Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is BPA Harmful? Have You Heard About the Taco Bell Scare?

Every day it seems there is something on the news or someone mentions something isn't good for you. As a mom, I'm always trying to stay abreast of what may cause cancer or headaches or illness. Now it's Taco Bells meat. What a total bummer. Taco Bell was founded in 1962. You would think it would be ahead of the game on making sure its contents are pure, or at least is legally complaint to be labeled as beef with the U.S. Department of Agricultural. It's meat mixture only contains 35% beef. Hello McFly! That is a huge misrepresentation to the public.

Just the other day, our neighbor was over telling us about BPA in can foods. I've heard about the dangers of microwaving food in plastic, but BPA in can foods. Well, it's a chemical that can be harmful to humans if ingested. As soon as our neighbor left, Michael and I were opening up our cabinets, checking all of our canned food labels. Then we went on the internet to find out what this BPA stuff is. Come to find out you need to ingest at least 500 lbs a day for it to be a concern. Word of mouth is a great source of information, but what I've found is it's also a good idea to do a little research to make sure the fact is accurate.

It's events like the above that can send every parent, or person, panicing. And yes, I've paniced. I can remember my sister who is a Kindergarten teacher tell me that there was a study that sugar doesn't make kids hyper. Seriously now. There isn't a doubt in my mind that sugar affects my kids. And if anyone needs proof, come on over with a dozen donuts and candy bars.
Here's my thoughts.
  • Do things in moderation and you'll be much better off in the long run.
  • Cook more at home, using the microwave less and the stove more.
  • If you hear about a food product that no longer is healthy or may be harmful, just stop using it. There is nothing you can do about the past. You can't change it, alter it, or fix it.
Sometimes going back to the simpler ways of living is a healthier alternative!
Many blessings,
Melissa
www.melissaproductions.com
www.melissamoraja.com

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Five Things To Do To Beat the Winter Blues

A friend of mine, earlier this week, mentioned that CNN repeatedly talked about the most depressing day of the year which someone statistically calculated is in January. The news is one of our greatest depressors. It's stories which typically are about shootings, financial crisis, terrorists, political upheavals, and other tragic incidents are repetitive through out the day, leaving you (the viewer) with only negative thoughts and energy bombarding your mind and emotions. If you know anything about hypnosis, or overcoming a bad habit, repetition is key! Say it, do it, and believe it for a certain amount of time and it becomes part of your consciousness and actions.

So, that leaves most of us after the holidays, entering the New Year no longer with caroling and parties, but instead with cold news filled nights taking in more negativity than positive energy.

Here's five tips to help you combat those winter blues!
  • Don't watch the news. Or, at least, cut down on the amount of time you watch and read about negative stories, especially in January and February, the two greatest winter blues months.
  • Only talk and hangout with upbeat happy people. Or, at least, cut down on talking to the people who enjoy negative gossiping and whining.
  • Go out and do something fun every weekend! You may have to force yourself to get out of the house, but it really can help trigger the "happy" endorphins in your brain. Go to a bookstore. Go see a funny movie. Go bowling. Go rollerskating. Go workout.
  • Turn on some upbeat music and dance! Or even better, go take a dance class.
  • Do something creative or physical such as painting, scrapbooking, or playing a sport.
This January and February, smile, say your positive affirmations, and wear bright happy colors!
Melissa
www.melissamoraja.com
www.melissaproductions.com

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How Unexpected Change and Shifts in Energy Affect Us All

Since everything is made up of a form of energy, everything affects us. Color, music, and the subtle shift of one's emotions.

Children are very sensitive to shifts in energy that's why parents work so hard on trying to keep their kids on a routine. A routine keeps the energy in their lives somewhat consistent. But when that routine is broken, and the energy they are used too shifts, confusion and worry enter the household.

Last week, my children's routine was taken over by an unexpected 4 day snow and ice storm. Well, the storm was only for a day, but the aftermath lasted four days in my house.

The first day, all of my kids were jumping for joy. The excitement of knowing they didn't have school could be felt across the country. But then, the worry of "will there be school tomorrow" flooded my son Jake's mind. Tears and whining flooded his innocent soul. For three days, he whined. His emotional-self couldn't handle the unexpected change in routine. Then my son Josh picked up on Jake's whimpering energy and he too jumped in on the fun of whining. For another three days, my house was filled with two boys whining. Then, yesterday, one day before my children's normal routine was about to start again, my little girl walked out of her dance class, looked into my eyes, and said, "Mommy, I don't know why, but I want to cry." She too fell prey to the energy whining virus that swept through my house when my children's routine was unexpectedly changed.

Take a moment and think about how the shift in someone's emotions affects you. Or how the news of the outcome of a sporting event affects you. Or how just whistling calms you. Or how just wearing the color orange brightens your life. We all affect each other, as does unexpected events.

Think positive! And remember, not only kids are sensitive to unexpected change, but we adults are too!

Smile today,

Melissa
http://www.melissamoraja.com/
http://www.melissaproductions.com/

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How To Stay Balanced and Grounded Using Visualization!

We all have our moments of feeling as if everything is out of whack. Yesterday was one of those days with me. It was the 2nd day where my kids had no school due to the snowy, icy conditions in the Charlotte area. I have so many to do's and the school closing through my planned schedule up in the air.

Here is a quick technique to help you stay grounded during chaos, or those unexpected moments.
  1. Either standing or sitting, close your eyes.
  2. Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for 4 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for four seconds. Do this 2 - 4 times.
  3. Visualize your legs and feet rooting themselves into the ground like a tree growing and becoming stronger. Feel and visualize your legs and feet becoming stronger and stronger, taking in the nutrients of the Earth.
  4. Again, take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for 4 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for four seconds. Do this 2 - 4 times.
If the above doesn't work, walk away from the chaos, and count to ten. Then think of situation where you were in control and had the answers. Lastly, take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a count of four, and exhale through your mouth for four seconds. Smile, say, "I am happy and in control," and walk back in to where you just left.
Enjoy the unexpected fun that happens during the winter months!
Melissa
www.melissamoraja.com
www.melissamoraja.com

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

How Can a Work at Home Mom Find Time to Stay Fit?

Someone asked me today how I was able to write, illustrate, and publish seven books, parent three children less than 16 months apart with a husband who travels, stay fit, and consult. It came down to me creatively using the lack of time a mom has.

It was pretty obvious once I had children, there was never enough solo time for me-to write, consult, and workout. But if you really are motivated, you can find a way. And I did!
My husband bought a family YMCA membership, so I could workout. He wanted to give me some time where I could do something for me. Of course, there was an added plus for him-a wife that lost her pregnancy weight.
 
I participated in a few Yoga classes at the YMCA, but soon realized I wasn't getting the time I needed to do the things I was passionate about. So instead of working out at the YMCA, I would drop all three of my kids off at the childrens supervised play area for two hours a day, and head to a small quiet area within the building to write, and catch up on emails. I then created a workout program with my kids. We'd dance, jump and run. I'd sit each one on my stomach and do sit-ups. I'd hold one at a time in my arms and do squats. I learned to burn calories and get toned by playing, laughing, and having fun with my children; and I found an inexpensive supervised play zone environment to watch my kids, so I could get some work done.
As a mom, or new parent, if you really are motivated in starting a new project or finishing one, and you have young kids, there are ways! Don't give up! Get creative! Think outside the box!

Make 2011 a year where you begin creating your dreams,
Melissa

Did You Read My Mind, Or Did I Read Yours?



The other night, as I was making dinner, Jake (my 7 year old son) and I were talking about how school was going. A thought entered my mind, so I said to Jake, "Jake has there been any bully's that you know of at your school?" Jake jumped out of his seat and with his arms wide open and standing in a get-ready football stance, he excitedly shouted, "I was just thinking that! Mom, you read my mind!" He was so excited that he picked up on exactly what I was thinking and then said.

I paused a moment and said, "Are you sure you read my mind, or do you think I read yours?" Jake said, "I definitely read yours!"


It's like the chicken and the egg. Where did the thought originate from-was it my mind, or my son's? Or did it enter both of our mind's at the same time?


I find myself quite often thinking about someone and within seconds they call or email me. Or I'll be sitting on the couch watching a television show, thinking about ordering a pizza and my husband out of the blue will ask if I want to order a pizza. Its situations like these that confirm how connected each and every one of us are to one another. Yet, we all try so hard to be separate.

To add on to the conservation, Jake also shared he can hear whispers. He had my complete attention. He told me that there were two Kindergarteners at his school whispering something about him. As he stood thinking about what they were saying, a thought came into his mind, so he walked up to them both and said, "You think I'm Koo Koo." The two kids said, "Yes!" Jake was so excited that he was able to guess what they had whispered to each other.

Kids are very receptive to thoughts and new experiences. They are like sponges, picking up on thoughts and feelings, and learning how to cope with them.
Today, pay attention to all the thoughts that enter your mind. If one is negative, replace it with a positive thought!

Have a great day discovering what is entering your mind!

Melissa



Monday, January 03, 2011

Word of the Day! And Affirmation of the Week!

It's the third day of teaching my children to think positive, and say their affirmations. This morning I thought I'd try a more simpler approach for them. Instead of a phrase or saying for the day, we've changed it to the word of the day. Their word of the day is "DSI!" haaa haaa. They all said it makes them happy and brings the biggest smile to their faces.

There is a little history with the DSI. Only one of my children have it. Josh and Madison begged and pleaded to Santa, hoping he'd (or should I say 'she'd') wrap it and place it carefully under the Christmas tree. Santa decided, with the overwhelming voice of her husband, to wait until their 7th bday to give it to them. Disappointment could be felt on Christmas morning. But now, the wait, the excitement of knowing they'll be getting one in six months is flooding their little minds and hearts.

This morning at 6:00 am, they sat at the kitchen island discussing the color they wanted their DSI to come in-Madison pink and Josh is thinking either white or orange. White because its a penguin color. He is really into penguins this year. And orange so if he loses it, he'll be able to easily find it.

So their word of the day, and possibly next six months, is DSI!

I'm sticking with the phrases and sayings. Mine today is, "I am healthy and happy!" I have this kink in my neck which really has been painful. Could be stress related... holidays can do that to you. Hoping it's from not using these rubber workout bands correctly.

This week, let's make it a healthy, happy, painless, stretching week!

Happy Holidays,

Melissa
http://www.melissaproductions.com/
http://www.achievelifebalance.com/

Sunday, January 02, 2011

My Kids Haven't Quite Got the Affirmation Concept Down Yet

Yesterday, I got my kids excited about saying affirmations everyday this month. I explained what an affirmation was:

Affirmations are positive statements that bring about change in your thought process, belief system, and life. The key to using affirmations is to recite them repeatedly on a daily basis. This allows the affirmation to be absorbed into your subconscious mind. Within a short period of time, you will notice changes in your attitude towards life.

I didn't say it exactly like the above. Instead, I said it more kid-friendly.

Affirmations are fun words to say everyday that will bring smiles and joy, and positive things into your life.

All three of my kids loved the idea! So today, while I was making my kids a snack, I asked them what positive saying they'd like us all to say today. I mentioned that it had to be one that brought smiles to our faces and made us happy. Their responses were a little different than I expected. Josh said he'd like to say, "Wii, Wii, and Wii" over and over again all day, until I let him play. Then he said he'd be so happy! Madison agreed with Josh, and hasn't stopped saying the word and asking me if she and Josh can play now. Jake said he'd like to say the word "shark." Neither one of those words, Wii or shark, motivates me or brings a smile to my face, but it does to their sweet innocent faces.

Wii overall is stressing me out because my kids argue and fight when they play it. They argue on who is going to be first, and who is going to be Mario, and who is going to win the game. And, not thinking, I bought a Wii remote for Christmas that is a different color than all the other Wii's. Now everyone is fighting to use the blue Wii remote. As for the word "Shark," all I think about is Jaws, and haven't been able to move from that vision.

As their mom, I stepped in and said, "Let's instead all say 'I'm happy!'" Then Madison said, "I'm already happy." She gave me this look that said, "Hello, mom. Why would any kid say, 'I'm happy' to be happy because we are already happy?" So, I mentioned changing it to, "I love my brothers and sisters." All smiled, looked at each other, and started to giggle hysterically.

It's dinner and bathtime now. I'll try the positive affirmation concept again tomorrow with them.

Light, love and pleasant dreams,

Melissa