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Eat The Rainbow

We were privileged to have Nancy Eiseman, owner of Queen Bee Foods, speak to our campers this week. Their mission is to make healthy, sustainable foods readily available to the families in our community. Their produce is organic and as much is locally grown as they can find. She shared information about the benefits of organic foods, cracking the code on genetically modified foods and provided our campers with many other helpful tips including how to eat the rainbow.

Fresh Vegetable Juices
One such tip was to eat the rainbow! While visually bright, cheerful colors can certainly give you a sunny outlook on life, we should all take a few seconds to appreciate how they affect our bodies. Did you know that the more intense the colors of your food are, the more positive effect those foods will have on your body? That right! So try adding some Technicolor foods to your plate this week. Some great examples are blueberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, ruby red grapefruits, beets and tomatoes.When you make a point of eating foods saturated in color your body responds by healing itself and fighting against disease. When your body is functioning on this level you will find yourself feeling full of life and energy.

Another tip to help us remember to get those Technicolor foods on our plates is to “eat a rainbow” for health.

Red fruits and vegetables such as apples, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelons improve heart and blood health and support joints.

Orange fruits and vegetables such as oranges, apricots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes and pumpkin help to protect against cancer and promotes collagen growth.

Yellow fruits and vegetables such as pears, bananas, pineapple and yellow peppers help with vision, digestion and immune system support.

Green fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, cucumbers and kiwi are powerful detoxifiers and fight free radicals.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables such as red cabbage, red onion, eggplant, blueberries, blackberries and figs help to improve mineral absorption and are powerful antioxidants.

White vegetables such as cauliflower, onions, garlic and mushrooms activate our natural killer cells and reduce cancer risk.

Nancy said it best, “Challenge yourself to eat the rainbow! You will be so glad you did!”

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Unstoppable Force vs. Immovable Object

Riddle me this! What happens when an unstoppable force strikes the immovable object? You would be surprised by the many ways the campers answered this question! When Doc first presented this question to the campers they thought there was only one obvious answer. They called out responses such as, “nothing happens!” “Both can’t be true at once!” “It’s a stalemate!”

Unstoppable Force vs. Immovable Object
The next train of thought that arose was, if the force is unstoppable then there is no object that would be immovable. Then of course there were those campers who saw it on the flip side, if the object is immovable then there is no force that is unstoppable. It seems that the more they thought about it, the more other perspectives began to appear.Did their cancer result from an unstoppable force colliding with an immovable object? Was it their cancer that was the unstoppable force or was it the immovable object? Was it their will to live that was the unstoppable force or was it the immovable object? Can you control your dys-ease? As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”

One camper felt that this was similar to the scenario of the palm tree versus the oak tree. The palm tree can withstand the unstoppable force of hurricane winds because of their ability to bend and sway whereas the immovable, unbendable mighty oak with its massive, deep roots which symbolizes strength and endurance, topples over.

Dr. Garcia tells his patients, “You thought your way into cancer, however you will have to learn how to feel your way back to health. Do not embrace the terms right or wrong, after all who decides which it is? Access to wellness lies within each and every one of us. Your access hinges upon your flexibility and your belief that you are ready, able and willing to trust yourself to use your innate healing ability again!”

Which would you rather be? Would you rather be flexible allowing you to reflect upon your choices and make changes or would you rather be rigid and fixed and unable to acclimate?

So what do you think happens when the unstoppable force strikes the immovable object?

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Sleep For The Health of It!

Sleep is one of those simple yet powerful tools that is truly a health weapon. A good night’s sleep makes you feel much healthier and allows you to function better throughout your day. When you have good sleeping habits, it has a domino effect on every aspect of your life. You’ll feel more alert, energetic and motivated to make other positive lifestyle changes. So sleep for the health of it!

Sleep For The Health of It
The widespread use of electricity has given us greater freedom but it has also given us the opportunity to stay up late and push ourselves to do more resulting in sleep deprivation. What you may not realize is that sleep deprivation is cumulative. You don’t adapt to sleep deprivation, you only get more tired and eventually unhealthy.Many things interfere with a good night’s sleep these days. Emails, social media and smartphones have all become such a part of living in our modern world that we borrow time from sleep to do more.Sleep is needed to regenerate the body. When you don’t get enough, your body doesn’t heal. The body’s immune system is actually weakened without sleep which not only causes you to be sick but it also causes you to age prematurely. Sleep studies are finding that women who averaged less than five hours of sleep per night had a higher death rate than those who slept seven hours and that women going to bed too late may be doubling their risk of breast cancer.
It is time to make sleep a priority and look upon it as you would any other essential nutrient that affects virtually every aspect of your life.
Here are a few tips for getting the right amount and quality of sleep you need.

  • Go to bed at the same time every night – Give yourself a scheduled bedtime or before long your awake time will be squeezing its way into sleep time.
  • Unplug – Make sure you are not doing anything but relaxing, journaling or reading an hour before going to bed. That means no electronics. Doing so allows your body to release the hormone melatonin which helps to get you to sleep.
  • Keep your room cool and well ventilated – Keeping your room temperature on the cooler side and using an air purifier can improve the way you breathe and ultimately the way you sleep.
  • Limit caffeine – Drinking caffeine can prolong the time it takes you to fall asleep and can decrease the time that you stay asleep.
  • Limit alcohol – Alcohol may make you fall asleep quicker but your quality of sleep may be diminished causing you to wake up feeling tired.

Make sleep as essential as eating, exercising or anything else that you consider important to your health. Pleasant dreams!

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You are invited to an open house

Utopia Wellness and Carlos Garcia, MD are excited to announce the launch of their new iVitamin Bar. They would like to invite you to an Open House and Launch Party on Thursday, September 10 between 6-8pm to celebrate this exciting new paradigm in integrative and functional medicine. The iVitamin Bar offers vitamin rich therapies delivered intravenously for maximum absorption and benefit. The setting is hip, social and therapeutic where you can enjoy your drip while surfing the internet on a complementary iPad, relax in a massage chair and enjoy aromatherapy oxygen.  The treatments include the Myer’s Cocktail, detoxifying Royal Flush, Fountain of Youth for Anti-Aging, Game Day for energy and stamina, Immune Booster , Fat Burner and an Alkaline Drip to fend off disease. They also offer a Glutathione injection that improves the function of other anti-oxidants. These therapies are fast, painless, affordable, and provide rapid and lasting results. Most importantly, you do not need extensive lab work and the consultation is brief and free. So whether you are looking for added energy or a competitive edge, there is a drip designed for you. Call (727)799-9060 to schedule your visit to the iVitamin Bar or visit www.TheiVitaminBar.com to learn more.
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Seeking Approval

Why do we need justification? Many of us need justification because we need the approval of others. We value other’s approval and acceptance of us more than we value ourselves. This is not our fault! We have been programed to need the approval of others! By the way, that’s a justification!

Seeking Approval
It is true that we are programed to need the approval of others. We have all been conditioned to see our worth through someone else’s eyes. It begins very early in our lives as we seek the approval of our parents, our teachers and our classmates. Then later in life we seek the approval of our superiors and our peers.  This leads to a pattern of our needing to get the right grades, getting into the right schools, finding the right job, marrying the right partner, buying the right house, driving the right car, and on and on and on.Justification is really a way to blame something or someone else for our own problems, our own bad decisions. We have a choice, instead of finding someone or something else to blame we can take ownership of our bad decisions and learn from them.  You can make the decision to change or you can make the decision not to change knowing that if you continue to make the same bad choices that resulted in you getting sick and you don’t make any changes you will continue to be sick.  You can also choose not to choose and avoid the issue, avoid growth or you can choose to be a victim so you don’t have to take responsibility for yourself. Illness can be your justification. You can use your illness as an excuse to avoid everything in your life that makes you uncomfortable.

What is lacking from all of these choices is self-respect. If you respect yourself you will make good choices. If you don’t respect yourself you will make bad choices because you will have someone or something else to blame. The key to self-respect is to take ownership of these bad decisions and forgive yourself. This will free you to start making better choices moving forward. You can choose to transform your sense of worth. That’s when you don’t need justification, when you take ownership and forgive yourself. That’s when you don’t need others approval to feel worthwhile.

Justification is just another word for staying in your head because that’s what you know, that’s what you are comfortable with. When you no longer are seeking approval, you know that you are aligned with your head and your heart. When you switch your mindset to growth, happiness and health, that’s when the healing process begins.

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Aromatherapy Oxygen Therapy Now Available at The iVitamin Bar

The human body is rapidly becoming oxygen deprived. We have become a society of shallow breathers. When we are anxious and stressed our breath follows suit. Our muscles become tensed which causes our breathing to become constricted. Factor in our sedentary lifestyles and shallow breathing becomes a lifestyle habit.

Oxygen Bar
Research has shown that this habit of shallow breathing affects us in many ways. Some of these affects are immediate such as dizziness, loss of concentration, muscle cramps, heart palpitations and fatigue. Some of these affects have long term ramifications such as the build-up of toxins, sleep disorders and reduced function of the lungs and immune system. Ninety percent of all our biological energy comes from oxygen. It is the essential element that the human body needs to thrive. Our shallow breathing habits are leading us to premature aging and reduced vitality.The good news is that it is possible to reverse these affects! Just becoming aware of your breathing throughout the day will help you to make immediate changes. Focusing on your breathing can have a significant impact on your stress level and can create physical changes such as lowering your blood pressure. You can also try practicing deep abdominal breathing techniques and periodically check yourself for muscle tension. Another alternative is the additional intake of oxygen.

Oxygen starvation has become so prevalent that oxygen bars have become a popular hot spot. The oxygen used in oxygen bars is between 90% and 92% allowing 4 to 5 times more oxygen than the average breath. The iVitamin Oxygen Bar at Utopia Wellness offers oxygen with aromatherapy such as calming lavender and vanilla, uplifting peppermint and wintergreen and invigorating mountain berry which can be purchased for $1.00 per minute.  Visit www.TheiVitaminBar.com to see what other new offerings are now available at Utopia Wellness.

These sessions of scented oxygen can boost energy levels, increase endurance during exercise, help you bounce back more quickly from physical exertion, provide relief from stress and pollution, enhance concentration, relax the body and ease headaches and hangovers.

So when you find yourself feeling anxious and tense and your breathing is short and labored simply surround yourself in a relaxing and positive environment and just breathe.

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iVitamin Bar is a Hit!

Optimizing your health is no longer something that you do just at your doctor’s office. More and more these days’ people are taking ownership of their own health outcomes. This forward thinking movement was evident by the interest and record attendance of like-minded individuals at the iVitamin Bar launch party. The buzz that built over the opening brought together old and new friends, family, colleagues, health advocates and care givers alike. The excitement and good energy flowed through the entire facility and spilled over into the lobby. The message was clear; the bay area was ready for us!

iVitamin Bar launch party
John Der, an attendee of the launch party who has already enjoyed the benefits of a few of our IVs stated, “This is amazing! I can’t believe what you have to offer here. I am in better shape now in my fifties than when I was in my thirties. My wife and I have made our health a priority. We designate funds towards improving our health, we are worth the investment.”Owners and managers of several area businesses were also in attendance. They commented on the potential preventative benefits of our immune boosting IVs in terms of lowering employee sick leave incidents.Our medical director, Dr. Carlos Garcia, welcomed our guests with an address in which he expounded on the fact that we are accustomed to maintaining our cars in order to prevent malfunctions and breakdowns yet when it comes to our health, we use and abuse our bodies to the breaking point. Our collective pattern is to then run to a physician for a quick fix expecting them to pull out a pill to repair the problem.

He challenged the crowd gathered around him to be part of the movement towards preventative measures in addition to lifestyle and dietary changes. When we play an active role in maintaining our wellbeing, we can improve the quality of our lives. It’s time for us to take charge and become more responsible in maintaining our bodies. We’re often so tuned in to listening to medical experts that we lose touch with the most important expert of this whole process, ourselves.

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Inflammation Accelerates Aging

Inflammation serves a valuable purpose in our bodies. When we sustain an injury, the brain sends a signal to the (injured) area in an attempt to heal itself. The problem comes when the inflammatory process hangs around longer than wanted or expected.  This is when the real damage occurs because inflammation accelerates aging.

Inflammation Accelerates Aging
When inflammation becomes chronic, the body’s immune system becomes overworked. The weakened immune system and damaged cells leads to degenerative age-related conditions such as heart disease, gout, certain cancers, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s just to name a few.  Inflammation, however, is not out of your control.  Just like with any other unwelcome guest, your job is to make the stay uncomfortable enough to get them to leave.Many times people wait till problems occur before making changes.  Perhaps it is the smoker that decides to quit smoking when the diagnosis is cancer.  Or the type 2 diabetic that decides to stick to a weight loss program for fear their life will be shortened because of it.  Shifting from a reactive mentality to a proactive approach can aid in preventing and reversing the damaging effects to the immune system earlier in life.  Moreover, as in many aging diseases, you can shift chronic inflammation through easy changes to your diet and behavior.  Lifestyle changes such as not smoking, dietary changes promoting weight loss and stress reduction techniques can slow the damage which leads to a longer, healthier life.
Your diet can also assist in reducing inflammation and thus slowing this aging process. Excess fat equals excess inflammation. Processed foods which contain sugar, refined carbohydrates, unhealthy trans fats and saturated fats promote inflammation. A Mediterranean based diet can reduce inflammation due to its approach of eating healthy oils such as olive oil along with fish, fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.
Consider adding these inflammation fighters to your dietary regimen for improved measures of health and decreased risks of age-related diseases.

  • Ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and garlic have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. These spices can be easily incorporated into many recipes for stews and sauces.
  • Oily fish such salmon, trout, black cod, sardines, mackerel, herring and anchovies contain omega-3 fatty acids which not only reduce inflammation but also decrease levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  • Adding a colorful variety of vegetables and fruits to your diet can help fight inflammation because they are low in fat and calories and high in antioxidants.
  • Legumes such as lentils and chickpeas and seeds including chia and flax help to increase the healthy bacteria lining the stomach which helps to reduce inflammation.
  • Consume anti-inflammatory alternative grains such as quinoa, amaranth, millet and barley as opposed to refined white flour, rice and pasta. Whole grains have more fiber, which has been shown to reduce levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the blood.

Enjoying delicious anti-inflammatory foods while avoiding inflammatory ones, as well as avoiding lifestyle choices that leave us vulnerable to inflammation, not only slows the aging process it can help prevent chronic disease. That’s a win-win situation for everyone!

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Green Tea Meditation

We have all heard of the great health benefits of drinking green tea but were you aware of the immunity building benefits of meditation? Through meditation, you can increase your health by stimulating your brain to activate your immune system. Meditation creates the perfect environment for the immune system to flourish.

Green Tea Meditation
That is why we decided to combine these two super powers in a green tea meditation as a special treat for our campers. This simple yet effective mediation can be done anytime you make yourself a hot cup of delicious, health promoting green tea.This meditation begins with the actual ritual of making the tea. As you are boiling the water, brewing the leaves and then sipping the brew, be mindful and pay close attention to each of your movements.

  • When you are in the process of boiling the water, just boil the water, don’t do anything else. Notice your breath and allow it to set the tone.
  • Observe the water as the first few bubbles rise to the surface and then steadily turns into a rolling boil.
  • Reflect on the fact that the earth is mostly water. We are mostly water. Water is a miracle and so is heat. We are meant to enjoy them.
  • Steep the tea for only a few minutes. As it is steeping notice how the color of the water changes as this infusion is taking place.
  • Observe as the shades of brew deepen with time.
  • Once the tea is prepared and poured, sit in a comfortable position.
  • Notice the steam wafting up from the cup and then take a couple of deep breaths before continuing the meditation.
  • If you should hear any unexpected noises or sounds allow them to become part of the experience. Maybe it was intended for you to notice that moment.
  • Cradle the tea cup in one or both hands.
  • Allow your eyes to gently close and take a slow and easy cleansing breath and exhale slowly.
  • Relax the space of your forehead, between your eyes.
  • Breathe in once again and fill your lungs full of air and as you exhale feel the relaxation travel from your head down to your feet and toes. From your skin to your bones.
  • Now slowly open your eyes and observe the cup in your hand.
  • Feel the warmth of the tea coming through the ceramic.
  • Take a deep breath and exhale slowly.
  • Quiet your mind and concentrate solely on the cup of tea in front of you.
  • As you breathe easily, softly inhale the aromas arising out of your cup.
  • Notice the color of the brew.
  • Now slowly take a small sip of your tea.
  • Pay attention to the temperature. Is it hot, is it warm, is it cool?
  • Continue to breathe easily.
  • Now take another sip. This time notice the taste. Is it earthy, is it grassy, is it floral?
  • Take time to give gratitude and to appreciate the fact that this infusion was made possible by someone thousands of miles away who picked the leaves.
  • As you take another sip, how does the body of the tea feel in your mouth? Is it dry and thin, creamy and full, heavy or light?
  • Observe any tea leaves that have settled to the bottom of your cup. What do you see? Observe them just as you would look at the clouds searching for forms to appear, can you see any objects? Are they significant to you?
  • Continue to breathe easily.
  • Now go ahead and take the time to enjoy the rest of your tea.

You will find that during the rest of your day you will feel a little more relaxed, more present in the moment and generally more calm and centered. You might notice that taking the time to enjoy this act enriches all the other activities in your day.

Whenever you feel the need to return to this Utopian state of relaxation, just brew yourself a cup of tea and follow this simple green tea meditation.

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Juicing for Health!

If you have spent any time around us here at Utopia Wellness, you know that we are crazy about juicing! Juicing offers many life-enhancing health benefits including a more efficient way to absorb immune boosting nutrients naturally found in fruits and vegetables. Juicing is the fastest way to get these great nutrients into your bloodstream and give your body an alkaline boost.

Juicing for Health
We recommend to our campers that they purchase organic fruits and vegetables, but they still must be cleansed prior to juicing. It is important to use safety precautions when preparing produce for juicing in a home juicer. Remember, this is an unpasteurized juice and it may increase your risk of food contamination.Follow these steps below every time you prepare your healthy and delicious juicing creations!

Step 1: Choose fresh, ripe, organic vegetables for juicing. Examine your vegetables for signs of damage and bruising, avoiding those that contain brown spots and bruises. When purchasing cut produce, such as bagged mixed greens, select only ones that you find in the refrigerated section of your produce department. Place your fresh produce selections in plastic bags to keep them away from raw meats and other sources of bacteria and contamination.

Step 2: When you bring your produce home from the market cleanse the vegetables thoroughly by soaking them in cold water and white distilled vinegar. Use a ratio of ten cups of water to cup of vinegar. Use a vegetable brush to scrub the outside of firm vegetables. Allow the vegetables to dry prior to placing them in plastic bags.

Step 3: Store your fresh produce in a cool area until you are ready to make juice. Keep them in a refrigerator with a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Although not all vegetables require refrigeration, this is a good rule of thumb when making fresh juice from produce.

Step 4: Remove your vegetables from your refrigerator when you want to make your juice. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before you prepare to handle fresh produce. Rinse and re-inspect your vegetables.

Step 5: Dry the wet vegetables with clean paper towels to help remove any remaining bacteria from the surfaces. Place your vegetables on a clean cutting board. Cut off any bruised areas or soft spots. Cut the vegetables into wedges small enough to fit in the opening of your juicing machine. Feed the vegetables through your juicer according to the instructions included with your machine.

Step 6: Drink and enjoy!

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