The throat and truth telling

I lay in bed at 2:30 in the morning with a nasty sore throat and cough. For days I had become progressively worse and I really didn’t know what to do. I had taken teas, gargled with warm salt water, guzzled apple cider vinegar, you name it.

So I was just sitting there (because laying down made it worse), couldn’t sleep, so I started doing research on the metaphysical reason why we get sick in the throat and I found that it’s due to the inability to express ourselves or speak our truth.

I had to face it. I hadn’t written anything in a while and recently quit my first/last casino job.

Having worked as a server before, I decided to take on the job and just give it a try. Things were going pretty well until they decided to put me on the graveyard shift working from 12am to 8:30am every day but I couldn’t do anything about it since they give the new people the worst shifts and I had to accept it. Even though I voiced my concern, that was part of the job. I have never been a night owl. I was always the girl who goes to bed at 10pm for a great majority of my life, except for a period of time when I dated a computer science nerd who went to bed frequently at 5am and slept all day.

So, the job was weird like that and I started to be faced with the reality that I really didn’t need to be doing a job like that because I had already been to school and could probably get a better job. I was surrounded by people who felt stuck in the job and accepted unusual working conditions and crap from people because they had bills to pay and kids to feed.

One of my coworkers looked at me one day and asked. So let me get this straight…”you’re single, Latina, 30, with no kids? That’s rare.”

Yea, I know it is. I was so out of my element while I worked there and I wasn’t writing at all because I was always so tired. Working in the casino really made me think about myself and what I was doing. I was educated with no children. I didn’t need to be there, but I was there, why? That’s what I really had to come to terms with.

As I lay there at 2:30 in the morning, I turned on the T.V. and a program came on about women comedians. One of the first things I ever wanted to be was a comedian because I loved to make people laugh.

At that moment, I realized I wasn’t living my truth. My body got sick in order to remind me to live my freaking truth. Not that I’m going to go out and be a comedienne, but I needed to express myself more than I was. Sometimes we don’t want to listen but the body will make you. Sometimes pills, cough syrup, even our alternative medicinal remedies aren’t going to heal us. It’s figuring out the real shit that’s going on in our hearts/minds/souls that we need to pinpoint, figure out, and deal with in order to heal.

And I literally had to create something in order to heal. I literally had to sit my ass down and start writing in order to feel better because I was finally telling my truth and unclogging my fifth chakra, where truth telling comes from.

So another lesson I learned from the metaphysical world. If you get sick in your throat, you need to say what you need to say. That’s it.

Hanging onto the past, bites you in the ass

There are so many people that hold grudges, thinking they are doing some justice, teaching a person a lesson, but all it really does it hold us back from achieving our full potential and it only develops disease in our minds and bodies. 

I come from a family that holds grudges. I remember certain people in the family hold grudges for 10+ years towards a person and it’s ridiculous because when you ask what the grudge is about, they don’t even remember! They are just like, I know we were mad at each other for something.

You really end up holding the grudge against yourself because holding onto any unresolved conflict, creates havoc within the body and therefore diseases develop.

I wouldn’t think like this had I not discovered Louise Hay and her book, “Heal your body: the mental causes for physical illness and the metaphysical way to overcome them.”

This book is revolutionary!

If there is anything going on with my body, I immediately look at this book and see if the cause is true. The book has not been wrong. What’s cool about it is that there are affirmations you can start saying to overcome the physical issue. This way of thinking has taught me that there is no physical issue that appears out of nowhere. The thinking brought it on.

For example, I’ll never forget this one time I was in the car with a girlfriend. I was driving and she was going off complaining about some women in her life. I wanted to be a good friend and listen so that’s what I did, but when I got home I noticed my right ear was hurting so much. I thought I was getting an earache, so I looked in the book and looked up, “earache.” Of course it was listed and the cause was “Not wanting to hear. Too much turmoil. Parents arguing.” It hit me. I was driving so my right ear was facing my girlfriend and her crap talk. I really didn’t want to hear her. And when my younger brother was little he had ear aches ALL THE TIME when my parents were going through their divorce and they were always fighting.

Crazy, right?

But that’s just one example.

If it’s something that can’t be fixed quickly like being overweight (having the need for protection) or having acne (anger), I find putting affirmations as reminders on my cell phone reminds me that I’m trying to adopt a new changing attitude.

I was just thinking about this today because since I have family that loves to hold grudges, it’s no secret that those family members have had cancer (deep hurt, longstanding resentment) and heart attacks (Long standing emotional problems, hardening of the heart).

I have learned that it’s very important to forgive, let go, and show love to every single person. If you don’t, you’re the only one who suffers.

I really recommend the Louise Hay book. It has changed the way I look at any physical problem. I always refer to the book now and give thanks to my body because it will never lie to me.

First Advanced Bikram Yoga Class

Sometimes all it takes is someone to believe in you to get you motivated to do something you never thought you could do.  I have had the pleasure of practicing under a great instructor, Nicole, at my Scottsdale, AZ Bikram studio who encouraged me to go to Advanced class. I read that Advanced class is for teachers and competitors, and I’m neither, so I didn’t think I’d ever be able to go. Deep down, I really wanted to because I love yoga so much and I want to do it all. I mean, I’ve been practicing for almost three and a half years. It’s hard to say you are “good” at yoga because it’s all about the process. Someone who takes class for the first time in their life and isn’t flexible can be considered good because it’s all about how focused you are, how you breathe, and that you try.

At my Los Angeles studio, all you had to do was be invited by a teacher to attend advanced class, so because I was invited by a teacher, I thought why not. Last night after I practiced, another teacher asked me when I was going to try advanced class and I thought, okay, I’m going to do this.

So today I did. I went in with a clear mind. I didn’t know what to expect and it was great because it’s nice to be a newbie again. Advanced Bikram is a whole new world. It requires a different kind of strength and is way more physical because many of the poses require upper body strength. The beginner Bikram series is more focused on back and leg strength and flexibility, not so much arm strength. I’m hooked and pumped because I’m sore in different parts of my body. I feel strong, like I’ve opened a new door in my life and in my practice. I feel blessed that my studio offers Advanced classes at all. I’m here for a reason. I was ready for this. Now, I just have to keep going so I can get stronger in my upper body and do some headstands or at least half a headstand against a wall.

Bucket List Item-Learn Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

Michael Jackson's Thriller jacket
Michael Jackson’s Thriller jacket (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was this manifestation book I read earlier this year that suggested making a list of 49 things you wanted to accomplish within a year, 30 things you wanted to accomplish in 5 years, 20 things within 10 years, and 10 things within 30 years and so on, until it basically made you narrow down three things you wanted to do in a lifetime. That was a very powerful thing for me to understand. I had wanted to do a lot of things, but it really made me see which goals I had that were tangents and which were leading me towards what I really wanted to accomplish with my life.

When I made that list of things I wanted to accomplish within a year, I didn’t look at it like a bucket list at the time, but in a way it kind of was and is, similar to making New Year’s resolutions. One year I had a very silly yet serious New Year’s resolution and that was to learn to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

I started learning the dance around a month ago and yesterday I participated in an event called “Thrill the World,” with nearly 200 people at the Arizona state fair. This is a one day event that takes place every year around Halloween time where people from all over the world dance to “Thriller” at the same time in order to break a Guinness World Record, raise money for local charities, and just have fun dancing. On www.thrilltheworld.com, you will find instructional videos that break down the dance and make it pretty easy to learn.

I started learning the dance around a month ago and yesterday I danced with nearly 200 people at the Arizona state fair.

Mom and I in full zombie mode!
Mom and I in full zombie mode!

It was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. I also learned how to do zombie makeup from some youtube tutorials. Super cool. Just wanted to share another creation method that has assisted in my growth and healing. Dancing is fun and a great release of energy. And I don’t care what people say, I love Michael Jackson. He was a person who had enough money and power to make change and that was threatening. Sure, he seemed weird, but that’s because he had a stolen childhood due to fame. All he wanted was peace. That’s what most of us want.

The Ayurvedas and Banana-Honey Granola Bars

Banana-Honey Raw Granola Bars
Banana-Honey Raw Granola Bars

In practicing Bikram Yoga consistency for over three years, I have unintentionally learned so much about the body. You hear teachers say things like Prahna, Chi, Third eye, and Life force energy. When I first started practicing I was just like, okay, whatever, I’m here to stretch and sweat, but it rubs off on you and it makes sense after a while. Yoga has now become a great diagnostic tool to help me see what hurts and bothers me.

You would see it too if you were in class feeling nauseous and dizzy and all you want to do is run out of the room, and the teacher just tells you to stand there and be still and focus on your breath. This conditioning is teaching you to love to be in your body regardless of what you experience.

Anyway, I can’t talk about yoga enough because it has done so much for me but one of the best things it did was make me want to be in my body. It made me see and feel what improper foods did to my body while I was in class. And because of yoga, I am open to alternative medicine.

I am so passionate about alternative healing because I have been viewing how modern medicine has affected loved ones around me, from a suicidal friend to a heart attack prone father to a grandmother with fibromyalgia. I sat around seeing them in pain regardless of what doctors have prescribed them and it just doesn’t freaking work.

After a while I learned that I can’t push anyone because it’s exhausting. The only one I can push or help is myself first and foremost. Over the past three years I’ve healed myself from chronic cough, weight gain, urinary tract infections, bad knees, resentment, and anger issues, all my being open to alternative healing through food, yoga, and literally cleaning my mind of negative thoughts.

Earlier this year when I heard about Ayurveda, India’s ancient system of natural medicine, I was open to it and didn’t find it to be so hard to believe.

Believing in Ayurveda is just like believing what any modern doctor has to say about health and medicine or taking a pill because they say it will work. It’s an act of faith to believe that you can classify energies in the body. You can’t necessarily see it but you can feel it. I’ve sat in front of doctors who mostly want to get you out of their face by prescribing medicines to help you avoid pain. But our pain is an indicator of the real problem that if ignored, will only grow and grow.
So, there is something to recognizing your pain and accepting it.

In Ayurveda, they talk about something called “ojas” as the essence of life that represents the “core” strength of the body and inherent immunity; the seed of nourishment and creativity and vital energy that is stored deep within the body.

Ojas circulates throughout the bodily tissues and heart, sustaining the physical self, bringing clarity to the mind and balancing the emotions. When the body produces ojas, we feel blissful because both the mind and the body are receiving the nourishment they need.
It is believed that “ojas” is the first thing to be created in the body of all living beings and that each is born with a certain allotment of “ojas.” People can be born with a little bit of “ojas” or a lot and your “ojas” can be weakened over time due to stress, eating bad food, having too much sex, smoking, or drinking alcohol.
These are some of the many factors that can determine your “ojas” constitution, but luckily there are things you can do and eat to strengthen your “ojas,” and one of them is consuming pure foods such as almonds, sesame, honey, rice, and fruits.

One of my favorite books, “Raw Energy” by Stephanie Tourles includes a whole chapter of recipes that strengthen ojas. I thought that was real cool. And basically this post had started out as me wanting to share this great recipe that strengthens ojas and is a great breakfast food or snack.

The recipe I would like to share is the Banana-Honey Granola bars.
They are a good source of complex carbs, protein, Vitamins B and E, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, and magnesium.

So, just thought I’d share:

Ingredients:

  1. 1 medium, very ripe banana, peeled
  2. 2 cups raw oat flakes
  3. 1 cup raw almond butter or peanut butter
  4. 1/4 cup raw honey
  5. 2 TBSP bee pollen
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1 tsp ground cinnamon coconut oil raw and unrefined

Directions:

1. Put banana, nut butter, honey, bee pollen, vanilla, and cinnamon in food processor and blend until you have a stiff, cohesive dough ball.
2. Coat a 9-inch square pan with coconut oil and oil your hands as well.  Pat the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Cover and place in the freezer for 24 hours so that the flavors can meld; the texture will become quite firm and chewy.
3. Cut into three 3-inch squares in each direction, then cut each square in half as well so that you have a total of 36 squares.
4. Store the squares/balls in a tightly sealed container in the freezer and consume within 2 weeks for the best flavor and texture.
Number of Servings: 36

Put Yourself Through The Fire

There’s an amazing quote that I’ve heard Bikram Yoga instructors say often in class which is “put yourself through the fire and no one can touch you.” Today I apply that to my current condition which has totally humanized me: a nice little cold.

I am human but unlike many humans who take medicine to heal the common cold, I put myself through the fire in order to heal my sickness. I’m not fond of aspirins and over the counter drugs. To me, they only prolong the healing process. Instead of drowning my sorrows in Nyquil, Tylenol, or Ibuprofen, I made my body go through the fire of a Bikram yoga class whereby I experienced intense chills, nausea, and dizziness as my body detoxified all of the fear out of my mind. Oh, it was hard but worth it.
What I also love doing when I feel sick is making vegetable soup.
The process of cutting vegetables, especially onions and garlic, feels cleansing and detoxifying. There’s something about onion induced watery eyes that just feels like you are getting better and eating hot soup really makes you sweat and is comforting.

After the yoga and soup, I began to think about why I might have gotten sick in the first place and then it came to me. Sunday I had a heated conversation with my boyfriend via telephone and I immediately got a headache after. We were talking about the future and I was the one thinking negatively, not behaving very Louise Hay-like. I was letting fear take over and I can’t help but think that is what made me sick.

Today was all about making choices and deciding on what it is I want rather than what I don’t want because indecision clouds signals to the universe and indecision is really just fear at work that makes me get sick. I want to feel good. I want to feel peace in my present moment. The future isn’t here. The past isn’t here.
I let fear control my mind and I got sick.

I had to be aware of that. I had to put myself through the fire by just being in my present moment, getting in touch with my center. Once I became aware, I started to feel better.

Anyway, this experience of being sick reminded me that fear and negativity are what make people sick mostly and once we clear up our minds, the body heals. The way I work is that once I eat right and exercise, I get meditative and get in touch with my root, my center. Everything makes sense after that. This is what I experienced today.

Being sick couldn’t come at a better time since it solidified my decision to start my Lemonade cleanse (Master Cleanse) documentary come this Sunday. Ten days of documentary blogging will be coming as I cleanse all the caca out of my stomach that has built up since I last did the cleanse in February.

Fibromyalgia quest calling

My heart breaks when I come to visit my grandmother in Los Angeles. I had a conversation with her about food and health over the weekend. She suffers from chronic leg cramps and pain. She’s so upset that doctors prescribe her pills to deal with the problems she faces. The pills only provide a temporary solution that only lasts an hour in her case, but they in no way provide the solution.

My grandmother is one of the most important people to me in my life. She asked me to research fibromyalgia symptoms and solutions. Her doctors aren’t helping her. They are giving her pills but not providing solutions. Why haven’t they told her that she has fibromyalgia? Are they trying to keep her medicated so they can continue to make money from her pain?

I was very impressed to hear her knowledge about food and health. She seems to know a lot about food and what good nutrition can do to heal the body. I just wonder why she is still the way she is? Why does she continue to eat things that aren’t improving her health?

I think when people are in situations that don’t make them happy, such as the one she is in where she lives in an unfavorable situation, people get sick and stay sick until they get happy again. How do we become happy? When we take control of our lives and our health and stop being victims?

Well, in doing research I was able to find this resource, a study that proves that fibromyalgia symptoms were improved by using a mostly raw vegetarian diet.

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/1/7

I am completely committed to helping my grandmother improve her life and health. I love her with all my heart. She asked me for help. It’s not like I came into her home and said, hey grandma, I hear you have leg cramps and fibromyalgia, let’s get you on the raw food diet. No. She asked for help. There is a difference. People have to ask for it. You can’t make them do anything. But you can help them when they ask for it.

So this is another task at hand–to find recipes and a plan that can help my grandmother combat Fibromyalgia and chronic leg pain. I saw the light in her eyes this weekend. I saw love working its magic and I know she will get better with a little help from raw food and affirmations. I learned from Bikram Choudhury who once said:  “It’s never too late, it’s never too bad, you’re never too old, you’re never too sick to start from scratch once again, to be born once again.”

Tofu, fact or fiction? To eat or not to eat?

The other day I got a new vegan cookbook from the library and as I browsed through it, I saw that many of the recipes used the ultimate meat and dairy substitute: tofu. My uncle introduced me to tofu when I was around 14, a year before I became vegetarian, as he would put it in his veggie and rice dishes. I fell in love with how you could make it taste as good as any meat. So I inhaled tofu throughout high school and college when I was a full on vegetarian. Now that I am becoming a vegetarian again as a late 20’s adult, I’ve educated myself much more about nutrition and I have some things to say about tofu.

So many vegetarian and vegan cookbooks praise tofu, as does the book I am currently  reading titled, “The 30-day vegan challenge,” by Colleen Patrick Goudreau.

The first time I heard that tofu was bad for you and considered a filler food, I was pissed and skeptical because the person who said it sported a pot belly and didn’t seem to know anything about health. But after reading the same thing from Ani Phyo’s books, I thought twice about it. Was the pot belly girl right?

Ani Phyo references a book called “The Whole Soy story,” by Kaayla Daniel.

Apparently the difference in the way soy is made is fermentation vs. processing. In Asia, soy is fermented to eliminate anti-nutrients and soy toxins in raw soy beans. But in America, soy is processed and not fermented, failing to remove anti-nutrients and toxins that are naturally present in soy beans. Most American soy is genetically modified and the soy crop grown in the USA contains the highest levels of poisonous pesticide contaminants.

WHAT?!!

My precious soy and tofu are highly processed and bad for me?

Is that why food companies are advocating soy products? To kill us with our seemingly evolved knowledge of healthy food and eating? The same corporations that brought Agent Orange are now the driving forces behind the promotion of soy as food for humans.

I tried to find the book, “The Whole Soy Story,” at the library–two libraries. No dice.

But…I did find a bunch of reviews on the book that support the book as well as reviews that don’t support the book.

People seem to be really into soy due to research done that compared Asian diets to American diets and it was found that Asians have fewer heart attacks, less breast and prostate cancer, fewer hip fractures, and the women report fewer hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, because they eat soy. But is that the only reason reason? Maybe it also has to do with the fact that the soy in Asia is good for you because it is fermented and the soy in America is not because it is processed.

All that aside, I don’t think there is one food product that is the magic solution to all the ailments our bodies may face here in America. Do people think that if they eat so much soy they will not get a heart attack? Of course if you have soy instead of dairy, it’s better. If you drink something other than pasteurized cow’s milk, your health will improve. If you stop eating hormone-injected animals, your health will improve. I don’t believe that soy is the answer or the only solution.

Hearing what I have about soy I’ve definitely thought twice about eating tofu. I look at soy and tofu like a protein. Finding other sources of protein is what my mission is. If American soy is bad, then I can eat other things to get my protein. And you can have a variety of nut or hemp mylks rather than soy milk.