Friday, April 22, 2011

Let Your Ladies Hang Free! Why I Stopped Wearing a Bra

Ladies, who wants to have a bra burning party? Those straps that bite into your should, the underwire, the constant itch from the clasp, being restrictive, sucks right? But alas, society says bras are the way. What doesn't get mentioned is the danger a bra poses to our health. Not only do they feel restrictive, but they restrict some of our bodies natural process, which can lead to breast cancer. Yikes! 

Here are the stats (courtesy of Ralph L. Reed, Ph.D):
  • Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer.
  • Women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day but not to bed had a 1 out of 7 risk.
  • Women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 152 risk.
  • Women who wore bras rarely or never had a 1 out of 168 chance of getting breast cancer. The overall difference between 24 hour wearing and not at all was a 125-fold difference.
Why is this? What is up with bras that causes breast cancer? Here's an except from Cancer: Step Outside the Box by Ty Bollinger.

"Apparently , the restrictive nature of bras inhibits the lymphatic system (our internal network of vessels and nodes that flushes wastes from teh body) from doing its job. The mammy glands are filled with lymphatic vessels that move from the breast, through the auxiliary lymph nodes under the armpit, over the collar bone, to the thoracic duct. This is how the breast drains toxins and keeps its internal environment clean. However, if something impedes the cleansing process, an imbalance occurs and the estrogen by-products become destructive molecules called free radicals that begin cellular damage which leads to breast cancer. The correlation between bras and breast cancer is four times greater than smoking is to lung cancer! Pushup bras are said to be the most restrictive. If you cannot discontinue wearing a bra, consider wearing one as little as possible, and use a bra that allows some breast motion, without cutting tightly under and along the outer edges of the breasts where the milk ducts are located." 

As Ty pointed out, it may not be possible to completely omit wearing a bra. However, forget underwire, take it off when you are home alone, or even just with family and close friends. Layer, ladies it's all about the layers. Give yourself a boob massage, keep that lymph flowing. Once you reduce the time you wear a bra, your body will start to feel so much better.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What I've Learned From Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution: Part 1

Jamie Oliver, love or hate him, has started a Food Revolution. It's about damn time. I know some vegan and raw foodists out there will focus on "it's not enough" but if I've learned anything on my own food journey, is that most people are not going to completely revamp their diet overnight, and especially not an establishment. Baby steps people. Jamie is focusing on improving food in schools, because, really, shouldn't the next generation learn from our food corruption? He is determined to teach parents and children the truth about what's really in our food. Bless him. 

So what have I learned so far? 

  • It takes only one voice to make a change
  • It starts with you
  • Demonstrations are a powerful thing
  • Parents do want the best for their kids; they just don't know how to provide that
  • There is more sugar in chocolate milk than a donut
  • Ground beef is more disgusting than I could imagine
  • Some people would rather be ignorant 
  • Money speaks volumes and in most cases is more important to the establishment than our kids health 

Sugar is a huge issue affecting our children right now. This is a demonstration Jamie showed on how much sugar the kids in the LA school district consume in a week, a WEEK!!! JUST from flavored milk! So donuts, ice cream, candy, etc. not included. This is just the sugar from flavored milks! A fourth grade class from Canada has started their own blog, The Milk Revolution, to educate their classmates and explore the consequences of sugar. Jamie has started a campaign to take sugary milks from school. You can sign his petition here


While I found the sugar issue to be particularly disturbing (hello childhood obesity, ADD, diabetes, etc.) I found myself thanking the Universe that I am a vegetarian. Jamie gave a particularly disturbing presentation that I am sure will turn most people off ground beef, unless it's 100% organic. During his presentation he showed how the industry turns "pink slime", essentially the excess parts of the cow that are not appropriate for human consumption, wash them with ammonia, yes, you read that correctly, and turn it into ground beef. Up to 15% of the ground beef you purchase can legally have this delightful filler, meaning in addition to the hormones you consume anyway by buying regular ground beef, your product also consists of toxic slime. Who wants to go to McDonald's and and get a hamburger? If you have a strong stomach, or are a meat eater, I STRONGLY recommend watching this video where Jamie breaks it down for you. 

Would you be willing to pay an extra $2.50 for a hamburger that did not use toxic slime or hormones? Or would you rather "take the blue pill" ala the Matrix? 

The Food Revolution airs Tuesday nights on ABC.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Deliciously Delightful Vegan Mac 'n' Cheese

Like most people, I ate a lot of mac 'n' cheese growing up, and admittedly, I still cave now and again. Unfortunately it's not the same to me anymore. Generally, I feel just a little gross afterward. I've contemplated the vegan versions many times, but they've always freaked me out just a bit. Last night I found a recipe that just called to me and I decided to go for it. Delicious! Creamy with a bit of a kick, and best of all, no gross after feeling.

You can find the recipe here, on the VegNews website. I made one substitution. I did not have cashews, so I used macadamia nuts instead. Seriously, I know the recipe seems a bit odd, but TRY IT, you will love it! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What Your Oncologist Never Told You About Cancer

Recently I received the book Cancer: Step Outside the Box by Ty Bollinger as a gift. This fascinating book details many physical reasons for cancer, discusses the horrors committed by the cancer industry and offers many suggested holistic treatments for curing the body of cancer. One of the sections that really captured my attention discussed the difference between tumors and cancer in the body. First, you need to know that cancer thrives in a low oxygen, acidic state. Which is why it's so important to increase oxygen levels in the body and eat an alkaline diet; this will starve the cancer cells. What is interesting is that we have always been led to believe that the tumors are made completely of cancer cells. This is not true. In fact, cancer cells cannot form tissue. Cancer cells reside inside the tissue. In fact, the size of tumors in the body is not an indicator of how your body is dealing with cancer, and eliminating the tumors, does not in fact, guarantee you eliminate the cancer. It is the spreading of cancer cells themselves, that kills cancer patients, not tumor growth.

Ty explains in detail the process of cell growth, but here's the condensed version. Cells use oxygen to metabolize and create their process. When the cell does not receive enough oxygen, it reverts to an inefficient process, one that cancer cells take advantage of to stabilize. When this starts to happen, the mitosis process can also be affected, meaning cells that are supposed to die off, stick around, creating excess cells in the body aka tumors. Again, these cells are not cancerous in themselves, they simply are a byproduct of our body's system not functioning properly. Essentially, these are dead cells.

Ty states, "A cancer cell is described as being undifferentiated. What this means is that a cancer cell has no useful function. As a result, a cancer cell cannot become part of the tumor tissue itself, since tumor tissue mist be composed entirely of healthy cells. The cancer cells just sit inside the tumor tissue, doing nothing except multiplying and refusing to die. However, what kills cancer patients is the spreading of their cancer cells. This is exactly why biopsies are so dangerous! Cutting the tissue can release the cancer cells into the bloodstream, thus enabling them to travel throughout the body! When the cancer spreads through the body, eventually there are enough cancer cells to kill a person."

In the book he quotes several scientists, all of which acknowledge that most disease, include cancer, stems from a lack of oxygen at the cellular level. 

By maintaining a PH of 7.35, your body will have the tools it needs to produce healthy cells, and eliminate unhealthy cells, including the dead cells. There are many tools out there, including eating a diet with lots of green leafy veggies. The more alkaline your food, the better off your body will be. Ty includes several treatment options in his books. It's important to note that Ty is NOT a doctor, simply a man who has lost many loved ones to cancer, and has taken the time to do a LOT of research and compile it in a format that is easy to understand for the lay person.

One American dies of cancer every minute. That's half a million people each year. Being diagnosed with cancer can be scary, but you do have options. One important thing to realize is that your cancer did not just appear overnight, it's been hanging out for awhile, you just discovered it. Meaning, in general, you have time to review your options. There is absolutely no reason to rush into any treatment plan, unless it's a rare situation, such as a tumor is closing off your windpipe or something. Most of the time though, it's worth taking a few weeks to discuss your options. There are tons of books out there, and even if you do go the conventional route, different oncologists may recommend various treatment programs. Get more than one opinion, three is best, read as many books as possible, and ask the Universe to guide you to what is right for you. Cancer does not have to be a death sentence, merely a journey, a lesson to move your forward in life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Know~ing the Universe Has Your Back

Manifesting with the Universe takes faith and a knowing that your desires will be answered. However, we often block ourselves with doubt, and confuse wishing for something, with knowing that you will receive it. In Gabriel Bernstein's book Add More ~Ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness, she shares with us her tools for getting in touch with the Universe. First, pray or send your request to the Universe (God, Goddess, Buddha, Jesus, etc.). Let it go. Know, that the Universe will provide. Then listen for the signs. Meditation helps with this. Through meditation you can visualize your request, feel the feeling of having your prayer answered, then be silent, and listen to the voice of the Universe. The Universe always has our back, we just don't always pay attention.

The key is to not attempt to control the path you may have to take to reach your outcome. If you are controlling the situation, you are not allowing the Universe to help you. Gabby has a few suggestions on strengthening your prayers. Create a "belief box", put your prayers in it as a sign that you are letting them go. Create an attitude of Gratitude. By recognizing the amazing things we already have, it puts us in alignment to attract new desires to us. Pray for others. Send your love to the people in your life, world crisis such as Japan, etc. The more you give, the more you will receive. The more you practice these tools, the more you will reap and soon you will know that the Universe has your back.

Cheryl Richardson's book The Unmistakable Touch of Grace touches on this as well. She includes a prayer to the Universe in her book. I recently used it to ask for guidance on healing my body completely, all physical aspects, and after a few moments of meditation, I heard a voice in my head provide me with a list of tools. I must say that if I had just sat down and written a list, this would not have been the list. The list contained almost 50 items, all of which I've been guided to do simultaneously and immediately. The Universe also told me that I am on the last leg of this journey, I simple need to focus.

Set time aside each day to send your prayer requests to the Universe and meditate for at least 15 minutes. You will feel a difference almost immediately. Peace, joy and loving support are worth 20 minutes of your day, don't you think?

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Unmistakable Touch of Grace

A few weeks ago I posted an exercise from this amazing book, Embark on a Spiritual Journey. I explored the roots of Grace in my life, and where I am now. I've been reading this book and continuing the exercises and am amazing at how moved I am by the stories she's shared. This book provides tools on your spiritual journey, stories to inspired, examples of grace and much more.

Cheryl starts by asking us to be open to Grace, and provides a beautiful prayer to remind us to open ourselves. She also encourages us to ask ourselves several questions, including "How might you be blocking grace? What are you doing to control the situation?" As the book continues, she helps us look at the people in our life as "Spiritual Change Agents", a beautiful concept that really moved me. There is also a great tool for asking questions of your higher power, whether it be God, Buddha, The Universe, etc. I personally used this tool to get a guided list of healing tools I would need to completely heal my body.

In addition, she provides a list at the end of each chapter of suggested readings, meditations, etc. I have enjoyed her work, and previously wrote about another book of her's, The Extreme Art of Self-Care. If you are looking to expand your Spiritual life, this is a great book to get started with.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Treasure Chest of Memories

Yesterday my Dad and I went over to my Grandma's house for the first time since she died. It's such a weird experience, going into someone's home, with the sole purpose of sorting through their stuff, and deciding what you want. It's amazing all the "stuff" we build up over a lifetime. There is all the furniture, knickknacks, trinkets, kitchenware, clothes, pictures, little things we saved like birthday cards, postcards from all your trips, etc. We found the business ledger for my Grandad's first year of business. In another closet I found cards, letters, drawings, poems, etc. that we Grandkid's had given her over the years. It's also amazing the things you learn about people by going through their stuff. For instance, there were several boxes of sewing stuff; my Grandma sewed? I had no idea. She also apparently starched and ironed her sheets; I practically cut my hand on them. Then there are all the questions. The shells in the bathroom, did she find those on the beach, buy them at a store? What stories lie behind all the pictures? Who read all the classics I found in the bookcase? I also discovered she left me her wedding ring and several pieces of China. I wish I had known, I could have asked her about those items.

I also found a Treasure Chest. Filled with memories and stories, some of which I will never know. Picture's of my Grandma growing up on the farm, her early years with my Grandad, a letter she wrote her Mom when she was eight about how mean her brother was, her baby book, reports my Dad wrote in elementary school, a diploma for my Great-Grandma, who graduated High School in 1906. Amazing. Have your created your own Treasure Chest for your family to find? One tip, share it with them, and often. I have so many questions that will never be answered. 

What will people wonder about you when they go through your house? Are you a pack rat? Do you have any weird quirks? Have you shared your stories with those you'll leave behind? And who decides what is trash versus a memorabilia? It's an odd experience, but I am definitely inspired to do a little Spring cleaning of my own now. It's interesting the things we hold onto, old high school awards, letters from childhood pen-pals, fuzzy pictures, etc. Many it's time to minimize.
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