I did not get a cold or the flu this winter, despite being surrounded by snotty noses and some nasty coughs. (In my humble opinion, the flu vaccine is not the answer to health and well-being, let alone preventing illness. You can read more about my thoughts on the flu vaccine here.)
This is the first year in a long time that I didn’t come down with a cold or other upper respiratory bug. Last year wasn’t bad— I had one day where I felt absolutely miserable with aches and chills, spent that day in bed and woke up the next day with a mild cold that stuck with me for a week. This year though, my immune system was able to hold it together. Here’s what worked for me — and what I paid in $$ for it.
Someone pointed out that the Easter and Passover holidays fall right in the middle of the Warrior Cleanse.
Believe me, I hear you. I’m hosting a big Easter dinner this year. In the past I would have been really stressed out about the food situation. This year, though, I’m super excited to serve yummy recipes from the cleanse! Veggies and hummus appetizer, roasted sweet potatoes, a delicious spring salad, and chocolate chia pudding “pie” with strawberries. (Sure, I won’t be partaking in the ham this year, but that’s probably better for me anyway.)
I can get really shortsighted when it comes to my own health. I’ll admit that. If you’ve ever heard the expression Healer, Heal Thyself, I can tell you that most of us health care practitioners are pretty bad at healing ourselves. I am no exception. I’m really good at guiding people towards the products and people they need to get well and to get on the path to optimal health, but for myself? Yeah, not so good. And I’ve learned that the hard way.
This is not to say I haven’t tried many times to go it alone, but it has never served me. What I’ve found is that I do much better and am able to accomplish my goals when I have another expert guiding me. I’m also better able to stick to the plan when I have a group where we can cheer each other on and support each other. We are, after all, human beings who thrive on connection with one another.
I’ve noticed over the years that there are lots of similarities between moms and nurses.
Both are caring and nurturing. Both rely on a gentle touch to bring warmth and comfort. Both want to minimize suffering, whether from a skinned knee, school bully, cancer, or complicated surgery.
There is one similarity between moms and nurses that I want to address today, because I’d like to see it change. It doesn’t serve any of us.
When I was young, every time a local child came down with chickenpox my mother would drag me to their house so that I would get exposed and get chickenpox myself. As a nurse, she knew that chickenpox was a benign illness for children but had the potential to be much worse for an adult.
Unfortunately my mother was unsuccessful in convincing my body to come down with chickenpox. Not until 2009 as a grown woman in the middle of anatomy finals, with three small children, did I finally come down with chickenpox.
I remember what it was like to be staunchly pro-vaccine. No exceptions.
I remember how I would vilify people who didn’t want to get vaccinated themselves or didn’t want to vaccinate their children. I made derogatory comments about them. I called them “stupid” and “irresponsible.” I said that not vaccinating was like blowing cigarette smoke in your baby’s face. It was like letting them go hungry, or depriving them of warmth and shelter.
And then one day, I found out that I was wrong.
Terribly, painfully wrong.
Amazingly, gratefully wrong.
Three major events changed my mind.
Do you ever wonder why they combine 3-6 diseases into one vaccine for babies and children?
The CDC says they give combination vaccines so the kids and parents have to endure less “stress” getting multiple shots. Do you think it’s really because they know how toxic each vaccine is, filled with chemicals and heavy metals?
The thing is, nature doesn’t work that way. Nature doesn’t expose the immune system to multiple diseases at one time. Can you imagine if I took my infant or immune-compromised child to a home where there were active cases of measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox all at the same time?
2018 was a roller coaster for so many people — a wild year of intense lows and challenges mixed with intense highs and blessings. I know I’m not the only person who heaved a sigh of relief on January 1, happy to have survived another year on this journey called life and being so much better for it.
This morning I got up early so that I could go for a short hike in the redwoods before facing the masses at Costco. I had been feeling kind of blue the night before, as all of the kiddos were at sleepovers, and I was by myself in the house at night for the first time in almost 3 months.
My mood started lifting on the drive to Wunderlich County Park. I parked, put on my hiking boots and began my climb up the hill to my favorite spot, Alambique Flats.
I said hello to the horses in the corrals, waiting for the day’s riders, stood for a moment at an ancient majestic tree, and watched for deer. It wasn’t until I was sitting on the bench in the Flats listening to the creek that I realized something new about why I love hiking and being out in nature so much.
There are literally billions of men and women in the world who carry the shame and wounding of sexual violence against them and who feel that wound every time someone makes an excuse for the perpetrator.
Sexual violence takes a huge toll on one’s health and well-being and also places a major burden on our health care system. This burden is not sustainable, and it’s time for each of us to stand up and put a stop to it. Even if you’ve been lucky enough not to have been a victim in your life, look around you. Just because you don’t know everyone’s history or herstory, you know countless people who have been assaulted in their lifetimes, both male and female.
My 16 year old daughter has been in Switzerland on a school exchange for a week. She has had no food sensitivities whatsoever. She says she has never eaten so much gluten in her life. She feels amazing there--no asthma, no acne, no runny nose, no fatigue. She's not taking any supplements.
The kids and I make financial sacrifices so that we can buy good quality food, and I am so grateful to have access to a weekly farmer's market and clean water. Not everyone is as fortunate. As my daughter is experiencing, though, how we grow our food and raise our animals can be our poison or medicine.
You don’t have to know anything about nutrition to know that there are hundreds of thousands of nutritional supplement products on the market. And of course, Americans are creative geniuses when it comes to labeling, advertising and marketing, so it’s difficult to make heads or tails of what’s actually good for you and what might potentially harm you.
Luckily, some companies have both high-quality ingredients AND heaping doses of business integrity.
A while back I had the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing Eddie Stone, CEO of Touchstone Essentials, to discuss their newest product called Organic Super Protein.
So my plan was to make a really cool video for you this week. The universe had other ideas.
I started feeling achy and funky on Friday, and by yesterday morning, it felt like two spear-fighting sumo wrestlers were fighting the match of the century in my throat every time I tried to talk. Ouch.
Rather than leave you empty-handed, I want to share with you this amazing video about empathy. It was developed and produced by the Cleveland Clinic.
So often in our lives we think that we have to giving up pleasure to accomplish something, whether that's in our health, in relationships, or with our work.
What if there was another way? How good would it feel to make space for something or someone instead?
To me, giving up is about pain and deprivation. When we let go, however, we open ourselves and surrender to love and the possibility of transformation.
Here's a new video for you, where I explore the paradigms of giving up versus letting go. These are powerful concepts that can transform our lives, our loves, and the way we experience what challenges and frightens us.
From March 21 to 26, I spent 5 amazing days at the Chi Center in Galisteo, New Mexico. Gail Larsen, the Transformational Speaking teacher I met in 2015 and then worked with in 2016, had gathered together 24 thought leaders from the US, Canada, and Australia along with Andrew Harvey, leader of the Sacred Activism movement, and Wisdom Healing Qi Gong Master Mingtong Gu.
To dive deep within ourselves personally and collectively to find our voice so that we can stop the downward spiral that our world is in — physically, environmentally, politically, spiritually.
Back in November, my trusted friend and colleague, Press Maycock, came to the VA to give a presentation to Veterans and staff on the food-mood connection.
Press shared information about foods that the doctors don’t provide to their patients. Maybe they don’t know, or maybe they don’t think it will make a difference, but either way, the docs and nutritionists almost never share 21st century, evidence-based nutritional information with their patients.
Press shared, and for one Vet in particular, he made a huge difference.
Have you ever been at a point so low that you that felt that your problems were insurmountable, that there was nothing you could do to solve them? Or worse, that you were all alone, that no one could possibly understand, and it was all pointless?
Gaaaa, that flu going around! I have been getting emails almost daily from people asking me how to get over it and what they should do to prevent it.
Western medicine’s only tools against the flu are not friendly to your body. Tamiflu is toxic to your liver, and the influenza vaccine may be toxic to your nervous system. PLUS their efficacy is questionable, to say the least, meaning most of the time, they really don’t work.
So how do I heal from the flu if I get it?
Common sense and earth-based medicine, of course.
Common sense and earth-based medicine, of course.
We have this weird attitude in our culture that it’s somehow shameful if we get sick with a cold or flu once in a while. I think I am sometimes guilty of perpetuating that belief in my zest for wanting people to feel amazing all the damn time, because life can be freaking incredible when our physical and emotional and mental and spiritual bodies are our allies rather than our enemies.
Now that we are into the full swing of 2018, it feels like life has turned up a notch. So many people live under constant pressure: work, family, society, traffic, bills, busyness, expectations … and, if all this were not enough, we then feel more pressure and stress simply because we are short on time.