This sounds about right. Actually, it really is the truth. How do I know? Well, I have done some very necessary energy healing on this gut-healing journey of mine. As I've mentioned before, this journey doesn't come without an emotional toll. Fortunately, the reiki master (practicer of energy medicine) who I see is a longtime family friend and practically a second mother to me. Back to my main point- my liver, lung, stomach, heart, and kidney meridians are always the weakest or need the most balancing/strengthening/sedating. Simply put, those meridians are typically effed. Or, at least they were towards the beginning of this healing journey. When I was angry, my liver would need work. When I was grieving the loss of important, loved people in my life- my lung needed work. So on and so forth. I'm in a much better place now, though. It wasn't until recently that I was able to sit back and take a look at everything that's happening in my life and say out loud, "if certain things in my life didn't fall apart when they did, I would not be on this self-loving journey of health, traveling, and unconditional compassion." While this epiphany may not mean jack to a stranger reading this post, it means the world to me.
Sometimes in the midst of absolute pain and grief, we can't seem to wrap our minds around the "why" and "how" of things. When we're in that place of hopelessness we "know" that there will never be a reason why the shitty things have to happen. The truth is, there is a reason. This past year has taught me that life doesn't take your plans into consideration. It plows through your front door, knocks you on your ass and leaves you lost on the corner of, "how the fuck did I get here?" and "my life is supposed to be different." Live presently to avoid turmoil within (aka effed energy). We are only able to be right here, right now anyway- in a moment so fleeting that it's gone before we've even had a chance to be mindful of it. Be mindful. Your soul will thrive for it.
Heavy metals, carcinogens, plastics, and pesticides are dumped into our environment at a rate that should make us all shudder. As I've discussed before, these toxins are showing up in human tissue cells more and more each day. One specific toxin may be the reason why all these toxins become trapped inside human tissue cells. This toxin, glyphosate, has been proven to inhibit human cells' ability to detoxify altogether. So of course, we can find this toxin in Monsanto's Roundup!
Glyphosate can be found in conventional sugar, corn, soy, and wheat products and inhibits enzyme production in the body. Well what does this mean? Enzymes have the important job of detoxifying drugs, carcinogens, and pesticides. You know, all those lovely things that when combined make a beautiful shit storm. Because glyphosate inhibits this detoxification process, it enhances the damaging effects of other shit storm ingredients (toxins in the environment) that get in the human body. So what happens next? Disruption of homeostasis, increase of inflammation, and a slow deconstruction of the cellular system. I know, none of that was on your grocery list when you first wrote it out...
These toxins build up in the gut and eventually break down THROUGH the intestinal walls. Sound familiar? Yes...sounds leaky gut-ish to me too. However, Monsanto claims that glyphosate is NOT harmful to humans. That's because they're fucking stupid. Monsanto claims that studies, which prove glyphosate to be the most dangerous toxin poisoning our environment today, are "bogus science." Big boy words from a company that runs the glyphosate safety studies themselves.
As glyphosate inhibits the body's gut flora from doing its job, it heightens a number of health issues that we so commonly see today including IBD, Crohn's Disease, dementia, obesity, and depression. It deprives the body of life-giving vitamins (Devon, 2013). End of story.
Check out these additional links on glyphosate in Monsanto's Roundup and its toxic effects.
Devon, Lance. "New Study Reveals how Glyphosate in Monsanto's Roundup Inhibits Natural Detoxification in Human Cells."NaturalNews.com. N.p., 24 May 2013. Web. 5 June 2013. <http://www.naturalnews.com/040482_glyphosate_Monsanto_detoxification.html#ixzz2VIJPzCSO>.
I just recently started following this awesome Like page on Facebook, Rawforbeauty. I am in love with all the inspirational quotes and health-related facts they share with their followers. Definitely check them out! Here's a brief peek at some of my favorite info they have shared. Also visit their website! www.rawforbeauty.com :]
ALSO, (as I have said before) if you are sensitive to any of the foods/ingredients for natural remedies/purposes shown below, know that they probably aren't the right choice for you. For example, as wonderful as grapefruit sounds, I wouldn't use it for any of the listed benefits, as it would have an adverse effect on my body. Choose your ingredients wisely.
Click on each picture individually for a larger view.
Today's topic goes out to all of you with a sweet tooth, particularly an artificial sweetener tooth. So yesterday, as I happened to pass by one of my windows, I caught a glimpse of my father chugging a Coca-Cola outside after some yard work. This was his idea of a refreshing beverage. As soon as I saw that sinful red can hit his lips, I whipped the sliding glass door open and yelled, "PUT THAT DOWN, GET A WATER, COKE HAS ASPARTAME IN IT!" He laughed at me and then obnoxiously proclaimed, "it tastes delicious." My response: "your ORGANS don't think so!" But really, I thought about it, and I was like- "nice argument, self, but do you even know what the fuck aspartame is?" I didn't. I just knew that it could cause cancer- like so many other things we put in or on our bodies. Today's post is brought to you by: the poor beverage selection made by my loved one.
Aspartame is the technical name for artificial sweeteners such as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal Measure. Is it comforting to know that aspartame was discovered by accident? Some genius, James Schlatter, was running a test for an anti-ulcer drug (ironic) when ta-dah, aspartame made its debut- a discovery that set this decades long catastrophe in motion. In my research I found that aspartame is responsible for over 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. The most serious reactions are seizures and even death.
Please note that aspartame is NOT just found in sodas. It can also be found in yogurt, sugar-free everything, chips, chewing gum, cereals, flavored waters, cough drops, kids' vitamins, Jello, cooking sauces, a lot of diet foods (including Weight Watchers brand)....the list goes on.
Some of the documented symptoms caused by aspartame include:
* muscle spasms
* heart palpitations
* weight gain
* breathing difficulties
* anxiety attacks
* memory loss
* vision problems
* slurred speech
* joint pain
* hearing loss
* loss of taste
....just a small list. Other research has shown that certain chronic illnesses can be brought on or made worse by consuming aspartame: brain tumors, Alzheimer's, Diabetes, Multiple sclerosis, Epilepsy, Lymphoma, Chronic fatigue syndrome, birth defects, Parkinson's disease, and Fibromyalgia.
So, what is aspartame? Well, it's a few things. Aspartame is composed of aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol.
What you need to know about aspartic acid: It's 40% of aspartame. Too much aspartate can kill certain neurons in the brain, which allows an influx of too much calcium into the cells. This causes an excessive amount of free radicals in the brain, which kill cells. When this type of damage caused by excessive aspartate (and/or glutamate as well), they are referred to as "excitotoxins." Long-term exposure to this excitatory amino acid can contribute to chronic illnesses such as MS, ALS, memory loss, hormonal problems, epilepsy, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, hypoglycemia, dementia, brain lesions, and neuroendocrine disorders.
What you need to know about phenylalanine: It's difficult to pronounce. It's 50% of aspartame. Also, it's an amino acid found in the brain. High levels of phenylalanine in the brain can be lethal to some. Specifically, people with the genetic disorder, phenylketonuria (PKU), are at exceptionally high risk as they cannot metabolize phenylalanine. Even those without PKU can have dangerously high levels of phenylalanine in their brains, especially if aspartame is consumed along with carbohydrates. High levels of phenylalanine in the brain can cause serotonin levels to drop, thus causing emotional disorders such as depression.
What you need to know about methanol (a.k.a wood alcohol): 10 % of aspartame, it's a deadly poison- joy! Who wouldn't want this in their refreshing beverage after a long day of yard work? Methanol absorption is sped up when free methanol is consumed. Free methanol is created when aspartame is at a temperature above 86 Fahrenheit. This would happen if a product containing aspartame was improperly stored somewhere or left in the sun- you know, on those beautiful, hot, summer days at family cookouts. Methanol is broken down into formic acid and formaldehyde (a carcinogen) in the body. Methanol is a cumulative poison, as there is a low rate of excretion once it is absorbed (Mercola, Mercola.com).
PS quote in the picture above was a statement made by a Monsanto spokesperson. Impressive. Next question- aaaand how do you sleep at night? :]
The recommended limit of methanol consumption is 7.8 mg/day. 1 liter of an aspartame-sweetened beverage contains an astounding 56 mg of methanol. Think of this next time those stupid dancing polar bears taunt you into reaching for a Coke.
Check out the links below for more info on which products contain aspartame, how aspartame affects humans, and more.
Possible side effects of NutraSweet
List of products containing aspartame
Top 10 worst sources of aspartame
List of products containing aspartame
911 Body Rescue
Mercola, Joseph. "Aspartame: By Far the Most Dangerous Substance Added to Most Foods Today." Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/06/aspartame-most-dangerous-substance-added-to-food.aspx>.
Life isn't easy. My theory is that it shouldn't be. If life is easy for someone, chances are they aren't really living. By this I mean that they're not learning from mistakes, hardship, and challenge that life often brings with it. Those who have seen a lot of life are among the strongest.
Too often we let the everyday stresses of life get under our skin- literally. The mind body connection is powerful. I'll bet if you took the time to really think about it, you could recall a time when stress or unfortunate circumstance made its presence known in a number of ways- breakouts, upset stomach, headaches, sleepless nights, you name it. It's so tremendously important for all of us to take that much needed "me time" everyday. Yes, I said everyday. Pay no mind to anyone who tells you that you don't need that time- they just don't know how to use it themselves.
For today's post, I thought I would share some of my own "me time" de-stressors. It really depends on the day, how I'm feeling, and how much energy I have. If I'm feeling creative, I turn to my art and create. As an abstract artist, I find it s0o unbelievably calming to go wild with a box of pastels and charcoal. If I'm bouncing off the walls, you'll find me on the elliptical trying to find a balance between dancing to my music and not falling off the machine/breaking my ass. Or, you might find me doing a more fast-paced resistance band workout to some profane rap music in my bedroom. Either way, it's a spectacle.
When I need to retreat to a place of calmness and peace, yoga is my go-to activity. I never really cared too much for yoga, as I always preferred Pilates. To be honest, I became fond of yoga by taking it slow- really embracing those "beginner" DVDs, and building my strength, flexibility, and overall understanding of this exercise before I started challenging myself. There are so many health benefits that yoga has to offer. Yoga can decrease depression, anxiety, stress, and mood swings if done regularly (Benefits of Yoga- Why Yoga is Good Exercise for You). Check out the links below for a peek at all the amazing benefits yoga has to offer!
Physiological, psychological, and biochemical benefits of yoga
Fight stress and find serenity
Like yoga, meditation has several health benefits. Yoga is actually a form of meditation- where the focus is on your breathing, posture, and balance. Meditation may seem intimidating to newcomers, but have no fear. There are all kinds of guided meditation CDs that you can purchase or even check out at your public library. Yes, you can find a bunch of guided meditation clips on YouTube, as well. There is no reason to be intimidated with all the wonderful physiological, psychological, and spiritual benefits meditation has to offer!
Meditation is literally a mind-body medicine. As such, regular practice of meditation promotes physical and emotional well-being. While meditation can be used as as stress reducer, research has also shown that it can help with a number of health conditions including allergies, asthma, anxiety disorder, cancer, heart disease, binge eating, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, fatigue, substance abuse, and sleep-related issues (INeedMotivation, 100 Benefits of Meditation). Check out the links below for more information on the benefits of meditation and meditation techniques.
Mayo Clinic on Meditation
7 Health benefits
Physiological, psychological, and spiritual benefits of meditation
Meditation for beginners
Relaxation and meditation techniques
Always feel free to share your thoughts and ideas by commenting on blog posts. What techniques and activities do you turn to during "me time?" :)
"100 Benefits of Meditation." INeedMotivation Excellence in Life Enrichment. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. <http://www.ineedmotivation.com/blog/2008/05/100-benefits-of-meditation/>.
"Benefits of Yoga - Why Yoga Exercise is Good for You." abc-of-yoga.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. <http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/beginnersguide/yogabenefits.asp>.
I wanted to post a little bit more information on the L-Glutamine supplement I started taking. While it has helped me tremendously and has so many outrageously great benefits, always be sure to consult your PCP about whether this supplement is right for you. [How commercially sounding of me...]
Some of the many benefits this amino acid has to offer include:
* Major energy source
* Improves brain functioning
* Stabilizes blood sugar (huge help for me)
* Reduces alcohol cravings
* Maintains the health and functioning of lining of the gut
* Supports muscle function
* Boosts metabolism
* Enhances exercise performance
* Helps with wound healing
* Helps maintain acid alkaline balance
* Protects normal cells from chemotherapy in cancer patients
* Some studies have even shown that it helps to prevent kidney stones! (A plus for me)
Additionally, L-Glutamine helps with the following health conditions:
* Crohn's Disease
* Ulcerative Colitis
(Slagle, The Way Up Newsletter)
Check out the links below for more information on this dietary supplement.
Uses and benefits
The other dietary supplement I'm currently taking is Vessel Care made by Metagenics.
I began taking this supplement after receiving my nutrient level lab results. Not to my surprise, I was on the verge of being iron, B12, and vitamin D deficient. My folic acid number was through the ground and all my other levels were extremely low, too. This explains why I felt like an emotional zombie all day long.
This supplement helps with the absorption of B12 and folate. It also helps with cardiovascular function and supports healthy Methylation and Homocysteine levels.
I'm also taking Arctic Cod Liver Oil soft gels. I'm using the Nordic Naturals brand, which is a well-known, reliable brand. Brand, or quality, is extremely important when looking at dietary supplements. I chose the soft gels because apparently some say the oil tastes foul. I'd rather not find out for myself. =P
Some of the benefits of taking Arctic Cod Liver Oil include:
* It contains anti-inflammatory properties
* Soothes aches and pains caused by arthritis
* Reduces stress
* Reduce allergic reactions
* Helps with PMS and mood swings
* Improves brain function
* Improves eyesight, skin, and nervous system (Vitamin A)
* Helps maintain skeletal health (Vitamin D) and ensures proper calcium levels in the blood (super important for those like me who get kidney stones)
* Assists those at risk for Alzheimer's disease
* Helps those with ADHD, Psoriasis, high cholesterol, and heart disease
* Greatly reduces the risk of children getting Type 1 diabetes
* Reduces the levels of "bad" cholesterol while increasing the levels of "good" cholesterol in your body
* Supports blood sugar stability
(MD-health.com, Cod Liver Oil Benefits)
...Again, always check with your PCP before looking into taking any dietary supplements. What's right for one person is not necessarily right for another. If you think you may be able to benefit from any of these supplements, consult a professional first.
"Cod Liver Oil Benefits." MD-Health.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://www.md-health.com/Cod-Liver-Oil-Benefits.html>.
Slagle, Priscilla. "Benefits of the Amino Acid L-Glutamine." The Way Up Newsletter. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://www.thewayup.com/newsletters/041501.htm>.