Author Archives: bonniekessinger

Consider a Natural Remedy for Your Monthly Symptoms

Sorry, guys, this one’s for the ladies…

I am sure all of the female readers are extremely familiar with the annoying symptoms commonly referred to as PMS. Yep, most women experience some combination of headaches, cramps, nausea, fatigue, and even changes in mood. Well, since it is such a common problem, what can we all do about it?

Many women just deal with the symptoms and suffer through it. That’s not the best option. After all, these symptoms are scheduled to come back month after month, so ignoring them is basically accepting a lifetime of discomfort.

Many other women simply reach into their medicine cabinet and pop a few Tylenol, Midols or Pamprins. Sure, these products all help to ease the discomfort, but should they always be the first resort?

Keep in mind that there are many natural remedies for dealing with PMS. One of my favorite things to try is very simple: drinking a hot cup of tea. Yogi Teas and Traditional Medicinals, two very popular tea companies, each offer various types of teas formulated just for women. You can easily find these brands of tea in your local health food store, and even in the tea aisles of some regular supermarkets and superstores.

A tea bag may not be the absolute cure-all for this age-old problem, but you may be pleasantly surprised with the results. Hopefully, reaching for your teacup will become your new routine during “that time of the month.”

Categories: Alternative Health, Green Room | Leave a comment

A Natural Cleaning Product May Work Wonders on Your Face

I am fortunate enough to work with a woman who seems to bring sunshine with her wherever she goes. When I ran into her in the staff kitchen earlier this week, I stopped to catch up. We made some small talk about the weather, her new glasses, and the happenings of the past weekend. During our conversation I just couldn’t help but notice that her face was glowing. I decided to comment on it and let her know that I was in awe of her gorgeous skin. Without hesitation, she revealed her secret: baking soda

Like me, she tries to keep the things she puts on or in her body as natural as possible. While she does admit to using a store-bought face cleanser at night, she likes to keep it simple in the morning. All she does is sprinkle a bit of baking soda in her palms, add some water to it, and use it as a face cleanser!

I was well aware that baking soda is sometimes used as a household cleaner, but I had never heard of it being used as a skincare product. After doing some research, I found out that many people use baking soda to keep their skin looking great. It is a gentle way to exfoliate, and some people claim that it has even helped them battle their acne. In general, it is known for giving the skin a healthy, natural glow. If you are looking to simplify your hygiene routine and give your face a beautiful glow, consider trying this easy trick!

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Wake Up with Sunlight!

Several months ago I shared some information about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). There are several ways to address the symptoms of SAD, the most popular of which is by using a special lamp that tricks your brain into thinking the sun is shining. I was able to get one of those lamps for free through my insurance company, and I loved the way it made me feel like I was basking in the sunlight. But something still wasn’t right. I still had to wake up and get out of bed in the pitch black every morning, and to ME, that’s the hardest part of winter!

I wound up purchasing a lamp timer from the hardware store, and I set my sunlamp to go on at the same time as my alarm clock each morning. The problem was that it just came on full blast with no warning, which startled (and seriously annoyed) me.

I eventually did some research and found the most amazing product: the Philips Wake-Up Light. This amazing invention is an alarm clock and sun lamp combined. Like a regular alarm clock, it does sound an audible alarm (there are several pleasant options to choose from) at the time you wish to wake up. The amazing part, however, is that it can simulate a sunrise as well! There are many ways to set it; for example, I programmed mine to begin lighting up and 30 minutes before the alarm actually sounds. Each morning, I wake up to a soft light glowing at my beside, and can still close my eyes and relax for a few more minutes before the alarm goes off. By the time I need to get up, the lamp is fully lit (making my brain think the sun came up), my room is bright and cheery, and I am ready to start my day!

If you typically have to wake up before the actual sun, and find that challenging, I highly recommend this product for you!

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Stay Happy and Healthy During the Winter Months

Some people are able to cruise right through Fall and Winter with no problems at all. For many of us, though, the gloomy darkness and bitter cold is a challenge, especially once the shimmer and glimmer of the holiday season has faded away. 

If you typically find it difficult to keep Hot-water-and-lemonyour spirits up and your immune system strong during the harsh winter months, you may want to try a simple trick that many people find to be effective and delicious: warm lemon water. Simply warm up enough water for your favorite glass or mug, and squeeze the juice of half of a lemon into it. If you want, you can make it even simpler and just drop the lemon slices right into your drink. 

Believe me, it sounded strange (and kind of gross) to me at first, but after making a glass of warm lemon water part of my morning routine, I can vouch for the benefits. I don’t like drinking anything cold during this weather, so this routine has made it much easier for me to stay hydrated all year long. The vitamins from all of the lemons have definitely kept me healthy and strong, even when those around me are unfortunately stuck battling a cold. And on top of all of that, the best part is that the taste and smell of the lemons are very uplifting and helped me start my day off right each and every morning.

Categories: Alternative Health, Green Room | Leave a comment

Looking to Give Two Gifts at Once This Holiday Season?

Now that it’s December, most Americans are bustling around trying to get a head-start on their holiday shopping. Many people put a ton of stress on themselves, searching and searching for that perfect gift. Wouldn’t it be amazing if just one gift could benefit two people, or more? Consider shopping at a Fair Trade store this holiday season.

Fair Trade stores sell goods that are produced in developing countries. But they don’t just sell those goods and make a huge profit off of them – they vow to pay the workers a fair price, enabling those workers to make a decent living.

Most Fair Trade items are handmade, and they usually make great gifts. While browsing in such a store, you will find items such as stunning jewelry, unique artwork, and carefully crafted housewares like plates and bowls. You may find cute little jewelry boxes or stumble upon dolls and stuffed animals. There is bound to be something there that would make one of your friends or relatives smile – and your purchase will also put a smile on the face of someone else, someone far across the globe, who appreciates your business…

Just so you know, there is a Fair Trade Store in Hampton Bays. If you aren’t already committed to shopping Fair Trade this year, their Mission Statement might hook you.

OUR MISSION is to bring you fair trade products which ensure world-wide producers a fair and living wage, a safe workplace, a partnership for development, and environmental sustainability where the earth and its inhabitants can thrive.


For more information, you can visit their website. Happy shopping!


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Yoga for Anxiety and Depression

Most people associate the word “yoga” with words like “stretch,” “relax,” “breathe,” and “calm.” People across the globe have been practicing yoga for centuries, and here in America, we are finally catching up. This ancient practice is now being observed and studied, and researchers are finding that yoga really does, in fact, help people calm down. Not only that, but it can uplift people out of a bad mood!

If you have been feeling anxious or depressed, or are simply interested in learning more about how yoga can be used to improve mental and emotional well-being, you may want to attend the Yoga for Anxiety and Depression Workshop at The Long Island Center for Yoga in Babylon. The studio will hold the workshop tomorrow, November 13, from 7:45 – 9:15 pm. The cost is just $20, and what you’ll learn may benefit you for the rest of your life.

For more information, visit The Long Island Center For Yoga’s Website or view the event on Facebook.

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Looking to Integrate Meditation Into Your Fast-Paced Routine?

Although meditation has been popular in certain cultures for thousands of years, it seems as if it is only just starting to be recognized as a useful practice here in the United States. Many people here are now turning to meditation as a way to deal with anxiety, depression, and just the stress of their daily schedules.

For some, finding time for meditation seems impossible. When can we all squeeze THAT in, with everything else we have to do? No matter how you look at it, there will always only be 24 hours in the day. But to help us manage our time better, there are plenty of meditation Apps available. The Apps can be set like a timer. All you have to do is choose the amount of time you want to meditate for and start the App. No need to check your watch to make sure you aren’t running late – the App has you covered! It will ring after the amount of time you set it for. On top of that, many of these Apps come with alerts to remind you when it’s time for your meditation practice, ensuring that you never forget to take some time to nourish your mind!!!

Visit the App store and download the Meditation App that suits you.


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Are You Slipping Into the Fall Funk?

This time of year is full of fun for many. Fall fans associate these pre-winter months with beautiful leaves, fashionable sweaters, and all things pumpkin. For others, however, the Fall season can be a challenge. The change in temperature, howling winds, and lack of sunlight can really put some people right into a funk!

If you notice that you’re feeling down in the fall, just know that you are not alone. In fact, season-related-moodiness is actually a common problem and has been identified as a real medical condition: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to WebMD, SAD is most common in women and is usually seen in people between the ages of 15 and 55. Symptoms include mood changes such as anxiety, depression, or grumpiness as well as physical changes like weight gain, extreme fatigue (even when getting plenty of sleep), and carbohydrate cravings.

Most medical professionals believe that SAD is closely related to a lack of sunlight. While we can’t control how many hours per day the sun shines here in New York, there may be a way to trick your brain into thinking there are sunny skies: Light Therapy. Light Therapy is often suggested for those who suffer from SAD, and it’s a pretty easy treatment. All you need is a special light called a Light Box, an invention designed to give off light similar to the sun’s. All you need to do is plug it in and enjoy some “sun” for however long your doctor suggests. With consistent use, you may find yourself flipping right out of that Fall Funk and jumping back into some Fall Fun!!

The best part: some insurance companies will even reimburse you for approved Light Boxes!


For more information about SAD, see what WebMD or The Mayo Clinic has to say. 

To learn more about how Light Boxes work, click here

And, of course, to start tackling your own seasonal blues, check out The Sunbox Company or Verilux


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A Must-Have Health App

For many people on a budget, the gym membership is the first to go. Luckily, St. Joseph’s students and staff members have access to the Danzi Athletic Center’s equipment, track, and free exercise classes. But many of us don’t live near campus or our schedules don’t permit us the time to make it to the group classes.

Well, here’s an important announcement about a free way to get healthy. Walking. That’s right everyone, we do it every day, its free, and it doesn’t require any equipment.

Next time you take a stroll, check out the Map My Walk App. Just download the app and click “start workout.” Begin walking, and when you’re done, click “pause workout” and then “finish.” The app will show a map of how far you walked, and you can save the route if you liked it. It will also tell you how much time has elapsed and how many calories you’ve burned. Map My Walk acts as an immediate reinforcement; it turns a simple walk into an official, visual map of a “workout” that the user can see, store, and be proud of.

So grab your smartphone, get outside, start the app, and get walking. Enjoy the fall weather, take a few minutes to appreciate your neighborhood, and let your stress melt. When you’re done, check the app. You just may be surprised to see how far you can walk in the time you have available to you.

Categories: Resource Center | 2 Comments

Find the Right Yoga Teacher or School for YOU!

Because yoga has become a major part of my life, the subject often comes up in conversation. Quite interestingly, most people respond to my love for yoga with one of the following comments:

  • I always wanted to try yoga, but I don’t know where it is offered.
  • I can’t find a teacher that I like.
  • How do I know if a studio or a teacher is “good?”
  • What kind of yoga is the best kind?

I have responded to these questions and comments as best as I could, but I figured I would share a solid resource that may ease some concerns for any potential yogis out there: The Yoga Alliance Website.

The Yoga Alliance is an professional organization that yoga teachers and schools of all traditions can register with as long as they meet the requirements. For example, to become an RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) with Yoga Alliance, the individual must prove that they successfully completed an approved and credible yoga teacher training.

So… Looking to start practicing? Who am I to say what style of yoga is best for you? How can I predict what yoga teacher or school you will “click with” and come to love? Check out the Yoga Alliance Directory and find something that suits you! Anything on Yoga Alliance is considered “legitimate.” It is up to you to search, attend, and reflect. If the first class you try isn’t the right fit, you can search again and explore some more!

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