Moving into 2011

I have been remiss – I have not posted in a while. Holiday preparations got the best of me, and I got caught up in a whirlwind of baking. And if that weren’t enough, I started to eat the goodies I was baking. Sugar lowers my resistance, so with my increased sugar intake, my resistance to whatever bugs are out there, became less. Eventually, of course, I got sick, in the form of bronchitis and a cough. It did not get to the point where I was confined to my bed, but it did make me slow down to a crawl…. I used to think I could not get rid of bronchitis without antibiotics. However, this time, since I no longer had to go to a full time job, I decided to just wait it out and see if my body would heal itself. And it Did! It took about 14 days – but I did it! When we are sick, we are supposed to slow down, take it easy, drink more fluids, and get more rest. I have not allowed myself that, for years, always feeling the push of the job, and getting back to work ASAP. This time, I allowed myself to slow down. I slept, read, watched TV, drank hot tea, more water, and slept again. Now I am feeling great.

As I become increasingly aware of my body and its needs, I am increasingly noticing the effects on me of what I eat. The other day I had some boiled yellow potatoes for dinner, and noticed I had some bloating, about an hour later. This confused me because I had not eaten very much. Could the potatoes, which of course, convert to sugar in the body, have caused the bloating? I will pay attention the next time I eat them, and see if I have the same reaction. I know that sometimes wheat will cause bloating, for me – and not always – so that is also something I am going to test out.

I bought a bag of dried mangoes at Costco the other day, and have been thoroughly enjoying them. Then I read the label for ingredients – sugar – of course I would love them! When I finish this bag, I will look for some dried mangoes at my local health food store, and see if I like them as well. It could be the sugar.

Eating clean takes some investigation – reading labels – and making changes. It is a process. But with all the chemicals in the form of food additives, pesticides, etc., that we are exposed to, it has become more and more necessary to do this. Eat organic as much as you can. I just read that broccoli and asparagus are okay to buy nonorganic, because bugs hate them, and they do not have to be sprayed with pesticides.

This is the beginning of a new year. It looks like my first resolution is going to be to eat as clean as I can. That includes using butter instead of margarine – see – it isn’t All bad!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Being Sick and Getting Well

I am prompted to write on this topic in response to a blog I just read having to do with being sick. I personally so hate being sick that I have gone into the health field in order to get as much information as I can to be as healthy as I can be, especially now that I am moving into my ‘later’ years.

That is why I am constantly on alert to find information I can pass on to you regarding how to get well and stay well. Here is a link that you may appreciate, right now, regarding fighting off this autumn season’s colds and flu, particularly if you, like me, are apprehensive about flu shots after reading all the current negative publicity warning against them. There are effective natural ways to prevent, or fight off, colds and flu. Check out this article:

Cinnamon, Ginger and Onions Strongly Protect Us from Colds and Flu

The blog that I just read was talking about some people who have emotional holds or a ‘victim mentality’ with regard to being sick – and in the case of being diagnosed with a serious type of illness, feel powerless to overcome it. I suppose feeling ‘doomed’ when receiving a diagnosis like that could be operating for some people. Since I have spent years dealing with health conditions in the most natural way possible, and have successfully treated my hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) with diet, I have a hard time relating to someone feeling a diagnosis is a prognosis – i.e. feeling like “I am a diabetic and there is nothing I can do about that….”.

A diagnosis is a labeling of a condition – the word means ‘knowing through’ – it is a word describing your condition, determined by a doctor, based on your symptoms, clinical signs, and any procedures or lab tests that were done – which the doctor looks at in order to come up with a label for your condition. For example, appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. The suffix “itis” means “inflammation”, so any word that has -itis at the end, is saying something is inflamed. Mastitis would be inflammation of the breast; cystitis is inflammation of the bladder; tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils, etc. Again, it is a description of a condition.

The prognosis, is knowing beforehand. Thus, when a doctor gives a prognosis for a condition, he is giving his best guess as to what the outcome of your condition will be, based on his education and training, his experience in treating other patients with the same condition, and current medical information from studies, etc., that concern your condition. He is speaking from his range of knowledge. This is one reason to get a second opinion on methods of treatment – another doctor may have a different perspective on the condition, or may have used different methods of treatment. And, just an aside – if you go to a surgeon for an opinion, he is going to look at your condition through surgical eyes, and how surgery could ‘fix’ your condition. That is his specialty. A surgeon will most likely recommend surgery.

The health industry can be very confusing. When receiving a diagnosis, with a specific recommendation for treatment, what do you do? In the case of cancer treatment, there is a group that feels chemotherapy and radiation are the answer. Another group says there are more holistic, natural ways of treating and resolving a person’s cancer, and that people with cancer die because their bodies have been poisoned with chemotherapy – not because of the cancer.

We are so fortunate to have the Internet – we can go to it to find information on just about anything we have a question about – so doing some research on the condition you have been diagnosed with should probably be your first action. Find out as much as you can about the nature of your condition, the causes, treatment available, and various outcomes of that treatment. Look at traditional medical sources – but also look at alternative medical sources – get as much information as you can. You can also see another doctor for a second, and even third, opinion, regarding recommended treatment of your condition. Do not make hasty treatment decisions. Give yourself a bit of time to assimilate the information you have gathered. Talk to your loved ones and as many people as you can who may have been in your situation. Then make your decision. I want to stress that it is Your decision. No one else can make it for you. You have to get quiet, and get in touch with what it is you really want to do. This is not easy. You just make the best decision you can, with the information available to you.

The article that prompted my writing this, concerned a man who had been diagnosed as diabetic, and felt his diabetes was so unique that no treatment modalities in existence would work for him – his condition was ‘special’ and would not respond to any kind of treatment. The article took the position that the man was a victim and felt ‘doomed’, with his condition. Here is my response:

“I think what you have written is very interesting, and probably true for many people. I do think there might be another possibility to consider, with this man who feels he is ‘different’ or ‘special’. Sometimes people have a vested interest in staying in the condition they are in. In looking at a person’s condition from that perspective, one might ask what it is that the person is getting out of, being in that state (i.e. diabetic). Perhaps he needs to feel special. Has he become more important to his family members or loved ones, because of the condition? Is he relieved of some responsibilities that he otherwise would be expected to meet? What are the benefits of remaining in that state, for him? Sometimes, people do not really want to get well. I know that when I am sick, I get to be waited on and fussed over.

I had a friend whose family placed a value on being sick – you were not really important unless you were sick. There was even some competition going on in that family about who was the sickest. I am not saying this particularly is the case with the man you mention, but if this kind of system is operating in a family, it is pretty hard to initiate change.”

So – we tend to get sick when we are stressed – stress weakens our immune system and we become susceptible to whatever germs are around – or even to a condition that has been passed on to us through our genes – prolonged stress will activate our inherited genetic tendencies to develop a certain condition. We all know by this time that the way to stay healthy is to get enough sleep, exercise, drink enough water, and eat a diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables. That is the bottom line.

If we end up getting sick, there are ways to get well. Your body wants to get well – it wants to be in homeostasis, or balance – and it will do that, if we allow it to – by getting enough sleep, exercise, drinking enough water, and eating a diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


The verdict is in – most bottled waters are not healthy.
First we heard of the dangers of drinking water from the plastic bottle left in the car – how the chemicals in the plastic leach into the water.
Then we heard that many companies use the same water that comes out of our tap, as their bottled water, and we are literally throwing money down the drain, paying for the same water that we get from our own faucets.
And most recently, we are being informed of the harmful chemicals that exist in some of the most popular brands of bottled drinking water.
What to do?

The most cost-effective way to purify our drinking water seems to be to add a water filter, like PUR, to our kitchen water faucet. This particular one can be added directly to the faucet – no crawling under the sink to try to attach it. And if you don’t want the faucet kind, they also have a filter pitcher that you can keep in your refrigerator.

I live in the Antelope Valley which is considered ‘high desert’. Temperatures are often over 100 degrees, so it is important for me to carry water with me. To do this, without using the plastic water, I have purchased a metal water bottle from my local health food store – they have them in different sizes – and I fill it up before I leave the house.

At this point, I have been using my tap water, but next week when I get paid, I am going to get the PUR faucet filter – I will let you know how I like it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The other morning there was a pigeon in my bathroom.
He must have flown in through the sliding glass door kept ajar for the dogs.
I whispered to it: “What are you doing here?”
Nonplussed, he turned his head to me.
“What do you want me to do?” I asked.
He continued his beady stare.
Holding my breath, I picked him up,
Carried him outside,
And set him on the dog house.
He flew to the top of my neighbor’s fence
And then away.

Several days later my front window
Shook and rattled.
I ran to look and found a pigeon
Standing under the bench on my front porch.
As I approached,
He seemed too stunned to fly,
And walked away.
I followed him, picked him up,
And put him in protective custody
On the porch in the dog carrier
covered with my sweater.
The next morning I opened the carrier door
And he flew to my roof.

But before this,
About three weeks ago at 2 AM,
I awoke to a noise.
Looking out the window, I saw
my cat on the ground,
On top of a pigeon.
I rescued the pigeon and
Put him in the dog carrier.
The next morning, I let him out.
He flew to the roof.

Here is my question:
“Is this the same pigeon?”
And if it is,
“What do you think he wants with me?”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


I am not sure procrastination is a negative state. There are times when I jump on a task – I attack it with gusto and finish it immediately. I don’t like the feeling that something is hanging over my head – I would rather do it and be done with it! Waiting to do it later always carries the risk that I will forget about it and end up trying to do it at the last minute and stressing out over it. Being proactive has worked for me, especially on the job.

However, there are other tasks that I will procrastinate about doing – I bought tile for my back bedroom, last February 2010, and it is only this past week – October 2010 – that I finally started to actually lay down the tile. I am not sure what forces were at work that were preventing me from starting the job. I was kind of scared to do it by myself, but I had bought a book with very good directions on how to do it. There were many times that I thought about starting it – but each time, something got in the way – as in something inside of me was saying ‘…no – it is not time, yet…, so I would find other things to do around the house, but never start the tile. I suppose I could have just randomly picked a day and then forced myself to start. But I didn’t. It felt like I was waiting for something inside of me to tell me ‘now is the time’. Finally, last week, I felt it was time, and I did it. I still have some tiles to cut to fit on the edges, but the major work is done. I took my time doing it, had few problems, and it looks pretty nice. And I actually enjoyed the entire process.

“Timing is everything”, they say. Does that also apply to when it is the right time to do something? I used to try to make things happen, in my world, sometimes trying to force things to happen…. Then I had a couple experiences where I did not take my usual ‘proactive’ approach – instead, I sat back, held my breath, and waited to see how a situation would resolve without my interference. Amazingly, the situation did resolve, and had a better outcome than what I was planning.

Several weeks ago I traveled to New York. I missed the first shuttle from the airport, and had to take the second. As it turned out, there was a woman on the second shuttle who had information about some research being done on the use of Reiki in cancer treatment. I might never have heard about it, had I not been on the second shuttle. I think that is what is called ‘serendipity’ – the desirable but seemingly accidental discovery or occurrence – often thought to happen in alignment with the universe. It is when – had we not been in a certain place at a certain time – something would never have happened.

I am reminded of the words in Ecclesiastes 3:1-15
“To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
a time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal …
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance …
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace”

I am learning to pay attention to my heart and my gut, and when my head tells me I must do something and must do it Now, I am taking time to check in with the rest of me to see if all parts agree that it is time…. I am finding that when I try to force myself to do something that the rest of my body is not ready for, I end up spinning my wheels, and if anything is accomplished, it is done so with stress.

Retirement is a slowing down and that is a good thing. I am finding the freedom to Not do something I do not feel like doing. I can put off tiling my room until it feels like the right time. I can now take the time to plant some seeds, if I feel like it. I can sit and watch the hummingbirds at my feeder. There is a rhythm – an ebb and flow to my days. Things do get done, but they get done in My time. Some might think that is procrastination…but I am preferring to think of it as being in alignment with the universe.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s All About Balance

I have been trying to insert a circular chart to describe what I am talking about, but my ability to do that has been limited by my ignorance. In her book, Creating True Prosperity, Shakti Gawain has a pie chart that is labeled “This is All Part of Who I Am”. Each quality around the chart is directly across from its opposite quality, and her idea is that we all have all of these qualities – but if we ignore or deny a quality’s opposite, in us, we live a life that is lopsided and out of balance. The more we can include and express All of these qualities, she believes the more freedom, satisfaction, and wholeness we will experience in our life.

I am going to list each quality with its opposite, and you will just have to imagine that they are placed opposite on a chart that has each quality as a part (or slice) of the whole pie, and each of us is the whole pie.

hardworking / relaxed
powerful / vulnerable
material / spiritual
organized / spontaneous
caring for others / caring for self
rational / intuitive
serious / playful
responsible / carefree

She thinks we need to give some kind of expression to each of these qualities, since they are a part of us. I know I have been extremely serious, this past year, what with attending my nutrition school, thinking about how to start my health coaching business, etc. I have taken very little time out for having fun, or being playful and carefree.

And why I am being so entirely serious about this, I don’t know – I am semi-retired – I am not dependent on this new ‘career’ to pay my mortgage. I am doing it because I am interested in health, have managed to keep myself pretty healthy throughout the years, and with the information I learned at school, now would like to pass that on to others to be of help in any way that I can. Instead, I have been acting like I have been hired by a company and am nervous about demonstrating my worthiness to my boss. Except in this instance, I am my own boss!

That is why this chart seems so important to me. I can see very clearly how and where I am out of balance in my life. Even my Reiki teacher the other day told me that I ‘needed to have more fun’, and that I have ‘been in my head’ too much.

I have designated today as the day I actually am going to start to put the tile on the floor in my back bedroom. I am scared and nervous about doing this without help, but I do have an instruction book. Maybe if I try to have fun while doing this, it will not seem so daunting a task. I will get back to you on that one! lol.

I have procrastinated enough – on to the tile!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Memory Loss

I just reread an earlier blog, and realize I spelled a word wrong. I pride myself on my ability to spell. I have been well paid for my ability to spell – as an editor of childrens’ books, as an English teacher, as a medical transcriptionist, as a teacher of medical terminology. Suddenly I notice I am spelling simple words wrong! How can this be happening! Of course, I think of the worst possible scenario – could it be early Alzheimer’s? Then I spend the next 10 minutes trying to remember all the things I am forgetting, now that I am getting older. I remember details from my childhood better than most of my friends. I can still remember old hurts and how I felt. But I have trouble remembering what I did yesterday. Is my brain so filled with memories that there is no more room? Or maybe I no longer have room to remember what is not important. Every day I vow to write things down – to keep a list. But I forget to do that. And suddenly around 3:00, I remember important phone calls I had intended to make first thing in the morning.

Maybe it is because I am semi-retired and no longer as busy as I used to be…I do not have to remember as many things, like getting ready to go to work.

In any case, I have lost some things with age and will probably be losing more things, as the years pass. I have decided I am okay with this – what choice do I have? But with age, I have also gained some things. When I turned 50 I felt liberated. I felt that turning 50 was an accomplishment, and I was no longer concerned with what other people think – I could do and say what I want. I have also grown more tolerant – mostly because I have had to learn to forgive myself for being more forgetful. I have had to forgive myself for having less patience with small children. I have had to forgive myself for spending all day in my jammies, if I did not have someplace else to be. And I have had to forgive my friends for these same things.

Now that all six of us in my quilting mini group, “Loose Threads”, which has been meeting once a month for over 10 years, are older, none of us is ever really sure of the date or time of our next meeting – at each meeting, we decide the details of the next, and if one of us does not write it down, none of us remember what we decided. We have become very tolerant of each other, this way.

When I forget something, now, I have to laugh – it is the better alternative. I started to take Gingko Biloba for my memory – since I cannot remember if my memory has improved since starting to take it, I am not sure if it is working, but I think I will continue to take it. There is some freedom that comes with memory loss. It is a very easy excuse to use for missed appointments when I just did not want to go, for missed events that really did not interest me, and for anything my daughter wanted me to do that I did not do. There is always a flip side to every negative, it seems! I think getting older and being okay with it, means learning to look at the flip side and embrace it!

Now I wish I could remember what it was that I had to do this morning….! lol.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seasonal Eating

Finally the weather has turned, in Southern California. I have been looking for some relief to the 100 degree summer days, and this past week, we have had rain and more rain, with thunder and some spectacular lightening shows, all ending with a huge double rainbow over our Antelope Valley. We are not used to much rain, here, so it was actually welcomed by most of us. But it has signaled the coming of winter, and I now have to trade in my sandals for real shoes, my cropped pants for long ones, and start wearing my jacket.

The weather change is requiring a food change, as well. In the summer, salads are the norm, for me. They are light, and the eating of salads and fruits in warm weather is said to be cooling to the body. But as we are moving into colder weather, I no longer want to be cooled on the inside, and am starting to search out recipes for chili, roasted vegetables, stews and fruit cobbler. I want to warm my insides! Cinnamon, mustard and cayenne are warming spices, so I am going to find ways to use them, more, in the next few months. I may even sprinkle some cinnamon in my tea.

Eating with the seasons is the recommended way of eating, for one’s optimal health and well-being. Eating seasonally means finding the fruits and vegetables that are being harvested with each season in the area where you live, and avoiding those fruits and vegetables that are being shipped in from someplace else.

Since it is Autumn, I am thinking of apples and squash and pumpkin pie. These are foods that have more substance, the eating of which will help to keep us warm and nourished in the colder months of the year. Cold soups are great in the summer, but as it gets colder, I am wanting more hearty soups and stews, with root vegetables and grains and beans and beef.

Industrialization has given us packaged refined, convenience “pretend food”, but there is no comparison with Whole food. Cynthia Lair says it well, in her book, FEEDING THE WHOLE FAMILY: ” A whole food harvested in season, with very little transportation time to the market, is at its peak in flavor. The good taste and rich color of food is an indication that nutrients are present. The fiber that comes as a natural part of whole foods makes us feel fuller and more satisfied with smaller serving sizes. Deep in our cells we know that whole, fresh, natural foods are the best nourishment for body and soul.”

Her recipe for Homemade Applesauce is as follows:
2 cups sliced apples
1/3 cup apple juice or apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp sea salt
unrefined cane sugar or brown sugar

Put apples, juice, cinnamon and salt in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until fruit is tender and liquid has cooked off (about 15 minutes). Taste and add sugar if desired, and reheat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Remove cinnamon stick. Mash sauce with a potato masher or puree in a blender if you want a smoother consistency. For very young children, use peeled apples.

Happy autumn eating!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Eat, Pray, Love

I have read the book – hope to be seeing the movie soon. In thinking about the theme, it seems to be another way of saying Body, Soul, Spirit. I think it is all about Balance – homeostasis is the medical word for the body being in balance – if your body is out of balance – even by a small injury like a paper cut, your body mobilizes to heal that cut and bring the body back into a balanced state.

Our lives need to be in balance, as well, which also contributes to our homeostasis. There are people who ‘religiously’ follow a vegetarian/vegan diet, a raw foods diet, a macrobiotic diet – and become so intensely focused on following that diet ‘to the letter’, that it becomes a source of anxiety for them – and the stress that is generated in their body interferes with the digestion of that good food. Then there are people who eat all the things we are being told not to eat – and they remain very healthy – because they enjoy what they are eating and take their time eating it, and stress is not interfering with their body being nourished from the food they are eating.

So – what is the answer? If we take time to eat and enjoy whatever food it is we are eating, we are benefitted by that food. When our bodies are relaxed, it promotes digestion and absorption of the healthful properties of the food. I read an article recently by Marc David where he talks about how a food is prepared will contribute to whether or not that food is nourishing. If the person preparing it, does so with care, the food will be more nourishing. I have also read where saying a blessing over the food changes its properties and it becomes more nourishing. It is a matter of the kind of energy that is being transmitted when creating, blessing and eating the food.

A few years ago I was having some study sessions with another classmate, at his house. He cooked dinner for us, and we had so much fun talking and eating his wonderful food, that we almost forgot that we were supposed to be studying. That was one of the best meals I have ever eaten, and while he was a good cook, it wasn’t just about the food – it was the care he took in making that food, and the easy atmosphere and conversation that went along with it – it was everything all together that made it one of the best meals I have ever eaten. And food that someone else cooks for me always seems to taste better than food I make for myself!

Our lives work better, also, if they are balanced. Eat, Pray, Love. We need to have nourishing food, we need to have positive, supportive relationships with others, and we need to develop some kind of spiritual awareness and practice, if we are going to feel truly fulfilled in our lives. Having all three contributes to Balance in our lives. Look to your life right now – is it in balance? Or are you missing something? If you are, think about what you need to do to get back in balance. And then make those changes!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


This morning I have read several articles regarding whether or not to give vaccines to children. There is concern that vaccines can cause many different conditions, from autism to the very diseases they are supposed to protect us from. In discussing vaccination with my daughter, we came to the conclusion that the vaccines should be given spaced apart, thinking that giving a child several vaccinations all at once would be too big of a load for a small child’s system to handle. After reading these articles, I am rethinking this. I know of parents who absolutely refuse to give vaccinations of any type to their child. There are countries where it can be documented that their incidence of a disease went up in direct correlation to giving the vaccine for that disease.

How do we know what to do to keep our children and grandchildren healthy and safe? How do We remain healthy and safe, when we are faced with the medical profession urging us to get our flu shot, while we read articles that say flu shots are a lucrative business, and that we should avoid them because they put us at a greater health risk than getting the flu would be.

There is an organization that provides unbiased information regarding immunizations. It is the National Vaccine Information Center. You can find a great deal of information on this site, in addition to information on state vaccination laws and how you can legally ‘opt out’ of vaccinations for your school children.

Regarding medications – I have managed to stay off of medications except for a generic version of Synthroid for my low thyroid condition, and I hope to soon be treating that condition more naturally, as well. My doctor wanted to put me on a cholesterol-lowering medication. I refused. I prefer using natural methods of lowering my cholesterol.

Many medications are prescribed to treat SYMPTOMS. They do nothing about treating the Cause of the symptoms. Medications mask or cover up the symptoms, and give us the illusion that ‘all is well’. That is Not the case. The underlying cause of the symptoms you were experiencing is still there – now just covered up – and it will resurface again, perhaps stronger, or in a more advanced state, since the condition causing the symptoms was never addressed.

About 10 years ago I was working as a medical transcriptionist at a local hospital. I remember being amazed at one doctor who would list as many as 30 medications that were being given to one elderly patient. I couldn’t imagine how that could help that person – given the potential side effects of even one medication – much less 30! I suppose one medication had side effects that caused another medication to be prescribed to treat the side effects that in turn had side effects that caused another medication to be prescribed, and on and on. I just wanted to holler STOP! How can 30 medications help keep someone healthy?

I just read an article in the Huffington Post about a young girl who had an autoimmune disease and the doctors kept prescribing more and more medication. It looked like she was being given a death sentence, until her parents protested and brought their daughter to see Mark Hyman, M.D., a doctor who works in the field of Functional Medicine – …”a revolution in 21st century medicine that provides a new road map for navigating the territory of health and illness”. He took her off her medications and brought her back to health. Here is the story:

Given the opportunity, the body wants to heal itself, and is equipped to do so. Medicine is big money, these days. So is Health Care. We need to be aware that some members of the health industry Profit from our being sick and taking pharmaceuticals. If some kind of health care, medication, or immunization is being promoted as being good for us, we need to look and see what organization is behind the information we are being given.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment