As part of my mission to eliminate joint pain (from arthritis) and totally avoid eventual joint replacement, I am experimenting with removing all gluten from my diet, along with other dietary and lifestyle changes. (Gluten is known to cause inflammation in some—perhaps many—individuals.) When I’m ready, I’ll add gluten back into my diet, and pay attention to what happens in my body. I want to really see if there’s a difference. Today is day #9 gluten free. Continue reading
I have seven cats. I don’t feed them the cheapest food available, because I know that what they eat affects their health, mood, and well being, no differently than it affects human health and well being. (I have been buying the best quality food that I feel I can afford.)
Last spring, I started having problems with one of my cats – he decided that he hated his tail, and would spend hours growling at it and trying to run away from it. Long story short: Marley had ulcers in his mouth and wound up having eight teeth pulled. (I believe that it was an infection that was making him go mad.) He has gradually improved, but he still has what appear to be some neurological/mental problems concerning his tail, along with a host of other goofy idiosyncrasies that started when he got sick. Continue reading
On the morning of October 21st, my 37 year old son lost his life. It was sudden. I’m not sure when I will be able to resume my life as it was before, including writing for this blog. Happy Homo Sapien was like a newborn baby to me. It was just beginning to present its own personality. With the loss of my son, I have no energy to devote to nurturing it right now, and I can’t know how long it will take for me to feel differently. Continue reading
My daughter and I have had many long talks, over the years, about the power of thought and how it may very possibly influence the way a food metabolizes when we eat it. However, we didn’t use such sophisticated language. Our words went more like this: “I think if you eat something and tell yourself it’s not going to make you fat, it won’t.” (That’s probably verbatim, from my daughter Casey.) Continue reading
There has been such an amazing shift in my relationship with food, and with life in general, since I completely gave up the idea of eating a perfect diet. I was never even close to actually succeeding, but I obsessed about it and felt guilty because I never had the “will power” to say no to the foods that I love. (Obviously, some of these foods were on the “no no” list.) Continue reading
Fear is not a good motivator. Many people today are trying to change their diets as a response to the fear of becoming diseased, or unhealthy, or suffering from an illness brought on by poor eating choices.
There’s a problem with being motivated to eat healthy because we are afraid not to: It doesn’t work. Not in the long run. Continue reading
A very close friend of my daughter’s asked me for some suggestions on meatless meals. She said that her hubby doesn’t appreciate the meatless substitutes, but she would like to not have every meal centered on meat. This post is for her (and all of you, too). I’m going to be a little long winded, as I want to share my personal experiences with meat eating before I share suggestions, recipes, and some wonderful links. I promise that I will get to those, eventually. If you want to just scroll down to the goods, you’ll find them listed under the bold heading of “Suggestions, Recipes, and Links.” But I do hope that you stick with me here.
I’ve always taken ‘The Wizard of Oz’ very seriously, you know. I believe in the idea of the rainbow. And I’ve spent my entire life trying to get over it.
~ Judy Garland
My health coaching practice is just beginning– in the baby stages of just coming together. Handling the business aspect has been the easier part. I’m now officially a business here in PA, I have my EIN number, and I opened a business bank account. The hard part has been narrowing it down and figuring out exactly who I want to reach out to. My desires have shifted around quite a few times. In the end, I have decided that I’m most comfortable sharing my own journey, and reaching out to those who are on the same path. Like all of us who live and breathe, I’ve had my own struggles. I have lived many years of my life looking forward to better times. I’ve searched, for as long as I can remember, for answers. I knew that there had to be a way for me, the optimist at heart, to find my way to happiness. My search has paid off, as I love myself more than I ever have, and I know that my life is finally moving forward.
But for way too long…I was stuck.
I really do like mayonnaise. Tuna fish salad, chicken salad, and egg salad just can’t be made without it. I love it on turkey sandwiches, for homemade salad dressings, and potato and macaroni salad. (I make a mean macaroni salad with peas, carrots, tuna, and horseradish that would not be in existence without mayonnaise.) The problem is – most store bought mayo is downright unhealthy. I don’t like food bashing, but there are certain products that should really be avoided, and poor quality store bought mayonnaise is one of them.
It’s beginning to feel like summer here in Philadelphia. If the heat doesn’t get you, the humidity certainly will! I’ve recently discovered a couple of things that help to keep me cool and comfortable. These will also work for you, even if you don’t live here in the city.
The most incredible discovery happened just a few days ago. My daughter and I were watching TV in my one window, no cross ventilation bedroom, and the heat was unbearable. (I’ve since put my air conditioner in, but this was a couple of days before that.) I knew there was no way that I was going to sleep that night. I was moaning and groaning, and my brilliant daughter suggested that I fill up my hot water bottle with cold water. I’ve been using a hot water bottle every night for a very painful frozen shoulder, and the heat works wonders for me. It was laying there in the bed, beckoning me to fill it up with cold H2O. It was so amazing! I cuddled with it, and held it in the bend of my arm. I kid you not…it instantly cooled me off!
Everyone wants to be happy. I’ve yet to meet any human being who said, “I love feeling weighted down with burdens, unlucky, unblessed, and totally unhappy with my life.” Yet, despite happiness being what most people long for above any other human condition, many are very unhappy.
We do live in a hurry up world. For many, meals have become another chore to accomplish on a list of things that need to be done. We eat while standing in the kitchen, driving in our cars, or sitting in front of our computers. Slowing down, and changing the way that we eat can greatly improve our health, our digestion, our levels of enjoyment while eating, and can eliminate problems such as reflux and heartburn when practiced over a period of time. For some, immediate relief will be experienced when food is chewed slowly and we focus on the pleasure of eating. Eating slowly and mindfully can also give us the signal that we are no longer hungry and that we’ve eaten our fill, and this helps to prevent overeating.
One of the first changes that I made when I became a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) was to add green smoothies into my diet. I have always enjoyed fruit smoothies, but never considered adding greens and other veggies to up the ante. I have to admit that at first, it really didn’t sound too appealing. However, from the very first day that I added some fresh baby spinach to my banana, soy milk, and frozen strawberries, I was utterly hooked! It tasted wonderful and I noticed the positive side effects immediately. They helped to reduce cravings for sweets and aided in my digestion and elimination. (Sorry to have to bring up that topic so quickly, but without healthy elimination of wastes, we are bound–literally speaking–to be unhealthy and unhappy).
It’s that time of year when those prone to seasonal allergies are once again tormented by itchy, watery, and burning eyes; congestion; dry throats; sneezing; coughing; loss of sleep, and just feeling blah. Although I don’t suffer myself, I am writing this on behalf of all of the people that I know and love who have suffered more than enough with seasonal allergies. Continue reading
By nature, I tend to think about the negative side of just about everything. My immediate reaction is to believe in the worst possible outcome, and to imagine that every little thing in the world will now go wrong because of whatever it is I am now thinking about. I dislike this about myself. I have always wanted to be a positive person, brimming over with warm fuzzy feelings and a sunny optimistic outlook on life. By contrast, I’m innately convinced that if there’s a possibility that things can go wrong, they probably will. Gratefully, I have learned how to monitor and recognize these immediate thoughts, and to replace them with realistic, undistorted thoughts that make much more sense in the big picture.
I am so excited to begin this journey, and to share with all of you what I am learning about health and happiness. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me.
Physical health and emotional well-being (happiness) are intimately connected. It’s difficult to be genuinely happy when suffering from physical pain or limitations. It’s also difficult to be physically well when you are emotionally drained for any period of time. Stress affects our physical well-being, and our physical health influences our happiness. The two walk hand-in-hand. This can be a problem when we are weighed down with emotional baggage and sufferings. But it can also be a blessing, once we realize that we have control over our mental state of mind and our perceptions on life. It’s liberating to know that we have control on our own mental health and well-being. It takes some practice; but with time, we can teach ourselves to monitor our thoughts and our feelings, and to challenge those that are distorted or harmful to our health and our happiness.
Before I go any further, I want to share a story about a monkey. I can’t recall exactly where I read this story, but it was many years ago and I’ve never forgotten it. It was in reference to “hoarding” and holding on to physical baggage that weighs us down. (I’m a big believer in, “The more that you own, the more that owns you.”) This little monkey—that I’ll introduce to you shortly—learned the hard way about the handicap of holding on to possessions.