Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Understanding the Law of Attraction

Someone recently told me that I need to write a book on the Law of Attraction.  I laughed for a few seconds and put the thought aside.  I have started writing books but never have finished any of them.  Either I get side tracked or find that my interest in the topic fades after the first couple of chapters.  However, when my son texted me with excitement from school today saying that his 8th grade class is going on a free ski trip next week, I considered blogging about the Law of Attraction.  My son has been wanting to go skiing for quite awhile now and I told him that he will go this year.  Sure enough, not a couple weeks after talking about it, he's going with his classmates.  That was easy!
I call the Law of Attraction by a different term.  Most call it "The Secret" after the book written by Rhonda Byrne, but I have heard it called "Intentions," or Intending.  Some refer to it as wishing or manifesting.  The religious call it prayer.  I call it mojo.  No matter what you call it, it is all the same and the outcome is always the same. 

You practice it every day, whether you are aware of it or not.  That raise you got, the stubbed toe that happened before your vacation, the red light that made you late for work, were all forms of Attraction.  What you attract depends on what you think and the meaning behind the thought.

The Different Kinds of Mojo:

  • Good mojo is what we all want to attract.  It is a winning scratch ticket someone gave you as a birthday gift, it is the parking space right in front when you are in a hurry, it is the promotion at work that you didn't expect.   Good mojo comes in almost blissful waves and makes life so much easier.
  • Positive mojo is luck.  It is the unexpected promotion eventually saving you from being laid off, getting dumped in a dead-end relationship a few weeks before finding the "one," finding money when looking for your keys.  It is the moment that a seemingly disappointing event turns out to be an amazing one.   
  • Bad mojo is the bad events that swarm our lives like locusts.  Bad mojo is the speeding ticket, stolen credit card, getting fired from a job because of an illness you can't shake, the unexpected bill that you owe for no real reason.  
  • Negative mojo is the backward, almost ironic, events in our lives.  Negative mojo is one step forward but two steps back.  For example, it is winning a couple hundred dollars the same day your car breaks down, buying a game station the week before your TV burns out, or breaking the sprinkler line while landscaping the yard.
  • Karmic comeback is what you wish for on somebody else or what actions you perform, which then comes back on you. Wishing a person ill health will surely land you with the flu, or something dreadfully worse.  On the other hand, buying coffee for the person behind you in line, only to have your boss give you a gift card later in the week in appreciation of your hard work.  Karmic comeback is sure to catch up to you one way or another.     

Good mojo is what everyone wants to strive for.  It comes with no strings attached.  It doesn't contain hiccups or speed bumps.  It certainly doesn't come with clauses, contracts, ultimatums, or rain checks.  It is just all around good and comes in abundance to those who attract it.  To attract good mojo, one must first be good and think in good ways.  Think, "Starbucks barista" cheerful and happy.  Almost "gag me" happy even if your mood is anything but.  Give more to people who need it.  Smile.  Be happier.  Do things that make you happy.  Become the happy person you know you should be.  Push the "That Was Easy" button more.  Sing, whistle, or hum.  Then think happy thoughts, "I love when birds sing through my window," "My job is awesome," "I love my car."  Most importantly, wish good things for the best of everyone and all things.   Within a couple of days, good mojo starts flowing abundantly throughout your life.

When my boyfriend needed an oil change on his car he was a little strapped for cash.  I said to him, "don't worry, you'll get your oil change."  The next day I was offered a free oil change for being a veteran.  All I had to do was make an appointment.  So I made one for that Friday and my boyfriend got his oil changed for free.  "That Was Easy!"        
Positive mojo is being unexpectedly lucky in coincidental outcomes, often too ridiculous to repeat.  It is usually a lesson and has an attached motive somewhere.  You can think of it as a bad situation turned out for the best, or an unexpected good outcome from a potentially bad scenario.  In some cases it is one step backwards and two steps forward, other times it is one step backwards and a couple steps sideways before one step forward again.  It is your half-assed, egocentric wishes coming back slapping you in the face!  Although many people wish to be lucky, it really isn't advantageous to be lucky.  Luck often comes disguised with a hidden agenda.  It is important when something bad happens to stay positive, be happy and sincerely cheerful.  Look at the glass as always half full with a refill coming.  But most importantly, to wish for things to come easily for the good of everyone and all things.  

When my sister was rear-ended in her collector's addition Mustang, it had the potential to be a wet, hot, mess.  The kid who rear-ended her had insurance through a shady insurance company owned by a discount traffic law firm.  The insurance company was one of those companies that would be as close to being a scam as a slug is to a snail, but I digress.  The auto body shop my sister took her car to even had a sign on their front desk saying they specifically do not take this insurance.   But despite all the negatives she faced, my sister kept a positive outlook and within a week, her car was fixed as good as new with no hiccups or issues.  Even the lady at the front desk was amazed by how smooth the process was.

Bad mojo are those bad days where one bad thing happens after another.  Or it is the one very bad thing that sends a flood of emotions through you.   It is the event that is hard to recover from.  It is the mess that landed in your lap.  It is the spiral downwards into a chasm of torment and despair.  It is often the negative thoughts creating the reality we fear.  Being fired, getting into a car accident, losing a loved one, or getting sick.   The more rotten things get the more negative thoughts create a deluge of bad mojo.  The deeper the hole gets the harder it is to climb out.  Start with friends and ask for positive feedback.  Ask for acknowledgement and support from them.  Get out and have fun.  Find someone who can help you think happy thoughts again.  Get back to thinking happy.  Remember, six out of seven dwarves are not happy.  Don't find the grumpy dwarf and expect results.

A friend of mine recently fell into the bad mojo trap.  She found herself jobless, relationshipless, dogless, broke, hungry, and then homeless within a matter of a few weeks.  Everything she did was futile because something bad was happening to her around every corner.  And, unfortunately the bad mojo bunny loves leaving rotten eggs everywhere; more bad mojo eggs were laid every time she complained about her life, talked about her troubles, and worried about what bad thing was going to ruin her life next.  She would keep breaking open the rotten eggs only to continue to spiral downwards deeper into the dark hole she feared falling into.   She has yet to recover.           Negative mojo is the irony that leaves your life a complicated mess.  It is the good thing that comes from the bad thing, only to unexpectedly return back to bad again.  Or it is the event that you thought was going to turn out good that ended up to be a slap in the face and a kick in the pants.  I tend to think that negative mojo is worse than bad mojo because negative mojo plays a huge prank on you at your expense.  It would be funny if it wasn't not funny, though many people are laughing at you.  It often comes attached with some ultimatum or hidden agenda written somewhere in an abstract contract you didn't get to read.  It is that event that seems too ridiculous to be real, but too real to ignore.  When stuck in the negative mojo it is often harder to get back into good mojo because you almost wait for the punchline.  When you wait for a punchline, one will show up turning good mojo into negative mojo again.  It is important to surround yourself with positive people and good situations.  Don't expect a trap or wait for a punchline, instead keep expecting good things to happen.  Be happy about what you do have and look at the glass as being half full with another free refill coming.  

I was joking around with my sister that I wanted to drop a 300 hp engine in my old car, which I just spent $2400 to repair.  What I really wanted, however, was to replace my car with an SUV and made that quite clear to the almighty powers that be.   Well, not a couple days later, the head gasket in my car  blew leaving my sister and I stranded a long ways from anywhere on a hot day without shade.  It wasn't very funny.   My dad offered his "gutted for scrap metal" '92 Blazer to me while I save enough for a new car.   I plunked down another $1,000 to fix the old SUV up enough so that I would have a vehicle in the interim.  However, the Blazer doesn't have heat or a working dash and stalls out frequently.  One recent afternoon, I was thinking about my situation and finally realized that I was slapped in the face with negative mojo.  I no longer have a working engine in my old car and I ended up trading it for a SUV; a joke at my expense.   

Karmic comeback is tricky to understand.  Regardless if you believe in karma or not, thoughts directed at other people will come back to you.   From what I observed, karma is more or less the actions, feelings, and thoughts you have which influence the actions, feelings, and thoughts of others, thereby changing outcomes and creating future events; much like a butterfly effect.  I also can simplify it as describing karma as ripples of water in a bathtub: one ripple effects all the water and will touch all the sides of the tub with some waves bouncing back and interfering with the other waves going in a different direction.  This is the best analogy for it is similar to human's instinctive energy cycles.   A fun social experiment is to watch crowds in a busy mall and notice the direction of flow, the waves, the dams, and even the occasional upstream fish that decides it wants go against the flow of traffic.  In the karmic sense, what you create for other people bounces back your way.  Be prepared if what you send out is not your cup of tea.

I once had dated a moron long ago who truly believed that if he prayed hard enough he could burn off all of his karmic debt.  He got this concept from joining a modern cult derived from the 13th century Sant Mat religion, which taught that a person inherits and earns karma (like a point system) and can burn it off by meditating and praying to a secret [dead] person.  I humored him for a few months as he revealed his master's teachings to me.  Yet his entire life was a crap filled, maggot infested, rotten deviled egg.  He had a bum leg from an old auto accident, had sleep apnea, had trouble with his memory, he suffered from prostatitis and E.D., rented a slum apartment in the ghetto, drove an old Geo Metro, had pissed off his entire family, had burned through his retirement account to visit his son out of state who didn't want to see him anyway, and was stuck working graveyard shift in a grocery store making barely enough to scrape by.  Don't ask me what I saw in him, albeit he was good looking with a silver tongue, he also used women and discarded them like fast food containers.  Close to the end of the short time we dated, he tried to teach me how to become "enlightened" through the teachings of his cult leader hoping I would join him on his spiritual journey.  He was an idiot.  But what I did learn was that, 1) karmic comeback happens all the time, good and bad, 2) you reap what you sow, 3) sometimes karma can instantaneously ruin your life, or in my ex's case, eat at it so slowly that it isn't noticeably painful...yet.   Most importantly, I learned to keep on karma's good side because the bad side can be very vindictively vengeful!           

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Weight Loss: The Flawed Science and Tipping Point

If you have read my previous posts, you know that I do not buy into calories.  I have been telling people this for a decade now.  It's not to say that calories are imagined, but the measurement of caloric energy has nothing to do with metabolism; unless there's a gnome in your belly lighting food on fire with matches.  Nutritionists, dietitians, and even some medical doctors have argued with me on this point saying calories must be true.  Their argument always comes down to: because that is what they learned from other credible people who learned it, so it must be true.  So when I ask, "who was the first person to invent the kilocalorie," not a single one of the nutritionists, dietitians,or medical doctors could answer me.  The calorie in-calorie out theory is a taught down science and never questioned.  Then there's me. I questioned it.  I argued with everyone I could and wrote papers to prove that this theory is flawed.  But scientists do not like to be questioned or discredited.

It just didn't make a lick of sense how lighting stuff on fire to boil water had anything to do with human insulin, cortisol, ATP, cellular metabolism, synthetic food, edema, mineral absorption, or anything else that biologists and chemists have learned over the past century.  Plus, only Westerners use this method.  If a person travels around the world, every other culture teaches how to eat for the seasons and their body type and how to stay healthy.  Not Westerners.

When I was in medical school, I realized just how much scientists hate to be questioned.  I was not allowed to do research that would discredit or change anything.  Then, as I did the research that I wasn't supposed to do research on, my research was guided, rather coerced, into directions that "made more sense."  I was quite flabbergasted with this. If my findings suggested that something was different than what was normal, I had to change my findings to coincide with normalcy.  That pissed me off!

But then I got it.  Scientists over the last century who have questioned normalcy have been laughed at, scorned, and even chastised.  There have been hundreds of occasions where someone has questioned something and even proven something outside of the accepted norm but have been hushed and squashed by the scientists who keep science normal. This isn't a conspiracy, however one can jump on that bandwagon.  It is just about enterprise and keeping the industries happy and wealthy.  

Let me give you an example.  The China Study is a famous study that happened to leak out two decades ago and consequently, the milk and dairy industry suffered as it was discovered that milk causes tumor growth and estrogen-sensitive organs to develop cancerous tumors.  Other similar studies around the globe also concluded the same findings.  Milk also was found in other cases to cause weight gain and encourage tumors to spread.  But the milk and dairy industry hates findings which impede their profit margin.  All big industries hate when people ruin their business.  In fact, they go crazy when this happens and that's when these huge industries become disloyal and very dishonest.  To save face in any circumstance, industries bribe their own "scientists" with a lot of money to counter the original findings of the independent (low budget) scientist, then threats are made to shut up the people destroying the industries' reputation; lastly, the big industries pay a lot of money to make the bad findings and bad people disappear. Alongside that, the industries push through bills which are enacted, like the ag-gag for example, to keep people naive about the wrongful practices. Name any large industry and this paragraph sums it up.

I too have been laughed at and scorned with my hypotheses and proposals.  I am not a big name, however, so the diet industry has not chastised or threatened me yet.  Is it about money?  Absolutely!  The diet and weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry.  If something were to drastically change how people think about weight loss, the industry would be in a panic.  If weight loss became easy and everyone became a healthy weight, the multi-billion dollar industry would suffer tremendously.   I'm not saying that my anti-belief in calories was directly related to the demise of the diet industry, I just know that the calories theory will be around as long as people buy weight loss food and buy into the belief that physical starvation and deprivation is the way to lose weight.

That is where I am going to tell you the secret.  It's easy to lose weight!  Absolutely it is quite easy.  But it is tough to get to that mentality.  In actuality, it is just a mentality. Most people with substantial fat deposits are mentally struggling with something in their life.  The fat is just a symptom of the mentality which makes losing it ridiculously hard to do.  A trauma or life experience impacts how your brain functions, then you have been bombarded with delicious processed food, and later you were told to limit calories because that is the standard practice.  The industry told you to switch to diet foods, take pills, eat soy and yogurt, avoid eggs and nuts, follow the food pyramid, eat a lot of bread, eat fish, don't consume artificial sweetener, exercise more, watch your calories, don't eat bread but egg whites and bacon are okay, don't eat fruit or vegetables, don't take the pill, drink your food, consume this zero calorie sweetener, take this pill instead, eat Twinkies, drink milk, vitamins make you fat, don't eat fish but eat pork, sprinkle this on your food, create a food diary to count calories, avoid legumes...buy our weight loss product today! 

See, money.

But my advice is free.  You don't need to buy into any diets or go crazy over starvation tactics.  First, find the emotional block you have.  It could be self esteem issues, a trauma, a loss, a negative moment you had as a teen.  Something is bothering you and you need to come to terms with it.  If you need to go see a rent-a-friend (therapist) then do that.  Or a faster way is to find the problem within yourself, write it down on paper and do an emotion burning ceremony where you safely burn the paper.  Do that every day for as long as you need to.  Next, clear out your food pantry and fridge.  Get everything out.  Throw out all the processed, artificial, and crap food.  Third, go shopping for food using these three rules: 1) it can decompose or rot if left outside, 2) it doesn't have an artificial color, sweetener, or weird ingredient added to it, 3) and it is minimally processed without a wrapper inside more wrappers.  Those are the three major rules I teach people when it comes to buying food.  The next step is to eat a lot.  Eat constantly and all the time.  "What?" you say. Yes, if the food you are eating is natural (nothing weird or gross put into it or onto it) then your body will think it is awesome and start to consume its own fat.  This is not something you will ever be taught or ever hear from the industries or scientist who are being paid by the industries because they will lose money.  Simply put, eating an apple with cinnamon and honey will help you lose fat while eating an apple pie from the grocery store will not.  Lastly, keep up the mentality.  Tell yourself you can be whomever you want to be and believe in yourself.  It is natural to fall back into your slump once people start to notice how great you look.  It is natural and I have seen it a lot.  Again, it is all mental.  The mind influences how the body looks and feels.  Once you realize how much, then you will be able to shed fat like it's going out of style.  You won't regret it either!                      

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Getting Rid of $124,500 in Debt

Whoa!  How in the world did I get to $124,500 in debt?  It was a lot of bad choices.  Living above my means for several years, taking in guests I couldn't afford to support, and hanging onto an asset that was more of a debt sponge than a long-term investment.  The credit cards slowly absorbed my inability to get ahead with the bills. Pretty soon I found myself paying for several huge emergencies with the balance remaining on my credit cards and having to transfer those balances to different credit cards to keep up with the minimum payments.
I wasn't alone, however.  It is estimated that about 47% percent of Americans could not pay for a simple $400 emergency if one should happen to spring up right now.  Nearly all middle to upper-middle income people would not be able to replace an appliance in their home without using a credit card.  And, even more grim to think about, only a small percentage of Americans pay for their wants and luxuries with cash.  This means that the large majority of us use credit to live comfortably in modern society and most of us have wants vs. needs intertwined in a way that places electronic devices above groceries on our list of priorities.

Taking A Look
My list of priorities is not that bad. I am still using an old cell phone and I don't own a Tablet or Kindle. I don't have cable or any other luxuries. Yet, here I am, still in debt up to my eyeballs.  So how am I going to tackle all of this debt.   First thing was to sit down and list every single debt I had, the total balance in one column and the minimum payment each month in the next column.  For some people, this is a hard task since watching the little payments (the fast food stop last Thursday, the ice cream on Tuesday, etc.) is hard to do.  It becomes an easy habit to just buy stuff without monitoring it.  When I helped my boyfriend out with his finances, he was shocked that over $500 per month went to his food since he never cooked at home.  After every last penny spent was accounted for, I then added all my income.  I have several sources of income and they all vary from month to month so this one was harder for me to do than if I had a regular salary job.  April was very devastating since I had a couple of emergencies to take care of and I didn't receive all of my payments owed for that month, hence the reason I stepped into May almost $2,000 in the hole.  Again, people's financial priorities are askew when their landlord is last on the list to get paid.

After I added all three columns up separately, I subtracted what I owed monthly from what I made.  Oh that number was sad!  In fact, it was a negative number for both April and May.  So I decided to do a projected budget for June and I would just barely break even if 100% of my income came in like it was supposed to.

Bad Assets
I had also realized that 63% of my income was going to my rental unit.  Although rent covered all of the normal monthly expenses, i.e. mortgage, insurance, HOA, remodel loan, it never covered all of the repairs I had to do after the tenants move out, or the necessary eviction costs when needed, the period of vacancy in between tenants, and the tedious process of finding a new tenant.  If I had the property paid off, then it would not be a huge deal and I wouldn't panic with the constant uncertainty of being paid rent.  If my tenants decided not to pay rent, which happened often, all of those bills went directly onto credit.  Over time, that added up to thousands of dollars.  When I sat down and did the math, anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000 per year was thrown into this money pit without so much as a kiss or wink from the other side.   The valuable lesson here is that money pits are not worth it.  Ergo, I am selling it and taking off the shackles this debt sponge placed on my ankles.

Toilet Paper Factor
Another bad decision I made was being too nice to friends whom clearly took advantage of me.   Without dragging you into the details, I let some friends stay with me for awhile.  In so doing, they dragged me down a chasm of debt without a way out!  I dubbed the phenomenon the Toilet Paper Factor.  One sheet of toilet paper is not expensive.  Two rolls are not much more expensive.  But when you add hundreds of toilet paper rolls up over time, it gets outlandishly expensive.  That is exactly what had happened.  The same goes for everything else, over time the stuff you use gets expensive.  The point here really is that little things do add up.  What I learned from this experience is that when you add up the all the bathroom supplies, the laundry soap, the extra cleaning supplies, the water and electricity, the garbage bags, and all the other consumables; and then all the repairs and replacements of household stuff (dishwasher, sewer, garbage disposal, silverware that went missing, Tupperware and Blender Bottles that were thrown away, or the tools that inexplicably went missing) pennies add up to dollars which explode into hundreds, and eventually thousands.  Yes!  Thousands!  Three thousand to be exact.   Three thousand dollars that I will never get back.  Realizing that all that miscellaneous stuff gets expensive is important when climbing out of debt.  I am a frugal person so I couldn't understand why the electricity and water bill doubled, or how anyone could just throw valuable stuff away.  I suppose one could argue that those people didn't care about my stuff, and to a point, that is very true.  But on the other hand, they must have continued their expensive habits into my house after becoming homeless.  Just a little awareness and changing some habits could definitely have changed their outcome.  It is important to know that taking in homeless kith & kin is a very bad idea (they are homeless for a reason), and it is important to modify some habits to reduce unnecessary costs (like shutting off a light or reducing shower time to ten minutes).  

Credit Cards
I was told a long time ago never to take out credit cards.  I wish I followed that advice.  Credit Cards are essentially a virtual imprisonment in which you will never be free from.  Only a very dedicated few will ever be able to get rid of their high-balance credit cards and loans and live debt free.  The banking industry made it this way on purpose.  It isn't anything personal, it is just good business to make millions off of their customers.  One simple way they do this is to compound interest daily, which simply means that they add interest on top of interest on top of interest.  By the end of the month, a card might charge almost $80 for you to carry a balance of $6,000.  That is $80 you will never see again.  Over a year, that is nearly one thousand dollars you will never see again!  If a bank has a million customers with high balances on their credit cards, that can equal billions each year the bank doesn't have to work hard for.  This is no way an insult to the banking system, rather it is quite brilliant.  They loan you money to get something you DON'T really need, like a new smart phone, and you pay them back over time, plus interest every single month you carry an outstanding debt.  You borrow some more money to buy a new game station, and you pay them back plus interest, again, every single month you carry an outstanding debt.  Then your tire goes flat on your way to work.  Then your washing machine breaks and you need a new one.  You will pay a thousand dollars for that game station while it continuously depreciates into only one  hundred bucks.  Meanwhile, the washing machine and dryer break down, some jerk without insurance causes an accident, and the dog falls off the bed and breaks his leg.  Pretty soon, the minimum balances are way too much to handle and the minimum balance goes mostly to paying off the interest.  I know because this happened to me.

Loans are just as bad.  You put down something as collateral to borrow money promising to pay back the money plus interest compounded daily.  If you don't pay back your loan, the item you put down as collateral will be taken by the institution you owe.  Not only will the bank make thousands of dollars off of you, but they get to keep the item you put down as collateral.  In most cases, they get to sell the item and still charge you for the difference.  If you don't pay your debt, they get to write it off as a loss on taxes and send the remaining amount to a collection agency.  Some people fall into the trap of pay day loans and pawn shop loans.  These are the worst type of loans people can get scammed in to.  Yes, I said scam!  I know this one because I watched several friends get pay day loans to pay their minimum payments on their credit cards or buy something they didn't need (again the priorities thing) and spiral downwards until they were using pay day loans to pay down on their pay day loans to pay down their credit cards to pay their rent.  This is nasty cycle.

Sucking It Up
Faced with an extreme amount of debt, I had to act fast.  I had to figure out a way to make an extra $500 per month to apply to the debt each month.  So I took up a part time job on top of my full time job and other activities I was participating in.  That meant I had to apply time management skills and I had to cut out other activities, like my volunteer work and personal time, such as going to the gym, to just a few hours a month.  When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging and look for a rope to climb out.  Making extra money is that rope when you need to get out of debt.  Furthermore, stay away from get-rich schemes, MLM's, and investment opportunities.  When you are already drowning in debt, participating in these money making ideas can be an expensive venture that most cannot recover from.  The idea is to put down the shovel and quit digging, not to pick it back up and start digging again; when you buy into an opportunity, you continue to dig further.  Getting a good ol' part time job which will give you a guaranteed $125 per week is what you need to start climbing.

Planning For The Future
It should only take you a couple months of extra work to get to where the debt is manageable.  I knew that if I worked a part time job for six months, I could get to where the debt was manageable again.  My ultimate goal is to become debt free before 2020.  I also want to retire on time so managing my retirement accounts is crucial to getting to that goal.  It is important to look at life long goals and set easy stepping stones down so achieving those goals becomes an easy reality.  After the debt is fully paid off, speaking with a financial adviser about retirement plans is the next step.  You will want to open an emergency fund and keep at least six months salary in it.  You will also want to contribute the maximum amount into your retirement fund and open a secondary fund in order to diversify if your primary account is through an employer. 

Living Happy
After you have reached a debt-free lifestyle, achieved a six-month emergency fund, and your retirement account is all situated, having a budget in order to keep yourself from digging another hole is a great idea.  But, better yet, planning a little fun a couple times per year makes for a better life.  Simple things like taking a long weekend vacation or doing something exciting on a day off could break up the monotony of living the rat race.  Plus, saving up for these fun exertions help to keep your goals on track by encouraging you to continue to evaluate and update your budget regularly.  




Friday, October 16, 2015

Natural vs Vegan

I meet a lot of people from all walks of life.  I meet people from rural areas, agricultural areas, city and metro areas, and urban areas.  I meet people who live industrial lives.  I meet people who live farm lives; or even better, redneck lives.  I have even met people who live a mountain man life with no formal electricity or running water.  Then I am bombarded with the diet conundrum.  Some people eat mostly meat.  Some people eat mostly processed foods.  Some people eat farm food.  Others eat just raw vegetables.  I have met people who consume only legumes, nuts and seeds.  Some people eat food I didn't even know can be considered food.  A friend was telling me about a guy she knows who's normal lunch is a bacon sandwich, pop, chips and a Hostess treat.  On the other extreme, I know many people who's lunch consists of carrots, celery, hummus, quinoa, and kale chips. 

Last night, I was giving a presentation to a handful of vegans of different varieties.  Most of them were processed food veganists.   They are the type of vegans who consume industrially-made meat/dairy-free foods.  Processed vegan foods are easy to obtain and often ready made meals wrapped in plastic.  Some meals are even processed and packaged such where you can take off the wrapper and throw into the microwave for a minute before serving.   And although there are many types of processed vegan foods with many different types of manufacturing methods, I will pick on one specific brand to focus my point on.  The point I am going to make is that veganism, in and of itself, is not the same as natural.  Certainly you can be a naturalist vegan or you can subscribe to a vegan naturalist, but subscribing to the vegan culture does not make one natural.

Here's why:
Morning Star is a subsidiary offshoot brand of Kelloggs.  Kelloggs is a large industrial agriculture company in which their agricultural practices rely on GMOs, specifically Round-Up ready crops scattered across the Mid-West.  Kelloggs also owns other offshoot brands, geared toward vegans, such as Bare Naked and Kashi, pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars annually.  None of the products Kelloggs manufactures is genuinely natural.  Here's where the divergence between vegan and healthy happens.  Processed veganism utilize these foods as sustenance, often replacing a portabella mushroom head for a synthetic burger made of mashed soy.  Manufacturing of the soy burgers starts with GMO soy which is processed, refined, dipped in hexane, pulverized, mixed with stabilizers and preservatives, and then formed into patties where it is then cooked and packaged in plastic.  Plastics, when disposed of, potentially ends up in the ecosystem where it harms wildlife.  Furthermore, some of the preservatives include: calcium propanoate (which has been shown to cause neuroinflammation in lab studies), artificial flavorings, unsalted butter (which is anti-vegan), sodium triphosphates (which production damages ecosystems), sodium hexametaphosphate, and other not so good ingredients. Yum. Then, large manufacturing plants use thousands of gallons of diesel fuel to ship their products across the united states (killing bugs and wildlife in the process). As a naturalist, I would take an organic, hand made, locally farmed portabella mushroom sandwich over a synthetically made factory hamburger any day!
But even if a person decides to convert into an organovegan, problems with that arise.  Organic or not, bugs in processed food is more common than you might think.  In fact, the FDA allows bugs (among other animal parts) to be processed in with food.  It is rather unavoidable in large manufacturing plants such as Kelloggs.  Mice, rats, grasshoppers, flies, maggots, worms, crickets, beetles, moths, caterpillars, and other creatures, as well as their feces and body parts, mix in with the plants being processed and therefore cooked within the food.  A processed vegan's meal can contain over 60 insect fragments, hair, scales, and droppings per bite of food. A naturalist is more concerned about the toxins and byproducts put in their food rather than avoiding the consumption of living organisms.
The push for veganism is still harming the environment.  Even though I receive a lot of arguments about this, the amount of pesticides and herbicides which are used taint the water supply and leach into the ground damaging the surrounding ecosystem.  What's worse, land fragmentation due to industrial farming interrupts the natural life-cycles of many animals.  For instance, the removal of grassland to plant GMO soy kills off or moves the wildlife in the local area, urging other predators, such as fox, owls, and hawks to relocate as well.  Deemed as pests, everything from coyotes to squirrels are killed off to ensure the agricultural business maintains crop quota.  One large example is the prairie dogs in the eastern part of Colorado, which are considered a huge nuisance to most farmers, are subsequently poisoned by the hundreds.  With them, the eagles, hawks, fox, coyotes, black footed ferrets, and other animals reliant on the fragile food chain disappear with them.   Then the rabbit population explodes so more poison is brought in to take care of the issue because rabbits are detrimental to farmland.  Other loosely linked animals find themselves migrating into urban areas in the search for territory and food.  Bears, mountain lions, bobcat, lynx, coyote, and fox are all winding up in cities where they normally wouldn't be because they are being pushed out of their natural habitat; thus forcing politicians to find ways of exterminating these pests.  Colorado legislature is currently working on a bill which will push to eradicate the mountain lion, which is heavily supported by hunters and farmers.  Just recently, a bill that would bring back baiting bears to hunt was brought through but thankfully didn't pass.  As industry farming grows, the worse the problem becomes and the more bills are brought through to take care of the ecological imbalance created by industry farming.  A naturalist is more concerned about holistic farming practices, ecological preservation and sustainability rather than modes of increasing crop production world-wide.
I promote and encourage a naturalist diet and lifestyle. Now I, myself, am not 100% natural.  I can't be! I live in an urban part of Denver where the growing season is half a year long and I can't leave my house nude to go pick edible flowers in the field behind the library.  If I could, I would.  On the same token, I don't wear hair products or makeup, and I wear mostly cotton or wool clothing.  I hit up the farmer's markets during the summer and the natural supermarket during the winter.  I buy meat and dairy from local farms who believe in holistic/sustainable practices.  I stay away from industrially made items and food.  Yes, I watch TV occasionally.  Yes, I cook on a gas stove.  Yes, I have a water heater in my basement which heats up my water for showering.  But I also garden every year, I recycle everything I can, I compost, I conserve energy and water, and I buy my household consumables from a responsible manufacturing company that doesn't test on animals.  
Last night, the group of vegans I spoke with held themselves higher than me because, in their mind, am an animal murderer.  The slice of cheese I put on my sandwich condemns cows to a horrific death. I invoke rage and animosity in them for my dietary habits, which one person emphasized milk drinkers should be stabbed in the face!  But none of them realized that they were as much a culprit to animal slaughter as I am.  The major difference is that a naturalist believes in helping the environment as a whole while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Most processed vegans subscribe to a philosophy of saving animals by keeping them from being slaughtered for food, even if it requires consuming synthetic food.  Most processed vegans I have met are extremely unhealthy and start having serious issues related to deficiency or toxicity problems, i.e. sodium build-up, homocysteine build-up, biotin deficiency, iron deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency, and thiamine deficiency just to name a few.  In fact, one vegan man I knew suffered from hepatic edema, pancreatitis, and gynaecomastia after being on a processed vegan diet for two decades.  Many of these health problems could be avoided if processed foods were not consumed, vegan or not.  

As I put a load of laundry in my washing machine this morning, I thought to myself, "I wonder how many of those people last night use natural, animal-safe laundry detergent to wash their clothes?"  I would be willing to bet one hundred bucks that none of them use naturally derived, animal-safe, biodegradable products in their homes.  None of them arrived on a bike.  None of them walked in nude (albeit I hope not).  All of them wore shoes, had groomed hair, and had cell phones.  Not a single one of them insisted I turn off the light because it used electricity, for these city dwellers, that would be a silly request.  Not one of them walked into the room in such a way that they didn't leave a carbon footprint or took up space in some way.  



Thursday, May 28, 2015

How Not To Get Sick-Ever

     I don't get sick.  Even with others around me coughing, sneezing, hacking, and sputtering, I don't get sick.  My friends often say, "Don't come near me, you don't want to catch what I have."  That's when I tell them that I don't ever get sick.  Now, normally I never say never because that is a recipe for disaster.  But I have been saying that phrase for seven years now and I have had only a couple slight colds that lasted a couple of days with the worst of it being a a slight sniffle.  So when I was recently asked how I never get sick I said, "simple, let me teach you how!"

     First, I am not a hypochondriac.  There is genuinely something to fulfilling your own prophecies.  There is somebody I know who recently quit their job because they have uvulitis (or inflammation of the uvula); supposedly chronic uvulitis is life threatening and incurable.  If you slapped your forehead, just know that I did too.  This person also has thirty other syndromes, diseases, and ailments ranging from the obscure to "roll your eyes,"  all needing medication to treat the phantom symptoms.   It is also good to know that your tax dollars are supporting this person and other people like this, but I digress.  Although difficult to diagnose, it is estimated that hypochondria affects about nine percent of the American population.  In other words, about 1 in every 10 to 11 of your friends are hypochondriacs.  These are the friends and acquaintances who need prescription medication for everything and often come up with the strangest symptoms or excuses at random times.  Many hypochondriacs are in denial, often changing doctors multiple times if the results they get from a medical examination doesn't meet their desired outcome of diagnosis. The best way to figure out if you are the hypochondriac  is to examine how many medications you are taking on a daily basis and how many you need to take for the rest of your life.  If you answered 1) several and 2) all of them because there is no way you can live without them, then you're probably causing a cyclic pattern of fulfilling your own disease-ridden prophecies.

     Why?  The mind and the body are connected in a very interesting way; taking sugar pills have cured people of diseases in what is known as a placebo effect.  The opposite of placebo effect is called the nocebo effect.  It is where a person can convince themselves they are sick due to an external stimuli which induces thought patterns (radio commercials for prescription drugs for example).  The most classic example is feeling pain in the groin after watching someone getting smacked in their groin by a ball.  Another example is carrying a fake, plastic hand in your sleeve for 20 minutes then slamming it in the door and actually feeling the pain.  This is a sympathetic association response to stimuli. Once a person thinks they are sick, more than likely they become sick because of the same mechanisms in action. 

     Now that I probably pissed many readers off, I will go into the second step of how not to get sick.  I have a supplement regimen.  I take a quality multivitamin from a company I can trust.  I also take a lot of other supplements which I will list below.  Not only am I very healthy, but I am disease free.  It was a different story just a decade ago when I was diagnosed with hypertension, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and several other diseases and syndromes.  My weight was over the top and every part of my body hurt.  I was told I would have to be on medication for life.  Well, that comment was an eye-opening statement!  That is what started me on my natural health voyage and if I can cure my own body, I know anyone else can.
     My regimen starts out at eight in the morning when I stretch and lightly exercise.  The body movements stretch and constrict the muscles which activate and move fluids from the lymphatic system to my blood stream.  The lymphatic system is the key system to keeping you disease and sickness free.  In Chinese Medicine, natural movement of the body activates Wei Qi, the natural guardian energy that keeps the body disease free.  In Ayurvedic  medicine, movements help tone and balance the Prana essential to achieving balanced health.  
     Throughout the day, I drink water, tea, coffee, and occasionally fruit smoothies for extra fiber.  Fiber is necessary for a healthy digestive system, along with probiotics and prebiotics.  Probiotics maintain healthy bacteria in the intestine which helps to break down nutrients.  Prebiotics are non-digestible organic matter which helps sustain healthy microflora growth.  Studies have shown that probiotics and prebiotics help reduce tumor growth in the colon and large intestine.  A healthy balance of gut flora also helps reduce bloating, gas, and decreases the smell of bowel movements.
     I exercise regularly.  Exercising helps to reduce stress, increase muscle mass, thicken bones, and improve sleep.  Sleep is paramount for cellular repair and strengthening the immune system.  Just a couple hours of normal movement a day can count as exercise.  Climbing stairs, parking further away from buildings, gardening, walking the dogs, and even cleaning house all counts as moderate exercise.  But you also want to strengthen your core by doing core exercises, like planking or burpees, at least three times a week.  I partake in challenges quite often and reward myself with spa days for successfully completing body challenges.  Find them on Facebook, Pinterest, or even start your own.
   Lastly, I find my zen every day.  The real definition of zen stems from the Buddhist religion in which one becomes enlightened through meditation, where one observes the inner consciousness of the whole.  My definition of zen is much simpler, it is that moment where nothing else matters but the fact that you are alive, doing well, and have much more to offer the world.  It is achieved in that moment of quietness and tranquility.  Some simpler forms of this can be watching fish in a fish tank, relaxing in a hammock, or going on a nature walk.  I find my zen before work each day, even if it seems impossible.
   These are the list of supplements I take every day:
  • Cell Wise:         Cellular Function 
  • Florify:              Probiotics
  • NutriView:        Eye Health
  • Oligo Calcium:  Calcium
  • Oligo Vitamin:   Multivitamin
  • Omega-3:         Brain Health
  • Phytomega:      Cholesterol Support
  • Recover AI:     Inflammatory Support
  • Replenex:         Joint Health
 I just recently incorporated a new supplement into my regimen called NutraTherm which increases metabolism.  I am not sure how it will effect me and my health so I am leaving this one out for now. 


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Faster Weight Loss

If you have read any of my other articles, I described ways to effectively drop fat and keep it off using your body's natural ability to survive.  The body, as you can imagine, is a magnificent compilation of mechanisms (although I do not subscribe to the theory our body is a machine) made specifically to live.  If you don't believe me, walk through a VA hospital for awhile.  Your body, mind, and spirit are hardwired to live and push through some of the toughest circumstances the human mind can fathom.  I should know this first hand, I survived two back-to-back typhoons with my infant son; not that I get bragging points because survival was definitely not my forte and I made a lot of mistakes, but I digress.  I am going to let you in on a secret that will have you drop fat off at the door.
To get right down to it, let us start with the basics.  First, I want to re-iterate why I don't use calories in vs calories out.  Calories was a measurement invented in France in the 18th century to measure the efficacy of fossil fuels in combustible engines.  Anything that you can light on fire and measure how fast the flame heats up water has "calories."  To put that in perspective, toilet paper and rubber tires have calories, however it is impossible to subsist off of toilet paper and eating rubber tires would just be stupid. 
Now that you are on the same page, let's go through the functions of true metabolism from a biological standpoint.  When you eat a hamburger, your body digests the matter through a process known as catabolism.  This process breaks down the hamburger mush in the stomach (also known as chyme during the digestion process) and converts it into energy through a process known as cellular respiration.  It is a chemical process in which the body breaks down the hamburger chyme into its simplest nutrients which is then converted into adenosine triphosphate.  It gets even more complex than this but this is what you need to know:

Hamburger Chyme + Digestive Enzymes = Adenosine Triphosphate

Through a process known as cellular respiration in catabolic digestion.

Your body then takes the nutrients, via the amino acids, to make repairs, strengthen, and build parts of your body in a process known as anabolism.  This is a more complex process in which different molecules are used in different instances to form various body parts like organ and tissue structures, chemical messengers, receptors and new cells.  This is why it is important to eat better and take a good multivitamin from a trusted manufacturer (nothing from Wal-Mart, Target or GNC).

Nutrients + Amino Acids  = Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide

Through a process known as anabolic digestion for cellular repair.

One of the cells your body loves to make is fat cells through a sub-process, known as lipogenesis, where glucose (derived from consuming starches and sugars) is oxidized and turned into adipose tissue using the hormone insulin and the enzyme malic dehydrogenase.  There are several different types of adipose tissue and the amounts of each depend on factors such as genetics, environmental, chemical exposure, age, and most importantly, diet.  One of the secrets is that the body stops making fat cells for survival at a certain set point, and the over abundance of glucose consumed is just "put away" like a hoarder "puts away" excessive junk in a storage unit.  You and I both know that a person doesn't need 495 items of the same thing: purses, dolls, shoes, clocks, keys, buttons, lamps, magnets, car parts, etc., but when hoarders run out of room in their house to store their items, they move their "collection" to other places like garages, sheds, and storage units.  Junk fat is the same way, the body knows it doesn't need the extra lipid cells but it uses them to store the excess lipids made from excess glucose.  What ends up happening is the glucose goes to waist and your body puts all that junk in your trunk.   Yes, the pun is intended there.

The body doesn't go to the excess lipid cells when it is wanting fuel.  It goes to the adenosine triphospate first using your last meal in catabolic digestion.  Then it might hesitantly revert to using the stored glycogen in readily available fat cells for energy.  This is a very complex process and requires a deep understanding in biochemistry to comprehend.  Thus, this is the biggest secret of all.  Your body uses visceral fat (fat surrounding the liver, heart, and deep muscle tissue) first.  The body doesn't even bother to use what it has in other storage areas until it is well into glycolysis (the chemical conversion of fat into energy).  Which means that your body must be fully depleted of the simplest forms of energy and well into the Krebs cycle (the cycle where the body is converting its proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into energy) before it starts the chemical conversion of the excess junk fat.    

How do you lose the excess fat faster?  Eat the nutrients your body needs and cut the rest.  It is important to remember that your body is very efficient at what it does.  Consuming the wrong foods is like going to garage sales and buying junk (not saying that buying what you need at garage sales is a bad thing, just hoarders should not satiate their habit/addiction via such means). Use natural ergogenics to ramp up the metabolism and burn the junk fat.  Use a combination of intense weight training and anaerobic exercise to get right down to the junk in the trunk.  Lastly, sleep longer and more soundly to encourage cellular repair; a red light put in the bedroom, a better mattress or topper, herbal teas and sound-scapes can help improve sleep.
It is also important to note that, although the scale can be used to monitor progress, the best way to measure fat loss is by either measuring waist circumference, skin fold caliper, or going fancy and getting a bioelectric impedence analysis done.  However, if you are burning the fat, your waist circumference will decrease.  If the numbers on the scale are decreasing but your pants are not any looser, then your muscles are atrophying (losing mass) which is a bad thing.  If you do not lose 1 - 2 inches per month, increase your weight lifting and core exercises and increase the amount of times you eat per day.         

In summary, here is the list of 10 secrets for faster fat loss and muscle tone:

1)   Multivitamin + Calcium from trusted source 
2)   Branched Chain Amino Acids
3)   Protein and raw vegetables 4-6 times per day
4)   Weightlifting and anaerobic exercise 30 minutes per day
5)   Creatine after workouts
6)   Conjugated Linoleic Acid before workouts
7)   Sleep 8 - 10 hours, eating no later than 3 hours before bed time
8)   Drink 64oz of liquids per day (herbal tea, coffee, and flavored water for variety)
9)   Eat fatty vegetables and proteins every day
10) Avoid grains, sugars, alcohols, fruits, and candies like the plague

You can do this!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Update To Your Partner, His Other Girl, and Your Boundaries

If you read my post from Wednesday, March 18th, and it pertained to you in some way, you probably picked up one of three solutions to your dilemma.  If your man has been talking with his female friend, whether a former lover or just an extremely friendly cohort, there are essentially only three things you can do about it.  The first one is leave him, second one is set your boundaries and pull back from the relationship, and the last solution is to set the equality boundary by doing exactly what he is doing.

I gave this advice knowing at least the first two worked.  The first choice, leaving him and moving on, allows you to set your standards higher the next time and showing yourself that you do not, under any circumstances, tolerate being treated like garbage.  Leaving a man who has trampled over you and your boundaries ultimately raises your self esteem in the end.  There's absolutely no reason for your partner to bring an old "friend" between you two, and if he does, something else is probably going on.  A man is very likely to put his "friend" right up there next to you where, in his mind, leaves room for friendly activities.  I recall in one particular instance, "friendly activities" meant picking his "friend" up and taking a walk together in the park late in the evening, which I guess from what I could piece together, was quite an evening.  Thus, I had to call it!  Looking back, I realized that I should have called it much sooner but I had good faith that he would be faithful.  And I think he had every intention of being faithful until the moment of passion took over; or rather maybe he did.  I will never really know for sure.

I do know that setting boundaries works very well, regardless of what happens in the relationship.  Your relationship will either deteriorate or strengthen with this strategy.  In my case, I found out quickly that a man can break your heart very easily and quickly when he has a woman on the side with whom he confides in.  Like the Titanic, all glorious things can sink.  Being prepared for if and when it does is always a smart idea.  Having a go-to destination and a stockpile of hidden, liquid money will be your life raft just in case the iceberg rips through the hull in the middle of the night.  Expecting your partner to choose you or choose the door is an ultimatum and a typical man feels trapped in ultimatums.  Wanting to be his one and only is setting your boundaries and preventing friendly activities from taking place (at least that you are aware of).  In the end, you will either gain a faithful, loyal, dedicated man, or your independence while maintaining dignity.  Either way, your head should be held up high.

Until now, the third choice was still in beta testing. I have to say I am most pleased with the outcome thus far.  I will not call it an absolute success for quite awhile yet, however I am satisfied with its preliminary results.  Demanding equality and pulling back makes a man spring into action.  It could be as simple as putting on a beautiful dress to go to a casual dinner party with your friends, or it could be as cruel as giggle while texting your "friend" and then tell your partner "it's nothing" and while quickly changing the subject.  This creates suspicion and jealousy; both of which would be bad in a relationship.  But for some odd reason, pulling way back out of a relationship and becoming mysteriously intriguing sends guys into a twitterpated tizzy.  This phase, I admit, is quite enjoyable.  Putting your feminine back on, bringing out your moxie, and being the most captivating woman your partner knows will bring out the hunter in your man!  And this is where you've got him; that is, if you still want him.  This is where you strike up a deal, "If I get rid of my "friend" will you get rid of your friend?"  Hopefully he says yes, then make him prove it to you.  Otherwise, you've got somewhere to be in an hour, and it isn't with him. This part, if he is anything like my boyfriend, takes a bit of time.  He might not want to let go of his "friend" right away, or he feels that she is just a friend still so there's nothing wrong with having her still friends on Facebook even though he deleted her number from his phone for you.  This is where I am at currently.  So the equality rules still apply at this point.  Now, if your partner says no to getting rid of his "friend", then he is involved with her and it is time to let him go for good.  By this time, you should have enough in savings and some place to go so leaving him shouldn't be that big of a deal.  Yeah, it'll sting the heart, we have all been there, but it isn't anything some lively dance music, your favorite hobby, and a good friend can't fix.

No matter what happens girl, I wish you luck!                    

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Your Partner, His Other Girl, and Your Boundaries

When it comes to relationships, I am not good at them.  I will admit that I usually end up dating some of the worst guys imaginable while ruining the good relationships.  I have to laugh sometimes because I am not crazy, I am broken.  I realized just how broken I was about a year ago after another breakup with a toxic, draining, and mentally abusive man.  So, you can imagine how cautious I am now in my new relationship.  But the longer I stay in this relationship, I find the more boundaries I have to fortify.  I won't bore you with all the details of my past, however, this introduces us to this topic of the boyfriend and his other girl.

I have heard about this scenario before; a man can't get this girl out of his life.  He has mementos of their relationship all over his home, he enjoys hearing from her, takes her phone calls, answers her texts and Facebook messages, and even hangs out with her.  If you are screeching by now, you are one of many who can't believe a person could be such an asshole!  But it is very common.  In fact, believe it or not, most men keep a #2 on the side.  Movie stars, politicians, and most every other man in America; this is the girl he is secretly enamored with, the girl he might fantasize about, the girl he would pursue if things go south with you.  I look back through all of my relationships and most of the men I had been with had an obvious #2 girl somewhere in the mix. I just wasn't looking for the signs.  I trusted too easily and honored too quickly.

What are the signs of the #2 girl?  The obvious signs are he has a female friend who he keeps in touch with someway.  Sometimes it is an old lover, an ex who dumped him, a girl he just couldn't win her heart, an old friend, or one of your friends.  Originally, this was going to be about the ex, but I discovered that the ex is only one girl out of the #2 girl scenario.  Generally speaking, men who have another woman in his life, other than a close relative, view them as the second choice and wouldn't hesitate to be with her the moment your relationship hits the rocky shore.  Shockingly, most men keep them closer than you can imagine.

Again, I write this not as an expert on this topic, but as an experienced victim with advice. All but several guys I have worked with had #2 and even #3 side girls besides their wives or girlfriends.  Some of my guy friends have a #2 girl they hang out with regularly but hide it from their spouse or girlfriend.  I know I am the #2 girl for several of my guy friends. And I can't count how many of my boyfriends cheated on me with his #2 girl.  Most of the time I was blind sided, but several times there was a huge neon sign pointing to that path. So it didn't surprise me when my current boyfriend was still hanging out with his ex girlfriend.  Yes, his platonic ex girlfriend is his #2 girl; it is alright if you roll your eyes because I do every time I hear her calling.  Well, at least he was nice enough to make it blatantly obvious he is a typical asshole instead of being a sneaky jerk.  She calls him frequently, is right there for him when we fight, takes him out often, and asks him for huge favors which he proudly jumps on.  It is a huge red flag with blinking, neon lights surrounding it.  Being wiser and more experienced now, I understand that if our relationship goes south, he will be in her arms faster than an earring slips down a drain. 

What to do?  I finally learned, after fifteen years of boyfriends and husbands, that you can't change a man.  He will do whatever he wants to do when he wants to do it.  The more you squawk and complain about his shenanigans with his #2 girl, the more apt he is to be with her over you.  However, if you ignore it, or miss the signs completely, he can easily get very close to his #2 girl and unwanted things could end up happening.  In the end you have three options to choose from, and they all depend on what you are willing to go through.  It is also important to always respect yourself and never show fear or insecurity in this matter.  Insecurity always feeds the flame.

Option 1) Realize today that your man has not valued or respected you, or your boundaries for that matter, and now you must leave him.  No ultimatums, because men don't respond well to ultimatums, and no beating around the bush.  The fact that he has a #2 girl glistening in the background means that he doesn't hold you on the pedestal you should be on and that you are discounted merchandise to him.  Here is the moment where you need to pull up your big girl britches and say, "Honey, I know we have had an amazing time together but I feel like I don't truly matter to you and it is time for me to move on."  Now if he cares for you, this is the moment he starts clambering back and wanting to fix it.  It is alright if he fixes it, but he must do that on his own because he will never fix it if you are in the picture.  Tell him, "I am not the only woman in your life and I cannot be with someone who has a side girl," and then walk away.  Cry it out at another friend's house over ice cream, or even better, work it out at the gym!  If he is willing to change, he will show commitment to change.  But you cannot force him or manipulate him to change and you should not expect him to change or crawl back a changed man.  This is just a way of establishing your values, your love for yourself, and strengthening your boundaries for hopes of finding a man who will cherish you.

Option 2) Set your boundaries in stone and find your passion.  If you think this is just a bump in the road and he can let her go, then this might be the option for you.  Tell him with a loving tone, "I really appreciate you and your ability to make me happy but I am very sad to know that "__(her name)____" has entered your life again."  Then listen to what he has to say which is something like, "Babe, there's nothing going on, blah blah blah...."  Expect him to try to convince you, and himself, that it is just a platonic relationship (it's not by the way, he would tap that in a heart beat if he could) and that he will try to see/call/text/message her less.  Hold your temper for after you are out of earshot because seeing you in a rage will make him want to run into her arms.  This is where your boundaries need to be firm and set in stone!  Slip in the sentence somewhere in his hogwash that, "I need to know you are there for me and committed only to me and I need you to show that to me.  Do you think you can do that?"  Now just know that his friendship with #2 might go incognito.  This is where you find a hobby or craft you love and establish a separate life from him.  If you are married or in a joint relationship, it is time to slowly pull away, and you also need a stockpile of money somewhere in case you do find out his #2 is now his #1.5 or better.  Give him a chance, but be on guard.  If he is anything like my ex husband, it will hit you like a bomb when you least expect it.

Option 3) Equality and respect goes hand-in-hand/foot-in-mouth.  This method also works for other matters like strip clubs, porn, and other offenses.  This option is only available if you are willing to tolerate bad behaviors and realize the potential for the relationship to crumble.  It is also important to stockpile bail out money if the ship starts sinking.  First is pull back.  Do absolutely nothing to kindle or grow the relationship.  Miss his birthday, miss his holiday, stop cleaning and cooking.  Find yourself reasons to always be gone or out.  If you have kids, enroll them in evening activities or take them to the park or mall.  Be a ghost.  If your man is still in love with you, then he will chase you to the ends of the earth to keep you.  If he is no longer interested in you, then he will let you slip through the cracks like sand on a grate.  Pulling back lets you know immediately where he is in the relationship and what he is willing to do to keep you.  The next step is to set equality limits.  If he can Facebook his ex at 2am in the morning, so can you.  And I would definitely pull some old "friends" out of the morgue just for that reason.  If he takes her out for dinner, by all means so can you.  Ultimately, whatever he can do, you can do too.  It sounds like a messy situation waiting to happen, and most likely he will be the first one to explode when you receive a phone call at 4pm in the afternoon from an ex.  That's when you calmly say, "I don't see anything wrong with talking to my ex, do you?"  And be ready to walk.  Stay calm, cool, and collected.  What he sees you do (in his mind) is a direct reflection of how he sees his relationship with his ex.  Now you will know how intimate and close he was with his ex as he tries to tell you not to be so close with your ex, all while trying to convince you that his relationship with her is different.  And you can also determine if there was truly intimate relations with his ex or not and make the autonomous decision to walk right then and there.  It shouldn't hurt too bad since you have bail out money and now a "friend" you can turn to if you do decide to walk.  This is also the moment where his mistake slaps him in the face.  Hopefully for him it was not too late and his platonic relationship stayed platonic with evidence of such.  But, there are those situations where a platonic relationship turns into an intimate one and unfortunately you had to find out the hard way.  In any way, you remain true to your self, and walk away with your head held high, with him graveling at your heels or running to his #2.  Again, you can't change him, you just loved yourself enough not to put yourself in a situation where he can stab you in the back while ripping your heart out.

Some other quick points.  Your close friends know you and can see things in your partner which may not be good for you.  Listen to your friends.  Also, it is time to start wearing a condom again, if you haven't been.  Your man is obviously enamored with another woman and at any time he may stray.  Men view love and sex as two completely different topics and are triggered in two completely different areas of the brain.  I have a running joke among friends that he can screw a dead goat on the side of the road and bring you flowers all in the same day.  As crass as this sounds, studies have shown that a man's brain is wired differently and their view of things is completely backwards to how we view it.  Hence the reason why he thinks it is perfectly okay to have a #2 girl on call even though he knows it hurts you and that it is definitely not okay!  Stay strong and set those boundaries right now.  Lastly, always remember there is another man more capable of loving you than what you have at this current moment.  So don't be afraid of letting go.                                

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Naturally Remove Lice

It is amazing what the stigma is for a lice infestation, everyone treats the infested like a leper.  When I found lice in my son's hair, I was dismayed, baffled, and disgusted.  I treated him, well, like a leper!  First I called everyone who he had been in contact within the last week.  There were a few phone calls were I would have rather poked my eyeballs out with a fork, but letting others know was a responsible action on my part.  In some cases, the conversations were treated as though I was telling them he had transmitted an STD.  One mom called us dirty and spread the word around like wildfire.  But again, it was a responsible action.

So here is the natural, non toxic remedy for Lice.

Melaleuca alternifolia oil.

It is safe, effective, and that simple!

Here is what I did.

The moment I found lice in my son's hair, I had him hop in the shower and scrub his hair with natural Herbal Shampoo, the green one.  I then coated his hair with Melaleuca oil (T-36 C5) and combed it into his hair (contact me if you are wondering where to get it).  Melaleuca oil kills lice almost instantly so I sent him off to school.  I put a bit of T-36 C5 in a spray bottle with Sol-U-Guard disinfectant and sprayed down every surface in his room.  I washed his bedding, stuffed animals, and exposed clothing in hot water with Oxibrite, Sol-U-Guard and T-36 C5.  Next, I sprayed the furniture, curtains, carpets, and other surfaces throughout the house with the same mixture.  I then vacuumed every nook and cranny imaginable because those little scum bag bugs live in the most hidden places.

When my son returned home from school, I had him take a shower again.  He scrubbed his hair with the Herbal Shampoo and rinsed three times.  Without drying his hair, I combed through his long blonde locks, finding a couple of dead lice and a lot of nits.  I removed as many nits as I could and coated his hair with T-36 C5.  He went to bed on clean, temporary bedding on top of plastic lining (a blow up mattress would have also worked too).

The next day, we repeated the same process as the day before.  I found a cluster of lice feeding on a bit of scalp right above the ear, which ruined my appetite for a couple of hours!  I poured T-36 C5 all over them, killing them instantly and preventing infection of the open flesh.  Later in the day, the school nurse called me up and said the kids were teasing him because he had oily, "smelly" hair.  Kids could be so mean!  Well, my son spilled the beans and told her that he had lice, which was why his hair was oily.  The nurse, and her assistant, looked through his hair and couldn't find any lice, just found and removed a few nits.  Then she asked if he could wash his hair out with their shampoo.  Hesitantly, I said yes.  Although I am not a fan of shampoos which contain toxic ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate and petroleum fragrance.

This process was repeated for 5 days until all the signs of lice were gone. To be on the safe side, and to alleviate the risk of getting them back, I ordered the Original Herbal Shampoo (white one) and had him wash out his hair thoroughly with it daily and coat his hair with T-36 C5 mixed with the leave-in conditioner.  So far so good. 
The life cycle of the head louse is:
Nit (larvae):     7 to 10 days
Nymph:           7 to 10 days   (molts 3 times before adult)
Adult:              30+ days  (can lay up to 5 nits per day)

To be safe, continue coating hair with T-36 C5 and checking for nits for 10 days after first treatment.  A nit comb works well to remove nits from hair, but is not essential.  Always disinfect tools with Sol-U-Guard used for drying, combing and sorting hair.  

 A friend of mine couldn't believe I got rid of them in only 5 days, claiming it took weeks to get rid of the lice infestation at his house using prescription strength lice poison.  Another friend said her lice problem also lasted weeks and was difficult to treat.  I said this was our first lice infestation so I have nothing to compare it with, but it wasn't a huge problem like everyone makes it out to be.  The only logical explanation I can come up with is that T-36 C5 is more effective at removing and killing lice than the leading prescription medicine; but who am I to say such outrageous things?            


Thursday, January 29, 2015


A boy once received a red bicycle from his mom.  He wasn't too pleased with it because it was quite uncomfortable to ride.  As the story goes, the boy was playing in the woods one afternoon and left the bike sitting up against a tree.  As the afternoon drew to a close, he went home completely forgetting about his bike he left leaning against the tree. 

But this isn't a story about the boy, although he would eventually reunite with his bike five decades later.  This is a story about a bike leaning against a tree.  At a glance, an oddball combination of juxtaposed metal and wood sit beside each other, left to weather out the storms along with the quiet, pleasant days.  The tree, with its roots firmly in the ground, grows and matures season by season.  Its' bark is rough and doesn't bend much, even under immense pressure from the elements.  Sometimes, the tree proves to be unshakable, as if nothing were to sway it against its will; yet, the simplest of things, like heavy winds or snow, threatened to break its branches year after year.  The tree stood firm through all of this, without argument, without questioning what was to happen next.  The tree just was a tree.
The bike leaned up against the tree for as long as it could.  The wheels made of metal and rubber, the seat small and firm.  The bike, a beautiful example of human ingenuity, was not used to the forest environment, nor staying put for so long.  Its freedom, although once dependent on the boy, was what it had known.  Traveling the countryside alongside an adventurous companion, feeling the elation of being somebody's momentary everything, only to be left feeling hurt and lonely when it realized the boy, whom it did everything it could possibly do for, left it behind and forgot about it.  After all, there are other bikes just as beautiful and willing to accommodate such an adventurous boy.  
So there, together, the tree and the bike sat. Year after year, they both endured the rain, the snow, the wind, the sunshine.  For the first couple years the bike leaned up against the tree.  It had no choice but to.  The tree, ridged in its ways, provided shelter from the weather and something to lean on during the roughest of storms.  And as years passed and time grew on, together they stayed, the tree and the bike.
As the tree grew stronger and more confident, it decided to pick up the bike, embracing it as it was.  Not asking it to change into something it was not. The bike had to just bend a little, as the tree had to affix itself around an otherwise inflexible object.  However, the bond between the tree and the bike could never be stronger.  Each had to make sacrifices to live with one-another in the most unlikely of scenarios.  Both the tree and the bike had to learn to cope with one another in a precarious predicament, endure each other, and learn to live in harmony.
Then one day, the boy, old and gray, returned to the site where he had left his bike. Although, when he returned, he had realized that he had been completely forgotten.  The boy was able to recognize his bike right away.  He couldn't be more saddened by what he saw.  The bike was held up firmly by the tree.  The tree, big and tall was happily embracing the bike.  The bike, faded and old, yet still a beautiful example of human ingenuity, couldn't be more comfortable nestled snugly in the tight grasp of the tree.  The boy realized the only way to take the bike back was to cut down the tree, an endeavor not worth his time.  Alas, the bike wasn't the same and wouldn't be able to carry the boy's burdens down any path of his bidding, even if the bike still wanted to.

Like I said before, this story wasn't about the boy at all.  Nor was it really about a tree or a bike.  Although very true, this story was actually about love.  And this story is about the closest metaphor you can get to true love.

You see, the tree will always be a tree, and the bike will always be a bike.  They were put together in the most unpredictable of circumstances.  Yet, here they still are: together.  Together they defied probabilities, endured the hard times, braved the elements, stuck it through in the complexities of life, and will inevitably outlive those who left them behind.  That, my friend, is the definition of true love!