Style Showcase – Anna Kosturova

You may have begun to notice that I’m featuring more local artists, designers, shops and restaurants on this website than before.

Since there were travel restrictions for a long while, I looked closer to home and began to pay more attention to artists within my own circles, city and surroundings.  And let me tell you – we do not lack here in British Columbia for local talent in plenty of areas.  And so it is with great pleasure that I share another chic boutique owned by a local designer I recently met by the name of Anna Kosturova.  Anna’s gorgeous pop-up shop is located in Gastown, Vancouver where she sells her ethically made and sustainable designs of the most exquisite crochet clothing.  Shown here in photos taken by me.

The vibe in the shop is pure Summer at it’s absolute finest.  And if crochet isn’t your thing, there’s enough locally made eye candy inside to attract any fashionista worth his/her salt.  If you’re wondering where this phrase originated (of course you are!) the saying “worth its salt” originated with the ancient Romans, who valued salt highly.  A true fashionista values genuine “style” – even if it’s not really their own style so to speak.  Speaking of which….

eye candy

Nap Lovers Candles by Pourlair, Sandals & Flip Flops by Malvados, Photographic Prints by Rebecca Amber, Hard Kombucha sign by Plenty…and plenty more like sunglasses, handbags, hats, bikinis….it’s possible I may have missed some things…there’s a lot to look at.

Pure Paradise!

this photo by Anna Kosturova

Website: https://annakosturova.com/

Photos: d. king

 

 

 

ART from the Heart

Is your house lighted or a dark prison? Are you living in every room or only one?  Are you living on a small level or listening to the call of your soul?

These are words from Jan Maccormack, a talented artist friend who resides in Sechelt, Sunshine Coast, B.C.  

I’m so impressed with Jan’s colorful and soulful paintings that truly come from the heart.  If I had to select only one, I’d have a tough time choosing.  Jan’s creativity results from her obsessive, experimental & restless nature. She paints using many different styles. They’re all so beautiful and uplifting...just had to share them with you.  

The Gateway in & out of this Incarnation (Series) by Jan Maccormack

The more lit your Soul, the more clearly you’ll see through illusions.  Allow yourself an inspiring glimpse of the bigger picture. Capture your creative visions, dreams, insights and intuitions as they are amplified.  Paint them, draw them, write them, dance them, cook them, pour them, sew them, mind map them, sculpt them ….. whatever embeds and imprints them into your heart, your psyche, your soma and your memory banks.

As of now… commit to lighting ‘all’ those rooms in your psyche.

You have the genius of heightened perception, seeing things, knowing things, and being there. The blessings, the grace, the heart’s wonder are full.  As this way of being ripens and matures, you draw the same kinds of marvels and wonders from others which makes it possible for the vibrancy to spread, grow and effortlessly bring this world alive!

I am thankful for existence today. I am grateful for where my life is, at/in this moment.

Where to find Jan’s ART:

Websitewww.janmaccormack.com

https://www.facebook.com/janmaccormackartist

https://www.instagram.com/janmaccormack_artist/

 

 

 

Mentally Mindful

R U OK?

Our mental health: It’s on everyone’s mind…no pun intended.  And with good reason.  With so many uncertainties coming to us all at once, how do any of us manage to stay sane in today’s world?

I like this image from healthline.com

Among various causes for concern, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly not helped.  It has negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, a share that has been largely consistent, up from one in ten adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019.

The good news is that people are becoming more open to discussing this previously taboo personal issue.  Especially since famous people like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle bring it into the open to try to raise awareness and help end the stigma related to this problem. The reasoning being that no-one should keep a stiff upper lip at the expense of their own well-being.

We know that blocking emotions for any length of time is not healthy.  It can result in severe psychological effects. So aside from talking to anyone from a professional to a friend, what else can we do?

Aside from a good night’s sleep (not always the easiest to accomplish if you have anxiety) can nutrition help?

According to Inspire Health (a Canadian leader in integrative cancer care with medical doctors, clinical counselors, dietitians and exercise therapists all working together to help support people dealing with cancer) it can have a positive effect.

My husband and I were regulars at Inspire Health in Vancouver when he was going through his cancer journey.  While they sadly to say could not save him, for many months they were very helpful in helping to raise spirits by offering classes on everything from group meditation to acupuncture, counselling and healthy eating classes.  All with people going through similar circumstances in a safe, peaceful and nurturing environment.

After almost four years I still receive e-mails from Inspire Health.  Here is the latest which I’m happy to share with you:

From INSPIRE HEALTH Blog:

Our mental health and emotional well-being are not always the easiest topics to discuss — and this may be one of the reasons why these topics are not always explored in a medical appointment. Strategies for managing anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions often include medications, stress reduction, and counselling. But, excitingly, there is new and emerging evidence showing that nutrition can also play a significant role in supporting our mental health.

You may have heard of the amazing neurotransmitter called serotonin, which helps to regulate sleep, appetite, and mood, and also helps to inhibit pain. Did you know that 95% of our serotonin is produced in our intestinal tract? This production is influenced by the kinds and amounts of different bacteria that live in that gastrointestinal tract, also known as the microbiome.

The gut is connected directly to brain processes via the gut-brain axis. This axis includes the vagus nerve and nervous system, chemicals called neurotransmitters, the immune system, and the chemicals produced by the microbes and bacteria living in the gut. Think of the microbiome as an amazingly diverse forest system where we want various species of trees, fungi, moss, grasses, and other plants to thrive.

We have been hearing about probiotics for at least the past decade, and we are now realizing the importance of not only eating foods rich in probiotics (e.g.: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso) but also feeding these bacteria with fibre. In addition to fibre, there are also specific nutrients in our foods that support our mental health, which include our B vitamins, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Keeping blood sugars relatively stable can also be supportive for our mental well-being. We can keep these sugars stable by creating a balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fibre in our meals and snacks.

So, can nutrition support mental health? Yes, and in many ways!

Here are a few practical tips:

  1. Feed the bacteria in the gut with a good amount of fibre each day. Aim for 20-30 grams per day, unless you have been advised differently by your physician.
    • Ground flax in your morning cereal
    • Top your yogurt with berries and bran bud type cereal
    • Swap your white or whole wheat bread product for whole grain or sprouted grain
    • Incorporate more beans and lentils into your meals and snacks
  1. Get your nutrients from whole foods as much as possible and include foods with B vitamins, vitamin D, and omega-3 fats.
    • B Vitamins: salmon, leafy greens, eggs, legumes
    • Vitamin D: salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, eggs, fortified foods
    • Omega 3: flaxseed, chia, walnuts, salmon, sardines, hemp hearts
  1. Create balance in meals and snacks.
    • Like a smoothie for breakfast? Make sure there is enough protein by including foods such as nuts, seeds, nut butter, yogurt, or soft tofu.
    • Soup or salad for lunch? Make a soup creamier and full of protein by blending soaked cashews. Add nuts, seeds, beans, or another protein source to salads.
    • Balance your dinner. Try for half of your plate as veg/fruit, ¼ as your starch (rice, quinoa, potatoes, pasta) and the last ¼ as your protein source – fish, beans, tofu, poultry, etc.
    • Add to your snack. When having a piece of fruit, try adding some nuts or nut butter (e.g., apple slices with almond butter) or try one of our delicious snack recipes from our website such as the spiced carrot cake globes.

Can Nutrition Support Mental Health and Well-Being?

ON ANOTHER NOTE: I would like to give reference to a website of a personal friend who offers mentorship for mind, body and soul. Her name is Sabine. She comes highly recommended.  Sabine’s workshops and seminars are offered online or in person (if you happen to live in Vancouver or in Berlin when she’s there).    As an economist, published author, keynote speaker on wholeness and an expert in consciousness development and holistic marketing, her main focus is helping individuals, couples, and organizations in inner change processes.  Her spiritual initiations and retreats help to transform fears, blockages, resistances, doubts and traumas.  Well being at it’s core.

Human beings cannot solve current and future challenges on the same levels of consciousness on which they created them. Disbalances that show themselves individually, collectively, regionally and globally in the form of diseases, crises, conflicts and wars in all systems can neither be permanently controlled nor fought. They can, however, be completely transformed. Through higher levels of consciousness. Their attainment requires a whole transformation – Sabine Schneider – Founder
 
 

Remember; your life only gets better when you do!

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Forbes Magazine

KFF

 

Supplement Sunday: CoenzymeQ10

CoQ10: More than just Heart Health

Composition with food that contains Coenzyme Q10.

This article was written by Chancellor Faloon from Life Extension Magazine (the science of a healthier life).

I’ve been taking Life Extension Supplements which unfortunately are not available in Canada (although you can order them online) for over a year now and have had no issues whatsoever with asthma or otherwise.  The quality is top-notch and I’ve added CoQ10 to my repertoire of necessary supplements.  Their magazine offers so many interesting articles…so I thought it best to share a few from the experts – starting with CoQ10.  References are included at bottom of page.

While CoQ10 is best known for promoting heart health, research is continually showing a diverse range of body-wide applications.

  • CoQ10 Improves Metabolic Syndrome

    A meta-analysis was done of trials that tested coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) on patients with metabolic syndrome. Compared to a a placebo, CoQ10 supplementation lowered inflammation markers and increased levels of a cell-signaling protein related to improved regulation of glucose and fatty-acid breakdown.1

  • CoQ10 Increases Blood Flow

    In a clinical trial, CoQ10 (ubiquinol) improved cardiovascular function, as shown by increased flow-mediated dilation2 (widening of an artery when blood flow increases) and levels of nitric oxide (which aids in dilation). Harmful LDL oxidation was reduced with a higher dose.3

  • CoQ10 Enhances Exercise Performance

    Exercise performance and several biomarkers related to fatigue were improved in mice and humans given CoQ10 (ubiquinol). Liver and muscle glycogen content increased, providing the body with more fuel for prolonged exercise.4-6

  • CoQ10 Increases Cellular Energy

    In a cell study, CoQ10 (ubiquinol) was able to prevent age-induced oxidative stress, increase the formation of new *mitochondria (the cells’ energy generators), and was associated with the removal of old, damaged *mitochondria.7

  • CoQ10 Protects Aging Heart Muscle

    A recent review shows supporting evidence that CoQ10 can benefit heart failure patients by preventing age-related reductions in myocardial (heart muscle) ATP, the powerhouse of our cells.8

  • CoQ10 Mediates Inflammation

    To see if CoQ10 could prevent damage that may occur with strenuous exercise, 100 firemen were randomized to receive CoQ10 (ubiquinol) or a placebo. The CoQ10 group had significantly improved hematological (blood) parameters, increases in beneficial growth factors and anti-inflammatory cytokines, and a decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines.9

  • CoQ10 Protects Against Acetaminophen Liver Injury

    A study in mice found that CoQ10 protected against acetaminophen– (Tylenol®) induced liver injury. CoQ10 also enhanced removal of damaged *mitochondria.10

*Mitochondria (in the most simple terms I was able to find) are known as the powerhouses of the cell. They are **organelles that act like a digestive system which takes in nutrients, breaks them down, and creates energy rich molecules for the cell. The biochemical processes of the cell are known as cellular respiration.

An** organelle is a subcellular structure that has one or more specific jobs to perform in the cell, much like an organ does in the body.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.

References

  1. Dludla PV, Orlando P, Silvestri S, et al. Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation Improves Adipokine Levels and Alleviates Inflammation and Lipid Peroxidation in Conditions of Metabolic Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 May 4;21(9).
  2. Kelm M. Flow-mediated dilatation in human circulation: diagnostic and therapeutic aspects. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2002 Jan;282(1):H1-5.
  3. Sabbatinelli J, Orlando P, Galeazzi R, et al. Ubiquinol Ameliorates Endothelial Dysfunction in Subjects with Mild-to-Moderate Dyslipidemia: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Nutrients. 2020 Apr 15;12(4).
  4. Chen HC, Huang CC, Lin TJ, et al. Ubiquinol Supplementation Alters Exercise Induced Fatigue by Increasing Lipid Utilization in Mice. Nutrients. 2019 Oct 23;11(11).
  5. Cooke M, Iosia M, Buford T, et al. Effects of acute and 14-day coenzyme Q10 supplementation on exercise performance in both trained and untrained individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Mar 4;5:8.
  6. Orlando P, Silvestri S, Galeazzi R, et al. Effect of ubiquinol supplementation on biochemical and oxidative stress indexes after intense exercise in young athletes. Redox Rep. 2018 Dec;23(1):136-45.
  7. Niu YJ, Zhou W, Nie ZW, et al. Ubiquinol-10 delays postovulatory oocyte aging by improving mitochondrial renewal in pigs. Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Jan 20;12(2):1256-71.
  8. Di Lorenzo A, Iannuzzo G, Parlato A, et al. Clinical Evidence for Q10 Coenzyme Supplementation in Heart Failure: From Energetics to Functional Improvement. J Clin Med. 2020 Apr 27;9(5):1266.
  9. Diaz-Castro J, Moreno-Fernandez J, Chirosa I, et al. Beneficial Effect of Ubiquinol on Hematological and Inflammatory Signaling during Exercise. Nutrients. 2020 Feb 6;12(2).
  10. Zhang P, Chen S, Tang H, et al. CoQ10 protects against acetaminophen-induced liver injury by enhancing mitophagy. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2021 Jan 1;410:115355.