The Heart Disease Rates of Meat-Eaters Versus Vegetarians & Vegans. The #1 Killer In The US

Originally Published on Collective-Evolution.com on June 23, 2017 By Arjun Walia

The Heart Disease Rates of Meat-Eaters Versus Vegetarians & Vegans. The #1 Killer In The US

Please be advised that there are multiple, heavily soured articles at the bottom of this one with a wealth of information about vegetarian/vegan diets. Please check them out if you’re interested and want to further your research.

Proper nutrition is essential for good health, and it’s disturbing how little doctors learn about it in medical school. As a result, they are unable to educate their patients on how to use nutrition to improve their health, or they offer advice based on science paid for by food corporations. The studies in this area are also not as strong as they could be, and that’s simply because they modern day medical industry is very invested in chemical medication.

The scientific literature these corporations use to indoctrinate us from an early age has been exposed as fraudulent, as countless studies have emerged showing the many problems with the modern day diet, which is the generally accepted diet. The problems with mass marketing and the manipulation of science require serious attention. After all, what exactly are we supposed to think when multiple editors-in-chief of peer-reviewed journals come out and blatantly say most of the research published these days is completely false? What are we supposed to think when new publications constantly offer a different narrative than the ones presented by major food corporations?

A recent FOIA investigation actually uncovered documents that show how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) manipulates media and science press. This is hardly a surprise, as government agencies have long been involved with media manipulation, and several mainstream media journalists and news anchors have revealed this fact time and time again.

So, have we been completely misguided about nutrition and human nutritional requirements, which is why it’s so great to see more and more people becoming aware of this fact and taking their health into their own hands. It’s not a mystery why disease rates keep rising. While there are multiple factors at play here, the evidence points to mass meat consumption as a major one.

A Healthy Heart and How It Relates to Diet

“Studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.” (source)

From a scientific/biological perspective, the benefits of a meatless diet are inarguable. It makes one wonder why there is such a harsh resistance to this lifestyle. Skeptics will often point to the theory that we’ve been doing it this way for thousands of years, but that’s not true. Many experts in that field have repeatedly argued that our ancestral diets  were mostly plant-based, that meat was a ‘rare treat,’ and that our digestive systems aren’t really built for digesting meat on a daily basis.  Some of our ancestors had, as anthropologist Katherine Milton describes them, “different yet successful diets.” She says  some hunter-gatherer societies obtained almost all of their dietary energy from plants, and others obtained it from “wild animal fat and protein,” but that “does not imply that this is the ideal diet for modern humans, nor does it imply that modern humans have genetic adaptations to such diets.” (source)

Another heart surgeon who has done a lot for awareness, Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, explains:

The point is, it’s not all cut and dry like we’ve been made to believe.

There are many aspects to good health, and a vegan/vegetarian diet has proven to have benefits in several different areas. It’s particularly notable when we look at heart health. The number one cause for death in the United States, it is directly impacted by diet.

“Our standard American diet, also known as SAD, has put our country at the top of the list in the world for obesity, which increases the risk for serious health problems. Overwhelming scientific evidence links the consumption of meat and meat products to numerous diseases. . . . The World Health Organization (WHO) now places red and processed meat at the same danger level as cigarettes and asbestos. Meat is the new tobacco.”

– Dr. Joanne Kong (source)

Take a look at the graphic below regarding heart disease, the number one killer of Americans today. The risk of death from heart disease is significantly lower in vegetarians, and even lower in vegans.

Even the American Dietetic Association has weighed in with a position paper, concluding that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

These diseases include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.

There is a lot of science to back this up now, so much so that even the President of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Kim A. Williams, has adopted a vegan diet. Talk about heart health…

He often sees patients who are overweight and struggling with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. One of the things he advises them to do specifically is to go vegan. He is also the Chairman of Cardiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. His enthusiasm for a planet-based diet comes from his interpretation of medical literature, having cited several studies proving that people who pursue vegetarian diets live longer than meat eaters and have lower rates of death from heart disease, diabetes, and kidney problems. (source)

It’s great to see more and more professionals realize this, as the science shows that a vegan/vegetarian diet can halt and even reverse multiple diseases.

Research carried out by Dr. Dean Ornish, who found that patients who were put on a program that included a vegetarian diet had less coronary plaque and fewer cardiac events, is also commonly cited.

And there’s plenty more where that came from.

The Heart Disease Rates of Meat-Eaters Versus Vegetarians & Vegans. The #1 Killer In The US_2

“Veganism is a very fine form of nutrition. It’s a little extreme to tell a person who is using flesh foods that you’re going to take everything entirely away from them. When I was in practice in medicine, I would tell the patients that the vegetable-based diet was the healthy way to go, and to keep away from the animal products as much as possible. People are very sensitive about what they eat. You can talk to people about exercising relaxation, good mental attitude and they will accept that. But you talk to them about what they are eating and people are very sensitive about that. If an individual is willing to listen, I will try to explain to them on a scientific basis of how I think it’s better for them.” (source)

This trend is inciting further scientific inquiry as its popularity grows. At least 542,000 people in Britain now follow a vegan diet — up from 150,000 in 2006 — and another 521,000 vegetarians hope to reduce their consumption of animal products. It is evident that veganism has become one of the fastest growing lifestyle choices.

One of the most comprehensive studies ever performed on this subject is “The China Study,” conducted by Drs. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell. Their findings showed direct correlations between nutrition and heart-disease, diabetes, and cancer, proving that cultures that eat primarily plant-based diets have lower to no instances of these diseases and that switching to a plant-based diet can successfully reverse diseases already established in the body.

The Common Criticisms of This Type of Lifestyle Change

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

– Carl Sagan

The problem with many of the truths we hold as universal, not just about nutrition, but all aspects of our world, is that we’ve been bombarded with beliefs from biased sources for years and then accepted those believes as truth. And when someone believes something for a long enough time, if they encounter information that conflicts with that belief system, they do everything in their power to defend it. It’s called cognitive dissonance, and it’s why it can be extremely difficult to talk to a meat-eater about the benefits of veganism/vegetarianism.

The bottom line is, humans do not require meat, and a vegan/vegetarian diet, or a diet severely restricted in meat consumption, is a far healthier option.

This growing awareness is part of a shift in human consciousness that’s taking place on several different levels. Transparency is emerging within not only the food industry, but our health industry, the financial industry, our political systems, and more. We are finally learning that the truth truth regarding so many different topics has been skewed.

 

Liberation From The Kitchen

beach blue sky cheerful clouds

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

How would you feel with some extra free time?  It’s easier than you think.

Let’s look at the current situation.  Many men and women work full time jobs.  After they get off work, they have to get home and figure out dinner for themselves and maybe their families.  Not sure about how many people feel about cooking dinner after working at least 8 hours, but it can be exhausting and that’s not exactly the first thing you feel like doing.

So how do you deal with this feeling of not wanting to cook?  Many people decide not to cook and instead go to their favorite take out or restaurant and buy dinner.  Not only is this pricey but most of the packaging comes in plastic.  Hopefully you grab something healthy for your body.  But if not then you bought something bad for one’s body and is bad for the planet as well.

beach beautiful bridge carribean

Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

How about thinking about a new solution?  I know this is not a new idea but actually a very old idea.  So maybe you have a good friend that is in the same situation as you.  So before you cook dinner you give them a quick call and say, “Hey friend, I’m making some mushroom soup and salad.  I cannot eat it all.  Would you like to stop by on your way home from work and pick some up on your way home?  Bring your own container and we’ll save the planet.”  Your friend is not only grateful but she replies, “Thanks so much!! I made some almond meal cookies and I’ll bring you some.”

Almond Meal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Coconut_4

The next night the cookie making friend calls her making friend and says, ” I made some quinoa with pesto sauce would you like me to bring some over?”  And they were both fed happy and they had the strength to carry on another day.

Simple Vegan Pesto_2

So if everyone started to do this, it would just create a world where people are sharing, caring and being fed.  It would be really great for the planet, families wallets and it would allow people to share some time together instead of being in the kitchen.

You can also try new and different food and if you like to cook, then someone to tell you how awesome your food is.  Also there’s nothing wrong with just giving food to someone with no expectation in return.  As you give, so shall you receive.  This is how we will transform our planet.  One small gesture of sharing at a time.  Let’s start the cycle of giving and receiving.

About the Author:  Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor.  Her dream is to see all people healthy and happy.  She shares with you healthy recipes, Anything good for Mother Earth as Mother Earth is in need of healing. As you Heal Yourself, You heal the planet.

What is the Ego ?

Originally Published on Pathwaytohappiness.com on February 23, 2013 By Gary van Warmerdam

index

The ego is an identity of our own construction, an identity which is false. If we take all the beliefs of what we are – beliefs about our personality, talents, and abilities – we have the structure of our ego. These talents, abilities and aspects of our personality will be attributes of our skills, but the mental construct of our “self” is artificial. And while this description might make the ego seem like a static thing, it is not. Rather, it is an active and dynamic part of our personalities, playing an immense role in creating emotional drama in our lives.

When we have thoughts about our self that we agree with we construct a self-image. The kinds of thoughts that contribute to the ego structure are:

“I’m not good at math.”
“I am smart.”
“My freckles make me ugly.”
“Nobody likes me.”
“I am better than you.”
“That was stupid of me.”

The ego hides behind the “I” and “me” in those declarative thoughts and statements about our identity.

When we have such thoughts and agree with even the slightest conviction that these ideas define us, then we are building, or reinforcing, an ego. We first have these thoughts when we are kids, perhaps when we were teased on the playground, or when reprimanded or praised by a teacher or parent. In all cultures, developing a self-image is a normal part of socialization. Problems arise, however, when that self-image is negative, inaccurate, or even overly positive. Considering that we develop our concept of “self” as children, it is inevitable that our self-image doesn’t map to reality as adults.

The Ego Unmasked

Why is the ego so hard to explain or describe? The ego is difficult to define because the ego isn’t one specific thing. It is actually made up of many different beliefs that a person acquires over their life. Those beliefs can be diverse and even contradictory. To further complicate it, each person’s ego is different. If someone were to clearly identify and describe all the parts of their ego and what it drives them to do, you might not get a good description of what yours looked like. The challenge of becoming aware of what your personal ego looks like becomes more difficult because our culture doesn’t reward us for directing our attention inward and noticing such things.

How to Spot the Ego

The ego is difficult to see, because it hides behind opinions that appear true – our attachment to descriptions of our identity – and because we haven’t practiced looking. You can get a glimpse by noticing certain thoughts, similar to those listed above. The easier way to spot the ego is by the trail of emotional reactions it leaves behind: Anger at a loved one, a need to be right, a feeling of insecurity in certain situations, feelings of jealousy that are unexplained, the need to impress someone, and so on. These emotions can be attributed to the false beliefs that comprise the ego. In the beginning it is easier to see the symptoms of resulting emotions and drama, rather than the ego that caused it.

One of the most deceptive aspects of the ego is that it generates powerful emotional reactions, and then blames us for how it made us feel. The anger we react with comes from ego based beliefs of being right and “knowing better’ than someone else. Perhaps there is also a victim interpretation of betrayal or injustice underneath. After we overreact with anger we might feel badly for what we expressed. The ego shifts to a “righteous self” that “knows better” and berates us for overreacting with anger. At the same time, it assumes the identity of being the “stupid idiot” that didn’t know any better and takes the blame for overreacting. All these attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs take place in the mind, and even though they are completely different, we assume all of them come from us. If they really were expressions coming from our genuine self, they wouldn’t contradict, and we would be able to stop them.

To the unaware person, it is difficult to discern the difference between what is ego and what is really them. They are left to wonder, “What came over me that I reacted that way?” Even their post-emotional analysis lacks the consideration to see the different parts of their belief system at work as separate from themselves. As a result, everything they express is blamed on “themselves” by one of the condemning voices in their head. In effect, the ego hijacks the analysis and turns it into a self-criticism/blame process. When the ego controls the self-reflection process you have no chance of seeing the root cause of your emotional dramas, as the ego reaffirms itself and hides in the self-criticism.

Is the ego arrogant or insecure?

“Having an ego” is usually associated with arrogance and is a term used to describe someone who thinks they are better than others. Yet this is only one part of the ego. In fact, it is possible to have some positive self-esteem and some negative self-esteem – we are aware of these different beliefs at different times. The negative beliefs about our self make up our negative self-esteem, while our positive thoughts comprise our positive self-esteem. Together, the negative and positive esteem forms our ego.

Quite often, these two aspects of our personality are nearly equal in magnitude and offset each other emotionally. A person who is very hard on themselves with their inner critic may have feelings of worthlessness. This is a painful emotion to live with, and in order to mask the pain, they might cover it up with bravado, projecting an image of security and confidence, all the while struggling with feelings of insecurity, worthlessness and inadequacy.

Arrogance is markedly different from the confidence that doesn’t come from ego. A person can be completely confident in their ability, skill, or self-acceptance, without letting it “go to their head” and impacting their interactions with others. And while humility may often be mistaken for shyness and insecurity, a person of true humility is fully present and at peace with themselves and their surroundings. Confidence without arrogance, humility without insecurity, these are manners of personality that are without the self-image dynamics of the ego.

Letting Go of the Ego

Because the ego has multiple aspects, it is not practical or effective to dissolve all of it at once, nor is it likely that you could do so. Much like a tree or large bush that is overgrown in the yard, you don’t just lift it out and throw it away – you cut off manageable pieces instead. The same approach is effective with letting go of the false beliefs that make up the ego. You begin by detaching from individual thoughts that reinforce the ego, then let go of beliefs, separating yourself from the false identity of your ego.

We have spent years building our ego self-images, living inside of them, and reinforcing them. Extracting our genuine self out of this matrix of false beliefs will take more than a few days. Yes, it will take a while… so what. It also took a while to learn to read, do math, walk, and develop proficiency at any valuable skill. Things worth doing take time and practice. What better thing do you have to do than let go of what is causing you unhappiness?

For a practical step-by-step process in identifying and changing the core beliefs that comprise the ego, sample the free sessions of the Self-Mastery series.

Why Is Biodiversity Important? Who Cares?

Originally Published on GlobalIssues.org on January 19, 2014 By Anup Shah

Why Is Biodiversity Important Who Cares

At least 40 per cent of the world’s economy and 80 per cent of the needs of the poor are derived from biological resources. In addition, the richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for medical discoveries, economic development, and adaptive responses to such new challenges as climate change.

The Convention about Life on Earth, Convention on Biodiversity web site.

What is Biodiversity?

The variety of life on Earth, its biological diversity is commonly referred to as biodiversity.

The number of species of plants, animals, and microorganisms, the enormous diversity of genes in these species, the different ecosystems on the planet, such as deserts, rainforests and coral reefs are all part of a biologically diverse Earth.

Appropriate conservation and sustainable development strategies attempt to recognize this as being integral to any approach to preserving biodiversity. Almost all cultures have their roots in our biological diversity in some way or form.

Declining biodiversity is therefore a concern for many reasons.

Why is Biodiversity Important?

Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play.

For example,

A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops
Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms
Healthy ecosystems can better withstand and recover from a variety of disasters.

And so, while we dominate this planet, we still need to preserve the diversity in wildlife.

A healthy biodiversity offers many natural services

Why Is Biodiversity Important Who Cares_2

A healthy biodiversity provides a number of natural services for everyone:

  • Ecosystem services, such as
  • Protection of water resources
  • Soils formation and protection
  • Nutrient storage and recycling
  • Pollution breakdown and absorption
  • Contribution to climate stability
  • Maintenance of ecosystems
  • Recovery from unpredictable events
  • Biological resources, such as
  • Food
  • Medicinal resources and pharmaceutical drugs
  • Wood products
  • Ornamental plants
  • Breeding stocks, population reservoirs
  • Future resources
  • Diversity in genes, species and ecosystems
  • Social benefits, such as
  • Research, education and monitoring
  • Recreation and tourism
  • Cultural values
Why Is Biodiversity Important Who Cares_4

Ecosystems such as the Amazon rainforest are rich in diversity. Deforestation threatens many species such as the giant leaf frog, shown here. (Images source: Wikipedia)

That is quite a lot of services we get for free!

The cost of replacing these (if possible) would be extremely expensive. It therefore makes economic and development sense to move towards sustainability.

A report from Nature magazine also explains that genetic diversity helps to prevent the chances of extinction in the wild (and claims to have shown proof of this).

To prevent the well known and well documented problems of genetic defects caused by in-breeding, species need a variety of genes to ensure successful survival. Without this, the chances of extinction increases.

And as we start destroying, reducing and isolating habitats, the chances for interaction from species with a large gene pool decreases.

Species depend on each other

While there might be “survival of the fittest” within a given species, each species depends on the services provided by other species to ensure survival. It is a type of cooperation based on mutual survival and is often what a “balanced ecosystem” refers to.

Why Is Biodiversity Important Who Cares_5

Soil, bacteria, plants; the Nitrogen Cycle

The relationship between soil, plants, bacteria and other life is also referred to as the nitrogen cycle:

As an example, consider all the species of animals and organisms involved in a simple field used in agriculture. As summarized from Vandana Shiva, Stolen Harvest (South End Press, 2000), pp 61–62:

  • Crop byproducts feed cattle
  • Cattle waste feeds the soil that nourish the crops
  • Crops, as well as yielding grain also yield straw
  • Straw provides organic matter and fodder
  • Crops are therefore food sources for humans and animals
  • Soil organisms also benefit from crops
  • Bacteria feed on the cellulose fibers of straw that farmers return to the soil
  • Amoebas feed on bacteria making lignite fibers available for uptake by plants
  • Algae provide organic matter and serve as natural nitrogen fixers
  • Rodents that bore under the fields aerate the soil and improve its water-holding capacity
  • Spiders, centipedes and insects grind organic matter from the surface soil and
  • leave behind enriched droppings.
  • Earthworms contribute to soil fertility
  • They provide aerage, drainage and maintain soil structure.
  • According to Charles Darwin, “It may be doubted whether there are many other
  • animals which have played so important a part in the history of creatures.”
  • The earthworm is like a natural tractor, fertilizer factory and dam, combined!
  • Industrial-farming techniques would deprive these diverse species of food sources and instead assault them with chemicals, destroying the rich biodiversity in the soil and with it the basis for the renewal of the soil fertility.

Shiva, a prominent Indian scientist and activist goes on to detail the costs associated with destroying this natural diversity and traditional farming techniques which recognize this, and replacing this with industrial processes which go against the nature of diversity sustainability.

Bees: crucial agricultural workers

Why Is Biodiversity Important Who Cares_6

Bees provide enormous benefits for humankind as another example.

As reported by CNN (May 5, 2000), “One third of all our food—fruits and vegetables—would not exist without pollinators visiting flowers. But honeybees, the primary species that fertilizes food-producing plants, have suffered dramatic declines in recent years, mostly from afflictions introduced by humans.”

As German bee expert Professor Joergen Tautz from Wurzburg University adds:

Bees are vital to bio diversity. There are 130,000 plants for example for which bees are essential to pollination, from melons to pumpkins, raspberries and all kind of fruit trees — as well as animal fodder — like clover.

Bees are more important than poultry in terms of human nutrition.

-Joergen Tautz interviewed by Michael Leidig, Honey bees in US facing extinction, The Telegraph, March 14, 2007

Researchers are finding reasons for the massive decline hard to pinpoint, but suspect a combination of various diseases, environmental pollution, environmental degradation (leading to less diversity for bees to feed from, for example) and farming practices (such as pesticides, large monoculture cropping, etc).

The link and dependency between plants, bees, and human agriculture is so crucial, the two scientists writing up years of research into the problem summarized with this warning:

Humankind needs to act quickly to ensure that the ancient pact between flowers and pollinators stays intact, to safeguard our food supply and to protect our environment for generations to come. These efforts will ensure that bees continue to provide pollination and that our diets remain rich in the fruits and vegetables we now take for granted.

-Diana Cox-Foster and Dennis van Engelsdorp, Solving the
Mystery of the Vanishing Bees, Scientific American, April 2009

Interdependent marine ecosystem

An example from the seas (originally mentioned here years ago but removed because the link to the story no longer worked), was described by National Geographic Wild in a program called, A Life Among Whales (broadcast June 14, 2008).

It noted how a few decades ago, some fishermen campaigned for killing whales because they were threatening the fish supply and thus jobs.

A chain of events eventually came full circle and led to a loss of jobs:

  • The massive reduction in the local whale population meant killer whales in the region (usually preying on younger whales) moved to other animals such as seals;
  • As seal numbers declined, the killer whales targeted otters;
  • As otter numbers were decimated, the urchins and other targets of otters flourished;
  • These decimated the kelp forests where many fish larvae grew in relative protection;
  • The exposed fish larvae were easy pickings for a variety of sea life;
  • Fishermen’s livelihoods were destroyed.

Large carnivores essential for healthy ecosystems

Three quarters of the world’s big carnivores are in decline. A study in the journal Science, notes that these large animals — such as lions, leopards, wolves and bears — are in decline, due to declining habitats and persecution by humans..

This also has a negative impact on the environment, perhaps partly formed by outdated-views that predators are harmful for other wildlife. As the study notes, human actions cannot fully replace the role of large carnivores because these large carnivores are an intrinsic part of an ecosystem’s biodiversity.

As a simple example, the loss of a large carnivore may mean in the short term the herbivores they prey on may increase in numbers but this can also result in a deterioration of the environment as the herbivores can graze more, largely unchecked. Human intervention to perform the same services would be more costly.

Interdependency vs Human Intervention

Nature can often be surprisingly resilient, often without the need for human interventions. For example, a documentary aired on the BBC (I unfortunately forget the name and date, but in the 1990s) described two national parks in Africa where elephant populations had grown quite large within those artificial boundaries. The usual way to deal with this was to cull the population to try and keep the ecosystem in balance. Without this, elephants were stripping vegetation bare, affecting other animals, too.

A scientist pleaded with park management not to cull and let nature take its course. Being against prevailing thought, they would not agree. In the end they agreed to let one park have its elephants culled, while the other would be left alone.

A few years later, they found the park with the culled population had remained in poor condition. The park where things were left alone has naturally regenerated; the large elephant populations eventually reduced in number as they undermined their own resource base. The natural pace at which this happened allowed vegetation to grow back. Other wildlife grew in numbers and the ecosystem was generally back in balance.

Biodiversity providing lessons for scientists in engineering

For a number of years now, scientists have been looking more and more at nature to see how various species work, produce, consume resources, trying to mimic the amazing feats that millions of years of evolution has produced.

As just one small example, some spiders can produce their silk with a higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel even though it is made of proteins. So biologists are looking at these processes in more depth to see if they can reproduce or enhance such capabilities.

More important than human use or biological interest

Many people may support environmental causes to help preserve the beauty of Nature. However, that is in a strange way, not really a justifiable excuse as it is a subjective, human or anthropomorphasized view.

For many decades, various environmentalists, biologists and other scientists, have viewed the entire earth as a massive living organism or system due to the interdependent nature of all species within it. Some cultures have recognized this kind of inter-relationship for a very long time. Some have termed this Gaia.

While there are disagreements and differences on how this works, it suggests that ecological balance and biodiversity are crucial for all of earth, not just humans.

Putting an economic value on biodiversity

It was noted earlier that ecosystems provide many services to us, for free.

Although some dislike the thought of trying to put an economic value on biodiversity (some things are just priceless), there have been attempts to do so in order for people to understand the magnitude of the issue: how important the environment is to humanity and what costs and benefits there can be in doing (or not doing) something.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) is an organization — backed by the UN and various European governments — attempting to compile, build and make a compelling economics case for the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity.

In a recent report, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policy Makers 2009, TEEB provided the following example of sectors dependent on genetic resources:

Why Is Biodiversity Important Who Cares_7

In addition, it is estimated that implementing REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) could help

  • Halve deforestation by 2030, and
  • Cut emissions by 1.5 Gt of CO2 per year.

From a cost perspective (p.18), it is estimated that

  • It would cost from US$ 17.2 – 33 billion per year
  • The estimated benefit in reduced climate change is US$ 3.2 trillion
  • The above would be a good return on the initial investment. By contrast, waiting 10 more years could reduce the net benefit of halving deforestation by US$ 500 billion.

In addition, they cited another study that estimated that 3,000 listed companies around the world were responsible for over $2 trillion in environmental “externalities” (i.e. costs that have to be borne by society from ignored factors, or “social costs”). This is equivalent to 7% of their combined revenues and up to a third of their combined profits.

The benefits of these silent parts of our economy is also summarized in these videos by TEEB’s Pavan Sukhdev:

In addition, it is estimated that implementing REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) could help

Halve deforestation by 2030, and
Cut emissions by 1.5 Gt of CO2 per year.

From a cost perspective (p.18), it is estimated that

It would cost from US$ 17.2 – 33 billion per year
The estimated benefit in reduced climate change is US$ 3.2 trillion
The above would be a good return on the initial investment. By contrast, waiting 10 more years could reduce the net benefit of halving deforestation by US$ 500 billion.

In addition, they cited another study that estimated that 3,000 listed companies around the world were responsible for over $2 trillion in environmental “externalities” (i.e. costs that have to be borne by society from ignored factors, or “social costs”). This is equivalent to 7% of their combined revenues and up to a third of their combined profits.

The benefits of these silent parts of our economy is also summarized in these videos by TEEB’s Pavan Sukhdev:

The BBC notes that biodiversity is fundamental to economics. For example,

  • The G8 nations, together with 5 major emerging economies — China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico — use almost three-quarters of the Earth’s biocapacity
  • An estimated 40% of world trade is based on biological products or processes.

Despite these free benefits, it has long been recognized that we tend to ignore or underestimate the value of those services. So much so that economic measures such as GDP often ignores environmental costs.

The economic benefits of protecting the environment are well-understood, even if seemingly rarely practiced:

Numerous studies also show that investments in protected areas generate a cost-benefit ratio of one to 25 and even one to 100 in some cases, [Pavan Sukhdev, from TEEB] said. Planting and protecting nearly 12,000 hectares of mangroves in Vietnam costs just over a million dollars but saved annual expenditures on dyke maintenance of well over seven million dollars.

Stephen Leahy, Environment: Save At Least Half the Planet, or Lose It All, Inter Press Service, November 17, 2009

It has perhaps taken about a decade or so — and a severe enough global financial crisis that has hit the heart of this way of thinking — to change this mentality (in which time, more greenhouse gases have been emitted — inefficiently).

Economists talk of the price signal that is fundamental to capitalism; the ability for prices to indicate when a resource is becoming scarcer. At such a time, markets mobilize automatically to address this by looking for ways to bring down costs. As a result, resources are supposedly infinite. For example, if energy costs go up, businesses will look for a way to minimize such costs for themselves, and it is in such a time that alternatives come about and/or existing resources last longer because they are used more efficiently. “Running out of resources” should therefore be averted.

However, it has long been argued that prices don’t truly reflect the full cost of things, so either the signal is incorrect, or comes too late. The price signal also implies the poorest often pay the heaviest costs. For example, commercially over-fishing a region may mean fish from that area becomes harder to catch and more expensive, possibly allowing that ecosystem time to recover (though that is not guaranteed, either). However, while commercial entities can exploit resources elsewhere, local fishermen will go out of business and the poorer will likely go hungry (as also detailed on this site’s section on biodiversity). This then has an impact on various local social, political and economic issues.

In addition to that, other related measurements, such as GNP are therefore flawed, and even reward unproductive or inefficient behavior (e.g. “Efficiently” producing unhealthy food — and the unhealthy consumer culture to go with it — may profit the food industry and a private health sector that has to deal with it, all of which require more use of resources. More examples are discussed on this site’s section on consumption and consumerism).

Our continued inefficient pumping of greenhouse gases into the environment without factoring the enormous cost as the climate already begins to change is perhaps an example where price signals may come too late, or at a time when there is already significant impact to many people. Resources that could be available more indefinitely, become finite because of our inability or unwillingness to change.

Markets fail to capture most ecosystem service values. Existing price signals only reflect – at best – the share of total value that relates to provisioning services like food, fuel or water and their prices may be distorted. Even these services often bypass markets where carried out as part of community management of shared resources. The values of other ecosystem services are generally not reflected in markets apart from a few exceptions (such as tourism).

This is mainly explained by the fact that many ecosystem services are ‘public goods’ or ‘common goods’: they are often open access in character and non-rival in their consumption. In addition, their benefits are felt differently by people in different places and over different timescales. Private and public decisions affecting biodiversity rarely consider benefits beyond the immediate geographical area…. They can also overlook local public benefits … in favor of private benefits …, even when local livelihoods are at stake, or focus on short-term gains to the detriment of the sustained supply of benefits over time….

Benefits that are felt with a long-term horizon (e.g. from climate regulation) are frequently ignored. This systematic under-valuation of ecosystem services and failure to capture the values is one of the main causes underlying today’s biodiversity crisis. Values that are not overtly part of a financial equation are too often ignored.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policy Makers 2009

In effect, as TEEB, and many others before have argued, a key challenge will be adapting our economic systems to integrate sustainability and human well-being as well as other environmental factors to give us truer costs (after all, market systems are supposed to work when there is full availability of information).

Think of some of the effects this could have:

  • Some industrial meat production, which is very harmful for the environment, may become more expensive
  • For example, as mentioned in the previous link, if water used by the meat industry in the United States were not subsidized by taxpayers, common hamburger meat would cost $35 a pound.
  • Instead of regulation to change people’s habits, markets would automatically reflect these true costs; consumers can then make better informed choices about what to consume, e.g. by reducing their meat consumption or demand more ecologically sustainable alternatives at reasonable cost.
  • A reduction in meat production could protect forests or help reduce clearance of forests for cattle ranches, which would have a knock-on benefit for climate change concerns.
  • Appropriate investment in renewable energy could threaten the fossil fuel industry though they are trying to adapt to that (perhaps slowly, and after initial resistance). But at the same time, governments that are able to use renewable sources are less likely to find themselves spending so many resources in geopolitical areas (e.g. politics, military, terrorist response to Western presence in Middle East, etc) to protect or secure access to fossil fuels.
  • “Cradle to cradle” type of design — where products are designed to be produced and recycled or disposed of more sustainably — could considerably reduce costs for producers and consumers alike, and possibly reduce stress on associated ecosystems.
  • Land that is used to produce unhealthy or marginally nutritious items (e.g. tobacco, sugar, possibly tea and coffee) could be used for more useful or healthier alternatives, possibly even helping address obesity and other issues. (For example, while factoring in environmental costs could make healthy produce more expensive too, expanding production of healthier foods could help contain costs rises to some extent.)
  • etc.

How much would such accounting save? It is hard to know, but there is a lot of waste in the existing system. In the mid-1990s, the Institute for Economic Democracy calculated that as much as half the American economy constituted of wasted labor, wealth and resources (book: World’s Wasted Wealth, II — see sample chapter).

Naturally, those who benefit from the current system may be hostile to such changes, especially if it may mean they might lose out.

This is a clear case of inter-related issues: the health of the environment is strongly tried to our economic choices (i.e. how we use resources), but addressing core short-comings in our economic systems is a crucial political challenge.

More information

For more information on this question, visit some of the following links

  • Scientific American Magazine provides an answer to a reader’s question: “What is the point in preserving endangered species that have no practical use to humans, apart from their aesthetic appeal or their intellectual interest to biologists?”
    The WWF also have sections on species and on biodiversity.
  • Biodiversity: A Matter of Extinction is a briefing from Panos that highlights the problems that have led to an increasingly alarming rate extinctions, this century alone. Although from 1995, it shows how far back the problem was known (and one can infer that we haven’t therefore done much about the problem since).
  • The World Conservation Monitor has sections on biodiversity indicators and biodiversity assessments.
  • Biodiversity and its Value from the Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australia, provides many good insights.
  • “Why Conserve Species” from Nature Magazine provides a good answer to this question. (Unfortunately, since their site redesign, this URL is no longer valid, and to date a new URL cannot be found.)
  • “Life on the Brink” from Earth Magazine, (Kalmbach Publishing Company), April 97 edition, delivers a very interesting answer to why biodiversity is important. (Unfortunately they no longer publish this magazine so the article is no longer online.)
  • Biodiversity Benefits People is an online presentation from the United Nations Environment Program

Miracle Substitue for Tortillas

tortillas

Well I just made the most amazing discovery.  As a Latina, I love tortillas.  Food For Life Sprouted Corn Tortillas or flour, I love them all.  So I have found Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas to be very enjoyable as well.  There are also Alvarado Street Bakery Sprouted Grain Tortillas (They are also a highly ethical company as well) that are bomb digity.)  But when you realize that you have put on a few pounds and the reality sets in that refined carbs are not your friend.  It’s time to just give refined carbs a little break.

potatoes and beets

Sometimes I want what I want.  When a girl wants tortillas she wants tortillas.  So I was eating some potatoes, beets and some protein.  I wanted some tortillas but I didn’t want the carbs.  So I pulled out some big lettuce leaves and tore off a piece.  And proceeded to eat it the way I would do it with a tortilla.  OMG it was so delicious.  I did not feel deprived at all and I think I ate 3 or 4 whole red lettuce leaves.

lettuce

So I got my “tortilla” fix but not the unwanted carbs.  I was happy and satisfied.

So that’s my little story about how my substitute for tortillas.  Try it and let me know how you’re experience goes.

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach who lives in Northern California with her daughter and Black Labrador Retriever.  She’s on a mission to heal herself and the planet.  And remember, As you Heal Yourself, You Heal the Planet.  Relax, Enjoy your life and eat clean.  You can learn more about Valerie here.

 

36 Buddhist Quotes On Life

Originally Published on Inspired-Motivation.com on June 22, 2018 By David & Mike

36 Buddhist Quotes On Life

1 “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha
2 “No one saves us but ourselves.” – Buddha
3 “Understanding is the heartwood of well-spoken words.” – Buddha
4 “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha
5 “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha
6 “Purity or impurity depends on oneself.” – Buddha
7 “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha
8 “Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.” – Buddha
9 “To keep the body in good health is a duty.” – Buddha
10 “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” – Buddha
11 “Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.” – Buddha
12 “In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth.” – Buddha
13 “To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.” – Buddha
14 “A jug fills drop by drop.” – Buddha
15 “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” – Buddha
16 “Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.” – Buddha
17 “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.” – Buddha
18 “Virtue is persecuted more by the wicked than it is loved by the good.” – Buddha
19 “Give, even if you only have a little.” – Buddha
20 “Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him like a guide to hidden treasure.” – Buddha
21 “Meditate … do not delay, lest you later regret It.” – Buddha
22 “Conquer anger with non-anger. Conquer badness with goodness.” – Buddha
23 “There is nothing comparable to one who is Awakened.” – Buddha
24 “Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across.” – Buddha
36 Buddhist Quotes On Life_2
25 “When watching after yourself, you watch after others.” – Buddha
26 “Resolutely train yourself to attain peace.” – Buddha
27 What we think, we become. – Buddha
28 Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts. No one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts. – Buddha
29 You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. -Buddha
30 Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. -Buddha
31 Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. -Buddha
32 There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. -Buddha
33 You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. -Buddha
34 Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. -Buddha
35 Patience is key. Remember: A jug fills drop by drop. -Buddha
36 Pain is certain, suffering is optional. -Buddha

Is There A Key to Having A Spiritual Awakening?

Originally Published on SFyogamagazine.com on June 13, 2018 By Bruce Davis

Is There A Key to Having A Spiritual Awakening

Cover Photo By Greg Rakozy

There are many paths to a spiritual awakening. Near Death Experiences are in the news and on many book shelves. People are finding other realms with spiritual teachers, drugs, in nature, with music, drumming, dance, or chanting. Others find an experience of their own divinity in extreme sports, life crises, or in the course of losing a loved one. People can find awakening while gardening, parenting, and caring for the less fortunate. People report experiences of spiritual awakening in dreams, meditation, heart full prayer, or simply just being very present in the moment. There seem to be many avenues to a spiritual awakening but they all have one thing in common.

What is common to all spiritual awakening is when we get out of our normal mental world, our awareness finds something greater. At the time we think it is the near death experience, drug, extreme sport, music, nature, or sudden life crises that is the cause of our awakening. But with further exploration we begin to understand it is when our awareness is set free of the routine busy-ness, when we drop the mental baggage we are carrying, we discover another part of ourselves. All the different paths towards a spiritual awakening seem to suggest it is not the activity itself, it is not what we do that counts. It is what is happening within us that is important. The particular path towards spiritual awakening is an impulse to something very deep and integral to our essential self, our higher self, to God inside of us.

Indeed each spiritual awakening has many common details no matter what stimulated the experience. We find a very present love or light which is more real then real. Beyond words, this love or light is not observed, thought about, or imagined but is literal, directly present. In these moments our awareness is the light. We are the love. It is who we really are. There is an ever growing vastness, a border-less experience beyond our mind, beyond our body, seemingly spreading forever. In this expansive realm there is only heart that is mysteriously deep inside our heart. And this heart lives forever. Eternity is very real . The spiritual awakening is an experience of our infinite being. There is literally a home for each of us that we recognize and return to.

Many who have these experiences don’t really want to talk about it. We hide the experience from ourselves and others. Not wanting to receive what is really happening, not wanting to sound different in our judgmental world, many experiences of spiritual awakening sit within people for years yet never go away. A spiritual awakening is too real to put aside, forget, and move on from. It is always a part of us.

No matter how we arrive at the spiritual awakening we feel changed. Our personality, likes and dislikes, our personal story, our material needs, everything is seen differently. There is something more. Our spiritual awakening has given us a glimpse into another realm into another world. Who am I?

This glimpse into something so freeing from life’s challenges, we naturally want to experience more. We want to live in the awakening. We want to be this love, light. We want to return to this incredible peace. But despite our experience being so significant, our old personality, habits, daily story stands between us and being fully awakened. Our personality and all its wishes to be comfortable and in control resumes. We yearn for being home again in the vastness while finding ourselves living with the same old home, with the same old furniture, with the same old dishes and floor needing a good cleaning.

What all the different paths toward an awakening experience have in common is that when our normal mental life is turned off or down, the awareness of the heart of life is dramatically much higher. People who have a Near Death Experience literally have their mental life turned off. Maybe this is why their awakening experience is often so totally vivid, other worldly, and life changing. In all experiences of awakening another part of us comes forward. In the awakening experience life itself is brilliantly present. In this moment we know that life continues beyond the body. There is no thought or feeling to the contrary. In fact when we are in the awakening experience there are no thoughts, no feelings, the experience itself fills our awareness, totally. There is nothing else.

Many people who have experiences of spiritual awakening after coming back into their life story feel as if they are two people. There is the everyday life and there is the spiritual awakening. The two realities feel so far apart, separate. We don’t realize the key to being one person is becoming free of our overly mental world which has resulted in us sacrificing our hearts. Our constant thoughts are a heavy filter standing between us and the light. Our mental life filters the pure love in our heart to little or no love.

We are not two people. There is only one awareness. As we embrace our spiritual awakening, as we absorb life’s beauty, we are the love. We lessen our mental baggage as we practice letting go of what is not important and absorbing our pure heart in meditation and the heart of others in daily life. We do not wait for the greater realms, give up, or just struggle. We can practice drinking the heart of life in all that we do, in all we meet, and most important from within ourselves. Our spiritual awakening continues. The rocks, boulders, obstacles of all kinds move aside as the awakening grows. We are called to absorb our awakening by receiving the pure presence in our heart. We are letting go, enjoying the divinity in our human journey.

Bruce Davis, Ph.D.
Consciousness
Silent Stay Retreat, Meditation, Stillness, SF Yoga, Yoga

Is There A Key to Having A Spiritual Awakening_3

Bruce Davis, Ph.D.

Bruce has been guiding retreats worldwide since 1983 and leads the daily sitting meditations. His teachings are based in his deep connection to silence, simplicity and heartfulness. He has a gift for guiding people from the busy-ness of the mind into the wisdom of the quiet heart. He is a teacher of world religions and combines psychology and spirituality to create a rich understanding of human potential. Together Bruce and Ruth created two retreat centers in Assisi, Italy where they lived for 12 years. They returned to California in 2012.

Infinite Heart Meditation Heartfulness

Originally Published on Silentstay.com By Ruth & Bruce Davis

infinite heart meditation _5

The heart is the core, the essence of all spiritual traditions. The infinite heart is the pure source waiting for each of us. Here there is a vastness without words. It is felt as sweetness, an intimate love, gentleness, an ocean of peace or sky of light…..infinitely expanding. This is a direct experience of the spiritual heart where we are effortless being. Each person has their own unique experience. Once the silence of the heart is felt, our life changes. We have found our home inside. Retreat, spiritual practice, simple joy, our spiritual heart becomes our anchor in daily life.

infinite heart meditation

From Hindu perspective:
Hindu philosophy and Advaita, considers the heart the seat or center of consciousness, a temple, and that by meditating on this center, one becomes united with the higher or divine Self, God inside. It is not the physical heart but the spiritual heart. It is the great I Am that the sages refer to. It is referred to as Samadhi Pada or Hridaya. This is the core of our being, our deepest true nature, the seat of our soul. Bhagavad Gita: Brahman (the Supreme reality, the Absolute) and Atman (Self, soul, spirit) are identical. The internal world is characterised by bliss and the cessation of mental activity. This was the work of the teacher Ramana Maharshi and his teachings of Self-enquiry and non dualism.

infinite heart meditation _2

From Buddhist perspective:
The Kargyupa School of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy speaks about Mahamudra, the Great Seal. This is the experience of bliss and emptiness. “We are of the same luminous essence as everything in nature.” Here they are experiencing their Buddha nature, the pure mind in it’s natural state; at peace, awakened and divine. ​

infinite heart meditation_3From Buddhist perspective:
The Kargyupa School of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy speaks about Mahamudra, the Great Seal. This is the experience of bliss and emptiness. “We are of the same luminous essence as everything in nature.” Here they are experiencing their Buddha nature, the pure mind in it’s natural state; at peace, awakened and divine.

infinite heart meditation _5

From Christian perspective:

​The Christians find their Christ light within themselves. The peace of Christ, the love of Christ, become more then words as our heart center is opened and felt. Christianity shares with all the great world religions a rich path of humility, giving, and receiving God, the pure light, within. Centering prayer, holding one’s attention in the heart with focus on the highest qualities, is one form of Christian contemplative meditation.

How to Make Bath Bombs

Originally published on homemade-gifts-made-easy.com

How to Make Bath Bombs

Recipes for Homemade Bath Bombs

Want to learn how to make bath bombs that look great, smell delicious, and fizz wonderfully? We’ve got the full instructions here. Get ready for some bubble-licious bath bomb bliss!

Learning how to make bath bombs is pretty easy. But I must confess that my first experience was not so successful. I googled “making bath bombs” or “how to make bath bombs” or something like that. I found some instructions and followed them, but I ended up with a gooey melting mess.

Several batches later, I figured out how to make bath bombs reliably, and now I’d like to share what I’ve learned 🙂 You’ll be making bath bombs of your own in no time!
Do I need special bath bomb molds?

No special equipment needed 🙂

Don’t let the lack of a mold get in the way of learning how to make bath bombs. There are plenty of things that work well as bath bomb molds.

How to Make Bath Bombs_2

A handy mold for making spherical homemade bath bombs is a two-part, snap-together Christmas decoration (pictured above left). You can find one in a craft stores. Don’t worry if you can’t get hold of one though, because there are plenty of other things that work just as well.

Chocolate molds (pictured above right) work well, and come in nice shapes like hearts and flowers. You can find them in craft of cookware stores.

There are plenty of other things that work as improvised molds. For round bombs, you can improvise a mold by cutting a tennis ball in half. Other things that work well as molds are muffin trays, ice-cube trays, and shot glasses. Just hunt around your kitchen for a small receptacle of some sort.

In general, smaller bath bombs are easier to make than big ones. Big ones tend to crumble, whereas small ones seem to be more robust.

However, if you really want to buy a set of bath bomb molds, then you can find a large range of bath bomb molds on Amazon.
Bath Bomb Recipes

Now that you’ve got your mold, here are the other bits and bobs that you’ll need to make bath bombs. You can find most of these in the grocery store.
Equipment

  • Metal or glass mixing bowl
  • Spritzer/spray bottle
  • Gloves
  • Bath Bomb Molds
  • Sieve

Make sure you use a metal or glass mixing bowl rather than a plastic one. Plastic will absorb the smell of the essential oils. That’s okay, I guess, but anything you put in the bowl in the future might pick up the fragrance too!

How to Make Bath Bombs: Ingredients

The ingredients below are enough to make approx 6 small bath bombs or 3 large ones:

  • 1 cup (240 mL or 8 fl oz) citric acid – see below for advice on where to buy
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 20-30 drops of essential oil – you might need more or less depending on the
  • strength of the fragrance.
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil, apricot oil, or olive oil (optional)
  • 15-20 drops of food colouring (optional)
  • A tiny bit of water

Notes: Baking soda can usually be found in the baking section of the supermarket. Baking soda is also called “bicarbonate of soda”.

The tablespoon of oil is optional. It gives a lovely moisturising feel . Don’t use almond oil though if you or the intended recipient have nut allergies!

To make nice colourful bath bombs , you can mix the basic food colours (red, blue, yellow) to achieve just about any colour you want. Purple is a little tricky. When I mix red and blue, I get… green! But then the bath bomb turns purple once it sets, so all is good 🙂 Just warning you, so you don’t get a surprise!

Wondering what fragrances to use? Take a look at the fragrance blend guide on my essential oil skin care page (ignore the bit about carrier oils – it doesn’t apply to bath bombs).

Where do I get Citric Acid?

A couple of people have written in to ask where they can buy citric acid. You can buy citric acid on Amazon, or else you can look in the baking or canning section in your supermarket (e.g. Walmart).

If you really can’t find citric acid anywhere, then there is an alternative. One of our readers wrote in with this suggestion for how to make bath bombs using cream of tartar instead:
“I tried the recipe with cream of tartar instead of citric acid , and it works just as well. However, it is quite thick, so half the amount is needed – ie. 2 cups of baking soda, 1/2 a cup of cream of tartar instead of 1 cup citric acid. I hope this is comprehensible and helpful! Keep up the great work!”
~Eleanor

You can find cream of tartar in baking section of most supermarkets.

Ingredients not to use

Borax:
Please don’t use this. Borax (sodium borate) is used as ant poison. If ingested, it’s toxic to your liver and kidneys. Eating it can cause liver cancer. Even if you don’t drink your bathwater (and I hope you don’t!), do you really want to take a bath in this?
Cornflour:
Gives the water a nice “soft” texture and makes your skin feel nice… but it feeds yeast infections. I’d give it a miss!

Method For How to Make Bath Bombs

It’s a good idea to work in small batches until you get the hang of how to make bath bombs. Scale the recipe down to 1/3 cup of citric acid and 2/3 cup of baking soda at a time. That will still be enough to make two small bath bombs per batch.

Ready? Put on your gloves, and here we go:

1. Mix together citric acid and baking soda in a bowl . Make sure they’re mixed thoroughly. I find that the easiest way to mix the two powders is actually to sift them back and forth between two bowls.

2. Add essential oils, optional table spoon of extra oil, and food colouring . Mix rapidly with your hands before the mixture has a chance to fizz. The food colouring will make the mixture a bit clumpy, but you can re-powderise the clumps by rubbing them between your hands.

3. Spray water onto the mixture a tiny bit at a time , and continue mixing. You probably need less water than what you think! Aim for a consistency where mixture is still pretty crumbly but will just hold its shape when you squeeze it hard in your hand.
4. Pack the mixture tightly into your mold(s). If you’re using a two-part mold like the Christmas decoration, then slightly overfill each half of the mold, and press them together tightly. Don’t twist, just press. Tap the mold to release the bath bomb.
5. Let your bomb(s) dry for a couple of hours in a warm, dry place. Keep them out of direct sunlight though. I like to place the bombs in a little “nests” of tissue paper. It seems to help them dry better, and stops round ones from getting flat on the bottom.

6. Use within a few weeks . They smell so good you’ll probably want to use them straight away anyway! But it’s important to know that they lose their fizzing power if they’re kept in storage for too long. If you give one as a gift, make sure you tell the recipient to enjoy their relaxing fragrant fizzy bath sooner rather than later!

How to Make Bath Bombs_3

Troubleshooting & FAQ

Here are the questions I’ve been asked the most about how to make bath bombs. I hope you find the answers helpful! If you have another question then please ask me in the comments.

How many bombs does the recipe make?
The volume of powdered ingredients is about 3 cups, so that makes about 3 big ones (3 inches), or 6 small ones (2.5 inches). Or about 30 ice-cube sized ones, in case you want to make mini ones.

Why does my bath bomb crumble when I try to get it out of the mould?
This could be either because the mixture needs to be compressed more or because it’s a little bit too dry. When you put the mixture into the mould, press it in really hard. It can also help to leave it in there a minute or two before you tap it out. If neither of these helps, then try spraying a tiny bit more water on to the mixture.

Why are my bath bombs swelling into blobs?
If your bomb seems to be mysteriously expanding, then you’ve added too much water and the fizz reaction has already started. You can rescue a too-wet mixture by adding more baking soda and citric acid – two parts baking soda for every one part citric acid. Next time try using less water.

Will the food coloring stain my bath tub or my skin?
No, I’ve never seen a problem with this. It gets so diluted in the bath that it’s not a problem.

When I mix the food colours, why do they not make the color I expect?
Sometimes when you mix food coloring colors they don’t do what you expect, e.g. you mix red and blue and they make green instead or purple. I’m not sure what the reason is but one way to get around it is to use soap colors instead, which you can buy on Amazon.

Can I put herbs or petals in my bath bomb? Yes! Just don’t put them in a jacuzzi because they might clog the vents.

How do I stop the bottom of my bombs from going all flat?
Put them in a “nest” of crumpled tissue paper while they’re drying. Or, let them dry in their moulds for a few hours before you take them out.

Can I use perfume / vanilla essence instead of essential oil?
Yes! You’ll need to experiment with the amount.

Can I use cream of tartar instead of citric acid?
Yes! See the bit of the tutorial under “where do I get citric acid?“. Basically you substitute 1/2 cup cream of tartar instead of 1 cup citric acid.

Can I use baby oil / coconut oil instead of olive oil?
Yes!

Does it matter what brand of baking soda / citric acid I use?
No. I just use the inexpensive supermarket brand.

How much is 1 cup?
Approx 240 mL, or 8.5 fluid oz. The recipe is pretty forgiving if you don’t get the amounts of dry ingredients exactly right. The main thing to get right is to only add a *tiny* bit of water.

Can I add glitter?
Yes, but don’t add too much or the bath will look like you killed a pixie (as one visitor put it). Try 1/8 of a teaspoon. The best type of glitter to use is “synthetic mica” glitter, which is made from natural minerals (not plastic) and won’t pollute our oceans.

What’s the shelf life?
Use within 6 months, and ideally within 2 months. They lose their fizzing power gradually.
Presentation
How to make bath bomb packagings and wrappings

Now that you know how to make bath bombs, I know you’ll be wanting to wrap them up all nice and pretty!

A simple way to present your bath bomb is to wrap it up in tissue paper. For a lavender-scented bomb, a little sprig of lavender makes a nice touch!

Or you could make a gift box for your bath bombs using our easy origami gift box instructions.

More bath and body gifts.

I hope you enjoyed learning how to make bath bombs! Keeping with the bath and beauty theme, have a go at making bath salts . They’re super quick and easy – much easier than bath bombs.

And we have lots of great bath and body ideas in our DIY guide to natural bathroom products, including recipes for homemade shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and more!

Other People Also Like…

Looking for another fabulous homemade gift idea? Check out our quick and easy printable gifts. So easy to personalize and print at home!

Is it Possible for you to Shut Up?

What I learned at a Silent Stay Retreat

mountain view

Photo by imagesthai.com on Pexels.com

Recently I went to Silent Stay Retreat Center. It was very beautiful, peaceful and relaxing. It’s in the hills of Solano County in Pleasant Valley. Once you get here they encourage silence and it was quite refreshing to not feel pressured to talk to the other participants. I found it quite interesting that all of the participants were women except for one of the facilitators.  You do a couple of meditations per day in a group but the rest of the time you can do whatever you like. They recommend you leave your phone in the car so that you can really unplug. I did notice I wasn’t the only person who didn’t abide by this recommendation.  My excuse was because I needed to be available in case of an emergency with my family.  Needless to say it made me aware that I have a real addiction with my phone.

adult air beautiful beauty

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

One of the things we discussed is that with all of the busyness of life, we become so work oriented that we don’t know how to get our balance. The silence is what helps us to get our balance again. It helps your soul to come home and give itself a rest. It’s a beautiful concept.

yin yang

There is a concept of Yin and Yang.  Yang being work, education, doing, achieving, making money, pursuing.  Yin is about being, accepting, allowing, receiving, silence, inner being and soul work. It’s about getting in touch with that little kid inside of you and realizing what your inner child needs. Maybe it needs to play for a bit or get some rest. It also could need to get rid of stuff that is holding you back. Such as holding on to too much stuff.  It’s difficult to listen to your needs without silence.  Your inner child gets drowned out with all of the other noises and sounds.

The thing that was nice about having silence at the retreat, is that I didn’t have to feel that pressure to speak to talk to others. They have notes of paper around so you can communicate with someone if you need to.  It is perfectly fine to be in the same room and not feel responsible to talk to them. That felt very freeing and made me realize how such a simple thing as silence can have a real benefit to our lives.

Western culture is very much goal oriented, analytical, results driven and forces one to “go, go,go.” When really what our soul needs is just some time to sit back under a tree, and enjoy the cool breeze and enjoy the moment. What would happen if we gave ourselves a bit of time?

There was silence but the birds weren’t silent.  In the quiet of the hills, I could hear the beautiful songs of the birds.  There were many wind chimes and other wild life.  Hearing all of the wonderful nature sounds was very peaceful.  There was a beautiful family of turkeys.  The baby turkeys with their mom and dad.  I took the worst picture humanly possible.

bird pattern colorful green

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Of course I was reading an Awesome book when I was there that just completely enhanced the experience.  I took the book by Michelle Paisley Reed, called Manifesting Miracles and for the first time I was actually able to meet my soul.  It was such an amazing experience.  My soul is just so happy.  I mead ridiculously happy.  Kind of reminded me of my puppy when she gets so excited.   I was surprised because there are times when I am feeling stressed, sad and feel rushed.  When I saw my soul was happy, it just made me feel happy and want to spend more time with my happy little soul.  I feel so blessed that I was able to have this experience.

I’ve meditated for years but I’ve never really been silent for days on end and I no longer fear silence.  I wonder what would happen if we would all take the time to just shut up for a couple of days.  And of course my ego wants to judge people and tell them, “You really need to shut up.”  But not only is that not nice, but that’s their choice and we all have choices now don’t we?

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor.  She’s recuperating from a 26 year career in law enforcement.  After 9 months retired or repurposed she’s finally allowing herself a chance to truly rest.  She’s learning to listen to that voice inside of her and listening to what it wants.  You can read more about Valerie here.

enlighten-your-lives-valerie-estrella-banner