Musings

Six Things to Let Go

Letting go is change. Change can be gradual or abrupt. Certainly Lao Tzu’s journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. As a holistic health guide, I believe the healing of a trillion cells begins with a single bite.

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Slow and steady wins the race is quite effective. That being said, I must confess that I am a huge fan of abrupt change. I released most of these six things by cannonballing into change similar to braving a Polar Bear Plunge, a Goose Bump Jump, a Penguin Plummet, or insert your preferred cute catch phrase fitting for when insane people wearing nothing but swimsuits jump into icy winter water. Just like a frigid fun lake leap, cold turkey change is head first, all at once, not conducive to toe testing, crazy, communal, fun, and awakening, yet still requires a daily practice for transformative sustenance.

Some of these things I let go years ago, others more recently requiring more daily awareness and intention. The more I release, the more I abundantly nourish my happiness and health along with the happiness and health of my loved ones. Oh the joyous irony of life!

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1. LET GO OF GRAINS, STARCHY VEGGIES, AND SUGAR – You can bake almost anything using almond flour, like chocolate cake. Coconut flour is another baking option. Raw honey is an amazing anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal sweetener to make all sorts of goodies, like chocolate pie. Butternut squash serves as a delicious potato alternative. Fire fries are spicy and yummy! Letting go of these specific carbohydrates, you will feel mentally, physically, and amazingly alive. On a personal note, I and my kiddos are now liberated from the previous restraints of autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia of speech, OCD, ADD, anxiety, asthma, skin conditions, and hypoglycemia by being grain free, starchy veggie free, and sugar free. Nourishing the body with quality meats, fats, most veggies and fruits, broths, ferments, and juicing (without grains, starchy veggies, and sugar) is the cornerstone of gut healing with the GAPS (Gut and Psychology/Physiology Syndrome) protocol.

2. LET GO OF RESTRICTIONS ON FATS, PROTEIN, AND VEGGIES – It’s what MEFAVE and FAVE meals and dishes are all about!

MEat (Protein) + FAt + VEggie (Carb) = MEFAVE
FAt + VEggie (Carb) = FAVE

Eat all the quality meats, fats, and veggies you want. Go ahead, eat until you are full! I consume anywhere from ½ -1 cup of total fats each day. Fats don’t make you fat. They make you feel full, happy, and healthy!

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What do you first think of when you think of carbs? Foods like bread and pasta made from grains, right? But veggies and fruits are also carbohydrates. Change your way of thinking to improve your health. Think of veggies first when thinking of carbs. It’s the reason the VE in MEFAVE and FAVE is veggie. (Plus, MEFACA and FACA sound unappetizing to say the least!) Grains are rough on the digestive system and are not GAPS legal. Focus on nutrient dense veggies and fruits that are organic and/or local. Remember MEFAVE and FAVE to nourish your health and happiness with each meal or dish you choose.

FYI: Nuts contain all three macronutrients – protein, fat, and carbs. I often lump nuts in with the VE (Carb) category in my MEFAVE and FAVE suggestions.

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3. LET GO OF SCALES – No longer voluntarily step on scales. If some day in your future, a medical professional requests your weight, you can oblige, but no longer make it a daily punishing event. By releasing this act of societal judgment and personal pressure, you will magnify self love and acceptance.

4. LET GO OF BRAS – Bouncing your boobs releases toxins and frees the spirit. See my post “I Love Boobs”, lest I ramble on and turn this into yet another boob blog post.

5. LET GO OF DEODORANT, LOTION, TOOTHPASTE, AND SHAMPOO – Use coconut oil as deodorant and lotion. For a great probiotic lotion, consider homemade sour cream. For oral health, brush your teeth with baking soda and oil pull with coconut oil. Shampoo your hair using baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Remember to only put edible things on your skin to reduce your toxic burden.

6. LET GO OF SCARCITY – So much of the fear, competition, inadequacy, criticism and negativity in our lives stems from the long held scarcity belief of not being or having enough. Let go of these limiting beliefs because you are more than enough. You are full of possibilities. You are love. Unlock abundant love, resources, creativity, and time with gratitude. Being thankful for things right now nourishes your happiness.

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The life waiting for us is full of health and happiness! Go ahead, let go!

Musings

I Love Boobs!

I love my boobs and boobs in general! I’m not a lesbian (not that there’s anything wrong with being a lesbian) and I love boobs! Whew! There, I said it. My naïve bubble that all women love their boobs (and boobs in general) popped a few days ago when a woman pointed out that women have different relationships with their boobs. What, not all women love their boobs or boobs in general?

I certainly have a different relationship with my stretch-marks-in-plaid tummy. It has been a source of concern for many years. I posted the below pic on Facebook to make peace with my squishy mom belly and it worked, mostly. Some days I still hold my hands at my hips pulling taut my rippled skin, much like my mom frequently lifted her skin up at her temples simulating a facelift throughout my childhood. Most days though, I forget to be obsessed about it. And on good days, I thank my tummy for a job well done (love my kiddos!) and call it beautiful.

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It turns out that upon reflection, I haven’t always loved my boobs or boobs in general. I just have a short memory, one downside to living in the moment and another side effect of a lifetime of discrediting my feelings. I started binding my boobs with bras when I was in sixth grade. As a pretty colored ribbon runner during adolescence, winning the pinks, purples, and if I was lucky white awards, I wore sports bras that bound me as tight as Mulan. Yes, it is possible for a small boobed gal like me to be even flatter. Somehow it was wrong if my boobs bounced, even when my whole body was bounding like a graceful gazelle through gorgeous grasslands. No wait, that’s my runner’s high imagery. In reality, I was the one often struggling with the beet red face, static boobs, and 80’s bloomers. Okay, everyone else was wearing the same unattractive polyester uniform bottoms.

My first boyfriend (FYI high school friends, I never dated an Eagle) told me to “get over it” when I said it felt “weird” when he touched my boobs for the first time. I spent a good portion of my life not only out of touch with my feelings, but also out of touch with my body. The “Our Bodies, Ourselves” instruction manual that my college friends handed to me along with a mirror and a flashlight helped, but could not work miracles. Truth be told, my boobs physically hurt for much of my life. PMS was painful. My boobs hurt with or without a bra. But being true to not being true to my feelings, I called my boobs “sensitive”. I did not wince when putting on clothes because my boobs were sensitive. I winced because they were painful.

My boobs no longer hurt since starting to heal with the GAPS™ (Gut and Psychology/Physiology Syndrome) protocol. I hope my two daughters never experience boob pain. By eating nutrient dense, gut healing foods they stand a good chance at having happy boobs. But more than being pain free, I hope they love their boobs. My oldest daughter is rather uptight about her boobs and boobs in general. She didn’t want me leaving the house to go to a middle school track meet dressed in the below pictured shirt because it showed too much cleavage. Really? What cleavage? If I had cleavage, I might want to show it. Needless to say, when writing this blog post, I derived much joy from sharing its content with my oldest daughter and scoring an eye roll or two. Hey, don’t knock it. After parenting for almost 16 years, eliciting eye rolls from my kiddos is one of life’s simple pleasures.

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I hope my daughters never bind their boobs with bras. On October 13, 2013, I removed my bra in front of a group of female holistic nutrition students (now practitioners) to encourage participation in the bra-free day of the pink movement. Not one other woman in the room set her boobs free, not even the one singing “Who let the girls out?” to the tune of “Who let the dogs out?” with me. These are knowledgeable women who understand that without a free flowing lymphatic system, toxins accumulate and lead to disease. It must be because women have different relationships with their boobs and/or because they believe in the support myth. The support myth is that boobs will sag if you don’t wear a bra. Elizabeth Vaughan, M.D., explains, “Sorry, bras might make your breasts sag more. You have ligaments in your breasts. They are designed to hold your breasts up. If you wear a bra for years – or, worse yet, wear a bra 24 hours a day for years – these ligaments will atrophy (get weaker and smaller). The good news: If you stop wearing a bra these ligaments should get stronger and you should find your breasts perkier within about three months.”

Sadly, even the head holistic nutrition instructor expressed disdain for her boobs. Women DO have different (and complicated and changing) relationships with their boobs. For all of you who have lost part or all of your boobs due to cancer, I’m so glad you are alive! As for me, I am 2 ½ months of being bra free, emphasis on free. When the lymphatic system is flowing, the spirit sours. I am happier now than ever. Of course, it’s easy to work the layered look in the cold weather months in Minnesota. I’ll let you know how I fare with layers in the summertime. Why layers? Because as much as I love my boobs and my nips, I don’t want my nips to show. Funny, eh?

I hope you will consider your relationship with your boobs and show them some love. And if you love your boobs, in the words of Sting, “Free, free, set them free!”

Note: I chose to use the word “boobs” when referring to breasts in this post because “boobs” is such a fun word. I initially started calling my boobs “the girls” at home, but this only confused my family. I constantly had to clarify when I meant boobs and when I meant my daughters. Ha!

Musings

OUT OF THE POOL!

“OUT OF THE POOL! BOTH OF YOU, OUT OF THE POOL, RIGHT NOW!” screamed the mom in the Erin Brockovich movie upon realizing her girls were swimming in toxic water.

I have “OUT OF THE POOL” moments. “OUT OF THE POOL” moments are adrenaline charged “AHA” moments and often elicit a sinking, urgent fight or flight feeling. Like when my boys tested off the chart for aluminum, a toxic metal. Yes, aluminum is a toxic metal that you do not want accumulating in your body or that of your loved ones. Large amounts of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. I had listened to the ever so helpful and cheerful aluminum foil television advertisement ladies. Per their recommendation, I was storing and reheating leftovers in aluminum foil. Heavy amounts of toxic metals are found in people with autism. My son, at the time, had just been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. My “OUT OF THE POOL” moment meant a flight from and removal of all aluminum foil. We’ve now lived aluminum free for almost 10 years. No aluminum foil covering a cardboard star at the top of our Christmas tree, no aluminum in our baking powder, no aluminum in our deodorant, and certainly no cooking or storing food with aluminum foil. (Note: My oldest son is no longer on the autism spectrum due largely to dietary intervention and detoxification.)

Other “OUT OF THE POOL” realizations include the harm of low and no fat diets, toxic cleaning and personal care products, and the more pool/water related dangers of chlorine and fluoride, both neurotoxins.

So what is sounding the sirens this time?

Bras. Yes, bras. Channeling my inner Lorax, I speak for the boobs, “Off WITH THE BRAS!” From a Brockovich perspective, the bra is the pool trapping toxins in the lymph fluid in the breasts. Toxins lead to disease. Whereas toxic metals are linked to autism and Alzheimer’s, toxins in the boobs are linked to tenderness, fibroids, and breast cancer. The lymphatic system is a detoxification pathway without a pump. It relies on physical movement for the lymph to move. Bras do not allow for movement crucial for eliminating toxins.

As my Facebook Happy Nourishers know, I went bra free on October 13, 2013, per the pink movement, in grand fashion. I stood in front of a Nutritional Therapy Association class as a group leader and removed my bra while chanting, “Who let the girls out? Flap, flap, flap, flap.” (A parady of the Baha Men song about dogs.) I personally know how important it is for the lymphatic system to flow after 9 tearless years. That’s right. I was unable to cry for 9 years. Last summer I started executing self lymphatic massage after watching massage therapist Heather Wibble on YouTube. With self and professional massage, homeopathic lymphatic drainage support, practicing yoga, and focusing on hydration, I am happy to report that I am able to squeak out a few tears now.

But on October 14, 2013, I wore my bra again. And again on October 15, 2013. Why? I was conforming to an uncomfortable lymph stagnating and toxin trapping contraption perpetuated by the beliefs of society and the undergarment industry. Well, not anymore. On October 16, 2013, I benched the bra. After three days of freedom and continued mind blowing “OFF WITH THE BRA!” research, I don’t foresee going back. Tomorrow I will attempt to do three hours of exercise letting them all hang out. Actually, I will wear a tank top (or two) underneath a baggy t-shirt because I don’t want people noticing my liberated girls. Even with feelings of self consciousness, I feel amazingly free! Freedom of lymph is often spiritually connected to freedom of the soul.

To wrap your brain around unwrapped boobs and to counter any “buts” that you might have (believe me, I had them too), please peruse these FAQ’s at BraFree.org:
Aren’t bras GOOD for my breasts?
But women have worn bras forever…right?
Do bras cause breast cancer?
Do bras cause fibrocystic disease?
But I wear a bra so my breasts won’t sag…
Why do my breasts hurt at the end of the day?
Why are my breasts painful just before my period?
Should I wear a bra when I exercise? My breasts bounce a lot.
My breasts are HUGE. I couldn’t possibly go without a bra!
What will my boss say if my nipples show?
How can I keep my breasts healthy?

This “OUT OF THE POOL!” and “OFF WITH THE BRA!” moment stirs a fight response for women to regain their health and wellbeing! Join the movement for movement! Show support for no support! Let me know how it goes.