New Hampshire Mother Uses Art Therapy to Raise Heroin Addiction Awareness

13450033_10153852229215345_6907428901319467035_nAnne Marie Zanfagna’s gregarious nature is evident from the moment you start talking with her. One would be hard pressed to see the pain hidden behind her outgoing demeanor. Even as a life long friend, I do not always see the sadness Anne Marie carries with her.

When I sat down with her for an interview about her Angels of Addictions project, it quickly became evident that her sadness was what motivates her to paint the portraits of young heroin overdose victims. Anne Marie feels this work, painting portraits and talking about heroin addiction is now her life’s work, her mission.

Through her 501c3 non-profit organization, Angels Of Addictions, Anne Marie and her husband Jim work to raise awareness about heroin addiction, the stigma of heroin addiction and to help raise money for recovery services and a scholarship in their daughter Jackie’s name. Jackie died of a heroin overdose in October 2014.  Continue reading

Quote of Day: The Dalai Lama

I recently had my trust and warm-heartedness taken advantage of by an old friend who did not understand these concepts… This speaks to me. Despite what I went through my warm-heartedness has not faltered…

We live in a materialistic world that pays insufficient attention to human values. We seek satisfaction in material things instead of warm-heartedness. But human beings are social animals. We need friendship and that depends on trust. Building trust requires concern for others and defending their rights, not doing them harm. Friendship is directly linked to warm-heartedness, which is also good for our physical health. ~ His Holiness The Dalai Lama

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If You’re Depressed, Be Open and Talk About It

An essay in today’s Washington Post about depression and suicide, details one young woman’s quest to be honest about her sister’s suicide, with the hope that she might help others think twice about suicide and get help:

I had to be honest. I had to tell the truth.

By the time I sat down to write my sister’s obituary I knew that the opening line could only be one thing: Aletha Meyer Pinnow, 31, of Duluth (formerly of Oswego and Chicago, IL) died from depression and suicide on February 20, 2016.

Eleni Pinnow said in her essay on her sister’s suicide:

The lies of depression can exist only in isolation. Brought out into the open, lies are revealed for what they are.

Here is the truth: You have value. You have worth. You are loved. Trust the voices of those who love you. Trust the enormous chorus of voices that say only one thing: You matter. Depression lies. We must tell the truth.

these-are-the-first-signs-of-depression-that-everyone-ignoresDepression is so common and yet we still have such a huge stigma about talking about it.

So many like this young woman in the story, Aletha Meyer Pinnow, who committed suicide at 31 years old, would rather keep their depression a secret than discuss it openly.

Here’s a few reason why that is wrong: Continue reading

Daily Affirmations: Take Time For Myself

We all need to find and or make time for ourselves…

“Today, I will remember to stop and take time
for myself. One person can only do so much,
and I must remember that I am one person.
Today, I will pause long enough to appreciate
myself and pamper my heart and soul, if only
for a few short moments.”
– Pamela J. Leavey

I recently moved to a new apartment and I have been on the go since my move. Unpacking, arranging, finding places to put things. In addition, I have been playing catch-up with my online class at UMass Amherst UWW. I’ve finally caught-up with my classes, and the unpacking is as good as it gets for the moment. Today, it is time to take time for myself…

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Daily Affirmations: Happy, Healthy and Abundant

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Today I remind myself that I am Healthy, Happy & Abundant. These three blessings are positive forces that are working in my life today and everyday. I am thankful for these blessings and all of the blessings in my life. My life is rich. – Pamela J. Leavey

Why Drinking Warm Lemon Water Is Good For You

lots-of-lemonsI am big believer in alternative health modes and I recognize that what we eat every day plays a big part in our health. I don’t always find the time to eat healthy, but I try to keep to well maintained diet low in sugar and fat.

The internet is a great place to pick up diet and health tips, because people are always sharing this useful information. Of course, you do need to be wary of your sources on the internet, because there is plenty of false information on the internet that is passed around via email and social media.

The medical group that my doctor belongs to posted an informative piece on warm lemon juice that I thought I should share with readers. Needless to say, as I look down this list posted below I can see more than a few reasons to start adding warm lemon water to my diet daily.

Drinking warm lemon water is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to keep yourself healthy!

Here are 16 reasons to add warm lemon water to your diet:

  1. Lemon is an excellent and rich source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies
  2. Lemons contain pectin fiber which is very beneficial for colon health and also serves as a powerful antibacterial 
  3.  It balances maintain the pH levels in the body 
  4. Having warm lemon juice early in the morning helps flush out toxins 
  5. It aids digestion and encourages the production of bile
  6. It is also a great source citric acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium 
  7. It helps prevent the growth and multiplication of pathogenic bacteria that cause infections and diseases 
  8. It helps reducing pain and inflammation in joints and knees as it dissolves uric acid 
  9. It helps cure the common cold 
  10. The potassium content in lemon helps nourish brain and nerve cells 
  11. It strengthens the liver by providing energy to the liver enzymes when they are too dilute 
  12. It helps balance the calcium and oxygen levels in the liver In case of a heart burn, taking a glass of concentrated lemon juice can give relief
  13. It is of immense benefit to the skin and it prevents the formation of wrinkles and acne 
  14. It helps maintain the health of the eyes and helps fight against eye problems 
  15. Aids in the production of digestive juices 
  16. Lemon juice helps replenish body salts especially after a strenuous workout session

source: http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/cheers-to-drinking-warm-lemon-water

I tend to cook with lemon very frequently, because I love the flavor of lemons, and I have long been aware of the fact they have a lot of health benefits.This winter I have been enjoying adding lemon rind to my homemade soups for an extra boost of lemon flavor. When braising my onions, garlic and meat, I use my peeler to cut strips of rind to add to my braise. Later I add the lemon juice to the soup. It gives a very unique, pungent and savory flavor to the soups.

The list above really is a eye-opener on the reasoning of drinking warm lemon juice. As I said above, I am planning to add warm lemon water to my diet. I like that a “glass of lemon juice contains less than 25 calories” and “is a rich source of nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin C and pectin fiber.”