Monthly Archives: August 2015

Losing the weight, energetically

If you’ve read my book, you know that I credit meditation with my weight loss.  Truth be known, while I lost a lot of weight, I lost a lot of energetic weight as well and for that, I also credit meditation.

There had been some events in my life that had left me angry and damaged.  Someone I loved very deeply was horribly hurt by two persons.  I was angry and filled with hate for those two people. Even if I didn’t think about it daily, it was there, buried inside me and the pain of the damage that they did wouldn’t leave me.  Emotional Abuse

I was also terribly hurt by not one but two addicted, abusive ex-spouses.  Of these four people, two are dead now but the hate and anger had never gone away just because they had transitioned to the other side.

I am sure all of us carry some sort of deep-seated anger of a similar nature.   I learned from a very gifted soul healer that this simply needed to go.  This anger and hate does not serve us and tends to hold us back from growth and fulfilling our potential.  Ask yourself this question:  How does this anger, pain and hate help me?   I’d venture a guess that you will be unable to find an true answer to that question.

Many have suffered and continue to suffer bullying in some form or another.  Children Abusive Relationshipcarry the scars of the bullying and emotional abuse into adulthood and even to the grave. Again, it does you no service and it needs to go.

This is where you say “That’s easy for HER to say.  She hasn’t lived it.”    Well, I have and I was able to move past it.  It was not easy but it can be done.

Here are a few tips.  Meditation may help you get to the bottom of this.  Go into your meditation with the intention of addressing these five items:

  1. Pinpoint the source of your anger or pain.  This should not be a generalized feeling of pain, hate or anger.  Most likely, it’s a person in your life or your past.  You need to realize that this anger, pain or hate should be directed towards them.  You should NEVER re-direct it to yourself.  It simply isn’t logical!
  2.  Examine this person from afar.  He/she can no longer hurt you and you are now an adult who has proven your worth to yourself and others.  OR you have moved forward in your life, away from the person who caused you anger and pain. If you look at this person now, through your current eyes, you will realize that he/she took their own frustrations with their own failures, their own fears, their own petty jealousy and their own insecurities out on you.  You did nothing wrong.  You really didn’t!  They were able to control you if you felt the same fears, insecurities and self-doubt that they felt. If they controlled you, then they felt they were in control of themselves.    In my case, the ex-husbands caused me great pain with their abuse, and yet I somehow blamed myself.   As for the persons harming the person I loved, it was a jealousy issue on their part and their way to get to me was to hurt someone I loved.
  3. Generally, some form of psychological projection is at play with those who harm you.  From Wikipedia:  “humans defend themselves against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in themselves, while attributing them to others.  Example, a person who is rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude.” Knowing this, once you examine the personality of the person who has hurt you, you’ll find that their abuse was rooted in their own issues such as jealousy, hate and a feeling of helplessness.  Perhaps they also projected their own values on you when yours were totally different.  And how did they make you feel?  Angry and helpless!
  4. See it for what it is.  Now you can see that your own feelings of anger and hate are your defense and reaction to events that were not of your making.
  5. Now, it’s time to release it. I’m not suggesting that those first steps will rid you of this anger, hate and pain but these are necessary to begin the process to do so.

There are many ways to move forward from here.  Much will depend on how deep seated it is and how long you’ve refused to address it and have kept it buried inside.  There’s a very strong chance that the person who harmed you had done it in many previous lives, so it can be far more complex than you might think.  If there is past life involvement and if you are unable to meditate your way beyond this hate and pain, then you may need the help of someone who works with past life trauma.   (I’m happy to make a recommendation if you have an interest, in the comment section below.)

The key to ridding yourself of this toxic emotion is forgiveness.  I know it may seem impossible right now but once you realize that it is NOT you and that the problem lies with the other person, the best thing you can do is to move towards forgiveness for their acts.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to talk to them, discuss with them or even see them.  You must find a way to forgive in your own heart.  In my case, once I analyzed all of the persons involved and saw the problem was of course, not me, I had to forgive them. No, I’m not going to be ‘best friends’ and for that matter, I still energetically deny them access to my life.

I had to come to realize that they couldn’t help who they were.  I began to see them as sad characters who were incapable of moving past their own insecurities, jealousies, addictions and fears. I then could forgive them, and even more, in my meditation, I could wish them the best on their life paths.

After this, you may find that these characters still haunt you. Have hope!  There are  things you can do to physically remove them from your energy field.   I had to do this with my ex-husband.

This is the method that works for me:  I wrote on small pieces of paper, each and every way he harmed me.  I then went outside to our patio with a box of matches and sat calmly and breathed deeply a few minutes, asking my guides to help me.  With the intention of removing the energy and damage of the ex from my life, I lit each piece of paper and placed it in a large flower pot of sand, watching it burn.   I watched the smoke rise and then realized that the awful things were gone. I saw the smoke curl into the ethers and the negative emotions were gone.  I repeated this with each piece of paper until they were all burned. Then I simply breathed and felt lighter, knowing that all the pain was gone.   I keep that sand-filled flower pot on our patio and it is always there for worries and pain that I can’t get rid of any other way.

The forgiveness made space in my heart and soul for positive growth.  I prefer to think that getting rid of the anger and hate I’d held on to for so long, gave my body permission to get rid of the weight that I’d held on to as well.  It was like there was a bright new sunrise in my life – a new day!Sunrise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quotes as a basis for meditation

I keep a collection of favorite quotes that I refer to on a regular basis and often use in my meditation practice.   I thought I’d share a few:

From Salud180.com “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”   ― Dalai Lama

Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its’ beauty.”  -Albert Einstein

There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish, to bewail it senseless.” ― W. Somerset Maugham

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” ― Jawaharlal Nehru

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” ― George Patton

“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.” ― C. S. Lewis

“To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.”―  Plutarch

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” ― Bob Marley

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” ― Marcus Aurelius

“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”― Rene Descartes

I encourage you all to read the words of the many great people on our planet, and of course words written by great writers for their characters as well.  There is much wisdom out there for us all and we can learn from the experiences and lives of others.  We don’t have to create it all ourselves.

Do you have favorite quotes?  Please share here in the comments section below!

A tribute to my transitioned pets.

I joined social media for the purpose of networking to encourage others on their weight loss and wellness journeys.  One of the unexpected joys of my Facebook membership, though, has been to see how many of my friends are of like mind when it comes to animals and our pets. Truth be told, someone who doesn’t feel the same way about their furry or feathered family members as I do would probably not qualify for membership in my ‘friends’ club anyway.  But I really have enjoyed the photos and stories of not only my friends’ pets but of their interest and activism in other animal rights issues.

These wonderful stories, photos and links have made my days lighter and brighter and I thank my friends for this.  Our girls make our world brighter as well, and I shared a few pictures a few days ago.  Their habits and craziness never cease to amaze and entertain.

I’d recently lost two of my beloved long-term girls.  Mei Mei transitioned in August, 2013 and was my 20 year old Siamese.  MeiMeiShe’d been with me since she was a tiny kitten and was my best friend, little girl, sister and confidant for 20 years.  She was there for me when no one else was  –  through divorce, struggles and she actually picked my husband out for me!  How did she do that?  When I was in my ‘dating period’, anytime someone would come to pick me up, I learned to quickly take a peak at the fluffy white rug in the bathroom before I walked out the door.  If Mei Mei didn’t like him, she’d leave a special gift on the rug to let me know.  I collected a number of gifts over the years, until she met Mark, who is now my husband.  She immediately fell for him and made it clear that she wanted HIM in our home.  I’ve always said that pets are the best judges of character and it appears she did well.

My other long-term baby was Maggie who transitioned in May of this year at the age of 20.  She was a Conch kitty that came originally from Friends of Animals.  MaggieDownComfortorShe picked me out when I went to the now defunct pet store at Overseas Market for some treats for the parrots.  She was an affectionate girl, but ridden with anxieties.  We called her our paw-wringer (similar to a human hand-wringer.)  She was gentle and loving and totally OCD.  There was never a dull moment with Maggie.  She was busy trying to take care of everyone, to the point she just made herself crazy.  We miss her with all our hearts.

There was also another Yellow Nape Amazon Parrot prior to Sophie, named Keoke.  Keoke was a mommies’ girl. Like Sophie, she was hand-fed from a very young age.  Here she is with Mei Mei and clearly Mei is not happy about being so close to ‘that bird’. Keoke hadKeoke And Mei Mei been through the bad relationships with me but all it did was make her even more protective of me.  Sadly, she died suddenly of a blood clot to her brain at age 14 in 2004.

There have been many others over the years. All but two have been girls but we inherited one sweet boy when we moved into the last house we were in.  He was quite the old guy and lived with us for 9 years.  From the information we had from neighbors and the owner of the house, he lived to be about 26 years old.  His name was Tiger and we called him ‘The Tige’.  He had a raspy voice and he seemed to very much be the ‘Captain Tony of the Cat World.’ Tiger 2005 He lived a good life with us, though.  He was absolutely fascinated by the refrigerator.  If he heard the door open, no matter where he was, he’d run to the kitchen and just sit there, gazing in lovingly. In the end, when he had no teeth, he was eating the best we could offer –  ground buffalo, roasted chicken pate’ and crab meat pate’, all hand-made by ME.  He was quite happy, it seemed, right up to the end.  He had weekly fluids to keep him going as his body was failing him and then one day, he decided it was time to go.

They give us so much and love us unconditionally.  And we do all we can to give back and to make their lives as perfect as possible.  I don’t think we humans are ever able to really let go of them.  Their love is always with us.

For this reason, I support many animal rights groups and rescue groups.  It’s not just our domestic family members that need us.  All of the animals on the planet need help right now and it’s up to us to try to do all we can to save them, their habitat and to protect them from deadly dangers such as dentists and ob-gyn’s with weapons and who wish to spend their money to murder beautiful endangered animals who are simply living their lives and raising their young peacefully.

Another trip to the market and discovering hidden ‘bad stuff’.

It was time for yet another trip to the market. A family’s gotta eat!  Today I’m looking at some pantry items.  These are stand-bys we can keep on hand for quick meals when time becomes an issue.  So, where to start?

Nicoise saladWho doesn’t love a beautiful Nicoise Salad or a spicy black bean salsa?  These are easy dishes made easier using pantry items.

First let’s look at a couple of real disappointments – items that have ingredients that are less than ideal and in one case, BAD.  Just because it says organic, it doesn’t mean that there cannot be problems.  ALWAYS read the labels!

I’ve been a fan of Annie’s brand for years, but lately, I’ve come across some disappointing items.  Last week, it was a so-called ‘healthy’ boxed macaroni and cheese, but to be honest, anything that is boxed can’t be that good.  Annies CaesarToday, in reading the label of Annie’s Organic Caesar dressing, I was disappointed to find that they list a generic ‘expeller pressed vegetable oil’ Canola and/or sunflower).  Canola is generally, BAD.  It is a genetically engineered oil from the rapeseed.   Rather than going into a detail on this, I am referring to a great article from Natural News.  It starts ” Corn oil comes from corn: sunflower oil from sunflowers, sesame oil from sesame seeds, peanut oil from peanuts, olive oil from olives, Canola oil from…Canolas? What is a Canola?”  The uptake?  Canola is bad.  There are many more good oils to choose from.  It is made from a high-heat process using toxic chemicals in the process.  It is touted by the food industry as being healthy, yet many animal studies point to serious and deleterious effects on rats and pigs.  Why take the chance?   I should add that we generally make our own Caesar salad from scratch.  Hmmm…I’ll post that recipe soon.  It’s to die for!

Another disappointing item?  Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups.  Justins Peanut Butter CupsThese are a real taste sensation.  You’ll never want the standard old junk-food peanut butter cups again.  BUT there’s one nasty item on the ingredient list:  SOY.  Even if it’s organic, it’s still soy and soy is a hormone disruptor.  I can’t understand why companies that appear to be health-oriented continue to use soy lecithin when there’s a far healthier choice out there in the form of non-GMO sunflower lecithin.  As much as I like this item, I’ve stopped eating it now because of the soy.  Hormone disruption is the basis of many health problems.  Weight issues are the first that come to mind, but anything to do with your body’s endocrine system can be disrupted with soy.  The World Health Organization reports problems from hormone disruption including non-descended testes in young males, breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, developmental effects on the nervous system, attention deficit /hyperactivity in children and thyroid cancer.  Come on, Justins!  Get with the program and stop using that stuff!

Now for the good things.  While I always encourage using fresh and healthy items, there are times that you just need a bit of help in the kitchen.  That’s when we go to the pantry for our jarred or canned items.    The packaging is important.  If possible, buy these items in jars where you will have little or no BPA exposure.  If in cans, be sure they’re marked as BPA-free.

Who wants to make sauerkraut from scratch?  Not me! I occasionally find some organic Sauerkrautchicken sausages for a quick dinner, brown them and cook with sauerkraut.  I’ve been really happy with the Eden Organic product.  The ingredients?  Organic cabbage, water and sea salt.  That’s all you need!  This is a good pantry item to have on hand.

If you don’t have nut allergies, a great snack always includes peanut butter.  It’s high in energy, protein and fiber.  And the best peanut butter contains absolutely NOTHING but organic peanuts.   You can spread on apple wedges for a quick snack or on organic bread (ours is gluten free) with sliced bananas PeanutButterfor an old fashioned peanut butter and banana sandwich.  Oh, my Mama loved those!

Kalamata Olives are a great addition to salads and for appetizers. Divinia Organic Olives These organic olives are particularly good and I use them in a Nicoise salad (as shown above) and for any Greek style dish.  What’s in them?  Organic Kalamata olives, water, organic red wine vinegar and sea salt.  You can make a divine main-dish salad from leftovers such as chilled green beans, hard boiled eggs, sliced seared fresh tuna, fresh herbs and olives with a light mustard-based dressing. Add Feta cheese for a Greek accent or some hard Italian or French cheese shreds for a more northern Mediterranean accent.

Living in South Florida, one comes to rely on black beans in many dishes.  Black bean chili is a healthy one-dish meal.  Black beans are wonderful in salads, salsa and of course, over rice.  Black Bean salsaThe ideal manner of preparing is using dried black beans that have been soaked overnight and slow-cooked.  However, since there isn’t always time for that, canned black beans are a great pantry item to add protein, fiber, vitamins and iron to your diet.  (Note:  If using corn in your black bean salsa as shown to the right, be sure you have organic, non-GMO corn!)

At the risk of being downright boring, I can’t remind you enough:  READ THE LABELS!

BlackBeans

Wellness for your pets. They deserve the best!

I credit much of my success in weight loss and in my wellness to the loving atmosphere in my home. Yes, the meditation is key. Yes, excellent nutrition is a requirement. But the mental and emotional world surrounding us can have a profound affect on us all. And our home is a spa for us all.  The love we have for our pets and that they have for us nourishes our spirit daily.

I’m an advocate for all animals, big and small. I feel that they deserve the best we can give. This of course, translates to working with animal rights groups, rescue organizations and wildlife organizations. But it really must start at home.

Having never had children, my fur and feather babies ARE my children. They get the best of everything. We are very particular about healthy nutrition and this of course, goes for our pets.

I’d never even consider buying kibble for our cats nor would I consider feeding our Yellow Nape Amazon Parrot a fattening, unbalanced seed diet. We try to keep their diets as close as possible to what nature intended. Here’s a rundown of the diet for our gang

Harrisons Bird FoodsOur Amazon has been eating an organic food since she was a hand-fed chick. This food was developed by a vet, Dr. Gregory Harrison.   I feed this about 10 months out of the year.  When she comes into her ‘season’ and gets, um, shall we say ‘frisky’, it is clear that her body is demanding more of her so we feed the higher protein version for those two months.  She’s now 11 and very healthy and active. We supplement with fresh food as well. She loves nuts but they can make her fat, so now we do freeze dried organic peas as her treat and she’s crazy about them.  Another treat?  I give her the seeds from organic oranges, lemons and limes that I use when cooking.   I order this directly from Harrison’s in Tennessee.  Harrison’s Bird Food  I highly recommend them, though.

Our cats are young – 2 years, 2 months and 5 1/2 months old.  They have eaten raw since they were babies.   It is difficult to do here in this town because we have very few quality choices for high quality raw pet foods, and the local stores, while nice, don’t keep things in stock for ready access.  So, most everything they eat is ordered in.   There are three ways to go raw:  (1) make it yourself  (2) frozen and (3) freeze-dried.   Freeze dried cat foodTo make it yourself, you really need the highest quality organic ingredients and the problem with that is that we have no real quality source for organic meats here.  I did buy an organic chicken a few weeks back that was NOT out of date, that was rotted when I opened it.  Nasty!   Thus, I go with option 2 or 3.  Most of the time, it’s the freeze dried.  They do love it, though.  There are added vitamins and taurine but not much else – just raw meat that is sourced from outside the US.  I try to buy NOTHING that is sourced in the US if it is not organic, thus much of this comes from New Zealand.  I actually had a problem trying to snap this picture because the girls thought it was lunch time – AGAIN.  I order this from an on-line Florida company called http://www.Chewy.com. They generally arrive in 2 or 3 days and shipping is free with an order over $50.00.   You toss these with a small amount of warmed, purified water to reconstitute.  Be sure to do this, though.  Dehydration will do a great deal of harm to a cat’s kidneys.

The last option is far more expensive.   The frozen raw is harder to come by and even Raw Advantage Frozen chicken neck crumblesharder to find in organic.  As you can see, I was unable to get a good picture without, um, supervision.  Not only do you have to ship it in, but it needs to come in an expedited manner and frozen.  Raw Advantage Organic Chicken Neck Crumbles .  Since freezer space is at a premium, these are used more often as treats.

Raw chicken ‘meaty bones’ are good for cats.  Just never, ever, ever give them cooked bones!  This gives them the same sensation they have when chomping down on a meaty mouse, though my babies have never had such a thing.

And finally, let’s not forget the highlight of the evening:  TREATS.  Again, it is hard to find something that is not ‘manufactured’ with artificial and harmful ingredients.   Our girls go crazy for these!   They’re nothing but freeze dried single-ingredient chunks.  The salmon is Alaskan wild Freeze Dried Treatssalmon so I feel fairly comfortable with that.  NEVER, EVER give your pets or your family farmed fish!   The chicken, well…they love it but the fact that it is stamped “Made in the USA” makes me really nervous.  We all know what goes with US meat production.  I’m always looking for an alternative.  I’m able to buy these from Amazon most of the time.

Now, a word of warning about the pet foods you generally see in the supermarket or on TV.  RUN!  If you simply Google “Pet Food Recalls”, you’ll be astounded by how many there are.  And very few companies are immune from this.  Some of the worst are sold in vets offices:  Hills Science Diet and the Prescription diets as well as the highly-touted. Royal Canin sold by breeders and vets?  Not good.  Kibble is also known as kitty crack.  They spray this with something that makes cats crave this, much like they get children hooked on bad breakfast cereals.  This can destroy your babies’ kidneys and shorten their lives.  Pet food dealers will often tout ‘human grade ingredients’ but with GMO’s and other poisons, that isn’t saying a lot.

Finally, here are a few shots of my girls.  Sophie.  And then there are Mhysa and Mei Li…Nice?  Or not so nice?  The seemingly nice ‘hug’ is generally the prelude to a bit of a fight.   😉Sophie Mei Li and Mhysa

 

 

Making meditation work for you.

There are many forms of meditation.  The meditations in my book were visualizations that I designed for myself, to meet my weight loss goals.  However, there are many ways to meditate and none are wrong.

If you are not experienced in meditation, don’t let it frighten you.   Daily meditation will become a part of your morning or evening routine and you will soon not feel complete unless you’ve participated.   To me, it’s as much a part of my morning routine as combing my hair or washing my face.  Since I’ve been meditating, my blood pressure is normal and never spikes and I sleep far better at night.

I’m obviously a believer in meditation and have encouraged my husband to begin to meditate to improve his golf game.  If nothing else, it should help him to center himself and enjoy the experience and who knows?  Golf is a ‘zen‘ game of sorts and played mostly in the mind, so it could improve his game. I did find a short, simple guided meditation for golf  for him to try.

The best way to begin your meditation practice is to look into some guided meditation audio downloads or CD’s.  Start with something simple.  There are thousands of meditation soundtracks out there.   I just did a simple search on iTunes using ‘Basic Meditation’ as keywords.  The styles are numerous.  Some use music in the background.  Some have the sounds of nature in the background.  The sounds of the sea, streams, wind, birds are all helpful in relaxing so that you can begin to fine tune your meditation.

Once you’ve mastered some simple guided meditations, you can then begin to design your own meditations. You know your own triggers for relaxation and contentment.  Some just melt at the sound of the sea, babbling brooks or a rain shower.  These are all easily available.

Another interesting take is to try some sound tracks featuring harmonic resonance.  For instance, the Schumann Resonance refers to the frequencies of the EMF (Electromagnetic Fields) of the earth.  I personally have been using this one for about a month now.  I prefer the one with the sound of the sea and wind chimes, but there are many variances.  Music It can be a very powerful frequency to use in meditation.  These can be altered and added to music or soundtracks in several ways.   Isochronic tones are regular beats of one single tone.  Monaural eats are constant wave pulses instead of separate pulses of a single tone. These frequencies have been associated with high levels of meditation, increased HGH levels and also, blood flow to the brain seems to be much higher while this frequency is played.  It’s also helpful for hypnosis.

I have also used some of the NASA Voyager Recordings for meditation as well.  My personal preference is the Jupiter soundtrack, but this is a preference that might be different for others.  A friend prefers Neptune. NASA Voyager REcordings I encourage you to listen to them all to find what actually vibrates with you.

Please feel free to share your own choices of meditation sounds and music, and any tracks you’ve found that furthered your meditation practice.  It’s easy!   Just post below!

 

 

 

The shocking truth about Milk – it does NOT do a body good

I had not planned to write about this today, but a little back ‘n’ forth on Facebook has pushed me forward on this subject.

You see, I’ve never been a fan of social media.  I’m a fairly private person and don’t want to spread my personal life in public.  However, since I wrote the book, it seems I’m expected to put myself out there more to promote my writing.  So, the first step was Facebook.   To continue to embrace healthy choices, I ‘liked’ a few sites that appeared to have healthy concepts to share.  Two of the three are excellent and I have learned something new every day just from reading their posts.  The other though?  Oh, my!  They are espousing ideas and concepts that are supposed to be healthy but in fact, are far from it.  I suspect they’re either (1) on the payroll of factory farmers and the companies that sell products laced with GMO’s or (2) they aren’t truly interested in doing the research that it takes to provide facts for those interested in true wellness.  Many of these sites are heavily driven by advertising so if you look at WHO advertises with them, you can then judge their content more clearly.

I guess this is just a lesson to all of us to never take anything at face value.  If we want to move forward with our wellness goals, it’s important to question everything.  This particular site many times has pushed ‘chocolate milk’ as the ultimate health food.  I mean, seriously?  Milk is far from healthy.  As I mentioned briefly in my ‘Cheese, glorious Cheese‘ post a few days ago, milk is actually bad for most people. Humans are the only species that drinks milk after they are weaned and we’re the only species that drinks the milk of another animal.  That in and of itself is hardly natural.  But let’s put that information aside for a few minutes and look at what milk really is and the damage it does.

First, the manner in which it is produced is always in question.  Generally, dairy cattle are NOT allowed to graze in the sunshine like these lucky cows are in the first photo.  Dairy cattle in pasture - the right way Instead, most are forced to live in barns 24/7, they’re tied to an area where they cannot move,  they sleep on concrete and are nothing but production machines.  They have no quality of life to begin with (see the second photo below.)  There is no way that this bad treatment doesn’t transfer to your food!  When you support this type of operation, then you are supporting the poor treatment of a species and that makes you part of the problem. When you buy the products, you enable these operations to prosper and continue to do great harm to the animals and to us all.

Dairy Farming - The WRONG way

The second group pictured is feeding on whatever feed is provided.  They are commonly fed GMO feeds and of course, those poisons and toxins now go into your milk.   There is a chance those grazing in the pasture are also getting GMO’s, but it’s not as likely.

Now we get to the actual value of dairy or lack thereof, to your health and well-being.  Suffice it to say that the entire advertising campaign about how healthy dairy is for you is nothing but fraudulent.

Cows’ milk is great for calves, but it is not formulated for humans.  The dairy councils advertise that milk provides calcium, but not only does the calcium not absorb, it MILK BADactually depletes calcium from your bones.  Even doctors don’t seem to know this, but that isn’t surprising since they have very little working knowledge of nutrition.     MILK does the body HARM!

Scientific studies show that milk actually increases fracture risks.  Studies show that those who consumed milk at age 20 have a higher risk of fracture when older.

Dairy consumption has also been linked to ovarian, breast and prostate cancers.   Understanding the Problems with Dairy Consumption

Type 1 Diabetes has been linked to dairy consumption.

And again, back to the whole contamination issue:  Milk is highly contaminated with rBGH, a bovine growth hormone, which is used to increase milk production in dairy cattle.  Once you add that, the cows end up with inflammation of the mammary glands simply because their bodies were never MEANT to produce in that manner, and so they must be given antibiotics.  That, plus the GMO’s and pesticides all show up in the milk that you and your loved ones may be drinking.

When I have a recipe that calls for milk, I now use organic coconut milk.  I like the SO Delicious brand of unsweetened coconut milk.  I’ve used it for years in casseroles, sauces and baked goods and no one has ever noticed that I don’t use dairy.   You can use canned coconut milk, refrigerate it and then, carefully skim off the cream portion and whip it as you would whipped cream for a great dairy-free topping.

As for the drink du jour?  How about fresh, purified water?  We can never get enough of it!

If you wish to find out more about the excellent sites that provide the best health information as well as those that are more questionable, please comment or ask questions!

 

Healthy eating at a restaurant? Rare!

Weekends are a time for relaxation and our weekends are Sundays and Mondays every week.  It’s Sunday and sometimes, we’d like nothing more than to have a relaxing lunch or dinner. Sounds easy enough, right?   Hardly!

Restaurants are notorious for menus that tell you NOTHING.  GMO’s?  No information.  Organic?  Hardly.  And anytime you ask the wait staff, they’ll tell you what they think you want to hear.  When we work hard all week to eat properly, eat healthy meals with no chemicals, no GMO’s, and in our case, no glutens nor dairy, why would we un-do all our good work with a meal of unhealthy, poisonous food?  Let’s face it, GMO’s are everywhere and  GMO’s are poison.

In the past, one felt they could take a chance on non-organics because one could always attempt to scrub the pesticides and other poisons off the food.  However, with GMO’s, the poison is embedded.  It’s in the genetic structure.  So no amount of scrubbing will get rid of it.

We live in a town where there were (at last count) around 250 restaurant and bar licenses.  Eating establishments come and go so it’s difficult to keep up with them all.  The published health department ratings might tell you about poor food storage habits and vermin, but they don’t tell you what is in the food.

Thus we have very few reliable choices, but at least there is one that we know of that is reliable.   This restaurant serves beautiful organic food, as well as gluten free.  It’s the ONLY place on the island where I can get an organic burger on gluten free buns.  OrganicBaconBurgerTheir vegetables are very fresh.  The restaurant is ‘Le Petit Paris’ in Key West.  They have a very nice staff and they’re very knowledgeable.  They have filtered water available for the table.  They make wonderful omelets, Panini and crepes.  And now?  They have fondue!  We highly recommend Le Petit Paris if you’re visiting Key West.  It’s the one place you can visit where you will have an excellent, healthy meal with great service.

Now, I have to go from the best to some tales of the worst.  I am continuously alarmed at how many restaurants are NOT upgrading to healthy choices, but instead are downgrading their food quality and menus.  One restaurant stopped using a nice local bread about 5 years ago.  Now, they don’t even buy local seafood any longer.  They buy frozen from places that are far, far away from a town that has excellent access to the freshest fish and seafood.

And one of the most disgusting things I see on menus locally? Tilapia!  Seriously!  Tilapia! I’ve seen it in far too many seafood restaurants and markets.  I’m shocked to hear patrons in restaurants and in seafood markets actually ORDERING it!  This is yet another example of Americans making bad choices because they have chosen NOT to educate themselves!

Rather than go into too many details on this subject, you can read a great expose’ on this farmed nightmare here:  http://www.eatthis.com/tilapia-is-worse-than-bacon   They have almost no heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids.  Farmed fish end up with parasites because of a filthy pond system.  As farmed fish, they live on corn and soy, ALL GMO and poisonous.  If your food eats poison (as you find with non-organic meats and poultry), YOU eat poison. Tilapia go through a sex change because of hormones being fed to them to fatten them up.  If they eat hormones, YOU eat hormones.

So again, please research your food!  And when going dining out, research the restaurants in advance.  You can call and ask questions as well, about their foods.

I ask that everyone who reads this, please have a discussion with your friends and families to teach them the RIGHT way to eat and to stay well.   And you are all invited to comment, ask questions and engage in conversations here on our site.

 

Fight stress by immersing yourself in nature – and meditate!

BeachScene

An example of LOW stress!

Stress is often at the basis of disease.  While stress can be helpful when you need an extra boost of energy for something like an exam or a job interview, most stress is not helpful.   ‘Good’ stress is what triggers the fight or flight syndrome.  This results in a chemical reaction when a threat to survival is perceived, and triggers a physiological reaction. It’s essentially a survival instinct.

Our bodies, however, are not meant to live in constant ‘fight or flight’ or stress mode.  Chronic stress can often be the trigger for mental and physical disease. Constant worry about family or life can result in chronic stress symptoms.  PTSD is a prime example of the mental component that comes with chronic stress.

With chronic stress, you can count on high levels of cortisol and other corticosteroids circulating in the blood for a long period of time. Over the long term, mental and physical damage may occur. Symptoms such as depression, sleep problems and anxiety are not uncommon.  Your body will react with high blood pressure, digestive problems and heart disease. It doesn’t take much of this abuse for your immune system to become compromised.  A healthy body embodies a strong defense mechanism, whereas all organs, cells, tissues and systems work together to fight disease and infection.  When stress is present, you will see chronic inflammatory conditions, and a lower threshold to weather infections and situations where healing is necessary.

The best way to fight stress is to immerse yourself in nature as much as possible.  Even a short walk every day gives you an opportunity to see trees, nature and your surroundings in a new light.

Hana waterfall

Hana Waterfall. What a great place for a nap!

And a vacation?  A week or more can set your body on the road to healing. If you make your holiday relaxing and stay away from stressful situations, crowds and schedules, you will come home with a healthier body and a healthier outlook.  Well, that said, it’s important to eat right when on vacation.  The last thing you want is stomach distress from eating the wrong things.  The past three years, we’ve rented a condo or a house on a beach (Maui or Southwest Florida).  Since we were close to excellent organic foods in all locations, and since we love to cook, we ate out rarely and made marvelous meals with healthy local foods. We slept late if we wanted to.  We toured if we wanted to.  We napped if we wanted to.  And believe it or not, we came home without a single extra pound!  How’s THAT for a vacation with benefits!

And finally, daily mediation will make a big difference.  If a vacation isn’t on your schedule or vacation time is nowhere in sight, there’s meditation.  Since I began my daily meditation practice every morning, my health is far better, my stress levels far lower and my outlook on life is far brighter. Not only did I lose weight, I’ve found that the peace and joy of meditation carries over into my daily life.  My book “Mediate the Pounds Away: How I Met My Weight Loss and Wellness Goals Through Meditation” includes detailed meditations and visualizations for weight loss, but there is no need to stop there.  Meditation allows you to examine your life, quietly, and to quiet your mind and allow information to flow.  You can calm your body, your spirit and your heart.

Meditation is also a great way to meet goals in your life.  You can meditate your way to better golf, better relationships, better health, and better business practices as well.

Once your cats and dogs are past the rambunctious kitten and/or puppy stage, they will enjoy meditating with you as well.  They feel your energy and your calm.  You can see a real difference in your entire household.

I highly recommend it and I’m living proof that it works.  My life is calmer, my anger threshold has almost (not entirely) disappeared, and my ability to see to the heart of a problem has increased to the point that everyday issues have become a ‘no brainer‘ to me.

Pet, hug and kiss your kittens and your pups.  Show love and affection to your family members.  And meditate.  You will find that you are LIVING your life authentically, and no longer simply reacting to life.

 

 

 

Muscadines and Scuppernongs

After my cheese post yesterday, I craved then devoured cheese.  I needed fruit to undo the inevitable damage that comes from cheese (and don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about).

So today, I’ve been nibbling my favorite summer fruits.  These are a seasonal fruit which is rare here in S. Florida.  I mentioned it briefly before, but here is a bit more information on this yummy treat. SummerFruit Pictured to the left is  a bowl of Scuppernongs (the bronze/green variety), Muscadines (the dark purple variety), organic bananas and organic mango.

The information below comes from the ‘Livestrong’ website.  They call it a ‘muscadine grape’ but I grew up being told that while they’re similiar to grapes, they’re not the same in many ways.

Muscadines are significantly more nutritious than the average table grape.

“BOWEL REGULARITY

“Muscadine grapes are an excellent source of dietary fiber — you’ll get about 105 calories and 7 grams of fiber from a serving of 35 muscadines, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With their edible seeds and relatively thick skins, muscadine grapes are particularly high in insoluble fiber, the kind that promotes bowel regularity and helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis. By comparison, a 104-calorie serving of seedless grapes — about 30 grapes or 1 cup, according to the USDA — provides 1.4 grams of fiber. This means that a single muscadine has as much fiber as five seedless grapes.

“Weight Control

“Like many low-calorie foods,  muscadine grapes can help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Muscadines are satiating because they’re rich in fiber and mostly water by weight — both fiber and water help fill your stomach without contributing calories. The soluble fiber in muscadine grapes delays gastric emptying, which helps you feel fuller longer. Eating muscadines — or any other fresh fruit — when you crave something sweet can also help you avoid high-calorie treats laden with added sugars. Consuming too many added sugars is associated with an increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association.

“Disease Prevention

“Muscadine grapes contain substantial amounts of antioxidants, the beneficial phytochemicals that help protect cells from free-radical damage. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, eating a diet based on whole, antioxidant-rich foods has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases. A study published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” found that muscadines are a particularly good source of ellagic acid. Ellagic acid appears to inhibit cancer cell reproduction, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Muscadine grapes also contain twice as much vitamin C as seedless grapes. You’ll get about 14 milligrams of this antioxidant, or 23 percent of the recommended daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet, from a serving of 35 grapes.

“Serving Suggestions

“Muscadine grapes are one of the so-called “slip-skin” varieties, meaning their skins and flesh are easily separated. While fresh muscadines are sometimes peeled and deseeded before they’re eaten, most of the fruit’s health benefits come from its skin and seeds. Enjoy them whole as you would other grapes, or serve them with cheese and nuts for dessert. Quarter them and toss them — seeds and all — into your favorite green salad, or remove the seeds to make a grape salsa suitable for fish, poultry or meat. You can also add chopped muscadines to rice, quinoa and other wholegrain dishes.”

So, now I don’t feel so guilty about eating 40 of these at one sitting.  AND I’d NEVER put these in a cooked dish.  These are perfect just as they are!

 

 

 

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