Our Blog

15 Ways to Fight Inflammation

15 Ways to Fight Inflammation

Date : 2019-04-24

Your immune system protects you from germs and other foreign substances that could make you sick by making parts of your body heat up and swell. However, sometimes it goes too far. That’s when such inflammation become chronic as a response to stress, junk food, or other lifestyle triggers.

This chronic inflammation is associated with many serious health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, arthritis, fatigue, and depression. To reduce your risk, you may need to change your diet and other daily practices.

Start with these ideas for following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

Eating to Reduce Inflammation:

Focus on plants. Most vegetables and fruits are rich in protective compounds like antioxidants and polyphenols. Load up on spinach, kale, berries, and citrus fruit. Some vegetables like asparagus and sweet potatoes also serve as prebiotics that tighten your gut and lower inflammation.

Limit refined carbohydrates. On the other hand, foods like white bread and snack cakes have been stripped of fiber and nutrients. They encourage chronic inflammation and weight gain.

Steam and grill. Your cooking methods matter too. Instead of frying with oil, try steaming with water or grilling with dry heat.

Drink coffee. Moderate amounts of coffee also provide beneficial polyphenols. Just steer clear of the flavored coffee creams that are full of artificial thickening agents and sweeteners.

Add garlic. Many natural seasonings have anti-inflammatory properties. Spread roasted garlic on bread or add it to mashed potatoes and homemade pizza.

Choose healthy fats. Not all fats are created equal. Monounsaturated and omega-3 fats help to decrease inflammation. Good sources include olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish. By contrast, saturated fats aggravate inflammation, so go easy on the red meat and whole fat dairy products. Avoid trans fats.

Other Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Inflammation:

Lose weight. You can experience chronic inflammation even if you’re thin. Still, maintaining a healthy weight makes you less vulnerable.

Exercise regularly. Exercise has an overall positive effect. While an intense workout may cause temporary inflammation, it enhances your health in the long run.

Drink water. Staying hydrated is essential. Quench your thirst with plain water and tea instead of soda and juice.

Brush and floss. Bacteria from your mouth and gums can travel to the rest of your body. Aim to brush and floss for at least 2 minutes twice each day.

Use natural cleansers. Check the labels on your household cleaners and personal beauty products. You may be able to avoid potential toxins by buying organic brands or using plain vinegar and baking soda.

Quit smoking and limit alcohol. Tobacco and alcohol aggravate inflammation. Many adults need more than one attempt to become tobacco-free, and combining nicotine therapy with counseling may lead to success this time.

Check your medication. Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs have side effects that reduce inflammation. If your doctor recommends that you take aspirin daily or prescribes statins to lower your cholesterol, you can consider this a bonus.

Sleep well. Most adults need about 8 hours sleep to keep their minds and bodies strong. Go to bed and wake up on consistent schedule and keep your bedroom dark and quiet.

Relax and refresh. Managing stress plays a major role. Find a relaxation practice that works for you such as daily meditation or taking long walks.

You can reduce chronic inflammation by watching what you eat and drink and making other positive lifestyle choices. Protect your wellbeing and support healthy aging by bringing chronic inflammation under control.

As originally posted in https://www.victoriavannes.com/15-ways-to-fight-inflammation/

Read More
Say YES! to Opportunities

Say YES! to Opportunities

Date : 2019-04-24

Are you prepared to say YES! to the opportunities that show up in your life?

Opportunities, both large and small, will present themselves to you. How do you react to those opportunities? Are you awake and aware and can recognize an opportunity standing in front of you? Or are you sleepwalking through your day and your life and miss the golden opportunity that is right in front of you?

In August of 2017, a golden opportunity was offered to me. Guruji and I were standing outside in the Nevada heat. He asked if I would move to Las Vegas to work with him. I think it took all of two loud heartbeats for me to answer YES!

In the very next few loudly pounding heartbeats, I started thinking about how to make it happen. I just set my mind that this is going to happen and went home to deconstruct a life I had built for over 20 years so I could get back to Nevada the very next month. That life of over 20 years includes two daughters, a job, family and friends, a large house, and more, all the details that fill up one’s calendar and make a life. That journey of deconstructing my life was extremely painful and brilliant at the same time and I will share it in another post.

How could I say YES! to a whole life changing opportunity in the span of a couple of heartbeats? Because I was awake, because I was aware, because I had been asking the Divine for change in my life, I was ready to say YES! to a golden opportunity. And because I trust Guruji beyond anything else.

Now, truthfully, when I was asking the Divine to create change in my life, I was thinking change with a little “c”. Not change as in all capital letters and in bold print: CHANGE!!! And throw in those bold exclamation points for extra emphasis, as this was not a small opportunity, this was THE opportunity of my lifetime! Just the opportunity to be in the aura of Guruji, is life changing. And here I was offered the opportunity to be nurtured by Guruji! My life as I knew it was done. I said YES! and now my new life is being created under the guidance and nurturing of Guruji. For me there is nothing more important, more brilliant, than this opportunity to grow, to learn, to just BE with Guruji.

Had Guruji offered this golden opportunity to me the year before, it would have taken a few more heartbeats for me to say, ”No!”.


I would have said no to the same opportunity a year ago. Why? Because I had not grown enough to see the golden opportunity then. I would have been fearful of losing the life I had mostly accidentally built for the last 20 some years. I was still operating under the delusion that the life I was living was just fine. It just needed some fine tuning, you know change, but with a little “c”. Not CHANGE!!! I just needed a little something to make it okay. I would have said no to the opportunity of my life time if offered a year ago!

Timing is a big part of grabbing an opportunity. But even more important is being aware of your present life. Examine your life. Ask yourself – are you living up to your highest potential, creating your best life, your highest good. Or are you on autopilot? Are you just sleep walking through your life. Have you stopped asking questions of yourself? Questions like: How can I live my best life to my fullest potential? How can I raise my consciousness? What do I have to let go in my life to achieve that? Am I determined to make the hard decisions and follow through to take the necessary actions to achieve my goals? Or have you given up or avoid making any decisions anymore?

Many people have actually stopped making decisions and avoid them at all costs. In order to really make a decision you do actually have to examine yourself, your life and assess whether or not the question at hand will bring you closer to your goals in life. What’s that, you ask? Yes, I did say examine each decision through the lens of your goals in life. Don’t have your goals in life identified? Then how can you make informed decisions about your life? How do you decide: where to live, what work is best for you, what type of partner do you want in life, how much money do you want, what type of people do you want to surround yourself with, what type of person do you want to be, what kind of relationship do you want with the Divine?

Have you stopped making informed decisions about your life? If you no longer examine your life and your goals, how will you recognize your golden opportunity when it stands before you and asks you to choose? Will you say YES! to your golden opportunity? Will you say YES! to changing your life?

I have tried to say YES! to opportunities all my life. Looking back, I can see that when I was operating from fearfulness, being small minded, avoiding examination of my life goals, I missed many opportunities. But when I was awake and ready, having prepared and examined my life goals, and willing to trust the Divine, I saw the opportunities standing right in front of me. And I said, “YES!”. I can see how saying YES! to small opportunities led to major opportunities lining up behind the small one. Its like the small one was a test from the Divine, asking me, “Are you awake? I have opportunities for you, but you have to be aware enough to say YES! to this small one first.”

While in college, I said YES! to a question from an art history instructor that brought the opportunity to fulfill my ambition to work in education in a top museum in the United States.

I had moved to Germany when I was 17 years old. My father was in the Army and was stationed in Stuttgart. I was to begin college at a branch of the University of Maryland in Munich, Germany. I had always loved creating art and thought I might attend an art school, but after putting a portfolio together and looking at what an artist life might be like, I decided against studying to be an artist. While I no longer wanted to be an artist, I still had a passion for art. I moved to Munich and began my studies. Like most freshman, I took the basic courses, and one course, titled German Life and Culture was taught by an enthusiastic teacher, Herr Traunsteiner. He dragged us out on field trips in the cold German weather, standing in old Romanesque churches listening to Gregorian chants that he played from an old tape recorder. That course opened my eyes to how history and art entwined, expanding and informing each other, describing the people who created their art, their ideas, their hopes and desires. The entwining of history with art as a way to understand and describe people in a time and place just thrilled me.

It lit me up and developed into a passion. I would leave campus early in the mornings on weekends to go explore the city of Munich. I was entranced by the depth of time, the layering of history and the stories the art would tell of the people who walked the streets hundreds of years before me.

I became so well versed of the major and minor art and historic landmarks of the city, that people started asking me to give them tours, or to give visiting friends tours. I dragged my family around the city every chance I got. While they appreciated my passion in wanting to share my excitement and knowledge of the art and historical landmarks, they complained of tired feet.

After two years of studying at the University of Maryland in Munich, Germany, I had gotten an AA degree. This branch of the University of Maryland only offered a two year Associates degree. And so almost all of my fellow students immediately transferred back to colleges or universities in the U.S.A. But I had an opportunity present itself to me! At nineteen years old, I had to decide whether to go immediately back to the U.S.A. and to continue with studying my passion for art history and graduate or do I stay in Germany, get a job and travel Europe, gaining a first-hand knowledge and understanding of European life, culture, and art?

What would you have chosen? Would you go back to the U.S.A. to a college or university and be on track to finish studying your passion? Or would you stay in Europe, getting a job and traveling to fulfill your passion to know European art and culture?

I said YES! to staying in Europe. I got a job and traveled as much as I could through Europe, gaining not only knowledge about European life, culture and art, but also about myself. I worked for an elite military group and at that military base many tour excursions were offered.

One of my favorite excursions was a $39 round trip bus ride to Paris. The bus would come in the middle of the night and I would hop on and travel all night to arrive in Paris at daybreak. I would run off the bus and splash water on my face at the closest cafe and then spend the day exploring Paris, the art museums, landmarks, shops and end up at a cafe, watching the people go by.

Saying YES! to staying in Europe gave me an education I could never have gotten anywhere else.

Saying YES! to Guruji is also giving me an education I could never have gotten anywhere else!

After two years of working in Germany, I returned to the U.S.A. where I continued studying art history. One of the art history classes that I took was taught by an educator on staff at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the top five museums in the United States. My ambition at that time was to work in a top museum after graduating. I made sure that I always paid attention to this instructor! One day, while we had a break, this instructor sought me out and said that she had a question for me. She asked if I wanted a job at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I shouted YES! And she laughed and said that she had not even said what the job was yet. It did not matter what the job was, whatever it was I was determined I would do it! Whatever it was, whether it was the most menial work, it would get me inside, working at a top museum! That was my goal – working at a top museum. I was prepared to shout YES! when that opportunity presented itself.

The job turned out to be very small but very important in attaining my larger goal of working in museum education at a top museum. The job was taking tickets to the Art History lectures on Saturday mornings. Now I was a full-time student with a full class load, I was also working in the admissions office and I was married. Did I have extra time in my schedule to go sit and take tickets for minimum wage? No. Did I make this opportunity a priority? Absolutely!

I arrived early so I could drag out a table and set up brochures to the Art History lecture series, and had my ticket box ready. I learned where things were in the museum so I could direct people as they stopped to ask where was the Armor Collection. And I was prepared when the Head of Education would stop by to see how many tickets were sold for the lecture that day.

Once I graduated, I saw a small notice in the American Museum of Art’s professional newsletter about an education internship available at the Philadelphia Museum of Art! That was the job I wanted. I called the Head of Education, who remembered me from the ticket job and asked me to come in for an interview. At the close of the interview, she said she like me but that the internship was already filled. But that if anything else became available, she would call me. I thanked her for taking the time to interview me and reiterated that I was available if anything opened up. Two weeks later, one of the museum educators suddenly decided to quit and the Head of Education called me and asked if I could start next week. Can you imagine what I said?


You can start on the path to saying YES! to opportunities by being aware and consciously saying YES! to the small opportunities that present themselves to you. This begins to create a habit of looking for and being aware that opportunities are always being offered to you. You just need to wake up to your own life first and start preparing the groundwork to be able to say YES! when a great opportunity comes to you and says, “choose!”.

Are you prepared to say YES! to your golden opportunity?

As originally posted in https://www.victoriavannes.com/say-yes-to-opportunities/

Read More

Contact Details