Monday, January 3, 2022

Our Refined Sugar Addicted Culture


 


I have quit sugar hundreds of times, and I'm not exaggerating.  I think I first started stopping when I was about seventeen, after a fully sugar-saturated childhood, commonly having it with my three meals a day, often complimented with two or three sugar snacks or desserts in between.  I began perfecting my strategy to overcome this addiction in my twenties, researching the health problems, reading books like Sugar Blues, by William Dufty, a classic, and observing the co-craving pulls, like my body's need for magnesium, which is found in dark chocolate.  Not only would I engage my rational mind and my will power, but I'd also put a few tablespoons of tart cherry juice concentrate in my drinking water in order to keep my magnesium levels nicely replenished all day.  And this is still a strategy that I advise for those who just can't say 'No' to chocolate, which is very hard for many of us to do.

Another sugar stopping strategy for chocoholics, (if the caffeine therein isn't posing a problem,) is to turn to non-sweetened sources of chocolate, like Pascha 100% cacao unsweetened organic dark chocolate baking chips.  These are Fair Trade Chocolates, which means that unlike 95% of the chocolate that is sold in the world, no human rights abuses or child slave labor was involved in the production of this product.  That is a really good thing.  And it is available at most healthy food stores.  Another non-sweetened source that is very good, comes from the UK and is available here in the states at many of the Trader Joe's stores.  This is Montezuma's 100% Cacao Solids, Dark Chocolate, Absolute Black bar with Cocoa Nibs.  These bars are ethically sourced, though they are not certified Fair Trade chocolates.  With a similar ethic, another popular favorite is Addictive Wellness Raw Wild Cacao With Adaptogenic Super herbs.  With mostly organic or wildcrafted ingredients, it is not only refined sugar-free but it is also gluten-free, keto, vegan and paleo.  Unlike the other two that I've mentioned, which are not sweet, the Addictive Wellness chocolates are sweetened with xylitol and stevia.  This small company also makes their chocolates with health promoting herbs so the consumer gets more than just the chocolate fix.  

But it is not just chocolate that is at the root of our problem here, it is the refined sugar.  Our primary sugar crops are sugar cane or sugar beets.  Currently 95% of the sugar beets in the USA are grown from genetically modified seed.  This means that if you are eating something sweet, say at a restaurant or friend's house and the sugar used was not cane sugar, which is highly likely, then you are, quite assuredly, inadvertently, consuming a GMO product.  Just so you know. 

When sugar is refined, all of the naturally complimenting nutrients are washed away, leaving only the pure white crystalline substance we all crave so hungrily.  Molasses is the by-product of the rinsing and the concentrated result of all that has been removed.  This is part of the reason why molasses is seen by many as a healthy food.  Molasses may help to prevent anemia because it offers iron.  It also provides calcium, magnesium, potassium, along with a variety of B vitamins.  I've learned that one half of a teaspoon of molasses per day, perhaps served in a cup of herbal tea, can prevent a tendency toward easy bruising, which sometimes happens in people with anemia.

After the molasses has been removed, those remaining refined sugar molecules are significantly different.  When they passes through our bodies, they try to make themselves whole again.  They grab onto and rob us of our own vitamins and minerals on their way out.  This seriously depletes our health and compromises our immunity.  And that's not all refined sugar does.  Recently there have been studies that show how those stripped sugar molecules accumulate in the folds of the skin contributing to wrinkles.  Other studies show how sugar destroys collagen causing sagging skin.  But that is not the worst of it.  

I've heard that we all successfully process and eliminate something like thirty million cancer cells per day.  That is amazing and wonderful.  The problem happens when some of those thirty million cells slip past our bodies immune system and set up housekeeping somewhere, like in one of our nutrient rich internal organs.  Cancer cells have a great affinity for sugar way more than any other cell in the body.  They need huge amounts of it for their growth and they use roughly 200 times more sugar than normal cells.  And, along comes our regular sugar-addicted intake to feed that growing cluster of cells and 'Voila!' we find ourselves in trouble.  It is good to remember that when we are regularly eating sugar we are feeding cancer cells.  Not a good idea.  

So, yeah, bad bad bad.  We don't want to do it.  But, it's addictive.  Very addictive.  In animal testing experiments, mice who were made to be addicted to both sugar and cocaine, chose the sugar first, over the cocaine, when deprived of both.  That shows us how extremely addictive refined sugar is.

Some people are under the mistaken assumption that brown sugar isn't white sugar, but it is.  It is just that it has had a little molasses added back in for color.  So, it is good to also watch out for that common trap or justification, thinking that brown sugar is somehow better for you.  It's not.  It is still white sugar with just one other little ingredient.  

A few years ago some of my British friends told me that for health reasons food producers in the UK were no longer allowed to put added table salt in their processed foods, like crackers and such.  But sales dropped way off, so they started including more sugar instead and sales shot back up.  Now, I see that currently the UK has introduced legislation to restrict low-priced offers on foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt content.  When the government pays for health care, it tends to care a little more about everyone's health.  But here in the United States, sugar related illnesses are increasing every year: Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease and obesity.  And sugar is a big part of our lives.

For my own part, I know that my little sugar addicted self can hardly stop me when I am confronted with a nice salty, sweet cracker, like a Ritz or a Wheat Thins, especially if it is paired with cheese, (the casein in which is another addictive substance.)  The internal justifications come flying to the fore of my thoughts.  "It's only a teeny bit of sugar.  I'm not eating the desert.  It's just a few pieces of cheese and a little cracker or two." (More like ten.)  

And then there are all of the other processed foods, laden with refined sugar and other empty calories.  White flour, for instance, which though high in caloric value, has been stripped of almost all of it's nutrients.  Most of it's vitamins, protein and fiber get lost during processing.  Thus it is empty or nearly devoid of all nutritional value.  Almost every loaf of bread sold in supermarkets is full of empty calories and they most often also contain sugar.  Deli items like coleslaw, canned goods like soups or three bean salad, all too frequently have sugar in them.  Almost all potluck food table dishes, "My, your beets are so sweet and lovely."  Yes, and there is a reason for that.  The glaze is laced with more than 'just a pinch' of brown sugar.   Not to mention restaurants.  Chefs know what makes us want to come back for more.

And, food scientists have been perfecting this for years.  Sugar.  Fat.  And salt.  Our brains are hard wired, from our distant past, to seek out these three qualities in our foods in order to keep us well fed and alive.  But, when we were foragers, we would only find one of these big three at a time.  Fruit would give us sweetness.  Vegetables like beet greens and celery or sea kelp would give us that savory saltiness.  And fats would come from nuts and seeds.  But those three didn't come paired or tripled together in any one food.  We had to seek them out separately.  And we did.  And the pull for each was plenty strong enough to get us there.  But when you put these together, like the salt and sugar of those fatty crackers that I was mentioning, or a good cheesecake with all three, salt, sugar and fat, then our little brain cells go berserk, "Pay day!"  And you can bet we will want to come back for more.  Those who support the food industry with research to increase consumer sales absolutely know this and definitely capitalize on it.

In my long personal history of stopping sugar, again and again, all of these points have helped me along the way to strengthen my resolve.  In my earlier decades the main concern was slowing my gradual wight gain.  But the holidays and all of their temptations would lure me back.  "Just one chocolate bar, it's Christmas," or a few pieces from the annual gift box of "Sees."  Then New Year's Resolutions, "That's it.  No more."  But then Valentines Day comes along, and "It's such a nice candy heart, given with such sweet love," or Easter with fluffy yellow Marshmallow Peeps.  Birthdays and cakes of distinction in summer, jello and cream and puffy dry light meringue cookies with chocolate chips, marzipan and baklava, not to forget Halloween or those lovely Thanksgiving pies.  Then it is Christmas, all over again.  So, yes, hundreds of times.  At least five times a year for decades.  

I have one friend who shared with me that she had stopped sugar, once and for all.  Then she woke up six months later, with a cold and the realization that it was probably due to all of the sugar which she had been eating that past week.  She was shocked to remember that she had forgotten all about quitting sugar and had been on an unconscious bender with it for nearly five of those six months time.  So, she quit again.  This is often the way it goes with addictions.  How many tries has it taken the smokers you've known to finally move beyond it.  Addiction is not easy to overcome.

I would like to mention that in some cases a sugar addiction can save us from more potentially imminently dangerous addictions, like alcoholism.  When I've attended AA meetings as a guest with family members or friends, I'm actually glad to see the cookies and punch that can help keep those folks coming to their meetings.  A lesser addiction can be a solution.  And that's a good thing.

But for those of us who just want to get off sugar, I've learned a few tricks.  First if you typically have sugar every day at say 2:00 pm.  Then, a 1:00 pm it can really help if you can beat yourself to the punch and have a big hit of sweetness that is not made with refined sugar.  Both honey and maple syrup are not as addictive as refined sugar and they are a whole food, so they don't try to rob you of nutrients as they pass through.  Both of these natural sugars provide a lot of good minerals.  So, take a big spoonful, enough to beyond satisfy.  I'll make a 'cookie bowl' of one tablespoon of honey, one half of a sliced banana, one pat of softened butter, one tablespoon of peanut butter, ten or twenty raisins and or the same number of non-sweetened chocolate chips.  (Organic, vegan unsweetened dark chocolate chips are sold in most healthy food stores or are available on-line.)  I stir it all together and wolf it down.  Then when 2:00 pm comes around, I've already had my hit.

For holidays, have some fun and learn how to bake.  Make all of those special treats, like pumpkin or apple pie, substituting honey or maple syrup for sugar, cup for cup, in the recipes.  This will get you through and it is delicious.  Honey burns a little quicker than sugar so watch your temperatures and times.  In decades past, I've even made butter brickle with equal parts maple syrup and butter, stirring constantly in a hot pan until 'the hard ball stage.'  But, remember, we want to use these natural sugars as a step down plan.  The idea is to get through the tough temptations and then gradually let them go too.

Next you can go a little further.  Instead of apple pie with super sweet honey and empty calorie white flour crusts, try baked apples.  No need to peel, just core them almost to the bottom and then put some spices like cinnamon or nutmeg in the cavity with a pat of butter or not.  If that's not sweet enough to satisfy you, try dropping a teaspoon of St. Dalfour 100% fruit jam in there and slow bake them with a little water in the bottom of the pan for several hours until they are well caramelized, nice and brown, and their skins have started to split.  These not only make a satisfying desert that you could serve with a little raw cream, for a holiday treat, but they also make a great cold breakfast food too.

Some years back, I learned a great mantra, which holds me in good stead now.  "If it is sweet and it is not a raw organic piece of fruit, spit it out."  Recently, I've actually made it two whole years without a single molecule of refined sugar passing through these lips.  And if a slight indiscretion should occur, like one of those crackers, I can immediately feel that dip in my immune system, telling me to watch my step.  This is because sugar knocks your immune system a nasty set back for generally four hours after just a small consumption.  Not something that I want to do during the holidays, this year or any year when the viruses and bacteria of colds and flus are flying around.

So, just in case your New Year's Resolution includes cutting back on white sugar or quitting it all together, I thought I'd share my path to healing and give you all a  few tips and a little boost with your resolve.  A Very Happy New Year to you.  May it be full of great health and joy.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Return of the Light

 

As the Winter Solstice slides away behind us and our Earth begins another annual circuit, twirling daily on her axis as she travels around the sun, it seems only well and good to take a few moments contemplating what we are leaving behind and what we are entering into with this new Return of the Light.  As of today, the days will be getting a little longer and the nights will each become progressively shorter until we reach our new year's Summer Solstice, six months from now.  

I would like to suggest that we take a little time to first honor some of the darker experiences we've each felt, both personally and collectively, from this past year.  Winter is a time when some of us hibernate.  We can all set aside a little time to go within. 

Perhaps you'd like to write something down that you are willing to let go of and then release it.  Maybe the recycling bin would be the perfect vessel to receive it, or it could be buried in the garden, or using good fire safety, it could be carefully burned over the kitchen sink.  It's good to consciously let go of whatever we no longer wish to have in our lives.  This year, I'm burning any and all limitations to our arising human consciousness, that which understands and fully honors the absolute sacredness of all life on earth.  

Then, while still in personal private ceremony, we can begin this new journey, into the increasing light of the coming year, by honoring and calling to us all that we would love to see and do and think and feel.  I like to use my five senses when I am imagining what I'd like to manifest in my life.  

We can ask ourselves, "What would my body love to do?  How would that feel?  What does it smell like, taste like, sound like?"  If it is walking on the beach more often, can I imagine seeing the crashing of the waves on the shore, can I hear the seabirds call and smell the good salt sea spray?  And then, when I get to the beach, I try to consciously remember all of that and take it all in.

We can seek new experiences and awarenesses on every level of our being, be they spiritual, mental, emotional or physical.  And we can ask for help.  I used to call on the spirit of Domingo, an old Portuguese friend of mine, who could build anything out of nothing.  Whenever I've needed some help with a project, I've called him to me and there I suddenly see just exactly what is needed to finish my work.

So, think of a change that you would like to see happening in your life.  While these days are still quite short, realize that we see differently in the dark.  Ask for help from spirit if you feel like you could use it.  Let yourself have a little quiet time to visualize what you'd like to see in the coming New Year.   

Go ahead and ask, "What is a new pattern that I would like to see in my life?  or in the world?"  "What changes can I easily make to improve my stability or balance or my level of health?  or the health of those around me?  or the health of our planet?"  "What would I love to see in my life?"  "What would help me to bloom?"

It is important for us to wake up to what we love and what we long for.  This can help us to look within to see where our joy and purpose lie.  It is good to take the time to listen for whatever miracles may be available to open up for you.  We don't often need to know more than the next two or three steps ahead.  But if we pay those heed and meet their needs, often the rest of the path will open up before us.

As Rumi said,

Listen, make a way for yourself, inside yourself.

 

(painting by my friend Aya, The Stairs to Dinky Creek) 

 

 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

My Spontaneous Gratitude Prayer




    This Thanksgiving I would like to share with you one of my favorite prayers.  It just burst out of me one day while I was dancing in a large golden room, with my women friends, during a Thanksgiving Holiday, some many years ago.  I call it My Spontaneous Gratitude Prayer.  


    I most like to do this prayer while dancing, allowing my body to engage in free form interpretive movement.  I let myself twirl and swoop and rise to my toes with the words, before sliding down onto or toward the floor and then reaching up again, to frolic or slow down and sway and then romp about some more. 


         This prayer is a sort of free association experience.  I let myself drift into a slightly altered state of consciousness, and then I just begin to think of this and that and say whatever pops into my mind that I am grateful for, which is pretty much everything.  


    So this month, I'm inviting you to play with this idea, even while sitting or standing or lying down.  But if you are feeling frisky enough, try it while moving.  And in either case, set yourself free.  Let your mind drift and open your voice to express your feelings about the many, wonderful aspects of being alive on earth.

    Here is an example to get you started.

    "I am grateful for roses and kisses and bright sun shine.  I am grateful for the moon and the wind and still winter nights.  Oh how I love horses and birds and bees and trees and my beloved husband and all the children of the world and all the people and animals and plants of the world.  Thank you for each and everyone of them.  


    I'm grateful for barns and cats and fine wine, even though I rarely drink any, but I'm glad for those who enjoy it so.  And I'm grateful for the food that finds it's way to our table and for all who helped to bring it there.


    I'm grateful for soil and mulch and the good green and blue earth.  I'm grateful for the strength in my body that allows me to plant my garden and dig my fingers into the dirt and pull out potatoes and carrots and beautiful shiny bright earth worms.  I do love the worms and I'm grateful for my horse, who is in spirit now, and for all of the joy she brought to me, and all of the fun we had together, and how she helps me to laugh out loud, even to this day.  I am grateful for laughter.  Oh, how I am grateful for laughter and dancing and swimming and sleeping and eating and all of the lovely pleasures the world has to offer.


    I'm grateful to everything and everyone, who has helped me to form my life.  I'm so very grateful for the moments that have helped me to grow, even if they seemed difficult, they helped me to know better who I am and what I need and to better know my love for life.


    I'm grateful for grasses and the wild herds that feed themselves on the great plains.  I'm grateful for forests and rivers and all of the fishes and the great families of animals and herbs.  I'm grateful for volcanos and the fire of spirit that burns in us all.  


    I'm grateful for the cells and tissues of my body and the great inner wisdom that resides there and guides me through my days, with skill and expertise, all innate and free.  I'm grateful for health care providers and their assistance, so lovingly given and compassionate.  I'm grateful for compassion and love and for every human emotion and for all of the emotions of all sentient beings.  


    I'm grateful for rocks and pathways into the woods.  I'm grateful for dogs and for cats and bumble bees, antelope and whales.  I'm grateful for leaves on the trees blowing in the breeze.  

    Moving in my mind into the prayer position, I'll stop here.  But, let me just finish with how grateful I am for you.
    Happy Thanksgiving.  With love.





Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A Way Forward

 

 

We have become so diametrically opposed.  We are either a Red or a Blue State, anti-vax or pro-vaccine.  We have completely fallen into a left brain style of thinking where it is "me" instead of "we," feeling that I'm right and they are wrong.  And it is no surprise, since we've been taught judgement and duality from the womb up: good/bad, right/wrong, up/down, dark and light.  By the time we are in our twenties, we've become pros at this way of seeing the world.  Too often it takes decades, if not to the very ends of our lives, to learn how to loosen our grip on these more rigid perspectives.

     One day, years ago, while I was out gardening, it dawned on me that Diversity Negates Right and Wrong.  In a world of so much intricate beauty and variety, there can be no absolute truth.  A field of daisies requires different care than a rose.  What is right for a cat may or may not be right for a dog.  

     When we think that we have found THE way, either through original thought, or because we have heard or seen something that resonates with the way we feel or have been taught to think, we jump on that band wagon and look for or join a tribe that supports us.  A shaky new faith has always been bolstered by the presence of others who agree.  Then, to make ourselves feel even more reassured about being right, we try to recruit others and begin proselytizing.  Dominant religious and political beliefs are good examples of this.  And they give us a feeling of belonging, of being a part of something.  It helps us to feel less lonely, even if we are still sitting alone in our own home somewhere.  

     And, we can get really invested in our stance.  "I'm a thumb and I know what is best for the rest of you fingers.  I've got it all figured out and if you will just listen to me..."  But, the baby finger says, "No, that doesn't work for me!"  Because, we are all unique.  We've each got different requirements and various jobs to do.  And yet, more importantly, in this example, "We are all cells in the body of humanity."  (Peace Pilgrim.)  We are all a part of the same whole.

     We've got too many big jobs ahead of us to get lost in the squabbles over details.  And we've got a baby to birth here, a new human consciousness that is waiting to be born, where we embrace our "We" rather than just "Me."

     So, how do we start to come together?  
1.)  I like to go outside and take a little break from all the details involved in organizing details.  Here I can pause, look up and see the beauty around me.  If even just for a moment, this lets me expand into a greater viewpoint that involves more than just me.
2.)  Reaching out and connecting, helping someone with something or asking for help is a great way to come together.  We all like to help each other.  We feel honored when someone asks us for our help and we feel good about ourselves when we give it.  Or, just calling a friend for a chat lets both of us feel more connected.
3.)  Finding common ground, (it's always there even if we have strong differences,) be it baseball, knitting or a love for animals and plants, this is always a great way to come together.  We can acknowledge our differences, we don't have to focus on them.  (John and Susan Marks have made tremendous headway in finding peace and moving forward along these lines with their global work, Search For Common Ground.) 

     Basically, I think we all really want the same things.  We all want to feel safe and have peace in our lives.  We all want to be healthy and get a good night's sleep so we can awaken with bright new ideas for our day ahead and do what we would love to do.  We all want to have fun and laugh and play.  We all love to marvel at the beauties and majesty and awesomeness of nature and to feel one with all around us.  And all of this opens us up to greater love.  Love is the core essence of our being.  Love is what we have come from and will return to.  It is also what we are all really reaching for when we feel so divided.

     And I think that these common goals are what we really want and would be best for us to focus on and come together around.  So, let's try to find ways, that we each feel inspired to do, to help make that happen, first in our own lives and then letting that naturally flow out, in whatever way it best fits, to others.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Eight, or Maybe Nine, Natural Home Health Tips for Relieving Stress and Anxiety

 


 

First of all, not all stress is bad.  If stress is associated with something one is passionate about, or something that is in accordance with your purpose, then, those kinds of stresses are really good for your brain health. (Dean and Ayesha Sherzai, 2019,) and can actually prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's.  An active and engaged brain, even if excessively involved, is a well functioning, happy and healthy brain.
     But, when our stress is not associated with our passion and if it is also combined with anxiety, then it can set us up for a myriad of health problems.  Here are eight basic tips that we can employ, ourselves, which can help us to turn that big boat around toward a more peaceful existence.

1. Breathing.  Everyone knows this one by now.  But still, it must not go without mention.  I have noticed that if I am holding my breath, then some aspect of my body or mind is experiencing stress or anxiety.  To relieve it, I breathe.  This unlocks the tensions.  Focusing on our breath and taking even, measured, conscious breaths causes us to release stressful or anxious thoughts and lets us begin to break the pattern.

2. Meditation.  Innumerable studies have shown how a daily practice of meditation can ease the mind and heal the body.  Even if it is just for five minutes a day or if it is as informal as taking a walk and allowing yourself silent contemplation out in nature, meditation will bring a sense of calm and help your troubles melt away.

3. Exercise.  Burning off some steam through a regular exercise program can really help to calm our body/mind.  The endorphins lift our spirits and it can be fun.  I love to dance and swim.  I also like to ride my bike around the neighborhood.  It brings me pleasure to look at the various landscapes and sometimes I go with a friend, which, through our conversation, often gives me new and different things to think about.

4. Beauty and Nature.  If we take a single moment to pause in our worries and concerns, even if ever so briefly, and simply notice the beauty of nature that is all around us, all the time, we instantly feel better and more refreshed.  A house plant or a potted geranium on the porch or clouds overhead or gazing out over a lake or the ocean or a forest of trees, every moment spent observing the beauty of nature will change our inner chemistry for the better.  And it only requires remembering to stop and notice the beauty.
     Taking it one step further, if we ask nature for help, allowing our minds to silently or aloud just ask, then we will receive.  It is one of the gracious laws of nature to lend us energy when we request it.  So often we forget to ask, but now, you can remember to remember.  Nature will benevolently provide.

4. B-Vitamins and other Supplements.  B Vitamins, especially Niacin, which is Vitamin B3,  can lift debilitating levels of anxiety and depression to normal function. (Please see this excerpt from Food Matters.tv )  I like to get my B Vitamins from food sources.   Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a type of nutritional yeast.  It has a nice broad spectrum of B Vitamins.  I take at least one tablespoon a day.  But my favorite source is the non-fermentable nutritional yeast (saccharomyces cerevisiae) found in Dr Richard Schulze's Superfood.  As his website mentions, this type of yeast is not a problem for people who have candida imbalances.
     Other foods that contain B Vitamins are: asparagus, brown rice, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, almonds, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, eggs, mushrooms, brewers yeast, avocados, almonds, fish, legumes, bananas, buckwheat, sea vegetables, raspberries, tomatoes, organ meats, onions, peas, zucchini and molasses.  
    Other supplements that are known to help increase mood and reduce stress are: Omega 3's, Serotonin, Chromium, Vitamin D and Taurine.

5. Sleep.  Good quality sleep makes a world of difference in our lives.  If you can't sleep, first and foremost, I advise stopping all caffeine, especially coffee.  I know, it feels like the only way that you can survive, but trust me, if you are sleepless, and you are a coffee/black or green tea or mate drinker, or if you are a chocoholic, my experience has shown that it is always the caffeine that is at fault.
     Also, in Chinese Medicine, it is understood that we cleanse certain essential aspects of our bodies every two hours.  These are known as meridians.  Some of these meridians, like the one for the
gall bladder or for the liver, are cleansed during our normal sleeping hours.  If we consistently wake up during those hours, we may want to consider doing some herbal cleanses.  (I like Dr. Schulze's 5-day Liver detox for that 3:00am-ish wakefulness.)
     Additionally, the meridian that is cleansed between 9pm and 11pm is called triple warmer.  Triple warmer is what balances and smooths our energy levels and our bodies can best tend to this if we are asleep for at least part of that time.  It also helps to have a regular bed-time.  Our bodies like falling asleep and waking up at the same time.
     Another consideration is avoiding working late or watching a stimulating movie just before bed.  This can interfere with the quality of our sleep.  Letting those kinds of before-bed-habits go can help tremendously.
     Getting a good nights sleep always makes for a calmer mind and more relaxed and even energy levels throughout the rest of the day.  

6. Unplug.  Modern technologies are great, but they can also be very biologically harmful.  They can contribute greatly to stress and anxiety, especially in certain individuals.  Just like how some people react to common allergens, while other people don't, the same can hold true with electromagnetic or radio frequencies, (EMFs.)  A particularly EMF sensitive friend of mine says, "If there is just one thing that you would be willing to do to reduce the amount of EMF's that you are exposed to, it would be this, avoid using your cell phone in the car, even when it is just parked.  Turn it off.  The metal of the car traps the signals and they bounce around in there, continuously and repeatedly bombarding you with these frequencies."  I recently found out that it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving in a car in England.  The stronger frequencies that are needed to keep the cell phone connected, while in a moving vehicle, pose harm to the driver and passengers, especially children.  Please see my blog, "Unplug," from August, earlier this year, for more information on this common stressor.

7. Look up.  Not only do we benefit greatly from looking up metaphorically, through cultivating a habit of thinking good thoughts, but we are also helped immensely by elongating our spine and simply lifting our heads and looking around.  Practicing body friendly posture, which also prevents a myriad of female problems
(Christine Kent www.wholewoman.com,) and incorporating what has become known as the Wonder Woman Stance, during the day increases our comfort and can greatly improve our sense of self worth and self confidence.  

     So try standing with your feet comfortably about shoulder width apart, your spine erect with a nice curve in your low back, your belly relaxed, dropping forward and down, and your chest elevated.  If you like, you can put your hands on your hips, then tuck your chin slightly and lift your gaze with your eyes to look around you.  This alone helps our thoughts to rise and when they do, our stress and anxiety begins to fall away.

8. Common Sense in the kitchen.  Sugar, alcohol and caffeine all bring us up and drop us down.  Natural sugars, like fresh fruit are fine.  But refined carbohydrates like table sugar or white flour seriously deplete our immunity and leave us open to: attack by microbes, poor energy levels and negative thinking patterns.  Alcohol is not only a depressant, but it robs us of our vitamins.  And caffeine really jacks us up and drops us down, so go easy on or eliminate coffee, tea (except herbal) and chocolate, which holds a double whammy of sugar and caffeine.  None of these, which I see as 'the big three health eroders,' are ever good for anyone with any kind of health issues.

     Making strides along any or all of these simple basic self-empowering and relatively easy to accomplish tips will work wonders on helping you or your loved ones to ease the stressors and anxieties of life.

P.S.  9.) My Friend's Fool Proof Method.  I have a friend, who is healthy as a horse as he approaches his 90th year, and he has developed his own foolproof method for unloading stress and anxiety from his body/mind.  He describes it like this;  "1. Inhale a nice comfortably full breath.  2. Exhale evenly and then continue to push the breath out.  Really push it all out.  3. Hold it, like that, for several moments, before inhaling again.  4. Allow yourself to breath normally for a few breaths.  5. Repeat this process two or three or maybe four or five more times.  6. Now, let the body do what it wants to do: move isometrically, contract or move the abdomen, shake or even cry until it feels complete."  Though I've never tried it, this always reduces his stress and anxiety and it may do so for you as well.   ♡

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Unplug


Years ago I had a brain injury that greatly affected my ability to function normally for several years, and it taught me a great deal about stress and anxiety.  If too much was going on, I would experience seizures.  My whole body would begin to twitch and jerk, uncontrollably.  I could have a conversation with someone and there would be no problem, but if the radio was playing at the same time, I would go into overload.  With the fast flashing images of movies and television, my brain would similarly become overwhelmed. 

     Modern technology with cell phones and blue tooth devices carry immense levels of unseen and mostly unheard stimulation. Protecting ourselves from these wireless technologies is a good idea.  They do have an effect and they can be profoundly insidious and covert stressors.  Because of my own experience, I feel that they should not be taken lightly by anyone who is suffering from stress and anxiety.   

     The outcome of this for me is that I am very careful with technology.  In many ways modern technologies are a great blessing in all of our lives, but for my personal health and well being, I do not own or use a cell phone.  My only phone is a corded landline.  All of my computers, including the mouse, TV, etc. are all hard wired with cords into the walls.  And I do not use or have in my home a microwave oven.   My bedroom is not located near any electric poles and my bed is situated at least a foot and a half away from the wall by using a nice headboard.  No electric devices are near me while I sleep.

     I have also 'opted-out' of the 'Smart Meter Program' with my electric company, in order to avoid having my home being near continuously bombarded with some version of Electro Magnetic Frequencies (EMFs) aka Radiofrequencies, (RFs.)  Smart meters, can also be used by other utility companies, like gas and water.  And when smart meters are in use, they typically send out a big blast of RFs once a month, as they retrieve information from their meters. They also can send and retrieve little bits of data, near continuously.  This means that RFs can be affecting us all day and in some cases all night long, as well.  Utility companies prefer smart meters because they report continuously on consumer product usage and they also eliminate the labor expense of meter readers.  This may be a smart move for industry, but it is not smart for living organisms.  Functional medicine doctor Amy Meyers has more information on this if you are interested.

     My head injury, though now completely healed, taught me the importance of all of this in regards to minimizing stress and anxiety.  For this aspect alone, I am completely grateful for that difficult time in my life.

     Fortunately, this particular type of physical stress awareness is now coming to light in a much greater way.  On August 13th, of this year, 2021, the United States court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, (Washington, D.C.) ruled in favor of protecting children from the impacts of radiofrequency radiation, (AKA cell phones, computers, Wi-Fi, 5G and other wireless technologies.)  The court ruled that the Federal Communications Commission, (FCC,) violated the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to respond to comments on environmental harm.  These comments represented decades of scientific studies about the very real and potential health harms to people.  In the thousands of pages of scientific evidence, the negative impacts of radiofrequency radiation and/or electromagnetic frequencies, (EMFs,) are especially noted as being injurious for beings with smaller bodies, like children and animals.  

     I remember reading some time ago that birds and bees are especially vulnerable when exposed to some of these technologies.  They can become dazed and confused or, much more seriously, they can become reproductively unviable in just a few short generations.  And as is the case with some, they can also simply drop dead from high, (formerly deemed as safe,) rates of exposure.

     There is also significant concern about how these frequencies affect sea life.  The navigational signals used by dolphins and whales along with other migrating species of sea life, like turtles and sea lions may be seriously impacted.  
     

     Also implicated in the court's decisions was The Food and Drug Administration, (The FDA,) as its "safety conclusions" were provided to the FCC without explanation, and the FCC used them to justify their lack of response to the thousands of studies indicating otherwise.  Federal regulatory agencies, like these, are mandated to protect us and the environment, from biological harm.  With regards to radiofrequencies and EMFs, clearly, they have not been doing their jobs.  So, skip wireless, or get fully wired or unplug all together.  For more information on this, go to this link, Environmental Health Trust.    

     Wireless radiation has been shown to alter brain development, damage memory, impact reproductive health and increase the risk of cancer.  Thank goodness the United States federal judicial system is finally catching up and taking legal action to protect us.  This is something that has already been being done in other countries, like the U.K, for years.  It's about time that our governmental agencies are being forced to stop favoring industry by ignoring these health hazards and instead care for the people that they were created to protect.   For this recent development, I am very grateful.  And I hope that you are, too.


 





 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

A Healing Wound Wash

 

 


During these summer months of fun and play, we can get injuries that are not serious enough for medical attention, but that can still warrant careful care.  Please enjoy this three and a half minute video, on how to clean a wound and promote healing with an easy to make, simple wound wash.  


Disclaimer:  As a Clairvoyant Healer, Spiritual Counselor and Intuition Instructor, I share many tips for leading a healthy and fulfilling life.  Please be advised that I am not a doctor. Nor am I licensed in any healing modality. However, I have had years of experience in alternative and complementary health and healing. All healing programs, including standard western medical protocols in addition to natural therapies, can cause harm rather than the benefit that you may be searching for. After all some people can have a strong reaction to something as seemingly innocent as peanuts or strawberries. Therefore, anything that I may recommend in these blogs and videos could be dangerous for you to try. So, it is important that you Ask Your Doctor First before trying any natural healing protocol. However, most medical doctors have little experience regarding natural healing programs and herbal medicine. So please understand if your doctor is unfamiliar with these ideas.

© Josephine Laing 2021