Healthy Concepts

“I know what I need to do, I just don’t do it.” 

Does this sound like you? The nutrition we put in our bodies affects us in so many ways: thinking clearly, experiencing pain, having energy, reducing fat and weight, just to name a few. Nutritional Healing will guide you through your difficult areas and help to renew your body to be healthy, energetic and feeling good. Take your health back with proactive health care, not reactive sick-care!

Nutritional Healing is a health clinic located in Appleton. Kimberly Stoeger is a Clinical Nutritionist with a masters degree in human nutrition and experience using nutrition as a complementary medicine. She and her team of nine employees are all educated and certified in clinically proven lifestyle plans, which coach and educate clients on reducing and reversing their risk of chronic disease while also reducing body fat. 

Nutritional Healing is based on meeting wellness goals through body weight composition and therapeutic lifestyle programs. Start off your program with a body weight composition analysis where the body is assessed for fat mass, fat-free mass and total body water. It’s a simple test that takes just minutes with no discomfort. A printout is provided with all the numbers explained. This is used to monitor the sustainable fat loss, not just weight loss. It’s important to lose weight, and it’s also important to reduce fat.

Knowing which foods to consume is also important. A body could be sensitive to even the healthy foods one is consuming. With a quick and easy test, your food sensitivities can be determined. Eliminating these trigger foods can help reduce the inflammation in a body to speed the process of weight/fat loss and illness. Everyone has sensitivities and can benefit from this test.

There are so many supplements available and choosing the right ones can be difficult. Quantity to take, quality of the supplement and differing types of supplements are a few puzzling areas. Bring in your supplements and Nutritional Healing will analyze and advise what is best for you. There is also medical food that can specifically target nutritional needs and clinical conditions such as fibromyalgia, digestive disorders, diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Ever find yourself completely confused at the grocery store? The label says healthy or nutritious, but is it really? Does low-fat, lite or fat-free mean it’s good for you? The nutritional healing team will help sort all of that out. Do you have a pantry or refrigerator full of food, and you wonder what should really be in there? Do you wish someone would just tell you what to eat? Do you have limited time to eat, and end up eating on the go or at restaurants? They can help with expert advice on keeping you on track. Do you have favorite recipes and you know they are laden with calories? There is help with alternate recipe ingredients to help you keep eating your favorites — healthily.

Nutritional Healing’s team works privately one-on-one with each client constructing a personalized and specific lifestyle program that individually works for you. When a larger support system is needed, they are also available to work with a family as a whole since it can be hard to change one’s health and weight alone. Children and elderly nutrition are also very important to the family core. 

The Nutritional Healing team also works with local high schools, colleges and professional athletes for optimal performance! And their corporate wellness programs are tailored to meet local companies’ needs as another benefit to our community; focusing on proactive health care during times of rising health insurance costs.

You know what you need to do; let Nutritional Healing help you get started! We’re successfully changing people’s lives from the inside out!

Nutritional Healing, LLC is located at 400 North Richmond Street, Ste F. Office hours are by appointment, Monday through Friday. For more information about Nutritional Healing, LLC, please call 920-358-5764 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Also visit them online at www.nutritionalhealingllc.com or check out their Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Pinterest pages! 

Fellow Wisconsinites, winter is officially here! Along with the weather advisories, poor travel conditions and increased heating costs comes the unfortunate colds, flu, and a host of other respiratory ailments. All which can take a toll on a person’s energy, social life and general sense of well-being. 

I have been blessed with a strong immune system that has always protected me from the worst the season has to offer. But recently as family members and friends started coming down with coughs, colds and sinus infections, they spread their germs my way to the point I actually woke up coughing with a scratchy throat and sniffles. My congestion has lasted a couple of weeks as of this writing. 

I love researching different treatments and recently found one known for being effective for respiratory issues called halotherapy, or salt therapy. I checked out all of the talking points and was still a little skeptical. Although I have always told my kids at the first sign of a sore throat to mix up a salt water solution and gargle, I never knew why — it was just what my mother taught me and her mother before her and so on. That’s when the light bulb in my head went on and I thought, “Well if it works for sore throats, someone smarter than me must have figured out how to use salt in other ways.” I decided to book my appointment for a salt therapy session at The Salt Room Appleton. 

When I called to make an appointment I mentioned that I had been struggling with congestion that hadn’t gone away, and that I was afraid I had a cold but nothing worse than that. Not wanting to spread germs, the owner, Sheryl Bauer, assured me that there was no reason not to come in because the salt is a natural antibacterial and that between sessions they disinfect the rooms with an ultraviolet light. Between that and the salt there is no fear of spreading disease. 

When I got to the The Salt Room Appleton I filled out a brief questionnaire and Lisa took me to the back area where I was given a see-through plastic case for my cell phone to protect it. I was also given a locker to lock my valuables inside during my session. Since I happened to have neon green socks on, I put on a pair of protective booties to protect them. 

The salt room was picturesque! It was like being in a large arctic cave (without the cold) and a beach at the same time. The floor was covered with white salt crystals, which is just like walking on a beach. At the same time the walls are sprayed with a thick layer of salt, which makes you feel like you are in an arctic cavern. They have a lineup of six zero gravity chairs to sit in with tissues and a small garbage can by each chair (you’ll see why this is important in the next paragraph!). I settled in with a light blanket to cover my clothes from the salt and Lisa explained to me how they would blow in the pulverized salt through a vent in the wall. She said some people even like to nap during their 45-minute session. She then put on some soft, spa-like music and dimmed the lights. And then my session began.

At first, I was busy checking and answering work emails, then I completed my grocery list and checked out some online recipe sites for dinner. They have free Wi-Fi so you can continue your electronic lifestyle if you choose. After 10 minutes, I had to blow my nose as the congestion started breaking up. I found out that the salt particles actually decrease the thickness of the mucus in your sinus and lungs helping to draw it out. During my time in the room I took some really deep breaths of air and it felt so good! I found it cool that even though I was sitting on top of salt, surrounded by salt plus the pulverized salt being pumped through the air that it never bothered my eyes. I licked my lips and could taste the salt like I had been swimming in the ocean but my eyes never felt dry, and I wear contact lenses. 

After about 30 minutes I decided to take advantage of the calming, spa-like space and reclined my chair, closed my eyes and relaxed. I got a brief snooze in and then it was over. On my way out, I looked into the kids’ room, which is similar to the adult room in that it is like a salty beach the kids can play in with toys. There are also chairs for the adults who accompany them (getting a treatment right alongside their little ones). The difference is that it didn’t have salt sprayed on the walls. 

I went back to work and my lungs and sinuses felt open and clear for the rest of the day! I can’t wait to go back to The Salt Room Appleton and plan to tell everyone I know who has allergies or sinus problems about my experience: the minute I walked out of that room I could breathe easier and my nasal drip was gone. When I go back I plan to make a day out of it, first with a salt room session followed by an infrared sauna, which they have on site for all of you detoxing people out there! Visit them and pick up a brochure and read through it or visit their website at www.saltroomappleton.com for all of the incredible benefits of salt therapy. Then book an appointment for you or a loved one — you won’t be disappointed. 


The Salt Room Appleton

1196 N Mayflower Drive, Appleton

920-903-1150

www.saltroomappleton.com

It’s common for children to learn about gratitude through the holiday season, but there are many more teaching moments that happy and healthy families can take part in. Participating in these types of activities helps to strengthen your relationships with children, and supports healthy youth development. 

Create family traditions

If you don’t yet have your own traditions, ask family and friends what they enjoy most about getting together during the holidays (for example, a game of charades, watching old home videos, children performing a play). Be intentional about carving out time for all guests, including the host, to participate.

Invite someone who doesn’t have plans

Be mindful that the holidays may be a lonely time for someone you know. Whether it’s your college student babysitter who can’t afford to travel home or a neighbor who doesn’t have family nearby, think about someone you may know that can be included in your celebration.

Give back to the community

This is a great time to volunteer as a family. Serving meals to others, making and delivering gift baskets, buying gifts for a family in need or spending time making handmade holiday cards for troops abroad are opportunities to teach the importance of empathy and creating joy for others.

Take a break between dinner and dessert

Once you’ve finished a delicious and filling meal, make sure to take a healthy break. Stand up and move around before having dessert. Take a family walk around the neighborhood or play a fun game of freeze dance indoors.

Go tech-free

Designate an area for cell phones and tablets where they can be silenced and off-limits for a few hours. Removing the distraction will help children and adults engage in face-to-face conversations and interactions that strengthen bonds and help everyone to decompress.

Take a deep breath

Whether you’ve spent the day traveling, preparing food or feeling over-stimulated by family time, remember to take a few deep breaths in the midst of it all. Centering our hearts and minds on what we are most grateful for connects us with the spirit of the season all year long. 


Reference: “How Healthy, Happy Families Celebrate Thanksgiving.” YMCA. http://www.ymca.net/backpack-buzz/happy-healthy-families-celebrate-thanksgiving. Albin, J.

Across various goals and lifestyles, it’s difficult to pinpoint a one-size-fits-all definition of “the perfect job.” For some, it may mean having a say in decision making or owning a business. To others, it may mean taking on meaningful work. That’s why Thrivent Financial — a not-for-profit, Fortune 500 financial services organization — is inviting Northeast Wisconsinites to explore if Thrivent is the right fit for them. 

Thrivent Financial is committed to providing financial guidance that helps its over two million member-owners answer the questions they wrestle with every day: “Am I saving enough for retirement?” “Is my family financially protected?” The organization also helps members identify whether or not their spending habits reflect their Christian values — a unique common bond that connects Thrivent’s membership. 

With a desire to better serve more Christians, Thrivent is now looking to expand its team of financial representatives. Dori Sterkenburg, a Thrivent Financial Recruitment Specialist, says the job provides unique liberties on both professional and personal levels.

“A career as a Thrivent Financial Representative is rewarding,” Sterkenburg says. “It means being able to live out your passion for helping others through your practice, all while teaching people how to connect with their values by having a better relationship with money and inspiring them to live generous lives.”

Thrivent Financial Representatives build trusting and long-lasting relationships with their members. They engage in community outreach activities like the Thrivent Action Teams volunteer program and Thrivent Builds — Thrivent’s home-building and repairing partnership with Habitat for Humanity. 

The career also comes with competitive compensation, incentives and benefits, as well as countless mentorship and leadership opportunities. Financial representatives are also provided with a wide array of marketing and financial analysis resources to help them confidently grow their business. 

“If you want to own your own business but have the backing of a Fortune 500 company, a Thrivent Financial Representative would be, without a doubt, a great job,” Sterkenburg says. “Above all, it’s a lifelong career that allows you to work with a purpose and inspire generosity at the same time.” 


For anyone in Northeast Wisconsin who desires more information or feels a career as a Thrivent Financial representative may be their “perfect job,” Sterkenburg encourages them to contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via phone at 920-628-6173.

Securities and investment advisory services are offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., 625 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415, a FINRA and SIPC member and a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Thrivent Financial representatives are registered representatives of Thrivent Investment Management Inc. For additional important information, visit Thrivent.com/disclosures.

There are many weight loss programs from which to choose. Hopefully, this article will give you the tough questions to ask when evaluating any weight loss program. 

1. Physical exam, health history. Does the weight loss program offer a detailed physical exam and a thorough health history with a knowledgeable doctor so a patient-centered plan can be created with your health picture in mind in order to be effective?

2. Weight loss versus body composition. Does the weight loss program measure body composition and fat loss, not just weight loss? 

3. Blood sugar regulation. Does the weight loss program show you how to regulate your blood sugar? Research clearly shows that poor blood sugar regulation is the main reason why many people are not able to lose fat. 

4. Fluid retention. Does the weight loss program measure fluid retention and where the fluid is being stored? A simple noninvasive in-office test (BIA test) can determine this.

5. Blood work. Does the weight loss program provide any blood work to measure your cholesterol, lipoproteins, liver enzymes and hemoglobin A1c? These tests are worth doing to assess whether or not you have metabolic syndrome or other health conditions, which will greatly affect your general health and the success of your fat loss efforts if not taken into consideration. 

6. Menu planning. Does the weight loss program want you to buy their food, or are you able to prepare food on your own? Does the program require calorie counting? Do you have to eat less and be hungry or can you eat as much as you want as long as you make healthy food choices? 

7. Exercise. Does the weight loss program include exercise? Exercise is important in helping to lose weight; however, physical activity does not have to be strenuous. Gentle movement therapy has been shown to be effective.

8. Emotional eating. Does the weight loss program help you to address emotional eating and cravings that we all experience when working to improve ourselves?

9. Accountability. Does the weight loss program build in a mechanism for accountability, which will motivate and inspire you to be your best so you can have enough energy to do what God wants you to do? 

What we believe works best is creating a partnership with your doctor, working within your unique health picture to create a plan that can be adopted for life. When this happens, suddenly the weight loss program becomes a get-well program and fat loss is realized as a result of getting healthier and stronger — and the healthy changes will last a lifetime. 

 

In modern society, one of the things we don’t do much of is eat real cultured and fermented foods. These foods have been staples of the human diet all over the world for thousands of years. Since the Industrial Revolution, the advent of packaging, processing and convenience foods have seen the disappearance of these highly beneficial, nutrient-dense foods. Fermentation allows food to be preserved so it could be consumed later, and it was done simply by using the naturally occurring healthy bacteria in the food. 

Because this process improves the nutrient content and increases the beneficial bacteria of the food, it is not only healthier but also made easier to digest. Other foods were produced in a similar manner, such as kombucha, a fermented tea that is generated from a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). It was also customary to culture and ferment many vegetable and roots foods through lacto-fermentation with whey from dairy products or salt. The bottom line is that the consumer market profits is the priority, so over time, the integrity of many of foods and drinks has been lost. We are now consuming a lot of dead nutrient foods. 

Most commercially produced sauerkraut, pickles, dairy and nondairy foods you buy in the store have only been processed with vinegar as a base, and subjected to high heat temperatures (pasteurization). This does not culture or ferment the food, but rather destroys enzymes and bacteria, and makes foods more susceptible to E. coli and salmonella poisoning because all of the strong healthy bacteria has been destroyed.

Cultured and fermented foods are highly beneficial in the process of healing the digestive tract. Many people overcome many food allergies and sensitivities due to the lacto-fermentation process. The cultured food improves or eliminates gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn, bloating, gas, abdominal cramping, diarrhea and constipation by eating a small serving with each meal. The process also increases and strengthens vitamins and nutrients like magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2, K1, and beta-carotene.

Yogurt, kefir, butter and other cultured dairy and nondairy products are no exception to the rule of the commercial businesses. The dairy and nondairy products are standardized with only a few cultures (controlled in a laboratory environment consistently) and using highly processed kinds of milk — leaving you with a very low nutrient dense product. Mostly for shelf life longevity profits.

But all is not lost, you can regain control of your foods that you consume and bring the full spectrum of nutrient life back into your gut and get your control back. Many of the ways to make cultured and fermented foods are very simple and does not take a lot of time or money. You can learn how to do this process in small and larger quantities. Most people already have the supplies needed to make fermented foods in their homes and you’re already buying vegetables, so now you just need to know the simple way of putting it together. You can do some ferments in less than five days, while some take up to 30 days.

Consider making your own fermented foods to reap all of the above benefits! 

In modern society, one of the things we don’t do much of is eat real cultured and fermented foods. These foods have been staples of the human diet all over the world for thousands of years. Since the Industrial Revolution, the advent of packaging, processing and convenience foods have seen the disappearance of these highly beneficial, nutrient-dense foods. Fermentation allows food to be preserved so it could be consumed later, and it was done simply by using the naturally occurring healthy bacteria in the food. 

Because this process improves the nutrient content and increases the beneficial bacteria of the food, it is not only healthier but also made easier to digest. Other foods were produced in a similar manner, such as kombucha, a fermented tea that is generated from a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). It was also customary to culture and ferment many vegetable and roots foods through lacto-fermentation with whey from dairy products or salt. The bottom line is that the consumer market profits is the priority, so over time, the integrity of many of foods and drinks has been lost. We are now consuming a lot of dead nutrient foods. 

Most commercially produced sauerkraut, pickles, dairy and nondairy foods you buy in the store have only been processed with vinegar as a base, and subjected to high heat temperatures (pasteurization). This does not culture or ferment the food, but rather destroys enzymes and bacteria, and makes foods more susceptible to E. coli and salmonella poisoning because all of the strong healthy bacteria has been destroyed.

Cultured and fermented foods are highly beneficial in the process of healing the digestive tract. Many people overcome many food allergies and sensitivities due to the lacto-fermentation process. The cultured food improves or eliminates gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn, bloating, gas, abdominal cramping, diarrhea and constipation by eating a small serving with each meal. The process also increases and strengthens vitamins and nutrients like magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2, K1, and beta-carotene.

Yogurt, kefir, butter and other cultured dairy and nondairy products are no exception to the rule of the commercial businesses. The dairy and nondairy products are standardized with only a few cultures (controlled in a laboratory environment consistently) and using highly processed kinds of milk — leaving you with a very low nutrient dense product. Mostly for shelf life longevity profits.

But all is not lost, you can regain control of your foods that you consume and bring the full spectrum of nutrient life back into your gut and get your control back. Many of the ways to make cultured and fermented foods are very simple and does not take a lot of time or money. You can learn how to do this process in small and larger quantities. Most people already have the supplies needed to make fermented foods in their homes and you’re already buying vegetables, so now you just need to know the simple way of putting it together. You can do some ferments in less than five days, while some take up to 30 days.

Consider making your own fermented foods to reap all of the above benefits! 

Your body uses fat to protect itself from toxins. The more toxins you accumulate, the more fat you have.

Carrie Louise Daenell, ND, wrote a great article, featured on the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website, explaining how toxins make you fat.

“When you carry toxins — excess stress hormone and inflammation — your body seeks to protect you from that. The older you get, the greater load you have accumulated over time. You reach a threshold, at some point, where your biochemistry begins to drive toward fat production as a protective mechanism against those noxious accumulations. It is the fat produced to protect us from the toxins we accumulate with age. When you think about it, it is simple and obvious.”

How toxins enter our bodies

Even if you are the healthiest person on this earth, there is really no possible way to avoid toxins altogether. Toxins are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the products we use.

Skin

Many people don’t really think about how our skin is our largest organ, and what we put on our skin gets absorbed into our bodies even more so than what we put in our mouths. When we eat, our digestive tracts help clean up some of the unhealthy byproducts. When we put things on our skin, most everything absorbs right through to our bloodstream. So, the use of skin and beauty products with toxic chemicals is one way toxins pass through into our bodies. Don’t forget about cleaning supplies, bug sprays, sunscreens, etc. We probably put more things on our skin than we realize.

Water

Kathy Patalsky, blogger and creator of FindingVegan.com, informs us about the sort of toxins we might be drinking in our H20.

“A number of toxins have been discovered in water. Everything from chlorine, bleach, ammonia, and even OTC and prescription medications have been reported to be found in excess in drinking water.”

Fluoride is another harmful ingredient (an insecticide) we may find in our water. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists fluoride as an unapproved drug and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists it as a contaminant. Fluoride has been linked to fluoridosis in children, fatal bone cancer (osteosarcoma), hyperactivity, lowered thyroid function, chronic fatigue, impaired mental development, lowered IQ, dementia, arthritic symptoms, disrupted immune system, as well as tooth decay.

Food

If only it was easy to avoid all the unhealthy contents in our food. Even some organic foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Pesticides, additives, artificial coloring, preservatives, harmful contaminants like polybrominated diphenyl ethers, polychlorinated biphenyl and dioxins found in animal products, mercury in fish, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, bovine growth hormone (rBGH), arsenic in chicken meat, and bisphenol-A (commonly found in canned foods). These are only some of the issues with our agricultural industry.

Air

I won’t go on about all the toxins in the air. Benzene, perchloroethylene, methylene chloride, dioxin, asbestos, toluene, metals such as cadmium, mercury, chromium and lead compounds — the list goes on and on.

A cleansing detox with weight loss benefits

Naturally your skin, lungs, liver, kidneys and digestive, circulatory, and lymphatic systems work hard to eliminate toxins from your body. But, these days, the toxic overload is too much for our poor organs to handle. Especially with buildup over time.

Detoxification is a healthy and natural way to help your body get rid of harmful toxins. When it is done properly, it is one of the best things you can do for yourself to prevent health issues or even lose weight. Doesn’t it make sense to clean your insides? If your organs don’t have to focus all their attention on the toxic buildup, then the nutrients will be able to do what they need for your body. 

The weight loss is just an added benefit! When your body eliminates harmful toxins, the fat that is stored to help protect your body will also be eliminated.

There are many ways to help your body detoxify itself:

  • Exercise and eliminate toxins through your sweat.
  • Drink lots of water and flush out the toxins through your urine.
  • Get a massage or do yoga to release toxins through your skin.
  • Eat only organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Drink plenty of water and herbal tea! This gives your organs a chance to catch up with eliminating your toxic buildup.
  • Use nutritional products to assist your cleansing detoxification process. Some 5-star rated best-selling products include Comprehensive Detox Kit, Cell Detox and CandidaStat. These are professional-grade products that you’d most likely find in a health care practitioner’s office or select retail locations.*

*When using supplements to assist in the detoxification process, it’s best to consult your health care practitioner before you begin taking them.

Cleansing your body once in a while is a great idea and comes with many benefits, including weight loss. It’s a great idea to try a cleansing detox if you’ve been working hard to lose weight, and it just isn’t working. It’s also a great way to maintain your ideal weight!

Happy detoxing! 

Our thoughts are one of the most powerful tools we possess. Scientific research has proven that our thoughts can have a miraculous impact on our lives. Positive thoughts can improve our overall health, our relationships, our money situation, our outlook on life and so much more. Negative thoughts can also have a powerful and genuine impact. What we think can control much of what we experience in life.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” —Peace Pilgrim

We’ve all heard about the benefits of thinking positive. This article, however, isn’t just about being mindful of your thoughts and being positive. I want to share with you a perspective that is discussed less often: how our thoughts affect others.

TAKING THE GOLDEN RULE INWARD

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” But it isn’t enough to just bite our tongue. Our thoughts about a person, a situation or ourselves are just as powerful as the spoken word. So even if we don’t say it, our thoughts still do the work for us and create an impact — positively or negatively. 

A CHALLENGE FOR 2018 AND BEYOND

As we enter this New Year, I challenge you to find ways to think more positively, not only about yourself but about everyone you encounter. It can be difficult to remain positive about someone when they’re rude or disrespectful. But what if just one positive thought toward them could change the outcome of their day? 

The next time you experience negative feelings about a situation or person, release the negative and look for a positive. Maybe their outfit looks great. Perhaps they’ve worked hard to lose some weight. It doesn’t have to be about their interaction with you. Find a positive thought and then send love and compassion instead of negativity. It may just be the boost they need!

Thoughts have power. It’s not just a matter of minding what we say. We also must be mindful of what we think.

To demonstrate just how much our thoughts affect others, I like to use the following group exercise: 

  1. Have the group stand in a circle. 
  2. Select a volunteer to stand in the middle of the circle with their arms straight out from their sides. Gently push down on their outstretched arms while they resist the pressure. Make a mental note of how their resistance feels against your downward pressure.
  3. Next, ask the outer group to think something very positive about the person in the center. As they do so, provide downward pressure on the center volunteer’s outstretched arms. What do you notice about their ability to resist the downward pressure? Is it any different than before?
  4. Next, ask the outer group to think something negative about the person. As they do so, provide downward pressure on the volunteer’s arms. Has the resistance changed? Try it at your next group event to find out!

DEFLECTING NEGATIVE THOUGHTS FROM OTHERS

While we can only control our own thoughts, we don’t have to remain vulnerable to thoughts from others. Here are two powerful methods to keep others’ thoughts from affecting us negatively. 

  1. Ask God or the Divine to keep all negative thoughts from entering your energetic field. You could ask daily, or weekly, or multiple times a day — whatever feels right to you.
  2. Visualize your entire body surrounded by a bubble of pure white light at the start of each day or week. This is the light of love. Nothing but loving thoughts may pass through it. Your intention is everything. Visualize it for the length of three breaths and it will be done. 

Benjamin Franklin said death and taxes were the only two things certain in life. However, another certainty in life is that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. There is very little we can do about death and taxes but we can take advantage of the certainty of the sun by using solar power at our homes and businesses. 

Solar energy is the fastest growing source of new energy generation in the U.S., but has only reached a small portion of the market potential. One of the largest barriers to solar adoption is the upfront cost, as you are essentially pre-buying your electricity for the next 25+ years. In order to purchase solar, often times people will borrow from a lender or increasingly people are looking to use their existing mutual funds to invest in solar. That leads to an intriguing question: does a solar array deliver similar returns to other investments? 

It is important to note to take action on installing your solar array as soon as you can while existing financial incentives are still in place. 

Available incentives to reduce the cost of a solar array: 

  • 30 percent Federal Investment Tax Credit (30 percent through 2019, 26 percent in 2020, 22 percent in 2021 and 0 percent after)
  • 12 percent ($2,000 max residential, $4,000 max commercial) Focus on Energy Rebate (As of 12/1/17)
  • Discounted pricing from Solar Group Buy, if available in your area. 

Let’s take a look at a sample 5 kW solar array installed in We Energies territory on an unshaded roof for a cost of $3/watt for an installed cost of $15,000: 

  • Estimated installed cost $15,000
  • Federal Tax Credit $3,960
  • Focus on Energy Rebate $1,800
  • System Cost After Incentives $9,240
  • Cost Recovery in Years 12
  • 30-Year Internal Rate of Return 10.84%
  • 30-Year Levelized Cost of Energy from solar ($/kWh) $.071 (current utility rate $.13111)
  • 30-Year Cost of Utility Bills Without Solar (Estimated) $39,562

As you can see, the 30-Year Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is 10.84 percent and the levelized cost of energy over the life of the system is $.071/kWh, compared to the $.13/kWh rate that the utility currently charges. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), residential utility electric rates in Wisconsin rise an average of 3-5 percent per year. Should rates increase greater than 3-5 percent average the IRR of the solar array will increase. While the cost of solar generated electricity will remain the same throughout the life of the solar array. 

Let’s compare the performance of the sample array to a generic mutual fund. According to Investopedia, the historical average return on stock market investments is 10 percent, but is closer to 7 percent with inflation. Certainly there is some risk when investing in stocks as the market rises, falls and occasionally crashes such as the one in 2008. 

A typical residential solar installation in Wisconsin has an internal rate of return (IRR) around 4-11 percent and produces a levelized cost of energy of $.06 -$.10. Solar arrays are fairly low-risk. The solar modules production is warranted for 25 years and there is good data on weather patterns to closely estimate the amount of sunshine a particular location will receive. 

Additionally, installing solar keeps your investment dollars in your community and drives significant environmental benefits of using the sun instead of burning fossil fuels to create electricity and significant pollution. Solar is an investment in your family and community as opposed to a mutual fund investment in Wall Street and big business. 

A solar array performs as well or better than a mutual fund and allows you to invest in yourself and produce clean energy for the next 25+ years. As always, please consult with your financial advisor before any investments. 

 

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