Estrés a fin de año, NO este año en Boquete, Panamá!!!!

Blog por Terry Richmeier

Traducido por Generoso Guerra

Viernes Negro, ofertas negras, compra esto, fiesta aquí, fiesta allá, gasta más dinero, come, come y come… Estas actividades no tienen fin…

Aquí en Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast desafortunadamente también lo encontramos estresante en Boquete, Panamá. El hecho que no es fácil moverse alrededor con todo el tráfico, celebraciones de fiestas Patrías y próximas fiestas de fin de año. En Noviembre y Diciembre hay un sorprendente número de días libres. Dos diferentes días de Independencia, Día de la Bandera, Día de las Madres, Día del trabajo, desfile de los Bomberos, Cabalgata, solo por nombrar algunas.

 

En el Greenberg Quinlan Rosner informe de investigación, en los Estados Unidos, trabajar largas horas, batallar con el tráfico, cuidar de los padres envejeciendo y pagar las cuentas es en sí muy estresante, luego agregar días festivos! Estos son algunos de los hallazgos clave:

  • El estrés de días festivos tiene en particular un gran impacto en la mujer, ya que toman cargo de las celebraciones de días festivos, particularmente en la preparación de comidas y la decoración del hogar. Las mujeres son más propensas a reporter un aumento de estrés más que los hombres durante la época de fin de año. Además les resulta más difícil relajarse durante días festivos y es más probable que caigan en malos hábitos para controlar su estrés, como la comodidad de comer.
  • El estrés de días festivo tiene un impacto en las personas de ingresos medio bajo. Holiday stress has an impact on lower middle income individuals. Este grupo siente el peso del estrés del trabajo más la prisa de la temporada para encontrar tiempo para terminar todo. Además sus preocupaciones sobre el dinero se ven incrementadas por el comercionalismo de la temporada y la presión para gastar mucho dinero.
  • Las emociones son altas en días festivos: Personas en los Estados Unidos transmiten sentimientos de amor, felicidad y buen humor. El aspecto más importante de estos días festivos es la oportunidad de conectarse o reconectarse con amigos y familia.

 

  • Las personas en Los Estados Unidos son más propensas a sentir el incremento y no reducción de estrés durante los días festivos. Los días festivos tienden a ser un dolor de cabeza para muchos, una pérdida de dinero para otros, pérdida de tiempo, el bombo y el comercionalismo de la temporada causa un mayor estrés a las personas en Los Estados Unidos.
  • Durante los días festivos, el estés adquiere un carácter diferente a las otras épocas del año.

Tanto hombres como mujeres se sienten obligados a hacer de los días festivos lo mejor posible para sus familias.

 

No pude encontrar un informe relativo a Boquete, Panamá, sin embargo. Yo creo que es igual de estresante. Entonces también  quería idear algunas posibles soluciones. Yo pensé en como los masajes me quitan el estrés, por al menos unos días!. Nosotros tenemos una increíble pareja que hacen un estupendo trabajo al tratarse de masajes. Luego está la naturaleza, sentarse y disfrútar de una copa de vino. Leer un libro, asistir a una clase de arte, observar aves y esto es sólo por nombrar algunas. Todo esto puedes hacerlo en Boquete, Panamá, mientras te hospedas con nosotros en Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast.

Sin embargo, si no está en tus planes de este año, aquí hay otras opciones de la Clíninca Mayo para “desestresar” tus días festivos.

Cuando el estrés está en su punto, es difícil detenerse y reagruparse. Trate de prevenir el estrés y la depression en primer lugar, especialmente si las festividades han cobrado un precio emocional en el pasado.

  1. Reconoce tus sentimientos. Si alguien cercano a tí ha muerto recientemente o no puedes estar con tus seres queridos, date cuenta que es normal sentir tristeza y dolor. ESTA BIEN tomarse el tiempo para llorar o expresar tus sentimientos. No puedes forzarte a estar feliz sólo porque es temporada festiva.
  2. Alcanza. Si te sientes sólo y aislado, busca convivencia ya sea religiosa u otro evento social. Te pueden ofrecer ayuda y compañerismo. Trabajar como voluntario en tu tiempo libre para ayudar a otros también es una buena manera de subir el animo y ampliar tu lista de amistades.
  1. Ser realista. Las vacaciones no tienen que ser perfectas o simplemente como el año pasado. A medida que las familias cambian y crecen, las tradiciones y los rituales también cambian a menudo. Elija algunos para aferrarse, y esté abierto a crear nuevos. Por ejemplo, si sus hijos adultos no pueden ir a su casa, busque nuevas formas de celebrar juntos, como compartir fotos, correos electrónicos o videos.

 

  1. Dejar a un lado las diferencias. Trate de aceptar a los familiares y amigos tal como son, incluso si no cumplen con todas sus expectativas. Guarde las quejas hasta un momento más apropiado para la discusión. Y sea comprensivo si otros se molestan o se angustian cuando algo sale mal. Lo más probable es que también estén sintiendo los efectos del estrés y la depresión durante las vacaciones.
  2. Apegarse al presupuesto. Antes de ir de compras de regalos y alimentos, decida cuánto dinero puede gastar. Luego, cumpla con su presupuesto. No trates de comprar la felicidad con una avalancha de regalos.

Pruebe estas alternativas:

    • Donar a una organización benéfica en nombre de alguien.
    • Dar regalos hechos en casa.
    • Comience un intercambio de regalos familiares.

6.     Planea con anticipación. Reserve días específicos para ir de compras, cocinar, visitar amigos y otras actividades. Planee sus menús y luego haga su lista de compras. Eso ayudará a evitar luchas de último minuto para comprar ingredientes olvidados. Y asegúrese de alinear la ayuda para la preparación de la fiesta y la limpieza.

  1. Aprende a decir que no. Decir que sí cuando deberías decir que no puede hacerte sentir resentido y abrumado. Los amigos y colegas entenderán si no puedes participar en cada proyecto o actividad. Si no es posible decir que no cuando su jefe le pide que trabaje horas extras, intente eliminar algo más de su agenda para compensar el tiempo perdido.
  2. No abandones los hábitos saludables. No dejes que las fiestas se conviertan en una regalía para todos. La indulgencia excesiva solo aumenta su estrés y culpa.

Pruebe estas sugerencias:

    • Coma bocadillos saludables antes de las fiestas para que no se exceda con los dulces, el queso o las bebidas.
    • Duerma lo suficiente.
    • Incorpore actividad física regular en cada día.
  1. Tómate un respiro. Tómate un tiempo para ti. Pasar 15 minutos sólo, sin distracciones, puede refrescarlo lo suficiente como para manejar todo lo que necesita hacer. Encuentre algo que reduzca el estrés despejando su mente, disminuyendo su respiración y restaurando la calma interior.

Algunas opciones pueden incluir:

    • Dar un paseo por la noche y observar las estrellas.
    • Escuchando música relajante.
    • Recibir un masaje. (Podemos ayudarte con esto si estás en Boquete)
    • Leer un libro.
  1. Busca ayuda profesional si la necesitas. Busque ayuda profesional si la necesita. A pesar de sus mejores esfuerzos, puede sentirse triste o ansioso, plagado de molestias físicas, incapaz de dormir, irritable y sin esperanza, e incapaz de enfrentar los quehaceres rutinarios. Si estos sentimientos duran un tiempo, hable con su médico o un profesional de la salud mental. (¿Sabía que Manzar Lari es un Consejero Vital certificado y ofrece una consulta inicial gratuita de media hora?)
  • Toma el control de los días festivos.

No dejes que las fiestas se conviertan en algo que temes. En su lugar, tome medidas para evitar el estrés y la depresión que pueden descender durante las festividades. Aprenda a reconocer sus desencadenantes navideños, como las presiones financieras o las demandas personales, para que pueda combatirlos antes de que deriven en una crisis. Con un poco de planificación y algunas ideas positivas, puedes encontrar la paz y disfrutar de las fiestas.

  1. Toma un avión (Personalmente mi favorito y agregado a la lista por mí)

¡Sube a un avión y baja, pasa las vacaciones o en cualquier otra época del año en Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast!

Holiday Stressors, NOT this year, in Boquete, Panama!!!!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

Black Friday, Black sale, buy this, a party here, a party there, spend more money, eat, eat, eat…..And these activities are endless….

We here at Unfortunately, Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast finds the same stressors in Boquete, Panama. From the fact that it’s not easy getting around to the congestion and celebrations of the holidays. In November and December, there are an amazing number of holidays. Two different Independence days, Mother’s day, Labor Day, Fireman’s parade, Horse Parade, just to name a few.

 

In the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner research report, in the U.S., working long hours, fighting traffic, caring for aging parents, paying bills are stressful enough, then to add the holidays! Here are some of the key findings:

  • Holiday stress has a particular impact on women, who take charge of many of the holiday celebrations, particularly the tasks related to preparing meals and decorating the home. Women are more likely than men to report an increase of stress during the holiday season. In addition, they have a harder time relaxing during the holidays and are more likely to fall into bad habits to manage their stress, like comfort eating.
  • Holiday stress has an impact on lower middle income individuals. This group feels the weight of stress from work plus the seasonal rush to find time to get everything done. In addition, their worries about money are heightened by the commercialism of the season and the pressure to spend a lot of money.
  • Emotions run high during the holidays: people in the United States report feelings of love,

happiness, and high spirits. The most important aspects of the holidays are the opportunities

to connect or reconnect with friends and family.

  • People in the United States are more likely to feel their stress increases rather than decrease during the holidays. The holidays can be a hectic time for many, and a lack of money, a lack of time, and the hype and commercialism of the season causes increased stress for people in the U.S.
  • During the holidays, stress takes on a different character than at other times of the year.

Men and women alike feel a duty to make the holidays the best they can for their families.

 

I couldn’t find a study for Boquete, Panama, however, I believe the stressors are the same. So, I wanted to come up with some possible solutions as well. I thought about how massage takes away my stressors, at least for a Few days! We have an amazing couple that do a really great job at massage. Then there is nature, and sitting and drinking a glass of wine. Reading a book, attending an art class, or bird watching, just to name a few. All of which can be done here in Boquete, Panama, while staying with us at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast.

However, if that’s not in the plans for you this year, here are some other options from the Mayo Clinic to “de-stress” your holiday:

When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.
  2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
  3. Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
  4. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.
  5. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.

Try these alternatives:

    • Donate to a charity in someone’s name.
    • Give homemade gifts.
    • Start a family gift exchange.
  1. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
  2. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
  3. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.

Try these suggestions:

    • Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
    • Get plenty of sleep.
    • Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
  1. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.

Some options may include:

    • Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
    • Listening to soothing music.
    • Getting a massage. (We can help you with this if you are in Boquete)
    • Reading a book.
  1. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. (Did you know that Manzar Lari is a certified Life Coach and offers a free half hour initial consultation?)
  • Take control of the holidays

Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.

  1. Catch a Plane (My personal favorite and added to the list by me)

Get on a plane and come down and spend the holidays, or any other time of year at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast!

 

 

 

 

Featured Article in International Living!

During a recent interview with International Living, we were asked several questions about us materializing our dream! Please read more here…

Article

Re-creating and Re-inventing yourself

Blog by Terry Richmeier

 

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Manzar and Terry just recently celebrated a year of service as the owners of Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast after coming from corporate jobs in the U.S. For some, an international move is daunting enough, let alone starting a new business in a foreign country. Besides “what were you thinking?!?” … such an endeavor brings a host of questions. What is the inspiration for this level of change? How does one prepare oneself? How does one stay focused and motivated when the “going gets tough?” When embarking on this adventure in a relationship, how can partners support each other spiritually, emotionally, and otherwise? What sacrifices may be required to achieve The Dream?

We invite you to come hear our story – and share yours – over a glass of wine (or beverage of your choice) during our popular Casa de Montana social hour. Meanwhile, pique your inner “Lewis and Clark” with the following.

We came across a tale recently on Pinterest. A Canadian couple quit their jobs, sold their belongings and decided on a lifestyle of travel. Currently blogging and photographing their way around the world, they post their experiences on their website www.onemoderncouple.com.

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However, we don’t want to paint only one side of the picture. For every success story, there is also the time when challenges and fears arise which must be minimized and/or overcome. Reinventing oneself is not necessarily easy, but there are some steps to take along the way that help ease such a great undertaking.

First, it is important to reflect on the changes you want to make. Be clear as to what exactly you would like to change and why. Spend some time writing down how you envision your new life. Next, make a game plan. Ask yourself what steps you would need to take to manifest your vision. Once you begin the process, stay motivated. Keep your eyes on the prize, so to speak. One way to do this may be to create a vision board – or spend some time each day doing something (however small it may be) that will bring you closer to your goal. (i.e., study your Spanish!) And last, but not least, share your plan with others. Having a cheerleader in your corner can be invaluable, especially during those moments when you may feel overwhelmed or discouraged.

Reinventing yourself is difficult to say the least and still, we believe, it’s well worth the fight! Finding what you enjoy doing in life is the best thing you can do for your health and overall wellbeing! Here in Panama, the expat community has created several helpful Facebook pages such as Expats in Boquete and Jobs For Expats In Panama. Of course, this is just a start. Be sure to reach out to others who have, or are in the process of changing their lives. Create a community to face potential challenges together. Send an email or two with questions to those who have already taken the plunge. Support will be your greatest asset! Feel free to let us know your thoughts, what your plans are and how they are going.

Celebrating our one-year Anniversary at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast

Blog by Terry Richmeier & Manzar Lari

 

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            January 10th, 2015, marks the one-year anniversary of Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast! We have had a joyous and productive first year that has been full of growth and pleasure in having guests make Casa de Montaña their home away from home.

            It all started with our open house just days before we opened. We had around 350 people attend over a 5-hour period – it was mind-boggling! Our first guests, Panamonte Estates residents, wanted to stay with us to check out the rain shower and see how it worked and the open floor plan of the bathroom. This couple was looking at possibly remodeling their home to incorporate something similar. Along with our local guests, we had a lovely couple from Amsterdam that joined us and a couple from the Chiriquí region. This turned out to be a very successful opening night!

            Just days after our opening, we were lucky enough to have the ex-president’s staff and right hand man and his family stay with us. They were here during the flower festival and had rented the whole Bed and Breakfast. It was an incredible compliment to have them here during that time.

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            We sponsored several events and organizations last year that included Amigos de Animales (friends of the animals), Buenos Vecinos de Boquete (good neighbors of Boquete), Boquete Knitters Group, Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival and Bid 4 Boquete. Sometimes we provided our time and skills and other times we offered resources and money. We are proud that we have become part of a community that really cares about its people and gives them a helping hand if they need it.

Our staff has been with us since almost the beginning and we have enjoyed tremendously working side by side with them. They are working as if they owned a share in the company and they are what has made us successful is such a short period of time! Although not hired to do multiple tasks, they have all stepped up to the plate to begin to learn kitchen duties, small maintenance, gardening and office tasks that go beyond their comfort level. They do this seamlessly, out of their own initiative and without complaints. We are truly blessed. All of this hopefully results in our guests having a comfortable and pleasant stay!

We had started out by hiring a landscaping company to put in flowers, shrubs, trees and grass since the land around our home really needed to “come to life”. Recently we hired a proper gardener with many years of experience to work part-time for us. Our goal is to continue to create and maintain the garden so that it gives our guests a feeling of serenity and beauty throughout our compound.

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We have added a small store featuring coffees from different coffee fincas and even bags of Geisha coffee that our guests can conveniently purchase and take with them after their stay. We also have some snack items that our guests can purchase. We have developed a tour (Boquete Overview Tour) designed for those who are looking to relocate to Boquete. This tour gives our guests an overview of the neighborhoods around Boquete, including some planned and gated communities.

One thing that we did right, at least in our eyes, is our Social Hour in which we have a chance to get to know more about our guests, their travels and their personalities. Social Hour has created a space where our guests have had a chance to share what they did earlier in the day, compare notes, and just relax and get to know each other. It has been amazing to realize that we have many different countries represented during most Social Hour gatherings, making the world just a little bit smaller and a more wonderful place for all of us!

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We began the process of keeping our guests informed with newsletters, emails, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Our goal is to inform our guests about what to expect when they come to Boquete, Panama, as well as what tours and adventures are available to them.

This has also been a year of growth for Boquete as well with a new president and a new mayor coming into office and a new vegetable market being created with apartments and stores above it. Copa Airlines reduced fare flights have started as of January 15th, 2015, direct from Tocumen instead of the international travelers having to drive over to Albrook Airport.

The new mayor has begun to remodel the park and several new restaurants have opened such as “Nikitos”, “Mi Jardin Coffee Bar and Café” and “Stop & Go”. There is a beautification project all throughout the town with stores being painted and sidewalks being fixed. New stores and have opened up such as “Chox Chocolates”. Several stores have been remolded, expanded or relocated such as “Video Club”, “Sandwich Factory” and “Sugar and Spice”.

It has been a year of some wonderful changes in Boquete and Panama in general. We are excited about the upcoming changes for the coming year. We will continue to make our guests a number one priority. At Casa de Montaña, we are looking forward to our future guests coming to visit and make our Bed and Breakfast their new home, at least for a short time!

Social Hour at Casa de Montaña – Red or White Wine or do you prefer a Beer?

Blog by Terry Richmeier

 

So, you are on vacation and you have chosen to stay with Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast and you are getting ready for our Social Hour. You may wonder why we include a glass of wine or beer when you stay with us. Well, not only do we want you to be able to relax, we also want you to know that we believe there are some health benefits of drinking a glass of wine or a beer and that during vacation time continued mental health as well as physical health can be as easy as relaxing and enjoying a glass of wine or beer.

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Is red wine the fountain of youth or a potent poison? Is enjoying a glass of red wine during social each evening beneficial to your health? Current research suggests that a glass of red wine each day may be providing you with more than just a little relaxation.

And how about white wine? Does that have the same benefits as red? What about a cold beer? Is there anything beneficial there?

In an article from the Yale-New Haven Hospital, 10 years of research has indicated that moderate intake of alcohol improves cardiovascular health. In fact, in 1992 Harvard researchers included moderate alcohol consumption as one of the “eight proven ways to reduce coronary heart disease risk.” However, research has suggested that specifically red wine is the most beneficial to your heart health. The cardio protective effect has been attributed to antioxidants present in the skin and seeds of red grapes.

Scientists believe the antioxidants, called flavonoids, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in three ways:

  •   by reducing production of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (also known as the “bad” cholesterol)
  •   by boosting high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the good cholesterol)
  •   by reducing blood clotting. Furthermore, consuming a glass of wine may favorably influence your lipid profiles but should be during or followed up with a meal

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Recently, researchers have found that moderate red wine consumption may be beneficial to more than just your heart. One study found that the antioxidant resveratrol, which is prevalent in the skin of red grapes, may inhibit tumor development in some cancers. Another study indicated that resveratrol aided in the formation of nerve cells, which experts believe may be helpful in the treatment of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Of course recommendations to consume moderate amounts of wine are limited to individuals with a clean bill of health.

What about grape juice and nonalcoholic red wine?

In 1997, researchers at the University of Wisconsin concluded that purple grape juice also reduced blood clotting. Another study by researchers at University of California at Davis, confirmed the findings that nonalcoholic red wine contains the same antioxidant profile as red wine. However in a 1998 study, Japanese researchers found that while grape juice still had antioxidative benefits, it did not significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels compared to red wine.

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And what about White Wine?

Taken from an article in livestrong.com

The skins of grapes contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that provide beneficial health effects. The wine that provides the most health benefits is red because the skins are included in its processing. The grape skins are removed when white wine is processed, which decreases its medicinal benefits. The grape itself also contains nutrients and antioxidants, so white wine, while not as healthy as red, is still considered a healthy beverage.

Studies analyzing white wine’s effects on particular diseases have found that its antioxidant content is effective for preventing lung disease and breast cancer. In 2002, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine found that moderate lifelong white wine consumption improves lung health. In 2010 University of Wisconsin researchers found that white wine protects cells from breast cancer equally well compared with red wine.

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Ok, so what about that balboa Beer?

Taken from an article in eatright.org

When it comes to beverages with benefits, wine always seems to get the credit. If you’re a brew lover, that might make you want to cry in your beer. But before you do, you’ll be glad to learn that, like wine, beer delivers some decided perks as well.

“A cold beer is the perfect way to relax at the end of the day, it tastes great and, in moderation, it can even be good for you,” says Ethan A. Bergman, PhD, RD, CD, FADA, past president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Here are five ways your favorite brew can enhance your health.

It’s Heart Smart

While wine gets all the glory for its heart-healthy benefits, beer consumption may have a similar effect, according to a 2012 study in the European Journal of Epidemiology. Italian researchers reviewed 12 studies that separated wine and beer consumption, and found that moderate drinkers (about one pint per day) had a 42 percent lower risk of heart disease than non-drinkers. The comparable protective benefits to wine could be because both contain polyphenols, shown to have antioxidant properties that may help your heart, the researchers write. No benefits were found for other alcoholic spirits.

It’s Kind to Your Kidneys

That brewski may reduce your risk of developing kidney stones, according to an article in the winter 2011 issue of ADA Times. Researchers found that beer lowered the risk of kidney stones in men compared to other alcoholic beverages, possibly due to its high water content and diuretic effect. Compounds in hops may also slow the release of calcium from bone that is implicated in kidney stones.

It’s a Surprising Source of Fiber

Who knew that beer contains fiber? Made from barley, beer contains beta-glucans — a type of soluble fiber credited with lowering cholesterol levels. A 12-ounce bottle of lager sports 0.75 grams of fiber while the same amount of dark beer boasts 1.3 grams. Don’t get too excited: The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. After age 50, your daily fiber needs drops to 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men.

Provides Brain-Boosting B Vitamins

That cold one has another hidden health benefit: One 12-ounce beer supplies 3 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin B12, which plays a key role in brain and nervous system functioning, as well as blood formation. It’s also a source of folate, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. However, the alcohol likely trumps any of the B vitamin benefits, though. In fact, a 2011 study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found alcohol dulls brain signals responsible for self-control.

You’ll Strengthen Your Skeleton

While heavy drinking can weaken bones, a beer or two may make them stronger. Beer is rich in silicon, an element found in few foods and drinks, which has been linked to stronger bones. In a Tufts University study, men who drank between one to two beers a day had hip bone densities three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half times greater than teetotalers.

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While these benefits sound great, it’s important not to read them with beer goggles on. Moderation is the key word here. Typical recommendations for beer and wine consumption are no more than one drink a day for women and two for men, but are heavily reliant on age, gender, genetics and body type. That means science won’t back up your decision to knock back an entire six-pack and you shouldn’t start drinking just for the health benefits.

So, we are extremely excited to have you stay with Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast and have a glass of wine or beer on us! Of course, we have non-alcoholic beverages available as well. You deserve a respite from the daily hassles of your life!

 

 

Finding Happiness during this Christmas/Holiday Season in Boquete, Panama

Blog by Manzar Lari

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Why are happiness, joy and belonging so important during the holiday season? Is it because all year long we are focused on so many other things, or should I say “busy work”, that we don’t allow ourselves to take inventory of the truly meaningful things in our lives? Meaningful things such as close friendships, significant romantic relationships and unconditional family connections?

For many of us, the holiday season brings all this to the forefront. Many questions run through our head… Did I get invited to a Thanksgiving dinner somewhere? Did I receive any e-cards stating “Have a great Christmas and New Year”? Did I take the time to write to someone else who I have been meaning to contact all year long? Should I wait and see if there are any Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties or should I plan one of my own? Will anyone even come to the party if I organized one? What is the best gift to buy for each of my family members and friends? While Holiday time can affirm for us what we already know about our relationships and what we have in our lives, it can also be a realization of our own loneliness and lack of belonging. Belonging, happiness and joy are so intertwined for most people that it is difficult to look at one without the other. To experience unbridled joy one has to be on their own path to happiness all within the context of a sense of belonging and nurturance.

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I grew up in a culture that did not celebrate Christmas but I do understand the spirit of Christmas. Most cultures share that “spirit” in common. They may call it Hanukkah, Eid, Diwali or by any other name but they share the same essence of goodness and connection with others. In Boquete, Panama, this spirit lives on. It can be seen in the decorations around town, the holiday and Christmas parades where old and young dutifully partake in are all symbols of the connection with each other and to a higher power. It is great to watch all these festivities. Maybe in the coming years I would feel more of a connection to the people of Boquete and take part in these celebrations myself instead of watching them from the sidelines? I digress! Back to happiness. How can one feel happier during the holidays? Here are some tips:

  • Give a little piece of yourself – volunteer your time and resources
  • Give yourself a break – get rid of all the “shoulds” that create additional stress
  • Give others a gift that they will remember – It doesn’t have to be an actual present. It can be a heartfelt note sharing your gratitude
  • Give thanks – try to remember the things you are thankful for in your life
  • Give it a rest – take some time out for yourself and relax

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Take a look at the attached link to an article that says the above in more detail. She seems to know what she is talking about!

 

http://prettyfluffy.com/regular-columns/eds-letter/5-ways-to-find-happiness-this-christmas

 

If you are interested in Life Coaching services offered by yours truly (Manzar Lari), please take a look at my Life Coaching website and contact me through the website:

www.aworldofpossibilitiescoaching.com

I would be great to hear from you!

At Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast we are ready for the holiday season and would love to have you come stay with us and be part of this magical time of the year!

Finding America in Central America – Walmart is coming to Panama!

 

For years now, several of us ex-pats have to been going to a select few stores to find the goods and groceries that we need. These stores range from Super99, Romero’s, and Super Baru for groceries to Arrocha, Conway, and Stevens for other goods. Here in Boquete, there are two grocery stores that are medium size called Romero’s and Mandarin. We also have a smaller version of Super Baru called Deli Baru. Other convenient stores are located around the town of Boquete and surrounding areas that do their best to satisfy the ever-changing needs (and increasing demands) of the Boquete expats and locals. But we need (or is it “want”?) more!

Rumors have been going around that new stores are coming to the Boquete area and also that big chain stores such as Walmart may be coming to Panama from the US.

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Well, we looked into it and these rumors seem to be true. Walmart is building their first store in Panama City, Panama! Other stores will follow in other areas. Also coming to Panama and Central America are stores such as Walgreens and J.C. Penny’s.

 

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The Free Trade Agreement with the United States will allow companies like Walmart to set up shop in Panama. The Free Trade Agreement between Panama and the United States was implemented in October 2013 and will help to reduce the price of goods for all Panamanians.

An official who spoke on the subject in an interview with Telemetro, said there will be more competition when the new Free Trade Agreement is implemented, and this might affect the price of products. He said thanks to the agreement with the United States new products will be available in Panama. He also stated that this will open the possibility of some retail and supermarket chains from the US such as Walmart might come to Panama, leading to more competition and lowering of prices.

In the agreement, American businesses that invest over $3 million will be classified as “multi-service business” and be able to sell directly to consumers as long as they provide both goods and services within the same building.

Walmart commends the Administration and Congress for working to pass the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Implementing these agreements will lower trade barriers and help level the playing field for American companies. American manufacturers and service providers will be able to grow by reaching new customers overseas, and more American exports will mean more American jobs at a time when they are desperately needed.”

Walmart already has operations in Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Japan, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States and Zambia.

The Mexican and Central America division of the retail giant plans to invest almost $1.5 billion in the six countries of their jurisdiction, adding over 400 stores to the chain.

Mexican and Central America Walmart has ambitious plans. With an investment of $1.4 billion, it aims to open 410 to 436 new stores in its geographical area of coverage (6 countries), generating 25,000 direct jobs and 52,000 indirect ones via building construction. The giant aims to increase its sales by 12% in Mexico and 9% in the 5 Central American countries.

So whether you are happy or not about the stores that we frequent in the United States being readily available in Panama, they are coming down and well on their way in setting up shop!

What does this mean for Casa de Montaña? We will have one additional store to choose from when shopping for goods. We look for quality and decent prices. If the future Walmart in Panama lives up to our expectations, we will add it to our list of stores that we can visit regularly!

Boquete – Home of the Resplendent Quetzal!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

 

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From time to time we have some guests who stay with us at Casa de Montaña that get an opportunity to find and enjoy viewing an indigenous bird called the Quetzal without actually searching for it. Others do come in search of these birds on their trek through the trees as they are hiking. The guests are not always lucky enough to find this elusive bird. The bird only shows itself to a chosen few!

Gorgeously plumed Quetzals live in the mountains of Central America. The bird was sacred to the ancient Maya and Aztec peoples, and royalty and priests wore its feathers during ceremonies.

The resplendent Quetzal is an aptly named bird that many consider among the world’s most beautiful. These vibrantly colored animals live in the mountainous, tropical forests of Central America where they eat fruit, insects, lizards, and other small creatures.

During mating season, male Quetzals grow twin tail feathers that form an amazing train up to three feet (one meter) long. Females do not have long trains, but they do share the brilliant blue, green, and red coloring of their mates. Male colors tend to be more vibrant.

Resplendent Quetzal pairs use their powerful beaks to hollow holes as nests in rotted trees or stumps. Inside, they take turns incubating two or three eggs—though males have such long tails that they sometimes stick outside the nest.

Young Quetzals can fly at about three weeks of age, but males do not begin to grow their long tail plumes for three years.

Manzar and Terry spotted two iridescent blue Quetzals their first time in Boquete and have never seen another one since. At the time, they felt that this was a sign that they were both supposed to move to Boquete, Panama, to start a new chapter in their lives.

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Recently we had some guests who stayed with us that were on the Quetzal tour and hike. They went without and guide and felt very disappointed that they did not encounter this amazing bird on their hike. During a small resting period, a man came passing by and they spoke to the man about their disappointment. So, the man looked at them then looked up in the tree above them and then told them to look up! Right there above their heads was the resplendent Quetzal that they were looking for the whole time!!!

So, if you are ever here in Boquete, Panama. Try to get a tour guide if you are bird watching and would like to see this beautiful bird. At Casa de Montaña, we can assist you in giving you a map to the Quetzal Trail, or set you up with a tour guide as well. If you want to venture out on your own, remember, you may need to just look up into the camouflage of the trees and spot “The Resplendent Quetzal”!

 

 

Life Coaching – Happiness is an inside job!

Blog by Manzar Lari

 

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Does being “happy” mean one has to be happy ALL the time? Is that just an ideal that people strive for but can NEVER reach? What is the definition of happiness anyway? Does it vary from person to person?

So many questions come to mind related to happiness that it is impossible to relax about it! When the latest survey about happiness rated people of Panama the “happiest” in the world, did you stop and think what was meant by it? What criteria did they use to measure it? Some of you may agree with the survey and others may be thinking to themselves, I know a lot of unhappy people here in Panama – this couldn’t possibly be true!

As a Life Coach I have a tendency to look at practical ways someone can achieve their goals when I am working with a client. When someone tells me that they want to be happy, I have a tendency to find out from them in tangible terms what happiness will look like for them – how they would be feeling, what they would be doing, how would they perceive themselves, etc. A few months ago I started working with Pinnacle Partners in providing assessments, trainings and coaching related to happiness in the workplace. It all starts with a person’s sense of how happy they are and what contributions they feel they are making to a company while being recognized and supported by their managers. Easier said than done, right?! No matter whether we are talking about our personal lives or our work life, the desire to be happy is the same desire. The term happiness conjures up different images for different people. Most people I have talked to want to be happy but feel that it is somehow an unattainable goal. Happiness in my opinion is a personal journey and that is the reason why the heading of this blog says “Happiness is an inside job!”

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Here is an excerpt from Robert Holden’s book, “be happy” that highlights the point stated above:

Choosing Happiness – The real reason why happiness means so much to you is that happiness is your true nature. Happiness is who you are, and it is what you experience when you accept yourself, when you relax, and when you stop neurosing about being a “size zero,” about “why he hasn’t called”, and about “what I should be doing with my life.” Happiness isn’t “out there.” And, when you really think about it, the blocks to happiness aren’t “out there” either. Why? Because there is no “out there” out there.

The happiness course shows you how your psychology creates the world you experience and how it can either enhance or block your awareness of true happiness. Happiness is not a state of mind; it is your true nature. That said, certain states of mind can either help or hinder your experience of happiness. In other words, happiness is your original nature, but you may well be suffering from psychology. Your psychology (that is, your perceptions, your beliefs, and your self-talk) is what stands between you and happiness now, success now, and love now.

The excerpt above is an invitation for each of us to “alter our psychology” about happiness and embark on a journey that takes us through self-acceptance, changes in perception and living a life of gratitude in order to be truly happy. Happiness really is an “inside job”!

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My own journey began a few decades ago with the realization that I cannot find a “cure” for my own unhappiness outside of myself – a geographical cure or a relationship cure or any other type of external cure was not really the answer. All the answers I had been looking for were already inside of me. I needed to pay attention, change my perceptions and my belief system. This set the stage for me for a life-long journey of exploration. I invite you to start your own journey if you have not already done so.

For more information about Life Coaching, please contact Manzar Lari through the website www.aworldofpossibilitiescoaching.com or directly by calling the U.S. # 952-931-9770 or the Panama # 507-730-9472.

 

Encaustic Art by Robyn Cole – On display at Casa de Montaña!

Blog by Manzar Lari

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We met Robyn shortly after we moved to Boquete. What a bundle of energy, talent and inspiration, all rolled into one person!?! Robyn’s journey as an artist started early in her life in California. She pursued her passion for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UCLA with an emphasis on graphic design. As a young adult Robyn was not sure whether she could make a living as an artist – she let those voices of self-doubt convince her to not pursue her goals with the gusto that we so enjoy about her in the present day. Robyn shared with us that instead she decided to take the corporate path by working for advertising agencies in marketing and graphic design. While she had some flexibility in those positions to be creative, the artist in her always wanted something more! Robyn also had an art studio at home where she did craft and interior design projects – she still didn’t allow herself to go full speed ahead.

The big changes in Robyn’s life happened when she retired early and moved with her husband John from California to Boquete. Maybe it was the beauty of her surroundings or just the mere fact that Robyn finally had time to re-invent herself that she allowed her desires to come out – to be the type of artist that she always yearned to be! About 2.5 years ago Robyn taught herself “Encaustic Art”, the word encaustic is a derivative of “Encaustikos” from Greek meaning “to burn in”. She uses pharmaceutical grade beeswax and damar resin as part of the encaustic process. Robyn explains that “Medium is to Encaustic as Water is to Watercolor”. Wow, we learned something new as Robyn shared all this wealth of knowledge with us! She is truly passionate about her work and why shouldn’t she be?! Recently she has received a lot of recognition for her Encaustic Art pieces. She won first place in a juried art show for her painting called “Authentic Lives”. This piece happens to be her favorite work of art to date.

We asked Robyn about the process she goes through prior to creating each work of art. She may find an inspirational object that really appeals to her. That is her starting point. Robyn’s vision develops as she starts working on her piece. The process can take her just about anywhere. The name for her piece comes to her as the piece starts to take shape. From end-to-end each piece of art may take her about 1.0 to 1.5 days to finish. Robyn is currently working on some commission pieces for Boquete residents and a couple of pieces for someone in Panama City.

We are truly honored to display some of her artwork here at Casa de Montaña. Her artwork is up for sale and is reasonably priced. Come over and check it out!

Here are some photos of Robyn’s artwork from our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.497307823712396.1073741849.398029813640198&type=1

Robyn’s website: http://www.robyncoleartworks.com/

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