Taking Life for Granted

My husband and I had recently enjoyed our annual vacation to the Omni Hilton Head Resort, which we absolutely love. The hotel makes sure you feel like royalty and the reason we first stayed there is because they accommodate pets.

A few inconveniences happened during our trip, which left me a bit frustrated, and truly perturbed (this had nothing to do with the hotel or service because the staff is amazing).

It was no sooner than this happened that God created an opportunity to help me put life into perspective.  I was exiting our room and saw our room attendant.  She saw me take our dog out and asked if she could clean now. I said yes please, as our room was starting to feel like a sandbox! She had already progressed to the next floor, so stated that she had to go grab her cart. I told her I really didn’t want to inconvenience her but she insisted it was not a problem.  A few minutes later I realized I forgot something and went back to the room.

Now if you know me, I’m usually in a hurry. However, this time I stopped to talk to her. I asked her name, which was Novia (quite a beautiful name!). I if she was full time or seasonal. She shared that she was seasonal and would be going back to Jamaica in February. I asked her if she was excited to go home and if she had any family here or if they were all in Jamaica.  I saw her light up as she expressed excitement to return to her husband and 10-year-old daughter.

Everything about my mood changed at that moment. I forgot about all my superficial concerns and inconveniences immediately as I was overcome with sadness to the point of immediate tears. I was choked up and struggling to speak. I expressed how difficult that must be. We are staying at a 5-star hotel and being pampered while a mom and wife is separated 10 months out of the year from her family, to make a living for them.  I felt sad, as we as Americans take so many things for granted

I asked her what could be done and if her daughter and/or husband could come to visit at least while she was here working. She mentioned looking into getting a Visa for her daughter. I told her I wanted to help. I didn’t know what that would look like or what I could even do but God had put it on my heart to offer. She was moved and asked if she could give me a hug. I eagerly accepted it. She also agreed that God brought her down to our floor for this reason. (She was working another floor and stopped there, went up and got her cart to service our room). I searched frantically for a business card, which I never leave home without, but couldn’t find one. I finally found a business brochure that had my contact info and gave it to her. I asked her to please keep in touch and let me know what she found out and how I could help.

I came back to my room to find this on our bed.

It brought tears to my eyes again.  I pray that she will keep in touch and/or allow me to help her. I can’t imagine a better gift that I could give than to reunite a family, especially a mother and her daughter. I told myself that when I went home I was going to make it more of a priority to help those who aren't as blessed as I am.  I now remotely understand how when people go on a mission trip they come back changed.

Although the Omni Resort was far from the mission field, I was given an opportunity to serve someone who is far less fortunate than I. I left a generous tip in the room with a note encouraging her to keep in touch. I can’t wait to write the happy ending to this story. I have a few ideas how I am going to make it work so stay tuned for future posts.

 

Are You Really Ready to Lose Weight? Take the Quiz.

We see it every year as the New Year approaches.  We assess our health and start making resolutions for the new year. People all across the country jump on the weight-loss band wagon, only to fall off in a couple weeks, or for some, a few days. We all know someone who walks into the local gym, registers, pays and never returns.

For your weight-loss plan to succeed, you must be ready to take on the challenge and make the life changes that will help set you up for long-term success. It’s important to evaluate your reasons for wanting to lose weight. Is the timing right for you? What are your expectations? Your answers to these questions can either keep you on your path or derail your efforts before you even begin. Knowing that you need to make changes in your life and actually doing it are two different things. To see if you are ready take this quiz. This could be key before you spend your time, energy and financial resources.

WEIGHT LOSS READINESS QUIZ

Are you ready to lose weight? Your attitude about weight loss affects your ability to succeed. Take this Readiness Quiz to learn if you need to make any adjustments before you begin. Mark each item True or False. Be honest. It’s important that your answers reflect the way you really are, not how you would like to be.

  1. ___ I have thought a lot about my eating habits and physical activities to pinpoint what I need to change.
  2. ___I have accepted the idea that I need to make permanent, not temporary, changes in my eating and activities to be successful.
  3. ___I will only feel successful if I lose a lot of weight.
  4. ___I accept the idea that it’s best if I lose weight slowly.
  5. ___I’m thinking of losing weight now because I really want to, not because someone else thinks I should.
  6. ___ I think losing weight will solve other problems in my life.
  7. ___I am willing and able to increase my regular physical activity.
  8. ___I can lose successfully if I have no “slip ups.”
  9. ___I am ready to commit some time and effort each week to organizing and planning my food and activity programs.
  10. ___Once I lose some initial weight, I usually lose the motivation to keep going until I reach my goal.
  11. ___ I want to start a weight-loss program even though my life is unusually stressful right now.

SCORING THE WEIGHT LOSS READINESS QUIZ

  1. To score the quiz, look at your answers to items 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9. Score “1” if you answered “true” and“0” if you answered “false.”
  2. For items 3, 6, 8, 10, 11, score “0” for each true answer and “1” for each false answer.
  3. To get your total score, add the scores for all. If you scored 8 or higher, you probably have good reasons for wanting to lose weight now and a good understanding of the steps needed to succeed.

For the nutrition side, request help from someone who has a nutrition background and always keep a food journal. The food journal is to create awareness of what you are eating and when instead of counting calories.

Wanted: Virtual Assistant

Great opportunity for stay-at-home mom or empty nester looking for passion and purpose working part-time from home!

The candidate must be extremely detail oriented yet can make decision quickly and work efficiently. Must be able to manage multiple projects and prioritize tasks. Plus they should have knowledge of the benefits of healthy food and lifestyle.
Some training and work may be conducted on site (if local). The remaining work would be conducted from your home office.
Prefer a candidate who has previous experience working independently. Work environment must be conducive to confidential conversations and storing of confidential info.  Able to catch on quickly to various software and strong skills in Word, PPT and Excel plus Quickbooks. Strong writing skills required to communicate with clients. Experience in creating social media posts is a plus.
Work hours are Monday through Thursday in your home environment with hours approximately 9am-2p.  Comfortable working in a faith-based company. Candidate must be willing to undergo a background and credit check.
Send Resume AND Cover letter with relevant work experience by 12/21/17 to info@brenewed.com. Rate of pay will be determined by the candidate's experience. Please use Virtual Assistant Position in the Subject line.  

Juice Plus+ Welcomes A New Addition To It’s Family…A Plant-based Omega

As you may know I’ve been using Juice Plus+ personally and professionally for many years with great success. With it’s 30 different fruits, vegetables and berries, Juice Plus+ is a great way to add much needed plant-based, whole food nutrition to your diet. That is why I’m so excited to announce the newest addition to Juice Plus+ family… Juice Plus+ Omega Blend!

Juice Plus+ has learned that the #1 supplement that their customers take in addition to their Orchard, Garden and Vineyard is an omega fatty acid supplement. And the main concern people have with taking an omega is the fishy taste and the concerns with toxicity in the fish (primarily mercury).  So thankfully Juice Plus+ created a plant based omega supplement. Not sourced from fish but the original source of algal.  No more fish smell, no more fish burps and no more fear of mercury! (All the reasons I didn't use fish oil.) And great news for those who live with seafood allergies!

Using the original algal provides a more pure and sustainable form of Omega 3s. In addition to algal, Juice Plus+ cold presses the oils from five other seeds and berries in which omega fatty acids occur. Bringing you a naturally balanced blend of omega fatty acids - not just Omega 3 but, Omega 5, 6, 7 and 9.

So why are Omega fatty acids so special? Well, the human body can make most of the types of fats it needs from other fats or raw materials. That isn’t the case for omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential fats—the body can’t make them from scratch, but must get them from food. Omega-3 fats are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body affecting the function of cell receptors in the membranes. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. Likely due to these effects, omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.

We can all use more nutrition from fruits and vegetables in our diets, and through Juice Plus+ Orchard, Garden, Vineyard Blends, and now Omega Blends, you can bridge the gaps. Scientific evidence continues to grow indicating that a diet rich in in a broad array of fruits and vegetable including omega fatty acids provides numerous benefits to our bodies including heart, brain, joints, skin and eyes. Juice Plus+ Omega Blend contains 100% non-GMO ingredients, is gluten-free, contains no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or added starch and will be NSF and Kosher certified.

B Renewed is proud to provide this line of long trusted products to our customers!  If you are you ready to take the next step, just give me a shout.

 

For Sale! Office and Home Furnishings

It's time to start the transition of our physical location at B Renewed Wellness Center. With that, there are bittersweet emotions that come with it. My interior designer, Kim Taylor-Vatel, did an incredible job in creating a warm, inviting (non sterile or medical) atmosphere that our clients loved.  So we have a few things to share with you to see if you or your family could benefit by getting great deals on some high quality things.

Please click on image to enlarge and view descriptions.

Liquid Soap, Harmless or Hazardous?

Not too long ago while visiting a relative’s house, I began to wash my hands with the liquid soap provided in the attractive dispenser. After being taken a back by the strong perfume smell, and I tried to re-wash to remove the overpowering smell to no avail. Finally with the use of some vinegar, I was able to eliminate the strong perfume smell. Next, I found the actual container to determine the ingredient list and was horrified!

Consider how many times per day you are using this to “clean” you hands but in fact you could be adding more toxins to your body and environment. This moment reinforced the need to be vigilant no matter where I am, to read labels and know what I am putting on or in my body. The number of toxic ingredients that are added to something so innocent as a soap product is killing our fish & wildlife and adding hazardous toxins into our body. Below is a list of just a few of the ingredients in this brand of liquid soap along with the toxicity concern courtesy of the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).

HIGH CONCERN – Can include, but is not limited to: Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Biochemical or cellular level changes, Cancer, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive) acute aquatic toxicity, skin irritation/allergies/damage, damage to DNA.

  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone (5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one), also referred to as MCI, is a preservative with antibacterial and anti-fungal effects within the group of isothiazolinones. It is effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, yeast, and fungi.
  • Methylisothiazolinone, MIT, or MI, (sometimes erroneously called methylisothiazoline), is a powerful synthetic biocide and preservative within the group of isothiazolinones, which is used in numerous personal care products and a wide range of industrial applications.
  • DMDM Hydantoin is an antimicrobial formaldehyde releaser preservative with the trade name Glydant. DMDM hydantoin is an organic compound belonging to a class of compounds known as hydantoins.
  • Sodium Hydroxide is a strongly alkaline white deliquescent compound used in many industrial processes, e.g., the manufacture of soap and paper.

MODERATE CONCERN - Some potential for hazards to health or the environment. Can include, but not limited to: Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Use restrictions, Contamination concerns.

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (commonly known as SLS) is a widely used and inexpensive chemical found in many mainstream personal hygiene products such as shampoos, toothpastes, mouthwashes, bodywash, soaps, detergents and body wash , along with Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS).
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB) Is a mixture of closely related organic compounds derived from coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. CAPB is available as a viscous pale yellow solution and it is used as a surfactant in personal care products.
  • Polyquaternium-7 is a synthetic polymer based on quaternary ammonium compounds.
  • Tetrasodium EDTA is a water-soluble ingredient used as a chelating agent in cosmetics and personal care products because of its ability to sequester metal ions and allow them to remain in formulas but lose their ability to react with other ingredients.
  • PEG 120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate is the polyethylene glycol ether of the diester of natural Methylglucoseand Oleic Acid. It is used in beauty products and cosmetics as a surfactant and emulsifier. It is used as a thickener in hair and skin care products.
  • Poloxamer 124 (P1168) is a surfactant and emulsifying agent... In cosmetic and personal care product formulations, it functions as a surfactant - emulsifying agent and surfactant - solubilizing agent. It can be used in soaps and cleansers. It is soluble in water.
  • Benzophenone-4 is a white sweet-smelling crystalline solid used mainly in the manufacture of organic compounds and in perfume.

SOME CONCERN - Can include, but not limited to: skin irritation/allergies/damage, acute aquatic toxicity, nervous system effects, respiratory effects, biodegradation.

  • Fragrance (Parfum) a substance, extract, or preparation for diffusing or imparting an agreeable or attractive smell.

This is just one example of a typical household product. Despite the known dangers associated with many of the ingredients in personal care products and cleaning products, some manufacturers continue to use them. Many household products carry health risks for not only you, but also your children, pets, wildlife or the environment. Reading labels can go a long way in helping protect your family.

 

One Door Closes and Another One Opens: Changes at B Renewed

B Renewed started in my home office in 2009. I knew God had given me a gift to share health and whole food nutrition. It wasn’t an easy task, as I didn’t have a manual, just divine guidance. Through the years, I experienced many painful lessons! However, every challenge has provided an opportunity for me to learn and grow.

Due to continued growth beyond the Tri-state area, some changes will be occurring at B Renewed soon and I wanted to share them with you first. I can’t express how much love and gratitude I have for each of you. Allowing B Renewed to serve your wellness needs locally has been a gift and an honor.

Effective September 1, we will be transitioning into a new phase of our business. Our business has experienced tremendous growth over the past several years, and much of that growth has been from clients outside of the tri-state area. To meet the growing demands of remote clients, we are transitioning to an online or virtual products and services platform to support this change.

The good news is that we will still serve our clients locally however; it will be in a different capacity, which means consulting will be conducted via video conferencing or telephone.

The B Renewed Wellness Center, our physical location, will close effective August 31. Our contact information such as our office number as well as our email addresses will remain unchanged. If you have an existing appointment or currently participate in one of our local coaching programs, we will honor our commitment to you.

So many of you are probably asking, “What about Ashley?” Well, a week after I announced my decision to the team, her husband was offered a position out of state. We both knew at that moment, that God’s hand was all over this change.

You may also be wondering about obtaining your enzymes, supplements and hormone balancing products; Loomis products are currently available on our website and the other products will be added soon. For your Juice Plus and Tower Garden needs, please call or email me.

Regarding Juice Plus, many of you know I’m in a Leadership role with the Juice Plus Company. This is an area of my life that I will not only continue, but also expand in helping others grow and develop their businesses.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your wellness journey. My mission was, and still is, to create a legacy of health for you and your children, and grandchildren. If you would like to help me in this mission, I’m looking for people who have a desire to make a difference, aren’t afraid of hard work and are teachable. You do not need formal education, just a heart for serving.

Thank you and God bless.

 

My 3-day Cleanse Journey – Day 2

Day 1 is done! So where do you think I struggled most? I caught myself in my daily habit of getting up from my desk to grab a snack. I realized that when I feel stressed, overwhelmed or anxious, I distract myself with a snack. Most of you know I am not grabbing a candy bar or cookie (we eat predominantly whole, clean) but, eating when your body doesn't need food is not healthy! So how did I cope knowing that I couldn't grab a snack? I decided to try some deep breathing and downloaded a meditation app. I believe this is a new healthy habit that I will incorporate long after the cleanse.

As far as detox symptoms, I dropped a couple pounds (toxins!) and had a few minor headaches throughout the day as well. My tongue has the usual thick white coating which is a sure sign of detoxing. But overall, I had great clarity and focus. My overall sense of well-being has improved. Less anxious. More calm.

My sugar cravings have subsided much faster than I imagined as well. The dark chocolate bar stashed in my freezer is no longer calling me!

The biggest benefit was not having to think about what we are having for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Then you have prep time, cook time and cleanup, so time savings was an unexpected positive benefit.

I was also blessed that my husband joined me, so the temptations were not there. If I had to prepare a meal for someone else, I'm sure it would have been a bit more challenging. If you have children heading to summer camp or, your hubby is traveling, this would be a great time to try a cleanse/fast.

I'm not sure I can say it was easy but, it wasn't that hard. When you are drinking juice every 2 hours from 7am to 7pm, it helps you focus on that task. I rewarded myself at the end of the day with an organic bubble bath and some lavender essential oil. Sending a positive message to the brain is important when tackling something new or a bit more challenging then the norm.

 

My 3-day Cleanse Journey

It's day one of my 3-day cleanse which started with a 2.5 mile walk on July 4th. What a perfect day to celebrate freedom from toxins! Instead of focusing on what I won't be eating, I'm focusing on the benefits such as mental clarity, focus and increased energy.

I prepared my body by eliminating meat and increased my consumption of fresh, raw organic fruits and vegetables. If you consume alcohol, caffeine or dairy on a regular basis, I  would eliminate these products a few days before as well. Except for an occasional (organic) ice cream, I swore off these vices years ago. However, with dark chocolate, I still have issues!

I typically make my own juices but due to time constraints and the fact I sold my juicer a few years back (in lieu of a Vitamix), I purchased the organic juices from a local company called Sunshine Juice. I'm not being paid to endorse their products, I just wanted to share my experience with others. Their cleanse consists of seven juices per day which you consume every two hours.

It's been several years since my husband and I fasted. He is a great support as he offered to join me...with modifications (as he tossed the pound of grass-fed beef back in the freezer). His modified liquid diet will consist of using our favorite plant-based powder, Juice Plus Complete, with almond milk. We've used the shakes for several years (love them) and this is what I will transition to prior to starting back on whole food.

I remember how much fun with had with it last time as we started to get a little slap happy around the second and third day. Watching television wasn't a good idea as we realized almost every commercial promoted food! Even though most of it isn't stuff we would ever eat, it all started to look good. We decided that reading was our best bet and I spent lots of time in prayer and meditation.

For me, this isn't about weight loss, although I put on a few extra pounds over the winter. Cleansing is more for the emotional and spiritual aspects of my life. Spending time with my creator without distractions is my ultimate goal.

Now Hiring: Office Manager at B Renewed Wellness Center

Do you have a passion for serving others or looking for a way to help others with their health? B Renewed is currently looking to hire an Office Manager with the following skills: *Attention to detail, professionalism and passion for serving others are priority *Strong interpersonal skills needed to greet and educate clients, answer telephone, schedule appointments and occasionally work events *Health and nutrition with administrative experience knowledge preferred *Approximately 25-30/hrs a week, Monday thru Thursday 8:30-4:30, which could lead to full time potential *Enjoys a calming work environment with Christian morals *Strong skills in Office Suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) required *College education preferred. Please send a resume and cover letter stating how you can fulfill the above requirements and why you would be a great asset to our clients and team. Email your resume and cover letter to gethealthy@brenewed.com with the words Office Manager in the Subject line.

Can You Handle the Truth?

A couple years ago I discovered a great book called One Word that will change your life. The book inspired me to create a one word theme for my personal and professional life. My word this year is Truth!

As a chronic people pleaser, I sometimes avoid the truth. It’s not that I outright lie but it’s more I’m not being true to myself or being true to the person God called me to be. You truly cannot serve two masters; it’s either man or God.

When you try to be all things to all people, you start to become someone you are not. And know, you may not like this other person that you become. I’ve withheld truth from my friends and family far too long and realize this serves no one and could actually do harm in certain situations. We withhold truth to avoid hurting someone’s feelings but we must consider the truth may help them to grow.

So this year, it’s the year of truth. I’m speaking the truth in love. Someone close to me recently told me a truth that initially hurt me. She brought to light a character flaw that was causing others to hurt. However painful it was to hear, my love and respect for this person escalated beyond measure. My husband has always had the gift of speaking truth in love (although the delivery may lack gentleness at times).

Whatever method the truth is delivered, it creates an opportunity for growth as we typically grow the most through adversity. I’ve in turn shared my feelings/truth with people that I’ve kept hidden inside for years. Sharing my feelings has allowed me to trust and help others see me for who I really am.

Part of my truth journey is cleaning my house literally and figuratively. I’ve eliminated clutter from my home, office and mind. I’ve unsubscribed, unfriended, opted out of groups, events or services that no longer speak to my truth. When you are in constant response mode to email, texts and Messenger, you are living by other’s agendas and being controlled by their needs. Seeing the balance between serving and being a slave to others is where the balance lies.

I’ve also eliminated exposure to people in my life that aren’t of truth or are in alignment with my goals and mission. I’m protecting my God-time and sacred positive energy. We have to continually fill our cup/mind with messages of hope, positivity, love and abundance. My focus is on making a huge impact in the world. Therefore, I’m not accepting excuses or negativity from myself or others. Saying “no” to people and things that are not in alignment with my purpose means saying “YES!” to freedom (my word in 2016) and truth.

Truth is sincerity of actions and character, not just the absence of a lie. Truth is the self-expression of God. Be true to who God called you to be. He doesn’t call us to play small in this world. I challenge you to find your truth and step out in faith this year.

Why you won’t see me wearing a fitness tracker

Fitness TrackerTechnology, for the most part, is great! It has changed the way we act, think, communicate and yes, it has even changed the way we track our physical activity; but have we crossed the line? Could the popularity of these fitness tracking devices actually put your health at risk? The answer is a big, resounding YES!

I continually remind people, especially women (and their children), not to sleep with their cell phones next to their head or keep it on their body constantly; and now, someone creates a device that is made to be worn 24/7, even while sleeping!

It’s important to understand that ALL wireless and electronic devices emit either high or low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and EMF’s have been linked to cancer. I find it ironic that a so-called “health gadget” is, in actuality, negatively affecting our long-term health. To make things worse, many employers have decided to make wearing a fitness tracking device mandatory for employees as an incentive to help them reduce overall health insurance costs.

The Working Group classified ELF-EMFs as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”,
based on limited evidence from human studies in relation to childhood leukemia.

In addition, there have been 2,300 studies by the US Navy showing biological impacts of EMF exposure. A 2016 study by the National Toxicology Program shares preliminary results showing that cell phone radiation causes cancer in rats. This study is the gold standard of EMF research and makes it clear that our current wireless safety standards do not adequately protect the public.

While physical activity is important, a person’s level of physical activity is only one small component of their overall health. In fact, some of the most active people can often be the least healthy. Take athletes for example. People make assumptions that athletes must be extremely healthy, yet that is not always true. Many athletes have little or no nutritional knowledge. If we could attach a camera to individuals who embrace this mindset and evaluate their lifestyles, we would discover that many people are eating toxin-laden foods.

True health begins with feeding and detoxing the cells, which can only be found in whole clean food; free of additives, preservatives, hormones, steroids, GMO's and/or other toxins. Listen closely and you will often hear me say, “skinny is not healthy, nor can you out exercise a bad diet.”

Keep in mind that it is also important to take into consideration the amount of stress these devices may create. One of the most dangerous contributors to the increase in adrenal stress is constant mental and physical exertion. In other words, telling someone they have to meet a certain amount of steps or physical exertion could have a serious negative impact on their health.

I love to see people becoming aware of their health and the positive impact of physical movement; however, do we really need more EMF exposure to make this happen? What about the peace of strolling through nature untethered versus the stress of something monitoring your every movement? Could this monitoring activity create continual emotional stress of feeling like you're not measuring up to a one-size fits all standard?

So it’s time to ditch the device and refuse to limit your health goals with measuring steps or miles. Get out and experience some fun, sweaty activity….. just the way God and nature intended.