Friday, April 19, 2013

Peace On Earth Day

When I heard about the bombings at the Boston Marathon, I was shocked, saddened, and deeply disturbed. It seems that there are more and more acts of violence every day in our society. What disturbs me the most about the Boston bombings is that they targeted a global family event. The Boston Marathon attracts spectators and athletes from all over the world: people of all ages, races, and walks 
of life come to participate in or watch this annual event. Because such a global event was targeted, 
I see these attacks as a crime against humanity.

The Boston Marathon bombings are just another sign of how unhealthy our society has become. 
The real question is, what is fueling these violent actions and thoughts? Has the health of our society deteriorated to such an extent that people are becoming disconnected to their brothers and sisters, 
losing control of their humanity, and acting out their aggression on innocent people?

When people are not physically and mentally well, can they be helped?
I believe that the way we choose to “fuel” ourselves through the food we eat has a direct effect not only on our physical health but also our emotional and spiritual health. You cannot separate these three aspects of health: our physical health is reliant upon our emotional and spiritual health; our emotional health is reliant upon our physical and spiritual health; and our spiritual health is reliant upon our physical and emotional health.

Many of us live on fast foods that produce extreme energetic effects on our bodies.
A perfect example can be seen in all the problems related to blood sugar, such as hypoglycemia and diabetes. To make matters worse, our food sources have become unnatural and good-quality food is becoming scarce. Many foods contain harmful preservatives, additives, and GMO’s, and this is but a short list. For those who choose to eat animal and dairy foods, the situation is far worse. Most animals raised for food consumption live in sordid, unhealthy conditions and are not fed food that is conducive to their health. Can you imagine what energetic effect such living and eating conditions has on these animals and on the people who consume these animal products? If we make the connection between diet and health, then we are able to see more clearly that by making poor food choices it is not just our physical and emotional health that is at risk, but the spirit that makes us human.

The offers of help, prayers, and thoughts that I’ve heard and read about about in the past few days give this tragedy a slight silver lining. These acts give me hope for our society. Moving forward in order for our society to improve its health and heal, we need to look at the bigger picture and re-examine what creates peaceful people. I believe we need to take the initiative to improve our food quality and educate people on the importance of how food choices effect every aspect of our lives, including our behavior towards other human beings. Healthy people create healthy societies, and healthy societies create a healthier planet. Since we are just a few days away from Earth Day (Monday April 22nd), I would like to invite you to join me in celebrating “Peace On Earth Day.” On April 22nd, take a minute to do something for someone else, sit down to a balanced meal of whole grains and vegetables, or better yet, share a meal with someone else. Take a moment to remember that we are all in this world together!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Beat the Bloat

Now that Spring is here, we are all thinking about flip-flops, groovy sunglasses, and how to get rid of that spare tire we might be carrying (you know, the one around the middle). Perhaps you are looking in the mirror and feeling a little winter-weary when you see puffy eyes, or notice that your skin could use some TLC. All of these symptoms are often caused by and/or perpetuated by consuming too much salt or a combination of salty, hard, dry, baked foods.

Enter my "Beat the Bloat Approach”! 
Here are my favorite foods to put a spring in your step and help reduce bloating. However, please keep in mind that these are all quick fixes, and do not replace a balanced diet. In the long run, it is important to cut back on the amount of salt you use and the number of hard, baked foods you consume. Regarding exercise, the best and simplest thing to do is to walk outside as often as you can. Walking outside is naturally balancing, and will strengthen your digestion. Walking is also a great way to enjoy the warm spring weather!

Beat the Bloat Quick Fixes:

  • Cucumbers: light and refreshing; also a natural diuretic.
  • Asparagus with fresh lemon: although asparagus can be acidfying (too much can lead to mineral loss) bloating is often caused by too much salt. It can be helpful to eat a little asparagus to help take out any extra salt and relieve your bloat. 
  • Vegetable Juice: please see my post on fresh veggie juice, "Green Cocktails Anyone" [April 2012.]
  • Dried Shitake Mushroom Tea: this mild tea will help rid your body of excess salt. 
  • Good-Quality Green Tea 
  • Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice 
  • Good-Quality Micro-Brewed Beer: serve at cellar temperature--not too cold!
  • Eat plenty of quick-steamed greens with a squeeze of fresh lemon.