I just want to start off by wishing everyone a happy new year; hope you had a great time with your family and friends. I got to thinking, a few days back, of certain things I could improve about myself for the coming year. After I wrote a list out, of things I want to accomplish, I started to realize I want to do things differently this time around. I didn’t want to just go gung-ho for the first month and then slowly fall off track, like I’ve always done each year prior. I wanted to, not only keep on track with my goals, but I also wanted to maintain that focus for the rest of my days here.
The things, I wanted most to improve on, were mainly my overall health and eating habits. So, what I did differently this time around was write down all the things I need to work on. After I was done with my list, I made a copy of it and hung it up in my room.The premise for that approach is that I will be reminded daily on the goals I set for myself. I came up with about twenty goals that I feel need some vast improvement on my part. The other decision I came to was at any time I feel I need to add something to the improvement list; I will just go ahead and do that.
In other words, if I feel I need to work on something, and I figure this out in May or June, I won’t wait until the following year to write that down as a resolution; it will be added to my list on that exact day. I’ve just gotten to the point that I need to stay focused no matter what time, day, week or month it is. In turn, I know there might be some bumps in the road but like Rocky Balboa said, “Why do we fall? So we can get back up.” Thanks to the words of wisdom by Sylvester Stallone, I will approach every single day like that going forward. The most important thing is if I do go off course for a day, I will immediately jump back the next day like nothing happened. In the past, if went off my diet for a day or two, it might take me a week to get back on track; no more of that on my watch :))
I WILL STAY FOCUSED…I WILL STAY FOCUSED…I WILL STAY FOCUSED.
I never thought that I would be devoting a weekly blog post to pay homage to a cereal brand, but here I am. Who would have thought? There are many reasons why I can’t get enough of this particular cereal brand; the taste is amazing, it’s filling, and it’s clutch for any time of the day. The brand, that I can’t keep my hands away from, is Kashi’s new line of organic cereal.
Sure, there are a number of cereals that have the organic label on them but this one is a little different. I found out the hard way, when I nearly scratched my face and neck off, that just because it says organic on it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s allergy-free. What makes it different is for the fact that this line of Kashi is made in a totally separate factory that “doesn’t” operate with tree nuts, peanuts, walnuts, and any other nut for that matter. After I read the back of the label, I just wanted to be on the safe side so I gave the company a ring on the phone to clarify.
The representative there had verified for me that the organic line operates in a totally separate facility. They went on to tell me that they have two factories; one that is allergy-free and the other not so much. After I hung up the phone, I was so ecstatic that I attempted to do a back flip right there in my kitchen. I’m glad that I thought this one through and I decided to just jump up and down in joyous bliss. This was definitely a safer alternative, not only for me but also for everything that was in the kitchen.
Going down the cereal aisle in the supermarket had become somewhat of a dread for me. I would see all these nutritious, tasty looking cereals and I couldn’t wait to get back home and go to town on them. The only obstacle in my way now is what the dreaded “label” has to say on the side of the box. Once I find a cereal that I like, I almost have to cross my fingers and hope for the best. Nine out of ten times, I will see the worse group of words for people with severe allergies could possibly come across…”made in a factory that handles all kinds of nuts.”
If you have food allergies, like I do, it becomes a hardship when you have to go shopping for cereal, and food all around. That has changed for the better now and we have the option to munch on something without breaking out into an itching spell. Another reason to attempt some backflips, or jump for joy, is that the Kashi Organics line has finally arrived in all major supermarkets. You no longer have to shop online and have your cereal delivered to your front door several days later. You can go right down the road now, whenever you want.
Another added bonus is that the line of Kashi Organics has so many different choices to choose from; Island Vanilla (All-time favorite of mine), Autumn Harvest, Cinnamon Harvest and Strawberry Fields to just name a few. If you suffer from severe allergies, give it a whirl if you’re looking for a change of pace and a top notch taste:))
Enjoy your time this weekend with your family and friends!!! Until next week,
Over the past few years, there has been an abundance of documentaries focusing on what humans are putting inside their bodies. Thanks to the help of the internet, I have come across a slew of these kinds of films. There was none more informative than, “Food Matters”, that was released back in 2008. What I think puts this film apart from the others, especially for me, is that it focuses on the need to stop relying on pills, shots and creams for every problem. It was good to hear that because the Western culture has become a tad bit pill happy as of late. There seems to be pills for just about everything imaginable, even for things like having fun and laughing too much. There is a definitely a time and place for those kinds of approaches but not for chronic, lifelong issues. Throughout the roughly hour and a half movie, you start to see that all the interviewees come to the same conclusions…proper nutrition and exercise is the key to a healthy life. It seems like a rather simplistic notion but how many people truly understand what that really means?
The other parts of the film went on to talk about how our food is being cultivated. How many people are aware that a good portion of the fruits and vegetables, in all the major supermarkets, are being sprayed with synthetic chemicals, pesticides and herbicides. I didn’t realize that until I saw this movie and I’m glad that I found out now and not later.
According to the Organic Valley website, a good number of pesticides are known to pose significant, acknowledged health risks to people—including birth defects, damage to the nervous system; disruption of hormones and endocrine systems; respiratory disorders; skin and eye irritations; and various types of cancers.
- Exposure to persistent organic pollutants through diet has been linked to breast and other types of cancer, immune system suppression, nervous system disorders, reproductive damage, and disruption of hormonal systems.1
- Male Reproductive Development: Hormone-disrupting chemicals in commercial pesticides have been linked to testicular cancer and low sperm counts in men, and to birth defects in baby boys.2
- Public health costs associated with pesticide-related acute poisonings and cancer alone, add up to an estimated $1.1 billion dollars per year.3
- Parkinson’s disease has been linked to pesticide exposure. 4
Organic Valley goes on to state that organic growers use biological and cultural practices to handle pests, including crop rotation, the selection of resistant varieties, nutrient and water management, the provision of habitat for the natural enemies of pests, and release of beneficial organisms to protect crops from damage. A few years back, when I first saw this amazing documentary, I started to shop at specific grocery stores and only looked for the organic labels. They might cost a little more but my thinking is that I would rather put something in my body that does more good than harm.
All in all, I highly recommend this film for anyone and everyone. Even making minor changes in your diet might be all you need to feel better in the long run. I leave you with this timeless quote,
“Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice”?”
― George Carlin
- “Nowhere to Hide: Persistent Toxic Chemicals in the U.S. Food Supply,” by Kristin Schafer, Pesticide Action Network North America, 2000 (www.panna.org).
- Sharpe, Richard. “Men under threat: The decline in male reproductive health and the potential role of exposure to chemicals during in-utero development.” Briefing by ChemTrust: http://www.chemtrust.org.uk/Press_and_Media.php
- “Promoting Sustainable Food Systems through Organic Agriculture: Past, Present and Future,” Christine McCullum-Gomez, C., and Riddle, J. HEN Post: Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association, Spring 2009. www.hendpg.org
- Costello, et al., “Parkinson’s Disease and Residential Exposure to Maneb and Paraquat From Agricultural Applications in the Central Valley of California,” AMerican Journal of Epidemiology, published January
I kept sifting through the internet , and some of the natural healing books I have, for foods that have high levels of magnesium in them. The reason being is that magnesium has several beneficial aspects to it; first being that it can keep your immune system up to optimal levels, allow for proper nerve function throughout the body, keeps heart rate rhythm steady and it keeps bones strong. Now that I acquired a better understanding of what magnesium can do for me, I started looking for different foods and supplements that could help in that department.
The saving grace is that I came across a lot of dietary supplements that had just magnesium in it but I was looking for more natural approaches. I don’t know about you but I have a tendency to look for food and drink products before I settle for any kind of pill because you never know what else is in it. It’s a good thing I did more extensive research into the matter because I came across a slew of foods that I could consume. I would just have to read the labels and make sure there was nothing that I was potentially allergic to.
Oatmeal kept coming up on all my searches as having one of the highest levels of magnesium in it. So, without a second’s hesitation, I went and got myself some oatmeal at the local supermarket. I couldn’t wait to open the box but before I started cooking it, I realized it was shared in a factory with all kinds peanuts, tree nuts etc. That is when my mother had told me that when I was younger she had me try oatmeal for a short period of time. She said it seemed to cause somewhat of an allergic reaction so that is why I stayed away from it for all these years. That being said, I didn’t take any chances and went back to the supermarket and looked for oatmeal that wasn’t manufactured in a nut factory. I have to say, for almost a month now of using it, that it has helped my anxiety levels drop tremendously. The other added bonus is that my skin has had no allergic reactions to it either:)) Like the old adage goes, “If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.“