

Hold fast to your health and wellness plan. Right now, more than ever, your healthy choices count. I mean, really count. Set yourself up for success this week. Plan a morning ritual that doesn’t involve the news or social media. Bring yourself in to the moment and take a breath. Watch the sun come up. Enjoy a cup of steaming hot coffee in the quite aloneness before the bustle of the day begins.

Schedule in your activity and meals this week. Be kind to yourself. Do what you can and take a breath. That is hitting your goal.

Take the time to tend to your mindset. Channel your best thoughts in to it and feed it positive bits of reinforcement and motivation. Think of tending to your mindset like you would a garden: pull the weeds and give it water, nourishment, and sunshine. Then watch it grow and bloom.

The COVID 19 pandemic is turning out to be a conduit of change for all of us. Decide to come out on the other side an even stronger and better version of yourself.

Thank you for joining me in a moment of positivity! I am cheering you on in achieving all of your health and wellness goals and reaching for the stars this week!

“Higher ground is the space where wellness resides.” Oprah Winfrey

Why Does The Yeast Shortage Keep Bubbling Up in Conversation Lately?

Featured Post

Rise to the occasion and create your own healthy version of “Pandemic Sourdough Starter” for Bread Making.

Has your search for yeast recently fallen flat? Suppliers are having a hard time keeping up with demand it seems. So, why not capture your own yeast? Create your own sour dough starter for artisan bread that you and your family will love! I interviewed my favorite baker for the details on creating your very own unique sourdough starter. Here is what he said!

You will need: a bowl or container big enough to hold 2 quarts, aluminum foil or a loose fitting lid of some type, rye flour–not bleached (Hodgson Mill Stone Ground Rye Flour works well,) general purpose white flour.

Combine about 1 cup rye flour, 1/4 cup general purpose white flour, and 2/3 cup room temperature water. Stir. Cover. Set bowl aside on counter for 2 days. Then stir well and take out 1/2 cup of the mixture and dump the rest out. Dump the 1/2 cup of mixture you just removed back in your container or bowl and add 1 cup general purpose white flour and 1/2 cup room temperature water. Stir. Then, once a day for the next five days or so repeat, Keep 1/2 cup of the mixture, dump the rest, add 1 cup white flour and 1/2 cup room temperature water and give it a stir. Remember to always stir before removing the 1/2 cup of mixture. You should see bubbles after about the third day. (You probably won’t see much of anything from the rye flour as it is not sticky enough to hold bubbles.) After six days your starter should be ready.

If you want a speedier process, after day three you can repeat the feeding process every 12 hours if you would like. After four or five days your mixture will double in volume within 4 hours after feeding .

To make Artisan Bread: Use 1/2 cup starter, 2 cups white all purpose flour, 1 cup water, 1/2 tablespoon salt for 1 loaf. Or, 1 cup starter, 4 cups general purpose white flour, 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon salt for 2 loaves. If you use 2 cups general purpose white flour and 2 cups bread flour your bread will have a chewier texture because bread flour is made from Hard Winter Wheat (aka Red Wheat) which contains more gluten/protein.

Mix starter and water in bowl and beat with mixer. Dump flour on top and stir with a butter knife until ragged looking. Once mixed, dump mixture in another bowl. Clean first bowl and wipe sides with Crisco and dump mixture back in first bowl and cover. Reminder, your mixture will expand. Wait 1 day. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Then take 2 squares of aluminum foil and wipe with Crisco and dust with flour. If you are making 2 loaves, dump 1/2 mixture on each square of foil. Dump all of your mixture on an aluminum foil square if making 1 loaf. Gather corners of foil and lightly twist on top to keep dough from spreading out like a pancake. Heat Dutch Oven or cast iron pot in oven with lid off kettle but both pot and lid in oven. Heat at 450 degrees until hot. Place one dough filled packet in pot, put lid on and bake with lid on for 25-30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for about another 10 minutes. Repeat for second loaf.

For regular bread, knead and then let rise in greased bread pan until about 1 inch below edge of pan. The baker being interviewed likes to cover the bread pan with the dough in it with another empty greased bread pan flipped upside down. The kneading will give your bread a finer texture. The less you work your dough the more rustic the finished product.

Store your cooled bread in a brown paper lunch bag or in the foil you baked it in.

Store your starter in the fridge if you are not using it a lot. Feed it a 2:1 ratio of white flour to water every 2-3 days. To maintain consistent volume keep 1/2 cup starter and add 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water with each feeding. The more fridge time the more sour your starter will be. Storing your starter at room temperature will make for a more mild flavor starter but you have to feed it more.

Forgot about your starter? No worries. Your starter will end up with liquid gullies of clear or yellow fluid on top. Just stir and go back to your normal feeding routine. If it turns green or black then throw it out.

Rye flour is ground in a way that retains wild field yeast on it in a balance with natural bacteria that will take off in a rowdy sourdough starter for you. Enjoy and thank you for taking time to read this!

Are You Moving Forward With Your Health and Wellness or Slipping Backwards?

I sometimes hear people say the are “on a break” from their diet and exercise plan. Good health choices have become a struggle and they are backing off for a bit. Can you take a break? That’s the question I am asking you today. In this fast flowing river of life, can you really slip in to an eddy and remain unchanged? I’m not sure. Do the swirling waters around you continue to shape you even though you are relaxing in an eddy? Maybe “taking a break” is making a decision not to think about your wellness plan. You continue to get twirled around like a stick in a river eddy while the eddy continues to shape and redirect you and have it’s way with you. Maybe, if you are not moving forward with your health and wellness plan you are actually moving backward. Maybe it’s more about pacing yourself for the long haul and continuing the wellness journey even if you are not sprinting. Maybe it’s just continuing to put one foot in front of the other to just keep taking those steps, big or small, towards your end goal.

I challenge you today to make mindful choices towards your end goal. Stay the course. Follow the plan. Get your head in the game. Schedule in your activity for this coming week and mindfully plan out your meals. Your body was designed to move and eat clean. Set yourself up with a SMART goal this week and reward yourself when you reach you goal. It’s important. You are important. Take care of yourself.

Thank you for taking this moment with me to reflect on your wellness journey. We are all works in progress. Have an awesome week and I will see you again next weekend! I am interested in your wellness journey. Leave me a comment! Follow me for weekly positive health and wellness encouragement. I am here to cheer you on and celebrate your achievements.