Forgive, Love and Reach Out!

Forgivenekids-gratitude-1024x537ss is an act of free will that will help you with your toxic thoughts of anger, resentment, bitterness etc. Forgiving is an action on your part despite the  behavior by the other person and  still acknowledging  the pain and hurt but you letting  go of the person who hurt you.  Researchers at the University of Wisconsin  found those who developed an ability to forgive have more control over their emotions and are less angry and consequently much healthier.

While we have been concentrating upon our mind making proper choices, we can’t ignore the heart, which according to Leaf, acts as a “mini-brain” and acts as a “still small voice that checks our thoughts for accuracy, integrity and wisdom.”  The voice from your heart, is gentle and provides a sense of warning and there are times when the brain needs to submit to the heart. Ways to communicate with your heart are : count your blessings and develop an attitude of gratitude, not thinking of painful thoughts , choose wisely with who you spend your time with and focus on happy memories of good times and anticipate happy events.  In addition to this, you need to give and receive loving touch. Good touching, like a hug releases the body’s natural chemicals  in a healing process that makes one have feeling of well-being and this can change your mental processes.

“When the heart is at peace and is filled with love, the entire body under the direction of the brain feels peace and love as well… When your thought life is filled with toxic emotions, your heart is heavy and burdens your body and mind.  In effect, your heart amplifies what is going on in the brain.” Dr. Caroline Leaf,  Who Switched Off My Brain?

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Fat – The New Skinny!

Fat … is the new skinny! Recent reports by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM 359-3 July 17,2008)  studied 322 moderately obese adults whose  mean age was 52. Some were given a low-fat diet, some Mediterranean diet and others a low-carbohydrate one. Those on the low carb, high fat diet lost the most weight, had increased levels of HDL (good), lowered their levels of LDL and triglycerides. There was also a drop in the C-reactive protein, the marker for inflammation, the cause for many degenerative diseases including dementia and Alzheimer’s.

fat-213x300 245470 The point in these findings is, should you wish to alter your diet to include a higher content of “fats”, you are not risking your health in other ways. In fact, because these diets seem to reduce inflammation, and inflammation is the cornerstone to many diseases, it can only serve to be a positive experience. “Over a mean of 8.1 years, a dietary intervention that reduced total fat intake and increased intakes of vegetables, fruits, and grains did not significantly reduce the risk of CHD, stroke.” JAMA, February8, 2006-Vol. 295,No.6

The type of fat incorporated into your diet is key here. Omega 6 fats are undesirable and according to Dr. Perlmutter, are somewhat pro-inflammatory compounded. There is also  evidence indicating that the higher consumption of these being related to brain disorders. In his book, Grain Brain, our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed omega-6 and omega-3 fats in a ratio of roughly 1:1, but now we consume ten to twenty-five times more omega -6.

Flaxseed, Coconut and Virgin Olive Oils are good sources of Omega 3’s whereas many vegetable oils, including safflower, corn, canola, and sunflower are high in Omega 6’s. Other wonderful sources of Omega 3’s include “wild caught” seafood, wild meat e.g. venison as well as beef and lamb. But make sure these “domesticated” sources of meat have been grass fed. Animals fed grains such as corn and soybeans do not have adequate omega 3 in their diets that their meat will be deficient in it as well. Good Fats are also found in nuts, avocados and are highly recommended by Dr. Perlmutter.Unknown-1

Perlmutter recommends in the book, Grain Brain, restocking our shelves and use liberally items such as extra-virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, grass fed tallow and organic or pasture-fed butter.  Also included in his recommendations are  ghee, almond milk, avocados, coconuts, olives, nuts and nut butters, cheese (except blue cheese) and seeds such as flaxseed, sunflower, pumpkin sesame and chia seeds. The point is the brain is 60 to 70 percent fat and is made from the fats you consume in your diet.


“No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you may look good, but all you could do is run for public office.” George Bernard Shaw


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In Search for Gluten

FD005285If you have decided to go gluten free, you need to be aware of all its forms.  Wheat, barley and rye may be obvious things to avoid, but here is a list of other common items that do contain gluten:  Brewers yeast, Bulgur, Durum, Farro, Graham flour, Hydrolyzed wheat protein. Kamut, Malt  (all kinds), Seitan ( a meat-like food derived from wheat gluten used in vegetarian dishes), Semolina, Spelt, Triticale.   Less familiar ingredients are Atta or chapati flour, Einkorn and Emmer which are types of wheat, Farina and Fu which is a dried gluten product made from wheat  and is used in some Asian dishes.  So read your labels.

beer-glassesSources of these can be found in common food products such as  beer, ale or lager, breads, broth, soup, soup bases, cereals, cookies and crackers, some chocolates and licorice, flavored coffees and teas, imitation bacon bits and seafoods, medications (your pharmacist should know), pastas, processed foods, salad dressings, sausages, hot dogs, deli meats, sauces, marinades, gravies, seasonings and soy  sauce.

Unknown-1Remember this is a learning experience so take your time.  In the beginning it may take longer to get through the grocery store but as you become more familiar with these sources, time in the grocery store will go back to normal. But whenever in doubt, ask.  Call the food company and see if their products include gluten.  For some going gluten free can be a daunting task and if this process becomes overwhelming, start with the obvious.  Cut back on wheat, barley and rye.  Then take another step such as changing up the type of soy sauce (there are gluten free ones on the market).

“One may walk over the higher mountain one step at a time.”  John Wanamaker


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