When Is It Time To Make A Change?

When Is It Time To Make A Change?

by Christy Diane Farr

 

Several years ago, I ended a very rocky off again/on again relationship. I  quit eating meat. A couple of years later, my daughter decided she didn’t want  to eat meat anymore either. My wife, who never ate much meat anyway, followed  suit too.

My charming son, who previously preferred potatoes and pasta to animal  protein, no questions asked, has now declared himself the resident carnivore –  the proud and mighty meat eating man of the house. I suspect the renewed  commitment to meat consumption reflects his quest to define himself, the lone  male, in a household with three girl people, three girl cats, and one neutered  boy cat, who he tells me “does not count for the boy team, because we had him  fixed”. So, testosterone driven or not, we support him in his life as a  meat eater, and he supports us in ours.

Several months ago, I gave up crack, I mean sugar… again. After more than two  years without the poison, I’d “relapsed” and felt sincerely mortified to find  myself deep in the throes of a toxic relationship with it once again. That is  always a good sign that you should stop eating something, when you realize that  you not only have a “relationship” with a food, but that you describe it as  toxic. Never a good sign, but if there is uncertainty, look for other  signs you need to give it up. For example, how often have you had a hysterical  fit of crying and screaming because someone used the last of the milk, without  warning you or replacing it, leaving you with a dry bowl of Fruity Pebbles? If  the answer is more than zero, you might want to give it some thought…

While I have no energy for the debate about whether one can be “addicted” to  sugar or not, my relatively recently established policy prohibiting “toxic  relationships” forced me to put down the spoon and walk away from sugar for  good. Yes, I miss cake but there really isn’t anything that tastes better than  sanity feels. I’ve resisted forcing my dietary choices on my family and friends,  perhaps excessively so, and the living by example thing works slower than I ever  imagined. It’s just me, living sugar-free, and while it is a difficult choice at  times, I live with certainty that it is best for me (and everyone who encounters  me).

Do you know the feeling that comes to let you know it is time to make a  change? It is a message that bubbles up from deep within, or sometimes the  universal brick to the forehead,  that the time to act is now. Sometimes they  are strong enough that by simply receiving it, we feel the strength and  certainty to move into alignment with it. These are powerful moments and I’ve  found that by taking action when the time is right, I have what it takes to  actually do it.

Well, not long after I released sugar,  I heard that the time had  come to make two other big dietary adjustments – releasing dairy and gluten.  I’ve done these two before, just long enough to know that my body wasn’t  responding well to them. I knew it would come eventually, but when word came  that it was time, I freaked out.

Immediately, the voice in my head started explaining how hard it is to give  up wheat, to give up dairy, to give them up in addition to sugar, to give them  up when I don’t eat meat. It told me that this was absolutely unreasonable. It  told me how this would be better to do later.

The good news is that I am impressively tenacious.

(“Tenacious” is the post-therapy translation of childhood labels like  bull-headed, stubborn, cantankerous, unmanageable, and just plain bitchy.)

I won’t listen to anyone, even  the little voices in my head, when I can  discern they are coming from a place of fear. Part of me felt afraid that these  changes would be too hard. Part of me certainly — and perhaps even reasonably —  felt afraid that I wouldn’t know what to eat or how to prepare my food. I was  afraid because I sincerely wanted to make these changes and that meant it  would  hurt so badly if I failed.

But all of that is about fear and we already know that nothing of value ever  comes from fear.

So, here’s the deal: I am a catalyst. I write and teach because these are the  gifts I possess to help me blow up obstacles to personal freedom — both in my  life and in yours — because that’s what I believe I was created to do. With that  in mind, what  I’m trying to tell you is this: Once you hear the whispers (or  feel bricks) about making changes in your life, the time to take action is now.  Period.

When you feel the energy surge, that’s your sign, jump on and ride it all the  way. Do whatever it takes to cultivate the health, sanity, creativity,  abundance, love, or whatever else you need and desire. That’s how this works.  And when you commit, the universe will rush in to support you. You’ll receive  the your life equivalent of friends who are masterful vegan cooks to  teach you how prepare what you eat now, Kundalini Yoga classes to help you heal,  and too-tight favorite blue jeans to remind you why you care about making this  change.

While I could write, at remarkable length, about the merits of sugar-free  food, being a vegetarian or vegan, food sensitivities, respecting an 11 year-old  boy’s need to carve a space for himself in the world by eating meat, and the  healing power of self-love, that is not what I want you to hear in this story  about what’s changing in my world.

Instead, I’m writing to ask you — plain and simple — to listen when your  intuition speaks to you. Regardless of what healing journey writers like me are  sharing with you, or what your partner/boss/mother/society believes you “should”  be, I’m asking you to find your own answers. What does your body need you to do?  What does your soul long for? What are the personal and professional dreams  waiting for your attention?

Listen to the beautiful voice inside your heart; the tender one who whispers  about your strength and your power; the one who knows, intimately, all the best  parts of you and who remembers the reason for your life on this earth. When that  voice says it is time, listen… act. Your life is waiting for you.

 

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Dandelion Root Coffee

Dandelion Root Coffee

 

Author

 

  1. Find dandelions which should be easy. The best plants are at least two years old because big roots are the best. Autumn is a good time to harvest as they have been storing nutrition in the roots all summer.
  2. Dig up dandelion roots using a narrow trowel or you can use a shovel to loosen the roots. If there is not enough in your lawn, go to a country place where weed killers are not used. Best not to go to city parks as they often do use weed killers.
  3. Soak the roots in water to loosen the soil.
  4. Wash the dandelion roots to remove all of the soil; you can use a vegetable brush.
  5. Then rinse them well.
  6. Cut the roots off just below the tops. Save the flowers and leaves.

The leaves are nutritious; they can be steamed or small amounts added to a salad. The flowers can be made into dandelion syrup and pancakes.

 

  1. Rinse the roots well outside to get rid of most of the soil.
  2. Slice the roots into sections.
  3. Chop up the roots coarsely.
  4. Spread the chopped roots thinly on cookie sheet.
  5. Roast in at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2 hours.*
  6. They are ready when the roots are dark brown the colour of coffee beans. Take care not to burn them.
  7.  Store roasted roots in an airtight container in a very cool place until you are ready to make dandelion coffee.
  8.  Grind them up in a coffee grinder and brew them just like you would with coffee grounds.
  9.  2 Tbsp of grounds for 3 cups off beverage.
  10.  Add the grounds to simmering water and simmer while covered for 7–15 minutes.
  11.  Serve with your choice of milk (almond, rice, soy, cows, goats) and sweetener of your choice.

* Alternatively you can dry roast the dandelion root after it is fully dry and chopped in a frying pan (cast iron pan is best) until it has become dark brown

Food Can Nourish the Spirit

Food Can Nourish the Spirit

by Sarah Cooke

Today, a friend and I had a conversation about the role that relationships  can play in our enjoyment of food. For example, when I prepare dishes using my  mother’s recipes, the flavor is the same but the experience is often less  fulfilling than enjoying a meal she has prepared for me. Similarly, when I  prepare a meal for my fiancé and myself, I often enjoy the dish more than I do  when I am the only one eating.

It is not only the flavor of a dish or the quality of the ingredients that  contributes to our enjoyment. It is the energy surrounding the food – and the  consumption of it. When a meal is prepared and eaten with love,  it is generally more enjoyable.

Yes, this phenomenon can lead to emotional  eating when we try to recreate the positive memories and feelings associated  with particular foods. But it also has the potential to be quite beneficial.  When we enjoy food on the level of the spirit, we are often more likely to feel  more fulfilled, meaning we consume fewer empty calories than we do when we eat  processed foods, which are less fulfilling. When we eat processed food, we often  must eat more to feel fulfilled. In addition, when we learn to appreciate the  deep, emotional nourishment that food can offer us in a balanced way, we are  likely to choose high quality foods that can offer that kind of sustenance.

 

6 Reasons to Go Wheat-Free (At Least For a Bit)

6 Reasons to Go Wheat-Free (At Least For a Bit)

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

Food trends come and go. One moment we’re shunning fats and the next we’re drinking flax oil down by the spoonful. One moment carbs are low fat and the next we’re removing the bun from our burger. It’s rather hard to keep up. But then there are some diets that seem to have a little more traction, and more importantly, have motivations beyond just weight loss.

Just today a Facebook friend proclaimed that she had gone wheat-free for a month and had never felt better. Last week in a yoga class the girl one mat over explained that since giving up gluten she felt the weight of depression lift. While there have yet to be enough studies to back up such claims, holistic practitioners say it’s a diet that’s working in a big way.

Why are we giving up wheat? What are the benefits?

1. Celiac Disease

This is by far the most studied reaction to wheat. Wheat has gluten in it and those with Celiac Disease have a severe intolerance to gluten. Much of the early popularity stemmed from doctors beginning to diagnose Celiac Disease, an illness that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents the absorption of nutrients in the body. Celiac Disease affects 1 out of 133 people and even still 97 percent of people with Celiac Disease go undiagnosed, according to Eco Salon.

2. Tiredness or Feeling Groggy

Many people give up wheat because they think it makes them feel tired. Many alternative health practitioners believe that wheat can create an imbalance in the minerals of the body which can create a deficiency of magnesium that results in tiredness.

3. Cave Men Didn’t Eat It

We didn’t always have wheat and that may point to why intolerance is so widespread.

“You have to remember that Stone Age man didn’t eat wheat,” Dr Nick Avery, a former GP who now runs the Centre for the Study of Complementary Medicine and is the consultant for Boots on homeopathy told The Independent. “It was introduced only 10,000 years ago with the cultivation of crops. Which is relatively recent compared to the diet of millions of years ago, for which our bodies are better adapted – nuts, berries, fruits. We overdose on wheat and end up eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner – toast, sandwiches, a pizza. It’s too much.”

4. Weight Loss

You knew I would include this one and I’ll tell you why. Wheat can cause fluid retention in the body which results in weight gain. By giving up wheat, you’re able to reduce puffiness and lose a few pounds, nothing too drastic. Other weight loss may come from having a smaller range of foods that you can eat.

5. Avoid Bleach and Preservatives

If it’s processed, often times wheat is refined with bleach, preservatives, conditioners, and a host of other additives. Even when wheat says that it’s “whole” it’s often processed, with many nutrients and fiber especially, stripped away.

6. Depression

Depression can be triggered by wheat intolerance. Lucretius said, “One man’s food is another man’s poison.” Mark Hyman, MD of the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, said this to Elle Magazine:

The culprit and cure for most psychiatric disorders lies in the gut, Hyman says. Allergies and toxins in food, the environment, and drugs damage it, causing it to become inflamed and to “leak,” allowing undigested food and bacteria to slip into our bloodstreams. This leads to autoimmune disorders, malnutrition, and brain damage. To heal, he recommends taking supplements, discontinuing nonessential drugs, and embarking on an abstemious diet often called the gluten-free, casein-free diet (or GFCF), which eliminates all foods containing wheat or dairy

Maybe going wheat-free isn’t for you but making dietary changes can have a big impact on the way you feel from day to day.