Monday, May 22, 2017

Eliminating Stress and Raspberry Mango Ice Cream

Stress is a big factor in health and healing.  While communicating with a friend the other day and giving her a list of the principles to practice in order to regain her health, she said, "You said eliminate all stress".  Out of all the things on the list, this one stood out as being the most difficult to achieve.

It is possible to eliminate a great deal of the negative stress you experience.  When I was given this principle, I was addicted to the news and was worrying every day on how my "party" could take over and make the world better.  How was I to eliminate stress?  I looked around at my then five-year-old granddaughter and asked myself, "What is she worrying about?"   I decided to be like her, so I turned off the news, exited my attachment to either major political party, and put my focus on things within my control.  I honestly believe, that the other things will take care of themselves if we do the work on ourselves.  Change yourself...change the world.

Another way to eliminate stress is to let go of placing expectation on other people.  It is a great source of stress when you are trying to make other people do or be a certain way.  It is manipulative, and it is stress producing for you and them.  Place your expectations on yourself to make the world better by making yourself better...and healthier.

According to Dr. Keki Sidhwa, in his wonderful book, The Quintessence of Natural Living for Health and Happiness, we can take control of our lives by seeking variety and not letting ourselves get into a rut and by being interested in life.  It helps to be poised and cheerful.  We can learn to take what life brings, whether it be joy or sorrow, good or bad, with calmness.

It is important not to bottle up our emotions.  Exercise is a good release of the frustrations and anxiety that may show up. Regular exercise makes us stronger and, at the same time, releases emotional tension.

It is okay to be assertive and speak up against injustice and unfairness in a quiet and dignified the right time, in the right way, to the right person.  We can let out steam without scorching the other. We are hoping to reach a stage of mental composure so that we can deal with our irritations in a dignified way.

Time management is important in eliminating stress. You can't be in two places at the same time, and you can't do two things at the same matter what they say about multi-tasking. If you try it, you will wear yourself out.  We need to make the best use of the time we have and set our priorities to do the most important things....the things that have the most potential...first.

In Natural Hygiene, we talk about enervation playing a factor in illness. Excess stimulation produces stress and is enervating.  Entertainment that has loud or discordant noises, violence, crime and tragedy induces stress.

Regularly schedule 30 minutes or an hour of quiet time where you can pray, meditate, or walk. This is one of the practices for a healthy lifestyle.

Practice seeing only the good in all around you and turn a blind eye to the bad. Stop judging. A positive attitude is essential for eliminating stress.It is a complete change in lifestyle that focuses on concern for the needs of others. Hate causes stress and love eliminates it. What if you really did love your neighbor as yourself?

One of the main qualities needed for coping with stress is gratitude. Always think of how you can be thankful. Give up trying to get revenge.

Exercise and meditation are two sides of the same coin. Kevin Black, from Unlabel Yourself, reminded us this morning that the body benefits from movement and the mind benefits from stillness. To be whole, we must take care of our body and our mind.

We are here to grow in love. That is our challenge, and to live the simple natural lifestyle is part of answering that challenge. It is a simple way of living powerfully.

So let's just do it!

Here is a simple recipe for you...two ingredients...a real treat:

1 package frozen raspberries
2 packages frozen mango

Let the raspberries thaw, then blend until liquidy.  Put in a bowl and set aside.

Place the frozen mangos in your high speed blender or food processor.  Add just enough water to make it blend.  Blend until creamy.

Put some of the raspberry on the bottom of your serving bowl.  In a mixing bowl, mix  the rest of the raspberry in with the mango until it is marbelized.  Put the mango/raspberry mix in the bowl that has the  raspberry bottom.

Keep in the freezer until ready to serve.

To health and happiness.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Planning a Trip

Herbs for the Green Smoothies!

I met my sister, Sheila, and my friend, Rebecca, at Barnes and Noble in Little Rock to have a little trip planning meeting.  Whenever I anticipate the trip, it makes me feel happy.  Our plan is to do three days in Paris seeing the sights, and then take the train to our beloved Chateauroux where we will join in with our friends and other local people to celebrate a week-long festival called American Week.  It will be a special time for all of us.  When we leave Chateauroux, our plan is to go to Eindhoven, Netherlands, for a week, and use that location for a base point to visit some battlefields and meet with the historians that are familiar with the history of the Lucky Seventh and the Battle of Overloon, where our uncle, George A. Meece, was killed.  We also plan to make some day trips to some surrounding cities.

The meeting went well.  We had originally decided to use Nijmegen as our base, but then switched to Eindhoven.  We also decided to fly home from Eindhoven instead of going back to Paris to fly home.

So....the food I had yesterday:
Morning: Freshly squeezed orange juice

Lunch at Barnes & Nobel: Coffee and a pretzel

Dinner:  Veggie Cocktail; Sauerkraut; Green Salad: Salad Dressing leftover from previously; Rice Crackers; Purple Hull Peas; Onion; Baked Sweet Potato Wedges.

Dessert: Kombucha, Lara Bar

To health and happiness.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Raw Vs Local and Dealing with Stress

I have been having a mental debate over the benefits of eating local vs eating raw.  Since I live in Arkansas, in a temperate climate, rather than in a tropical region, I began toying with the idea that there may be more virtue in eating what grows locally.  It sort of made sense, as past generations of my family have survived on such foods as dried beans and canned goods that were stored up for the winter during the growing season. They also depended on killing animals in order to eat.  Now there is nothing wrong with survival, in fact, I recommend it, but we are looking for more than survival. We are looking for optimum health, vitality, and mental clarity, are we not?  I experimented a bit.  I made a pot of dried beans and a pan of cornbread using almond milk.  Honestly, I had less energy, and it set of a host of cravings for cooked, energy draining foods. It has taken me several days to get my bearings, again.  My conclusion is that it is better to eat mostly raw local foods when available and imported raw foods when necessary.

Raw Freedom is a book by Frederic Patenaude that offers insight on how to achieve the benefits of the raw food diet in a less restrictive way. There are two benefits we are looking for by eating raw: good energy and avoiding degenerative diseases. Most of us can achieve those benefits with a diet that is 75% raw....maybe even 50%. My personal goal is to be 75-80% raw by having juices, smoothies, fruit, and salads. 
If you intend to eat a combination of raw and cooked foods, then it is better to eat some cooked everyday rather than binging on cooked every now and then. Consistency is key for optimum digestion. We are looking for a balance to receive the benefits of raw while enjoying the celebration of life that takes place around food.
Here is a meal plan that meets the goal of 80% raw:

Mornings:  Lemongrass tea; fresh orange juice or fresh apple juice.  You can get a good centrifugal juicer for about $100.  You can get a good citrus juicer for less. I found my citrus juicer at an estate sale.

Lunch:  Get in your fruit and greens with a green tropical smoothie; other fruit you have available; 1/2 avocado; coconut; maybe an apple with some raw almond butter

Dinner:  Veggie cocktail made by juicing carrots, beets, celery, bell pepper and apple; sauerkraut; a big green salad; a healthy salad dressing; ; some rice crackers; a cooked food if desired...either beans, potatoes, sweet potato, steamed vegetable, or a simple soup...but eat the raw foods first or eat the cooked foods mixed in with the raw.  You can mix some baked potato in with your salad.

Dessert can either be a handful of nuts and dates or a couple of goody balls, or even a Lara Bar.

This week's grocery haul.  I spent $176.00.  Let's see how long we can make this last if we try not to waste any food.

Lesson from the Quintessence of Natural Living:
Still looking at handling stress.  There are practical things we can do to help us deal with stress.  Here are a few:
1. Be realistic. Don't magnify your problems.  Everyone has disappointments in life.  None of us succeed every time we try something.  Even though we face serious problems, the solutions must come through emotional maturity, counseling, and taking control of your own life. Don't complain. Focus on the reward. There are things we can do to make a difference.
2. Don't get into a rut.  One-sidedness is never the answer.
3. Be interested in life and your purpose.
4. Be happy...poised and cheerful.
5. Don't suppress your emotions.  It is better to bring negative emotions to the surface, acknowledge them and let them be defused in healthy ways.  Exercise has been proven to help release emotional tensions.  Assertiveness is a good thing.

Carrot seeds - Purple Sun - Very rare.  I hope they will come up.
I am focusing on getting in my steps....10,000 per day.  I got in 13,000 steps on Monday, and 11,786 steps yesterday!  Yay!

I am planning a trip to Europe in September, so while getting in my steps I am trying to learn French on Duolingo.  Duolingo says I am 40% fluent in French, but there is no way that is correct. I am also, on a less intense scale, trying to learn some Dutch words.  Also, while walking I am listening to an audio book.  Just started A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

Food for the day:

Breakfast: Lemongrass tea; fresh apple juice; organic oatmeal, fresh strawberries

Lunch: Green smoothies for 2 (herbs from the garden, coconut water, 2 bananas, 2 kiwi, 1/4 pineapple, 16 strawberries); 1/2 avocado; 1 mango; 1/8 watermelon


Dinner: Veggie cocktails for 2 ( 1/2 beet; 1/2 small bag of carrots; 1 bunch of celery hearts; 2 small tri-color bell peppers; 1 small apple); sauerkraut; green salad) romaine, salad cucumber, green onions, tomato); salad dressing (juice of a lime, apple cider vinegar, water, olive oil, salt, pepper); organic corn chips; purple hull peas, fried onions.

For dessert I had kombucha and a Lara Bar.

Notes on the food:  I feel better without the oatmeal in the mornings, the organic corn chips are too high in salt and fat which makes them quite addictive, and the fried onions are too high in fat.  I should have "fried" them in water instead of coconut oil.

To health and happiness.