Archive for November, 2009

I’m reading Len Saputo’s book called A Return to Healing, and I was appalled when he was talking about the food they serve at hospitals. When a patient is sick or recovering from a surgery, the main thing they need to eat is something high in nutrients and nourishing not only for their body, but for their soul. Food that is beautifully presented, fresh, and full of nutrients would help heal the patients in the hospitals.  As Saputo explained, in “normal” circumstances our bodies have a hard time detoxifying all the chemicals and toxins we ingest and that are in the environment. Think about how hard it is for our bodies when it is recovering or fighting off an illness, yup, hard.

Beautiful and Nourishing!

This is the perfect time to introduce herbs, supplements, and healing foods. The problem is, many hospitals are run by people who are clueless about optimum nutrition, and unfortunately base their opinions on money. Did you know that many insurers won’t cover services made by departments of clinical nutrition? Or that the hospital bases their food menus on the FDA guidelines, and not only are these guidelines not meeting the needs of the people,  but the FDA itself is being influenced by the pharmaceutical companies?

I am passionate about food, and this is something I would love to change in our country. Maybe someday…

One idea I have (which I’m sure is not new) is to have community gardens at hospitals. I think this would be a great place for patients and family members. They would be spending time outdoors, being active, and being with the earth. Community members could also come and volunteer their time. The food from the gardens could then be used for the hospital food! It’s a win, win situation!


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In a book I’m reading for class, Consciousness and Healing, a chapter on forgiveness by Frederic Luskin made an impact on me, so I thought I would share.

Luskin has been researching the effects of forgiveness on the health of an individual at Standford University, and he has found some amazing discoveries. The first thing he learned is that forgiveness can be taught, so he brought groups of people together that had been in similar situations (unresolved interpersonal hurt, family members killed by murder, etc) and had them take workshops on forgiveness. What he found is that these subjects not only had a decrease in stress, hurt, anger and physical symptoms, but they also had a greater outlook on life and were more forgiving overall, not just towards the particular person or situation.

An interesting thing to note is when Luskin talks about forgiveness he’s not saying you have to condone the offense, forget what happened, or reconcile with the person. In fact, you can sometimes forgive someone and decide to never talk to them again. But the main thing is once you forgive you are letting go of the power the person holds over you and are able to love and trust again.

He lays out some steps for forgiveness which I found useful:

1. Know exactly how you feel about the situation. Put it in words and tell a trusted person.

2. Commit to do what you have to do to feel better. Do what you need to do, this is all about you and what you need.

3. Understand your goal.Remember you are after peace, not necessarily reconciliation or condoning. Forgiveness might be taking this experience less personally and changing your grievance story.

4. Put it into perspective, understand that your distress is coming from your hurt feelings.

5. When you feel upset, have some stress management techniques to try.

6. Don’t expect things from other people, such as happiness, love, health. You are in charge of your life.

7. Shift your thinking to positivity. Stop replaying the hurt, and shift that energy towards getting with you want.

8. Living your life well is the best revenge. Look for the beauty, love and kindness around you. By focusing on your wounded feelings the person who caused you pain still has power over you.

9. “Amend your grievance story to remind yourself of the heroic choice to forgive, and focus your converstaion on what you have learned about yourself and life.”

All of this information is from Conscious and Healing by Marilyn Schlitz et al.

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Tip of the Day

“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”
Michael Pollan

Basically, eat fresh, whole foods. Also, if you can’t recognize something on a food label don’t eat it!

In my class, nutritional biochemistry, we are learning about the healing powers of food. Many of the illnesses that are prevalent these days- diabetes, obesity, etc – could be avoided by just eating fresh, whole foods. If you are used to eating heavily processed foods, start slowly. Add some fruit for breakfast, try eating vegetables with different colors (eat the rainbow, but not skittles!), drink more water. These small steps will make a big difference!

A wonderful way to enjoy food is to cook with a group of people you love. Take the morning to prep, cook and talk. Then sit down to a meal that all of you cooked with love. You will probably notice that the food tastes better! You are not only nourishing your body, but you are nourishing your soul.

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Positive Thinking

I’ve always heard about the importance of positive thinking, but it’s been good for me to hear about the studies that support thinking in a positive way. Studies have shown that positive thinking strengthens the immune system. People who are positive recover from illnesses faster, have less pain and live longer.

I’ve also been reading about the importance of community and love. Being surrounded by people who care for you, and people you care about also has a big impact on your health and well being. I remember when I was in India, seeing families who live together under one roof. The grandparents, the mothers, the children and of course all the men. The females would all work together to cook a meal, while the children would play. It felt so natural and the environment felt so full of love. Here in America, we barely even know our neighbors. We all go to work, and then go into our homes and stay behind closed doors, some people all alone.

I could see that if someone has a strong community, or relationships that it would be easier to be positive thinkers, because having that support and love makes it easier to look on the brighter side. Who do you have in your life? Reach out to them today!


Here is a mother I met in India with her brand new baby! I couldn’t believe all the love I felt, just by looking at her. It was powerful.

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And So It Begins…

I’ve only been in classes at JFK for a few weeks, but I’ve learned so much, it’s hard to even put it in words. I’m also learning more about myself, which should always be the goal of an education. If you just sit, listen to lectures, and do your homework, you are forgetting about one very important element: yourself. Self awareness is key in all areas of life. These days many people are very disconnected to their bodies. Every time they move their bodies, they distract themselves from this awareness by talking on their cell phone, watching tv, or thinking about something going on in their lives. They forget to stop and listen.

If people have something wrong with their body, they run to the doctor instead of asking themselves first what could be wrong. After all, they know (or should know) their body the best. The doctor can’t tell whats really going on, except for what the tests and diagrams tell them. But our bodies are more than a chart in a doctor’s file, we are living, breathing, life-sustaining beings.

How can we get back to awareness? Where does one start? My advice is to walk in nature, or lie on your bed, and just observe your body. Move your body slowly, and feel the sensations. Don’t judge what you are feeling, just be.

As Emilie Conrad says, “movement is what we are, not something we do”

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