Archives for May,2016

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Fact or Fiction Is Sugar Addiction a Real Thing?

Is your lingering sweet tooth a threat to your health regiment?  We are here to tell you that you are not alone.  According to Dr. Mark Hyman, a family physician and NY Time’s #1 Best Selling author, there is truth and fact behind your cravings.  Dr. Hyman claims that sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine and when you eat sugar your brain recognizes this as a reward.  Thus, the more you eat, the more your brain reinforces the habit.  As time goes on you will need more and more sugar to satisfy your cravings which leave you in an endless cycle of cravings and overeating which can essentially lead to a plethora of other health problems.

Even though the situation seems grim, there is a way to get your body back on track and on the right path to a happy healthy life.  Finding the right path can be achieved by anyone who is willing to make a lifestyle change by adjusting their eating habits and retraining your body to love only real whole healthy foods.  Although it can sound intimidating, you will need to detox your body for a fresh start.  There are various ways to detox so do the research and find the right approach that you feel will work best for you.

Once you have completed your detox, the most important thing is to remember that you are not on a diet.  Rather, you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes eating healthy whole natural foods while exercising on a regular basis.  A few dietary tips that are extremely helpful when new to the health food scene are as follows: Try and eat some protein with every meal, especially breakfast.  This will help curb your cravings and balance your blood sugar.  Don’t consume your calories from sugary drinks.  Water with a squeeze of your favorite fresh fruit is a great alternative.  Eat lots of carbs, but the right kind!  There are many fruits and especially non-starchy veggies that can fuel your body with energy while keeping your calorie count way down.  Fats are not your enemy, at least not the healthy kind.  You should consume a small amount of fat with every meal as well.  Examples of healthy fats are derived from extra virgin olive oil, foods containing omega 3’s, avocados, nuts and more.  Lastly, give yourself at least 30 days to adjust to your new lifestyle and you will be pleasantly surprised at how much better you feel and how much your cravings have subsided.

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The Destruction of Self: Stop in the Name of Love

You know when you are pondering one thing, and it leads to another, and another, and suddenly, an epiphany? Or… maybe it’s something you have always known, but never quite put the same thought process behind it? That is what happened to me, and Eureka! Love has got to be the most powerful, and possibly the single most destructive thing on the planet. Boom. There it is! Are you sitting there agreeing with me? Love will quite literally drive one mad. Think of all the wars that have been fought over it and all the deaths that have occurred because of it. It has saved lives and destroyed them. It can seemingly take our breath away with happiness as if our heart may burst, or completely knock us off our feet in sadness as if our heart has been shattered. Love can put us on cloud 9 or drop us to our absolute lowest.

These revelations all brought me to this thought….How in the hell do we ever give any other being so much power?! It’s like a sickness. Maybe that’s why they say in the beginning one is “love sick” as they are falling in love. And it is just that…. like falling. Blissful, beautiful, stupid, as if you are one of those silly cartoons with hearts in your eyes. It can feel like someone has hit you over the head and now you are love struck. Suddenly you’d seemingly do anything for that person, even something in your “right” mind you’d never do. But the question I really have is…How do we get so wrapped up, that so often, just like a sickness, we lose ourselves completely? We don’t even see ourselves fading away until we are all but a glimmer of our former self.  One day we just wake up, not in that same blissful, dizzying stupor of love, but unhappy, unfulfilled, and not even sure why, or how we got that way.

My marriage was certainly not without issues, but I stayed many years more than maybe I should have holding on almost desperately to the love I thought I had. Until one day I quite literally looked in the mirror and didn’t even see myself anymore. But where had I gone? I never even saw myself fading away. I couldn’t even tell myself or anyone else for that matter what brought me joy.

For example, I had loved sports my entire life, since I was a kid. I realized one day that I had almost completely and totally given up watching sports on TV because my ex-husband always wanted to turn the channel. Truthfully, I did not have much time to watch TV since I was too busy cooking, cleaning, and mothering small children while maintaining a full time job. I was completely oblivious to what was going on in the NFL, NBA, and NCAA throughout our 4 years of dating and 7 years of marriage unless I happened to overhear it or read about it. Something I had loved just became less and less until it just wasn’t important anymore. When I came to this realization, I was absolutely in shock, like I had been living under a rock. Was it just my ex or could I attribute this to “friends” I had who also could have cared less about sports, and definitely didn’t want to talk about them? One day before our birthday, my twin sister asked me this eye opener. What would bring me joy? After soul searching, I realized, I didn’t even know anymore. I had become so caught up in being a wife, a mother, a friend, and letting others influence me that I couldn’t even answer that simple question. Talk about feeling lost. I had to think back to practically being in my young teens to remember the things I loved, and the person I was.

I had a visit with an old friend today, and as we talked, I connected the same story through an entire web of people I know.  I asked him about playing the piano. We’ve been friends about 9 years, and just before we met he was a traveling concert pianist. He told me how he never really played anymore. His wife always acted like he could be doing something more productive, and when he would sit down to play, she would instantly start in on him about doing other work. I knew this feeling EXACTLY. I said to him, “but, it is a release for you, something that brings you joy”. Then I remembered other musician friends of mine who had also said out of the course of their marriages they had a husband/wife that no longer wanted them to play, or perform, or devote time to it. As we spoke I sat there somewhat dumbfounded. I recalled several other friends who had given up hobbies/loves that once brought them joy because of the influences of others, especially those that they loved. It left me asking myself, WHY? Chances are, when you met that person you fell in love with, they knew you loved _________.  Over time it becomes acceptable if they do not share that love of _________ with you, that not only do they not have to do it, but they can influence you not to do it, or like it, or what have you. Why do we fall into these relationships and expect people to change?

I have learned over this rocky road, you can’t change someone. If somehow you do, it’s only a matter of time before they usually resent you for it. People can change themselves for the better. If you try and manipulate something away from someone that brings them happiness, they will wake up, some much later than others, feeling lost, and unhappy, and probably resentful. When you love someone, shouldn’t you love ALL of them? When in a new relationship, we tend to FALL quickly and want to spend every moment with that other person. But in truth, time alone is good for EVERYONE. Time with your friends away from your new love is also healthy. Women need time to bond and be silly with their girlfriends and men need time with just their guy friends.

 

Take the time to really look in the mirror, do you still recognize yourself? If asked, can you actually name what still brings you joy? Chances are, you’ve been so wrapped up in everyday life, you haven’t done that in a while. Don’t forget to evaluate your relationships too! Try to remember all the things you loved about that person when you met. If either one or both of you have sacrificed something you loved, which in turn meant sacrificing part of yourselves, maybe you should consider rediscovering those old passions before it’s too late.

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What Your Mother Never Told You

With Mother’s Day right around the corner it has led me to reflect on this journey of being a mother, and the journey it has been. I’ve thought often of my own Mother’s journey and how it impacted my life. And I’ve reflected often on the other Mother’s I see around me. There certainly are all types of Mother’s aren’t there? When I really sit and think hard, I realize, almost all my fondest childhood memories, were not of anything “special” or out of the ordinary, but my mother was always close by. Sometimes as a child when I remember being sad, it often involved her going out late nights to work. I would stare out the bedroom window at my grandparent’s house and count car lights that drove by. With every car, I prayed it would be hers… which it never was…we were always sound asleep by the time she came home. We’d cry and beg her not to go to work, and still she’d always go. In hindsight as an adult, I know she went so she could keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. She often worked two jobs, just to keep us afloat. Looking back, as kids we never understood, nor cut her any slack for seemingly working all the time, and I realized, my children do the same thing, while my goals are the same as my own mother.

I am blessed enough to have two children, a daughter, 8 and a son 5. Just today my son had to go to the pediatrician to get caught up on immunizations. He was born in a free standing birth center, completely natural, and up until going to school this year, has never really needed to go to a doctor. This meant, until this year he also had never had shots. As he is fussing about getting 4 needles to the legs, I take a breath; look him in the face and say, “Son, sometimes we have to be a lot tougher and stronger than we think we are.” His birth instantly came to mind. I believe if women were made to endure natural childbirth without pain medicine, we wouldn’t have quite the population problem we have. The thought of his birth instantly was followed by the thought that this single momma job has got to be the hardest job in the entire world. I drove home knowing the concert I really wanted to see tonight, I wouldn’t because inevitably as a single mother, even if I had a babysitter, I couldn’t go out because he’d had shots and besides work, my responsibility was to my kids…who, after all, have school tomorrow.

My decision to become a single mother was highly motivated by the responsibility I felt I had to my children. I knew I owed it to them to teach them to love and be loved appropriately, or else I was doing them an injustice in life. Staying in an emotionally abusive, and neglectful marriage would later on teach them how to mistreat others, settle, and that it was ok to be mistreated themselves. I couldn’t do it. I knew the path of the journey I was taking on would be a constant struggle, but I had to do so for the sake of teaching them right from wrong, and my desire for them to have beautiful, better lives and relationships. I was right. It has been a seemingly constant struggle. Every single thing I do is for my children. I never get a day off. I don’t even get a moment of quiet until they are fast asleep which usually lends me to cleaning and working very late into the night. Funny, when I became a mother it seemed like I may never sleep again, and although my children are eight and five, I still get very little sleep. Every child’s nightmare, every time one of my children has been sick, every diaper I’ve ever changed, or the amount of time I was puked on, peed on, pooped on, used as a tissue, and the list goes on and on… nothing could have ever prepared me for this journey.

You see, as a mother, there is no manual to say what to do if…. and there is so much our own mothers could not have prepared us for. I’ve learned that every single journey is unique and because I know no one should judge my journey, I try hard not to judge others. My mother could not have truly prepared me for the total exhaustion, the constantly forging forward, and the seemingly never ending worries and work. However, she also could not have ever prepared me for a love so real and so true you give all of yourself, day in and day out, selflessly, and choose to again, and again, and again only in hopes of creating a better life for them. A love that you would give up your whole existence for in the blink of an eye. A complete and total self sacrifice daily that you wouldn’t change for anything in the world in hopes that your children will just continue loving you.

To my own mother, I am sorry for the all the times I made you cry. For the times I saw you, and for the many times I didn’t. Thank you for every single sacrifice you made. And for my children who made me a mother, YOU are the reason I breathe. I only hope someday you realize I did it ALL because I love you. And to every mother, hold your children dear, because they are our hope at a better future. BE the Mother you want your children to remember, because the Mothers and Fathers they become are a reflection of you.

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