Lady Honor’s Top Ten Healing Herbs

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author Madelyn Hill to the Power of 10 series. Today, Madelyn shares ten healing herbs and her latest release, Highland Honor.

Here’s Madelyn!

Lady Honor MacAlister is a healer. Her innate healing ability allows her to sense which herb is right for any malady.

1. Ginger – Lady Honor uses ginger for upset stomachs, building immunity when one is ill, and even to apply to a cut or sore to help it heal faster.

2. Willow Bark – Lady Honor uses Willow Bark as a pain reliever that is steeped in a tea.

3. Lavender – Soothing in a tea to help calm someone or help with sleeping.

4. Honey – Lady Honor gathers honey from the Bee Boles to use in teas for soothing throats, but also as a barrier to prevent infection. Honey offers antibacterial properties.

5. Camphor Oil – Not readily available in Scotland as a natural resource, but available for purchase in larger cities such as Edinburgh. Aids colds and consumption, think Vicks Vapor Rub.

6. Onion – Used in poultice to help with congestion and can prevent scurvy.

7. Catnip – Helps the body release heat from a fever and relaxes muscles and induces sleep.

8. Chamomile – Makes a calming tea and with other ingredients can be a soothing tonic.

9. Fennel Seeds – Helps with stomach upset, helps lower blood pressure, and treats respiratory issues.

10. Valerian Root – Has anti-inflammatory benefits, reduces stress, and calms anxiety.

*Please note, I am not a doctor and you shouldn’t try any of the above mentioned remedies without consulting your physician.

Hook: Lady Honor MacAllister can heal everything but a broken heart . . .

Blurb

Lady Honor does not believe in marriage. Her father’s death broke her mother’s spirit and took her from her daughters emotionally well before her own death. When Honor is attacked in the forest, she keeps the event to herself, lest her lairds search for the man and strike him down. As a healer, she’ll do anything it takes not to cause harm. Rumors of attacks in the Highlands forces the lairds to increase guards and security measures. When Bryce Calder is assigned to protect Lady Honor, she fights the burgeoning attraction for the man, knowing she’ll never risk her heart to love.

Warrior Bryce Calder trusts no woman. Women only strive to better themselves through cunning, as his father warned throughout his childhood. When he is asked to escort Lady Honor while she gathers healing herbs, he is vexed. Training the men and protecting the clan are his duties, not following the sharped-tongued lass about the wood. With each passing day, Bryce becomes enchanted by Lady Honor, despite his father’s words, but his unworthiness halts any proclamation of his desire.

An unlikely partnership develops during the frequent trips to the forest and work in the apothecary. The walls each has erected to protect their hearts and their future crumbles. Until a stranger arrives at the keep. Lady Honor’s secret is threatened to be revealed putting in jeopardy the growing romance between the ardent healer and the reluctant warrior-suitor.

buynow

Author Bio

Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier!

A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They are busy with their 3 children and a puppy named Cannoli! They love to cook, go to the movies, and hang out with friends.

Where to find Madelyn…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | GoodReads | Amazon Page | Instagram


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Rebecca’s Power of 10 List…This is NOT a Diet!

I’m happy to welcome author Rebecca Marino to the Power of 10 series. Today, Rebecca shares ten rules for losing weight and her latest release, The Drive.

Here’s Rebecca!

(Disclosure—I am NOT a health professional or a dietician. I’m a teacher/author who loves to eat chocolate and peanut butter.)

April rolled around in Indiana after a snowy winter. In one week the high temperature changed from 31F to 68F. Time for a drastic wardrobe change. I pulled several pairs of shorts from my closet and not one pair fit comfortably…My favorite pair were impossible to get into. I finally squeezed into last summer’s ‘loose shorts’ and decided I really needed to do something. Diet??? UGH!


I had all kinds of excuses…

• I’m a preschool teacher and work five days a week
• I’m an author and have been doing a lot of sitting while writing and revising two books
• I hit the golden age of 50 in February
• I run two to three times a week…isn’t that enough?
• I found some REALLY yummy dessert recipes on Pinterest that I just had to try–(and eat the entire batch)

There are more excuses too embarrassing to mention…

BUT, not only was I unable to zip my FAVORITE pair of shorts…I couldn’t squeeze into 90% of my shorts. I jumped on the scale and my eyes bulged almost as big as my protruding gut….I had gained 10 pounds in the past 6 months.

I HAD to do something about this because I couldn’t bear to place my favorite shorts in the Goodwill pile!

I turned to the internet and Googled every diet and exercise program I could find. Everything was commercialized…buy this food…buy this book…buy this exercise program…Diet and exercise is EXPENSIVE! The before and after pictures were encouraging, yet every success story had a small print disclosure stating, ”These results are not typical.”

Hours later I decided to not ‘diet’. I had watched a ‘Good Eats’ by Alton Brown episode a few years back about how he lost weight without being on a ‘diet’. He lost 50 pounds by changing the way he ate…without totally giving up sweets and carbs.

I LOVE bread and I LOVE chocolate and I LOVE peanut butter. Giving those foods up completely was not an option. I knew if I wanted to wear my shorts again I’d need to severely limit my intake of those precious commodities.

I also researched exercising and found out when you exercise is important for weight loss. The best time to exercise to burn fat is first thing in the morning BEFORE you eat. I didn’t increase my running (two to three times a week) because the research showed the best workouts for weight loss were NOT running…they were High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Strength Training. I decided to include a short Tabata workout (The Seven Minute workout on Youtube) and 25 minutes of strength training three times a week.

With a lot of will power and the following 10 rules…I changed my eating habits with the goal to lose those ten pounds. Here’s my POWER OF TEN list…Remember…this is NOT a diet!

1) Eat oatmeal for breakfast. Not the little package kind. Straight oats with water and a dash of cinnamon and almond or vanilla extract. I either cook it on the stove or microwave it. It’s not the tastiest breakfast, but it keeps me full.

2) Eat a mid-morning snack, a mid-afternoon snack, and an evening snack in addition to three small meals. Snacks I choose included: a protein shake (easy to drink at preschool) or a plain rice cake with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter, or a handful of almonds or walnuts, or carrot sticks and humus, or a half cup of plain Greek yogurt, or an apple, or a piece of deli turkey wrapped in a piece of cheese, or any fresh green veggie.

3) Eat as much fresh green vegetables as possible during your six meals/snacks. Spinach, Kale, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, etc.

4) Drink a gallon of water every day. This one is REALLY hard. Most days I didn’t drink the entire gallon…but I found if I carry a water bottle around I come close to drinking a gallon.

5) No snacking in between the three meals and three snacks. AND no eating after 9:00 pm.

6) No added sugar. Read the labels. If sugar is an added ingredient…don’t eat it.

7) No high carbohydrate foods. (Oatmeal, brown rice, and ancient grains like quinoa are slow burning carbs—GOOD. Bread, potatoes, pasta, basically anything with flour in it—NOT GOOD).

8) Limit fresh fruit to one serving per day. Fresh fruit has a lot of natural sugar in it. Berries are the best with the lowest amount of natural sugar.

9) Treat yourself! Eat two servings of bread OR pasta each week…not per day… Two servings per week. That means one bun and one small cup of macaroni in seven days.

10) Treat yourself! Eat dessert once a week or alcohol once a week…make it worth it and keep the proportion small. Desserts taste so much better when you only have one a week!

During the first week I was shocked that I wasn’t hungry. Yes, I missed sweets and breads and potatoes at first, but quickly noted my energy levels had gone up instead of down. The water and the veggies really helped me feel full all day. I even had a hard time remembering to eat my healthy snacks three times a day.

After seven days…I got on the scale…I had lost 5 pounds! My shorts still didn’t fit, but the weight loss gave me some serious motivation to continue.

After three weeks…I remained at a 5 pound loss….UGH! At first I was very frustrated BUT….my shorts were beginning to feel MUCH looser!

After four weeks…I had lost 7 pounds and my shorts were zipping without me taking huge deep breaths!

After six weeks…I remain at the weight loss of 7 pounds…but ALL of my shorts fit comfortably!

I’m very happy after nine weeks….despite remaining at a 7 pound total weight loss. I’ve talked to a registered dietician and she noted my 3 extra pounds is probably added muscle from working out. I lost the fat but gained muscle which helps my body burn fat around the clock—even while I’m sitting. Cool!

Did I ever cheat? You betcha! I had two desserts one week (chocolate brownie and fresh strawberry short cake) I also ate a piece of yummy bread at a restaurant before I ate my grilled shrimp, broccoli, and green beans. I’d remind myself, “It’s okay to cheat once in a while, just don’t make it a habit.”

I accomplished my goal of fitting into my clothes without losing all ten pounds and that is OKAY because I feel new strength in my arms from the muscle I developed. My biggest takeaway is my new awareness of ingredients in the foods I’ve eaten mindlessly for so long. With a little preparation and planning I eat more foods that are healthier and make me feel better.

Plus, I learned how to eat to feel full, yet remain in moderation without completely giving up chocolate and peanut butter. Now that is sweet!

Here’s my favorite snack.

5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

2/3 cup peanut butter (I use natural crunchy)
½ cup Hershey dark chocolate chips
1 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup ground flax seed
2 Tablespoons honey

Combine all 5 ingredients in a bowl. Stir. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to make it easier to roll. Roll into 12 bites and store in a zip baggie in the fridge for up to a week. (I use my small cookie scoop which makes 16 smaller bites.)

I found this recipe at ChefSavvy

I LOVE to try new recipes and read mystery/thrillers so feel free to share your favorites in the comments below. Thanks, Joanne for hosting me today!
Keep reading, writing, and indulging (every once in a while).

Blurb

Three last words…Trust No One.

Kasey Carter’s life changes forever when a mysterious flash drive arrives on her doorstep. Three people with connections to the drive are soon murdered. With evidence in hand, the police and FBI quickly close each case.

A year later, Kasey finds the drive hidden, along with a note from her husband. ‘Deliver this to FBI Agent Dylan Rogers. Trust no one.’ Within hours of contacting Rogers, she finds herself on the run from an organized crime ring, the police, and the FBI.

Who can she trust?

A heart-pounding, action-packed tale of nail-biting suspense that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

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Free on Kindle ~ Wednesday, June 20 – Friday, June 22

Ms. Marino has crafted a riveting thriller filled with nail-biting suspense, multiple murders, romantic tension, and plot twists. I was impressed by the descriptive detail, heart-pounding and action-packed scenes, and smooth handling of multiple POVs. I strongly recommend setting aside large blocks of uninterrupted reading time. You won’t be able to put down this gripping page-turner.

Next, please!

Bio

Rebecca Marino is a preschool teacher, author, and mom of three, almost-grown kids (four if you count my husband of 26 years). I read and write suspense novels and children’s picture books while eating chocolate and peanut butter.

My novel, THE DRIVE is a Suspense Thriller, taking readers on a non-stop ride full of mystery, murder, and unexpected twists from the very first page.

Website | Facebook


In Praise of Fruits and Vegetables

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, a month set aside to remind us that fruits and vegetables are essential components of a healthy lifestyle.

As a cancer survivor with a family history of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, I am always on the lookout for any dietary changes that can help support a healthy heart, mind, and immune system. A few years ago, I took special note of the following research conducted by the American Institute for Cancer Research in 2004. If every American consumed 15 to 30 ounces of fruits and vegetables every day, the incidence of cancer could be reduced by at least 20 percent.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.


In Praise of Fidgeting

I found the results of the following study intriguing:

The Mayo Clinic researchers equipped people with special clothing containing sensors that measured every calorie they burned by moving. They found that those little motions–scratching your head, getting up and stretching at commercial time, moving to another chair–make a huge difference. The “skinny” people tended to fidget away 350 calories a day more than the “overweight” people. That adds up to 35 pounds a year!

Some people are better at staying still while others cannot sit still. It may be difficult to change our unconscious tendencies, but we can change our environments and daily habits.

Consider the following “fidgety” tips:

• Take the stairs.
• Don’t waste time looking for the closest parking spot. Park, so you have to walk a short distance.
• Get up and stretch periodically while watching television.
• Don’t procrastinate. Whenever you think of a task that needs to be done, get up and do it.
• Keep dumbbells near your sofa, office, or reading area. Several times a day, stop and do a short routine to exercise your upper body.
• Walk during your lunch hour.
• Pace the sidelines at the children’s athletic games.
• Take a family walk after dinner.
• Walk briskly in the mall.
• Walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of sending an email.

BTW…Fidgeting is also known as “interindividual variation in posture allocation.”

Any other “fidgety” tips?


At the Life Balance Expo

Walking around the large conference room at the Guelph Curling Club, I could feel the positive energy emanating from the over thirty holistic practitioners and vendors, who had set up booths featuring an array of products and services.

Some of the highlights…

• Life Coach Pamela Van Nest asked me to spin the Life Wheel and then proceeded to share her insights. In late October, Pamela will be facilitating a one-day retreat at the Golden Pathways B & B in Otonabee, Ontario.

• Naturopathic doctor Aleksandra Gasinski chatted about the services offered at her Guelph office on Westmount Road.

Arlene Wisser’s enthusiasm was contagious as she discussed ISAGENIX products, solutions for weight, energy, performance and healthy aging.

• Financial coach Lorraine Graham provided a listening ear as I chatted about my retirement journey.

Lee Pryke persuaded me to participate in the VOXX life experiment. Impressed, I purchased a pair of VOXX socks…socks that promote better balance, stability, and range of motion.

Afterward, I went downstairs and listened to Liberated Living, a TED Style talk, delivered by Registered Holistic Nutritionist & Intuitive Counselor, Susan Stephens. During the interactive presentation, we learned all about stomach acid levels, essential vitamins and minerals, and the Sexy Blood Services offered at her office in Hamilton.

Susan ended the session with a tongue analysis of the group assembled. Our tongue colors ranged from white to soft pink to red. The ideal tongue is like that of a baby’s: soft pink with no line down the middle or tooth marks.

Only one woman (not me!) came close to that ideal.



In Praise of Spinach

Today is National Spinach Day, a day set aside to honor and consider all the delicious ways we can incorporate this nutritional powerhouse into our diets.

Here are 10 interesting facts about spinach:

1. During Catherine de Medici’s reign as queen of France, spinach was served at every meal. Many modern dishes made with spinach are known as “Florentine” in honor of Catherine’s birth in Florence.

2. The earliest written record of the spinach plant was found in Chinese, suggesting the spinach plant was introduced in China via Nepal.

3. Medieval artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use as an ink or paint.

4. China is the world’s largest spinach producer with 85% of global production.

5. California accounts for almost three quarters of national production. Other spinach-growing states include Arizona, New Jersey, Texas, Colorado, Maryland, and Arkansas.

6. In the 1930’s, U.S. spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption.

7. Alma, Arkansas—the home of “Allen Canning Company” which cans and ships spinach—holds an annual spinach festival each April. Alma proclaims itself to be the “Spinach Capital of the World”…a title also claimed by Crystal City, Texas.

8. An excellent source of protein, calcium, folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K, spinach is also loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants.

9. A half cup of raw spinach counts as one vegetable serving.

10. Studies have found that eating cooked spinach and carrots – versus raw – results in much higher blood levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant thought to guard against heart disease and lung cancer.

On a personal note…

I look forward to my breakfast smoothie. Here’s one of my favorite recipes:

I start with one scoop of Sun Warrior Vegan Protein Powder (vanilla flavor). Recommended by my nutritionist, this brand contains brown rice protein and works well for anyone who is sensitive to eggs, dairy, and soy. I add one-half cup of blueberries, one cup of baby spinach leaves, and one teaspoon of cinnamon. I then add six to eight ounces of water and blend.

Do you have a quick-and-easy spinach recipe to share?


Reframing for Success

It is easy to be negative at this time of year. The mornings are dark, the weather is unpredictable, and spring is weeks away. We can find an excuse for each day and, if we’re not careful, we’ll slip back into bad habits.

In their book, The Ultimate Stress-Relief Plan for Women, authors Stephanie McClellan and Beth Hamilton recommend reframing by replacing negative thoughts with positive self-talk.

reframing

Here are some examples:

I’m too exhausted even to think of moving.
I always have more energy after I exercise.

I’m just so slow.
When I started, I was out of breath very quickly. I may not be a speed demon, but I have really built up my endurance.

My whole body hurts from that last workout.
If I stretch well or take a hot bath, my muscles will be warmed up, and I’ll be feeling no pain once I start moving.

I had to skip three days because I had a virus. It’s impossible for me to stay with it. Something always gets in the way.
Each day is a new day, and I can pick up where I left off.

It’s miserable out, so I think I ‘ll just sleep in this morning.
It’s raining too hard for me to enjoy my walk. I’ll try that new yoga DVD.

This was the most stressful day at work in a long time. I think I’ll make myself a drink.
I bet a good workout will help me burn off this tension.