The following article,  “Enhance the Connection Between Your Mind, Body and Soul,” is by Author Kimberly Hayes, who is currently working on her new book on alternative addiction treatments.  Read more below.

Image via Pixabay

You don’t have to hike the mountains of Tibet to find a peaceful place to reflect on life and its meaning. Making small changes to your day can help you connect – or reconnect – with your higher power or settle in with your spiritual side.

Hit the hay the right way

Sleep is one of the cornerstones of overall wellness, but for many people, it can be hard to come by. While we tend to blame our busy schedules and obligations for our lack of shut-eye, our bedrooms have more to do with our sleep health than a lot of us realize. If you’ve already taken basic sleep-well steps, like cutting down on caffeine consumption and going to bed earlier, use a critical eye to examine your bedroom. Do you have a lot of light or outside noise pouring in each night? Hang some light- and noise-reducing blackout curtains. Do you wake up sweating at 2 a.m.? Turn the temperature down before climbing into bed, or if you don’t have air conditioning in your room, install a small window unit. Getting adequate rest on a regular basis can make a world of difference in how you feel physically and emotionally, so make sure you’ve created a bedroom space that supports that.

From morning ‘til night

Finding happiness, peace, and contentment is a matter of living in the moment – each moment. From the minute your eyes open until your head hits the pillow, you have to make a conscious effort to experience life. Take a minute to stretch and reflect on your day before you get out of bed. This five-minute exercise will prepare you for the ups and downs you’ll face. Do the same at the end of each day, but consider how your reactions to situations directed how you felt in each moment. Once you realize that you have control over your reactions, it’s easier to achieve overall happiness.

Meditation

Meditation allows you to focus on your strengths and narrow your train of thought. When you meditate, you have an opportunity to block out negative energy and avoid being overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings you’d rather not have. There are many benefits of clearing your mind and living in the moment. This infographic is a great introduction to how meditation affects the mind, body, and spirit.

Food and mental health

Taking care of your mental health doesn’t stop at meditation and intentional positivity. A mounting body of research, as highlighted by the American Psychological Association, suggests that the way you eat can have serious effects on your mental health. In one study, adults with depression were randomly assigned an eating plan designed to eliminate junk food and add more produce, legumes, and fish to their diet. The control group was told to continue their normal eating habits. More than one-third of the test subjects showed an improvement in depression levels, compared to the less than 10 percent of those who continued with an unchecked diet.

Fitness boosts spirituality

There are obvious benefits to paying attention to your physical health, but there are many more that hide just beneath the surface. Health Fitness Revolution explains that exercise releases epinephrine and dopamine, both hormones that directly relate to your perception of life. Further, working out gives your body sustainable energy and can help you operate on a higher mental plane, which can lead you toward your desired spiritual practices.

Whole health for a happy you

When you’re trying to live your best life, it isn’t enough just to focus on one aspect of your health. You have to put time and energy into all seven dimensions of wellness. These include intellectual, emotional, physical, social, spiritual, occupational, and environmental. If one of these doesn’t work for your lifestyle, it will knock you completely off balance. As an example, if you aren’t happy in your job – your occupational wellness – you may be stressed out, which is bad for your emotional health. Stress can take a toll on your physical health by swaying you away from making good choices regarding self-care. When you don’t make positive choices for your physical health, you may begin to pull away from your social activities, which can make you feel lonely and wreak havoc on your emotions.

The way you care for yourself every day impacts your overall quality of life. One small positive change can snowball and create a cycle of wellness that helps you thrive from the inside out.




After reading the following parable below, I could not help but share…
So the story goes that the sun and the wind were debating about who was more powerful. After boasting about their might, they made a wager. They wagered that whomever could force the coat off the man walking down the street was the most powerful. So the wind began to demonstrate it’s impressive power. It blew and blew, nearly ripping the coat right off the man, but he wrapped the coat around him tighter. Eventually the wind gave up. At that very moment the sun took over. Its shine became brighter and brighter until the man took off his coat and slung it over his shoulders.
Moral
What the wind attempted to do by force, the sun was able to do just by being.
In our everyday lives we often use our efforts/actions forcefully, pushing against instead of allowing our presence to invite what it is we wish to receive. We are being encouraged to surrender our forcefulness, and intense actions. This does not mean to give up on your goals and achievements. It is about understanding the process of manifestation in a more intellectual sense. There are ways to create that give you energy and doesn’t leave you worn out. It’s about allowing what you want to come to you with ease. Shine your light and allow your presence to invite what you want to receive. It is about cultivating an energetic affinity with what you seek, rather than feeling lack and need. It’s the feeling that you are already a naturally abundant being who gratefully invites more of what you want into your life. It’s about seeing the job you want in your mind’s eye, even if it is not yet the job you have. You energetically embody what you wish to attract more of into your life. Like attracts like!
That said, I am learning to manifest through gentle being-ness and attraction, choosing faith over fear.

Today’s blog was inspired by a “reading” I did on myself using the Archangel Power Tarot cards.  The message was “find time to celebrate, live more mindfully and you are free.”

As I was sitting and reviewing the cards and messages I couldn’t help but smile at what I thought was a great gentle reminder that I could share with my readers.

You see, everyone is working so hard and time seems to be flying by so much that small reminders like these are easily forgotten.  Our current world tends to demand more and more from each of us.  We tend to forget to simply smile, create, celebrate and let it all hang out.  Therefore, my first and important message to each of you is to relish time with good ole family and friends, as good family and friends contribute to a richer life.

In addition, we are moving into the new Libra moon of Transformation on October 8th.  During this transition take advantage of your moments by re-dedicating yourself to living a more purposeful and mindful life.

Try leaving the phone to charge in a separate room while singing along with your favorite song.  Ask “How can I find more moments to eat without texting or multitasking?” Live in that moment.

Moments are fleeting and when gone, they can’t be gotten back.  This is another reason why we must remember we are free.  The fears we face each day are just illusions. We can overcome many of our challenges by choosing to change our perspective.  Jot down different solutions, no matter how far-fetched, and then imagine yourself realizing these objectives.

Most of all, celebrate each and every moment and remember how good it is to be alive.

Enjoy some high vibes on me.

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Thank you for your support and if there’s content you’d like for me to cover, don’t hesitate to shoot me a comment.

Sending each of you love and light…Namaste,

So today on SoundCloud Sundays I featured guest blogger iObserver music selection.  Read more below

The Funkyard is a series of playlists that I’ve created on a popular streaming service. Stop by The Funkyard Pt.7 for some hot, sweaty, funky, good time tracks. It’s a party that would make Fred Sanford smile and maybe cut a rug or two. Not unlike a good wedding, the recipe for The Funkyard playlist could be described as “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.”
You can find all of that and more on the Pt.7 of this playlist that features Janelle Monae, Anderson Paak and The Internet alongside the Incredible Bongo Band, Prince, Bootsy Collins and The Ojays. Not to mention the underground sounds of Coultrain, Róisín Murphy and Maggie Rogers. So go swimming in the Frank Ocean dressed in “Pink + White” and dance like a Prince with lots of “Musicology.” Just be sure to have a funky good time!
Wanna construct it yourself? The full Funkyard Pt.7 playlist includes:
  1. “Dance or Die” by Jonelle Monae
  2. “Momma’s Place” by Róisín Murphy
  3. “Balancing Act” by Coultrain
  4. “Musicology” by Prince
  5. “Apache” by Incredible Bongo Band
  6. “Give a Little” by Maggie Rogers
  7. “Run” by Gnarls Barkley
  8. “Fire” by Ohio Players
  9. “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance” by Anderson.Paak
  10. “La Di Da” by The Internet
  11. “Together” by Kaytranda
  12. “Black Sweat” by Prince
  13. “Y Not?” by Coultrain
  14. “Making Plans for Nigel” by XTC
  15. “Pink + White” by Frank Ocean
  16. “Happy Man” by Jungle
  17. “I’d Rather be You” by Bootsy Collins
  18. “Backstabbers” by The Ojays
  19. “The Work Pt.1” by Prince

Dance or Die

Momma’s Place

Balancing Act

 

 

Musicology

 

 

Apache

Give A Little

Run

 

Fire

 

Heart Don’t Stand a Chance

 

La Di Da

Together

Black Sweat

 

Y Not?

 Making Plans for Nigel

Pink + White

Happy Man

I’d Rather Be With You

Back Stabbers

The Work Pt. 1

 

Summer is almost over and as we prepare our transition into September I’ve decided to post this article as a help to anyone out there working hard to overcome addiction.

The following article  “6 Underrated Addiction Recovery Techniques” is by Author Kimberly Hayes, who is currently working on her new book on alternative addiction treatments.  Read more below.

Photo credit: Pexels

6 Underrated Addiction Recovery Techniques’Aadd

Identifying and treating the feelings and behaviors that trigger and fuel addiction is a critical part of addiction recovery. What’s more, using alternative addiction recovery techniques in addition to your current efforts can nip triggers in the bud. Here are six alternative addiction techniques.

 

  1. Solid nutrition

 

Research has specifically shown that changing your diet can promote faster recovery, decrease withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression and protect neurons. Using nutrition to improve addiction recovery requires not only changing the kinds of foods that you eat, but also altering your dietary habits and disrupting ingrained behaviors. Now, don’t feel like you need to suddenly become vegan and eat only raw broccoli. Set goals to make small improvements in your diet. Even small changes result in big health benefits.

 

  1. Aerobics

 

Put on your best 80’s neon and sweat it out. Research has shown that an important part of addiction occurs when the reward center of the brain doesn’t work correctly. Exercise works the same parts of the brain that are used by addiction. It can change the way that the reward center works and help your brain be happy from exercise.

 

Studies have shown that for people with drug addiction, aerobic exercise significantly reduces symptoms of anxiety or depression that are sometimes associated with recovery. Enjoying aerobic exercise occurs when it’s done regularly, so make efforts to work out with friends or loved ones who can keep you accountable.

 

  1. Yoga

 

Yoga can form a critical part of recovery process because of its ability to offer both physical and mental discipline. A core reason that yoga is so successful is because its purpose is to changenegative thoughts and feelings that are associated with problematic behaviors of the human condition, such as addiction.

 

Additionally, yoga can helpwith common withdrawal symptoms, such as sleep problems, stress management, depression and anxiety. Schedule time in the morning or before you go to bed, since those are times where you can most easily set up a yoga or meditation habit.

 

  1. Gardening

 

There’s no feeling quite like getting your hands in the dirt and producingsomething of value. Gardening can be done by almost anyone, and your garden can be adjusted to fit your living situation. Being able to see the literal fruits of your labor is a meaningful way to establish a system of accountability, and it can be scaled to require as much or as little work as you want to devote. There’s a reasonthat it’s being suggested by more and more therapists as a useful supplement for mental illness treatment.

 

  1. Pet therapy

 

Pets are a surprisingly common factor in aiding in addiction recovery. Regardless of whether the pet is big or small, the relationship that people form with their animals can be a powerful way to establish accountability and manage stress. If your life circumstances or health don’t allow you to have a pet, that’s okay. You still have options.

 

  1. Going outdoors

 

Ecotherapy isn’t a new concept, as it’s probably been around for as long as humans have. However, more research and articles are highlighting its ability to help people cope with stress and overcome negative feelings. You can distract yourself and have better control addictive triggers or urges. Structure your weekends or downtime so that you can be outside. It can help curb cravings, and also will give you a chance to see incredible sights or meet new people.

 

Finding what works for you is largely trial-and-error. You’ll have to figure out which techniques best manage symptoms of addiction and work to turn those into habits. There are other kinds of alternative addiction recovery techniques available, such as alternative therapy strategies including psychodynamic psychotherapy, so stay open to new ideas and recovery approaches. Using these techniques can help you avoid relapse, manage stress and find inner strength.

 

Author

Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.

 

River-Kia.com has so much new information right here on this site.  We have added new graphic vegan tees to help you express your vegan pride and support the growth of this website.  AND…We’re now offering one-on-one plant-based transitional meal plan consultation services.

 

It’s traveling season so you might be wondering, what are the best vegan spots to check out while on the road?   Here are my recommendations for the following cities.

 

 

 

Native Food Cafe

Chicago

  • Chicago Diner
  • Chicago House of Za Vegan Pizzeria
  • Dimo’s Pizza
  • Kitchen 17
  • Native Food Café
  • Soul Vegetarian

Milwaukee

  • Café Manna
  • Cafe Manna

    Classic Slice

  • Comet Café
  • Stack’d
  • Urban Beets Café & Juicery

Memphis

  • Imagine Vegan Café

New York

  • Blossom Du Jour
  • Bareburger
  • Gust Organics
  • V-Life NYC

San Francisco

  • Gracias Madre
  • Hella Vegan Eats
  • Souley Vegan
  • The Butcher’s Son
  • The Happy Hooligans
  • The Plant Café Organic
  • True Food Kitchen
  • VeganBurg
  • Vegan Picnic

The Butcher’s Son

 

 

 

St. Louis

  • Confluence Kombucha
  • Lulu’s Local Eatery
  • Seedz Café
  • Pizza Head
  • Pizzeoli Wood Fired Pizza
  • PuraVegan Café & Yoga
  • Seedz Café
  • Small Batch
  • SweetArt
  • Tree House Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant

    SweetArt

 

 

Just recently I had the privilege to visit the San Francisco Bay area for the first time in my life.  The majestic scenery was one of the many perks to my visit. Of course, my all-time favorite thing about visiting this city was checking out the vegan restaurants.  If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen that I called this sojourn my San Francisco Vegan Restaurant Hop.

Hella Vegan Eats

Wonder what my favorite spots were?  Well, here goes. Out of the eight spots I visited, the top five were:

 

  1. Hella Vegan Eats

Is it a classic car museum or a vegan hipster hangout?  Well, both actually!  This was an impromptu addition to the vegan hop located in the heart of downtown Oakland.  Upon entering, I was greeted by the most colorful and eclectic scene: an emo-styled kitchen crew and hostesses surrounded by classic cars, blaring 80’s tunes, followed by a rave-like DJ set.  I ordered the chicken quesadilla with side of garlic fries and a ginormous chocolate covered rice crispy treat with jelly filling and sprinkles.  The meal was not only as different at the wait staff but was very satisfyingly delicious.

  1. Souley Vegan

Souley Vegan

OK…so this spot is both solely vegan and soulfully vegan.  As the title indicates the next hop is the soul food version of plant-based eating.  Located in the trendy Jack London Square entertainment district on the Oakland waterfront, this cozy restaurant had all the staples of soul food.  I ordered the yams, mac n’ cheese and fried chicken plate.  The taste was so “dead on” I had to ask the waiter if the food was really vegan.  Not to mention that my husband’s portabella mushroom burger was absolutely awesome!  A jazzy blues band surprised us with some serious chops made the experience even more fun.

  1. VeganBurg

Want a vegan burger that’s Taylor Swift approved?  Well this is a complete burger joint located in the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood that Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane made famous in the Summer of Love, but that features a big poster of “Swifty.”  The restaurant was clean, crisp and modern with savory seaweed fries and burgers made of seitan.  The vegan soft-serve ice cream with Oreo sprinkles was the topper!

VeganBurg

  1. The Butcher’s Son

What college town would be complete without a vegan deli?  This Berkeley restaurant did a great job with the décor, creating the illusion of a real deli, hence the name The Butcher’s Son.  I ordered the steak and cheese made of gluten but ate half of my husband’s Spicy Jackfruit sandwich (my favorite of the two entrees) which tasted like “MORE.”  The macaroni salad was delightful, as were the cupcakes and coffee cake desserts.  The portion sizes were large and extremely filling.

The Butcher’s Son

  1. Gracias Madre

Was Gracias Madre delicious? Si senora!   The San Francisco Mission District restaurant put a fun and absolutely delectable, gourmet spin on Mexican food.  Talk about yum.  I had the Enchiladas con Mole Dinner featuring two rolled tortillas with potato and zucchini topped with mole negro and crema, served with sautéed greens and beans.  This was a very upscale Mexican experience with all your favorite organic spirits.

 

Garcias Madre

Honorable Mentions | I also wanna give some love to the other cool vegan restaurants I visited: Vegan Picnic in downtown San Francisco, The Happy Hooligan in San Jose, The Plant Café Organic in downtown San Francisco, and True Food Kitchen in Palo Alto.

Let’s talk miracles. These days we are so super saturated with the gloom and doom of what’s going on in the world. From the many natural disasters to the human-deprecating reality TV. We often forget to find gratitude for the smallest things. Being grateful leads to the miracles that we sometimes overlook. Like getting a free pair of earrings just for being honest to the merchant that made them, or money showing up in your bank account right when you need to fill the gas tank/pay a bill or even just to be in the right place where a person will offer their help. These are all acts of miracles. We can manifest miracles in our daily lives by aligning with the belief that the universe has your back.

In these last few months I have been going through trying, dark and downright emotionally draining times on a lot of different levels but I had an ally… Miracles. Day in and day out I was privileged to recognize miracles in my life at every twist and turn. I speak on this topic today because when we acknowledge the smallest of miracles that happen to us, then more and more miracles will present itself. You will even experience bigger and bigger miracles.

So as a gentle reminder, take time out of your day and find the miracle of the day. Before long you’ll start witnessing multiple miracles and your life will change for the better.

In closing and just because I love music, here’s a SoundCloud Saturday Pick on a Thursday. So here goes…“Miracle” by The Score Official

August is here and with all the heavy energies out there, seems like we’re in need of something light and joyful so I propose…MUSIC!  That’s right, in this edition of SoundCloud Sunday (on a Wednesday), I’m promoting easy and fun music that will take the mind to higher places.

I’m gonna kick-off this edition with my current favorite song in heavy rotation on my iPod.  It’s “Vacation” by Dirty Heads.  This song even sounds like a vacation.  Its starts with reggae-driven piano cords and catchy sing-song chorus featuring occasional horns, hand snaps and high-hat.   The lyrics really put things in perspective: “I’m on vacation, every single day cause I love my occupation…If you don’t like your life then you should go and change it.”  I truly love the ease of this song and hope you do too.  So check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

My second SoundCloud selection is Kid The Wiz’s “Nancy”. This hip-hop mash-up feature Jon Bellons “He Is the Same,” “iRobot” and others mixes.  It’s got the right balance of hip-hop and pop with synth board mix.   I really love this party song.   Click the link below.

 

This month I celebrate my fourth vegan anniversary, a.k.a. my “vegan-versary”!!  I have been a vegan for four consecutive years and I must say it has been quite a journey of ups and downs.  To all who are starting or continuing this vegan lifestyle I’d like to share with you how my life changed dramatically after connecting via Facebook to a black fruitarian by the name of Orvel Douglas.   Douglas is a not just a fruitarian but a Certified Nutritionist, Diet Specialist and Coach with over 15 years of experience.  I can’t wait tell more about my experiences with this man…He’s simply amazing and ageless.

But first I want to give a bit of background on my vegan journey.  Previous to being a vegan I was a vegetarian turned carbo-tarian (person that starts to solely feed on carbs like: pasta, rice, bread and potatoes) for 17 years.  In fact, there were periods in my newly married life that I even took time out of my vegetarian lifestyle to somewhat cater to my husband who ate everything…I mean everything.  That just wasn’t for me and so after about two years of eating on and off vegetarian, I went back to my vegetarian roots.  Around 2012 I started to consider the idea of becoming a vegan.  By July 2013, I dove in head first as a raw vegan eating a 80/10/10 styled vegan program.  I consumed enormous helpings of fruits and veggies not really understanding the laws of food combining.  Although, I must say I was gaining clarity and feeling fit as a fiddle until I started getting the detox symptoms.

In the first three months I experienced everything from increased acne with devastating scarring to dramatic hair loss, fatigue and severe coldness in my extremities.  At this point, I thought “Maybe I should quit this foolishness and just go back to eating vegetarian,” but my ego self said “No way, keep pushing, you’ve come this far so let’s see where this goes.” Anyways, I continued on for another 3 months and of course many of my symptoms went away except for the severe coldness in my hands and feet.  (River Goes Raw Vegan) A total of six months had passed and I finally fell off the wagon due to the extreme craving for all the carbs I love.

When I fell off the wagon, I thought I’d never get back on my vegan journey until about a months and a half later. Yep… I was back on the saddle again but this time, I decided to eat cooked vegan foods only after 5 p.m.  So I began what is called “Raw Til Five” routine of consuming raw vegan meals up until 5 pm.  This lasted for a couple of years and soon found myself eating cooked vegan food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I was eating at all the types of vegan restaurants and enjoying the latest vegan processed foods, like burgers, brats, chips, pizzas and cookies.  You name a processed vegan foot, and I was eating it.  My body soon began to speak, or perhaps I should say it began to revolt!

By the beginning of 2017, I had Candida so bad that it was in my scalp.  I knew something had to change.  After figuring out what was happening to me, I took what I thought was a homeopathic direction, and started on a Candida 30-Day Herbal Cleanse.  Although it wasn’t vegan, I was in so much agony and I took it anyway.  In fact, I felt so bad that I would have tried over-the-counter medicine if it was prescribed to me.

At any rate, I started the 30 Day Herbal Cleanse and it was the most pain steaking process ever. I swallowed at least 8 pills daily and not to mention I was on a restricted non candida food regimen that were tasteless and simply unfulfilling. AND, by the end of the 30 days I still had Candida. I was just about to start the 3 Day Herbal Cleanse again when I decided to check on Facebook for others who may have been in my shoes.

This was the around the time I found the one and only Orvel Douglas.  I met him on one of his multiple vegan groups he administrates on Facebook.  Actually, I first reached out to him for a friend who suffers with severe diabetes.   He was quick to respond with the most factual information.  He was honest and very open to a number of questions I had on her behalf.  This led me to dig deeper into the resources he had available.

So one day, after eating homemade veggie broth; literally starving and about to start another cleanse, I finally decided to go to Orvel’s Fruitarian Fruit Feast page and reached out to him on my behalf this time.   I reluctantly informed him that I had Candida and I had just started a weight-training workout routine mixed with HIIT where I was seeing great results but now I would set back my progress being stuck eating veggie broth and drinking only distill water.  In truth, I was miserable, near tears, praying that he could help me.  He simply encouraged me to drop the veggie broth and get to eating fresh raw fruit high in water content to help remove the fats stored in my blood stream.  He even explain how the Candida was feeding off the sugar that was directly connected to the fats in my blood stream.

Orvel then sent me a link to his 31-Day Fruit Feast Challenge (for the month of May) and explained how joining it would benefit me greatly.  Although it was already four days into the challenge I joined right away and witnessed many of my symptom dissipate in the first three weeks.

I followed his rules to the letter and for the most part continued the fruit feast long after it ended only to see him post the next  31-Day Fruit Feast for the month of July, in which I am currently participating.  It gives me great pleasure to announce that I am officially Candida free.

Reflecting back on this journey I believe that one of Orvel s most valuable resources for me was the Food Combining Chart.  Needless to say, I can testify to the power of Orvel’s 31-Day Fruitarian Fruit Feast as one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve had on this vegan journey.   Not only am I now officially a RAW Vegan but I can now make more informed choices by simply remembering to stay away from overt fat and to consume the watery fruits all while drinking distilled water.  Although, I still suffer from extreme cold hands and feet, I believe that following the coaching of Orvel Douglas’ Fruitarian Fruit Feast will continue to heal my anemia.

If you haven’t checked out Orvel Douglas’ wealth of information, I encourage you to do so.  For my part, I plan to maintain this lifestyle as I see how fruit has nurtured me back to health…

 

 

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