Friday, October 30, 2009

The Allergy-Addiction Cycle


When someone says that they’re ‘in a mood’, they may be ‘in a food’.  Eating is the action where we literally take something outside of us and bring it into the most inner part of our beings.  At the food trough, we do not often stop to consider the impact of food choices on our thoughts and emotions. 

A child can turn into a real Jekyll and Hyde
If you experience serious food cravings, the chances are that you are also allergic to these same foods.  This allergy/addiction cycle can create dramatic mood swings.

A child can turn into a real ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ when they consume such things as sugar, chocolate, milk, pop or wheat.  If behavior is an issue, take the time to consider what they have been eating in the last 24 hours.  Look for a definite ‘high and crash’ pattern.

One adult told me that they were less aggressive and felt less frustrated when they reduced the amount of meat in their diet.  Another individual claimed that although they had been feeling tired and depressed, they could think more clearly and optimistically when all refined sugar and wheat were eliminated.

Take the time to visit Health food stores and ask questions. Investigate ‘allergy free’ and ‘Organic’ groceries and products.  Take the time to interview, read and study.

Sometimes, the smallest of changes can bring us closer to balance and health.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Commit to the Inspired Life

Writers Block!  This is the worst of all possible states of being for a budding writer.  Nothing great to say, no good advice or interesting thoughts; the pressure is on, commitments to be met.  Yet I come up empty.  This is so scary.  I ask myself, ‘is this it? Am I dried up?’ 

When I started my blog I made a deal with myself.  I was only going to produce from an inspired state.  No expectations, demands or deadlines.  I would work from an inspired state, period.   

Right now I am definitely not inspired.

Most of my articles come to me at night.  I make some notes to help me remember so I can take a run at it in daylight.  Sometimes, an article writes itself, and I get up and stick with it until it is polished and ready to post.  In truth, they write themselves.  This is really great until one hits a dry spell.  Then faith and trust kick in.

This past summer I took an official holiday.  My sister moved to Prince Edward Island, 'for the adventure’ she says.  What a great opportunity for me to spend some time with her and to see more of the country. 


I hopped on a plane and I took an unheard of two whole weeks of doing nothing, other than playing with my sister’s dogs, driving around looking at surreal pink dirt, smelling sea air, and of course, critiquing places to eat. 

(Just in case you visit PEI in the future, the winner was Landmark Café, in Victoria by the Sea.)

This village was most like how I remember my mothers home village of Providence Bay on the Manitoulin Island, sans the salt.  

Most of all I was in awe of pink dirt!  

Oh yeah, and the endless seafood.  Yummmm!

When I came back home and settled in, I worked for two weeks straight.  As well as my usual client load, I was writing information packages and re-designing internal systems for my practice.  I also created a huge body of general information files for client follow up.  The keyboard was ‘smoking’.  I was inspired!  It felt like no work at all.  Ah, this is why employers pay people to go away! 

I began to ponder the inspired state.  It got me wondering if this is what our lives could be like and should be like, all the time.  As a society, we tend to be highly production oriented.  We even brag to one another about how fatigued we are while keeping up our end of the ‘Gross National Profit’.

Farmers of yesteryear followed a guideline of planting for 6 years and then letting the field go fallow for the seventh year.  This allowed the land to refresh and repair itself for another productive phase. 

I think the same good advice goes for any endeavour.  Creativity comes from that still place; the hands empty phase.  Yet it is hard to go fallow.  Unless one has complete trust and faith, the non-productive phase is hard to go though.  

The chunking out the data part of my brain seems to be on holiday. If I am true to myself, right now, I have to say that I want all aspects of my life to be ‘inspired’.  No pushing for productivity. No guilt about what I should be accomplishing.  I am giving in to the fallow-phase.  This is the playing, reading and resting phase. 

The higher part of me trusts that in a little while, I’ll be the conduit for ‘the flow of information’ again. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Natural Approach to Colds and Flu

Vaccines have certainly been a hot topic in the last 10 years or so.  Most recently, there is a really big push to vaccinate our nation in this cold and flu season. Keep in mind that fears ‘sells’.  Although it is great to be informed, what the media chooses as a spectacular issue should not necessarily be the total driving force in our own personal health choices.

There are people who for whatever reasons of their own, are very strongly opposed to vaccines.  Needless to say, I will say nothing about this subject, as this is a personal choice.  I encourage people to weigh their decisions carefully. I recommend a pro-active program this season, especially for those who are feeling more rundown or have other challenges.

Consider using a specific homeopathic ‘plex’ remedy that is used once every 2 weeks preventatively.  This alerts the body to be vigilant in regard to airborne viruses and bacteria.  This can be for adults and children alike. Many companies make plexes that are effective when working with cold, fever, flu and gripe. Most products that people choose tend to suppress the body’s functions.  Natural remedies used wisely, support the body’s efforts.

When we buy a new car, we get an owner’s manual in the glove box.  We then have some idea how to operate and maintain the equipment.  When we have a baby, guess what?  No owner’s manual!   

Take the time to become familiar with single remedies for home use.  The best home-care-on-hand manuals that I know are:

Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines
By Stephen Cummings, M.D. & Dana Ullman, M.P.H.

Homeopathic Medicines at Home
By Maesimund B Panos M.D. & Jane Heimlich

Together they are a great cross reference.  I would not like to try and raise a child without these.  Overall my advice is research, research research!
Consider boosting the body’s immunity and energy at this time.  Royal Jelly is a good addition for those additional B Vitamins at times of stress as well as a good Ester C complex.  Energy tonics that support the adrenal glands are really helpful for those times when we feel run down or stretched in a dozen directions.  During the fall and winter, our bodies are stressed just trying to stay warm.  Again it is easier to prevent the common cold by supporting the body.

It is helpful to keep up on pro-biotics such as acidophilus.  This helps to keep pathogenic and toxic bacteria in check.  Flora markets an oral probiotics called ‘Udo’s Super 5, which is great to suck on.  This helps to balance bacteria in the throat, esophagus and stomach. 

Echinacea works very well to support the body’s fight factor.  The golden rule is to take it every hour or so until symptoms abate, and then back off gradually.  You have a 14 day window where Echinacea is effective. (period)  Pay attention.  If your symptoms get worse by using this herb, stop using it.

Oil of Oregano is a wonderful remedy to discourage bacterial growth.  I often open a slippery elm capsule and add a couple drops of oil.  I take this with food and it doesn’t tend to repeat or irritate my stomach. 

Fall is when the food quality tends to deteriorate.  I recommend Vegge Greens which is an alkaline ash whole food concentrate, as well as Phytoberry antioxidant to protect and support all the tissues and systems of the body.

For further research I recommend the articles:
  • Bio-chemical Individuality 
  • Increasing Immunity

    Saturday, October 10, 2009

    Scary But True

    I have been struggling over the title for this blog.  Perhaps it should be called ‘N’er Wax Flippant among Thespians’.  This is a true story.

    One day in July, my daughter asked me what I wanted to dress up as for Halloween.  Given that I was distracted, and given that it was JULY, I very flippantly answered “Marilyn Monroe”.  Well, that was it.  My theatre designer daughter was off like a greyhound chasing a rubber rabbit.  When she arrived home with a blonde bombshell wig within the week, I knew I was in for trouble.

    C was busy creating costumes for herself and several others as well; I was hoping she would forget about me.  But oh no, I was lined up for fitting and subject to endless discussions about make up and nail enamel colour.  I think she settled on a colour called ‘red blooded’.  She was obsessed about the state of my fingernails and their growth rate for 3 months.

    On the eve in question, I was subjected to the make up ordeal.  It took forever.  Then C did her own makeup, which took a Japanese forever.  Finally it was almost midnight and we were dressed to kill!  Nobody I knew was going to believe this. 

    I phoned my neighbours ‘the Great Scotts; who had obviously been woken up by my call.  I said “I need to come over right now.  I have to show you something”.   

    The Ms. Scott said “Right now?” 

    I said “Yes, right now”. 

    Thank goodness they were welcoming and generously manned the camera, or you would not believe me.

    So once the neighbours were appropriately wowed, we were off to the party.  We were stopped within a block of our destination by the local constableatory, doing a ‘ride check’. 
    “Hello Ladies” he says as he peers into the car.  “Are you going someplace special tonight?” 

    Now between the mink jacket, the platinum wig and the makeup that is trowel thick, I have to wonder at the question.  Not to mention the other sex icon in the seat beside me. What’s a girl to do?  So with my breathiest, ‘Mr. President’ voice I can manage I say,

    “Yes Officer”.  I threw in a couple of pats of the hair for effect.

    “Have you been drinking tonight?” 

    What?  Who can be thinking of drinking?  I am not only having an altered consciousness moment, I’m having an altered personality moment!  Ok, Nel, breathe, stay in character.  No one is arrested for wearing a wig. 

    I answer a breathy “No Officer”.  ‘Pat' 'pat’.

    “Well you Ladies have a good time”.

    “We sure will”, says C enthusiastically from the passenger seat, without a trace of accent.

    So I have to say it was an odd night.  I usually tend to run mostly invisible.  I noticed men’s eyes light up at the sight of me.  They wanted a conversation.  It was so weird.

    C won first prize for her costume.  (An insulated duffle bag for cans of beer)  She doesn’t drink beer ever, and it was really odd altogether to see her carry it around.

    We have a group shot of the costumes C did. 

    What you can't see here is that Cerunus (guy with the antlers) is wearing fake-fur trousers that totally cover over his shoes.  There was a little strategic pocket built in them so he could stash some money.  This was a riot when he bought us all a coffee at the local Tim's.

    The blue fairy in the middle is wearing huge beautiful sheer blue wings. She was a server and got wedged by the wings in the passage way leading to the kitchen. No one could go in or out for a few minutes.  (C later lent the wings to a professional photographer for a photo shoot.)

    So I have learned my lesson.  Never be flippant around Thespians. They take your literally!

    Some Earthly Good

    I eat books.  Some are consumed at one sitting, rather like enjoying a morning coffee that is good to the last drop.  Some are savored like a dessert; be careful that you don’t eat to fast because when it’s gone, it’s gone.  Action adventure books are like chips, taste one page and you have to eat the whole thing! 

    Sometimes I read a whole book for one single line, phrase, or one paragraph that contains a message for me.  I just finished ‘Eat Love Pray’.  It was a sweet little read for sure.  But there was one paragraph that jumped out at me.  The author realized how she would repeatedly fall in love with other people’s potential.  This really got me to thinking.

    When we are gifted, unusually attractive, exceptionally musical, remarkably fleet of foot or blessed with the gift of gab; these are not of our own doing.  These abilities are the potential we are born with. What is left for us to do in our life time is to harness and develop these gifts and use them to do some good on the earth.

    When people praise my gifts, my creativity, or my intuition, (this is where the pictures in my head are directly attached to my tongue), this is rather like praising the nose on my face.  I can’t help it.  It’s not of my doing; it’s the way I was made.

    What I am developing in this lifetime is wisdom and a strong knowledge base for these other talents to play in.  This is when intention, self-discipline and drive come in. Although I was raised in a family who esteemed wit and sarcasm, I have chosen to be kind and temper my tongue.  Responsibility is not just for driving the roads.  The tongue is a power- tool and words of power can be used to ignite and bless the lives of others.

    Every one of us has a gift that we are born with.  This, on its own does not give us strength of character, or automatically endow us with admirable qualities such as honesty, loyalty, discernment or solicitude. We are not automatically trustworthy. 

    In many cases, these gifts are used for selfish purposes.  This is sad really.  I view this as a form of cancer in society.  Gifts that are used to take advantage or consume others have containment and a limited scope of influence. These people, while they may have some degree of success in their lives, will never really shine in the way that their Creator intended.

    I believe we have a responsibility to realize our own potential in our own lifetime.  We also have responsibility to protect, nurture and champion the gifts in others. 

    I think that the real joys in life come from when we freely and openly share who we are with others, gifts and all.

    Friday, October 9, 2009

    Increasing Immunity

    This is the time of year when we are most aware that prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Vitamin A is important for cell membrane strength and integrity.  Vitamin C acts as a co-enzyme for the liver and feeds the glandular system.

     Essential Fatty Acids nourish the glands, especially the adrenals and thyroid.  Alkaline ash supplements such as Vegge Greens nourish almost every tissue and system of the body.  Phytoberry is a network antioxidant complex that protects every system on a cellular level.

    Probiotics such as acidophilus and live culture kefir or yogurt, fill the space in the intestine, discouraging pathogens from growing at a fast rate.  Oil of oregano and Bee Propolis are antiseptics that discourage bacteria and other microbes.  Bija Teas from Flora are wonderful for supporting as well as hydrating the body.  Good herbs for helping to clean the blood and lymph are Dandelion, Red Clover and Cleavers.  Yarrow can be added to support the body when feverish. Water with dilute cranberry juice or fresh squeezed lemon juice can really help the body flush out toxins.

    Familiarize yourself with homeopathic basics and First Aid for the home, and have basics on hand for when they are needed.  Explore the homeopathic ‘Plexes’, which are very effective for helping the body process through a progression of phases in the healing process. Drosera Plex Cough Syrup is very effective when the bronchials or lungs are stressed.

    Have a ‘natural’ antibiotic throat spray in your purse.  Give yourself a shot into the back of your throat when everyone around you is coughing and sneezing.  Have Homeocan “Flu Buster” as part of your home resource. 

    Often I have heard ‘let an illness run its course’.  What this means is, let the body fight and fight and fight and hope that it wins.  Sometimes the infection will not be burned out of the body but harbour deeper in the systems.  Being aggressively pro-active at the first sign of symptom is my best advice.  Reduce the frequency of remedies gradually as symptoms abate.  Why not win the battle first as last.

    What Brings You Joy?
    Often, illness is a sign that we are not giving ourselves the quality of relationship that we deserve. Take the time to refresh the mind and spirit.  Find what brings you joy and do more of it.

    Monday, October 5, 2009

    A Visit to the Rabbit Hole

    I was just doing the final tasks after doing a whole whack of the dreaded bookkeeping, and horror of horrors, my computer slowed, stalled and then went black! I had not gotten to the point of doing the final back up.

    Now I tend to be a pretty level-headed individual. I’m known for good sense, and the ability to transcend most of our earthly cares. However, this easy going nature does not apply to numbers, the revenue department, and technology malfunction. In fact, this is pretty much my Achilles heel.

    The hardware was professionally wiped and software reloaded. Equipment –check! I went back to the bookkeeping and yikes! The beginning balances were not jiving with the statements. By the time I had tracked back to 2007 and it was still unresolved, I was beside myself. Using the adage that ‘it’s not what we know, but who we know’; I called in my chum who has her degree in Combinatorics and Optimization, (a mathy/computer programming thing that for example, plots the flow of traffic through city lights using algorithms). So apparently the software was skipping a gear.

    Now here’s the thing. While my chum tended to the computer, and was happily ironing out my files back to 2005, I was sucking back on the chocolate martini she had made for me so that I could survive the stress of the surgery. Oh the cares; the woes! Yes readers, I went right from being a mild-mannered holistic health educator, to a whimpering thing in the corner; hence, the’ rabbit hole’.

    Deb Bermont is a more ‘holistic’ business consultant based in the US. She coined the term ‘rabbit hole’ to describe the experience of ‘when the rim of our rut becomes our horizon’. We all have times in our life where we find ourselves looking out upon our lives from the rim. Issues already emotionally loaded from the past lay like holes in the road waiting for us to fall.

    Ms. Bermont suggests that we first have to recognize that we are in the rabbit hole. Any thoughts that run through our minds while in it are all the lies we tell ourselves. “I’ll never make it”, “I’ll never be any good at this”, “no matter how hard I try I’ll never….” She suggests that we “heard those lies from people we trusted when we were children, who were at that moment speaking from their own personal pit of lies”. Unfortunately, in our innocence, we believed them and then incorporated these messages into our internal programming. In daily life, at work and at home, we so often connect with the fear based stuff in-between, and then act is if this is truth.

    During the darkest part of my three month saga of troubles I was wondering about what life might be like in Argentina. It was far far away, and I love the dance. Needless to say, it is not a good idea to make serious decisions from the rabbit hole.

    Talk yourself out of the rabbit hole first or get someone to ‘pull you out by the pigtail’ If you wait until you are on the solid ground of sober thinking, creative solutions appear.

    Note: I am now back on track, chunking happily through my numbers. Thanks Kat for pulling me out by the ‘pig tail’.

    Friday, October 2, 2009

    Mental Convoy Stalls

    A friend said something to me this morning that brought the convoy in my brain to a complete and utter halt. She said,

    Serenity is a natural state of mind.”

    Often we think that if we work our way through all our problems, we will finally find ourselves serene. This doesn’t work because there is always a litany of problems lining up. We will never be problem free on this earth.

    Granted, the world is a curious and strange place. But what if worry was a learned perception? What if anxieties were subtlety rewarded over time by our families and teachers. Wouldn’t we think worry was normal? Mightn’t we feel kind of empty without it?

    Our society seems to be a worry machine. Our worth is measured by the sweat on our brow; we are esteemed by our struggles. We have conversations that go like this; “oh yeah, well my worry is bigger than your worry”.

    Worry, fear and anxiety are big business. On the news I am given at least 10 new things to fret about every day. We are out to prove that mental gymnastics will keep the chaos at bay and our world in some kind of order. Advertising probes the place of our insecurities. It’s clear how we don’t measure up and what we don’t have. For example, ‘If I just had the car, I’d have it made’ (read stress-free).

    If our default mental outlook is set on anxiety, what then? It would be natural to assume that our mental axe would go on looking for something/anything to grind itself on. When I reflect back over my past five decades, what I notice is that most problems resolved themselves over time. Maybe its divine timing or maybe because people just figured something out, or somebody turned up out of the blue. I will guarantee that the world is not running smoother today because of my heavy emotional investment.

    The point is, the world never sits up and flies right just because my mental monkeys hashed it over for a week. My mind may create strategies when it behaves itself, but it life never works just because of the worry I’ve invested into it. To be honest, most times when I finally gave up and said “uncle” the situation remarkably improved.

    If we set working toward peace-of-mind as our highest goal, and we were to diligently align our thoughts to that focus, then perhaps life’s challenges would assume a manageable proportion.

    Maybe we would find that serenity is a natural state of mind.