Keep Your Family Healthy and Naturally Reduce the Risk of Illness

In the last year, several people I love, have been affected by cancer personally or they have lost someone close to them as a result of this terrible, deadly disease. It’s an unpleasant reminder that tomorrow is not promised.
With so much talk about all natural products and their benefits, I had to find out for myself why this was so important. The more research I have done, I have learned that what these chemicals and pollutants are doing, is changing the way our cells react within our bodies. This weakens our immune systems which leave us at risk for illness.
I am currently on a mission to learn and experience as much as I can about keeping myself and my family healthy. I want to share what I am learning with other families so we all have the opportunity to keep our bundles of joy happy and healthy.
Healthy families = a healthier world for everyone.
So here are the details…
What Are Free Radicals?
An oxygen free radical is a molecule containing oxygen, that has at least one unpaired electron. This isolated electron makes the molecule extremely reactive with other molecules inside the body. They scavenge for molecules to share their unpaired electron with, which creates molecular fusions. These fusions alter the structure and function of the cells they are reacting with.
I know, it’s all super scientific. I have found some great videos that help explain this and posted them in The Matriarch Community Facebook Group – request to join by clicking this link.
Keep reading below this very scientific infographic…
So as you can see, free radicals create a reaction with a healthy cell and when there is a lack of antioxidants present, the excess of free radicals leaves your body at risk of Oxidative Stress.
What Is Damaged By Oxidative Stress?
When free radicals start creating a chain reaction with healthy cells and there aren’t enough antioxidants in the body to prevent the reaction, you experience oxidative stress.
This stress can create a slew of health conditions.  Some of these include inflammatory diseases, heart attacks, heart failure, atherosclerosis, blood vessel disorders, fragile X syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancers, genetic mutations, and neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants provide free radicals something to bind to, in a much safer way than binding with our healthy cells. In the absence of antioxidants, the healthy cell is exposed to serious damage, including becoming cancerous.
Antioxidants take one for the team and protect your essential cells from being attacked and taken over by free radicals.
Here are a couple of things I am doing now to better protect myself and my family against free radicals and oxidative stress. Antioxidants can come in many forms like supplements and food. You can also reduce the risk of exposure to chemicals that can leave you more susceptible to oxidative stress.
1. Supplements – One of the supplements I am currently taking is derived from the hemp plant and provides a full spectrum of compounds that have been shown to improve things like anxiety, depression and sleep issues.  It is even used to treat many serious issues like epilepsy and some autoimmune diseases.  It has all natural pain treatments that are safe and non-habit forming.  If you want to learn more about the CBD oil that I prefer and the benefits I have experienced, learn more by clicking this link.
2.  Clean and Natural Products – It is inevitable that we will be exposed to harmful chemicals and free radicals.  They are everywhere.  You can walk outside here in California and just immediately feel all the toxins in the air.  Prevention is key and can be achieved by protecting your body and making it as a strong and healthy as possible.  Heart & Body Naturals is a company I am partnered with and they literally speak to my soul with their products.  They have essential oils, CBD Oil, Supplements, Health Products and so much more.  By using these science backed and curated products regularly, you can support your body being in tip top shape to fight against free radicals and avoid illness, preserve your youth and just feel all around great.  Click here to check it out.  
3.  Eating more foods that are antioxidant-rich:


I have to sneak in the fact that coffee (yes, coffee!) is also an antioxidant, but that’s another topic – 10 Reasons To Drink Coffee Every Day.
What Are Some Oxidants you should avoid?
You will find these ingredients in more of the products you use everyday than you will actually believe. From cleaning supplies to face wash and shampoo. A lot of these on the shelf products in stores have these chemicals that are harmful to our body. There are several types of oxidants, including the following:
  • O2- (superoxide anion) This is an oxygen molecule that has one extra electron. It is a part of the electron transport chain. While it isn’t very reactive, it can release the iron from ferritin and from iron-sulfur proteins.
  • H2O2 or hydrogen peroxide This is formed by the dismutation of O2- or by the direct reduction of the oxygen molecule. It can diffuse across cell membranes, as it is lipid soluble.
  • OH- or Hydroxyl radical This is formed by decomposition of peroxynitrite and the Fenton reaction. It is extremely reactive, being able to attack most cellular components.
  • ROOH or organic hydroperoxide This is formed by reactions with cellular structures, such as DNA and lipids inside the cells.
  • RO or ROO These are organic radicals that have oxygen-centered in them. Lipids participate in lipid peroxidation reactions. It is produced along with O2 by the radical addition to hydrogen abstraction or by radical addition to double bonds.
  • HOCl or hypochlorous acid This is formed by a reaction between myeloperoxidase and hydrogen peroxide. It is highly reactive and lipid soluble, meaning that it can cross cell membranes.
  • ONOO- or peroxynitrite This is formed in a reaction between oxygen and nitrous oxide. It is soluble in lipids and is as reactive as hypochlorous acid.

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10 Reasons To Drink Coffee Every Day

Do we really need 10 reasons? Morning is enough of a reason for me!
There is really nothing better than the sweet smell and taste of coffee in the morning.
Each day my initial motivation lies within that cup.
54% of Americans drink coffee daily; but is it safe to drink coffee every day?
Let’s take a look at 10 reasons you should drink coffee on the daily:
1. Coffee Is Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants are your body’s first line of defense against rogue free radicals that leave your body more susceptible to illness and aging. I am currently focused on replacing any harmful products in our home that expose our family to free radicals, for safer and healthier brands. I was excited to find out the online wellness shopping club I am a part of, carries an awesome line of premium coffee.  Let me know if you want to learn more.
2. Coffee Can Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Diabetes
Over 9% of American’s now have diabetes, and the number one factor behind its development is a poor diet and overall bad lifestyle choices. According to the American Diabetes Association, it is the 7th leading cause of death.
Although drinking too much coffee is itself a bad lifestyle choice, drinking a couple of cups daily is not only okay, it also reduces your risk of developing diabetes.
Scientists at Harvard School of Public Health evaluated data from 128,000 healthcare professionals who were surveyed about their diet choices for more than 20 years. During those two decades, 7,300 of them were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, but the ones who drank more than one cup of coffee daily had an 11% lower risk for the disease.
One thing to worry about with this is the creamers and sugars you are using in your cup of joe. I use Stevia quite a bit in my coffee to curb the sweet tooth.
3. Coffee Can Prevent Cavities
One main health benefit of coffee is that it decreases tooth decay. Several studies have shown that roasted coffee beans are antibacterial against the S. mutans, the bacterium that causes tooth decay.
Studies also show that roasted coffee prevents the absorption of such bacteria by the teeth. In the studies, various types of coffee beans were used, both roasted and unroasted, Arabia and Robusta and while all of them provided similar benefits, the roasted varieties seemed to be more active in preventing bacteria from sticking to the teeth.
Wow, the more you know!
4. Coffee May Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Alzheimer’s
The cases of Alzheimer’s disease are growing at a scary rate, but there are preventative measures you can take to lower your risk and drinking coffee is one of them. By blocking inflammation in the brain and having natural positive memory and brain function impacts, drinking coffee can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults.
5. Coffee Improves Your Mood
Coffee contains caffeine, a nootropic that improves your mood and cognitive functioning. In short, it makes you more alert, but it also boosts your mood.
This is especially noticeable if you’ve been drinking coffee each day for a year and suddenly stop. You might experience a downshift in your mood, and only by drinking more coffee are you able to raise your spirits.
6. Coffee Is Good For Your Liver
Avoid alcohol and drink more coffee is the advice here. While the former can damage your liver beyond repair, the latter just wants to protect it.
7. Coffee Could Prevent Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is now one of the fastest growing cancers in the world, and more and more people each year are being diagnosed with it.
There are things you can do to cut your risk, and this includes drinking more coffee. Scientists have theorized that caffeine is responsible for this, though no final conclusion has yet been reached.
8. Coffee Improves Your Cardiovascular Health
We’re always being told that coffee is bad for our heart.
True, too much coffee is bad for your heart. If you drank 30 cups a day, as the great French writer Balzac was reported to have done, you are putting yourself at massive risk of having a heart attack. However, if you drink coffee each day in moderation, you can actually improve the health of your heart.
9. Coffee Strengthens Your DNA
You might be wondering why you’d need to strengthen your DNA. But why wouldn’t you?
DNA strands can break. To prevent this rather alarming thing from happening all too often, you could drink more coffee, as caffeine tightens DNA integrity.
10. And, Yes, Coffee Could Help You Live Longer
Okay, let’s expand on that carrot at the top of this article. We’ll let Ming Ding, M.D. explain this one:
“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation. They might be responsible for the inverse association between coffee and mortality. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects.”
So just in case you needed a reason, a cup of joe a day helps keep the doctor away!

Intro to Bullet Journaling

One of my favorite self-care activities is bullet journaling.  I have had an obsession with notebooks, writing utensils and stationary for my entire life, so finding a hobby that utilized all these lovely things was extremely appealing.  What I didn’t realize when I started in the craft, was how significantly it would help me stay organized.
In bullet journaling, you are essentially combining all of your thoughts, finances, schedules, to-do lists, and miscellaneous life notes into a journal.  I have seen a few approaches to it.  I use multiple journals (one for work, one for my blog) and then compile each of these into one journal at the end of the week.  I do something called a ‘brain dump’ several times throughout the week, so it is necessary for me to bring all of that madness together at the end of each week.
Benefits of Bullet Journaling
Remember, there is really no right or wrong way to bullet journal.  I am a part of several Facebook groups in the BuJo community, and everyone has a different approach.  Some get super fancy and decorative.  Some are amazingly artistic and some use a bullet journal to organize and prioritize in a minimalist and strictly functional way. It is supposed to make life easier for you, not more difficult, so don’t be pressured to do it any way that isn’t natural to you.
Here are some different ways you can benefit by having a bullet journal:
  • Everything is in one place – First of all, all your different to-do lists, schedules, and notes can be kept in a place where they can be revisited. A lot of bullet journals such as the Leuchtturm1917, come with an index so you can organize your topics or page spreads.
Bullet Journal
A shot of my contents page in my Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal.
  • It is easy to do – A bullet journal is also very easy to put together. All you need is a cup of coffee, a notebook and a pen to get started.  Some people chunk their Bujo’s into spreads by month, week and day.  I usually try to get a new notebook started at the beginning of a new week.  I create a weekly overview with my schedule and goals for that week and then brain dump on my daily pages.  At the end of the week, I go through each brain dump and create a weekly summary to organize my thoughts and prioritize my tasks for the following week.
  • Trackers and Trending – Since you are writing in the bullet journal daily, you are able to track your habits and see what needs to change. I have seen some awesome and really artistic trackers out there.  Mood trackers and weight trackers are really common. My daughter and I set a goal at the beginning of the summer to go to the pool at least every other day.  I track our visits in my bullet journal so we can look back and see if we achieved our goal. (This has also helped with getting chores done and good behavior!)
  • List Making – I love making lists.  Not just to-do lists but all kinds of lists.  Most recently, I have started creating pages with a list header, noting the list title in my index, and then adding to these lists over time.  I have been doing this quite a bit for keeping track of my blog developments. Here is an example:

    Bullet Journal Blog Post Ideas
    Example of a List Header Page.
Choosing the Journal
There are a couple of things to consider when picking a journal.  My first bullet journal, I picked up from a local bookstore.  It was the only one I could find that had the dotted pages and wasn’t over $20.  It actually turned out to be a great journal.  The pages were thick which was a must have for me in the beginning.  It helped me easily cover any mistakes.  Journals with a lot of ghosting (or ink showing through the pages) can be unforgiving, so in the beginning, I would recommend getting a thicker page.
Also, look for one that can stay closed when needed, but when you open to individual pages, the spine isn’t so tight that it is hard to write in it.  Having the flexibility to bend the covers back on either side was a huge gain for me when I upgraded to my Leuchttrum1917.  Because of the quality of this Bujo, I can be more flexible with it and know its quality will withstand my frequent use.  I also really like the journals that come with pockets either in the front or the back.  You can store keepsakes here or travel souvenirs as you journal about your experiences.
Components of a Bullet Journal
Here are some components to try and include in your bullet journal:
  • Index – Every bullet journal should preferably have an index. This lets you know where different sections of the journal are located, such as grocery and meal planning, or finances so you can easily locate them and add to them later. Being able to pull out an old bullet journal and quickly find what I’m looking for by checking the index has helped me stay organized and keep track of all of life’s projects.
  • Page numbers – Naturally, since you have an index, you also need to have page numbers. Some people like to create their own numbered pages.  For me, I need things ready to go out of the box. The less preparation I have to do, the faster I can get started. The Leuchtturm1917 comes just how I like it, with the pages already numbered.
  • Signifiers – Signifiers are symbols that you assign to different types of notes. I utilize signifiers by creating a shape for my tasks, delegated tasks, ideas, notes, and meetings.  I then update each task by using a check mark to signify it is completed, a strike through for a canceled item, an arrow to signify an item that moved from a previous list (maybe something I didn’t have a chance to finish the day before) or something that needs to be moved to next week. The most important thing with signifiers is using something that is familiar and workable for you.  You don’t want to spend more time trying to remember what your signifiers mean, than actually using them.
The best part about a bullet journal is there is no wrong way to do it.  It is all about staying organized and keeping your thoughts and genius ideas all in one place.  It helps you stay focused and can encourage mindfulness in what you are utilizing your energy on while creating quiet time for yourself to reflect (which is something we can ALL use more of).
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