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Orange is the New White: 3 Reasons the Turmeric Challenge is Worth It

Over the last ten years, interest in homeopathic, naturopathic, alternative and natural health has completely skyrocketed. I believe this is all for a very good reason –

We’re not recovering anymore. Our society is ridden with chronic ailments that are passed from generation to generation, and we’re tired of it.

That being said, a need for chemical-free, naturally occurring sources of vitality are becoming more valuable. Considering that alternative medicine usage among Americans in all adult age groups hover around 33%, there’s room to grow in such a beneficial resource. I believe the most important time to introduce alternative and holistic health practices is in childhood. Remember: this form of wellness is best introduced as a preventative lifestyle practice. If you think about it, the accumulation of our childhood exposure to the world manifests within our adult bodies. Why not take care of it from the very start?

All of this brings me to the reason for this post. Let’s say you’re new to this whole floofy-doofy health thing. You could be skeptical of how it truly works, or if it actually benefits you. Let’s start with something that over 80% of Americans want — white teeth.
It’s a fantastic change to your entire well being. When we interact with each other, a person with white teeth will appear more healthy and attractive than someone with stained chompers.  It’s no wonder we’re all shelling out cash for whiter teeth. Before you portion out $20 for your next drugstore fix (or worse yet, $200 for a dental whitening), let me convince you to take the holistic road to get to your destination.

The average person swallows 25% of the chemicals stuffed into teeth whitening products and trays, which contain harmful substances you would never think of eating normally. Coal tar and benzene, which are known to lead to lymphomas when inhaled (think of what ingesting them will do), are in whitening products. We can’t forget to mention that the use of teeth whiteners means a heightened tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, which is never a sign of a strong and healthy smile.
The cost of whiter teeth with chemicals can mean a lessened quality of life later down the road.

turmeric

If you’re looking for the 3 reasons this challenge is worth it already, thank you and I’m excited to bring you on board with me! This challenge will give you a naturally brighter and whiter smile without any harmful side effects or causing any foreign materials to be absorbed into your blood stream. This bright orange powder can lift stains and strengthen teeth in ways you may have never known!

This blog lays out the steps beautifully for anyone interested in trying this.
I’m going to try 1/2 tablespoon of turmeric with drops of water until it becomes a paste, and one drop of peppermint oil to give that zing of flavor and cooling effect that’s reminiscent of toothpaste. It’s not needed, nor is it necessary.

Turmeric is the star in this challenge, and here are the reasons that this challenge is worth trying today:

Anti-Inflammatory Heaven

Turmeric is highly anti-inflammatory for the body, and it is also an antioxidant warrior. The compounds within the herb fight inflammation in the body, which is believed to be the source of all chronic diseases. By introducing turmeric into your life, your body can only boost its natural stress fighting resources. Talk about a double whammy.

Banish the Blues

Did you know that this herb has been proven to be as effective as Prozac in treating depression? Believe it! The tiny serving of one gram a day fared exactly as a dosage  of Prozac did in this study. While you’re getting your pearly whites, you can boost your mood even more!

Free Yourself

This last, and frankly most important, reason is not backed by science or proven in a laboratory under strict conditions. It is, however, a source of true freedom for you. Imagine a life where you’re not dictated by schedules and regimes of when you wake up, when you sleep, and which colored pills to take at which times. Imagine feeling a sense of relief instead of dread when you’re reaching for the NSAIDs or allergy medication.
Close your eyes. When you open them, you can be there. In an instant.
I truly believe that it takes small steps to accomplish any goal you set. By starting with small adjustments, like this turmeric whitener, you can gain the momentum to make more small changes until you free yourself from the pains of stress and weight of bad health.

In the inspiration of positive and healthy lifestyles, who’s doing this challenge with me?

Love, unwind the coils within endless paths inside of our

constructed hearts. Create space for curling cords and wires.

Unfurled, free and alive your machine will become.

Every choice, a curl. Every path, a cord. Choose

wisely, choose fearlessly, and follow the beating

within your mechanical heart.

Love has been on my mind lately. Current love, past love, and uncultured love. Have you ever met a person that you know deserves true love? You know the kind; it’s only a tiny sprout among vast, congregated crops on a field in the middle of a farm land. You’ll never know how vibrantly and robust it will grow if its neglected any nurturing. Though your crops are rich and a bountiful harvest, there’s a tiny pair of delicate, pea sized leaves patiently resting in the soil. You hope that someone will sing to it so there’s energy to grow.
Little sprout, stay strong. Your time to reach out will come.

Spring

Teleported to a place so

Familiar, so known as the place where I

Found the “within.”

Falling through space and time in a

Counter-clockwise motion toward what’s

“Within” my heart.

Fell gently on the grass of my subconscious

Dreaming.

Birds flying, gently singing as they swoop by.

My hands are wet from a stream of

Creek water floating past.

I step.

One foot before the other,

Repeating until I watch the path twist,

Turn, rise, and falter.

My heart skips a beat near the old oak tree.

“Within” its trunk is a small cavern filled with

Memories.

My steps hasten as I approach the river,

Beckoning me to discover what’s beyond

The bend.

The light pit-pat of my toes against the river’s

Momentum;

The sensation of what is to come.

I don’t believe in moderation.

The title of this post may come across as a little intense: why doesn’t she believe in moderation? Is she a glutton, a thrill-seeker? What?

Let me clarify for you: I don’t believe in moderation diets. I don’t believe that you can eat everything you want as long as it’s moderated. No, our bodies weren’t designed for that. Our bodies, mechanically, are set to burn one of two types of fuel when we are alive: sugars (carbohydrates and protein), or fats.

2 years ago I wrote a blog post about the importance of fat in our diets, and little did I know just how far down that rabbit hole I was going to go. At that time, the solid quality of utilizing fat stores for fuel was exactly the kick in the rear I needed to reevaluate how I was nourishing my own DNA, my cells, and my musculature. Little did I know just how important the correct format of nutrients on a person’s health really is. Until now.

Disclaimer: I am no medical doctor, naturopathic doctor (yet), or worthy of any certificate that says I can advise another person on their health and diet.

Yesterday, a tweet that seemed angsty and rude (it really wasn’t, I’m sorry) was sent out by me. It read: “Low fat, high carb or low carb, high fat. Pick a camp and stay in it. Otherwise your health will deteriorate.” This post is designed to take that TL;DR idea and expand on it. Why, exactly, do I need to pick a camp in the first place? What if I like bread with butter? Does that mean I can’t have alfredo and pasta anymore?
Too bad, and yes.

Where the idea stemmed from.
Our bodies can burn one of three types of fuel at any point during our life: carbs, proteins, and fats. Typically, an average person with an average diet is burning carbohydrates for energy to get them through the day. The starches they eat are converted to sugars, thus making a readily accessed form of ATP for the cells to carry through. It’s the “sugar rush” we feel after eating a meal, or candy, or soda. Whatever you wish. It gives you fast and vibrant energy.
For about an hour or two.
Then your blood sugar drops and your body is asking for more. Hunger pangs, cravings, and salivating ensue. This is a tell-tale sign that your body is asking for a higher blood sugar to keep delivering ATP all throughout your body. The cycle continues until you go to sleep at night.
If you happened to burn all of the excess carbohydrates you ate during the day, your body will begin to convert another dietary macronutrient as energy to fuel your sleep cycle into the morning: fats.
Did you know? Just before the body transitions from burning carbs to burning fats, some muscle mass will be broken down into glucose in an attempt to create ATP. Eat your protein, people!

Fat is fabulous.
I’m going to be adventurous and say that over 50% of the population burns fat in their bodies during the night. Many of us front-load with starchy foods during the day that we never get to the point where we run out. If you are active, you most likely enter the fat-burning stage overnight.
Fat-burning meaning that you are not burning carbohydrates into fuel, but burning dietary fat or stored fat as fuel.
As humans, we’re designed to burn either fat or carbs/proteins. If we don’t burn through enough carbohydrates, the excess is stored as visible fat on our bodies, until we get to it later (from a lack of calories/fasting). This is exactly why I push for fat-based dietary lifestyle for people who are overweight. You will directly attack the fat that’s lying on the outside of your body effortlessly.
The body begins a rather complicated process of grabbing stored fat, breaking it down into usable parts, and giving each cell in your body access to that fat for energy.
Did you know? Fatty acids are the in-between stage of unused carbohydrates before they are stored as visible fat.
The result of burning fat for energy is not seen on insulin levels: often, a person who consumes lower amounts of carbohydrates to begin burning the thicker, viscous fat cells has a lowered blood sugar. You will feel more stable in energy levels, and if a calorie of fat is 9 calories versus a calorie of carbs being only 4 calories, your energy will last a lot longer. An average person has about a month’s worth of energy in their fat stores, versus a day’s worth of stored carbohydrates (also known as glycogen).

Why I proclaim low fat or low carb, and not both.
The reason for this post is mainly because the amount of heart disease, obesity, and unhealthy bodies on our planet is devastating. We’re living unhealthily and not very happily; our greatest gift to ourselves is the commitment to health and longevity. I truly believe a high fat, low carb diet works for 80% of people on the planet. However, I do understand that not everyone functions properly with little to no carbohydrate intake. So, pick your camp and stay in it.
With a low fat, high carb diet you will be fueling your cells with quick bursts of energy to get you through the challenges of the day. Remember to re-fuel often with low fat, low calorie sources of food and make sure to up your fiber intake. It will help you in the bathroom, if you know what I mean. However, your body will not have to store any fat you do consume as visceral fat because you will only be burning carbohydrate sugars for fuel. Your muscle mass may be low, and your stamina may suffer, but you can always re-fuel.
Warning: A high carb diet may cause your insulin levels to skyrocket, so resist the urge to eat high carb fake foods and stick with fruits. Remember to drink a lot of water, otherwise your body will store water with all of the carbohydrate you intake.

With a high fat, low carb diet you will be fueling your cells with concentrated, slow burning energy to keep you stable during the day. Remember to re-fuel with oily snacks and moderate protein, if you remember to. Your reduced appetite from the dense energy sources you’re burning may cause you to eat even when you’re not hungry, but know you should eat. You may be using the bathroom more than before. Don’t forget your vegetables to increase your phytonutrient and antioxidant levels. Your muscle mass may improve, and you may be able to exercise longer, so always concentrate on meeting your fitness goals.
Warning: A low carb diet typically starts with a decreased energy level for about a week. The body is going to fight a lowered blood sugar with tiredness, but continue to fuel with high fat foods and after a week you will feel energized.

Pick your camp and stay in it.

New Year’s Resolutions

newyear

Last year I posted about resolutions in 2013 based on sun sign in astrology — how accurate were those themes for you throughout the past 12 months? I know mine was pretty spot on.

It’s time to revisit the 2013 version of, “What is your New Year’s resolution for 2014?” This year, I’m taking a different approach by consolidating the entire entry for each sign into one sentence. Straight to the point, no fluff or confusing fuzzy language. But don’t worry! Here’s the original article if you’d like all the nitty-gritty tid bits as well.

Here we have it — New Year’s resolutions per astrological sun sign for the upcoming 2014 year:

Aries: Stop fueling your anger and scaring everyone else away from you, or else you’ll lose any cultivated stability you have now.

Taurus: Relationships are serious business and your face needs to stop showing it; release your soft-hearted side with friends and romantic company.

Gemini: For the love of God, be modest with your finances, re-invest in your friends (if you still can), and gain financial independence from others.

Cancer: You’re worth anything you can dream of and the key to success lies in being vulnerable and open, so drop the hard shell off your back and embrace life.

Leo: Exhausted from using all your energy toward others, resolve to take care of you and make a solid decision about moving your (and no one else’s) life forward.

Virgo: Sometimes our inner circle of friends needs re-evaluating and it’s more than vital for you to assess who’s really out to nourish, or deplete, you.

Libra: Your home life is going to get a shake up and you may wish to make newer, but more improved, changes to the way you’re living.

Scorpio: Pay attention to your body’s messages, because it is important you respond to them and center your emotional body as well.

Sagittarius: You are valuable and it’s time to embrace what you bring to your relationships to prevent being taken advantage of any longer.

Capricorn: Breathe; okay, relax and accept that what makes the world beautiful are not the decisions we make but how we react to what’s around us — you may want to try yoga this year.

Aquarius: There’s a lot of repressed emotion within you, so deal with them in a healthy way to stop burning yourself (and your energy levels) out.

Pisces: Finances are your friend, so try an investment in the people you can connect with in order to grow within your career and support the life you’re living.

Are these resolutions resonating with you? Are they completely off track? Either way, here’s to a happy and fulfilling new year for all of us! 2014, here we come!

Dear Former Foodie. Love, Ex-Foodie

Lately, I’ve been writing many small copy writing articles for apartment complexes all over the USA. Whether I am confidently describing all natural cleaners, alternatives to recycling, or motorcycle care in Autumn, the opportunities for growth as a writer never end.
I’ll never forget the article I wrote for Comcast about children and technology. It was a proud, albeit fleeting, moment in my writer ego’s heart. 

Today, such victories are smaller and demure in nature. I feel a sense of calm and understanding that my ability as a writer is needed and appreciated by clients every single day. It’s not a matter of being the best, although I’m pretty damn close– it’s a matter of being reliable, dependable, and engaging as a content cowgirl. I lasso the language into submission.

One of the most recent articles I chose to write on asked me to provide the reader with alternatives for Thanksgiving dishes. I happily accepted and eagerly wrote about different alternatives to the Thanksgiving dinner– vegan roast, blueberry lavender stuffing (which, apparently, isn’t a thing. So look out for my recipe), and orange chocolate sponge cakes. Then, it hit me.

This used to be a recipe blog. I have a foodie’s brain. 

What happened? I left my incessant love for creative and boundary-crushing dishes for internal, emotion driven writing. Was it an emotional choice? Or had I just felt that moving forward, letting go of the blog’s past, was the best decision?

Maybe, just maybe, it was my withheld anger from the foodie community. Bloggers who consistently post impressive, creative recipes often have the least views. Bloggers who have expensive cameras, that can afford unique domain names with overused (and frankly, very predictable) recipes have the most views. How many times have we seen a bacon maple cupcake already? Yet, when a newcomer (and very attractive) recipe blogger posts “their” recipe, it gets thousands of views. What’s up with this dynamic? Have we lost a sense of originality and flavor?
Maybe this reason alone is why I’ve avoided posting recipes. I don’t want to turn into a washed up, re-posting recipe hag.
I’m not calling these famous recipe bloggers hags, but I would surely turn into one if I went down that path.

 

I don’t know if I will ever post another recipe again. But I do know that I will continue to think of them every single day.

Spotlight: 100 Books that SHOULD be Written

There is an intelligent, creative individual by the name of Adam Smith who can change our lives, if we let him. His project, 100 Books That SHOULD Be Written, focuses on the aspects of our lives that the publishing world has ignored. He’s designed and collaborated to present 100 titles that honestly would stand to benefit by being published. I’m interested in his ideas mostly because the novels he has posted are equally intriguing, despite the subject matter of each.

Although the project is over, you can read back at the various titles he created on his main blog site. Today, I chose what I thought to be the most daring and somewhat controversial idea.

“If We Paid our Teachers What We Pay Our Celebrities, Maybe One Day We’d Be Smart Enough to Know Better.”

If this novel were an actual published piece of work, it would sell millions. Want to know why? Because teachers have everything that celebrities wish that they had. The reason teachers are being paid less than celebrities is because we undervalue the impact that teachers have on us, while overvaluing the expectations that celebrities have on us. Due to this fact alone, celebrities make billions while teachers make less than the national average.
Think about it. A celebrity makes one successful movie or music album and gets a few million for it. Teachers, who successfully prepare millions of students for their future careers and lives, watch as their finest pupils graduate while working around the clock for the incoming students who will arrive. Their work never stops. And yet their salaries neglect to honor that fact.
Teachers have grit. Their ability to handle hundreds of different personality types, emotional instabilities, unexpected emergencies and inquiries from many different students builds stamina. Their passion for the work that they do is entirely focused on investing their lives in others. Teachers do their work for the students, not for themselves.

Celebrities do not. Celebrities do their work for the fame, the cash, the media attention, and for their own confidence. Some, by this I mean very few, celebrities give back to their communities and acknowledge their fans. Are these acts of kindness simply because they wish they had “better things to do with their wealth and time?” If that’s the case, here’s exactly where the problem lies.

By having “too much money” that they feel like giving back to those less fortunate, celebrities may have an inflated income in the first place. If teachers are scrambling to pay their bills with a crumbling salary, just to stay present for their students every day of the school year, teachers may have the right to a more comfortable income.

Things that People in the Future Would Say.

I don’t often frequent tumblr sites for the sheer fact that they are plastered with artistic scantily clad young people that further perpetrate my already fading self-confidence. As I age, this fire continues to dim. It makes sense, we only get more old as we age. And old does not belong on tumblr pages. Old belongs in family reunion photographs where “Look how much we’ve matured,” is said. That’s where aging belongs. And I don’t mind it.

However, I found a tumblr site free of lanky children: it’s actually full of writing prompts. And I chose one for today that, oddly enough, relates to aging and growing older. You are asked to imagine what people of the future would say about the way we live now. Get really into the detail and truly ask yourself what the future will hold for mankind, and how hard we will laugh at our past mistakes.

First, I’ll introduce Sarah: a 40-year old mother of 1 who lives in Georgia, and her child has just left the nest for college. She chuckles to herself in the kitchen when the reality hits her: her daughter is going to college. She’s grown up and has finally moved on to becoming an adult and working toward entering a career that will carry her through the rest of her life. As Sarah ponders over her experience in college, partially in community college and partially at a large university, she smiles in remembrance of her classmates faces, their “pop quizzes,” and getting to throw their cap in the air at graduation day. All of the memories she holds dear in the back of her mind light a small fire in her heart.
“Ma, I’m done with classes today! It was fun.” Her daughter slinks by her memory-intoxicated mother to grab a soda from the hologram fridge. “Yes, it really does chill them in 60 seconds. So cool Ma, I love technology!” She snaps the lid off her soda and waves in the air behind her as she gallops up the stairs into her room.
“Since when did college consist of a child plugging into a microphone and speakers, doing digital essays and filling out HTML-based exams with a robotic instructor?” Sarah sighs, thinking of how her daughter will never have the connection with her professors like she did. Professor Foss is really just long strings of code, intelligent enough to inform and display information to any student who listens.
Sarah wonders how her daughter will learn to connect and grow emotionally close to her colleagues and friends. The only friends she developed as a child were through her mandatory high school game days, where everyone joined the same server to relax and not hit the digital books for a day. They all know each other’s avatars and skill levels, not their eye colors and personal stories.
“Who am I kidding?” Sarah shrugs, gently placing her mug in the sink and turning on the magnetic stove. “Perhaps this is the best way for us to grow and learn more as humans. I just must be a little too old fashioned for the world these days.” As she taps the menu on her stove and the magnets generate ferocious heat, she stirs the pot of instant stew and hydrates the turkey that will be the main course of dinner for her and her daughter.
“I suppose I can teach her to cook,” she says to herself, pouring a glass of merlot.

Quote

“Who can’t rela…

“Who can’t relate to the idea of leaving one chapter behind and moving on to the next?” -Mike Shinoda

For those of you who know me well, this quote was chosen because it stood out, only after I copied it did I notice who said it. *cough*ILoveMikeShinoda*cough*

Isn’t this the condition we live in every day? How do we continue forward in our lives without letting go of what had previously served us? By releasing our attachment to what was, we create space to welcome what could be. If life were a game, and you had the ability to level up, I think it’s a safe bet to say life experiences would be your path to a higher level. We cannot predict how we will react, but we can predict how we will behave depending on the experiences our life presents to us. 
By completing a chapter, we have written a monologue of ourselves. Pure emotion, thought, and behavior in a cozy package that can be translated by anyone else who is granted access to it. Making peace with our completed chapters, and appreciating that we were given the content to achieve it allows us to experience peace. 

How will you choose to close the chapter you’re in now?

Losing yourself is necessary to grow up.

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”

-Thomas Merton

 

Today’s post (albeit, so very delayed) is more or less a life lesson that has come full circle for me in the past few years. As the title states, Losing yourself is necessary to grow up, I have discovered that in order for a person to become fully integrated into their mind, body and spirit, they must get lost in order to find their own way. The focus in on “their own way.” Life provides us with many experiences that any other person could share with you: birthdays, becoming a teenager, a first kiss, and graduating school. Because we share these experiences, we can share discourse and connect with others based on our similarities to them. In my observation, we begin to admire others more as we get to know their experiences that we share. Even if the experience is drastically different, we still enjoy sharing words about it. 

Where we decide if we want to be closer to a person or not, is when we discover whether we agree with them or not. As the quote says, we’re looking for someone to mirror us (even in the smallest of ways). We long to agree with others and feel gratified for our experiences. If there is a mismatch, we turn away, or don’t call back or post a passive-aggressive quote on Facebook.
“How can someone who has been through the same experience as me not make the same choice?”
It’s not that we think they are wrong, we just don’t get why they didn’t do it the “right way.” The way we did it.

Best friends are those unique and fulfilling people that we have in our lives for the very reason that finding mirrors in other faces is unrealistic and selfish. While best friends may have experiences in common, they often have a long-standing relationship that has navigated the turbulent waters of emotional eruptions and standoffs. Best friends who have never had an argument or tiff are simply friends that mirror each other. There is nothing to work out– no tangles to untie, no obstacles to overcome together. A best friend is a person that, despite differences, you’d want by your side in an apocalyptic zombie attack. You would look out for each other, and that’s all that truly matters.

Maybe I’m posting this because I’ve realized the importance of losing yourself in others, and being an advocate for understanding others without resisting your own thoughts. Wisdom is something we share because it’s true, helpful, and kind. Knowledge is something we share because it’s proven with observation or experience.
To truly find yourself, you must hear and be open to all forms of wisdom and knowledge, and be discerning enough to know what is wise for you, and what is simply knowledge.