Enhancing Our Immune System

With the recent pandemic, we are heeding the advice to wash our hands more than 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer, etc.  We hear  this advice being repeated over and over again to the point of redundancy. Although great advice, merely washing hands does not keep us healthy.

lifestyle, health and people concept: Close up of frustrated young man with head in hand

We need to be as concerned about our shoes as much or more so than our hands.  Did you know our shoes carry bacteria from fecal matter, C-Diff and carcinogens?  I have a shoes- off policy in my home and I hope you have one, too.  If not, read about the  risks.

Pair of shoes with mud on carpet

Have you heard of anthocyanins? Anthocyanins have shown to benefit brain cognition, support the cardiovascular system, fight cancer, reverse UV damage, reduce inflammation and help diabetics. Anthocyanins are found in purple foods like berries, grapes, beets, purple cabbage and more. 

Now, think of the health benefits if, for example, you could eat 500 beets in a serving!  That doesn’t sound appealing to me, especially since I do not care for beets. However, beets are  excellent  inflammation fighters! I personally use something called“Limitless” which is beet root powder with the sugar removed. Each capsule is the equivalent of 500 beets and may reduce inflammation markers up to 47%.


We already know sugar is not the best thing for us to eat, but do we think of hidden sugars?  Although many fruits and vegetables contain important nutrients, if we are trying to lose weight or fight an illness, higher sugar foods may not always benefit us, even if natural.  When purchasing premade foods or condiments, check the nutrition information on the label. Anything containing more than 5 grams of sugar is not beneficial if you are ill or trying to increase your metabolic rate.


We know to eat our fruits and vegetables, but did you know produce that is not organic has less nutrients than it did 30+ years ago?  It is true! Read more here.  To combat that issue, we can  greatly increase our produce intake, eat organic or take food sourced, stabilized  natural supplements. If vitamins are not food sourced, they are synthetic and not metabolized properly by the body. 


Many people have not heard of Acemannan, which comes from the most researched plant on the planet, aloe vera.  Acemannan helps the body in the processes of defense, repair and regeneration.  One reason many have not heard of Acemannan is it is difficult to stabilize and mass market. Evolv Health holds the patent to the most bioavailable Acemannan on the market.  Acemannan is not an immune stimulant or booster, which may be harmful to cancer patients. It is an immune modulator, which means if your immune system is over active, Acemannan will help slow it down and if underactive, help it speed up.


To summarize, helping our bodies achieve homeostasis  is the optimal way to stay healthy. Experts predict by 2050, more people will die from infectious disease than cancer.  Doesn’t it make sense to be proactive versus reactive?

Julie Froberg Rose; the Hempress of HOPE

This informational blog makes no claim of the suggested practices curing illness or disease. Your body will let you know how you feel.  Always follow the advice of your doctor








From my Heart

As a child, I was fascinated with people not from Minnesota. World travel was not commonplace where I grew up and classmates from other countries were non existent until my high school years. It was exciting to meet my great uncle Larry who spoke Spanish as his native language and to hear his stories of childhood in Spain. He inspired me to learn Spanish at the age of 9. It was memorable to go to what was one of the first Mexican restaurants in Minnesota, “La Casa Coronado” and to enjoy my first tamales.


These events sound commonplace, but there was a time in Minnesota when areas were more isolated due to less highways and little immigration. It was considered “ideal” to blend in and even dress alike. How exciting it was when our town had an influx of refugees from Vietnam during  my high school years!  Before then, our only Asian neighbors were restaurant owners from China.

Anoka watertower

I remember sitting in the gym when a beautiful girl named Anh entered, carrying her tennis shoes and looking frightened. My heart melted seeing her fear and I greeted her. As I tried to explain  that she should wear her shoes, she politely nodded and said “thank you.”  This was a defining moment in my life, as I realized  my world was very small and needed expansion.

Fast forward to grade 12 where we had 2 exchange students: Elena from El Salvador and Erik from Belgium.  My new friends were the best education I received in my senior year! You see, at this point in time, the  only kids I had met not born in the USA were from Vietnam or Mexico.

From Elena I learned of poverty, political unrest, the importance of family, grace, dignity and gratitude.  She bore an incredible amount of  grace in meeting our stares of curiosity with her bright, wide smile. Elena was quick to educate us on her customs and we learned from her generous example to be more thankful and humble. We were pen pals after graduation for about five years. Occasionally I wonder if political unrest caused her letters to cease.


I could write volumes about Erik!  We became very close and he called me his little sister.  For over 10 years, Erik and I corresponded.   Erik had an interesting perspective on Americans. From the television and movies, he thought our country was crawling with what he called “hippies.” In the spring, he went to a rock concert with me and he excitedly pointed out “hippies.”   Another endearing quality of Erik’s was he would correct our grammar! On the day of graduation, we embraced and cried.

Erik visited the USA 9 years later on business. It was not the meeting I would have preferred. About a dozen classmates met at a restaurant. At the time, my former husband accompanied us and his domineering, entertaining personality took over our time together. Nevertheless, it was wonderful to see my Belgium brother again!

We all have varying belief systems. My  belief system says things happen for a reason. Through career changes and life events, I found myself working in the same school district that educated me. What a blessing to end up educating international students in the ESL (English as a Second Language) program! The students taught me more than I could ever teach!

exchange students at museum

My blessing of working with ESL students came to an end due to budget cuts. After a stint working with a wonderful company that did not align with my life purpose, I ended up with Council for Educational Travel USA!  We place and supervise international exchange students. It truly feels like life has become full circle!

With the advent of social media we are able to communicate more around the world. However, that does not replace the experience of spending time with others firsthand.  It is priceless witnessing “firsts” with our students:  the “Welcome to the USA” signs at the airport, the wonder of snowfall, homecoming, American food, Mall of America, Halloween and more!


I think we may all agree that we are greatly influenced by images on media and may assume things that may or may not be true. For example, not all Minnesotans act like the characters in ‘Fargo.” Another example is not all Muslim women wear Hijab. By spending time with those brought up in other lands, we receive a valuable education not found elsewhere. That education can create a ripple and that ripple may extend around the world.



I invite you to join me on CETUSA’s mission of: Reaching out to encourage a lifelong journey of global peace and understanding. You may do this as a host family or as a local coordinator, which is a rewarding part time endeavor!






Be the Peace

Busy Busy Busy 

It seems life a few decades ago was slower. I am not sure if that is true or not, but it is a perception many of us have. Most of us are working for the weekend.” We rush about trying to get to work on time, run  errands,  attend school and family activities and by the time the weekend rolls around, we want to tune out and relax!

Peaceful Week Days

You can have a peaceful week/work day!  First of all, start the day right.  Do not lay in bed too long filling your brain with dread to get up.  Think happy thoughts, journal, pray or meditate to set a positive tone before starting your  work day.

Set aside 30 minutes (more if you can swing it) just for you! Meditation. prayer, yoga, working out, bubble baths, reading or watching a vintage television show are all relaxing activities.  Make these things a priority!

Barraged With News

Gone are the days of a leisurely cup of coffee over the local newspaper to find out what is happening in the world.  Our phones ping with news, social media blasts news, our email inbox fills up with news, we have talk radio in our cars and if there is time to watch television, we have “breaking news.”


We hear “fake news,” political news, opposing viewpoints, celebrity gossip, accusations, justifications and not enough “feel good stories.”  It is no wonder some of us get a bleak view of the world today!


Now, think of this: people outside of the USA are also barraged with news. As we hear unflattering news about other countries, it makes sense they also hear bad things about the USA.  We know despite all the tragedy, most people in the USA are good,  we enjoy many freedoms and have more prosperity and privilege than most. The difference is a few decades ago, we had less news sources and therefore life seemed “safer.”


Think again

Could it be that things are not as bad in other countries as we hear through the media?  That may or may not be so.  One way to get an unbiased perspective would be to travel the world. Although that sounds wonderful, it is not always feasible.

War and Peace

Without delving into history or politics, common sense should dictate that the more we understand someone, the less likely we are to harbor mistrust or dislike. Although the preceding statement references people, it is people that make up countries! Thankfully,  there are diplomats throughout the world working to keep our world peaceful. Unfortunately, those efforts are not always rewarded.

What We Can Do to Promote Peace

There are many things we can do to promote a peaceful world.  As Gandhi said: “be the change you want to see in the world.”  We can be less quick to judge, take time to know our immigrant community, walk away from conflict and “count to 10” before responding to negativity. This can promote a ripple effect.

We can cut back on social media, turn off the television, do our own research when we hear something sensational or “tune out” the bad.

Another way to promote world peace is through cultural exchange.  Cultural exchange is when families host students from other countries  for part or all of a school year. When the students go back home after their foreign country experience, the ripple effect spreads  when they talk of their favorable experiences in the country that hosted them.  Over 300 world leaders have been exchange students!  Wouldn’t it be exciting to find out your former exchange student is now a president?

exchange students at museum

Following are testimonials from former host families:

J. Anzek Orr We have hosted 11 students in the past 20 years, I see the difference between the students from back than and the students now with social media. We are very proud of our “Bonus Kids” and how they have grown, went to Universities, amazing jobs and having families of their own now. Sometimes you don’t see it right away what difference you make, but one of my Thai students from a couple of years ago was very shy and was not social here in the States. A year later he told me that he was out with his family and he heard some Americans’ sightseeing and they were lost, he went up to them and talked to them in English and helped them find where they wanted to go. To me that made us proud of him and that we made a difference and gave him the courage to walk up and speak English in his own country. ❤️

B.  Iszler We’ve hosted daughters from Thailand, France and Sweden next year. We’ve learned so much about other cultures in the journey. I highly recommend hosting an exchange student to anyone who is willing to open their heart and their home to a very well mannered student.

T. L.  Hughes Absolutely the best learning and cultural experience a family can share!

T.  Fredricks We have hosted from Spain, Brazil, Sweden, Germany, Taiwan and in fall Italy. Our experience is hard to describe hosting as anything less than amazing. It has grown our family and encourages us to dare to be that “different” family! My children have learned so much about living with different cultures and customs. With each new student my husband and I always wonder if our heart is big enough for the task of hosting. However, each time we are left so proud of our international son or daughter of everything that was accomplished and our hearts are so full  and they leave as a member of our family…

S. Welch Great experience!! We hosted a boy from Spain. Even though we are miles apart, we are always close in the heart.

The Time is Now!

We all have the tools inside of us to help create a more peaceful world.  The tools are simply changing some habits, saving money for travel or participating in cultural exchange.

Learn More

To learn more about hosting an exchange student from  another country, or to consider the possibility of sending your high school aged student abroad, visit:  cetusa.org.



A Visionary Woman

What is a visionary woman?

There are many connotations associated with visionaries, but the first definition in Merriem-Webster defines the visionary woman we are celebrating today: having or marked by foresight and imagination.  This visionary woman persevered through childhood bullying, a physical impairment and heartache to become a fine jewelry designer, inspirational jewelry retailer,  marketing expert,  shopping club entrepreneur and leader in the self development industry!

What is her story?

I will not share all I know about her story, as that is her tale to tell. What I will tell you is she has helped dozens of people I know find their purpose and passion in lives, raised two beautiful and successful daughters as a single mother, and is a young, lively, glamma!   She is an expert “shifter”, teaching people how to reframe their self defeating thoughts. This expert shifter envisioned her ideal husband on a vision board before she met him and lifted herself from near poverty to enjoying a second ocean side home in addition to her home in Minnesota.

How did she achieve her dreams?

Only she can tell this wonderful story properly!  The expert shifter and visionary woman we are celebrating is Mary Hartmann, owner of Mary Hartmann-Simply Shift and Mary Hartmann Designs.

Mary offers you a first breakthrough coaching session for free, as her giving heart wants to help all who seek her assistance.  Mary says:

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“If you’re like me, you’ve asked yourself this question more times than you can count and came up empty. No matter how many books I read or positive affirmations I recited, at the end of the day, I was mostly back to square one. It didn’t make any sense.

So I started digging really deep. I wanted answers. I wanted to truly change my life. There seemed to be some door locked tight, shutting me out of life’s good things, peace, joy and happiness.

Then one day, something clicked. Like a stubborn key finally releasing a lock, I learned about the subconscious mind and the paradigms controlling us that we don’t even realize are there. 

 Once that door opened, I never looked back. You can open that door, too.”
Mary doesn’t sell a hodgepodge of jewelry.  Her designs are either original or hand picked for meaning. The following is Mary’s original, trademarked design:
From her website:
Wearing symbols which represent our desires, our milestones or the steps we’re taking on our journey is a tangible way to express gratitude for all that we are and all that we are growing to be.
If you are not where you want to be in life, take advantage of Mary’s free coaching session while it is  still available. Whether you desire coaching or not, it only takes a moment to click on the link to Mary Hartmann Designs to view her symbolic jewelry offerings.
For my overseas readers, Mary coaches through Skype.  I also want to disclose I am never paid for my articles and receive no compensation from anyone I highlight. It is my calling to write when the inspiration comes from the Spirit.



Robotic Women

28029856-female-robot-holding-a-serving-tray-with-a-blank-card-advertisement-with-room-for-text-or-copy-spaceDisclaimer: Although this piece is geared toward women, I do understand there are many men that may also relate to the thoughts presented here.

 EarlyAutumn:  A chill begins to descend as the daytime wanes and the trees begin to shed their leaves. We take inventory of our childrens’ clothing and footwear, peruse Pinterest for Halloween costume and home decor ideas.  We may get the slow cooker out so our families come home to hot meals.

The notices from school come in: fall conferences,  concerts, supply lists, parent organizations.  We try to keep up on our childrens’ needs after working all day and attempt to have a healthy meal ready to share with whomever we live with. There are sporting events and activities to dash off to.  We may have time for a bubble bath or work out at day’s end, but oftentimes our beds call out to us before that occurs.


School fundraisers begin.  We call upon our friends and relatives to buy magazine subscriptions or trinkets they really do not want or need. Classroom teachers request  volunteers and there are Halloween costumes to make or buy. Our homes may need winterizing, the autumn  rains bring in muddy footprints, we have bills to pay, organizing to do and it is time to begin planning holiday gatherings. Meanwhile, the kids may be coming down with viruses and we may be losing  pay to stay home with them.

As moms, we take this all in stride and the rewards of a happy family are worth all the extra effort. It seems we are always on the go and the demands and requests are supplied endlessly.  We pat ourselves on the back for a job well done or lament that we could not  fit everything in.


Late Autumn/Winter

We just finished up with either hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, or visiting loved ones throughout the day.  Even if we did not host, there were extra errands and cooking to do to make this a memorable day of thanks. Chances are many enjoyed football on television, board games or visiting while the people that did all of the cooking are now doing the clean up.

With Thanksgiving over, it is time for holiday shopping, baking,decorating and cleaning.  We scour the ads for good deals, stand in lines, decorate, stay up all hours looking for perfect gifts online, plan parties, attend parties,  and may even make homemade gifts.  There are usually extra activities at church, synagogue or mosque, cookie swaps, craft fairs and  fundraising drives for the less fortunate.

Every year there is a new electronic or toy “all the kids” want that we “must” supply to our children.  We envision our families delight as they open gifts for the holiday we celebrate.  Most of the time, we are successful in creating a happy day for our loved ones.  The children play with their new toys and our partner relaxes while we do clean up.  Usually, we are fine with carrying the holiday workload, as that is what generations of mothers and grandmothers have done before us.

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Late Winter/Early Spring

The magic of the holiday season has worn off.  Depending on where we live, we have been sunshine deprived and are weary of driving on ice and scraping off car windows. The kids are getting bored and we are feeling cranky. We may try to immerse ourselves in a good book or movies to escape, but those fleeting times are peppered with “Mom..can you…?  Honey…can you…?”


The air is less chilly and signs of new life are appearing outdoors.  We feel hopeful and are looking forward to walks, biking, swimming and picnics. If Christian, there is Easter to plan for.  There is more mud to contend with, spring cleaning, new clothes to buy and the kids have spring school activities.  By this time, we have established an ebb and flow, so it feels less hectic than the beginning of the school year.

With summer’s arrival, the main concern is childcare if our kids are school aged; yet too young to be left alone.  We plan vacations, family visits and picnics. The past year flew by quickly and summer goes by way too fast,  We try to cram in as much fun as we can.

Robotic Women

There seems to be a pattern moms/parents/nurturing women follow.  We go through the day trying to make sure life flows smoothly for our loved ones.  If we are empty nesters, we may still be acting as the the “glue” that holds family together:  hosting holidays, caring for parents, and still acting as the primary housekeeper in our partnership. Our earlier  patterns may be continuing.


Who said you have to be the one that holds it all together for family?  Ponder this for a moment.

If it brings you joy to do all of the things discussed earlier, great!  Keep on doing it. If you feel stressed or worn out most of the time, most likely you are becoming a robotic woman.  How do we change that?  Do you feel stuck?

Now, let’s go back to the earlier question:  Who said you have to be the one that holds it all together for family?   I think the answer is : ourselves.  Stop telling yourself lies!  We are not responsible for another’s happiness.  Happiness comes from within!

Practice using the word No, take time to play, lock the bathroom door when you take a bath, schedule a spa day,  meditate, take a fun class, demand an hour of uninterrupted time, let the deli do the cooking for your events, ask for help,  take shortcuts, have fun!  The world will not come to a halt if you do these things!


One thing I do to for healthy meals on the go is enjoy delicious bars called Life Bars.  They fill me up and on especially hungry days, I enjoy with a handful of nuts.















Honoring Fred Rogers

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?Mister Rogers In Studio

That simple sentence of “Won’t you be my neighbor?” conjures up the simple song whenever we hear it.  Some of us may be too young or old to have watched “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” as children, but  those of us in the USA know of him.  Currently, the documentary based upon his life is showing in multiple theaters to rave reviews. Many people have told me it brought tears to their eyes.  I know I did not see a dry eye in the house as I left the theater. No explanation for the tears will be given here, as  everyone should experience a movie without a spoiler.

What could have Mr. Rogers meant by “neighbor?”

Dictionary definitions all concur that a neighbor is someone who lives close by. With this vast universe, how could we all live by Mr. Rogers?  The Bible says to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Thus, it is safe to assume Mr. Rogers was implying love towards all as we love ourselves.  That’s a heavy concept! For the purpose of analogy, my writing is geared toward those with self love.

Mr. Roger’s Legacy

We already know Fred Rogers promoted tolerance, self esteem and kindness as his legacy. What I did not catch before was that many of his shows were tied in to current events.  Without delving directly into those shows, I think of today’s current climate.  We are technology driven, which is a great thing, but turns ugly when misused. There are the “keyboard warriors” that feel free to say hurtful things they would not voice in person, political sniping,  news media showing the worst of others, people staring at their phones in lieu of conversation, and more.



Then, there is the wonderful side of technology:  more access to education, formation of friendships,  calls for help being answered, knowledge of the plight of others, promotion of small business…the list goes on.  Mr. Rogers used the technology of television to promote what is good in the world.  What a trailblazer!


How can we continue the legacy of Fred Rogers?

Fred Rogers did not have just a “children’s show.”  His shows send us all a message of tolerance, helpfulness, and world peace. This begins with his message of self esteem. Once we have good self esteem, we are able to help others in many ways.  Most of us do help others day to day by offering empathy, smiles and service. That caring touches lives and sends a ripple of goodwill throughout our communities.


How may we send that ripple across the ocean?  Think of how peaceful the world could be if we simply understood each other!  There are many ways to gain understanding and peace:  mission trips, cultural exchange, podcasts, You Tube, books, initiating conversation with those we perceive to be “different,” visiting cultural fairs, etc.


Living the Legacy

I challenge myself and each and every one of us to live the legacy of Fred Rogers! Many mission trips are funded by donations through churches or incentives, such as Evolv Health’s Impact trips. You could host a foreign exchange student through CETUSA, whose mission is  reaching out to encourage a lifelong journey of global peace and understanding.”  Here is an educational podcast from a woman living a multicultural life: Petronella..  Ted Talks are informative, inspiring videos on many topics.  Here are the 5 top Ted Talks on Diversity/mulitculturalism:  Ted Talks. Plus, there are a slew of books on Amazon or your local library on a multitude of cultures.


By understanding those that appear to be “different” from us, we learn of our similarities, gain new friendships, and in the case of foreign exchange, a new family member.  It starts with the person in the mirror.  As Gandhi said ” be the change you want to see in the world.”


for more information on student exchange, please visit http://www.cetusa.org or send me a message at:  julie.froberg@cetusa.org