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Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Discovered 1962 Speech

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Today, the day we celebrate the life of our country’s greatest civil rights leader, I hope you have a few minutes to go listen to a new online exhibition featuring the only known recording of Dr. Martin Luther’s King, Jr.’s 1962 speech, now available from the New York State Museum.  The speech commemorated the centennial anniversary of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

New Resolve for the New Year: Seven Resolutions for a Healthier Lifestyle

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With the New Year come New Year’s Resolutions!  The most popular resolutions often have something to do with health as people recommit to a healthy lifestyle in the new year.  Maybe you’ve already been thinking about your resolutions, but if not, we’ve put together seven resolutions to help you lead a more healthful life:

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1.  Graze your way to better health

Making even small changes in your diet can have favorable results for better health.  Keep a diary to track what you eat during the day and review what changes you may need to make.  Choosing organic food is one easy way to help eliminate toxins from your body.

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2.  Boost your physical activity

For some, this might mean starting to train for a marathon; for others, it might mean getting up from the couch more often during commercials. Try some new approaches to see what works best for you.  Try parking your car a little further away, start your day with a few stretches, or dance the night away with your sweetheart.  A few modifications done consistently can develop into beneficial habits.

3.  Sleep well

A good night’s sleep can help restore your body and provide the energy you need for the next day.  Going to bed at a regular time each night can help you sleep better. Perhaps it is time to flip your mattress or invest in a new one.  If you haven’t budgeted for a new mattress, consider starting the new year with a new pillow.  A good pillow may help you sleep better, and may even help those with allergies.  We spend about a third of our lives in bed, so make sure your bed and bedding help promote your health rather than damage it.

4.  Quit smoking

OK, perhaps this falls into the “easier said than done” category.  If you do smoke, try cutting back.  It’s hard to quit cold turkey, so try the gradual approach.  Maybe you pick a day of the week when you won’t smoke, or wait until the afternoon before you have your first cigarette.  If you’re tired of eating sunflower seeds during smoking cessation, try other approaches, such as hypnosis, acupuncture or tai chi to help manage stress.

5.  Stretch your brain cells

Keep your brain active by brushing the dust off an old hobby or by learning something new.  Maybe you took music lessons in your youth but haven’t touched an instrument in years.  Did you learn a foreign language in school, but don’t get a chance to use it?  You may be surprised at how much you have retained.  Stay curious and seek new things to learn.  Try out your skills at crossword puzzles or other games to keep your brain active and healthy.

6.  Expand your social life

Creating positive relationships with others can help your physical and emotional health.  A good social network is a great way to connect with others who may share similar interests or introduce you to new ones.  Try volunteering at a local nonprofit.  Seek out a community center in your area for social gatherings or classes.  Don’t sit on the sidelines…get in the game.

 7.  Visit your doctor

Healthcare has become more affordable for millions of Americans.  Take stock of your current situation by getting a complete physical.  An assessment can help you focus on areas that might need more immediate attention.

By taking even small steps in these areas you can reduce your risk of many ailments and enjoy the journey on the road to a healthier lifestyle.

May the New Year bring you much health & happiness!

Researching GMOs

There has been a lot of talk about GMOs lately, including this from the Organic Consumers Association (OCA):

The GMO "Arctic Apple®"

“The Arctic Apple® provides no health benefit to consumers. No benefit to growers. It’s only “benefit” is that it won’t turn brown when you slice it or bite into it. 

The USDA is set to approve the GMO apple before Christmas. Unless the agency heeds the tens of thousands of consumers, environmentalists and apple growers who are asking for more safety testing. Or at the least, a label?”

To check out the full article, click HERE.
 

I realized I don’t know as much about GMOs as I would like, so I did a little research.  The Non-GMO Project is a great resource for GMO information.  From their website:

imagesGMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

“Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.”  (Check out their website for tons of great information.)

If you are unsure of where you stand on the GMO issue, or just want to know what the fight is all about, the best thing you can do is research for yourself.  An informed consumer is the best defense against huge corporations putting profit before people and the environment.

The Luxurious 81

Have you ever thought about a mattress that can evolve with your body, that can change as your body changes over the years? OMI has created a mattress that allows you to do just that. When you order the 81, you choose our standard configuration or select a completely custom configuration tailored to your exact needs.

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100%-natural rubber latex mattress. The OrganicPedic® 81 is the apex of personal luxury. With 18 interchangeable options of comfort and a separate 3” sculpted layer, the 81 creates a truly customized sleep experience. Each individual latex sleep zone is covered in the finest organic cotton knit (which feels “like butter”) and embroidered to identify the comfort option it provides. Experience the hand-crafted quality, attractive design, and 81 personal sleep zones of the OrganicPedic 81.

SURFACE: Sculpted

FIRMNESS: Customizable
*

DEPTH: 14″

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MSRP (mattress only): 
queen $9395 • king $11395

House Committee Examines Senate Chemical Bill

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From the ISPA (International Sleep Products Association), regarding our government acknowledging the use of chemicals in products:

“The Energy and Commerce subcommittee on the Environment and the Economy held a hearing today on the bipartisan Chemical Safety Improvement Act, a bill currently pending in the Senate. This is a significant action as the House rarely holds hearings on Senate legislation. The legislation would update the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), which governs the use of chemicals in consumer products in the U.S. ISPA is a member of the American Alliance for Innovation (AAI), which was formed to make sure that any legislation to reform TSCA did not burden the industry. ISPA joined members of the AAI in supporting the compromise legislation.

Despite broad support, there has been an effort by some Senators, states and environmental groups to make changes to the legislation because they are concerned with the bill’s preemptive effect on state chemical laws. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is leading this charge and spoke at a recent hearing about making changes to the bill because she fears the compromise bill will limit California’s Proposition 65 and other state chemical laws. The AAI and ISPA support the bill, in part, because of its preemptive effect. The hearing and further action by the house could put pressure on the senate to not make significant changes to the current bill.

Any action on the legislation is not expected until next year at the earliest.

Efforts to reform TSCA in the past have failed but those were partisan efforts. ISPA will continue to follow the progress on this legislation.”

Get a Better Night’s Sleep!

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 poll on exercise and sleep, getting more exercise will not only benefit you by gaining a better quality of sleep, but will also help you fall asleep faster and have fewer sleep problems.

Here are the National Sleep Foundation’s definitions of the types of exercise found in the chart below.

“In this self-report measure, vigorous was defined as activities, which require hard physical effort such as: running, cycling, swimming or competitive sports. The next level, moderate, was defined as activities, which require more effort than normal such as: yoga, thai chi and weight lifting. Light activity was defined as walking, while those who do not do any activity classified themselves into the no activity level.”

National Sleep Foundation Results

To view the full summary of the Sleep in America Poll®, click HERE.

Where do you fall on the chart?

Conscientious Fall Clothing

It’s almost time for the sweaters and the boots to make their way to the front of our closets and to send back the shorts and tank tops. Maybe you are in need of a new pair of boots or want some cute new tops to go along with your favorite pair of jeans. This year try to shop a bit more consciously.6905011699_7462d1f2fc_o

Try shopping at a second-hand store. Consignment stores are a great option for purchasing designer clothing (at a great price) or even clothes that are in excellent condition that someone else didn’t want anymore at a great price. Thrift-store shopping is also a wonderful option because many thrift stores use proceeds to help non-profit organizations, such as Goodwill. In addition to shopping at either consignment or thrift stores, remember you can also donate your unwanted clothing as well.

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While looking to add to your closet but not wanting to over-purchase, try an eco-conscious 5-in-1, skirt or dress. Sold in stores across the US, you can find many different styles to fit your needs. Thieves Boutique has a beautiful drape-style dress that can be worn as sleeveless, halter, long, medium or short to get the most bang for your buck. They also have a beautiful selection of clothing by sustainable designers.

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Another way to shop is trying an organic or eco-conscious brand for your everyday clothing. Threads 4 Thought is a personal favorite. Not only do they use organic cotton, but they give to large charities as well as promoting a cleaner environment by recycling. It doesn’t hurt that their clothing is absolutely adorable as well.

Remember when shopping to bring your own reusable bags to reduce waste and carpool with friends for fun and to reduce your carbon footprint.

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