Stressed Out? Turn to Psalm 46

Even in the lush of summertime we still have episodes of (or constant) stress. The medical community has confirmed that stress contributes to and makes worse all illnesses. So what do we do about our stress levels? See below for some stress relieving ideas!

Stress is endless and timeless, but:
Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. – Hans Selye
Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well. – Robert Louis Stevenson
Stress is like spice – in the right proportion it enhances the flavor  of a dish. Too little produces a bland, dull meal; too much may choke  you. – Donald Tubesing
Be still and know that I am God. – God
Does Stress Motivate You, Shut You Down, or Both? 
What is it about stress? Some can’t live with it, some can’t live without it. Stress is a part of life. But normal stress is not the chronic stress of modern culture. Normal stress is dealing with an accident or a death or a house fire; bad things for sure, but they will calm over time. Chronic stress, on the other hand, is continuous, perpetual and never ending, and it is deadly! 
Why so much chronic stress? There are a lot of different opinions, but no one really knows why. Even doctors who know the physical ramifications of chronic stress don’t know the root cause. I have some hunches (more than will fit into this article) and they all have to deal with our fast, modern lifestyle. 
Dr. Christine Northrop says that our biggest hormone disruptors are our thoughts and beliefs and our fears. What kind of beliefs? This list is huge but for today’s purposes let’s look at these: We believe that we have to watch a TV show every week and we freak out if we miss it or forgot to set the DVR. We believe that we have to get season tickets for our favorite team. We believe that having a Jaguar will make us happy, but we can’t afford it. We freak out if we spill wine on our new blouse.   I hope you get the picture. Depending on our disposition some or all of these things cause us stress. These should not be stressors in our life. 
So we need to change our perceptions. And that’s a tall order, because we’ve been conditioned to freak out at things that aren’t worthy of freak out. So… homework… what things freak you out? Write them down. And then ponder over them. Talk about them with a friend. And then decide, what can I remove from my freak out list? Begin your journey to less chronic stress and a healthier, happier you. Get rid of the truly trivial stressors and then move one to the not so trivial ones.
There are Roses Everywhere, Stop to Smell Them!
Above we said – don’t sweat the small stuff. Now let’s say enjoy the small stuff. Look beyond your own boundaries and enjoy the world around you!
Smell the roses! Admire the clouds! Say “Hi” to that person walking by. Go for a walk. Put your cell phone away! All of Creation is waiting for you to take notice and enjoy it!
If you’re too busy to stop and smell the roses, consider what is taking all of your time. Again, this modern culture of ours sucks up all of our time and energy. We need to take stock of what’s really important.
So, after you’ve pondered the list in the first article, write out another list, this time looking at what occupies your time, and then evaluate it for true importance. Remember, the importance is determined by your current belief systems, which has many components, not just religious or spiritual. Are you really happy with those belief systems, is it time to make a change?
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Can You Hear Your Liver Speaking To You?

As you will hear in Dr. Mark Hyman’s video below, we can have a fatty or stagnant liver and not even know it, even medical testing doesn’t always inform us in the early stages of liver stagnation. Most liver disease is considered “chronic”, and as with most chronic diseases of our modern age, they are predominately caused by lifestyle: diet and food choices, exercise, and environmental factors which lead to toxic overload and nutritional deficiencies.
Scientific measurement doesn’t always tell us the whole picture, but yet the body has ways of telling us if something is wrong. A stagnant liver manifests itself in many ways, and the whole body cries out. We just need to learn to read the signs.
Paul Pitchford has a very comprehensive book entitled, Healing With Whole Foods. In it he outlines several liver imbalances and their accompanying physical (PS) and emotional signs (ES). The signs of a stagnant or fatty liver include:

  • nervous system disorders (PS)
  • allergies (PS)
  • lumps, swellings, scrofula, mastitis (PS)
  • distended abdomen, chest, or breasts (PS)
  • chronic indigestion (PS)
  • menstrual problems (PS)
  • stress, neck and back tension (PS)
  • fatigue (PS)
  • rigid, inflexible body (PS)
  • eye problems (PS)
  • impure blood, skin disorders (PS)
  • finger- or toenail problems (PS)
  • slow rising in morning (PS)
  • muscular pain (PS)
  • tendon problems (PS)
  • wiry, tight radial pulse (PS)
  • emotional repression (ES)
  • anger (ES)
  • frustration (ES)
  • resentment (ES)
  • impatience (ES)
  • edginess (ES)
  • depression (ES)
  • moodiness (ES)
  • impulsiveness (ES)
  • emotional attachments (ES)
  • poor judgment (ES)
  • difficulty in making decisions (ES)
  • mental rigidity (ES)
  • negativity (ES)

You can see here and here some traditional techniques for liver diagnosis, but it is questionable if they can catch liver disease early on.  On the other hand, there are several dietary strategies one can try to detox and then stimulate the liver when several of the above signs are noticed. Some books that offer solutions are shown here, or you can call a health coach to help you work through them.



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What’s all this about GMOs?

As I’ve said in the past, there is food and then there is “food”.Food is what previous generations would recognize as food, and “food” they wouldn’t recognize. You know, the enormous amount of processed food that is available to us these days. “Food” that make life oh so easy, and a lot of that “food” is labelled as healthy. “Food” is “food”, no matter what the label says.”Food” manufacturers have been packaging and distorting real food into all sorts of “yummy” concoctions for almost a century now. This packaging and distorting usually destroys the nutritional value of the real food, too. The “food” manufacturers even make true fake food, think butter vs. margarine or cheese in a can.

For several decades now, “food” has become even more of a science project, some good, but most bad. Genetic engineering (GE), also called genetically modified organisms (GMO), manipulates food at the DNA level. According to GreenMedInfo, foreign genetic material (i.e. a protein) is inserted into the DNA of a seed (such as corn, rice, or soybean) in order to create desired characteristics or behavior (more on these in a moment). DNA splicing is complicated business, and there are a lot of scientific assumptions in creating GMOs. Assumptions like only the expected result will occur, when in fact each GE modification has risks, such as loosing genetic information in the seed or weakening the seeds resistance against viruses.

The GreenMedInfo article asks the question we’re all asking, are GMOs safe? And the answer is it depends.

On the good side, there are some single cellular modifications such as modifying yeast to produce insulin or on a multicellular level, i.e. plants, they have created golden rice that is rich in vitamin A. These are good GE products, and because of these, the article says we shouldn’t condemn genetic engineering as a whole.

On the bad side, GMOs are not friendly at all. Most of these GMOs are altered to withstand herbicides and other toxins, bad characteristics which have been tested to cause cancer in lab rats (this study is highly controversial as expected). You might ask why, what’s so bad? Remember Agent Orange from the Vietnam War? It was sprayed over large areas to kill vegetation as part of chemical warfare. The Vietnamese people and U.S. servicemen suffered many health problems because of Agent Orange. Agent Orange IS Roundup. The technical name for both is glyphosate, and glyphosate is one of the toxins that has been spliced into plant DNA so that in the field the farmer can spray Roundup on the biotech crop and the soybeans or rice won’t die, but the weeds will. So Roundup is in the plant and sprayed on the plant and we eat the plant. Monsanto is the company that created Agent Orange. Monsanto also patents GE seeds because their DNA is special. At this point the story can get very complicated and long winded, please see the documentary, Food, Inc. for more details. In the documentary you will also hear about the contamination of conventional and even organic crops by the GMO biotech crops because pollen blows with the wind. This is part of the wheat contamination scandal that is currently in the news.

Also on the bad side, there are GE seeds that produce their own insecticide; these plants have their DNA spliced with a Bt toxin. Apparently corn is very susceptible to a root bug, hence the need to modify its DNA, and GE corn is in just about everything we eat; high fructose corn syrup, anyone? Additionally on the Bt toxin list of bad things is the potential connection to the demise of the honey bee due to this and other pesticide usage.

Be careful. You are what you eat. Next up, what and where are the GMOs and how do we know?

One of the big debates is the labeling of GMO foods. Whether it is packaged foods or fresh foods, we the consumer should know what the makeup of our food is, but there is big money running the food industry, and that money doesn’t want labels. There are even special prefixes for produce stickers, 8 is for GMO and 9 is for organic. I have never seen the 8 used, so I only buy organic zucchini in the grocery, because zucchini is a GE food.

You can visit the websites of Monsanto, DuPont, Dow and other companies to see what seeds they are selling. What exactly is the nature of their DNA modification is a mystery really, because they promote all of their seeds as “safe”, in fact they say they are more than safe, they are healthier and more nutritious than the seeds that God gave us!

Most of the large scale agricultural seeds are either Roundup ready or Bt toxin plants – these are alfalfa, canola, corn (for grain and silage), cotton, flax/linseed, forage, mustard, pearl millet, rice (Southern and California), sorghum, soybeans, sugarbeets, sunflower, and wheat.

You might say, I don’t have to worry about alfalfa because I never eat that. Actually you do. If cows eat GE alfalfa and you eat beef that once ate GE alfalfa, then you too are eating GE alfalfa. Even if you think, I only eat wild venison, I’m okay. Think again, I see deer all the time grazing in soybean fields and eating leftover harvested corn. The majority of crops are biotech these days, and many farmers advertise which GMO brand of seed they are using with signs right at the road.

But it is more than corn and soybeans that we have to worry about. Monsanto also has a whole line of vegetable seeds under the company name Seminis: beans (fresh market), beans (dry), broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, melon, onion, pepper (hot), pepper (sweet), pickle, processing beans, pumpkin, spinach, summer squash (zucchini), sweet corn, processing tomatoes, tomatoes (fresh market), watermelon, and winter squash. DeRuiter also makes seeds for Monsanto: tomato rootstock (at the greenhouse for your garden), tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and cucumbers. Our summer time favorite, sweet corn, is GE too. So unless you are buying organic of these veggies, you are most likely eating a GE vegetable. And as I said earlier, we don’t know the exact modifications that have been made to this veggies.

And its not only veggies and grains that are GE. There are GE apples too. They haven’t been officially approved by the USDA yet, but test crops exist somewhere. The apples have been modified to not bruise or brown, but you know what? It’s the browning aspect of apples that is the healthy part, the healthy polyphenol oxidizes and turns brown when the apple is damaged or cut.

So by just eating organic fruits, veggies and grains you can avoid GMOs, right? Nope. At this point in time, GE salmon has not been approved for market, but AquaBounty is trying to get its fast growing salmon there. A GE pig has also been in the works for at least a decade.

I’m sure more biotech plants and animals are in the works, but this listing should give you a general idea of how big the scope of GMO is.

So what to eat?

First, don’t freak out. It’s pretty difficult to not eat GMOs today. They don’t seem to cause sudden death, but they do cause illness over time just because of their toxic nature. They are one of the many toxins that we ingest these days.

In general, do your best to eat clean by buying organic or at least limiting most of the known GE foods and if possible grow some of your own food. You’ll need to start with heirloom and organic seeds, because you just don’t know what’s what unless it specifically says organic and/or heirloom. See above for the known GE vegetables.

There are a few other steps to take to help flush the toxins of GMOs out of your system:

  • Consume a good probiotic and fermented food – to keep a healthy gut flora
  • Eat a fiber-rich diet – which will carry the toxins out in your waste
  • Sweat – which also detoxifies – so move to get your pores dripping
  • Drink plenty of purified water
  • Cook at home once in awhile
  • Learn more about traditional foods
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GMO Sweet Corn coming to a market near you!

GMO’s are everywhere, corn, rice, potatoes, soy, canola, cotton, wheat and nearly every processed food on the market today. And now our beloved summer time favorite is also genetically engineered, Sweet Corn. I don’t know when GE sweet corn was first planted, but according to DuPont’s page on crop “protection” for sweet corn, it’s been several years. Let’s protect the crop and not worry about the health risks for consuming said sweet corn, health risks for person and planet.

Food Safety News has an article on GE Crop Risk Assessment. There are  two types of GE crops, those engineered to withstand pests contain Bt toxins and those engineered to withstand RoundUp spraying. The article questions the amount of chemical exposure we get from the GE crops, and it also questions the amount of exposure we can tolerate, health-wise. It suggests that a government agency should fund long-term studies on GE toxicology and cancer occurences.

The main agency to do this would be the FDA and we all know that the FDA is run by ex-Monsanto executives. So, be aware that you ARE consuming GE plant toxins. Be aware that there are no reliable, independent studies done on their effect on human health. Whether you want to believe it or not, most modern food is dangerous to your health. Buy organic and grow your own food.

GMO – genetically modified organisms

GE – genetically engineered

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Colic is Related to Diaper Changing?

There are tons of studies that offer treatments for baby’s colic, but what is the cause of colic? Chiropractic adjustments on infants help relieve colic, but they are always in need of new adjustments because the colic keeps coming back. Dr. John Edwards, a chiropractor in Florida, says colic is caused by lifting the infant by the ankles to change his diaper.

The nerves in our spine send messages to and from our brain to all parts of our body, including our intestines. Lifting a pre-crawling baby by the ankles to change his diaper puts undue stress on baby’s spine in the exact spot where the spinal nerves send messages to the intestines. Pinching the intestinal spinal nerves causes the gas and pain that colicky babies suffer from.

So how are we supposed to change an infant’s diaper?  Dr. Edwards suggests the roll technique for babies who don’t crawl yet. It’s a different mindset, but it can save you and your baby much discomfort.  Here is a video demonstration.

Best Diaper Changing Technique for Newborns to Reduce Colic
Best Diaper Changing Technique for Newborns to Reduce Colic

  Source: GreenMedInfo

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Mind-Manipulation, Addiction, and Illness – How to Turn it All Around?

What’s your favorite food?

How about a different question. What do you consider “food”?

These days “food” comes in all shapes and sizes and from all sorts of places. In the old days food was either hunted (animals) or gathered (plants). Today, most people don’t know how to hunt or gather. Rather we drive up to a supermarket or a mini-mart or a drive-thru and we exchange dollars for “food”, and with this exchange we also receive all sorts of chronic illnesses.

Remember Diet Coke’s tag line a while back, “Just For the Taste of it”? While Coca-Cola said it out loud in its advertisements, all “food” processors create foods just for the taste of it. If it didn’t taste good then we wouldn’t buy it any longer. The flavor of all processed foods is engineered to keep us wanting more, to make us addicted to it. Michael Moss has just released a new book called Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. You can get an overview of it here.

Advertisements pull us in, the taste keeps us coming back for more, and eventually sickness settles in and we wonder what’s wrong with our DNA. Seriously, it’s not our DNA that’s the problem. The problem is the food stuff that we are feeding our DNA. It’s not real food and so it does allow the body to properly maintain itself.

Most of us are now sick and/or overweight. After years of eating junk can we undo the damage? YES we can. How? Michael Pollan said it best, “Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” It won’t be easy and some of us will need professional help to get our lives back on track, but we can do it!

There is a whole-foods movement going on. Sure, it’s really “inconvenient” considering our fast paced lifestyle, but that fast paced lifestyle is what got us hooked on the junk food in the first place. Slow down. Start learning about slow, whole foods. They are the foods that give our bodies real nutrition, not the pretend nutrition that we find on nutrition labels. Slow foods are also good for building family time, have a sit down meal and see what the kids are up to.

But what about taste? If it tastes good then it must be healthy, some people believe. Engineered flavoring is more intense that real food flavor and we have become accustomed to the junk flavors, to the point where we don’t like real food. We have to retrain our taste buds. We have to become like infants again when every new taste made us wrinkle up our nose. Are you ready to wrinkle up your nose and try new foods and begin your journey to wellness?

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Atrial Fibrillation and the Magnesium Deficiency

I just read this excellent article on about Magnesium and Atrial Fibrillation (A-fib) with great interest. It starts out talking about the medical research scams that have been going on for years and how one of the newest fearful diseases is A-fib.

Well, I have A-fib, one of the many problems that I am trying to sort out from my years of nutrition ignorance. Because of an apparent heart problem based on the palpitation symptoms I had for years, I wore a heart monitor for three weeks, yes, THREE weeks. It was horrible. Every time I had a palp or flutter I would make a record of it that would be sent to heart-monitor-central along with my heart rhythm. None of my noticable symptoms were any cause of concern to the doctor, but one three second blip was.

That one tiny, little three second blip (in three weeks of monitoring) was called an atrial fibrillation and the doctor scared the crap out of me saying how it only gets worse as we age and we don’t know what to do about it other than take this pill, forever, but it can kill you just like that. I was 44 years old at the time. I was not about to be on some pill until the day I died because of three seconds. I walked out of that doctor’s office and I haven’t been to see a doctor since then, except for my chiropractor. Some people are shocked, you haven’t gone for your “regular checkups”? What if something is wrong? (You have to make your own doctoring decisions, and I’ll make mine, some people like to go to the doctor I gather.)

While I am no where near perfect nutrition yet, I am much better than I was five years ago, and I feel great as a result. As I’ve stated in other posts based on my research, 99% of disease is lifestyle and deficiency related. I have already added magnesium to my supplement regiment, I just need to get more regular about taking them. Better still, I need to get more regular about eating magnesium rich foods (there is a “grade” after each food), such as:

  • Almonds (B)
  • Asparagus (B)
  • Basil (B)
  • Beets (B)
  • Black beans (B)
  • Blackstrap molasses (A)
  • Broccoli (B)
  • Brussels Sprouts (B)
  • Buckwheat (B)
  • Cashews (B)
  • Cauliflower (B)
  • Celery (B)
  • Cloves (B)
  • Collard Greens (A)
  • Cucumber (B)
  • Cumin (B)
  • Dill (B)
  • Eggplant (B)
  • Fennel (B)
  • Flax seeds, ground (B)
  • Green beans (A)
  • Green peas (B)
  • Halibut (A)
  • Kale (B)
  • Leeks (B)
  • Mushrooms, Shiitake (B)
  • Mustard Greens (A)
  • Mustard Seeds (B)
  • Pumpkin Seeds (A)
  • Quinoa (B)
  • Raspberries (B)
  • Romaine Lettuce (B)
  • Scallops (B)
  • Sea vegetables (A)
  • Sesame seeds (B)
  • Soybeans (organic) (B)
  • Spinach (A+)
  • Strawberries (B)
  • Summer squash (B)
  • Sunflower Seeds (B)
  • Swiss Chard (A+)
  • Tomatoes (B)
  • Tuna (B)
  • Turnip greens (A)
  • And a few other B- foods can be found HERE

As usual, proper nutrition is best obtained by eating a great amount and a great variety of plant foods, especially vegetables.

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Is Your Energy Balanced and Flexible?

Food has two major components, macronutrients and micronutrients. Macro and micro refer to how much of these nutrients we need in our diet. We need a lot of macronutrients and much smaller amounts of micronutrients.The macronutrients are proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and the micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. Our bodies need all of these to function properly. Today’s newsletter focuses on macronutrients.  

Regardless of the media attention on fats and carbs, we need all three macronutrients in our diet, and they need to be balanced but flexible. What is balanced? If we read twenty different diet plans we will find twenty different macronutrient ratios, so balanced depends on our personal needs. What is flexible? What we eat depends on the season, our state of health, and what we are striving to do health-wise, so flexible depends on our personal conditions. Balance and flexibility are different for each and every one of us. We need to be open to personal experimentation.

So how do we know what our fat, carb and protein ratio should be? The Standard American Diet ratio is about 50% carbohydrate, 25% protein, and 25% fat, but is that a good ratio for you? We have to listen to our body’s signals and experiment by modifying our diet such that we begin to feel our best and are headed toward our desired health goals, such as reduced weight or blood pressure.

A lot of our calories come from carbohydrates, but we should be consuming veggies and whole grains, not toast and breakfast cereal. Carbohydrates are mostly fiber, and we need lots of fiber to keep the digestive system flowing smoothly and to capture and expel toxins.

Next is fat. Yes, a quarter or more of our calories need to be from fat which is our main energy source. Fat is also a building block for our cell membranes and a number of hormones; it’s essential. It’s the type of fat we eat that is the issue, not fat itself. Manufactured fat is the enemy, not naturally derived fat. Yet there is so much misleading information out there. I just thumbed through a “good fat bad fat” book that I have on my shelf. It equates saturated fats with trans fats, and then, in its recipe section lists margarine and imitation butter granules as good fat sources! Those are not good for us. Saturated fats, from animal products and some tropical plants, are not as dangerous as we have been led to believe. “When you eat saturated fats as part of your meal, they slow down absorption so that you can go longer without feeling hungry. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes.” (1) The good saturated fats are found in healthy animal products and tropical oils such as coconut oil, which is the best oil for cooking since it is less damaged in heating. Olive oil is the best monounsaturated oil. And don’t forget about omega-3 fats, but more on them another time.

And lastly, we have protein, which is the source of amino acid building blocks which support a wide variety of bodily functions. We need to be like Goldilocks with protein, not too much and not too little. The key here is balance and healthy sources of all of the macronutrients.

And what about vitamins and minerals? The micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that are found in varying amounts of naturally grown food and they make our body work properly. We need to balance the ratio of the macronutrients we consume to maintain our energy levels throughout the day, but we also need to get a good variety food so that we get a good variety of vitamins and minerals to keep our body running smooth. More on vitamins and minerals in another newsletter.

Balance, flexibility, and variety, that’s a lot to keep in mind as we fill our grocery carts and our plates. But if you are truly interested in natural wellness and feeling your best, you can reap the benefits by keeping an eye on your food choices. Start out with baby steps and create new habits as you go. You’ll be glad you did.

(1) Mercola 

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Have a Healthy Halloween

If only we could migrate away from the sugar and artificial color fest…

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