Friday, June 27, 2014

Those Good Ole Neurotransmitters

By now, most of us know that there are more brain chemicals in the gut than inhabit the brain! You truly are what you eat and what you feel! In this month's newsletter, there are two youtube videos discussing the basics of brain chemistry and nutrition and how we can truly choose ways to assist in balancing mood, feelings, focus and concentration. We live in an exciting time with regard to science, medicine and nutrition. What remains the most important consideration is to balance the instant (carbohydrate) energy with the long-term (protein and fat) energy. This balance allows for a steady state and from here, micro-nutrients can be tweaked for peak performance. The testing for neurotransmitter imbalances is simple - urine and saliva. These tests show the levels of serotonin (the feel good chemical), glutamate (the hyper-excitatory chemical)and other neurotransmitters. With this knowledge, the diet, supplements and even medications, can be adjusted. If your curiosity is piqued, view the Marblehead Counseling Cable programs, Perspectives on Life series. Wishing you happiness! Julie

Non-GMO vs Monsanto - A Big Monetary Giant

I've never been one to follow politics in my past - always felt that little me would have no real say in the matter and I found the system and understanding how issues are dealt with, to be quite frankly, overwhelming. However, I have been following the GMO debate for a few years now and especially after being in Germany for alternative cancer care 1/2 years ago. The standards for use of pesticides and herbicides in Europe are much stricter than in the US and here, we continue to use very harsh chemicals not only in farming, but in household cleaners, makeup and other toiletries, as well as some of the clothes we wear! While this can be overwhelming to consider, start slowly and begin to educate yourself in order to make informed decisions about the products you are using. It does not happen overnight and if the process feels too stressful, slow down a bit! Check out (environmental working group). This organization lists products and chemical names to become familiar with. See the attached clip from an article focused on GMO's and the effects on rats. Most of all, see this as opportunity, rather than stressor - I was stuck in the overwhelmed state for years, which resulted in "ignorance is bliss". Now, I pace myself much more in order to take on just what I am ready for! Have a wonderful day! Julie Séralini study on toxic effects of GMOs and glyphosate republished See alsoPolicy & Issues GMO In an announcement made today in France, the Séralini study on the long term effects of GMOs and glyphosate has been republished in the Springer open source journal Environmental Sciences Europe (ESEU, 2014, 26:14). The study by Gilles-Eric Séralini et al., Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize, was first published in the Elsevier journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) in November of 2012. The study showed massive tumors, kidney and liver damage in rats on a genetically modified (GMO) Roundup-Ready maize diet.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Burn, Bootcamp or Agni Light My Fire

As I walked with Tammie this morning - a beautiful, sunny day indeed, I was struck by the phrases that are used to assist us in getting into shape - burn and bootcamp we re two that I passed by. I immediately thought about my recent yoga training and how the terminology to assist one on multiple levels - fitness, emotional and spiritual well-being - is gentler with a different focus in mind. We have become accustomed to being beaten up or whipped into shape, often doing movements with great intensity that can be more harmful than helpful. In fact, recent research is showing that very intensity exercise is inflammatory to the body. We already live in an inflammatory environment and exercise should not be contributing to that! I recalled learning about "agni" or the internal fire within us and how certain yoga poses and breathing techniques can warm the body and sharpen the mind. This sounds much more productive and conducive to one's well-being, while also toning, enhancing muscle strength and flexibility. As a society, we are learning, but habits are hard to change. Think of being kinder and gentler in your fitness routine, vary what you do and focus on all areas - flexibility, strength and endurance. Be present to your exercise - feel what it is doing, see how you feel following your routine. If you are energized, focused and happy, good for you! In health, Julie

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Colors, chakras and food

Many years ago, I was drawn to using the Color Me Beautiful concept for accentuating one's outer beauty by understanding skin tone, hair and eye color. It was pretty fascinating to see how well it worked in actually boosting one's image. Fast forward to learning more about chakras and colors, as well as the resonance and meaning of these colors. I came back to this concept while completing my yoga training. I have also been drawn to particular crystals and stones that embody the characteristics of these colors as well. For example, jade, seraphinite, bloodstone - all green stones, have tendencies to support the heart chakra - green in their nature. Agate, a blue stone, is supportive for the throat chakra. As we learn more about the elements of the earth - stones, plants and food - these colors have important meanings in our lives. Think about the purpose of each chakra and the associated colors. Red is the root chakra, which relates to being grounded. Think of some root veggies that have this color - beets and radishes. Orange, associated with the second chakra, is about creativity, the juicy energy of life and being able to go with the flow - oranges and salmon, a fish that is high in omega three and allows easy flow of fluids in the body. Yellow is the third chakra or solar plexus and this is symbolic of integration and power. Lutein-rich fruits and veggies are yellow colored- lemons, some squashes, non-GMO corn. Moving on, the fourth chakra or heart chakra, is associated with the color green and greens allow for being heart-centered - healing, loving and nourished. The fifth chakra is blue in color and represents our voice - speaking one's truth. Sea veggies are sources of iodine which nourishes the thyroid gland, located in the throat. The sixth chakra is blue-purple in color and is known as the center of wisdom and connection to intuition. Blueberries and other blue-purple foods contain antioxidants that support memory. The seventh chakra is above the head and connects with the heavens. The spectrum of colors creates white light - the light that is known to be healing to all living creatures. The next time, you consider putting your plate together, think colors of the rainbow! And the next time you choose colors for your wardrobe, think about what chakra needs a boost on that day and pick a color! Explore your creativity and have fun in the process! With healing wishes, Julie

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My chintz hot pants!

Back in the day, special shorts were known as "hot pants" - they were fancier in some way. Boy, am I dating myself now! Last weekend while attending the NLP (neurolinguistic programming) conference, I had reflections on areas that I had still not resolved over the years, despite numerous attempts of reconciling these issues. I've prayed, done therapy, meditated - you name it - but as I also share with clients on mostly a daily basis, it is like peeling an onion - each time the issue is revisited, a new and potentially profound meaning is learned. In other words, another layer has been peeled away for healing. One great lesson for me is being able to have abundance in my life. I was raised an only child and my parents did not want me to be spoiled, as well as they grew up during the Great Depression. Well, for me, that was a double whammy - oh let's also add the catholic guilt of do for others but not for yourself. Of course, this was taken out of context and as I now reflect back on christian teachings, it is also stated to love yourself in order to love others. The short and sweet is that for me, I was taught that it was unacceptable to ask for things as well as to have abundance. My Mom was an amazing seamstress and she made most of my clothing, but I also recall that there were times when she could not buy fabric - money was tight much of the time and there was a lot of creativity put into making things. One summer, my Mom made me shorts (these cool "hot pants")out of curtain material and this material was chintz, a shiny, cotton blend. Of course, it was very creative, but I remember feeling a bit embarrassed at wearing my household curtains! I also yearned for the fancy clothes that everyone else was wearing. I now know that it is okay and in fact, good, to occasionally splurge on oneself in order to keep balance in life. It is an expression of self-love and is a creative outlet! How will you treat yourself this week?

Monday, June 16, 2014

NLP: A New and Very Powerful Brain Train Tool

I thought when I had finished my yoga certification June 1 that I would be freer, but no, an amazing learning event cam my way that I could not say "no" to! All kidding aside, I had signed up for this a few months ago when I knew that there would be the opportunity. I was at an NLP (neurolinguistic programming) training this past weekend. Neuro - brain, five senses- visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, gustatory Linguistic - language and non-verbal communication Programming - Utilizing programs in our mind to achieve specific and desired outcomes Roll the years back about 35 - I am sitting in my psych class with an amazing instructor with whom I maintained a friendship with for years until he passed away this past December. He is talking about an innovative technology that retrains the subconscious mind - that part of the mind that takes in and stores all that we, as humans, come in contact with, whether we "think" we have or not. Most therapies up until this time and even now, today, focus on changing the conscious mind - that which we know or have an awareness of. Of course, anyone following psychology and the techniques that we have used in the states for these years, will see that in the US, the cognitive behavioral model or "conscious" model became popular until recently, when it has been realized that the unconscious drives the conscious. What does this have to do with physical, emotional and spiritual well-being? Everything! 98% of all collective illness begins in our thoughts and how we poison, sabotague and limit our potential - not "playing it big" in life - meaning, not allowing our dreams to come to fruition. I am not selling the glamorized approach to " think rich, be rich" or "think thin, be thin", but am providing this information that has come full circle for me, from 35 years ago to today! I was reintroduced to this powerful technique while doing acupunture with Tom Tam in Boston, while absorbing information in my alternative cancer treatment program in Germany, while revisiting and accomplishing my yoga certification and again, this weekend at the NLP introductory training in Boston MA. Some pearls from this weekend for you to think about are: We all delete, distort and generalize information as it comes into our thought process - this is a learned behavior and can be unlearned The five principles for success are: Know your outcome - see, feel, hear what it is that you want in your life right now Take action - have a plan for making things happen Have sensory acuity - focus on how things look, feel, smell, sound Have behavioral flexibility - be less rigid - I call this "structure with flexibility" Operate from a physiology and psychology of excellence - expect 100% effort from yourself and everyone that you come in contact with For more information, check out: I'll leave you with a statement that I have used for years with clients: "Get out of your head and into your gut"! Have a wonderful day, Julie

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sweet and Sour Mandarin Orange Almond Salad

I may be dating myself, but I remember the Magic Pan Creperie years ago that offered delicious entree and dessert crepes, along with amazing salads. One of my favorite salads was the mandarin orange-almond salad with a sweet and sour type dressing. Since that time, I developed a dressing that matches the flavors from old! I have played with the ingredients to come up with a dressing that also fits the criteria for those needing to follow guidelines for GI issues. Using Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, which for many assists in digestion and stevia in place of the honey which lowers the sugar content, the dressing not only has the sweet and sour taste, but is nutritionally superior to what I recall being told were some of the ingredients in the original. This salad can be a wonderful summer side or an entree if grilled chicken or shrimp is added. Try this out! Spring greens of other salad greens mandarin oranges, packed in water, drained slivered almonds, oven roasted at 350 for 5 minutes optional: grilled chicken or shrimp Dressing: 1 packet Good Seasons Italian mix add 1/2 cup Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar 2 tbl grapeseed oil 1/4 cup water 2 tbl lite cream or 1/2&1/2 (can also use coconut milk if dairy sensitive) 2 packets stevia Mix together and shake well.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Yoga Graduation Reflections: Something In It For All

On Sunday, June 1, our 24 person Yoga Of Energy Flow class graduated our 10 month, 200 hour program. What a milestone for us all! While an eclectic group of young folks, college students, professionals and those just curious about how to assist our aging bodies and those of others, we all came together and bonded as a group of caring people with some common and diverse goals. The transformations that were made during this time were incredible. I saw and felt increasing confidence, a sharing of one's inner self and being open to being vulnerable, an increase in spirituality and connection to God in whatever way we acknowledge this immense energy! What drew me to this course from the beginning was the inclusion of a variety of yoga styles, a focus not only on postures but meditation, philosophy, breath-work - all areas that I knew were in front of me personally to tap into on a deeper level. And that I did. For those of you that follow my blogs, you will notice that my most common theme is Mind, Body, Spirit and this is no coincidence because this is where my personal work lies as well as the messages that I bring to my clients, family and friends. When asked about my work, I describe my work as my life-work because there is no beginning and end to either - they are seamlessly tied into one. While paperwork and the running a business can at times, be trying, I can acknowledge that these "human systems" - the billing, the notes etc - are just part of how we organize systems in life. As I reflect on each month during my program, there were so many obstacles that could have gotten in my way - Sept I was diagnosed with chronic lyme; Oct my Mom passed away; Nov-Jan I was feeling increasingly poor as I began to treat both lyme and leukemia; February I had my house on the market after recognizing that I could no longer afford my home; March we moved; April-May, I chose to take on extra classes in order to graduate on time. Wow, there were times when I did want to quit, but there was the "little voice" inside that kept bringing me back to my purpose - I am a bridge or conduit between the traditional or allopathic world and the alternative world - and I need to continue on my path. This photo is with my two "cheerleaders", my daughters who stand beside me, behind me and offer such strength and encouragement in my life. I am honored to be their Mom, friend and mentor and continue to look forward to being the same for those of you who wish! Namaste, Julie