Archive for April, 2008

Forgive For Good

April 28th, 2008

There are many religious, spiritual and psychological philosophies available to us today. Some differ and contradict each other; others are quite similar. One thread that runs throughout is; forgiveness.

Fred Luskin PhD., has made a career out of studying forgiveness. His book, Forgive for Goodand his website are resources I often recommend. I like his work for these reasons:

1. I heard him speak three years ago and I was impressed with his calm presence. He is humble. He is a man of high integrity.

2. His premise: Scriptures and ethics say forgiveness is a good idea – lets prove it!

3. Luskin is a Senior Fellow at Stanford University on Conflict and Negotiation. He runs outcome studies on: The effects of forgiveness on college students, effects of forgiveness on stress and anger, hypertension reduction through forgiveness.

4. I read his book cover to cover in 24-hours, it was that good. Then I actually used and remember his techniques. For all the self-help, pseudo spiritual books I’ve read and then NOT used over the years, this book is worth its weight in gold.

Luskin says forgiving doesn’t always mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning harmful or abusive behavior. What it does mean is:

  • Take your hurt less personally
  • Take responsibility for how you feel
  • Become a hero instead of a victim in the story you tell

There is much more to the book than those three points, and I have highlighted almost every sentence because there is wisdom and practicality in each paragraph.

He begins by saying, “something happened that you did not want to happen, which then caused you to create a grievance.” Yet Luskin reminds us that we were not the first nor will we be the last to be hurt the way we were.

Luskin shares his own experience of personal betrayal and writes with compassion. His nine-step forgiveness model has practical examples (including his successful work with victims from both sides of Northern Ireland’s civil war). He also provides startling new insight and scientific research into the mental and physical benefits of forgiveness.

Next time you are in your library or bookstore keep an eye out for this book; its one that I refer back to again and again!

Plant-able Greeting Cards

April 23rd, 2008

If I made a list of things I like, one thing I would say is;

I like innovative people and clever ideas!

Ladies and gentlemen of the Internet please put your hands together for today’s innovative and clever Healthy Discovery.

Handmade paper greeting cards that are embedded with wildflowers, chives or basil seeds. Soy based inks and 100% recycled paper envelope.

-Moisten the paper and plant in well-drained soil one-inch deep.

-Water regularly until seeds germinate.

-The paper naturally composts into the soil as the wildflowers grow.

Now, isn’t that the most innovative and clever thing you have seen today? To purchase and learn more, click here.

April is Autism Awareness Month

April 22nd, 2008

I am not an expert or a qualified resource regarding autism. I don’t have an autistic child and I don’t directly know anyone with autism. However, I am interested in almost anything that has to do with medicine or health. Therefore my antenna went up when Jenny McCarthy became an advocate for autism. I was curious about what she was doing.

I’ve watched celebrities use their position and become activists; usually I end up turning the channel or flipping the page as I roll my eyes. Jenny is different, I’m impressed. After challenging times with her autistic son, Evan; Jenny now provides valuable answers and options to other autistic children and their parents.

I watched the Larry King interview with Jenny a couple weeks ago. I respect the extensive research and work that she has done.

I checked out her book at the library so I could read more about her position and philosophy. Once again I’m impressed! When Jenny’s son developed autism she sought treatment from doctors at Defeat Autism Now. With the doctor’s guidance and protocols from Special Diets for Special Kids, Jenny took her son off gluten and dairy. They treated his candida with Diflucan (prescription antifungal), used B12 shots and other supplements to repair his ‘leaky’ gut and compromised immune system. Jenny described the complete treatment and journey in her book.

Her son is now ‘recovered’ from autism because she questioned, fought and demanded her way past the status quo of traditional medicine. She says; “Our children may have lost their voice, but their mothers have not!”

She is now an active board member for Generation Rescue and a spokesperson for Talk About Curing Autism, where she promotes “scheduled vaccines”. She is not “anti-vaccine” as people have accused her of being; instead she advocates spreading them out instead of giving them in one big dose.

If you have an autistic child or you know someone who has an autistic child, explore these websites; along with Jenny’s book; Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism

One of the best weapons we have regarding our health is the power to question and gather information. Jenny offers some great resources and information to consider if you’re dealing with autism.

Jenny’s beau and funnyman, Jim Carrey will join her June 4th, to lead a walk and rally in Washington DC for Autism.

Keep up the good work Jenny! You’re fighting the good fight!

Water Bottles, Bisphenol-A, and Phthalates

April 18th, 2008

I recently received this email.

“What is your take on BPA (Bisphenol-A) and water bottles? I am considering getting rid of all polycarbonate/#7 plastic bottles in my house like Nalgene because of the BPA leaching concern.”

Great question! But I didn’t have a great answer.

Personally I have used these polycarbonate bottles for quite some time.

But, I’ve seen people using these stainless steel water bottles more and more.

I have heard about plastic concerns and I thought Polycarbonate bottles were a good alternative.

I decided to investigate further, I went to Ideal Bite, one of my Healthy Discoveries, and they said; “Polycarbonate plastic used in bottles by Nalgene and other companies leaches bisphenol-A, which is linked to birth defects, miscarriage, and prostate cancer.”

However, as soon as they posted that they got numerous comments like this; “Could you point us to definitive research that says Bisphenol-A is leaching from Nalgene bottles? I can see that glass and stainless steel would be pretty safe but why not Nalgene?

IdealBite responded with their list of sources:

Science Daily – Bisphenol-A On Trial

Environmental Working Group– A Survey of Bisphenol-A in U.S. Canned Foods

The Green Guide– The Bisphenol-A Debate: A Suspect Chemical in Plastic Bottles and Cans

WWF-UK– Children are at risk from Bisphenol-A, a chemical which affects the hormone system of humans and other mammals

Someone else wrote into IdealBite, with this link to John Hopkins Medical Center. John Hopkins dispels the myths of dioxins in plastic but says this about phthalates; “Phthalates are environmental contaminants that can exhibit hormone-like behavior by acting as endocrine disruptor’s in humans and animals.” Phthalates are found in plastics.

I continued searching and I found this disturbing interview on NPR about The Hidden Dangers of Plastics.

Okay, I have decided to stop using polycarbonate plastic bottles. This morning I bought this new stainless steel water bottle.

What about you? Which water bottles do you use?

CrockPot 365

April 17th, 2008

Sure Foods Living turned me on to this cool blog. I like it so much I added it to the “Health Related Blogs I Read” side panel of my blog. CrockPot Lady makes something new in her CrockPot every day. She blogs about it and then takes a picture, here’s the link, CrockPot 365.

The recipes look really good, for example; Red Wine & Cranberries Glazed Pot Roast. She posts recipes for soups, main dishes, appetizers, desserts, breakfast, and vegetarians; plus she has a TON of gluten free recipes (she even made gluten free bread in her CrockPot)!?

I think daily cooking blogs are clever. Julie Powell did this in 2004. Every day for 365 days she made something different from Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking cookbook. Julie blogged about her gourmet cooking adventures, which ultimately landed her a lucrative book deal.

Its been awhile since I read Julie and Julia : 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen; but it was a fun read.

30-year old Julie takes passages directly from her cooking blog and includes comments from her blog readers. She expands on her life in New York City with her husband, her wacky friends and miserable co-workers. She works as a temp secretary during the day and cooks in her tiny apartment at night. It is filled with Bridget Jones type mishaps, self deprecating humor and alot of ingredients I’ve never eaten – kidneys, brain. Oh, the joy of reading, even if I haven’t experienced something, I can live vicariously through the written story. I’ll stick to CrockPot lady’s recipes but escape into french cooking with Julie Powell’s funny prose.

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