Coleen M. le Pere – Helping You to Say Goodbye to Your Deceased Loved One

It’s not a subject a lot of us like to talk about – but death comes to all of us.  It is one of the few things in life that is guaranteed.  Some of us plan for it, some of us don’t.  The wise among us plan. 

Coleen M. le Pere is  an professional After Life Service Coordinator.  Yes, she’s the person that you would work with to create a memorable memorial service for your departed loved one.  She is self-employed and has been doing this work for decades.  It is an interesting profession that takes a certain amount of strength and resilience to do. She shares her experience with us on Women Move the Soul.

 

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“The After Service Coordinator (ASC) LLC, is a recognized, full service repast design, planning, and management company. Since inception, we have been customer-focused; with a direct, honest approach to customer service. We, at ASC will coordinate and implement the complete repast while you prepare to say good-bye to your loved one.”

 

Do you work for a specific funeral home or are you the liaison between the family and the home?

The After Service Coordinator (ASC) does not work with any one funeral home.  Normally, we receive referrals from private parties, word of mouth ,various assisted living residence, hospices, ministries, social clubs and funeral homes throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.

 

Walk us through what you would do for someone. What do you make happen? 

Once a referral is made to The After Service Coordinator (ASC), one of our trained specialists will meet the bereaving family (person) to ascertain the needs of the family. During this sad time, quite often members of the family are distraught and in need of guidance.  We walk the family or appointed person through the step by step process, while being sensitive to their needs and budgetary concerns. ASC offers a variety of affordable packages: some include day of services, travel arrangements for out of town and in town loved ones, personal shoppers, barbers, cosmologists, caterers, etc. We pride ourselves in being a “one stop coordinator.”  We operate very similar to a Bridal Consultant.

ASC has been fortunate; to partner with a diverse group of women owned businesses to be able to meet ALL of our clients needs.  Women owned businesses that maintain high levels of customer service, integrity and tenacity.  Just last week we partnered with another woman owned business; who assists in the burial choices of the deceased.

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How do people come to contact you for your services?  How are you found?  Is it word of mouth, do you advertise or do funeral homes recommend you?

As stated above, our contacts come from the north, south, east and west, word of mouth marketing referrals etc.  Recently the trend has been by attorneys’ of estates (wills), pre-arrangements.   My first contact with a living person to do repast arrangements, seemed to be a bit morbid, however, this person knew exactly what he wanted and did not want to happen at his repast.  His wishes were to have “a ball”, one in which folks dressed to the nines and danced the night away.  The After Service Coordinator (ASC), made it happen.  His repast, seemed as though he was there saying well done, in between “the soul train line” and doing” the swim.”

 

How did you get started with providing these kinds of services?

The After Service Coordinator (ASC) was birthed by myself.  Believe me this birth had a long gestation period.  I have coordinated many events from baby showers, golf tournaments to weddings and of course repast.  My earliest recall of a  major event was at the  age of 10. I had coordinated a surprise anniversary party for my parents.  Fast forward, in helping family and loved ones with repasts, I noticed there always seemed to be loads of confusions, misdirections, and additional pain pertaining to repast.  I always stepped in and volunteered my services to help things run smoothly.  From beginning to end I was there until the last pot was washed and dried.  I enjoy this type of service. I had continued volunteering my expertise for nearly 10 years while working as a non-certified Spanish teacher in the pubic school system(s).  Around the 10 year mark , I noticed that I had less and less hours of teaching each year until one year I was “bumped” because I was non-certified.  I laugh now because I believe that God has a way of having you walk into your “calling” when you’re doing your best to avoid the call. Instead of becoming angry with my situation, (last son in graduate school at New England Conservatory and a pre-teen daughter to feed) I prayed and ASC is the results.

 

 

A lot of people are afraid of death and all the connotations that go along with it.  How come you’re not?

I believe that death has a comma, and not a period.  We are only passing though this earth with a body made from dirt.  Earth was not created to be our final destination.

 

How do you deal with providing this kind of service to people who are very emotional and distraught?  Is it easy for you?

Providing services to people who might be  very emotional and or distraught can be a challenge.  I find that I coleen1have this great peace about myself, and the ability to show compassion and empathy.  One must expect the unexpected when dealing with emotionally drained overwhelmed individuals.  “Folks will grieve the way they see fit”’ as my Auntie Mae would say.  Other words there is neither right nor wrong way for people to grieve, they all grieve in accordance to their needs.  I recall early in my business, I had a second cousin of a deceased woman enter into a sterile kitchen and verbally aggressively abuse me, going up the front of me and down my back.   I was “prayed up” and I know the God that I serve.  I was able to hear her pain and give her words of comfort and walk her back to the reception hall to join her other family members.  This job is not for the emotionally weak. I select my employees carefully and prayerfully.  I present all types of scenarios to my employees, as well as training to be empathetic.  During one of the repasts I recall with a smile on my face as I share this – a 88 year old “mother of the church had pasted.  My head server came to me with tears behind his eyes stating “the deceased friends are upset because we don’t have any coffee.”  They made known that the deceased loved coffee and that “she would be mad and raise from the dead if we did not serve coffee.”  I apologized to these wonderful women who were between 75 and 90 sent the server for decafe coffee and all were happy.

 

The word “repast’ means meal or southern U.S. states it refers to a meal after a funeral. What does this word mean in your business and how did the terminology come about?

The word “repast” to me means; going over- celebrating-remembering and living.

 

What is the most difficult aspect of providing these kinds of services for people?

One of the difficulties that I encounter is when family members aren’t on one accord.  I mean really, at odds with each other and unable to make good decisions together.  This is where I or my trained specialist will gently guide them to work as a unit and or appoint one person who will be in charge of all proceedings.  The second difficulty is that I am “the first and original” after service specialist in  business realm.  As a small business of 10, I have found that the larger establishments have no qualm of using my intellectual property.  The main thread that I see when this happens are with funeral homes. The funeral home tries to duplicate my services but they really are in this business for “self”.  ASC customer service approach is truly uniquely different.  ASC forms collaborations with various businesses and non-profit agencies.  The collaborations include working with different “job readiness” programs to hire “unemployable persons”.   By hiring persons with either no work history and or blemishes on their resume, I allow these persons to use my business as a step to launch into the workforce, while maintaining support of their “readiness programs”.

 

What is the most rewarding part of your business for you?coleen2

I actually have two rewarding aspects of my business.  The first is having a grieving loved one who was walking as if in a zombie like state come to me in the middle of the repast and wrapping their arms around me sobbing on my shoulder saying thank you.   When this has occurred I know that I have done my job. I have helped at least one person get back to living.  The second rewarding aspect of my business is seeing the elation of a person who has paid her debt to society and unable to obtain gainful employment in 10 years receive  her first pay check with tears of accomplishment.

 

Where is ASC in ten years?

In ten years, I see ASC, having several offices nationwide.  I wasn’t given this gift and business not to use it to its fullest.  I am hopeful that I will be able to continue forming collaborations and expanding.

 

Coleen Le Pere can be reached via email at asc_c.lepere@yahoo.com.

Massages Rejuvenate

 

A wonderful way to rejuvenate and revive yourself is to get a massage.   The first touches may initially cause some tension but after you allow yourself to full relax and give in to the experience, your body turns to a happy, great pile of mush!  The right masseur can show you what heaven can feel like.  It’s all in the touch.

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Might be a good skill to learn at chicago massage classes.  Everyone can benefit from a good old fashioned rub down!  Even the family pet!

 

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Erin Pavlina – Tuning into Spirit Guides

 

Erin-Pavlina-Gray-BG-300x200We subscribe to Erin Pavlina’s posts via email.  Women Move the Soul has reposted some of her articles because they are uplifting, inspiring and insightful.  From time to time, it’s nice to check in with a psychic or a medium to help us to get a standing of where we are and where we’re headed in our lives.  For most of us, life is a mystery and sometimes you would like to know that you are on the right track or if and how you should alter things to make positive changes.  That’s what Erin does for people.

 


 

How did you first learn that you were intuitive or psychic?  How old were you, what happened and what validation did you receive?

When I was very young, around age 4, I started having dreams that were premonitions of future major events.  I would know someone had died before being told.  I could tell who was on the phone when it rang.

When I was around 10 years old I was driving with my mother and told her we had to stop and get flashlights immediately.  She was perplexed at my urgency but she stopped and got 3 flashlights.  That night my parents went out to dinner, leaving us home alone with our older brother.  A thunderstorm knocked out our lights and we huddled under the covers with our new flashlights until our parents got home.

Over the years, I started having communication with deceased loved ones.  And from there I embraced my intuitive abilities and started developing them consciously, to the point I’m at today of being a professional intuitive, using my skills and abilities to help others.

Was there a “teacher” or “teachers” – someone who helped you to develop your gift as you grew older?  Were there things that you did to further develop your skills?

I read a lot of books when I was young, but nothing out there really described how to develop intuition.  When I was an adult, I had some spontaneous communications with other people’s deceased relatives and started to wonder if I was able to do that on command.  So I looked around for training but kept getting blocked.  Either the course was too expensive, too far away, already sold out, etc.  So finally my own spirit guides told me how to tune in to other people’s guides and deceased loved ones, and I learned quickly from them.

To develop my skills, I basically started giving messages to friends and family, and when that resonated with them, I asked them to bring me strangers to read for.  After I had read for about 120 strangers, I realized I had a reliable ability and started doing it professionally.

What are your specific strengths?  In terms of your psychic ability, are there things that you cannot help people with?  For instance, can you also communicate with living animals?

I’m mainly clairvoyant and clairaudient.  When I connect with spirit guides, they give me metaphorical images to explain what’s going on with my client’s life.  Or they will just speak to me in a way that I can hear them clearly without needing to interpret what they’re saying.  I can sometimes speak with deceased family members but not in every reading.  I’ve connected with deceased animals but not live ones.  My ability to connect with a person’s guides is very strong, and I use that connection to relay information that will help my client on their life path.  The advice given is usually extremely practical and useful.

Knowing that all human beings have the innate ability to be more knowing or intuitive, why do you think a lot of people do not endeavor to develop this skill?  Is it that they just don’t think it’s possible for them…are they afraid…just don’t think about it?  What’s your opinion?

Yes all of those reasons.  Many people think you have to be born with intuition, but that’s not true as we are all born with the innate ability.  Intuition is like a muscle.  You have to exercise it in order to use it effectively and with strength.  And yes, many people are afraid of what they might encounter on the other side.  And still others don’t believe intuition or talking to spirits is possible.

In your experience, what are people most afraid of in life in general and why should they not be afraid?

I’d say people get too caught up in fear.  They have forgotten that this is a playground where we get to explore, have fun, share, learn, and grow.  They forget they are a spiritual being having a human experience.  And they can’t remember who they really are and where they really come from.  I believe that when you remember that nothing here can truly harm you, it frees you up to enjoy the adventure a lot more.

Erin Pavlina

In your role as a professional psychic, what is the most often asked question of you?

There are two actually that come with the greatest frequency.  “When will I get married and/or find the right person for me?”  and “How can I transition into a career that will be more fulfilling?”  Dissatisfaction with career and relationship status are the two most common issues that cause people to seek me out.

Sometimes we may have a question and we think that we don’t get an answer because the answer we get is not what we were “consciously” looking for.  Were there questions that you answered for someone in this manner and they chose not to accept it because it wasn’t the answer they wanted?  And, were you able to get them to understand the message and leave satisfied?

For the most part, information relayed through the guides resonates with my clients.  Often what they are told is confirmation of what they were feeling or thinking, but hearing it from a complete stranger who doesn’t know them gives them that validity that their thoughts are not crazy.  I’ve had clients resist information their guides were giving them, and then later come back and tell me the guides were right.

It is said that God tests us or the Universe tests us to see how bad we may want something.  But, in reality, is it a “test,” or is that person subconsciously putting up their own obstacles out of fear or because they feel they don’t deserve something they desire?

Exactly, you can manifest just about any experience you want to have, but people send out a fear vibration which will block success from happening.  What you think about, you bring about.  So if you’re cruising the fear channel, you’ll get experiences aligned with your expectations.

Do you ever see big, major events that are catastrophic beforehand?

Not really.  That happened to me more when I was younger.  Nowadays though I can tune in to a tragedy and get information about what happened or what is happening.  I’ve used my abilities to help the police find missing or deceased people, which is very rewarding, but rarely do I get information about something that is going to happen because the future is not set in stone.  Until something actually happens there are infinite possibilities.

Knowing that everything happens for a reason, if you do see negative events either major or minor, can you prevent them or do you try?  And, would it be “spiritually” correct for you to do so?

If you get the information I think it’s spiritually okay to act on it.  If the guides and beings on the other side don’t want us to know something, they can block us from receiving it.  So I think if you get information, using it is fair game.

When I’m reading for a client, I can see how certain decisions will turn out.  My job as an intuitive is to give my client their options, informing them of what kind of experience they will have down each possible road.  Then it’s up to them to decide what road they want to travel, but at least they are armed with a map to help guide them and help them prevent pitfalls.  That’s why getting an intuitive reading is so powerful.  It can shave years off your learning curve, save you from making a costly mistake, and prevent you from being unhappy.

What do you want most out of your own life?

To be in a state of joy as often as possible.  To have a sense of peace and fulfillment.  And to laugh as much as I can.

If you live to be 90 or 100 and you are looking back at your life, what will you see – what will you have done?

I have often taken a mental snapshot of where I think I am.  I know I have sent ripples of positive energy through the world, and that makes me really happy.  The more people I can help to have happy and fulfilling lives the happier I get.  I also now train others to use their intuitive abilities professionally which makes me really happy because I know that after I am gone there will be a cadre of ethical, honest, accurate intuitives to carry on this work without me.

Women move the soul.  Women are key.  We are important.  We are mothers, nurturers, life givers, strength, emotion…. Tell us what your spiritual understanding is of the role of women not just in life, but for the planet.

I think women are more likely to be open to trusting their intuition, so I believe that women can be great guides for our world.  If they have the courage to act on their intuition, I believe the world would be a better place.

Erin Pavlina
Awaken.  Remember.  Love
www.ErinPavlina.com

How to Overcome Nightmares Through Lucid Dreams

 

Nightmares can be defined as an unpleasant and frightening dream. They’re completely harmless, but not something anyone wants to experience as they sleep. They can leave individuals scared, and even have them traumatized; leaving them unable to sleep the next night in fear of it occurring again.

Just imagine yourself having the capability to put an end to a terrifying nightmare. Something that not many people can say they can do. Does that intrigue you? It sure intrigues me!

 

How Can They Be Stopped?

nightmare The ability to become conscious through a dream is considered the most efficient way of escaping the harsh and brutal nightmares being endured. Yes, that’s right: lucid dreams have been proven to prevent nightmares and enable an escape. It should also be noted that many current lucid dreamers are lucid on the basis of having a nightmare, only to come to the epiphany that it MUST be a dream.

Now that we’ve established that, let’s discuss how this can happen, and how you can be well on your way to putting an end to your nightmares. The two techniques talked about are commonly used by many professional and active lucid dreamers, and are able to be used by anyone in a lucid nightmare.

 

Learn how to lucid dream

Firstly, learning how to lucid dream is essential. This may seem obvious, but the first thing you must do to stop nightmares from happening is to be able to lucid dream. The lucid dream needs to be practiced in order to allow you to consciously act in your nightmares, which is of extreme importance to putting an end to nightmares. Once you have gained control of your dreams and able to attain lucidity on a regular basis, you are one step closer to putting an end to nightmares you may face in the future. Please note that this step is crucial, and may be tedious to master.

 

Waking Up

For those of you who have mastered the art of lucid dreaming – congratulations. It’s often difficult to achieve, but you’ve done it! Now, let’s talk about waking up through the act of a lucid dream in order to stop nightmares.

Waking up is a common practice through lucid dreaming to stop a nightmare. It has been done many times, and will continue to be practiced as it’s an effective way to put an end to a nightmare. As soon as you enter lucidity within a nightmare, a way to wake yourself up is to simply shout “WAKE UP!” as you blink hard in the dream. As a result, you will most likely come to an end with your nightmare, and can then proceed to go back to sleep, or whatever you feel like doing.

 

Confront the Nightmare

Even though the waking up method works, what you are not doing is confronting the nightmare, which can be done through a lucid dream. Given nightmares can be incredibly scary, it’s no wonder why you’d want to wake up within an instant of being exposed to the nightmare. After all, you’re only human! That being said, once you build up the courage within a lucid dream whilst experiencing a nightmare, confront the nightmare and overcome what you’re fearing. Ask for answers. Don’t feel like you’re completely helpless from the nightmare.

Although this won’t diminish any chances of experiencing a nightmare again as you sleep, it will allow you to receive answers, and will help put your mind at ease for the rest of the day.

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Summary

These tips are two well renowned methods to confronting and putting an end to a nightmare. In addition, it is known that escaping from a nightmare is how many people initially start learning how to lucid dream. Escaping from the nightmares can trigger lucidity, potentially allowing you to naturally lucid dream freely.


About the Author:  Kerry McGlone is a Lucid Dreaming enthusiast, and creator of http://www.dreamlucidly.info/

As a frequent researcher, she has attained knowledge and experience on lucid dreams, resulting in an enhanced understanding and having the passion to share knowledge with others. If you’re interested in becoming a lucid dreamer, feel free to give Dream Lucidly a visit!

 

Why Everyone Should Learn to Lucid Dream

 

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Imagine this: you’re exploring things and emotions you never thought were possible. You have the opportunity to control anything that goes on, and have the power to change anything if needed. You’re exploring these crazy ideas as if you were doing it in real life, however you’re merely dreaming. Is there a monster chasing you as you lucid dream? No worries – with the power of your mind, you can dismiss that monster and completely modify the dream just the way you want it. So instead of being chased by a monster, you can talk with your favorite actor or be an actor yourself being chased by hundreds of fans! The act of lucid dreaming can be confronting, but can be an experience not to be forgotten or avoided. These endeavors can happen if you set your mind to it, and learn how to do it; or you may be gifted with this natural ability.

 

We’ve all experienced a nightmare; a falling dream; a daydream, etc. Imagine if you had the ability to be in complete control of what happens. Have the ability to fly through the sky, perceive a scenario from a different perspective. Sounds cool, huh? If you were able to live in your dreams, then wouldn’t going to sleep every night be exciting opposed to an inconvenience? We all know that there aren’t enough hours in a day, which is absolutely true. Lucid dreaming will make out as if you never sleep, but still receive the same effects. In saying that, whatever happens in your dreams will not (necessarily) happen in real life. For example, you may win the lottery in real life, but wake up as rich as you were the night before. Although lucid dreaming requires practice to ensure perfection, it is definitely achievable to anyone at most ages. It is not dangerous, nor will it physically affect you whatsoever. It’s simply a dream that you’re consciously aware of and able to manipulate.

 

Lucid dreaming can occur both accidentally or intentionally. It is not to be feared – it is to be honored as though you have a power; a sixth sense. It’s not uncommon for people to lucid dream, and those who are privileged to experience a lucid dream should be proud of their experience(s). As you lucid dream, you can explore your inner mind and view what you never thought existed. Maybe you’re anxious for a test, or fear public speaking: lucid dreaming is able to assist you positively to help you overcome this anxiety. So in theory, lucid dreaming is a perfect way to help assist some medical problems you may face on a daily basis. Whether or not you choose to use a lucid dream to help with your problems is completely up to you, but is something one should definitely consider. Does overcoming some personal issues in your life sound appealing to you? Never having to feel anxious to the same extent can be exceptionally relieving, and definitely rewarding.

 

Along with lucid dreaming comes things needed to be aware of. One of the most important things you must consider is whether or not you’re actually experiencing a lucid dream. Think about this: what makes you think that as you read this article, you’re not lucid dreaming? What makes it a reality? As you lucid dream, you can feel, see, read, smell, etc. just as you would in real life. It’s a scary thought, but once you are able to distinguish a lucid dream from reality, you’re able to feel more comfortable and begin enjoying your dreams. Remember that dreams are often illogical, which can be the first hint that it’s a dream – however that’s not always the case. Some dreams can make perfect sense, so don’t completely rely on a realistic event to differentiate a lucid dream from reality. In saying that, with practice comes experience and perfection. It will not be an instant accomplishment, however will become easier and easier in due time.

 

Lucid dreaming is an encouraged act and should not be avoided and/or feared. It can be a time to explore things you never thought existed, and experience things which wouldn’t be possible in real life. Why wouldn’t you want to overcome your fears and live a happier, less stressful life? Why shouldn’t you look forward to sleeping; now capable of controlling and experiencing your dreams as if they were real life? The exciting adventure you endeavor can be thrilling, and most certainly rewarding – and should be considered.

 

Submitted by:  Kerry McGlone is a Lucid Dreaming enthusiast, and creator of http://www.dreamlucidly.info/

 

As a frequent researcher, she has attained knowledge and experience on lucid dreams, resulting in an enhanced understanding and having the passion to share knowledge with others. If you’re interested in becoming a lucid dreamer, feel free to give Dream Lucidly a visit!

 

 

A Way to Help Incarcerated Women

 

Imagine that you made a mistake for whatever reason.  You made a mistake and the penalty is that you are confined to a facility for years – decades or for life.

You are cut off from regular interaction with your family.

If you are a mother, you can’t raise your own children.

You are cut off from regular interaction with your friends.

You are cut off from the world.

You are cut off from technology.

Do you have windows?

You will never take a walk in the park again.

Everything that you do each and everyday follows a structure that you did not set up for yourself.

You don’t see your son or daughter take their first steps.

You won’t be there when your child is sick and in need of their mom.

You won’t be there to see your daughter off to the prom or to watch your son get married.

You’re a woman and if you don’t have children and time does not allow, then you will never be able to.

You will never know life growing inside your body.

You will never have the incredible, incredible joy of looking into your baby’s eyes.

You won’t go for a night out on the town.

No more stockings, high heels, fancy dresses and dinners at fine restaurants.   Even McDonald’s is off your list.

Drive a car?  Never again.

Making love to that special man?  Nope.

Loneliness is always.

Sadness and depression is forever.

You can’t attend funerals for your parents and other family members or friends.

If you are young facing decades, then whatever you thought you would be when you grew up is gone.  Now you have to find a way to be something else.

Dreams are dead.

Be a pen pal to an incarcerated sister.  Be an ear, be a voice, be concern and sharing of hope, caring and love.  You could take a few minutes out of your week to write a letter.  Inmates do have jobs and do get paid, but only pennies per day.  So, maybe they might need help buying stamps.

Better still, get with you fraternity sisters or other organization and target a women’s prison.  Go speak to the resident pastor or community facilitator.  Between the two of you, a group of women prisoners and outside women can be matched together to be pen pals.   The organization can find a way to make sure that stamps, pens and writing paper are provided to the female inmates so they write to their new found associates on a regular basis. Embrace all women everywhere.  No one is perfect, we all make mistakes and we are all deserving of compassion and friendship.

 

20 Pounds Lost Me

I four short weeks 20 pounds lost me.  I am so excited!

I went to see my favorite doctor.  He’s a chiropractor and nutritionist who does CRA or Contact Reflex Analysis.  This is a fascinating process of asking the body what it has and what it needs in terms of nutrition – vitamins, minerals, etc.  The body cannot lie.  It is incapable of only speaking the truth during this process. I found that I was severely protein deficient, my immune system was low, my heart and lungs were tired and I had leaky gut, which is a sickness in the small intestines where it allows all of the bad stuff to enter the bloodstream.  Nothing gets filtered out.   Also, the vertebrae in my back and neck where beyond subluxation. I was an exhausted, physical mess.

The solution was to start taking supplements that gave my body the nutrients it needed to heal itself.  AND – a change in diet.  I could not eat bread or wheat for that matter.  The daily Coke-a-holic in me had to disappear immediately and I had to focus on eating three meals a day with protein and vegetables and fruit had to replace cake, cookies and donuts. At the job, we keep a steady supply of cookies.  People bring donuts in to share regularly and during winter storms they buy us lunch always with some kind of dessert.  The refrigerator stays stocked with soda – Coke being one of them.

Initially, I walked around looking and thinking about food and saying to myself.  “I can’t eat that.”  “I can’t eat this.”  But, then I decided to have a mindset change and started looking and thinking about things that I could eat and saying “I can eat this!  I can eat that!” I have never been a fruit eater.  It was nice to discover how tasty fruit really is.  I think pears and cantaloupe are my favorite thus far.

After I made the mindset change, it was easy to look at donuts and cookies and not want them.  The mind battle and struggle with temptation was gone.  I also eat “mindfully” now.  Looking back, I realized that I would just shove cookies in my mouth not thinking about it – moving on an impulse that I just wanted to eat something.  The days when we had donuts and/or bagels at the office, I would eat them all day long – for as long as they were there. I was a sweets demon! At lunch, sometimes I would go out and buy tuna grinders (and by the way, I can’t eat tuna fish because I saladhad too many heavy metals in my body that were not being flushed from my system and tuna is heavy in metals) or Chinese food (which is actually a healthy choice).  But if I did not go out to get lunch, I rarely brought my own and would just eat junk and junk food throughout the day.  I didn’t think about it;  I just ate. Now, I only eat free range chicken and fresh vegetables.  I have always enjoyed salads, so now I had the pleasure of creating super salads which included bits of advocado, radish, mushrooms, etc.

I cook my food twice a week to ensure I can bring a really tasty lunch of my own creation to work every day.  I purchase organic salad dressings that are exciting to me.  The doctor says to stick with olive oil and vinegar, but I allow myself nice salad dressings.  My meals have become exciting to me again.  I truly prefer not to eat meat but have to do more research on protein substitutes.

The result of all of this is that my body is healing.  I am feeling better and I am living a little bit more consciously by thinking about what I am eating and why I am eating it.  I eat three meals a day and keep dinner a little lighter than the early day meals.  I don’t feel like I am missing anything by not eating the cookies.  I do have “dessert day” every Saturday where I allow myself a slice of cake or a few cookies.

My greatest challenge in all of this was and is not to drink Coke.  It was my morning coffee and at times it was an entire meal. I think about it all day, every day, but I am able to to just think about it and to let the thought go.

This has all been very fun for me at this point and along with all of the health benefits, 20 pounds lost me in four weeks.  I am so excited about that.    I can put my belt on the third hole again, where previously it was on the last hole.  My goal in this diet change was not to lose weight but to help my body to heal.  The weight loss was a natural result of good, healthy, mindful eating.

At this point, I am down to 145 pounds.  Ten more pounds and I am back to my standard weight of 135 lbs and comfortably in my size tens. I am anxiously waiting for the doctor to tell me that my back is well enough to start doing aerobics again.  Right now, all I can do is walk, period.  No other exercise than that.  I know that once I’m back to the jumping jacks and leg lifts, etc., that the balance of the weight that I would like to lose is simply going to melt away and I can start firming back up. Hopefully, you are inspired to take a look at your own eating habits and can start approaching your food mindfully.  And, hopefully, you can find a doctor that does CRA in your area and begin your own journey to full health and wellness. Any other success stories out there?  I would love to hear them.   – Tomaca

Learn How to Dance

Submitted by Ann Forlawn, “dancer in life” from Los Angeles, USA

My dance experience began when I was two years old in the arms of my father.  Somehow I remember the feeling of being held and swung around gently by this big, wonderful man when I was tiny little tot.  My father was heavy into ballroom dancing and swing.  I don’t know how popular this is with a lot of people, but the classes or sessions that I go to seem to always have enough people.  The people come and the people go, but there are always people coming.  Whether it’s couples who want to learn how to look graceful on the dance floor for their first “very public wedding dance” or women who just want to learn how to move, there are always people coming.

I started taking swing dance lessons when I was in my teens after having done ballet.  Ballet was okay, but it wasn’t as freeing to me as swing.  In swing dancing there is a closeness with the person that you are dancing with that gives me a feeling of …. just niceness.  It’s – I want to say that it’s sensual, but without the sex and without the feeling of sex – so I don’t want people to get the wrong idea.  But, it’s nice because the two of you move as one person.  I can’t describe it.  It’s like the leaves dancing in the wind, one can’t do what it does without the other.

When I’m not dancing I miss it greatly.  I took time off for children – like most women do – we put ourselves on the back burner for our kids – and now I’m back.  I’ve missed the freeing feeling that it gives me.  All the stress just melts away and disappears into nothing while I’m dancing.  I am free.  I am simply motion and nothing else.

I hope other women will share what kind of dance they like to do and how it makes them feel.

Thanks for letting me share WMTS!!

 

Essential Oil For Inner Peace

 

 

Essential oils are used for a balanced life for a very long time.  Its usage has several advantages which are inclined toward the betterment of the  human body.  The same things are applicable for yoga as well.  The good effects of yoga requires no introduction. It is being performed all over the world by millions of people to attain inner peace and for a better life.

Using essential oil with yoga produces very good effects on the body.  The pure form of essential oil has the ability to influence the body at the cellular level. The limbic system of the brain where  memories and emotions are stored and regulated is especially affected by essential oils.  When you smell essential oil, the tiny molecules travel  up to the nasal passage and mix with our blood stream thus improving our focus and mental clarity.

The combination of essential oil and yoga especially the rapeutic grade essential oils can get one an enhanced yoga experience . Yoga is all about about “asana,”  “dhyana” and “pranayama.” Usage of essential oils can amplify the experience of  these practices to a new level.

 

Pranayama

The practice of controlled breathing is known as Pranayam. It is actually a  Sanskrit word which means “extension of life form.”  Inhaling pure form of Peppermint essential oil or  Frankincense oil can help in enhancing the amount of oxygen in the brain.  It also helps in creating a more emotionally receptive state of mind by stimulating the pineal gland.  You can either apply the  oil either under the nostrils or rub it on your hands and cup your nose to inhale the essential oil and enhance the effects of your breath work.

 

Asana

Asanas or yoga postures  can be difficult to perform. You are required to have a focused mental state.  Essential oils like Peppermint or Rosemary are known to have the ability to increase the mental focus and clarity when inhaled directly and prevent your thoughts from wandering. Using these oils before doing asanas can produce good effects. Using Wintergreen essential oil on sore muscles and joints can prove quite helpful in reducing inflammation. The natural methyl salicilate in wintergreen oil produces effects similar to cortisone which helps in decreasing pain and improving emotions.

 

Dhyana

To practice dhyan you need to have a clear, focused and relaxed mind. Lavender or Frankincense oil produces wonderful effects like enhanced relaxation and deeper mediation  when inhaled directly.  Essential oils are the carrier of most coherent electromagnetic frequency  and has the ability to raise a low frequency or manage a healthy frequency. The electromagnetic frequency in Bergamot oil is at 52MHz where as in rose oil  the frequency ranges at 320 MHz. The electrically charged essential oils has the potential to improve the yoga and meditation practices by enhancing the body’s own frequency level.

Yoga is the best practice to achieve inner peace.  The meditation and exercise involved in Yoga have the ability to calm down the mind and help in achieving inner peace.

 

Author Bio:

Mellisa Steve is a Beauty and Health expert with around 30 years of experience. She is working with  useessentialoil.com.  She is  well known for her natural treatments. She also contributes a blog of her own. She is currently learning more about essential oils for skin, hair and health issues.

Death in the Family: When a Distant Relative or Acquaintance Passes Away

 

 

 

Nothing compares to the pain and grief you experience following the death of someone you were close to. The death of an acquaintance or distant relative can bring about similar feelings of loss and the uneasiness of confronting your own mortality. Death has a way of making us feel paralyzed, not knowing what to say or how to behave. If you find yourself in this unfortunate circumstance, following is a guide to help you navigate this difficult process.

Explaining Death to Children

Deciding what to say depends on the age of the child. Children between the ages of five and six typically view the world in very literal terms, so death can be described as something more concrete, like the person’s body stopped working. From the ages of six to 10, children are better able to grasp the finality of death, but often not yet accepting of its inevitability.

They may personify death to better understand it or even make wishes for the person to come back to life. By the time they reach the tween/teen stage, children begin to understand death as an adult does. Whatever your beliefs might be, make sure to share them with your child to help them cope and grow spiritually from the experience.

Supporting Those Left Behind

During this difficult time, the loved ones closest to your lost relative need your love and support the most. However, if you’re not especially close with them, it’s hard to know how to act. Send them funeral flowers as a thoughtful gesture, along with a personal note that expresses your sympathy and indicates solidarity in the grief process.

Remember that the grieving process is long and difficult, so make every effort to reach out to the deceased’s loved ones, especially during birthdays and holidays. Consider participating in therapeutic activities with your relatives, such as painting classes, hot yoga sessions and even grief recovery support groups.

Be Aware of Boundaries

Grief is an especially sensitive time for people, so be extra careful about not offending family members with your words and actions. PBS.org lists the things you should never say to a grieving person, including:

  • Platitudes – Because it’s so difficult to know the right thing to say, we often resort to platitudes like “Time heals all wounds” and “Focus on the blessings in your life.” Though they might be true, grieving people may see these statements as inappropriate and dismissive.
  • Religious instruction – Unless you know for sure that your loved one shares your faith, don’t take this opportunity to push your beliefs onto them. Let them decide for themselves how cope with the situation, and respect their beliefs and decisions.
  • Qualifiers – Avoid statements that try to minimize the problem, such as, “At least now he’s not in pain” or “You were lucky to have her as long as you did.” Again, positive thinking seems like the right approach, but your loved ones should know that it’s OK to feel angry, hurt and upset during the initial grieving stages.

Steps To Help You Stay Positive Even When Suffering With Kidney Disease

 

 

Submitted by Jenny @ TheKidneyDietCure.com

 

So your doctor has just laid the news on you and revealed that you’re suffering from kidney disease. You’re shaking with fear not sure what this means for you now. What’s going to happen? Are you ever going to be able to live a healthy life ever again?

You’re running around talking to all sorts of specialists on what lays ahead for you. But no matter what they say, you feel like there’s no hope left for you. Deep down you wish and pray that this is all a nightmare that you’ll wake up from any moment now.

Most people who have been diagnosed with some sort of illness will go onto experience the phases of first denying it, then getting really angry, then getting depressed then finally accepting that they have the disease.

thinking womanBut you see while these are the phases that a normal person will go through it’s important to make sure that you don’t go through the same things. After denying it you need to make sure that you remain positive at all times. This is the key to making sure that you’re physically and mentally as fit as you possibly can be. The other side effect of having a positive mindset is that it will help you get into great health a lot faster.

You will find many research studies out there that will prove that the mind has a very powerful effect on the body, especially in a physiological way.

So it’s going to be in your interest to make sure that you remain positive no matter how grim things look. The more positive you are the easier it’s going to be for you to move forward and get into the best health of your life.

You must make sure that you don’t keep bouncing about between being happy one moment and sad the next. This is just going to get you both mentally and physically exhausted. Instead you should follow the tips that I share below to get into a great mindset whenever you want!

 

1. Stop Labeling Yourself in a Negative Way

The worst thing you are ever going to do is be one of those people that keeps blaming themselves for all the things that go wrong in their lives. This is a terrible way to live and will not get you anywhere.

Most of us have at one time or another told ourselves that the things that are going wrong in our lives are because we are failures. We feel that nobody should ever find out about our illness with kidney disease. But trust me all these ways of thinking are just holding you back and preventing you from moving forward and getting into the best health of your life.

 

2. Your Biggest Issues Are Your Greatest Assets

Trust me when I say that the most successful people in this planet have only got to where they are right now as a result of overcoming severe hardships in their past. But instead of allowing these hardships to get to them and giving up they used it as muscle to move forward and go onto achieve the biggest successes of their life.

Your issues with kidney disease are no different here. Just because you have the disease doesn’t mean that you can’t go on to get into the best health of your life. Just imagine all the great things you can go onto achieve if you just move forward and really push yourself.

While not every single one of you will go onto achieve something of great recognition the reality is that you can still use your illness to change your life for the better. There are many, many people out there who have gone onto really start appreciating life a lot more. Others have started to appreciate the people in their lives a whole lot more and even more people have realized and given themselves a tap on the back for being such strong human beings.

So how are you going to move forward and improve your life for the better? Well the answer to this question is only something you can answer. But know that under every difficulty there lies treasure that is just waiting to be dug up.

 

3. Don’t Get Overwhelmed by the Obstacle, Rather Tackle it One Step at a Time

Nothing great that you see in this world has come about overnight, rather it has been the result of taking it one step at a time over a number of years.

But most people are just not prepared to do this anymore. They get overwhelmed by the task that is out in front of them and give up before they even get started. Most of the time it’s because they feel it will be too hard.

But let me tell you right now that it isn’t at all hard and all you need to get results is to remain committed. Keep pushing forward, taking it one baby step at a time and believe me it’s only going to be a matter of time before you get into the best health of your life.

 

4. Start To Appreciate and Be Grateful For Everything You Havehappywoman

One of the biggest issues that people have is the fact that they are always looking at what they are lacking and this just leads them to feeling worse and worse. Rather you need to wake up every single day and appreciate everything you do have.

A truly wonderful way to make this a regular part of your life is to make sure that you just wake up every single day and just write down all the things that you can think of that you are truly grateful for. Keep doing this and you’ll end up feeling really great and this is the place you want to be in order to move forward and get into great health!

So there you have it guys, all the tips you need to get into a happy and positive mindset. Follow these tips and soon enough you’ll end up in a really happy and positive mindset which will allow you to move toward overcoming kidney disease and getting into the best health of your life.

www.kidneydietcure.com is the site to check out if you are really and truly serious about getting into the best health of your life. There you will find a ton of great posts written by Jenny that will help you overcome kidney disease for good!

 

 

Unhealthy Eating in America


healthylunches.co

 

A lot of us have forgotten some things, or perhaps never knew, as it relates to food.  Our parents or considering the time – their parents – were raised on home grown vegetables, livestock that the family had themselves and good old, down home cooking.  A meal was prepared with time and most importantly with love.  Food didn’t come in a box with instructions to add water, or just to heat and serve.  No.  The time was taken to prepare each ingredient and to include that ingredient along with others to create a meal.  Fresh eggs were in the chicken coop in the backyard.

The entire family was involved in the process, including children.  There was a need to plant and to tend to the gardens.  A need to pick the vegetables with a discerning eye which learned to select the good from the bad.  The process of growing, caring and observing the food that was eaten gave a distinct appreciation and understanding of the life and the chain of life.  Everything is alive!

Along comes the industrial age and greedy corporations who mass produced food products and included lots of chemicals in the process.  Food was processed with coloring to make it look more appealing, flavoring to replace and enhance the taste because the real flavor was lost during to production process and finally, preservatives to make it last longer on store shelves.  We all have access to the list of ingredients on the products that we eat.  But, how many of us really look at what is in our food and research it to understand the effect it has on our bodies?  Not enough of us because if we were really aware of what we were eating, we would make a stand against it and force companies to change they way they process our food.

Many Americans end up with cancer.  Why?  Do we look at the massive quantities of chemicals in the form of pesticides, preservatives, coloring, flavoring and other non-food ingredients that we consume over a lifetime?  No.  There is a no major scientific emphasis placed on such matters.  If you want information about the effect of chemicals on our bodies, we have to dig for the information.

“Fast” food should be a considered a no no at all times.  Teach your children healthy eating habits and about healthy meal preparation.  Let them enjoy the process of preparing real food with you.  Make the effort. Take the time.  Start a little garden in your backyard or by growing food in pots in your kitchen!  Children delight at the miracle of watching things grow.  Learn together what the soil needs to be like for each vegetable or plant.  How much light does it need?  How often should different plants be watered?  Make it their job to help care for the plants.  Most young children would not consider this a chore at all.  They will delight in the fruits of their labor – literally!  There is nothing like growing a cherry tomato, picking it when it’s ripe and taking a bite of something they grew themselves.   And when there is a nice little harvest, imagine their pride when the family sits down to eat dinner and they are eating the results of what you grew together!

With the internet and the instant availability of a myriad of recipes from all over the world, there is no excuse for not exploring diversity with meals.  There is no reason why we don’t all have a greater understanding of nutrition, health and what the needs of our bodies are.  We must get back to the garden of eden, or the garden of eatin’!

For a mother, who is usually the CEO of family food, there is no greater magic than the priceless results of a healthier you and a healthier family who understands that food does not come in a box.  It comes from time, patience, a little bit of smarts, great healthy, recipes and lots and lots of love!  Feed your family well in healthy ways and they will learn to do the same for themselves.

The Marlboro Man Hurts To: The Otherside of Domestic Violence

Are men laughed at for being victims of domestic violence, are men called punks, and suckers? Are men turned away by law enforcement when they are victims of domestic violence? Where are the resources for men to get help with domestic violence?

Dvwmt-21

 

 

There is a stigma that society/family has placed on men, the Marlboro man doesn’t seek help for domestic violence. The Marlboro man wouldn’t talk about being a victim.  The Marlboro man might not recognize that he is a victim of domestic violence. Because of the stigma, men suppress their emotions; most men don’t call for help, and statically most men don’t report their cases of domestic violence. Domestic violence wears many tags organization has a focus group titled “why men don’t express their emotions” and out fifty men (in the group) thirty admitted to being raised in households where they were told, boys don’t cry, suck it up, and handle your household, just to name a few. This group is to get men comfortable with having the dinner table conversation about domestic violence and the many tags that it wears. Men often times will not admit to physical abuse, but they will admit to verbal abuse, which is a tag that many men endure beginning at the early ages of their life.

 

Women do abuse men, “societal norms support female-perpetrated abuse in the home” (Straus et al., 1997; Straus, 1999). Men seem to be overlooked when it pertains to domestic violence. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, men account for approximately 15% of the victims of reported intimate partner violence (February 2003). When we think of domestic violence we think of women only. Every year in the U.S., about 3.2 million men are the victims of an assault by an intimate partner. Most assaults are of a relatively minor nature such as pushing, shoving, slapping or hitting, though many are more serious – and some end in homicide.

 

Statistics show that women are abused at high rates, and resources are put in place but who’s to say men aren’t abused at high rates? Could it be, men don’t call and report their cases of domestic violence so they have little to no resources, although statistics show men are victims? Some men don’t call and report their cases because they aren’t taken seriously, and men are often ridiculed. No one would ridicule women that were being abused by their partners; society/family would treat the case with compassion. Unfortunately, Marlboro men are too embarrassed to admit they are victims of domestic violence.

 

Society/family have to take seriously those men abused by women, and not stereotype. The focus and resources has to be equal for men and women to receive the help that is needed in order to be safe from a violent relationship. I have found in a couple of cases when men call the police, they are arrested, because  society and family only know one side of domestic violence, women being abused by men. In my focus group some men reported they have tried calling and seeking out help but were told the program is geared towards women only. Some men in the focus group were referred to programs that only help male perpetrators, and not male victims.

 

Take the violence against men seriously. I know that some men think it is cute for their girlfriends to lash out or act jealous but the violence will escalate. Some of these attacks on men do lead to death. The first time that a women hits you, slices your tier, or key your car, let her know, it will never be a second time; move on and stand firm. Men don’t retaliate on women, even if you are an average size man, the best thing to do is leave the relationship safely. Men domestic violence wears many tags organization is ready to serve you with resources, counseling, and the proper advocacy to help you leave the relationship safely; don’t keep it a secret, the Marlboro man has a safe haven. Men, although there aren’t many resources for you, if you need help, please reach out to DVWMT@gmail.com (202) 821-8933 and or DV Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE.

 

For information and to attend the upcoming event in October, please visit here:  http://domesticviolencemenhurttoo.eventbrite.com/

———————————————————

queen-afiQueen Afi is a motivational speaker on domestic violence, a DV awareness advocate, mental health professional, criminal justice major, and with this passion she offers in person session for the community, churches and or schools to further promote her cause. In 2009 she founded the organization called “Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags”. DVWMT is a local domestic violence prevention and resource organization dedicated to restoring and preserving a stable family environment through services, advocacy and education. Queen Afi spends her time advocating against domestic violence not only to the abused but also to the abuser, both men and women. Her life experience has given her the courage and strength to tell her story and how she has changed her life around and started helping others become aware of DV and how to avoid becoming the victim and/ or abuser (men, women, and teens).

You can also read more about Queen Afi Gaston on Women Move the Soul here.

Queen Afi, Founder of DVWMT
FB@DomesticViolenceWearsManyTags
Twitter@ViolWearManyTag

Instagram@ViolWearManyTags
www.DVWMTS.org
DVWMTS@gmail.com
(202) 821-8933
“Men, women and teens can be victims or abusers”

 

Simple and Effective Tips To Help Anyone With an Underactive Thyroid Lose Weight

 

Submitted by Avelina Kongoi, London
Obviously if you have been suffering with an underactive thyroid for any amount of time then you will know and appreciate just how hard it can be to lose even a tiny amount of weight. The reality is that this condition is affecting more and more people every single year!

As of this very moment there are about 27 million Americans all over the United States who are suffering from hypothyroidism but, even more alarming is the fact that there are many more millions out there that have still not been diagnosed with the condition!
thyroid_diagram
Subclinical hypothyroidism is another condition that is getting more and more common and it results in the person experiencing symptoms such as fatigue etc without actually having an underactive thyroid in the first place. This condition usually comes about as a direct result of poor nutrition and if the person improves their diet then the symptoms will slowly but surely disappear.

When you have hypothyroidism you’re going to find that your metabolism will become extremely slow, which will result in you not being able to burn the calories you need to burn to lose all that excess fat!

Anyone out there that has thyroid glands that are just not working as they are supposed to be working will find that they will struggle to lose weight. This is because your thyroid glands are responsible for producing two very important hormones known as T3 and T4. These are the very hormones that are actually responsible for maintaining your body’s rate of metabolism.

If you don’t have enough of these hormones in your body then you’re just never quite going to be able to burn the calories you need to burn in order to get into shape, hence the reason why people with an underactive thyroid tend to find it harder to lose weight.

Simple and Easy Tips To Help You Shed Fat Even With Hypothyroidism

Tip 1: Get Your Local, Fully Qualified Doctor To Diagnose and Treat You

You have to make sure that you get down to your local doctor to get an official diagnosis because this will be the key to getting your health back to where it needs to be.

Your diagnosis is going to largely depend on the results of the blood test you’re given by your local doctor. The blood test will basically measure the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH),T3, and T4 you have inside your body. You will be diagnosed with having an underactive thyroid if you have high amounts of TSH and low amounts of the thyroid hormones (T3 and T4).

If you’re one of the people that has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism then you’ll more than likely be given some medication that is known officially as levothyroxine. Taking this medicine will help to get your levels of thyroid hormone right back into the healthy range, which will ultimately get your metabolism boosted up! Exactly what you want when you’re trying to lose weight.

Tip 2: Start To Consume Healthy and Nutritious Meals Full of Protein and Vegetables

Losing weight is all about making sure that you consume highly nutritious meals every single day of your life. This means you’re going to want to start consuming a ton of vegetables and protein because it’s the key to shedding all that excess fat in record time.

From personal experience and from reading a ton of research studies out there, I can tell you that protein is the most satiating of all the macronutrients out there, including fats and carbs. This will literally mean that hours and hours will go by before you feel the need to consume food. The other bonus of consuming a healthy amount of protein is that it will preserve all that metabolism boosting muscle mass, which is extremely important!

Tip 3: Cut Out The Processed Junk and Instead Focus on Consuming Fiber Rich Foods

All those processed junk foods are just empty calories that are not benefiting you in any way. In fact they are just preventing you from losing the weight you need to lose to get into great shape. Instead of consuming all those junk foods, I’d recommend that you start stocking up on foods that contain a lot of fiber in them.

Fiber rich foods are not only very satiating but they will prevent things like chronic constipation from occurring… which is very common among people who have hypothyroidism.

Tip 4: Exercise as Much as You Possibly Can

Once you have really nailed your diet, I’d recommend that you start focusing on implementing a really solid fitness routine into your life. It can be as simple as taking a walk around the block or you can be very serious with it and join the local gym… but, whatever you do, make sure that you do something!

From a results standpoint I’d recommend that you focus on lifting weights because not only will you shed a lot of calories when you’re engaged in the actual exercise but you’ll be working to build up a lot muscle mass which will inevitably result in your metabolism rising and rising.

The higher your base metabolic rate, the more calories you’re going to end up burning… it’s as simple as that my friend. So over time you’ll be getting in better and better shape, which is exactly what you want when you’re trying to get into incredible shape fast!

Remain consistent with your effort and believe me it will only be a matter of time before you end up in the best shape of your life.

Nothing in this world can stop you from getting amazing results accept yourself. You have to get out of your own way and make sure that you take massive action every single day of your life. Keep doing this and believe me you will find that getting into shape even with an underactive thyroid is easier than you think!

If this article was on that you enjoyed then you will really love http://hypothyroidismdietplan.org because the information there will truly help you overcome hypothyroidism for good!

 

Avelina Kongoi maintains the website http://hypothyroidismdietplan.org and blogs about effective ways to control this condition with nutrition.

 

 

Playing Your Music Ladies?

 

From the Editor, Tomaca

Guitar lessons anyone? Piano? I am still on this issue because after my last post, I had some women hit me back and say things like, “I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the cello” — or the sax or piano, etc.  I friend of mine who is 45 and is learning how to play the drums thanked me for writing about it because though she feels good about what she’s doing, other people think she’s a little off her rocker for pursuing such a thing.  But, she’s not.  And, she has the support of her children, who think it’s really cool.  She gets to sit in from time to time with the church band and play.  She’s not that good just yet, but if she keeps at it, she will be.  If I, at my age, can pursue understanding how to play a piano, you can pursue your passion for playing music.   I may never be a concert pianist, but that’s okay.  I am excited about every little new thing that I learn to do.  I like the tones, the sound and it helps me as a vocalist with my ear training and phrasing.

If you want to get your groove on with guitar, there are a great places where you can get your gear.  And, once you get rolling with that guitar, you can get fancy with it by using bigsby tremolo at musicians friend.

So if you dream of being a music creator or participating in music beyond playing air guitar or singing along with the words, take action.

Schools are starting soon.  Make sure that music and art are a part of your child’s education.  Art and music are essential ingredients in life, not just for them, but also for us – the parents.  They say that art imitates life, but often life will imitate art and it is the creativity and the art in all of us that make the world a better place.

Some people may say, “I’m not an artist.”  I don’t believe that.  Art does not mean just painting, drawing or playing an instrument.  It is a way of life.  There is an art to everything that is done, from fixing automobiles to cooking, to managing people.  Everyone is gifted at something or some things.  Maybe you’re a great cook; people are always complimenting your food.  Maybe that little kid down the street is so inspired by the way you always stop to say hello and ask about their day.  Maybe you pets are extremely well-behaved because you’ve done a great job of training them — and people come to you for pointers.  There is an art to everything that is done.  Find your strengths, add strength to your weaknesses and enjoy your life.  The better you are at being you, the happier and healthier you and the people you impact become.  Okay!  Lecture finished.  Party on.  Play your music your way!

Celebrate Your Ladies on National Women’s Friendship Day

A gentle hug from that woman who knows you like she knows herself can uplift even the bluest of spirits. We need our girlfriends. They offer inspiration and support. They increase your sense of belonging, boost happiness and reduce stress. We cope together. We fall on the floor laughing together.

Celebrate your best friends by planning a September 21 girls day for National Women’s Friendship Day.

Spa Day

Relax together at the spa by getting a manicure, pedicure and facial. Choose a spa that has a sauna and hot tub so you can relax all afternoon in the comfort of a robe. Get pampered. Read tabloids and gossip like the best of them. Or, have a DIY spa day at home with all-natural beauty treatments like a berry skin scrub (strawberries and honey), a softening hair mask (coconut oil, olive oil, honey and avocado) and paraffin hand masque.

Rent Movies

Pop some corn, grab some blankets and cuddle together as you watch movies all day/night long. Choose an assortment of funny and inspirational flicks or get going on a season of “Friends.” Some great movie ideas include: “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “Friends With Benefits” and “Moonrise Kingdom.” Want a classic marathon? Rent “Forest Gump,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” Or, grab a few boxes of tissues and watch “Waiting to Exhale.”

Watch Funny Videos

If there’s one thing we know, it is that babies and animals are hilarious. They say and do the oddest things and we are able to catch it online. In the middle of your movie marathon (especially if watching a tear jerker), get the computer out and search for an epic and funny gallery of videos that will have you crying in delight. Watch last year’s trending video of grandparents trying to work a video chat that was actually recording them. Search for the boy on the way home from the dentist and the short video reuniting Christian the Lion with the two men who raised him. Watch the 6-minute version with Whitney Houston’s, “I will always love you,” it will warm your heart.

Lunch

Make a reservation at a classy restaurant, complete with white tablecloths and wine glasses already set up. It might be pricey, but you girls deserve it. Order what you want and get desert.

Take a Class

Take a class together to mix it up and do something you wouldn’t normally do. Whether educational, artsy, indoor or outdoor, it’s a good way to bond and create lasting memories. Local classes usually include:

  • Acting
  • Painting (sometimes while drinking a glass of wine)
  • Pottery
  • Photography
  • Cooking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Dance
  • Faith-based Courses

Staycation

And if you can get away for the night, there is nothing better than renting a hotel room locally and spending an entire evening out on the town with the girls.

Don’t forget to tell your girlfriends how happy they make you.

Image by Wikimedia Commons user Oneras

The Essence of the Kitchen

 

 

By Tomaca

What room in your home is the most important or the key pivotal room for the family?  Some people would say it’s the living room or family room.  In my home, it’s the kitchen.

The living room used to be called the “parlor” in old English times.  The name changed over time to the “living room.”  Maybe you call it the family room.  But, it’s the place generally where families hang out and watch television or entertain company.  However, the kitchen is the focal point of some homes.  Hopefully our busy lifestyles have not interrupted family meals in the kitchen too much and your family still does that.

When I grew up my parents made everyone sit down together at meal times.  After eating, everyone was assigned a task ranging from scraping the dishes, to putting away food, to washing, drying and putting away the dishes.  The lucky person got the easiest assignment of feeding the dogs.  I remember that as being something really easy and it was nice to make the dogs happy.  Just like people, they were excited about meal time!

The whole process of my siblings and I being in the kitchen all working together was really fun.  You get a feeling from being around your family that is hard to describe except to say that there’s no place like home  and there’s no feeling like that feeling inside you.

With ten kids and a full-time jobs, both my parents were really busy.  But, there were many times that my mom would be preparing meals and that was the time I could just sit in the kitchen to be with her and to chat while she worked.  It was such a cherished time for me.   When my children were young, especially my daughter, who is the oldest, we were always in the kitchen where she would read to me as I cooked.  We spent many weekends in the kitchen baking and designing sugar cookies and other goodies.  The kitchen was the homework spot.  Everyone would sit there and do their homework so they could all help each other.  Of course, that changed when they got older.  They migrated to their own bedrooms.

I don’t drink coffee, but to this day I love the smell.  It reminds me of my father.  Every morning the house was filled with the aroma of his coffee which of course is made, where else?  In the kitchen.

So for me, the kitchen is not just about food, but it’s about connecting with family and individuals by gaining more understanding about who they are, how they feel, what their day was like, etc.  through conversation, not so much through food.  Though my children are grown, the kitchen is still the room where I would entertain.   Not necessarily to eat food, but to sit in a comforting place to have great conversations without the distraction and noise of the television.

I like a nice open kitchen for that reason.  There’s room for everyone.  Someone can sit at the countertop/island or at the table and of course the pets are never far behind because they hope food is going to appear and they’ll be given treats in addition to being petted.

The “homey” feeling in the kitchen is important to me as is the decor.  Windows, a sliding glass door leading to a deck, nice cabinets with decorative cabinet knobs, my organic herbs growing in the pots and always fresh fruit on the table.    And some open space.  I like the kitchen to be a little on the large side so you can walk around freely even with the table, chairs and fridge, etc.  Plus, all the animals turn the kitchen into their lounge whenever people are in there.  There’s always the hope of food hitting the floor!  Yes, they are spoiled, they get lots of treats and hugs and most of all are welcome in the kitchen just like people!

 

What’s your favorite room in the home?

The Disappearing World…

 

Submitted by  Tomaca

 

I remember my mother saying “Don’t read in the dark, you’ll ruin your eyes” she would say as I lay in bed reading – yes, in the dark!  But, I could see perfectly fine.  The letters and words were very clear to me. I would tell her, “Mom, I’ve got eagle eyes – no problems here.”  She would shake her head and walk away leaving me to continue what I was doing.fostergrant2

When I hit my forties, I noticed that words and letters were becoming just a tad bit difficult to make out.  Finally (and to my foolish little mind’s amazement — how could this happen?), it got to the point where I had to make that trip to the eye doctor and yes, it was confirmed – “You need to start wearing glasses to read.”

It was actually kind of exciting at first because I picked out a pair that I really liked and of course – I got an attractive eye glass case to keep them in.  I felt kind of “official,” if that makes sense, when I put them on to read.  Of course, I no longer read in the dark, but now I could make a lady-like pause and pull out my glasses to read with (like it added some sophistication to who I was).

As a child, some of us come to believe that people who wear glasses are smarter than people who don’t.  I don’t know how that ever got started, but when you went person-by-person, there wasn’t always truth to it.  But our mindset as children was that people who wore glasses were smarter.  So, with that engrained in my subconscious, it seemingly elevated my perception of myself.  (But, yeah – wishful thinking.  Turns out not to be true in my case!)

Anyway, of course, as time wears on, the eyesight continues to wear out.   The world is disappearing more and more these days from my eyes and the eye glass prescription numbers get higher as the glasses themselves get thicker.    I am grateful however, that it is still just for reading.  I can still see distances really well and hope that stays with me.

Both my parents were wearing glasses full time as they got older.  They needed them to read with and to see in general.  I am holding my breath with hopes that I won’t end up there!  But, I keep in perspective that I am very grateful to have sight.

Meanwhile, it’s regular annual eye exams and reading prescriptions that inch up slowly as time goes by.  I’ll just keep donning my foster grant reading glasses as necessary.   Remember the commercial with the slogan “Who’s behind those Foster Grants?”  That will be me!

 

 

What Are You Doing to Maintain Good Health?

 

Who do you see?  Do you see a natural physician or a traditional western medicine physician?

FD3_300x250My own personal preference is to see a natural physician.  If find that they are better equipped at treating the whole body, versus focusing on one particular part that seems to be acting up.  For instance, I went to the doctor to find out about bladder issues that I was having.  They gave me antibiotics for the condition and it went away, but then it kept coming back.  Finally, I went to a natural doctor who checked my whole body.  The discovery was that there were issues with my uterus (that had no obvious symptoms) and that put pressure on my bladder.  So, once the uterine issues were resolved, my bladder issues were also resolved.

The body is a whole entity and everything is connected.  When parts are treated in isolation, there is no guarantee that the real cause of the problem will be remedied.

The body is also a chemical creating factory.  It is self healing if you feed it the proper foods and nutrition.  Staying way from sodas, colas, fast foods, meats laced with antibiotics and growth hormones, vegetables grown in pesticides, genetically modified foods and diary and meat products generated by stressed out animals, is the best way to go.

Another rule of thumb is to stay away from anything WHITE – white sugar, white flour, white potatoes and white rice.  A regular and daily intake of these types of foods will only stimulate and escalate our insatiable need for junk food, sweets, starches and commercially prepared snacks.

Sugar and flour in their natural state are brown.  They created a bleaching process to turn these things white and in the process destroyed the nutrition in them.

Do some research as to what foods are healthy and nutritious for our bodies versus those that are not.  Study, learn and grow.

Being more natural is not a complicated process, though changing habits can be difficult.  But if you do, you will gain better health, more energy and vibrancy.  We want longer lives and we want lives that do not end up with degeneration, illness and disease.  Start today with your new life plans for you diet and behavior.   You might want to sign up for the doctor’s health e-bulletin.  Let us know how it works out for you!

 

 

Are you comfortable with the results that you get from your regular doctor?  Are you interested in homeopathic medicine?  You decide.

 

Gizmo, the Wonder “Doglet” & His Mom

We’re talking to JenniferAdams,who is Gizmo’s handler, but we like to think of her as his “People Mom.”  We asked her to tell us the story about Gizmo the Wonder Doglet, the tiny little dog with a huge, healing heart.  She walks us through their journey together.

 

 

gizpspWhere did Gizmo come from? How did the two of you meet?

After my 19 year old therapy dog dachshund (Mr. Moxie) passed away, I searched several shelters to adopt another dog to follow in his footsteps. However, I was repeatedly turned away for various reasons such as not having a fenced yard, etc. Meanwhile, I was researching small breeds that make good therapy dogs, and Gizmo’s breed kept popping up. I had never heard of his breed before. Then a short time later I was in a doctor’s office, and the classifieds were open to the pet section on the table next to me. I saw a picture of an adorable little black and white puppy and took a closer look. It was the breed that I kept coming across in my research, of all things! So I called the number, did more research and discovered this was a reputable breeder, and picked him up the next day. As soon as I saw him, I said, “There’s my dog!” The rest is history.

Did you have an interest in providing therapy to people through an animal previously, or was this an idea that occurred because of your new acquaintance with Gizmo?

gizcitationBefore Gizmo I had a miniature dachshund named Mr. Moxie, who went to schools with me all over the country. The difference Mr. Moxie made in so many young lives is remarkable. Kids who never wrote before suddenly started writing letters, and even books, about Moxie. Owies were healed, tears were dried, anger dissipated and love prevailed, all because of him. Before he passed away at the ripe old age of 19, I promised him I would find another canine angel to continue his legacy.

What about him led you to believe that he should be a therapy dog and how did you and he get started?

I think the deciding moment came when we were walking in the woods one day. Gizzy was less than a year old. There was a teenage boy sitting off the trail a ways, leaning against a tree by himself. Gizmo confidently walked gizctcatover to him and sat at his side until the boy started petting him. Then Gizzy climbed on his lap. I called Gizmo back, but he simply would not budge. So I stayed in the area to keep an eye on him as I continued walking my other dog, Cooper. That’s when we met a woman on the trail. She identified herself as the boy’s mother and explained to us that the boy had just lost his father, and was inconsolable. It was clear that Gizmo knew just how to console him. Since then, Gizmo has shown his gift for sensing emotional need and seeking people out who need him. It’s really quite stunning to watch him sometimes!

How does he help people in his therapy work? What does he do for them?

Gizmo, like all therapy dogs, has a soothing effect on those around him. People seem to be drawn to his friendly, nonjudgmental, loving nature. He has been shown to lower blood pressure while turning frowns upside down! Many times he has motivated residents in a senior living environment to eat, get out of bed, converse, and laugh. He has motivated school-aged children to read, write, and commit random acts of kindness. He is an outlet for many of them to vent when they’re angry or cry to when they’re sad. I will never forget the day a sulking boy stomped into my office and exclaimed, “I have GOT to get this off my mind! Can I PLEASE speak with Gizmo in private?” I stepped right outside the door and watched him as he held Gizmo close and whispered into his ear for several minutes. Then he gently placed Gizzy back onto his blanket, stepped out the door, smiled at me, turned and said, “Thanks, Giz. I’m going to have a good day now, I hope you have a good day too!” and went on his merry way to class.gizallstars

Gizmo’s Frens page on facebook has over 11,000 people, which is remarkable. How long have the two been doing this work?

Our page, Gizmo’s Frens, has been active since December, 2012. Our nonprofit, Gizmo’s Frens, Inc., has been in existence since August, 2012. Through this, we raise awareness of charitable causes and great things happening in our community. Gizmo’s FB page is a great catalyst for this. Some people refer to Gizmo’s Frens FB page as “a channel for positive news” and a colleague stated, “Gizmo is like a lens – through him we see good in the world.” If it were just me out there saying, “Hey look at this wonderful group helping their neighbors!” people would probably be all, “Oh ok that’s nice.” But when Gizmo gets on with a picture of himself and a group of people helping their neighbors and says, “Look! These people are helping their excellent neighbors today!” the response seems much greater! J

What kind of places do the two of you go to and what do you do there?

That’s a loaded question! We go to all kinds of places, for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes we go to places where Gizmo is needed as a therapy dog, like The Village at Buckland Court assisted living community in South Windsor, where he has been visiting on a regular basis since he was a puppy. Sometimes we are at Gizmo’s “excellent high school”, where he works as a therapy dog and is a mascot for their website. Sometimes we just go out and attend events in the community to draw people to the event and to support great causes and other peoples’ efforts to make the world a better place. Sometimes we just show up where we catch people being kind…like an Eagle Scout candidate working on his project or a group of kids helping an elderly woman by cleaning up her yard. And sometimes we are fundraising for our nonprofit, through which we assist many other charities by donating 100% of our proceeds to others. Wherever we go, it always seems we are somehow just where we are meant to be.gizwcgcl

Talk about his nonprofit situation. When did that come about and what is the purpose of it?

The mission of Gizmo’s Frens, Inc. is to raise awareness and funds for charities. Gizmo has always attracted a lot of attention. I wanted to do something good with his rising popularity, to paw it forward for all those angels who spend their lives helping so many. I approached some pet store managers and asked if we could fundraise for rescues. I was told over and over that in order to fundraise, we needed to be a nonprofit. So I finally decided if we need to be a nonprofit in order to make a difference in this capacity, then a nonprofit we shall be! Today we are blessed to be able to raise awareness and funds on a regular basis for a number of charitable causes at Pet Supplies Plus and Wicked Chic, both in Manchester. We are at Wicked Chic, located at 687 Main Street, every Thursday from 6 to 8. Visitors are welcome to come out and meet Gizmo and browse the beautiful, unique items available inside the store. We are still in the process of having 501(c)3 status, so we are well on our way to being able to affect change for many, many more pet rescues and other charitable organizations such as food pantries and organizations that help at risk youth.

What are Gizmo’s future plans? What’s up and coming?gizgratitudejarcloseface

Gizmo has always just gone where the road leads him. We have no specific plans at this time, other than to trust that the people who cross our paths are there for a reason, and we will be just where we are meant to be. A production company (Hudson Street Productions) has been filming at some of his events, and a made for public television documentary (with plans for a future series) is being created as we speak. They plan on filming over the course of a whole year, so look for the release in the next year or 2!

Geri Jones wrote a poem about Gizmo and included it in her new book. How did she and Gizmo meet?

Geri Jones is a perfect example of how people come into our lives when and where they are meant to. We both drive MINI Coopers, and as such, we are on some MINI forums. While we never knew each other on the forums, some other people (from all over the country) mentioned to both of us that we should meet. Then I found out she lives within driving distance, so on July 4 of I don’t remember the year, we met Geri, to help her celebrate her first 4th of July as a US citizen. I knew right away what a super special soul she is because Gizmo was unusually enthusiastic about her presence! To this day, he still dances and marfs whenever she visits.

Where can we buy Gizmo Frens t-shirts?gizdrcbunnyears

Gizmo shirts are not for sale. Rather, they are given in exchange for a donation to Gizmo’s Frens, Inc. 100% of the donation is in turn donated to other charities. We have even given shirts to people who have donated directly to their favorite charities! For us, it’s not about the money. It’s about assisting those who assist others. For more information, contact us on Gizmo’s FB page at www.facebook.com/gizmosfrens.

He’s such an adorable little “doglet.” Will people be able to buy stuffed toy Gizmos for themselves at some point?

Yes. We are currently looking into a prototype that, when squeezed, says, “Cuz we’re frens!”, which is Gizmo’s motto, and the reason why he does everything he does. If anyone reading this would be interested in helping to create a prototype, please contact gizmosfrensinc@yahoo.com

Is there anything else that Gizmo would like to say to our readers?

gizmo-self

Gizmo has 4 toy-sized “frens” (Nina, Lacey, Lilly and Cooper) who visit the assisted living community and make community appearance with him as needed. If anyone would like a visit from Gizmo or his PFF frens, they are welcome to contact us on our FB page (www.facebook.com/gizmosfrens) or email gizmosfrensinc@yahoo.com. We are willing to provide animal assisted therapy, or we can come out to an event to support a charitable cause, which we will promote on Gizmo’s Facebook page. All of our visits/appearances are free of charge. Cuz we’re frens!

Visit  Gizmo’s FaceBook Fan Page

 

Vitamin B – Nutrition Series by Caroline Devin

 

 

Submitted by Carolyn Devin
The second in a series of talks about the importance of vitamins.

 

 

Vitamin B was the second vitamin to be recognized (after vitamin A). It was so named because the scientists at the time did not realize that vitamin B was actually many different compounds. All the B vitamins are water-soluble which means there is little risk of toxicity as they are readily excreted from the body in urine. This is why when you take a vitamin B supplement your urine is a very bright yellow. That is from the riboflavin (B-2).

All B vitamins form coenzymes, which mean they help the biological processes that happen in our bodies, such as the process of transforming food into energy. The B vitamins that I am going to write about today are B-1 (Thiamin), B-2 (Riboflavin), B-3 (Niacin) and B-6. Many of the B vitamins are found in whole grain which is why when grains began to be processed and refined there was an increase in vitamin B deficiencies. To combat this problem, vitamins were added back to processed food such as bread, cereal and ground flour. It is called “enriched” flour on labels. Unrefined or whole wheat (or grain) flour is healthier but it will go bad much quicker than the refined flour because the germ of the grain contains oil that will go rancid. It’s best to use whole wheat flour quickly or store it in the freezer for longer storage.

Thiamin (B-1) is found in great quantities, naturally, in sunflower seeds. Just two ounces contain the daily recommended amount. Other good sources are pork products and, of course, enriched foods such as bread and cereals. Thiamin deficiency can cause a disease called Beriberi. This disease can have many different symptoms such as impaired nervous, cardiovascular, muscle and gastrointestinal systems. It can cause weakness, difficulty breathing and heart enlargement among other symptoms. Beriberi can be fatal if not treated. Symptoms of deficiency can begin just fourteen days without thiamin intake. Thankfully, thiamin deficiency is rare now due to the enrichment of so many food products and the new trend of eating whole grain foods. Thiamin is not heat stable and cooking may destroy much of the vitamin.

Riboflavin (B-2) is found mainly in enriched food products such as bread and cereal but some natural sources include; milk, mushrooms, spinach, kale and broccoli. Three ounces of beef liver also contains almost twice the recommended daily amount. As with thiamin, riboflavin deficiency is rare but symptoms include inflammation of the throat, tongue and mouth and cracking around the corners of the mouth. Anemia, fatigue and headaches are also symptoms of low riboflavin intake. Riboflavin is very light sensitive and is easily destroyed by exposure. This is why milk should be stored in light-blocking packaging.

Niacin (B-3) is most prevalent, naturally, in poultry, meat and fish and in enriched bread, cereal and whole grains. Coffee and tea also have small amounts of niacin. Niacin is metabolized from protein, more specifically tryptophan which is the amino acid most well-known for causing that post-holiday turkey-eating sleepiness. People with adequate protein intake are not at risk for deficiency. The disease caused by niacin deficiency is pellagra and was a national epidemic in the early 1900’s before the discovery of the niacin connection. It is estimated that 200,000 people died from pellagra in that time period in the United States. Today, pellagra is mainly found in Africa in famine areas. Niacin is also associated with niacin flush which is a tightening and reddening of the skin and can be quite disturbing to those unfamiliar with it but it is generally harmless. Toxicity is possible with very high supplement doses and can cause stomach upset and even possible liver damage. Consult with your doctor before using niacin supplements. Niacin is very heat stable, therefore very little is lost in the cooking process.

Vitamin B-6 can be found in the muscles of animals so poultry, meat and fish have high quantities. Whole grains again are good sources and carrots, potatoes and bananas are also great non-animal sources. Toxicity of vitamin B-6 is a real concern for those taking excessive supplements such as bodybuilders and woman treating themselves for the symptoms of PMS. Toxicity can potentially result in permanent nerve damage. Deficiency is rare in North America except in cases of very poor diets and alcoholism. Symptoms may include confusion, depression and convulsions. B-6 has been shown effective in the treatment of carpel tunnel syndrome and nausea related to pregnancy but please consult your doctor before trying B-6 supplementation.

Eating whole grains, lean meat and fish are excellent ways of getting your daily amount of these B vitamins. And don’t forget the bananas!vitamin b

The remaining B vitamins: Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, Folate and B-12. Many of the B vitamins are found in whole grain which is why when grains began to be processed and refined there was an increase in vitamin B deficiencies. To combat this problem, vitamins were added back to processed food such as bread, cereal and ground flour, it is called “enriched” flour on labels. Unrefined or whole wheat (or grain) flour is healthier but it will go bad much faster than the refined flour because the germ of the grain contains oil that will go rancid. It’s best to use whole wheat flour quickly or store it in the freezer for longer storage.

Pantothenic Acid comes from the Greek word pantothen, which means “from every side” because this particular B vitamin is found in many, many foods. Common sources are animal products and vegetables. Unprocessed foods are a better source of this vitamin because it can be easily stripped away or destroyed in processing methods. There is no known case of deficiency of pantothenic acid unless it has been produced in a laboratory. This vitamin is used in the body to assist with the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and alcohol.

Biotin is found in whole grains, eggs, nuts and legumes. Peanuts are a great source of biotin with just 2 ounces (about 3 tablespoons) containing one and a half times the daily recommended amount. One large egg has about half the daily recommended amount; however, raw egg white contains a protein that will inhibit absorption of biotin. That is another reason to not consume raw eggs. Deficiency is rare with biotin but symptoms do include rashes, hair loss and impaired growth (in children). The most common incidences of deficiency are with individuals who are born with a genetic defect that prevents the body from processing the biotin. Or people who ingest large amounts of raw egg whites.

Folate is commonly heard when talking about women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant because early conception deficiency can be devastating to developing fetuses. The term folic acid is a synthetic form of folate that is found in fortified foods or supplements. Folate is very prevalent in leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach. Legumes, avocados and oranges are also good sources of folate. This vitamin is easily destroyed in processing or cooking. Salads with avocados are an excellent way to get your daily recommended amount. Folate is used in the body in the synthesis and maintenance of new cells so that is why deficiency in pregnant woman can lead to severe birth defects in babies such as neural tube defects; spina bifida (most common) or anencephaly (most severe-total lack of brain). It is extremely important for a woman considering pregnancy to be taking supplements or eating a wide variety of folate rich foods. Deficiency is difficult to detect because symptoms are on the cellular level but generally people who are more prone to deficiency are alcoholics, people with very poor diets and those taking certain medications.

Vitamin B-12 is heard a lot in the vegan community because the only reliable natural sources of this vitamin are animal products; meat and dairy. Vegans must take supplementation to avoid deficiency. The good news is that B-12 can be stored in the body for 2 to 3 years as it is not excreted in the urine like the other B vitamins. There are other sources of B-12 but they do not contain enough to meet daily requirements or are not in the correct form for the body to use them. These include fermented soy products (tempeh and miso) and certain seaweeds. Absorption of B-12 can be inhibited by diseases such as Chrohn’s or bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. Some medications may also inhibit absorption such as anti-reflux (Prilosec®) or metformin (used to lower blood sugar with Type 2 diabetes. Common symptoms of deficiency are neurological changes which include; sensory issues in the legs (burning, tingling, prickling and numbness), balance can be affected which will make walking difficult, loss of concentration and disorientation. There can be vision problems as well. These symptoms will precede more serious cellular level issues. Elderly are at risk for deficiency due to mal-absorption and infants born to vegan or vegetarians are also at risk.

 

Cacarolyndevinerolyn Devin is a Health and Wellness Coach. She helps individuals who are looking to lose weight, gain energy or just to feel better by teaching about nutrition and lifestyle changes.

“I don’t advocate “dieting” or quick fixes. I feel that everyone has the right to be happy and healthy, which means that I don’t propose radical changes to your lifestyle or starvation diets. I want to guide you on a path to healthier living.”