Forget Protein, Are You Getting Your Iron?

Many people get very concerned about getting enough protein and nutrients in their diets especially if they are vegan. Are you aware that a deficiency of iron can cause health issues such as anemia and it is a global issue.

First off I would like to say that I am not a Health Care Professional. As a non-practicing Health Coach, I am recommending lab work to find out what your blood levels are. Is your iron low? Are you prediabetic? Do you have high blood pressure etc?

Once you know what’s going on, you can partner with your health care professional to get things good again. But if you don’t know what’s going on, then it’s hard to get things better. So if you are feeling tired or fatigued, breathless then go get yourself checked out. Common symptoms of anemia include dizziness, fatigue, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, brittle nails, headache, shortness of breath and weakness.

Let’s talk about how much iron your body actually needs.

  • Infants and toddlers need more iron than adults because they are growing: 10 milligrams daily
  • age 4-8 10 milligrams daily
  • aged 9-13 8 mg daily
  • Once menstruation begins women require 18 milligrams per day because they are losing blood every month.
  • Adult males and women over 50 is 8 milligrams per day.

What Food is Iron Rich?

This is where it can get interesting because you have to get the iron into your body in the required amounts.

There is iron from animal and plant sources. Iron from animal sources is known as heme iron and is found in meat and fish. Iron from plants is known as nonheme iron and is found in: beans (kidney, lima, navy,) Tofu, Lentils, Molasses, Spinach, whole Wheat Bread, Peanut Butter, Brown Rice raisins and apricots. When you eat the nonheme iron foods combine with vitamin C to increase absorption. There are also iron fortified cereals.

Also be aware that calcium can make it more difficult for your body to absorb calcium. So you don’t want to eat your iron rich meal with calcium as that will decrease iron absorption. If you take supplements don’t take calcium with iron.

What About Drinking Coffee and Tea With Meals

Photo by Kevin Menajang on Pexels.com

Coffee and tea don’t help with the absorption of iron. So wait 20 minutes after you eat to have coffee or tea. I know this is a huge bummer for people that enjoy coffee or tea with meals. As you can see it can get a little complicated. But if you are anemic, you want to make sure you aren’t doing anything to make things worse.

Talk to your Doctor

This is a global issue about not having an iron rich diet. So young women please be aware to ensure you are getting adequate nutrition because you need the most iron. I wish we came with an instruction manual but we have to figure out things as best we can. And remember we are all different. It’s called bio-individuality. What works for me might not work for you. We’re just these complicated little beings now aren’t we.

Valerie is a health and wellness coach living in Northern California. She encourages everyone to follow their passion as she shares her passion with the world.

Valerie Estrella Didn’t Think She would Break Down…An emotional Rendition of Autumn Leaves/Les Feuilles Mortes

Valerie Estrella began preparation for this performance in August 2018. Alina, her Maestra presented it to her and she instantly liked it. At first she only worked on the English version but then later decided to add the French version to the beginning of the song.

The event was the 15th anniversary of Alina’s Music Studio and Alina had put so much time and thought into her event. It was a fundraiser and it was called Classics and Super Heros. Alina who is a violinist and actually a multi-media artist because she can, sing, dance, play violin, conduct and she did the media displays. You know the back drop behind all the singers. She did that too.

Valerie does not speak French so she relied on YouTube videos and then she found out that she did not have the correct pronunciation after all . So it turned out that her friend Farrah who coincidentally was a French Major at University of Hawaii was able to coach her and this was the end result. Alina also provided correct pronunciation but you know friends always come through for you in the end.

Thanks for watching and it would make me happy if you share this video and subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Thank You… Special thanks to Camille for the accompaniment.

People asked Valerie how she rehearsed the crying. “It was not rehearsed at all.” Valerie said, “I wasn’t nervous to perform until I went out on stage. As soon as walked out it was pitch black in the audience and then I started to feel nervous and I could feel my stomach start shaking. Camille, the Pianist was getting set up and I instantly engaged my entire core and I knew I had to make it through the song. My legs were literally trembling. Towards the end, I just lost it. I thought about my brother, Chris who passed away in 2006. When I sang, “Since you went away, the days grew long” I thought of Chris and by the time I got to “But I miss you most of all, that’s when I couldn’t hold it together anymore.”

As soon as she came off stage her fellow singers and musicians ran to meet her and hug her and give Valerie a lot of support. One violinist just said, “I was so nervous I couldn’t feel my hands. They were numb.” And they hugged her. It really made Valerie feel so much better. “These teenage musicians were so kind and supportive of me during a scary time. It’s not everyday you cry in front of people. And how people treat you after you cry is even more important.” These musicians had such compassion. It was really beautiful to see and it gives me much hope about humanity.”

When Valerie saw Alina she said, I wasn’t able to finish the song. Alina said without blinking an eye. The woman who literally does not miss a beat or a breath or a timing, said, “You felt the passion of the music and expressed it.” And then she ran off to take a picture with DeadPool. Valerie knew it would be OK…

Valerie is a Health Coach that lives in Northern California. She’s sharing her passion for music in June 2019. She’s also a Health Coach and encourages everyone to follow their dreams.

How to Make Elderberry Syrup (Potent Cold + Flu Remedy)

Originally Published on Wellnessmama.com on By

How to Make Elderberry Syrup Potent Cold Flu Remedy

Elderberries are one of my most-used go-to remedies for cooler months. The dried berries of the Sambucis Nigra plant are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are specifically shown to help beat the cold and flu more quickly. They can be used to make a variety of remedies, and my favorite is this simple elderberry syrup.

Elderberry: A Natural Remedy for Mild Colds and Flu?

There is certainly a time and a place for conventional medicine and doctors visits. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that conventional medicine can do for a common cold or even a mild case of the flu.

If you or your child has ever had a rough case of the common cold or the flu, you know how miserable it can be. Especially for moms, it is awful to see your children feeling so bad and not be able to fix it. Thankfully, nature provides some remedies that can help avoid minor illnesses and shorten the duration if you do get them.

Black elderberries (sambucus nigra) have been shown to help avoid these illnesses and speed recovery in those who already have them. I’ve also found that elderberries seem to offer some relief of discomfort during minor illnesses.

Benefits of Elderberry

Elderberries naturally contain A, B, and C and stimulate the immune system. Israeli researchers found that the complex sugars in elderberries support the immune system in fighting cold and flu. They developed several formulas based on these complex sugars that have been clinically shown to help ameliorate all kinds of cold/flu. In fact:

Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, of Hadassah-Hebrew University in Israel found that elderberry disarms the enzyme viruses use to penetrate healthy cells in the lining of the nose and throat. Taken before infection, it prevents infection. Taken after infection, it prevents spread of the virus through the respiratory tract. In a clinical trial, 20% of study subjects reported significant improvement within 24 hours, 70% by 48 hours, and 90% claimed complete cure in three days. In contrast, subjects receiving the placebo required 6 days to recover.

Elderberry syrup provides the concentrated immune-supporting benefits of black elderberries in a great-tasting way. My homemade recipe uses homemade elderberry concentrate with synergistic herbs like cinnamon and ginger, plus raw honey for an extra immune boost. If you can’t/don’t use honey, see the substitution suggestions below the recipe.

Why make your own?

For one, you’ll save a lot of money!

Several natural elderberry syrups are available at health stores or online, but usually for around $15 or more for 4-8 ounces. This recipe makes 16 ounces for a cost of under ten dollars and kids love the taste!

You can also fully customize this recipe based on your needs and flavor preferences.That said, if dried elderberries aren’t available and you’re in a pinch, there are some great pre-made elderberry gummies and elderberry syrup that work just as well (just cost more). Also, if you happen to have fresh or frozen elderberries on hand, just use double the quantity listed in the recipe.

How to Make Elderberry Syrup to Avoid the Flu

A simple elderberry syrup recipe made with dried elderberries, honey and herbs for an immune boosting and delicious syrup. Can be used medicinally or on homemade pancakes or waffles.
Course Remedy
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 6kcal
Author Katie Wells

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add the elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
  • Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
  • Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
  • Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
  • Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
  • Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
  • When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
  • When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a  mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.
  • Ta-da! You just made homemade elderberry syrup! Store in the fridge and take daily for its immune boosting properties. Some sources recommend taking only during the week and not on the weekends to boost immunity.

Notes

Instant Pot option: Put all ingredients except honey in pot, seal lid, and set manually for 9 minutes on high pressure. Vent pressure and strain. When cooled to room temperature, stir in the honey.

Standard dose is ½ – 1 teaspoon for kids and ½ – 1 tablespoon for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tsp | Calories: 6kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.7g | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1.5g

How long does elderberry syrup last in the fridge?

The short answer is that it really depends. I’ve found that placing the finished syrup in a mason canning jar while it is still warm creates an air-tight seal and allows it to last much longer in the fridge, up to several months. As a general rule, it lasts about two weeks in the fridge and I typically freeze whatever I won’t use during that time. You can also freeze small amounts in an ice-cube tray and defrost small amounts when needed.

If you know how, you can also can the elderberry juice concentrate or the finished syrup to greatly extend the shelf life.

Can I harvest my own elderberries?

You can, and in fact, you can even grow your own elderberry bush, but it is important to make sure you are growing the correct plant. I also recommend working with a local herbalist to find/harvest elderberries and make sure that only the berries are harvested (the stems and leaves can be dangerous).

Where is the best place to order elderberries?

We don’t have a local source, so I’ve always ordered in bulk from an online source.

What is elderberry syrup used for?

Our family uses it as a preventative remedy by taking 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day during peak cold and flu season. If we get hit with a minor illness, we double or triple that dose until we feel better.

The unique and complex flavor of elderberries also makes this syrup a great ingredient in certain recipes and I’ve made an elderberry panna cotta by substituting elderberry syrup for the sweetener in recipes.

How much to take?

This is really a question for an herbalist or naturopath, but I personally take 1 teaspoon a day as an adult and give half of this to my kids. During illness, I double or triple this amount.

Is there a substitute for honey in elderberry syrup?

Some people prefer not to use a sweetener and honey is not recommended for babies under 1-2 years old. Some easy substitutes are:

  • Use maple syrup or nutrient rich molasses in place of the honey.
  • Omit the sweetener all together (this will make elderberry juice which will need to be consumed much more quickly).
  • Make an elderberry tincture for adults. Mix the concentrated elderberry syrup with equal parts food grade alcohol like vodka or brandy instead of sweetener. This obviously wouldn’t be for kids, but is a sweetener free option for adults.

Can I use powdered elderberries?

Yes, I’ve used powdered elderberries when whole elderberries weren’t available. Just use about 1/2 cup in this recipe instead of 2/3 cup.

Can the elderberries be reused?

I don’t recommend reusing them. Ideally, the boiling/mashing process removes much of the nutrients from the berries. Also, there is some evidence that consuming large amounts of the whole berries can be problematic.

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Ever taken elderberry? Will you try this recipe? What natural ways do you use to ward off illness?

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder and CEO of Wellness Mama, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

11 Impressive Benefits of Corn

Originally Published on Organicfacts.net By Meenakshi Nagdeve

11 Impressive Benefits of Corn

Health benefits of corn include diabetes management and prevention of chronic heart conditions, lower blood pressure, and also reduction in the neural-tube defects at birth. Corn or maize is one of the most popular cereals in the world and forms the staple food in many countries.

What is Corn?

Corn or maize is a grain plant that originated in southern Mexico. The kernels or seeds of corn hold the majority of its nutrients and are the most commonly consumed parts. They come in multiple colors, depending on where the it is grown and what species or variety they happen to be. Another genetic variant, called sweetcorn, has more sugar and less starch in the nutritive material.

Nutrition Facts

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, corn not only provides the necessary calories for healthy, daily metabolism but is also a rich source of vitamin A, B, E, and many minerals. Its high dietary fiber content ensures that it plays a significant role in the prevention of digestive ailments like constipation. The antioxidants present in it also act as anti-carcinogenic agents and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Health Benefits of Corn

Corn provides many health benefits due to the presence of quality nutrients within. Besides being a delicious addition to any meal, it’s richness in phytochemicals provides protection against a number of chronic diseases. The well-researched and widespread health benefits are listed below.

Prevents Hemorrhoids

The fiber content of one cup of corn amounts to 18.4% of the daily recommended amount. This aids in alleviating digestive problems such as constipation and hemorrhoids, as well as lowering the risk of colon cancer due to corn being a whole-grain.

A study by Dr. Arthur Schatzkin, former chief of the nutritional epidemiology branch at the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) concludes, “Total dietary fiber intake is not associated with colorectal cancer risk, whereas whole-grain consumption is associated with a modestly reduced risk.” Dietary fiber can help bulk and soften stools promoting regular elimination and decreasing straining. This process is done by stimulating the peristaltic motion and the production of gastric juice and bile. By adding bulk to overly loose stools, the chances for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diarrhea can be greatly reduced.

Promotes Growth

Corn is rich in vitamin B constituents, especially thiamin and niacin. Thiamin is essential for maintaining nerve health and cognitive function. Niacin deficiency leads to pellagra; a disease characterized by diarrhea, dementia, and dermatitis that is commonly observed in malnourished individuals. It is also a good source of pantothenic acid, which is an essential vitamin for carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in the body.

Deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women can lead to the birth of underweight infants and may also result in neural tube defects in newborns. It provides a significant percentage of the daily folate requirement, thus preventing this condition. The kernels are also rich in vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that is essential for growth and protection of the body from illness and diseases.

Weight Gain

Corn, especially the yellow variety, is a rich source of calories and is a staple in many places. The calorific content of yellow and white corn is 365 calories per 100 grams, while the calorie content in sweet yellow and white corn is 86 calories per 100 grams. This is why, it is often turned to for quick weight gain, and combined with the ease and flexibility of the growing conditions, the high-calorie content makes it vital for the survival of dozens of agricultural nations.

Provides Essential Minerals

Corn contains abundant minerals which positively benefit the body in a number of ways, says a study conducted by Dr. Phil Warman, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Canada. Phosphorus, along with magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, and copper are some of the essential nutrients that are found in all varieties of corn. It also contains trace minerals like selenium, which are difficult to find in most normal diets. Phosphorus is essential for regulating normal growth, bone health, and optimal kidney functioning. Magnesium is necessary for maintaining a normal heart rate and for increasing bone mineral density.

Protects Your Heart

According to research, corn oil has been shown to have an anti-atherogenic effect on cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of various cardiovascular diseases. Corn oil, in particular, is the best way to improve heart health and this is derived from the fact that corn is close to an optimal fatty acid combination. This allows omega-3 fatty acids to strip away the damaging LDL or bad cholesterol and replace them at the binding sites. This will reduce the chances of arteries becoming clogged, lower blood pressure, and minimize the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Prevents Anemia

Corn helps prevent anemia caused by a deficiency of vitamins and minerals. It also contains iron, which is one of the essential minerals needed to form new red blood cells; a deficiency of iron is one of the main causes of anemia as well. Studies have also been conducted connecting Vitamin A and beta carotene with increased absorption of iron.

Lowers LDL Cholesterol

According to a study by Dr. Robert Nicolosi, University of Massachusetts, US, consumption of corn husk oil lowers plasma LDL or bad cholesterol by reducing cholesterol absorption in the body. As mentioned earlier, this reduction in LDL cholesterol does not mean a reduction in HDL or good cholesterol, which can have beneficial effects on the body. They include the reduction of heart diseases, prevention of atherosclerosis, and general scavenging of free radicals throughout the body.

Eye & Skin Care

Yellow corn is a rich source of beta-carotene, which forms vitamin A in the body and is essential for the maintenance of good vision and skin. As per a study published in the Science journal, beta-carotene is a great source of vitamin A because it is converted into the body according to the amount required. Vitamin A can be toxic if too much is consumed, so deriving it through beta-carotene transformation is ideal. It will also benefit the health of skin and mucous membranes, as well as boost the immune system.

The amount of beta-carotene in the body that is not converted into vitamin A acts as a very strong antioxidant, like all carotenoids, and can combat diseases like cancer and heart disease. That being said, smokers need to be careful about their beta-carotene intake, because smokers with high beta-carotene levels are more likely to contract lung cancer, while non-smokers with high beta-carotene content are less likely to contract lung cancer.

Controls Diabetes

In recent decades, the world has seemed to suffer from an epidemic of diabetes. Although the exact mechanism for this cannot be pinpointed, it is generally related to nutrition. Studies have shown that consumption of whole grains is related to a decreased risk in the development of type 2 diabetes. According to the Journal of Medicinal Food, consumption of its kernels assists in the management of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and is effective against hypertension due to the presence of phenolic phytochemicals in whole corn. Phytochemicals can regulate the absorption and release of insulin in the body, which can reduce the chance of spikes and drops for diabetic patients and help them maintain a healthy lifestyle.

11 Impressive Benefits of Corn_1

Cosmetic Benefits

Cornstarch is used in the manufacturing of many cosmetic products and may also be applied topically to soothe skin rashes and irritation. Its products can be used to replace carcinogenic petroleum products which are major components of many cosmetic preparations. Many of the traditional skin creams contain petroleum jelly as a base material, which can often block pores and make skin conditions even worse. Furthermore, cosmetic use of corn oil in skin cleansing and wrinkle-reducing cream has been patented by Dr. Donald E. Barker, professor of surgery, Department of Surgery, for the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, US.

How to Select and Store?

The two types of corn include sweet corn and field corn. Sweet corn is more commonly consumed, and field corn is usually grounded and used in the production of flour.

It is easily available across markets all over the world. It’s always good to consume fresh corn; however, frozen corn can also be used. While buying fresh corn make sure the husks are not dried out. Also, consume fresh corn within a few days to ensure good taste. For storing them, you may keep the husk and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.

Quick Ideas to Serve

  • Steamed corn: Clean the fresh corns and cook them in a container filled with water. Add butter, lime, pepper, and/or salt to the cooked corn for additional flavor.
  • Soups and salads: Add the cooked kernels to salads and soups for additional flavor. Mix chopped onion, tomato, lettuce, and cooked corn kernels in a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, lime juice, and olive oil.

Corn is a rich source of many essential nutrients and fiber. A meal rich in corn can go a long way in protecting against many diseases and ailments. So start shucking!

11 Impressive Benefits of Corn_3
About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. She follows naturopathy and believes in healing with foods. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

Eliminate These Foods for Health/Food Swaps Provided

Why is the food toxic?

I am a Health Coach and I have a food sensitivity to gluten. My body does much better when I am gluten free. While I was studying to be a Health Coach via the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), I discovered THAT MUCH OF OUR FOOD IS a genetically modified organisms (GMO). Also the food is sprayed with toxic chemicals such as Monsanto’s Round Up. Sorry but there have been numerous lawsuits that has found this company responsible for their customer’s getting cancer from working with Round Up. So because of this I really try to avoid any wheat products that are not certified organic. Otherwise, they have been sprayed with Round Up. I am sorry to tell you that. What you don’t know can kill you. I am not a scientist. I am a Health coach/Mom who’s trying to figure out what the hell happened to the food in the good old USA. It’s dead and gone is what happened. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This list, you might want to save so you can give it to friends, family, co-workers, teachers, anyone that is concerned about the quality of food available in the USA. It’s not good but we’re gonna change that. More on that later.

Foods to completely eliminate and or reduce significantly

If you’re in 4th grade, you can have 1 and then run around.

1)Sugar replace with fruits (ALL ORGANIC raisins, dates, figs, pineapple, apple, cherries, peaches, mango etc)maple syrup, honey, molasses, agave

Do I really have to discuss sugar? Simple fact, if you eat sugar, you have to burn it off or it is stored as fat. And our bodies don’t need any excess sugar. But if you are going to have sugar, eat fruit. Just eat fruit by itself.

2)White Bread swap for organic whole grain breads

I know this is a doozy!!! That just messes up your dining experience. I get it. But maybe it’s time to make stuff at home. If they are serving you a plate of poison, I don’t think you would really want it. I am so sorry. But you know I have a solution sweetheart!! I’ll never leave you out to dry. So go someplace that has sourdough (organic if possible) and order your favorite sandwich on that. Just hold the mayo and cheese use avocado for mayo or veganaise. You can also do hummus with vegetables. OMG it’s so good if you haven’t tried it. The fermentation’s of the dough does something to make it easier to digest. Don’t ask me because I’m not a scientist. Remember I said so earlier.

Other healthy options are organic whole grain bread, sprouted breads such as Alvarado Street Market. Brown Rice Tortillas are awesome!!

3)Processed Corn Products swap for organic Corn Products

This actually breaks my heart how messed up the corn industry is. We had a healthy corn but they got greedy and wanted to mass produce Cheeto’s and corn oil. Now MUCH of the corn GLOBALLY is genetically modified. So unless it’s organic, you’re eating poison corn. I just wouldn’t risk it. Why is autism so high? Kids are eating chemicals. So sorry to bring this up but we must face the truth before it can change. But there is organic corn so we’re not completely lost.

You can find organic masa at sprouts and organic corn products are available at Costco and most grocery stores where I live in Northern California. But you have to let the store manager where you live know what kind of stuff you want them to carry. You should have the right for access to safe food. But it might not be a right. You can also go to your City Council and tell them you have no access to safe healthy food in the stores by your home.

This is a serious issue and I don’t have the answers. But I just want people to know so they will stop eating the poison. And I get exposed myself because sometimes that’s the only food available to me. I don’t like it for myself or any other human. But we have free will and can make choices.

4)Soy Products Organic Only if possible

Honestly if you haven’t tried to make soy milk yet, it’s so easy. But yes it is a little chore. I say get together with friends and make a double batch for you and your mom or whoever. But use organic soy beans. If it’s not organic then it’s GMO Soy Beans which who knows if they are safe or not. The soy left over can be dehydrated into soy flour and other cool things. That’s how they make some of those cool soy chicken. It’s kind of labor intensive but it’s worth it.

5) Sulphites are found in vinegars and processed meats

Again sorry that this is such a pain in the ass. I mean seriously all you want is a salad and now you have to worry about the salad dressing!! Yes sorry that’s the way it is. But hey I won’t let you down. You can have Apple Cider Vinegar. Yea for Apple Cider Vinegar. So you can always carry around a little bottle of apple cider vinegar (ACV) and most restaurants to have olive oil so ask for that and use your ACV. AND PROCESSED MEATS ARE cancerous. I would really try not to eat this meat because of the preservatives and sulfites. Sorry about that, I didn’t make the rules or the food safe to eat.

This may seem like a huge pain. And yes it is. But don’t worry. Everything will be OK. Just start to become more aware of your food choices and options. You can always make changes. A great place to start is with your Dr. so you can make sure to get a diet recommendation for your specific medical condition. We’re all unique so what works for me might not work for you and also you might have to play detective to figure out what’s going on.

Tips for Sensitive People to Protect Their Energy

Originally Published on Psychologytoday.com on Dec 16, 2014 By Judith Orloff M.D.

Sensitive people or empaths have an ability to be emotional sponges that can heighten when they are at a social event, around co-workers, or in crowds. If empaths are around peace and love, their bodies assimilate these and flourish. Negativity, though, often feels assaultive or exhausting.

For empaths to fully enjoy being around others, they must learn to protect their sensitivity and find balance. Since I’m an empath, I want to help them cultivate this capacity and be comfortable with it.

I’ve always been hyper-attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. Before I learned to protect my energy, I felt them lodge in my body. After being in crowds I would leave feeling anxious, depressed, or tired. When I got home, I’d just crawl into bed, yearning for peace and quiet.

Here are six strategies from my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender to help you manage your senstivity more effectively and stay centered without absorbing negative energies.

  1. Move away. When possible, distance yourself by at least twenty feet from the suspected source. See if you feel relief. Don’t err on the side of not wanting to offend anyone.  At the gathering try not to sit next to the identified energy vampire. Physical closeness increases empathy.
  2. Surrender to your breath. If you suspect you are picking up someone else’s energies, concentrate on your breath for a few minutes. This is centering and connects you to your power. In contrast, holding your breath keeps negativity lodged in your body. To purify fear and pain, exhale stress and inhale calm. Picture unwholesome emotions as a gray fog lifting from your body, and wellness as a clear light entering it. This can produce quick results.
  3. Practice Guerilla Meditation. Be sure to meditate before the gathering, centering yourself, connecting to spirit, feeling your heart. Get strong. If you counter emotional or physical distress while at an event, act fast and meditate for a few minutes. You can do this by taking refuge in the bathroom or an empty room. If it’s public, close the stall. Meditate there. Calm yourself. Focus on positivity and love. This has saved me many times at social functions where I feel depleted by others.
  4. Set healthy limits and boundaries. Control how much time you spend listening to stressful people, and learn to say “no.” Set clear limits and boundaries with people, nicely cutting them off at the pass if they get critical or mean. Remember, “no” is a complete sentence.
  5. Visualize protection around you. Research has shown that visualization is a healing mind/body technique. A practical form of protection many people use, including health care practitioners with difficult patients, involves visualizing an envelope of white light around your entire body. Or with extremely toxic people, visualize a fierce black jaguar patrolling and protecting your energy field to keep out intruders.
  6. Define and honor your empathic needs. Safeguard your sensitivities. In a calm, collected moment, make a list of your top five most emotionally rattling situations. Then formulate a plan for handling them so you don’t fumble in the moment. Here are some practical examples of what to do in situations that predictably stymie empaths.
  • If someone asks too much of you, politely tell them “no.” It’s not necessary to explain why. As the saying goes, “No is a complete sentence.”
  • If your comfort level is three hours max for socializing–even if you adore the people — take your own car or have an alternate transportation plan so you’re not stranded.
  • If crowds are overwhelming, eat a high-protein meal beforehand (this grounds you) and sit in the far corner of, say, a theatre or party, not dead center.
  • Some empaths are highly sensitive to scents, if you are overwhelmed, for instance by perfume, nicely request that your friends refrain from wearing it around you. If you can’t avoid it, stand near a window or take frequent breaks to catch a breath of fresh air outdoors.

If all else fails and you absorb stressful or negative energy while at a gathering when you get home take a bath or shower. My bath is my sanctuary after a busy day. It washes away everything from bus exhaust to long hours of air travel to pesky symptoms I have taken on from others. Soaking in natural mineral springs divinely purifies all that ails.

Dr.Orloff shares more about empaths in The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People

Tips for Sensitive People to Protect Their Energy_2

Judith Orloff, M.D. is the author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. In the book she educates readers about empaths, highly sensitive people, and offers strategies for anyone who wants to avoid narcissists and transform difficult emotions to positive ones. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her LA based private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. She is a New York Times best-selling author of Emotional Freedom, Positive Energy, Guide to Intuitive Healing, The Power of Surrender and Second Sight. Connect with Judith on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about empaths and her free empath support newsletter as well as Dr. Orloff’s books and workshop schedule, visit her website. Republished with explicit written permission from the author. Join her empath Facebook community for sensitive souls Here.

Next Economy: Exploring the Role of Community and Restorative Economics

Originally published on Sustainablesolano.org By Gabriela Estrada and Allison Nagel, Sustainable Solano

Next Economy Exploring the Role of Community and Restorative Economics

Communities have the power to shape a new economy that is equitable and just, and the transition to get there lies in creating self-determination and shared prosperity through community governance and community ownership. It also relies on moving from a mindset of scarcity to one of creating abundance.

At our recent Next Economy discussion, we explored these key elements and how they can be used, particularly within communities of color that have been disempowered and disenfranchised in the current economic system, to create a new way of approaching the economy that often draws upon traditions of supporting one another.

This discussion of Restorative Economics came from insight and lessons learned at a workshop led by project management consultant Nwamaka Agbo, who has a background in community organizing and restorative justice. Through our Next Economy series, we’ve tackled problems with the current economy and shared what we’ve learned about creating a new economy from the courses taken through Santa Cruz Permaculture’s Next Economy series, including Nwamaka’s workshop.

Restorative Economics addresses how to prioritize investment of resources back into impacted populations. Nwamaka focuses on creating a just transition that moves away from capitalism’s patterns of economic oppression that has harmed marginalized communities and placed power and wealth with a select few.

In particular, a just transition moves from:

  • Extraction to Regeneration — Moving from an economy that pulls resources (and pushes people) out of communities to one that builds up those communities.
  • Control to Governing for the Whole — Moving from those with power and wealth controlling decisions that affect impacted populations to community governance and approaches that are beneficial to impacted populations and make life better for society as a whole. (As an example, curb cuts were put in on sidewalks for wheelchairs, but then those with bikes, strollers, etc., benefited from having them)
  • Accumulation to Shared Prosperity — Moving from an accumulation of wealth among a few to supporting shared prosperity through the reinvestment of profits in the community to add community benefit. (An example is the “pay-it-forward” approach that, rather than sending loan interest income to an investor turns around and invests it in a loan to another business.)
  • Exclusion to Inclusion — Moving from excluding people from being a part of the economy to build models that give voice and build capacity for meaningful participation in the local governance and economy.

We asked attendees to reflect on the fact that capitalism is a system, which means we have agency over it and we can change it. Keeping this in mind, we asked the group to think of some practices and values we could use for a just transition. As a group, we discussed the different ideas behind Restorative Economics and did some activities to think about both how we look at economics now and new ways to redefine the economy.

We shared Nwamaka’s tenets of Restorative Economics and some examples:

  • Investing in Human Development and Capacity Building: The Restore Oakland project, of which she was a vital part, builds employable skills in recently incarcerated individuals while also creating space for furthering restorative justice and restorative economics work.
  • Remembering and Reclaiming Traditions and Collective Wisdom: Drawing on the indigenous cultures of shared prosperity that have been discouraged in the current economic system.
  • Building a Community of Practice and Social Movement Infrastructure: Practicing community governance through co-ops and other approaches, and bringing community organizations and social movements together to support each other in efforts on the ground and to shape policy.

We wrapped up by thinking of what some of the biggest challenges are in our local community and how to address them. That included creating a system of affordable housing, better community gathering space and the recognition of the true value of labor. The idea of changing from a system that commodifies land, labor and capital to a system of land trust, right livelihood and public banking was also identified.

Join us at our next discussion on May 2 to explore ways to design our economic future.

As Nwamaka told us at the Santa Cruz workshop: “Change doesn’t come from intent. It comes from deliberate action.” That is the first step towards a more just economy that works for everyone.

The funding for Sustainable Solano’s team training at the “Next Economy” course at Santa Cruz Permaculture was provided by Solano Community Foundation through their NPP Capacity Building grants program. Community conversations are made possible through a grant from the Peaceful World Foundation. Thank you to both organizations!

We will continue to share insights at our final workshop at Green Hive Spaces in Vallejo. Please join us to further the discussion on the next economy in our community.

Designing the Regenerative Economy, 6 pm, May 2

Join us to discuss the design principles and strategies needed for vocation and regenerative enterprise design. We’ll discuss how we could redesign the economy for security, prosperity and a stable climate with transformation based on permaculture design principles, methods and ethics for an economy that benefits all life.