A Basket Full Of Lemons

basket of lemon waterI’ve always heard that you should drink a glass of water with fresh lemon juice after going to a chiropractor or after getting a massage. It just occurred to me, then shouldn’t people drink water with lemon after working out at the gym? After all, you are breaking down your muscles fibers to build up again and the lemon water would flush out the toxins that was released in your body. Let’s get down to why I am really writing this post. I’m going to get really personal. Okay, maybe not completely but I will be using some words that are uncomfortable words for some people to say out loud or on social media where everyone can see for that matter. Since I was a wee lass-I’m not Scottish, I just like saying that-I’ve had UTI’s, Bladder Infections, Kidney Infections and among other physical problems. I’ve had somewhere in the ball park of 16 surgeries. Not all related to my bladder mind you. When I was four, I had bladder surgery. I won’t go into much detail about it thank you very much.  Throughout the years and especially in my adult years after having my daughter, I had UTI’s left and right. The doctors were constantly putting me on antibiotics. One thing that occurred to me was that they never talked about my diet or if there was a way to naturally avoid UTI’s, except not to take baths and don’t drink so much caffeine. Did that advice help me? No. It sure didn’t.

Last year I had a hysterectomy among a few other things they had to fix while in there.  Ten months leading up to the surgery, I had an ongoing UTI. NOTHING was helping and I was losing my mind. You can imagine the constant pain I was in. After a while, it messes with you emotional and mentally. At that point, I was so over doctors but thankful for the hysterectomy, I must admit. After the surgery, I still had an infection despite the antibiotics. I’m just going to give it to you straight, those drugs just don’t work on me anymore and I am limited to what I can take because I have a lot of allergies to drugs.

glass of lemon water

A few months after my surgery, I was seeing my Pelvic Floor Therapist and I was talking to her about some of my problems and she suggested drinking water with fresh lemon juice. I was confused by that at first because I thought it would be too acidic for me to drink. She said it wouldn’t be and that it would help restore my PH Balance as well. She also said it will help flush out toxins and bad bacteria out of my body. I was sitting there listening to her and not completely sold on the idea because if that was the case then why hadn’t all the doctors, I’ve seen told me this.

I was desperate so I was willing to give this a try. I went to the store a bought lemon and started drinking lemon water. I have to admit there were days I skipped because I wasn’t in the habit yet. Guess what? NO MORE UTI’S! I do still have bladder spasm however but that is because of something else and they are getting less and less.

Here are some other benefits I’m experiencing. Softer skin, my daily vitamin C, better digestion. Less muscle and joint pain. Praise God! Run do not walk to your kitchen a drink a large glass of fresh lemon water. Also, be sure to drink a glass first thing in the morning before consuming anything else. That is really important.

Also, recently I have changed my diet completely to a Whole Food Plant Based Diet. Watch “Forks Over Knives” on Netflix. It will change your life. Be sure to research further about the benefits of drinking lemon water. There are a ton of benefits!!

I do want to point out that I am not a doctor or nurse. Just someone who has been through a lot of medical issues and I want to help others find relief and comfort as I have. Be sure to discuss changing your diet with your doctors before doing so and don’t be afraid to speak up! You just might change someone’s life.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

 

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Nutritional Science and Reading

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Recently I have made a big change in my lifestyle of eating. I’ve always considered myself as someone who has eaten fairly healthy but I struggled with how I felt physically and mentally. I’ve had a lot of surgeries and physical problems since I was two months old. First beginning with a heart defect and the list goes on…

For people with chronic health issues, you know that waking up everyday you don’t know how you are going to feel. It is a daunting way of life. If it weren’t for my strong will, I think I would be in worse shape. Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I felt totally hopeless. However, I am no longer having days where feel like that. I’m not giving up and I am getting stronger. What is helping me? First, research, and learning all I can about the Whole Foods Plant Based Diet.

One of my illnesses is a Digestion Disease and I have to be careful what I eat not knowing how it is going to impact me on a daily basis. Its like taking a gamble of what to eat. The Whole Foods Plant Based Diet has opened a whole new world for me and believe me, I’ve tried a ton of different diets. On this diet you do not eat meat, dairy, or processed foods. People have asked me all sorts of questions about this diet and wonder how this can be healthy without the meat or dairy. This year on Layered Pages, I will be answering those questions but first, I recommend you read The China Study and watch Forks Over Knives on Netflix. I will begin today by saying that I no longer have cravings for processed sugar, meats or dairy. Matter of fact, every time I see meat, I cringe knowing what it was doing to my health and digestive system.  If you have any questions about the Whole Foods Plant Based Diet, please feel free to ask me and I will do my best to answer your questions or direct you to the right source.

Now onto my other books I am reading. I finished, Long Road To Mercy by David Baldacci! There was thing I liked about the story and things that made me roll my eyes. Ha! I might discuss this more later on.

I’m still reading The Blue by Nancy Bileau and I’m enjoying the story so much I am savoring it. I will be working on a project about this book with the author and I look forward to sharing more of that with you soon.

I’m also listening to an audible book, Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. So far, I haven’t really been immersed into the story but I’m not giving up. I do find some of the situations fascinating however.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful and productive New Year! Until next time….

Stephanie M. Hopkins

The China Study: Revised and Expanded Edition: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health

The updated and expanded edition of the bestseller that changed millions of lives

The science is clear. The results are unmistakable.

You can dramatically reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes just by changing your diet.

More than thirty years ago, nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell and his team at Cornell, in partnership with teams in China and England, embarked upon the China Study, the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease. What they found when combined with findings in Colin’s laboratory, opened their eyes to the dangers of a diet high in animal protein and the unparalleled health benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet.

In 2005, Colin and his son Tom, now a physician, shared those findings with the world in The China Study, hailed as one of the most important books about diet and health ever written.

Featuring brand new content, this heavily expanded edition of Colin and Tom’s groundbreaking book includes the latest undeniable evidence of the power of a plant-based diet, plus updated information about the changing medical system and how patients stand to benefit from a surging interest in plant-based nutrition.

The China Study – Updated and Expanded Edition presents a clear and concise message of hope as it dispels a multitude of health myths and misinformation. The basic message is clear. The key to a long, healthy life lies in three things: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“A lush debut; Owens delivers her mystery wrapped in gorgeous, lyrical prose.” (Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight)

How long can you protect your heart?

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

2019 Musings and New Projects

Me in March 20182018 was the first year I did not reach my reading goal in a very long, long time. I thought I would be upset over that but surprisingly I am not. I still read a lot of books considering…  I want to focus on the quality of reads and I am wanting to really dig deep into my Presidents Reading Challenge. Also, I am starting new works on Layered Pages.

This year I will be posting about a variety of mediums. Including fashion, art, books, food and photography. However, I did a little of that last year but you’ll be seeing a lot more this time around and with a lot more creativity. Such as you’ll get to see guest posts from artists, authors, photographer’s and people who work in the nutritional industry. I am really thrilled about these new and exciting projects coming up on my website.

This week I finished reading. The Long Road to Mercy. I’m still thinking about how I want to discuss my thoughts on this book. There were things I liked about it and things I did not like. Tomorrow I am starting, The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau. She is among the very few authors whose books I’ll review anymore. Her stories are amazing!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Follow my closet  @artsycouture42 and use my code: ARTSYCOUTURE42 to get a free $5 credit when signing up for Poshmark! http://www.poshmark.com

long road to mercyLong Road to Mercy (Atlee Pine #1) by David Baldacci

#1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci introduces a remarkable new character: Atlee Pine, an FBI special agent assigned to the remote wilds of the western United States. Ever since her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer at age five, Atlee has spent her life hunting down those who hurt others. And she’s the best at it. She could be one of the Bureau’s top criminal profilers, if she didn’t prefer catching criminals in the vast wilderness of the West to climbing the career ladder in the D.C. office. Her chosen mission is a lonesome one–but that suits her just fine.

Now, Atlee is called in to investigate the mutilated carcass of a mule found in the Grand Canyon–and hopefully, solve the disappearance of its rider. But this isn’t the only recent disappearance. In fact, it may be just the first clue, the key to unraveling a rash of other similar missing persons cases in the canyon. . .

blueThe Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

In eighteenth century London, porcelain is the most seductive of commodities; fortunes are made and lost upon it. Kings do battle with knights and knaves for possession of the finest pieces and the secrets of their manufacture.

For Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of international repute, but nobody takes the idea of a female artist seriously in London. If only she could reach Venice.

When Genevieve meets the charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse; if she learns the secrets of porcelain, he will send her to Venice. But in particular, she must learn the secrets of the colour blue…

The ensuing events take Genevieve deep into England’s emerging industrial heartlands, where not only does she learn about porcelain, but also about the art of industrial espionage.

With the heart and spirit of her Huguenot ancestors, Genevieve faces her challenges head on, but how much is she willing to suffer in pursuit and protection of the colour blue?

Bookish Delights: Platinum Doll by Anne Girard

I read Platinum Doll by Ann Girard but never got around to writing my review. I recently announced that I would no longer be reviewing books. However, I have many books on NetGalley I haven’t gotten to and I will be doing so. I’ve also thought that instead of my thoughts being an official review. I would do something a little different with my experience of the stories I read. I’m still working on how that will play out. Platinum Doll will be my first attempt. Once I’m done rereading the story, I will start to draft my post.

Platinum DollAbout the book:

Platinum Doll by Anne Girard

Paperback, 352 pages

Published January 26th 2016 by Mira

Set against the dazzling backdrop of Golden Age Hollywood, novelist Anne Girard tells the enchanting story of Jean Harlow, one of the most iconic stars in the history of film.

It’s the Roaring Twenties and seventeen-year-old Harlean Carpenter McGrew has run off to Beverly Hills. She’s chasing a dream; to escape her small, Midwestern life and see her name in lights. In California, Harlean has everything a girl could want; a rich husband, glamorous parties, socialite friends; except an outlet for her talent. But everything changes when a dare pushes her to embrace her true ambition: to be an actress on the silver screen. With her timeless beauty and striking shade of platinum-blond hair, Harlean becomes Jean Harlow. And as she’s thrust into the limelight, Jean learns that this new world of opportunity comes with its own set of burdens. Torn between her family and her passion to perform, Jean is forced to confront the difficult truth; that fame comes at a price, if only she’s willing to pay it. Amid a glittering cast of ingenues and Hollywood titans: Clara Bow, Clark Gable, Laurel and Hardy, Howard Hughes, Platinum Doll introduces us to the star who would shine brighter than them all.

Putting Fiction and Art Together

Flying Fish Club (1)

A year or so ago I had this idea to bring artists and writers together for a collaboration of their work. I wondered what that would be like and how would their work complement each other. My client and friend, Janet Stafford wrote a book called, “Heart Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll” and there is a Karaoke scene in the book and the setting is a place called, “The Flying Fish.” The story is about Forty-year-old Lindsay Mitchell is an assistant minister at a church where she’s always been happy. But suddenly she misses her old college rock band. “I just want to rock one more time before I die,” she moans to friends Sue and Patti. When Patti invites her to vacation at Point Pleasant Beach, Lins meets Neil Gardner, front man for the Grim Reapers. The two have musical chemistry. But a whirlwind romance with a broke, agnostic musician who lives over a music store? That just might be more than Lins bargained for. Thus, begins our project to put a collaboration together.

I contacted Graphic Designer Lee Davis whom I have known for quite a while now and I love his work and talent. I thought he would be perfect for this project because it would be completely different from anything he has ever done. I wanted to challenge him and have him reach deep down and come up with what he imagines the characters in the Karaoke scene looks like. To put a face to a name. Wow did he do a great job!

Janet had artist Dan Bush put together an image of the Karaoke Bar and in Janet’s blog post about the collaboration, she talks about how the image was inspired.  Head on over to Squeaking Pips Press Blog and check out the graphic pages designed by Lee Davis and the read the scene that inspired this project!

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Links:

Squeaking Pips Press Blog

Lee Davis

Amazon Link to Heart Soul & Rock ‘N’ Roll

L.A.P. it Marketing LLC

 

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gailman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane II

I was hesitating to download this audio book because I read Neverwhere years ago for a book club read and it was too disturbing and dark for my taste to finish. Having said that, in no way am I saying Gailman is not a good writer. He is s superb story teller and his imagination is really something else.

Have you ever heard Him speak? I can listen to Him talk all day long. Anyhow, I came across The Ocean At The End of The Lane last night and decided to take a chance. Wow, am I glad I did! I was literally drawn in from the first few lines. That really says a lot about the story. At first, I was thinking maybe because it was His voice that is so mesmerizing…. but I think it’s everything about the story, the characters and the way He is weaving the tale. This is one story I am going to be sad when I get to the end of it.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

About the book:

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gailman

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.