Considering a Plant Based Diet

The Year of Health has become even more important with my husbands unexpected heart attack and need to quadruple bypass surgery. As he recovers from a surgery, that seems inconceivable to me, we are researching what we need to do to protect him from having to go through anything like this again. We also want to protect our son from being where his dad is in 30 years. The genetic risk lives on chromosome 19. I learned this this week. The idea that a 15 yearly boy has to be tested for high cholesterol is mind boggling to me. We had already dubbed 2020 as our “Year of Health” even before this event. Now it is even more important for our whole family.

Diet and exercise seem to be the two areas where we can make an impact. We had committed to at least 10,000 steps a day and 52 hikes this year. We may need to do some urban hiking to make this work. Today instead of the hike we had planned, Marty took his first walk down the hall on the intensive care unit. We may have to double up on hikes later in the year to make our 52, but we will get there.

As soon as my brother heard about Marty’s heart attack he suggested a plant based diet. My brother follows this type of diet and it prevented him from needing to be on medication for his cholesterol. It also probably prevented him from a fate similar to Marty’s, as we have family history of hear disease. I have been pescatarian since 2011. I travel for work so have been hesitant to give up dairy, eggs, and fish. Marty eats what I cook but when he eats separate from me, he eats the typical American diet. Wanting to protect our family from having this ever happen to anyone we love again, got us seriously looking at plant based diets. My 9 years eating things without legs has taught me how to cook some amazing meat free dishes. I am confident that I can bring this to the next level. But, does a plant based diet really work?

We started research by watching some documentaries on Netflix. What the HealthFork over Knife, and The Game Changers provided us with information that was so surprising. A friend recommended a YouTube Channel Krocks in the Kitchen, which led us to another one called, The Jardoui Family. The YouTube channels provide some great ideas as well as wonderful inspired recipes. The host of The Jardoui Family shared her story and it was just as my brother had said. eating a plant based diet restored health and prevented the need for the Statin drugs that are often used to reduce cholesterol. It confirmed what the documentaries had said.

Can we do this? Sure, why not! Planning ahead and cooking for ourselves will be key in being successful on a diet like this. More and more restaurants are offering plant based food. In the Twin Cities we have The Herbivorious Butcher, which has wonderful options.  When I first stopped eating animals back in 2011, I just tried it and thought, “I will see how long I can do this”. Now, 9 years later, I am looking at taking the next step for my health and the health of my family.

May you always have good health. I love you!

If you have any fabulous plant based recipes  or information you would like to share, please post them in the comments. Thank you. If you want a natural way to improve your health, I recommend you watch the documentaries.

 

Oh Beautiful Duality

Emy recently wrote a blog called Yin/Yang, Light and Dark. In it she talks about the duality within herself. It also made me very aware of the duality within the way Emy and I chose to deal with the world around us. We are completely across the zodiac from each other with our birthdays landing 6 months apart. I believe the different ways we see the world is part of what helps us work so well together.

In her blog, she shares the story of her informing me of all the Americans who are working but not being paid due to the government shut down. I was not aware until she told me. I purposefully do not watch the news because of all the negativity and fear that it promotes. I am a strong believer that our thoughts create our reality. I believe that when we watch or focus on negative things that it affects the vibration of our being. I choose not to lower my vibration by watching the news and focusing on the many injustices in our world.

Whatever a person’s mind dwells on
intensely and with firm resolve,
that is exactly what he becomes.

~ Shankaracharya ~

Emy believes strongly she must fight; fight for the planet, fight for human rights, fight for politicians who have our best interests at heart. I want all of these same things. I want a planet that is healthy and natural areas that are preserved for all of us to enjoy. I want all people to be treated fairly and have the opportunities to improve their lives. I do not want to see children suffer at the hands of misguided adults. I want the people who are making our laws and running our governments to work for the best interest of all involved. Emy and I are very much on the same page as far as what we want. I, however, go about it very differently. This is not to say that Emy only fights. She has a strong spiritual life too. There are many spiritual practices that are a part of her repertoire.

For me, the energy that gets summoned inside of me when I get angry about injustices is not positive. This lowers my vibrations. Instead of focusing on the things in the world that I do not care for, I look for the good. This does not make me naive. I know there is evil in the world, but I believe to focus on it, is to give it energy. I would rather focus on the random acts of kindness that people do for one another every day. I would rather meditate on peace and love for all of the world in hopes of sending those positive intentions out. In June and July of 1993 4,000 people participated in a study. The study showed a 23.3% drop in crime in Washington DC as a result of the meditation by these participants. Showing there is more than one way to change this world.

In the movie and eventually the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne; they address this very issue. Jack Canfield says, “The anti-war movement creates more war. The anit-drug movement has actually created more drugs. Because we’re focusing on what we don’t want – drugs!” Did you know that in 2001, Portugal decriminalized drugs. As a result they have fewer problems with overdose, HIV, and drug related crimes. Additionally the usage of drugs has declined there. It is not perfect, there are a lot of other factors at play, but this could be related to the shift in focus. Jack goes on to share that Mother Teresa said, “I will never attend an anti-war rally. If you have a peace rally, invite me”.

What you resist persists

~Carl Yung~

I am not saying that Emy’s urge to fight the injustices of the world is wrong. I strongly believe that politics is a part of her Dharma. She is guided to change the world through sharing information, running for office, and joining committees. My path is different. It is exactly the opposite. While she is fighting, I am meditating. While she is sharing information about what is wrong, I am focusing on what is right. I am sending love to all of my fellow travelers on this journey. I believe that there is good in everyone. I believe that even if someone disagrees with me, that does make them wrong. They are perfectly where they are supposed to be on their spiritual path, just as I am perfectly where I am supposed to be on my spiritual path.

Having Emy as my spiritual sister helps me grow. We often discuss topics, ideas, and philosophies. We often come at things from very different perspectives. We both learn and grow from these conversations. Duality is a beautiful thing, within ourselves and externally.  Celebrate the differences between yourself and others. You just do not know how it may help you grow. Together Emy and I support the world in many different ways, our beautiful duality enriches our lives.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May your path always feel right to you, as if by magic.

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8 Natural Cures for Headaches

Nothing can disrupt a good day quite like a headache. It makes it hard to concentrate and hard to get tasks finished. Reading things or even viewing programs can be painful. All you want to do is hide in the dark. When Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen just won’t do, either because they don’t work or you want a more natural alternative, what can you do? Here are some ideas of things you can try.

 1. Meditation – some nice deep breathing in a dimly lit room with your eyes closed. This helps to relieve stress and calm your headache.
2. Essential Oils – Frankincense and Lavender are two great oils that help many different things. Peppermint is also especially powerful for headaches. It is best to put it on the back of your neck or your wrists. Keep the oils away from your eyes. Especially the peppermint.
3. Massage – There is nothing quite like having someone rub away the kinks and knots in your neck. Professional massage therapists know just what to do when you have a persistent headache. You can even ask your friends and family to try to rub your neck and loosen some of the stiff muscles.
4. Ice packs – A nice cool pack on your back of your neck or head can help calm spasming muscles. I have a cherry pit pack, I keep it in the freezer. It can also be heated in the microwave for old aches. This item is essential in my arsenal against pain.
5. Reiki – Or any energy healing. Quantum touch, Qigong, Healing touch, are all types of energy healings. These can be powerful in getting rid of a persistent headache. They can be a bit costly. I used to charge $75/hr. Perhaps you can offer to trade with a healer, if this is more than you can afford for a headache remedy. I find that good energy work is totally worth the costs. Maybe someday health insure will cover these services.
6. Caffeine – Are you addicted to caffeine? If you have substantial daily caffeine intake, it may be a sign of withdraws. I would recommend you have a little caffeine to help decrease the discomfort and start to wean yourself off of this addictive substance.
7. Water – A headache can be a sign of dehydration. Make sure you are drinking lots of nice pure water. Did you know that caffeine is a diuretic? It can actually make you more dehydrated when you are drinking caffeinated beverages.
8. Acupuncture – You might think having needles stuck in you is not very relaxing. You would be surprised. I find this one of the most relaxing modalities I have ever had done. It helps remove blocks and restore energy flows. Give it a try and you just might like it.

What other things have you done to help persistent head aches? What is your favorite natural way to combat headaches?