Con Gusto!!!

 

Disposition, means, needs, milieu and interests drive us to our own taste, one way or another, to suit our “present” lifestyle. I have been watching videos of Ari Seth Cohen and a few others and I have to say I am in awe with the ladies and gentlemen of New York. They are in their 80’s, 90’s and 100’s and they rock!!!

These are some of the names I gathered: Ilona Royce Smithkin, Lynn Dell, Mary Ann Van Dongen, Tziporah Salamon, Anne Marie Bullen, Zelda Kaplan, Alice Carey, Marilyn Sokol, Joyce Carpati, Tom Wolfe and many others. Linda in her vintage style and hats is simply ravishing. They each have something to offer: their own advice on how to age with grace and style. They mention good nutrition, fitness, carefree attitude and love of life as important factors.

It is a treat to look at them. They are an inspiration.

Con Gusto!!!

 

Food Intolerances and Allergies

They say that age brings maturity and wisdom. Yet it also brings intolerances and allergies. It is hard to attest whether the latter were there all along and we did not pay attention to them or if they developed along the way. This is still a debatable topic, for which no one has a firm answer.

Here are some examples related to this topic:

Dean drinks beer on and off but not on a regular basis. His meals are quite nutritious. He has his share of the food plate or food pyramid. He complains that his belly is huge, bloated and sore. He calls it his pregnant belly. Dean was told to test drinking lactose free milk for three weeks. At the end of the trial period, Dean reported he was no longer passing gas. He spent days with frequent urination, passing large amount of urine and then went back to normal. His belly had decreased in size, was less tender, but what pleased him the most was that he was slowly bringing his pants up toward his waist.

Jennifer reports that more and more she is developing joint and abdominal tenderness. She is stiff and has difficulty doing the yoga moves she used to do. She has a hard time understanding what is taking place because she has a healthy lifestyle. Upon paying attention to her food intake, she was told to test the gluten free theory. She therefore replaced her diet of barley, rye, spelt and wheat as well as processed foods which might include the stated ingredients. She switched to gluten free breads, pasta, oats, cookies and cereals. She even made her own crackers by using gluten free flour. The result was astounding.

Mary states that for many years she has seen, dark skin patches on the sides of her feet come and go. She attributed them to wearing non-leather shoes and sandals. As time went by she noticed that patches still developed even with leather shoes. Now much older, Mary states that these patches are more frequent and make wearing sandals unappealing. She was told to pay attention to her diet and the very beginning of the patches. She therefore noted that a day after eating peanuts, almonds and cashews, she not only felt abdominal bloating but also an itch in her feet. The itch persisted and then days later the patches developed. Now she knew the culprits and tailored her food intake accordingly.

Juliet has had fibroids for many years but since they did not pose great threat to her health, she waited for menopause to set in, since she was told they would shrink in size. Years have passed, menopause has set in and she continues to feel the fibroids. She is now more aware of them because they pulse and ache daily. Her body has gotten more sensitive to caffeine and even though she started drinking decaffeinated tea, her fibroids are still responding to the small caffeine amount. Upon switching to caffeine-free teas, her fibroids slowly started responding in kind and she felt the fibroids less and less.

Christopher lately gets into a doom mode, like he is about to have a heart attack but nothing happens. He fears going to sleep. He has been told that his heart is in good shape and he has nothing to worry about, but the problem continues. The main goal is to figure out where this feeling is coming from? Is it mental or physical? It so happens that he had a large plate of spinach, meat and potatoes one night. When he woke up the next day, the doom effect was vibrant. Spinach and kale were the major culprits. He tested the new discovery and indeed it was so.

These are five examples of food intolerances or allergies but by no means is this the complete answer to the human body. An allergy test is the beginning process. It is up to each one of us to address our own needs and make an informed decision.

Washington Oaks Garden State Park

It was simply a matter of luck. While driving through Palm Coast, Florida we saw this park and decided to visit it. It was a magical moment. Simply put, nature uplifts!!!

 

 

The Blueness of Florida

Every time I travel and I re-enter Florida, I can’t help but enjoy the blueness of the sky and of the water. From Pensacola to Pine Island…

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona’s main attraction is its array of red sandstone formations. The formations appear to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun. The red rocks form a popular backdrop for many activities, ranging from spiritual pursuits to the hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails. (Wikipedia)

Blood Sugar the Holistic Way

 

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Ann asked yesterday in regards to Type 2 Diabetes: “What would you suggest as a natural product to lower blood sugar?”

There is no simple answer to Diabetes since many factors such as diet, obesity, lack of exercise, genetics, stress, age, pollution and so on are involved. The first priority is to try to prevent high blood sugar levels by controlling the factors we can control, providing we can.

Here is my process:

  1. Garlic – I cannot stress garlic enough, except if one is allergic to it. The chemical allicin that is produced seems to act as prevention or cure for many diseases, including decreasing blood sugar.
  2. Affirmation – Know what blood sugar level you want for yourself. On my list of lab ranges, I have a fasting blood sugar level of 70-80, with an understanding that it rises after meals.
  3. Sugar control – A diet high in sugar, sugary drinks, cookies, cakes, candies and so on is a cause for concern. There is nothing wrong in having sweets once in a while but done continuously it leads us faster to diabetes. The pancreas ends up overworking in its release of insulin. Therefore, a better substitute is a fruit.
  4. Weight control – Maintaining a weight proportionate to our height is of help. Plus or minus a few pounds is not detrimental. Transient weight gain is not a great cause for alarm as long as we get back to a safe range.
  5. Exercise – Exercising is of great importance because it helps burn the calories we ingest thereby alleviating the stress placed on the pancreas to overproduce insulin and maintaining adequate weight.
  6. Diet – A diet made mostly of natural foods rather than processed foods is a recipe for good health in most cases. I balance my meals with natural seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, fruits, oils, spices and herbs daily with the addition of dairy, unsweetened dark chocolate and so on.
  7. Bowel movement – A while back Vam, a WordPress writer commented that having regular bowel elimination has a lot to do with good health. I absolutely agree with him. There is a great sense of relief after a good bowel movement, thereby decreasing both mental and physical stress placed on the body.

Prevention and cure help us achieve a certain amount of peace of mind so we can attend to other important things in our life. The goal is to do the best we can, but in the end if we are unable to maintain an adequate blood sugar level, medications such as Metformin or insulin may be a better route.

May our blood sugar level be in the normal range!

Blood Pressure Naturally

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Ann wrote a few days ago: “Would you please write an article on lowering blood pressure naturally.” I am formulating the answer by describing what works for me and what has allowed me to maintain a normal blood pressure. Therefore this post is written in the “I” format. It is not necessarily the complete picture because we each have our own formula for good health.

Here is my process:

  • Garlic – Many years ago I asked my great-aunt Tata  (died at 96 peacefully, no meds needed) what kept her going for so long. Her response was garlic. This herb is used for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, heart disease and many other medical conditions. It is due to the chemical allicin that it produces. I basically eat fresh sautéed garlic daily.
  • Affirmation – On my night table is a paper on which I have written in large format all the lab values and vital signs I expect from my body. Blood pressure 100/60 to 120/80. This winter I shoveled the snow arduously and I took my pressure afterwards. It was 150/74, okay to me because my heart had just slaved itself and demonstrated its hard work via a systolic of 150.
  • Stress deflection – We all know stress is here to test us at every moment in our life but we can decrease its impact in our own way. My method is to do the things that pleasure me. I love romance books, music from around the world (thank you Pandora and Spotify), learning different things, world mythology, dancing… The moment decides my choice.
  • Exercise – This is a very important component of my life. Some days I have no urge to go walk or hike out there. Well, I walk up and down in the house for however long I want. Lately, I have been doing yoga right in my bed. Occasionally I lift some weights.
  • Salt control – Salt is very important in our diet. I myself cannot see my cooked food without it but I consciously eat it only at dinner time. I am vegetarian minimum 5 days a week. My diet is made up mostly of natural foods but on some weekends I feel free to eat fish, seafood, or chicken.
  • Appreciation – On the spur of the moment, I take a minute to thank my organs for doing a good job. I acknowledge the Above and the Below for their support. My daughter laughs at me often and says I am a nutcase but she says if it works for me who is she to disagree.
  • Teas – My same great-aunt Tata always had fresh leaves available for a “tisane” as she called it. I vary my teas as per the moment.

Finally, there are many facets of our life such as age, diet, stress, chemicals, pollution and so on that may affect our health, but if we want to minimize the effects of those facets, we need to reclaim our health. We each have our own way that works best for us. Our blood pressure is ours to normalize the best way we can.

May our blood pressure be normal and our body and mind be in tiptop shape!

On the way to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

The caves of Carlsbad Caverns National Park contain sites with exceptional natural beauty. The park’s most famous cave, Carlsbad Cavern, is over 1,000 feet deep and currently contains 30 miles of mapped passages. The Big Room of Carlsbad Cavern is the largest underground chamber in the United States. Massive stalagmites, stalactites, columns, flowstone, travertine, and cave “popcorn” decorate the room. The park’s largest wildlife attraction is a colony of Mexican free-tailed bats, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, that live in the cave. The colony spends six months each summer in the cave where their young are born. (https://www.nps.gov/cave/learn/nature/upload/research.pdf)

Imagine the majesty and the magnificence of nature!!!!

 

 

Earthships in New Mexico

A while back, I visited a town in New Mexico where earthships were being built. It was quite an eye opener!

Shasta and McCloud

Traveling or hiking through the north of California gives a sense of majestic height that is exhilarating. Here are pics of some areas I got to see.

Enchanted Rock

There is a first for everything. Well, I have to say that we sucked at setting up a tent. My daughter and I camped at Enchanted Rock, Fredericksburg, Texas for two weeks and the experience was absolutely enchanting. We felt the energy of the area radiate all around us. We merged with nature and the environment. Our skin got smoother. Our mild aches and pains disappeared. It was rejuvenating to say the least. We felt protected!!!

 

 

List of Foods for Diarrhea

Rice On Spoon by scottchan,

Rice On Spoon by scottchan

Many conditions or illnesses cause diarrhea. The latter can occur due to bacteria, fructose, parasites, viruses, medications, lactose intolerance, artificial   sweeteners,  digestive disorders or abdominal surgery.

And so it is that a few months ago a friend of mine had an emergency bowel surgery which resulted in a condition called small bowel syndrome. This condition causes malabsorption of foods and fluids, leading to diarrhea.

So what has she been doing to help herself instead of taking medications which she took the first two weeks after the surgery? She has learned about her own body and the foods that could assist her in limiting or controlling the diarrhea.

First of all, she redressed her meals’ frequency. She ate several small meals instead of three large ones like she used to. She did bowel training by repeating a time routine until it became a habit thereby reestablishing her bowel’s normal reflexes. In other words, she set an exact time to have a bowel movement twice a day at the beginning and then once a day.

And so it is this woman named Paula has won her battle over diarrhea. She goes at will and has soft stools. She has been following a specific diet which has done her well and she drinks plenty of water. Now she worries about constipation when she does not go for two days. Go figure 🙂

So what is Paula’s specific list of foods for diarrhea?

  • White potato without skin
  • White rice
  • White bread
  • Banana
  • Blueberries specially dried ones
  • Chamomile tea
  • Applesauce
  • Peppermint tea
  • Bland chicken or turkey
  • Probiotic yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Water biscuits or soda crackers
  • Bland cod or red snapper
  • Cooked asparagus or mushrooms

This diet may be rigid but it worked for one person. It took time, effort and patience for Paula to reach this state of well-being.

Life in a tiny house

I always wondered how it was to live in a tiny house so when I got a chance to do it, I gladly accepted. To my great surprise, it ended up being quite a memorable experience.

 

Discernment

Discernment

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Discernment is an art, for it requires an inherent ability and practice. One without the other is incomplete and can be a recipe for misery. Discernment entails the knowledge that “As Above, So Below” is a valid adage. When we enter the spiritual world whether from our own volition or through pressure from our Higher Self, we become a twinkling light so to speak. It means that we are now visible to the world beyond our senses.

In the past, our focus was on angels, archangels, genies, djinns, ghosts, spirits, demons etc… Today, we also talk about aliens. Everyone has either heard, read or experienced it. These concepts are all part of the unknown or the above which we as human beings are continually trying to understand. Therefore, because it is not open to just our physical senses, we must employ some other means to decipher the bombardment of messages we continually receive from that world.

Discernment calls for us to remain vigilant at all times, meaning that we must be aware there are many variables, factors and inputs into a comment, a statement or an action from the unknown. We frequently hear “Use your judgment.” That’s what it is. So, when we are dealing with the unknown, we must employ the same tactics as we would use with our family, friends or strangers for that matter. We all have the ability to feel and sense falsities but some of us don’t want to be bothered for one reason or another. It requires staying on our toes and we don’t have the patience for it.

Messages come from many directions. They are available to us through dreams, visions, synchronicities, strangers, friends, songs, phrases in our “ears”, general conversation, whispers, books or just momentary thoughts. Some messages are there to distract us from our spiritual path. They play the role of deterrents. Some are there to push us toward a destructive path. Their goal is that of negative catalysts. Some are genuine messages from the above, there to guide us to the next level. They are positive catalysts. It is up to us to figure out which is which. Fear or obsession serves us no purpose. We must keep a clear vision of where we are heading.

There are three solid paths in spirituality besides the in-between ones that I consider wishy-washy  because they can slide one way or another. The three paths are: benevolence, malevolence and neutrality. I can even rephrase it to: positive, negative or neutral. Once we determine which path defines us beyond any doubt, we can now proceed in the direction we are meant to be on with determination.

The examples below come from what I have garnered over the years from reading, hearing, experiencing and observing. We all have our own mechanism for learning so we must use what works best for us. We will stumble several times, some of us more and some of us less but we eventually become good at it. Discernment is a road well worth paving to avoid serious scrapes. So what exactly does it require?

1)      When we are offered rewards, gifts, treasures, riches and it all sounds unrealistic, we need to follow our instinct.  A warning bell is being deployed.

2)      When we are given high titles, messianic goals, elevated status, we have to beware!

3)      When a convoluted tale of such magnificent outcome is spread in front of our eyes, being skeptical is a defense mechanism that could save us future desolation.

4)      When we see ourselves receiving mystical abilities and we do not know where they are coming from, we need to pay attention to our inner self. What good does it serve? Who does it benefit? Why are they given?

5)      When we are sent to do an elusive errand and in return we will be recompensed, we need to evaluate what we are being asked to do.

6)      When we hear a message right before or after a decision we made, we need to determine what the intention is. Is it a deterrent or is it a catalyst?

7)      When we get a message elevating us above others or flattering us, we need to let go of ego and question what the messenger is trying to gain.

As a final note, discernment is an on-going effort and therefore is relative to our continuous advancement in life. We will be tempted and tested at every turn but what must remain clear in our mind and in our heart is on which side we stand: benevolence, malevolence or neutrality.

 

The Benefits of Diversity

Yutegal/photobucket.com

Yutegal/photobucket.com

The last two decades have seen an upsurge of jobs with the word diversity as one of the qualifications. I have viewed an umpteenth amount of job offers recently and I can vouch that the majority of them required diversity. My search was of course biased because it pertained strictly to the medical field but I can also state that years ago for the same positions, diversity was not a requirement.

So what is it about diversity that makes it so important in our society today? The fact is on an everyday basis, at the very least in a major city, we meet people from different states, different nationalities, different cultures, different ethnic groups or different religions. Living in New York City for example is quite an experience. Going to college there many years ago, I had the opportunity to study side by side with people from many parts of the USA and also the world.

The United States, among several other countries, by the virtue of being a melting pot harbors the world. It is a place of continuous change. People are thrust upon each other by the Above when they least expect it, in order to foment change. Often, we do not know when or where our next place will be. The Universe impels us at every turn.

Changes are intricate and occur second by second without us even noticing them. Everything moves. Everything vibrates. Everything flows in and out. Often enough we try to resist changes but they occur anyway whether we want them or not. And people who refuse changes are simply left behind. Those of us old enough can remember the days when there were no computers, no cell phones and no iPods among many other devices 🙂

We all act according to many facets in our life: finances, upbringing, race, color, religion, social status, education, intelligence, culture, neighborhood, town, city, gender and all. And so, the more exposure we get, the more open we become. I can attest to that. I come from a small island where up to my early teens I only knew my own countrymen. And then, I arrived to New York City and it was quite an eye opener. It is this experience which allowed me to date and marry men from different races, countries and religious beliefs.

Exposure opens the door to diversity when one is ready, willing and able, for as we know, we may have all the above variables and yet still deny that door.

So what are the benefits of diversity?

  1. Create a peaceful environment.
  2. Promote tolerance of that which is different.
  3. Discourage prejudices.
  4. Discover beauty in the unusual.
  5. Foster the need for knowledge.
  6. Open up the mind.
  7. Enliven the unknown.
  8. Encourage equality.
  9. Prepare mankind for higher capabilities.

And when humanity is aglow with knowledge, understanding, love, compassion and wisdom, Earth will finally be ready to enter the world of abundance and infinite possibilities for all! Until then, let us practice diversity to the best of our ability and make it our own legacy!