Embrace Your Sacred Cow

Cows gracing peacefully at The Lands At Hillside Farm, Shavertown, PA

Cows gracing peacefully at The Lands At Hillside Farm, Shavertown, PA

Cow? Really Paula... where can you possibly be going with this? Get as big as a cow? Be gentle like a cow? Have gorgeous, long lashes like a cow? 

Nah, something much more practical! Chew like a cow people. Chew long, luxuriously, peacefully, and gently. 

95% of the clients and students I work with have some sort of GI Tract upset. Their digestive tract is struggling to do the job of, well, digesting. So many more of your bodily processes (all of them really) rely on your digestion so the rest of your body's functions can happen effortlessly. Yup, the bottom line is that efficient digestion is what creates the downstream effects of well nourished body cells or not so well nourished cells. Good digestion and a healthy digestive tract lead to:

  • food well broken down into usable nutrients that are
  • absorbed through that health 1 cell thick gut lining and then
  • circulated effortlessly through the blood stream until these nutrients
  • arrives safely at each and every body cell's doorstep and then they
  • move across the cell membrane with ease and peace to be
  • utilized by every intercellular organelle to make the miracle of you happen in each and every moment.

Digestion IS a sacred and beautiful thing. 

Just because these below images leave out the mouth and esophagus... don't fall for the same foolishness. Both are very important parts of your digestive tract... as is your brain and nervous system! Mouth to brain to gut communication is so key for release of your digestive juiciness.

digestive tract.jpg

 

So I ask... why do we, as a culture, shovel food (or worse yet: food products) into our mouths with no thoughtfulness around what we are eating say nothing about how we are eating it. We then expect our bodies, minds, and spirits to soar with great health and carry us through our days effortlessly and with ease?

I have written numerous times about the sacredness of food, meal times, and chewing. Is anyone listening to me? I know my kids are not...

Here's a suggestion: 

So many of us do realize that bedtime routines/rituals are so beneficial to creating deep and peaceful sleep every night. (Although, many of us are in need of embracing this bedtime sacredness as well.)  My suggestion is to start seeing meal time rituals as important and sacred. Relax, breathe deeply, and chew well. Maybe light a candle to remind yourself how important you are and how important it is to slow down and nourish your body, mind, and spirit with food and eating (chewing your food well much like the cow does instinctively and intuitively with every bite and every mouthful of grass!). 

For my PDF handout on chewing your food well click this link: http://issuu.com/paula754/docs/chewing_with_pictures

Blessings of Happy, Healthy, Peaceful, and Nourishing Meals To You!

Active Vs. Passive Medicine

                     Active                    Vs.                       Passive

                     Active                    Vs.                       Passive

Healing oneself takes an individual's active participation in the process. This participation can be physical (body), emotional (mind), or spirit work.  Often times, all three woven together into a beautiful Self-Healing tapestry is your healing magic in action.

We live is a culture that generally works from a space of passive health care.

One western medicine scenario:

  1. Visit your practitioner.
  2. Explain your symptoms, issues, challenges.
  3. Have a prescription handed to you.
  4. Go home and take your pills.

Rarely does a western medical practitoner ask you to participate in the process of regaining your health. Drugs and surgery do not get at what is causing your health crisis. Drugs cover up the symptoms. Surgery removes the damaged organs but never opens up space to determine why this organ is in a state of dis-ease and how can I change my habits to reverse the damage that has been done?  What is actually causing the symptoms usually continues in a person's life because no one asks us to take a hard look at what made us arrive at this space of ill health. When we do take this hard look, unravel the causes that led to the problem, we can then start working in reverse to remove the problems and recover health.

Examples of the "You don't have to do anything active about your health problems" scenarios:

  • High blood pressure: just take this pill and it will bring your blood pressure down. 
  • Type 2 Diabetes: again, take this pill and continue doing what you have been doing. Until, of course, your diabetes get worse and now you need to... inject yourself with insulin at least once daily.
  • Joint problems: take this pill, come on in for a replacement... keep eating and drinking all you have been because like the problems above... these problems are not your fault. You know, it's just bad genes. Take this pill and call it a day.

I could go on & on... PMS, menstrual irregularities, infertility, arthritis, auto-immune disorders, cancer... Nothing you eat, drink, or do in your life has anything to do with the presence of this health problem in your life.

Or so we are led to believe by mainstream media, mainstream medicine, and mainstream agriculture.

Active Participation in your health and healing means taking ownership of your lifestyle habits; true Lifestyle Medicine. Lifestyle Medicine is Active Medicine. You are asked and required to take a participatory role in your health and healing. You are invited to make changes towards whole health eating and whole health living that will ultimately repair your body cells.

  1. How has the food I have been eating over the course of my life impacted my body's cellular health?  (Unhealthy cells mean an unhealthy body.)
  2. How are my daily lifestyle habits impacting my health, my display of symptoms?
  3. How is my body weight affecting my heart, blood pressure, diabetes, joints, back problems, and overall health?

It is time for your health care providers to invite you and inspire you (that is right, health care professionals who activley participate in their own well being and are good role models of real health). Your health cae providers need to be asking you questions:

"Stand up people. Take a hard look. Where can you change habits that have contributed to this crisis in your health? What can you do to actively return your body to vibrant, vital health?"

Trust me, return to health is a reality.  You just need to get active about the process. Invite healing support into your life:

  • Lifestyle medicine professionals (think Functional Medicine, Functional Nutrition, Naturopathic Medicine, Holistic Health Coach)
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Reiki
  • Shamanic Care
  • Chiropractic Care
  • Spiritual Counselor
  • Osteopath who practices lifestyle medicine

So where does preventative health care fit into this?

There is a difference between mainstream medicine's view of preventative health care and "holistic - whole health care - lifestyle medicine's" idea of preventative health care.

Mainstream's Idea of Prevention  -  Whole Health Care's Prevention                                                            (Lifestyle Medicine)

  • mammogram                                                                          whole foods
  • colonoscopy                                                                            deep, restful sleep
  • cholesterol screening                                                              maintain healthy weight
  • prostate exam                                                                         yoga, meditation mindfulness
  • bone scan                                                                               moving the body daily
  • vaccines                                                                                  immune building lifestyle habits
  • diabetes screening                                                                  good posture
  • blood pressure screenings                                                      hydration with pure water (no chlorine and fluoride)

 

Natural health habits are preventative health care; TRUE preventative health care.

The "get your annual mammogram, colonoscopy, cholesterol screening type of prevention" (which often leads to your lifetime pharmaceutical prescriptions)  does not actually prevent anything but instead is an early detection tool so your symptoms of dis-ease can be treated, managed, for the rest of your life. This is management of disease through management of disease symptoms.

Healing, active medicine, needs to be part of this equation.

Active Health Care is about real preventative health care... choosing lifestyle habits that build amazing cellular health & vitality so you truly prevent dis-ease from ever darkening your doorstep and actually knocking on your door. 

If disease symptoms are already part of your life, Active Health Care invites you to heal your symptoms of disease. 

lifestyle medicine served up with love cropped.jpg

I invite you to become an active part of your own healing team AND I will do my best to educate you and inspire you (be a healthy role model) towards whole health choices and self healing! 

Join me at 5 Elements Living for

Creating Inner Wisdom: Your Personal Health Journey

Register Today

3 Class overview
• March 27th: Eating for Cellular Health
• April 3rd: Natural Food Know How
• April 10th: Wise Woman Nurse "Movement Magic"
for Digestive Health & Herbs for Gut Health


Monday Evenings 6-8 PM

More info? Click here.

Ready to join us? Register here.

Not All Vitamin Supplements Are Created Equal

Nature Made? Hmmm, name sounds safe enough. It is Nature made, correct?

People grabs these cleverly named supplements off the shelves of drug stores, grocery stores, and discount department stores feeling confident in something that was nature made.

Cheaper department store vitamins are enticing. Who doesn't like to save a few bucks when and where they can. Money is the currency of our life force energy and we only have so much (life force energy) to burn up in our time on this planet. Is saving a few bucks on cheaper vitamins worth it? Am I supporting or harming my cellular health? This is one of those instances where you get what you pay for and it is best to invest in high quality. Your health is worth it and cheaper versions can be harmful in the long run (your body has to process out, detox through the GI tract and liver, the synthetic vitamins that are not readily or not at all usable by your body).

Reading the nutrient list and ingredients weaves a completely different tale; a tale of deception around these cleverly brand named products.

Reading vitamin labels to avoid synthetic forms of nutrients is as important as reading food package labels to avoid synthetic ingredients.

One of my biggest pieces of advice around packaged food is to read every ingredient in the product with major scrutiny:

  • What is/are the ingredient(s)?
  • Is/are all ingredients 100% whole food?
  • Where was it sourced from? US or foreign?
  • Organic?
  • Naturally raised, naturally fed (as in cows being grass vs. grain fed)?
Ahhh, the beauty, simplicity, and purity of nature (you are nature!)

Ahhh, the beauty, simplicity, and purity of nature (you are nature!)

 

Even when you get used to the safeness of a particular product... read the ingredient list every time you buy this product. Companies change hands, ingredients are swapped out for cheaper options... always put your health as #1 priority:

So, let's move on to vitamin/mineral supplements.

Reading labels for the "form" of certain vitamins or minerals in the nutrients line-up can give you a quick idea if the product is quality ingredients or made with cheap versions of the vitamins/ minerals. (The habit by many manufacturing companies is to use the cheapest form of a substance, vitamin or mineral, and charge the customer as much as possible. This ensures the company has the largest profit margin.)

Look for these indications of high quality supplements; it is the natural vs. synthetic form of the nutrients. If the nutrient form is natural, the product just may be of a higher quality. If the nutrient form is synthetic, throw your red flag up to full mast and investigate the entire list with a scrutinizing eye and mind.

This is just 3 easy nutrients to scutinize the label for and start painting a picture in your mind of the quality of the product in your hand (or on your laptop screen if cyber-shopping for vitamins).

Natural Form                Vs.          Synthetic Form

 Folate (Vitamin B9)                                                         Folic Acid

 Methylcobalamin (B12)                                                 Cyanocobalamin

 d-alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E)                                     dl-alpha tocopherol

 

You can use the above information to quickly scan the list of nutrients in a vitamin /mineral formula. If any of the above are in their synthetic form, I would seriously scrutinize the rest of the product. The "red flag" to me would be... Cheap, synthetic forms of these nutrients. Most likely the rest of the product was not formulated with high quality, bioavailable ingredients. Lay-person's terms: synthetic is not used well by your body. Nutrients need to be in a form that is usable by your body: meaning the nutrient can be

  • digested by your GI tract,
  • absorbed into your bloodstream,
  • circulated well in your blood, and
  • taken in by your cells (pass freely through your cell membranes) to be used in metabloic processes.

Buying quality supplements means getting a product that can actually be used by and benefit your body cells. Body cells are the building block of your body. Vibrantly healthy body cells are the building blocks of wildly happy and healthy bodies.

Vitamins I recommend to clients/students/family/friends/people I pass on the streets:    ; )

  • Pure Synergy
  • Garden of Life
  • Superfood Plus (HerbDoc.com)
  • New Chapter
  • Mega Food

Some of these are available at Nature's Storehouse in Canton, NY

How about those herbal supplements Paula?

Again, cheaper brands are not always quality products. If you are going to put your money into herbal supplements (or homeopathy, or essential oils, etc) you do want to get what you are paying for. Opt for companies that are high end, high quality, have a known reputation for efficacy of their products. After all, you do want them to work for you.

Companies whose herbal products I have used and trust:

  • Herbs Etc.
  • Herbdoc.com
  • Oregon Wild Harvest
  • Wise Woman Herbals
  • Nature's Sunshine
  • Dr. Christopher's Original formulas
  • Living Earth Wild Yam
  • Nature's Secret

I am sure there are more but these are the companies I rely on for quality products.

Bottom Line:

Be wise.

Read labels on everything you put into or onto your body.

Know what is natural and supposed to be part of your cellular health.

Avoid synthetics that are counter-productive to cellular health.

Why I Am Not Vegan Anymore

I am asked these questions around food and eating quite frequently:

  • What is the healthiest way to eat?
  • You aren't going to tell me I have to be vegetarian or vegan to heal my health problems?
  • What happened to you?!... You were vegan, you had it so right, why did you change?

Just what is healthy eating? Ask that question of 10 different people and you will probably get 10 different answers... some spewed forth with the enthusiasm of a food fanatic. Hey, I only say this as I know, I could be mildly fanatic in my hey day.     

I am grateful for age, wisdom, and my more laid back attitude (Thank you very much yoga). I am now more careful where and when I say my famous quote:   "I wouldn't feed that crap to my dog."               Which honestly is an insult to my dog, any dog. I have since replaced dog in that statement with my compost pile fully realizing it is an insult to my compost pile's amazing bio-diversity and work on this planet. *Why feed my compost pile junk food, GMOs, non-organic crap? I don't want that cycling back around into my garden plot OR worrying about the wild animals who eat out of the pile (including my dog!) and would be getting less than whole food choices. Yup, see I can be a zealot.

20+ years ago when I returned to Northern NY, my home (I grew up in Brasher Falls), I was vegan and had been for 5-6 years. Truthfully, I thought I would starve to death up here.  I quickly found Nature's Storehouse, The Potsdam Food Coop, and Birdsfoot Farm (I believe Birdsfoot was the only organic produce farm in the area at the time).

So, what made me toss aside my vegan ways, turn back the clock on my omnivorous eating? It was a circling back of wisdom I already held within. 

1. I was pregnant, 33, always hungry, and dreaming of my Mom's roast beef dinner, venison stew, and chicken and dumplings. Listen to your body. I did! Our bodies have a wisdom as deep and pure as the earth is old. I listened (with a little encouragement from my Dad that I would not rot in hell for eating meat AND he was worried about his grandson who was hanging out in my uterus at that time). Even my 100% whole food vegan diet, no packaged fake meats and cheese... processed food is processed food, was not supporting my pregnancy well.

2. A Wise Woman Native American made a simple statement to me one day (this was before I was pregnant), as we were talking about vegan eating, that brought me full circle back to the wisdom I already held within: "Everything you eat must die for you."  

Over the years this statement has held strength with me. Everything on this planet holds spirit in its being: plants, animals, the water, air, fire, the Earth herself. When we pull a carrot from the ground we are essentially birthing that carrot from its Mother, Mother Earth. That carrot is alive, alive with life force energy. The carrots roots are its umbilical cord to the uterus that was sustaining it, again, Mother Earth. Life force energy is spirit. To eat we must take a life. Who am I, as a human, to be placing higher value on one life over another. In the great web of life, all beings on this planet are required to balance out all others, all beings are equal.

Eating, actually everything we do on this planet, is a gift we receive from the Earth. Gratitude, deep and sincere gratitude, is a gift we give back to honor all the beings we use for food, medicine, building homes, driving cars, stuff we buy and own, etc. all which comes from Mother Earth. 

Yes, there is more to the story but this is enough for now.

As a kid, I knew this deep life force energy of all things. Kids just do. Trees and plants have always held special energy for me (they do for everyone). I spent hours of my summer up in trees: reading books, eating meals and snacks, lounging back against a sturdy trunk to drink my quart of Homestead Dairy's chocolate milk after school, and taking naps sprawled belly down across the length of a branch with my arms and legs dangling. I had favorite maple and white pine trees for climbing and "living" in. I had a favorite white pine for napping under: the years had piled brown needles under her branches and she faced south. Who could resist such a warm and fragrant bed? I would take my faithful friend Buster (a lop eared beagle), books, and water and head through the fields and woods to get to this pine tree a few miles from my home. Buster and I would camp out: me reading and napping in the fragrant, warm, brown pine needles with the south sun shining on me and Buster terrorizing the small animals of the woods until he was tired and napped next to me.

This deep life force energy of all things... we are culturally trained to forget it. So it was easy for me to think that the only lives I was eating that mattered were the animals. Coming full circle... the life force energy, spirit, in everything matters. (I still eat, enjoy, and am grateful for many vegetarian & vegan meals every week. Is not a meal of butter vegetarian? A meal of dark chocolate vegan?)

What are my healthy eating recommendations?

  • 100% whole foods
  • Grown and raised as close to home as possible, this means eating seasonally
  • Eat only what you need to sustain yourself, over indulgence of anything is over indulgence
  • If you know a food does not make you feel vibrant... don't eat it
  • A food that makes you soar with happiness & energy? Eat it... well, if it is whole. Dunkin Donuts® do not count here.
  • Be deeply grateful for every bite: grateful to the food, the Earth that nurtured the food, the farmers that worked hard to bring that food forth to your plate, fork, & table, the person shopping & cooking for you...
  • Show your gratitude by eating in peace, chewing slowly & thoroughly so your digestive tract can do the work to bring the Earth's nourishment to every cell in your body

 

As We Express Our Gratitude,

We Must Never Forget That The Highest Appreciation

Is Not To Utter Words,

                              But To Live By Them.     John F. Kennedy

 

open arms to sky.jpg
prayer silouhette.jpg

Native American Gratitude Prayer

We thank Great Spirit for the resources that made this food possible;

we thank the Earth Mother for producing it,

and we thank all those who labored to bring it to us.

May the wholesomeness of the food before us, bring out the wholeness of the Spirit within us.

 

*Any food you eat should have been grown with healthy, sustainable, biodynamic principles in mind:  How was this food fed? If a food, plant or animal based, was fed healthy food... its cells will be well nourished and therefore capable of nourishing your cells. If a food you were eating was fed less than whole food, that food will have less than whole nourished cells, and will be incapable of fully nourishing your body. 

For deeper diving into this feeding your food issue:                                                                                     What Does Your Farmer Feed Their Cows, Chickens, Pigs, Goats, Vegetables, Fruits...?

5 Easy Ways To Shift The Energy Of Your Life's Path

Easy is a relative word and is subject to much subjectivity. 

1. Practice being mindful in every moment.  

Excerpted from an article I wrote in 2012 for the Potsdam Food Coop's newsletter, {in my day, you know the uphill both ways to school - barefoot AND in the snow, mindfulness was simply called yoga,  ; ) }      

I have always urged and supported others to practice some form of mind, body, spirit "exercise" to bring a centered awareness into their life as this daily habit makes the process of healthy lifestyle change flow with ease & grace (seriously my friends, I am not pulling your yoga leg here!): 

When we stop the constant chatter inside our heads and still our minds through mindfulness activities (yoga and other body awareness exercises), we tend to make choices that are in alignment with what is best for our health without feeling deprived.  This is because we have learned to live in the present moment and are aligned in body, mind, and spirit.  That is the awareness that Yoga brings to our being.
A cluttered "chattery" mind and a body that is not aligned in mind, body, and spirit tends to make decisions based upon impulse and cravings without regard to what is best for long term health.

2. Practice daily mindlessness!  Zone out. Stop the chatter. Pay attention to breath only.  

When we are so bent on living a life of being mindful in every moment we forget to just let go and be... be mindless for a bit. Literally people, NOTHING, going on in our heads!

Check out this Daily OM post by Madisyn Taylor. It was fitting to this thought of mindlessness.

3. Sign up for someone's daily email or social media posts that are positive and inspirational.

Read them. Reflect on them. Allow the words to weave their magic into your body, mind, and spirit. Live the words for your own peace and for the peace of all who walk your path with you.

Hey... I wrote a book on daily reflections and inspirations. This book will gift you a year's worth of body, mind, & spirit magic. Go ahead... cast a spell for yourself!

4. Revel, truly revel, in who you are and your life's purpose on this planet.

Let your true self shine, shine, shine.

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..."

Check out this youtube link for a bit of musical inspiration. (Thank you Bryan for many giggles knowing I am not the only one who sings this song, and many others, much to my kid's annoyance!)

5. Offer kindness and compassion every where you go                   to everyone, every being, & everything!

The natural - spiritual law of 3 fold:

"For all that we say and we do "for good or for ill, shall be returned to us threefold."

What goes around comes around baby!  Make your karma & dharma shine, shine, shine!                     See above song for another deep dose of musical inspiration.

 

May Your Life Be Full Of Wild & Fun Adventures

&

Free From Ordeals.  

: )

Shopper's Rut: Why do I need to avoid this?

Shopper's Rut Defined: buying the same 'ole fruits and veggies every week:

  • bunch of bananas
  • few apples
  • an orange or two on occasion and maybe a pear here or there
  • stock of broccoli
  • pre-washed & prepared lettuce of some sort
  • carrots
  • maybe a cuke or bell pepper
  • perhaps some celery because it is easy

Why Should You Avoid This Same 'Ole - Same 'Ole Produce Shopping Experience... (Hint: to avoid eating the same things day after day, week after week!)

  • Variety in fruits and veggies creates variety in the vitamin, minerals, anti-oxidants, and phytonutrients your body is graced with. There are so many nutrients in food that we have not yet discovered. Opting to eat produce that varies with the season opens your body, your body cells, to receiving all of these nutrients.
  • Phytonutrients fight oxidative stress, inflammation, and allow your body to heal for disease prevention and disease healing (You want this, trust me and yes, your body is capable of healing from any disease. It is how we are genetically programmed. The "you must take this drug for the rest of your life" medical mentality erases the fact that the body has the ability to heal.).
  • Mixing up your fruit & veggies provides your body with different kinds of fiber, the roughage in food. Fiber, complex carbohydrates are good on so many levels. See below for some gut bug info.
  • Your taste buds, eyes, nostrils, hands, and brain will be happy for the variation in sensory stimulation. All the colors, textures, smells, and tastes are an amazing way to stimulate your neural pathways. Think of that beautiful summer salad on your plate and then the slow rotation into fall and winter veggies giving us tantalizing root veggie and cabbage slaws. Then there is my favorite winter veggie... beets!  A winter, cooked beet salad with walnuts & feta cheese is a taste bud tantalizing change from the same ole - same ole steamed or sauteed broccoli. 

Above picture borrowed, with permission, from the website of Martin's Farmstand, Potsdam, NY.           Look at the seasonal abundance available in Northern NY!  Go to their website and have fun clicking on the "previous newsletter" links. The pictures from the farmstand, the farm fields, and gardens are amazing. Lush and juicy, fresh, local, and seasonal food everywhere!  And all this food is tended to with love by wonderful people.  For your fall & winter veggies... give them a call.

Looking for a winter CSA in Northern NY State?:  

Try these ideas to eat more variety in your fruits and veggies:

  • Get Creative in the Kitchen
  • Eat Seasonally Fruits & Veggies & Naturally Rotate Your Phytonutrients
  • Use Root vegetables instead of grains to add plenty of complex carbohydrates and starches to your eating habits. This is good gut pre-biotic food that feeds the gut bugs you want to survive and thrive in your intestinal tract. A healthy gut microbiome is a self-responsibility tool in your personal medicine bag to prevent intestinal disease, auto-immune diseases, cancer, and a host of other preventable human ills. And food is your easy, at home medicine!
  • Grate veggies on a grater (or use a fancy spiralizer); use these grated veggies instead of pastas. Depending on the veggie, I use some raw and gently saute' others.
  • Learn what fruits & berries grow in your area, what their season is, and freely indulge in them.

More recipes: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/recipes/

Tip for the Week, Month, & Year: Create seasonal variety in your whole food eating habits not just around the produce you eat. Variety bathes your awesome body cells in different nutrition daily, weekly, and with the seasons of the year.

Your body's health WILL thank you! (Your local farmers will thank you too.) 

Skip Excuses, Find A Way!

We intuitively know when something needs to             change in our lives; something needs to shift.

 

Self Healing begins with making change; shifting habits in our daily lives.

 

Make the shift; create the change you need, you crave, now.  Skip making more excuses.

 

Try these life changing steps:

1.  What is the problem, challenge?  Write it down, give it a face.

2.  Brainstorm:  How can I solve this problem, fix this life challenge?

3.  Pick the best option(s) from above and move forward... start making change today.

4.  Creating positive action around change prevents looking back at life with regrets.

5.  Love yourself and others unconditionally!  Peaceful, loving kindness makes change easier on you and everyone around you.

Calming Digestive Tract Woes With Your Mind

Meditation - Visualization for Healing Your Gut Health

All Disease begins in the gut.                                                                                                                                                                           Hippocrates

Health begins in the gut. The reverse is also true: disease begins in the gut. Taking steps to reduce the angst in your life reduces the angst in your gut. Over the long haul of life... this is a gut healing gift to yourself!

  1. Grab a blanket or two, maybe a yoga mat, and some pillows or props to make yourself comfy.
  2. Lie down on your back supporting your head and knees to keep your lower back happy.
  3. Take at least 5 slow deep breaths. Simply focus on your breath moving into and out of your body. Relax. Let go. Be at peace.
  4. Take 5 more slow deep breaths sending the breath directly to your digestive tract. Feel your breath enter and exit the digestive tract. Feel your breath's energy swirl within the digestive tract.
  5. Relax and just breath normally letting your mind stay calmly without thoughts.
  6. Slowly bring your body, mind, and spirit back to the room. When you feel like returning to life... get up and get going keeping this peace and relaxation with you. 

When we are stressed, tension happens. This tension in the gut slows and impairs digestive function. Over time this gut tension, angst, contributes to ill health symptoms in your digestive tract.

When we calm the mind and bring healing energy (breath) to the gut, we relax the angst that builds up in the gut and the body as a whole. Relaxation, meditation, visualization, breath work... all ways to bring healing energy to your gut (to your whole body, mind, & spirit!).

Going Deeper with Gut Healing Visualization

Practice the above simple visualization for several days. When you are comfortable with the above technique... try this:

  1. Gently observe and learn the above chakra chart. Simply remember where each chakra is located (top of head, between eye brows, throat, heart center, belly button, just below belly button, under pubic bone).
  2. Lie down on your comfy blanket or mat, supporting your knees and head.
  3. Take at least 5 slow deep breaths, quiet your mind, relax.
  4. Breath deeply now and each time take your full breath (inhale & exhale) to your chakras, one chakra/one breath at a time. Start at the crown chakra (top of head).
  5. Take a deep breath directing the flow of breath (in and out) to each chakra down your body.
  6. Relax.
  7. Finish with a few more slow, gentle breaths.
  8. Slowly bring your body, mind, and spirit back to the room. When you feel like returning to life... get up and get going keeping this peace and relaxation with you. 

To create a bit longer calming the gut angst session:

  1. take 2 breaths directed at each chakra.
  2. swirl the breath, life force energy, at each chakra.

Another Deep Relaxing Gut Healing Technique

Are you a reiki person?  If so after finishing the above relaxing visualization try this:

  1. Visualize yourself on a massage/reiki table.
  2. Do a mini reiki session on yourself through visualizing yourself on the table and standing next to the table doing the reiki. Hold your visualized hands over each chakra (reiki hand positions) for one or two long, deep breaths.
  3. If you have the time... flip yourself over on that table and do the back side hand positions as well, finishing the visualized reiki treatment in the traditional reiki practice sequence.

Try this visualization (or either of the above relaxing visualizations) when lying in bed and unable to sleep. Conscious breathing and relaxing visualizations are a fine way to calm down your body, mind, and spirit for better sleep and better moving through your daily life.

Healing the gut is a great first step in healing so many health challenges. For natural Gut Healing Guidance & support, check out my online course:

Healing Your Gut For Lifetime Vitality

Bone Broth: What Is the Hype?

I originally wrote this for the Potsdam Food Co-op's August 2016 Newsletter.

Jar one: bones soaking in apple cider vinegar Jar two: finished bone broth

Jar one: bones soaking in apple cider vinegar

Jar two: finished bone broth

Perhaps you remember your mom or grandma feeding you chicken soup when you were ill. Most chicken soup, stock, was made with the bones, cartilage, and the hunks of attacked chicken meat. (If you are vegetarian or vegan… don’t bail on me just yet. I have plant based gut healing suggestions as well. Bare with me on this bones thing.)

Animal bone broths have been used for hundreds of years, thousands really, for their nourishment and healing benefits. People inherently knew the healing benefits of the daily food and life choices they made. Modern living somehow now requires scientific proof that what we are doing is worthwhile. Research into the benefits of bone broth is available and plenty to satisfy the scientifically inclined.

After the long soak and simmer to make bone broth (recipe to follow), the resultant gelatinous and slightly fatty liquid contains valuable minerals and nutrients in a form your body can easily absorb, circulate in your bloodstream, and be taken in and used by your body cells. These nutrients include amino acids, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sulfur chondroitin, glucosamine, collagen, and a variety of trace minerals and other nutrients.  The gelatin in bone broth supports gut lining health, gut lining healing, and proper digestion.

Bone broth has been proven to help with infection fighting (why Mom and Gram gave you chicken soup when you were sick with the cold and flu). Bone broth contains amino acids that easily nourish the body on the cellular level. L-arginine and L-glutamine are two nourishing amino acids present in bone broth that decrease inflammation in the gut (and whole body inflammation) assisting the immune system in its never ending job of fighting infections and inflammation.  L-glutamine is known for its gut health enhancing properties. L-glutamine helps to heal and seal the lining of the digestive tract, your gut. More L-glutamine information coming up.

Many issues of modern living (antibiotics, hand sanitizers, modern wheat-gluten and dairy, chlorine and fluoride in drinking water, household chemicals, cosmetic chemicals, glyphosphate and other industrial agricultural chemicals… the list is never ending) create inflammation in the gut. An inflamed gut lining creates problems that allow undigested particles of food, chemicals, microbes, etc. to directly enter into the blood stream. This happens because the gut inflammation creates a diseased small intestinal condition medically named increased intestinal permeability.

This dis-ease of the body’s small intestine is more commonly known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. The small intestine has junctions that are very tightly packed together. These tight junctions serve a wonderful purpose by keeping unwanted particles (chemicals, bacteria, viruses…) in the digestive tract to be dealt with and passed out in solid waste OR food digested down to the smallest particles* to be absorbed, circulated, and used for cellular nutrition.

·         *Carbohydrates to simple sugars

·         *Proteins to amino acids

·         *Fats to fatty acids

The issues of modern living, mentioned above, create inflammation that irritates and erodes away at the gut and loosens these tight junctions. When these junctions are loosened all hell breaks loose in the body. The above mentioned substances pass through the now loose junctions directly into the bloodstream. This is not meant to be. The substances are meant to be digested first, cleaned up by the liver, and/or pooped right out of the body. When they slip into the circulation because the junctures are no longer tight to keep them where they belong… your immune system goes postal on them. Antibodies are created to combat these substances that are seen as foreign invaders, antigens. The next time you eat or take in one of these substances, the substance moves into the bloodstream through the loose junctures setting off the immune system (The immune response to this now problem food or substance actually happens before the food even reaches the intestines). This time the immune system has the antibodies ready and war is waged on the substance, the assumed antigen. Over time the body wears down from this cycle of inflammation, gut juncture loosening, seepage of the unwanteds into the blood stream, and a result can be that the body starts attacking itself (auto-immune issues).

Above 2 photos used with permission of Tracy Harrison – http://www.wildlysuccessfulhc.com/  Photo #1 shows tight junctures and loose junctures in a simplistic drawing.  Photo #2 inside of small intestine showing a very blown up view of the thousands of villi covered by millions of micro-villi. These villi are where the junctures exist.

My gut story is a very simplistic explanation meant to assist in the understanding of what in the body is going awry.  An inflamed gut lining contributes to leaky gut syndrome and the resultant food sensitivities and allergies, auto-immune conditions, and many other inflammatory body issues leading to a host of dis-ease. (Dis-Ease being a lack of ease in the body; lack of health.)

L-Glutamine, contained in bone broth, is a gut junction healer. It helps to soothe the inflamed gut and heal the loose junctions back to their tight junctions. Tight junctions are immune and whole body health enhancing.

Now you know some substances and habits that can contribute to leaky gut issues and how bone broth plays a crucial role in the healing of this condition. It is time to tighten up junctions everyone; time to learn how to make bone broth. (Again, I have added vegetarian and vegan suggestions to mimic, as closely as possible, bone broths healing benefits to your gut and body’s health.)

Making Bone Broth: 

By the way… bone broth Cafés are now quite popular in metropolitan areas.

Bone broths are made with fish, chicken, turkey, beef, pork, and lamb bones in water. Different animal bones and tissues have different nutrients and benefits. (Buffalo, venison, rabbit, wild bird bones are fine as well.) Use only bones, cartilage, feet, tails, etc. from pasture raised or wild animals. Never use bones from commercially raised animals (factory farm animals) that are given anti-biotics, hormones, and/or fed genetically modified feed (corn, soy…).  You are what you eat and animals are what they eat. If unhealthy substances were used in the raising of the animals, those substances will be concentrated in the animal bones and body tissues, and therefore concentrated in your finished bone broth.

1.  Put slightly meaty bones, cartilage, feet, tails, etc. (they do not have to be stripped clean of meat) in a sauce pan or big soup pot (if you have a lot of bones) and cover with water, just enough to cover bones well. I break up the bones as best I can and squish them down into the soup pot bottom.

2.  Add a generous tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) and cover the pot.  If you are doing a big pot of bone broth use more of the ACV. For estimation purposes I use a heaping tablespoon of ACV for a whole chicken’s pot of bones.

3.  I soak the bones in the vinegar water for at least an overnight and then…

4.  I slow simmer the bones for hours the next day. I gently bring the bone filled pot to a simmer on the stove top.

5.  I then place the pot o’ bones in a pre-heated 220 F oven and leave for 5-6 hours if chicken or fish bones and longer if the harder bones of pork or beef (at least 6-8 hours).  Yes, a crock pot works well.  You could simmer for hours on the stovetop but I find the oven temp is easier to regulate and keep the simmer from boiling away the broth. Cool fall and cold winter days make for extra warmth in the kitchen with the oven going. Slow roast something for dinner to get extra bang for your buck using the oven for so long.

6.  After simmering, I remove the bones with a large slotted spoon.  Use the broth as a soup stock or eat the broth as it is, drink it like a morning or evening cup of tea.  I add a bit of unrefined sea salt to taste.

7.  If making soup, I sauté the veggies and other soup ingredients before adding them to the hot bone broth. This avoids further simmering of the broth.

8.  Toward the end of bone broth simmering you can add herbs** that contribute to the anti-inflammatory effects: turmeric & ginger root, rosemary, thyme, oregano… allow the herbs to gently simmer (that 220 degree oven is hot enough) for an hour if a leaf/flower and simmer for 2 hours if a bark/root/seed.  (Similar information is the making of herbal tea infusions: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/making-herbal-infusions-teas/ )

9.  When I re-warm the broth for sipping I will sometimes add small amounts of marshmallow root powder, slippery elm bark powder, and/or licorice root powder. These herbs are anti-inflammatory and also contribute to the soothing effect; the heal and seal for the gut lining.

10.  Using a large slotted spoon, remove the bones from your finished broth.  

Now what to do with it?

  • Put into glass canning jars and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Drink one or two cups daily, gently warmed up, like a tea.
  • Use it as soup stock.
  • Freeze to use later as bone broth tea or soup stock.

I often keep my bones soaking in the vinegar solution for days or weeks. I keep the bones in a wide mouth canning jar in the fridge. I add bones to this jar until I have enough to justify making bone broth and/or the outside temperature is cool enough to be ok with my long oven usage. With fall and winter just around the corner, sorry dear Co-op friends, it is a good time of the year for long cooking of bone broth.

Enjoy making and sipping bone broth.

**This is part of my vegetarian and vegan friendly information for enhancing your gut health through plant based choices…

Thanks for hanging in there and continuing this read. As a vegetarian or vegan you can cook up vegetable broths that are enhanced with the above herbs.

· Slippery elm, marshmallow, and licorice root have coating and soothing effects on the gut lining. I use them in many ways as bonus gut health foods – teas or the powdered herbs mixed into plain/full fat yogurt with added L-glutamine powder.

·Add red cabbage to your soup as it is a plant based source of L-glutamine. Red Cabbage is considered the densest vegetable form of L-glutamine. Making red cabbage sauerkraut is another great way to use cabbage and create a highly bio-available form of l-glutamine.

·Other sources of L-glutamine to help tighten up those junctions: the highest levels found in grass-fed beef, bison, chicken, and free range eggs. Raw dairy products from grass-fed cows and goats are also very high in L-glutamine.

·Plant sources: almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts and peanut butter are all good sources (peanuts can be disturbing to gut health in people with pre-existing gut issues). Dried lentils, peas, and beans contribute L-glutamine as well. Other vegetables sources include spinach, parsley, and beets.

·It is best if these vegetables are consumed raw or fermented in order to maximize their glutamine content and increase bioavailability. Cooking heat, especially high heat, breaks down the L-glutamine.

·A recipe for using raw, red cabbage in fresh slaws: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/winter-salad/

·Making sauerkraut with red cabbage: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/blog/2014/02/04/i-popped-the-cranberry-of-fermentation

Conveniently made for you bone broth in Canton-Potsdam area: 

  • Potsdam Food Co-op in Potsdam carries Pacific Organic bone broths, in aseptic packages, on the grocery shelf.
  • Nature's Storehouse in Canton carries Bonafide organic beef broth in their meat freezer.

2 websites for further learning about bone broth and healing the gut lining (type "bone broth" or "leaky gut syndrome" into the website's search bar):

·         http://www.mercola.com/

·         https://draxe.com/

10 Body Healing Benefits of Yoga

1. Blood pressure: a regular yoga practice reduces blood pressure.

2. Mindful body and breath work cultivates peace that lingers and weaves its way through your day.

3. Aligning your breath with your body's movement aligns body, mind, and spirit. See peace info above.

4. Got gut health issues? Try some yoga poses that are guaranteed to bring digestive tract relief.    

Pose images from an online article at Yoga Journal, I urge you to check out this Yoga Journal gut healthy, better digestion article, click here. While you are at it, just check out the whole Yoga Journal!

Pose images from an online article at Yoga Journal, I urge you to check out this Yoga Journal gut healthy, better digestion article, click here. While you are at it, just check out the whole Yoga Journal!

5. Body Weight Balance that is healthy for you & your body: When your spirit can move through the world with grace, because your physical body is a comfortable place to be (physically, emotionally, AND spiritually) your life and life force energy just flows better.

6. Asthma Relief: Yoga breath & body work creates healthier lungs, better lung capacity, less asthma symptoms, and lowered stress. 

7. Stronger Bones, stronger muscles, stronger body-mind-spirit.  You gain better flexibility & balance in body-mind-spirit as well. Bonus!

8. Yoga is healing to all body systems. Yes, I said healing! Your cellular metabolism will balance out, because your mitochondria will be happy, making you feel light and energetic.

9. Yoga is your daily happy drug lifting mild depression and making neurotransmitters flow. Yoga literally lifts the corner of clouds so you can always see the sun.  As my youngest son said, 6 years ago, "when you lift the corner of the clouds, the sun is always shining!"

10. Yoga helps you relax and sleep better as it engages your para-sympathetic nervous system, the rest & digest system, taking you out of the constant stressed out, fight or flight mode (your sympathetic nervous system on over drive). This reduces inflammation in your whole body.

I could come up with another 90 healing benefits of Yoga in about 10 minutes time. I love to chat about Yoga, if you are interested.

I love to share Yoga...  http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/yoga/

                               Namaste Translated roughly, it means "The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you" knowing that we are all made from the same                     One Divine Consciousness.

                               Namaste

Translated roughly, it means

"The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you"

knowing that we are all made from the same                     One Divine Consciousness.

Simple & Sensible Reasons To Take Magnesium

A week or so ago I sent a newsletter (not a blog post) titled #1 Supplement I Recommend about the magnificent mineral magnesium. Below I will quickly list and explain, in simplest terms, some of the benefits of taking magnesium: meaning the ill health symptoms you experience from your magnesium insufficiency will buzz off and leave you alone when you actually have enough magnesium in your system for your body cells to use.

  1. Constipation: having an uptight and anxious colon is not pleasant, take some magnesium citrate and relax the colon for happy pooping daily (yes, I said daily. Anything less is constipation).
  2. Migraines, headaches: again, tension from tight body tissues, lacking magnesium in the cells, can leave you prone to headaches.
  3. Anxiety: magnesium helps you relax and release tension and anxiety.
  4. Gut health: this is a catch 22 as you need strong acid to break down magnesium out of your food and yet adequate body supply of magnesium builds strong stomach acid (trust me, this is a good thing. You want strong stomach acids... get rid of those acid blocking drugs, just saying people. Rx drugs are not body healing).
  5. Vitamin D levels: magnesium works with Vitamin D. Deficient in Vit D? Help your body work properly with some magnesium.
  6. Calcium and mineral absorption: calcium alone will not build strong bones. The just take calcium supplements mentality leaves your bones lacking in so much more. Your bones need magnesium... and many other minerals, vitamins, and micro/macro nutrients. Calcium is not the bone issue cure all. Magnesium sufficiency promotes the deposit of calcium in your bones. Magnesium insufficiency or deficiency deposits calcium into your soft tissues. This spells: Plaque in arteries (50% calcium, only 3% cholesterol), kidney stones...
  7. Magnesium is needed for DNA repair... you want this!
  8. Magnesium insufficiency and deficiency contribute to hyperinsulinemia... can you say diabetes?
  9. Got high blood pressure? Maybe you are insufficient in magnesium. Constricted, tight, anxious blood vessels make it hard for your heart to pump blood through them. Think about a garden hose that has been stepped on or kinked.
  10. Magnesium calms muscles and nerves preventing cramps, excitability, and irritability in both your muscles and nervous system. Got that urge to snap when stressed out about work, teenagers, stupid driving maneuvers? Soothe yourself with some magnesium.
  11. Prevent sleep disturbances by keeping your body relaxed.
  12. Prevent depression as magnesium sufficiency is required for adequate neurotransmitters. Healthy levels of neurotransmitters keep the brain, nervous system, moods, etc. fring happily & healthfully.
  13. Coffee drinker? Soda? Body stores of magnesium are depleted by coffee, alcohol, phosphates, (e.g. in dark sodas) and by calcium only supplements. We are meant to eat whole foods and use supplements that are balanced, not single constituent minerals. No food is made up of just calcium without other nutrients. Real food is a balanced package of nutrition.
  14. Inflammation is a marker for disease. Magnesium is an anti-inflammatory agent. Relax, release, soothe yourself! 
  15. Got hideous menstrual cramps?  Ease the uterine tension and anxiety with some magnesium. Depending on whether your are constipated or have diarrhea pre-menstrually or at the start of your period... see below to pick your magnesium wisely.

In the last century, the magnesium content of food decreased by approximately 50% as a consequence of food processing, loss of top soil, and loss of minerals in soil. If we are no longer getting healthy doses of magnesium in our food, we do need to supplement. Yes, this means single constituent magnesium supplementation because... there are exceptions to every rule!

Questions? Post in the comments below & I'll do my best to help you out.

Or their is always email: pyoumell@paulayoumellrn.com

USE Magnesium Citrate if you tend towards constipation (At least one healthy bowel movement daily should be a happening event with your body).

Available at Nature's Storehouse in Canton, NY

Available at Nature's Storehouse in Canton, NY

 

USE Magnesium glycinate if constipation is not your issue.

 

Need a blend of mag citrate & mag glycinate? This combo will provide just a little assistance with constipation but not a full on intestinal dynamite system?

Available at the Potsdam Food Coop.

Available at the Potsdam Food Coop.

Easy Stuffed Peppers (Jalapeno Popper Substitute)

This is a super easy recipe. Make and bake while getting the rest of dinner ready & serve up as a yummy appetizer.

Gather together:

  • 4 large green peppers like above
  • 1 can organic chick peas
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, I prefer the sheep's milk one
  • 2/3 - 3/4 cup grated cheese of your choice. I used a Manchego cheese, again, sheep's milk
  • spices to your taste, I used my pulled pork blend (see below)
  • Other spice options: curry powder, Italian blend spices, chili powder... play with it
  1. Cut peppers in half length wise
  2. Put 1/2 can of chick peas in a bowl and mash up
  3. Crumble feta over and blend in
  4. Add grated cheese and spices
  5. Blend all well together
  6. fill each 1/2 of pepper with stuffing mix & arrange on baking sheet so they will not tip over
  7. Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes
  • Pulled pork blend: ground pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili pepper, thyme, all-spice, turmeric    Use 1 Tbsp. of each spice except1 ½ tsp. allspice OR blend to your likes and tastes.

My apologies... I forgot to get a picture of the end product. They were yummy!

 

 

 

Carrot Cake: Grain Free & Cow's "Liquid Lactation" Free :)

                              Read on my friends... recipe is below!

                              Read on my friends... recipe is below!

I work with people who have health challenges... sometimes big health challenges:

  • auto-immune,
  • cancer,
  • diabetes, etc.

The ravages of modern living and modern eating raise holy hell with people's bodies creating ongoing inflammation, immune activation, cellular metabolism issues, blood sugar issues, glandular ill health... BUT, people still want an occasional celebratory food to relax into and enjoy.

With above said health challenges; the removal of gluten, grains, and cow's milk dairy (it is a caesin & A1 protein / caesin issue) are imperative (from a functional medicine / natural health perspective) to reduce gut and immune health inflammation and get the healing process rolling.

My son Jakob's birthday is always celebrated twice: once with his summer, Lake Ozonia friends and once with family. Dates and times available never seem to mesh to celebrate with all together.

                    Summer Friend Birthday Celebration: Bridge Jumping, Jake's On The H2O, & Cake

                    Summer Friend Birthday Celebration: Bridge Jumping, Jake's On The H2O, & Cake

This year I made him the standard, as close to whole food, Oreo® cookie cake that a mom can muster up in the kitchen. I use Newman's Organic creme filled chocolate cookies. It is year # 6 for this cake, making twice yearly for both sons, and I think I have perfected it. 

Now comes the family celebration cake. With health issues to consider, I have opted to make a non-inflammatory cake of Jake's 2nd favorite option... carrot cake.  Click carrot cake, back there, for the standard whole food carrot cake recipe. Oh yeah... and enjoy. 

Grain Flour Free, Cow's Milk & Butter Free, Gluten Free BUT Yummy Whole Food Carrot Cake:

  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used raw goats milk soured with 1 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar)
  • 3/4 cup organic coconut oil  (melted)
  • 3/4 cup sucanat sugar
  • 3 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh ground coconut flour
  • 1 cup fresh ground almond flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2-3 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 rounded TBSP. baking powder
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 - 8 oz can pineapple with natural juice, no added sugar (I used the organic canned pineapple from the Coop, it is  a 14 oz can, i used 1/2+.  I will use the whole can the next time I make this yummy cake.)

(All ingredients organic and naturally raised)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

  1. Beat eggs, then beat in buttermilk, and coconut oil.  
  2. Blend in sugar, vanilla, and spices.
  3. Mix in nut flours, b. soda, b. powder, and salt.
  4. Shred carrots on a cheese grater and blend into batter.
  5. Chop pineapple pieces in blender to a puree and mix into batter.
  6. Add 1/2 the can's pineapple juice and mix in well.
  7. Use coconut oil to grease two 8" round cake pans, divide batter evenly between two pans
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, until cakes is pulling from edge of pans and knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool until just warm and turn out on cooling racks.  
  10. When completely cool, frost the bottom layer, add the top layer, and frost top and sides completely.

Options: You can add the raisins, coconut flakes, and walnuts of the original recipe.

Frosting:

This creates a cow's milk dairy free frosting. Auto-immune conditions benefit from avoiding gluten and cow's milk dairy.

  • 2 cups raw unsalted cashews, covered in water and soaked overnight (24 hours is even better)
  • 3/4 - 1 cup sheep's milk feta
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. water (use water from soaking the cashews)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch or two of unrefined sea salt

I soaked 2 cups of organic, raw cashews (I think they were free range?) overnight in a wide mouth 3 cup peanut butter jar. Put the cashews in the jar and just cover with enough water to submerge the nuts. They will swell considerably by AM.

  1. Drain cashews. Place in food processor with remaining frosting ingredients.
  2. Purée on high. You want all ingredients to blend well together into a creamy consistency.
  3. Scrape out of food processor into a bowl and freeze for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the freezer and fluff with a fork. 
  5. Freeze again for 15 minutes. 
  6. Fluff up again.
  7. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  8. Fluff again.
  9. Freeze for final 15 minutes.  
  10. Fluff very vigorously until frosting becomes light. 
  11. Frost your carrot cake.
  12. Refrigerate until serving time.

Summer Veggies & Cheese

Summer time and the living (cooking & eating) should be easy. Produce is abundant everywhere. I advice growing your own or buying from your local farmer who gardens without the use of any chemicals. Summer enjoyment of the bounty needs to be fresh and in simple preparations so we can get back outside ASAP.  Grating and quick stir frying veggies is easy and a speedy way to get dinner on the table.

For last eve's quicky, get back outside dinner:

  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic (yup, dragon breath here I come!)
  • Goat's milk cheddar from Nature's Storehouse, Canton, AND from Goats living and lactating in Candor, NY! How awesome is that?
  • Goat's milk Manchego cheese from the Potsdam Coop, maybe it was sheep's milk cheese??? That is what wikipedia tells me manchego is made from and who am I to argue with wikipedia?
  • any fresh herbs from your garden or your farmer's garden (basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon balm... use your imagination here to mix and match fun flavors from Mother Earth)
  • butter or ghee from pasture raised, lactating animals
  1. heat an appropriate sized pan for the amount of veggies you are grating to feed the crew who will grace your table 
  2. add some ghee or butter
  3. chop onion into any size or shape you desire and saute in the above warmed up pan
  4. while onion is gently cooking, use the above cheese grater contraption and grate the yellow squash
  5. when onion is soft but not over cooked, add grated yellow squash
  6. while yellow squash gratings are gently cooking, grate your cheese chunks on same said grater contraption            
  7. peel garlic and put into your garlic press or finely chop garlic
  8. fine chop the herbs you have gathered
  9. spread cooking veggie mix into even layer in pan
  10.  sprinkle garlic across top of veggies
  11. sprinkle chopped herbs atop this mix
  12. top with cheese
  13. cover pan and turn off heat; you want cheese to melt but do not want mushy, color drained, over cooked veggies (trust me on this one)
  14. in 5 minutes or so, uncover pan and place appropriate amounts of food onto the plates of the crew gracing your table

Options to play with this veggie mix: 

  • use a zucchini in the grated veggies
  • use any seasonally & locally available produce in the veggie gratings. If the veggie is not appropriate for grating (tomatoes), then just finely chop them
  • try any kind of cheese that you have on hand or suits your fancy
  • add chickpeas, lentils, or whatever bean you crave
  • add chunks of chicken, sausage...
  • toss some raw nuts or seeds on top of your veggies
  • sprinkle with unrefined sea salt (depending on the saltiness of the cheese) and fresh ground pepper
  • olives?
  • roasted red pepper chunks

Iced Chai Anyone?

We have more hot days predicted for next week. A glass or mug of easy* iced chai tea and a peaceful sitting space might just cultivate a relaxing moment or two.

Here's how I do it:

  1. I make 12 ounces of very strong black tea, let it cool, and make it into ice cubes. (Yes, this takes a little time but it so worth the effort. Using plain water ice cubes just dilutes the chai tea flavor.
  2. Put 4 chai ice cubes in your blender.
  3. Add 1/2 to 2/3 cups full fat milk from some sweet pasture raised, lactating animal (or your favorite nut/seed milk)
  4. 1/2 to 1 tsp. chai spice mix - see below
  5. 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract
  6. 1 tsp. local, raw honey
  7. optional pinch of black pepper
  8. Blend into a frothy liquid and pour into a wide mouth, pint ball canning jar or some other acceptable, glass receptacle.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. Double or triple to share with a friend or two.

*I say easy because making traditional hot chai is a process that simmers the whole herbs and spices; not the below ground blend I am suggesting you mix up and have handy for easy iced chai making.  In a jar I put: (keep in mind these are all approximate measures and proportions based upon the strength of the spice flavor.)

  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. cardamom
  • 1 tbsp. ginger
  • 1-2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1-2 tsp. star anise

I make a batch of this and keep it in an 8 oz. ball jam jar.  I also use it in cooler weather to whip up an easy hot chai tea.

The North Country & Florida Mesh

I love Indian food. I love the Indian drink Mango Lassi.

Yesterday a dear friend gifted me 2 mangos that came straight up from Florida, picked from the backyard of another fellow Lake Ozonia neighbor. (picked from their Florida backyard... mango trees would suffer in the ADK mountains come winter!)

To feed my clutch of kids this AM, I started them with a mango lassi; melding the best of Florida fresh fruit with the best of the North Country.

 

Sometimes I just have to go with the flow and enjoy a melding of local and well, not so local. The Lassi was deeeelish! The kids were happy! 

Use this recipe with any fruit combination & enjoy.

You Do NOT Need Me

You read that correctly. You do NOT need me.

      But that's ok 'cuz I have Lily...               and we need each other!

      But that's ok 'cuz I have Lily...               and we need each other!

Your body will heal simply by switching to a whole food diet.

May I refer you backwards to a previous post: Longevity Recipe

When you swap out your current eating habits for a 100% whole food diet amazing things will happen:

  • You will no longer crave sugar, salt, garbage food stuff
  • You gut lining will heal
  • Your gut microbes will re-balance themselves (and the whole cascade of good things that happen when gut microbes are balanced - think neurological, immune, digestive... whole body health
  • Your weight will normalize for you
  • Body aches will lessen and maybe just completely disappear
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol will wave bye-bye
  • Adult Onset Diabetes will exit your life
  • You will feel so good you will change other lifestyle habits because feeling good begets wanting to feel even better
  • And it all snow balls on, and on, and on

What I CAN do for you is this: give you tips on how to speed up your body's amazing healing process:

  • herbs and supplements help hurry the healing process along nicely & naturally
  • foods that will have health restorative effects specific for your body's needs
  • foods better avoided for your specific health needs
  • lifestyle choices to accelerate that feeling of crazy, good, vibrant health...
  • online classes to study health in the comfy space of your home! ($35 an online class and subsequent classes only $25)

And all with a smile, hug, and healing love!

The Path To Easy Weight Loss

Magical path in the woods

Magical path in the woods

Yes, I said easy.

Before you click the X in the upper right hand corner of your computer screen and end this pseudo conversation (or before you want to reach out and slap me upside the head)... read on, add comments, and create a dialogue.

What is this path you ask? Mindfulness I say, mindfulness around your eating habits but more importantly, mindfulness around your life.

Mindfulness defined from Jenny Kenny Morrill (Colton, NY) 3 Marigolds Mindfulness Tutoring services:

Why Mindfulness?
Mindfulness teaches us to be present-minded and grounded in our professional and personal lives from a foundation of inner (my word) connectedness. A mindfulness practice involves a small amount of time devoted to re-setting.  This re-set allows us to be in the moment, make decisions, reflect and communicate from our innermost, authentic voice.  

End Result: You make decisions based upon what is best for the growth of your higher self and the greater good not impulse based decisions to satisfy immediate gratification on some level or another.

Thank you Trillium Yoga for posting this Yoga wisdom picture on FB.

Thank you Trillium Yoga for posting this Yoga wisdom picture on FB.

You have heard me speak of how my 16 year, daily yoga practice has created mindfulness in my life.  I also hope you have enjoyed my earlier post on Walking the Red Road... I remind you of these things and previous posts because I want to show you that all of this is within your grasp and you will start creating a healthier you (including that weight loss you have been intending on).

Pick a mindfulness habit that works for you and start watching your life look like this:

  • Thinking thoughtfully around your day... "Oh, I have a big dinner tonight. I will mindfully eat very lightly the rest of the day to not over food, over stuff myself, in this 24 hour period.
  • "Wow, that family celebration was heavy last night." Mindfully I decide to fast a bit longer today, skip break - fast, and breathe deeply knowing I am fine without food for a few hours more.
  • You realize that hunger signals from the brain and belly do not always need to be immediately gratified. "Hey, I hear you speaking awesome body but I am going to pass on any food right now and I know I will be ok. This hunger pang too shall pass and I can wait until breakfast, lunch, dinner..."
  • Working through the ending sugar addiction becomes a practice of self-love wrapped in gorgeous, mindfulness gift paper and ribbons. Gently reminding yourself:

                      "If I stop feeding the gut bugs that thrive on sugar and refined carbs what they want (more                       sugar and refined carbs) they, the sugar craving gut bugs, will die."

                      "Yup, starve the 'lil buggers to death. My whole food diet will re-establish the amazing gut                       bugs I do want in my digestive tract. These wanted gut bugs will not be begging me for                             sugar, they will not scream from deep inside my belly to run and find that hidden ice '                                cream in the freezer or that bag of chocolate chips I hide from the family."

                     "Goodbye soda, other sugary drinks, and packaged refined foods... my gut bugs don't want                        you!"  

Seriously, have these dialogues with yourself and your gut bugs. Good inner dialogue keeps you mindful AND makes you chuckle (laughter is healing my friends!) as you move through your day on this magical path of mindfulness.

Use mindfulness to improve any aspect of your life, make those whole health lifestyle changes you have been meaning to, and support your kissing goodbye to all of the habits that are not cultivating your higher self or the greater good.

Need extra help?

  • Find a yoga teacher and/or class in your area. Here in Northern NY: Trillium, Yoga Loft, Five Elements, Northern Light Yoga
  • Call Jenny for mindfulness tutoring, see above.
  • Try meditation: go to Five Elements Living and check out the offerings with Sarah Jane, check out the upcoming classes: Cultivating Ease & Liveliness
  • More meditation in the Potsdam-Canton, NY area: Northern Light Yoga, Trillium Yoga, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Potsdam, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canton
  • Find what works for you in your area: tai chi, qi gong, tae kwon do...
  • Read a book on yoga or mindfulness and teach yourself... then practice every day.
  • Go to my blog page (hey, wait... you are already here!) OK, then just do this for some added loving support: in the search bar type in Yoga. You will get many posts on supporting your mindfulness practice. Now type in weight loss... yup, more support 'cuz friends, that's what I do... work to support your health and healing needs hoping that a word or two of wisdom will spark some sort of change in you to help you find your natural path, find you, again.

BIG HUGS (filled with mindfulness of course) , Paula

PS... Hey, I just remembered, I wrote a book to help you cultivate your mindfulness!

And I wrote another book to help you navigate lifestyle changes to restore your natural health and lose that weight. See, I do have your back 24/7!

Join My Foundations Of Health Restoration online classes 

To Mindfully Restore Your Health From The Ground Up

OR

Start learning with Divine Weight Loss to taste test

how I can support your health.

Find your path and walk in peace.

 

 

Junk Health Food

My Advice:  Be Wary... Be Very, Very Wary

I was inspired to write this after shopping in a health food store a couple of hours from home. I am a people watcher and a health educator. I can't help but notice the things people buy. The person in front of me at the checkout had a cart loaded with what I call Junk Health Food: [I observe from a space of love... wanting so badly to reach out and do some community education... but only when asked Paula, only when asked! :) ]

  • organic, refined, white flour bread and rolls
  • chips of every kind
  • natural soft drinks and fruit juice flavored drinks
  • organic, sugary cereals
  • organic pop tart type toaster pastries

Be wary of anything that comes in a box, bag, can, jar, etc.  If it is a packaged food product, made in a factory and not your home, be a savvy shopper and consumer. Just because it is sold in a health food store does not mean it is cell nourishing food.

WHY?

1.  Most food products are manufactured for the corporate bottom line, not your health.

This means that the cheapest ingredients go into the "product" so the company manufacturing this product can make the highest profit margin.  Profits before people is the name of this game.

Now keep in mind, there are companies out there creating quality products.  Real food, in packages, that are healthy alternatives to what you would make in your own kitchen.  These products are sold on the shelves of health food stores, food coops, and in the healthy section of grocery stores.

BUT, just because a product is on the shelves in these healthier places, do not assume that the product is healthy (see below on being self-responsible).  Even products you have found to have healthy, 100% whole food ingredients; be aware... the ingredients can be changed.  Big corporations love to buy out these smaller "health conscious" companies because the healthier products are money makers.  Most people do want healthy food and healthy bodies so the sale of organic, whole, non-GMO foods has soared. Corporate America wants their piece of this pie. But... as soon as a larger corporation owns the food, the food label, the product suddenly changes.  Cheaper ingredients are now used to make the very same products. This "ingredient switch" pads the bottom line of the large corporation, not your health!.

You have to be the responsible one in the grocery store... this means reading labels very, very carefully.  (This is what I teach in my book and in my workshops; self responsibility around your own health restoration... you healing you!)  Read the ingredient list, on anything you are contemplating purchasing, that comes in a package.  Your health, your life, depends on this.

Ask yourself questions about the product:

-Is every ingredient in the product a whole food? (organic? non GMO?)

-Could you assemble all the ingredients, in your own home, to make this same food item?

Answering yes to these questions? Then move forward, feeling comfortable that the food will nourish, not deplete, the health of your body cells.  Depleting body cells means you are depleting you; creating degeneration in your body.

Answering no to these questions?  Put the "product" back on the shelf; your health and your life depend on this.

2.  Most manufactured products are full of fake stuff:

Fillers (to enhance textures without using real food, i.e. whole food ingredients. MOST Greek yogurts are one of these filler enhanced foods, read more here: 13 Health Foods That Are NOT So Healthy),

Preservatives,

Artificial colors and flavors,

Fake sweeteners,

GMOs

Fake fats...

the list of fake things, that go into factory made food, is never ending.

Bottom Line:  Fake ingredients, factory made substances, do not belong in the human body.  They do not create cellular health. Cellular health IS created when we eat whole food.

good bad

   Fake Food     vs      Real Food

Have I convinced you to nourish each and every one of your beautiful body cells with 100% whole foods?  

Be well; feed your body well.    You will lose weight, feel better every day, and restore your body's natural health!

Goodbye to Plantar Warts W/O Chemicals!

Are you pestered with nasty plantar warts? They can be painful, irritating little villains on the bottom of our feet.

Below you see my son's foot plastered with several plantar warts and a big cluster on the ball of his big toe.

Here you see his foot with thin slices of raw, fresh garlic (organic and local, from Birdsfoot Farm, of course!). 

How these warts got so out of control you ask? They inhabited a teen's foot. He never bothered to tell me until the collection had become overwhelming. 

Here is how we managed to get rid of them in just about 2 weeks time. 

Night Time Wart Therapy:

  • place thin slices of raw, fresh, local, organic garlic over each wart.
  • Apply duct tape to hold warts in place.
  • Apply thin, well fitting cotton socks to kid's foot.
  • Send kid to bed.

Day Time Wart Therapy:

  • After showering put 1 drop of essential oil onto each wart.
  • Sit still until essential oil dries on foot.
  • Get dressed and head out for the day.
Essential oils I used: Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Oregano as seen above. A couple of times I used Thyme essential oil.

Essential oils I used: Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Oregano as seen above. A couple of times I used Thyme essential oil.

Repeat Night Time and Day Time Wart Therapy until the warts literally peel off in layers. Underneath will be beautiful, new, pink skin. This wart be gone process took about 2 weeks and was relatively painless. Well, except for the groaning and moaning of a 13 year old because I was making him take care of these viral buggers. 

This garlic and essential oil therapy would work on regular skin warts as well.