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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Taming the beast

I'm hoping I haven't lost "all" of my readers, but even so, I plan on gearing back up and posting regularly, and hopefully gain even more readers.I feel profoundly changed by the events of the past few months, all for the better. Even though I lost a connection with a person I believed to be the love of my life, the reality of the situation, and his deception have brought me to life more than anything else has in recent years. So, it has been all sweet, nothing bitter, even though I do have to catch myself when I occasionally refer to him as "that lying asshole in California."I finally found a singing journal I started keeping in January of 2008, and I've decided to read it and post some reflections about how far I've come since then. The last entry is from June 16, 2009, when I was on my way to Bangkok. One feeling I get from it as that I haven't stayed focused on singing and making music, even though as I wrote then I had enormous optimism that I would keep the momentum. That is very telling, and actually helps me realize that I need to get my act together now and get my priorities straight.

I wrote a quote in there on February 7, 2009, about identifying your bete noire, the thing we avoid because it frightens us or can bring us harm. I included the following quote,
You want to be the handler of your beast, instead of its prey.
I feel like the prey of my dreams and aspirations as times. I'm always running, even though in my mind I'm running towards the thing I want, but the effect is that I feel more estranged and exiled in the end. It has become clear to me that what I am to do now is just stand still. I need to confront my bete noire, not run from it.In that same entry I re-quoted Thoreau from an earlier entry on July 7, 2008. Even though I didn't hold this quote in my memory, I can look back and know that I followed its advice.
If one advances steadfastly in the direction of his dreams and endeavcrs to life the life he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.
Reading that quote makes me feel a little better, because I at least know that all the big decisions and many of the little decisions I've made since then have been in service of my dream regardless of whether I can clearly see that they are leading me to my goal.I will keep advancing in the direction of my dreams, hopefully with increasing confidence, and eventually with success unexpected in common hours.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Praise the lard and pass the butter.

Taking a break from my blogging sabbatical because I came across something today which has been soooo profound that I think it will change my life.

I've been looking into traditional/ancestral diets after all the press on the failings of modern nutritional science regarding low fat diets, and how massive amounts of toxic sugar have infiltrated our diet to make us "healthier." I am resisting dietary conspiracy theories, although I think that food and drug companies benefit greatly from the confusion and misinformation.

What got me on this lifestyle change was Robert Lustig's video Sugar: The Bitter Truth which I conveniently happened to hear about a couple of days before he appeared on 60 Minutes. I've been sharing the 60 minutes video with family and friends because it is so accessible, and it leaves them in shock and awe, whether or not it makes them put down the soda. As I learned in my public health classes, people are more likely to think they'll win the lottery than get lung cancer from smoking. Just substitute any of today's chronic diseases (which have skyrocketed since our low fat diet craze) for lung cancer and smoking with a sugar and processed food.


 I have gotten more intense in my search for information this week, and thankfully so. With all this time on my hands waiting on my impending move across the country, I've been able to let my mind meander through a lot of the information in the videos I've seen, and none have been more impacting than the two videos I'm posting below.

I've battled with anxiety, depression, and ADHD symptoms for a very long time, and at times, it seems depressing to think that there will be no end to it. I have intuitively known that things I was eating had obvious effects on my mood and physical well-being in the negative direction. I prefer animal fat and protein and vegetables, I eat less and feel better when I base my diet on them. Yet I have gone against intuition (and the French paradox) because people tell us it is healthy. Yet at the times when I ate Lean Cuisines every day and fast food no more than twice a week, I was to told my LDL and triglycerides were higher (though still in a "healthy" range), and had an EGD, cystoscopy, and colonoscopy before I was even 31.

In the end I'm only left feeling that everything is all in my head.

I hope that there is a tidal shift in nutrition recommendations for the sake of all people out there who are suffering in similar ways, at the hands of well meaning doctors, nutritionists, and corporate executives. Our bodies replace 98% of our atoms every two years, so physically, we really are what we eat! Hopefully it won't take two years for me to feel renewed.

In the meantime, I'm eliminating gluten, and following a semi-Paleo diet. I never would have expected myself to go gluten free, and it is so trendy that I hate the sound of it. However, the pieces of the puzzle seem to be coming together. I've always thought that I had irritable bowel syndrome, but always blamed it on my anxiety. I've intuitively stayed away from bread and sweets (confirmed by my grandmother) because I always felt mildly ill or bad afterwards. I've dealt with the incredulous looks from bosses and friends when I needed to go home early, or didn't show up due anxiety and/or gastrointestinal issues. Another memory that sticks in my head was throwing up immediately after eating a lot of chicken flavored seitan, during my barely tolerable 30 day attempt at being a vegetarian.

Too many people are eating the wrong things, unfortunately with the best intentions. So praise the lard and pass the butter, then put down that Coca-Cola! Actually put down the Coke first!

This first video is of Dr. Terry Walls at her TEDx talk. She cured herself from a debilitating case of multiple sclerosis purely through nutrition and an ancestral diet.

The next video is of Nora Gedgaudas presenting at the Ancestral Health Symposium. She is the author of Primal Body, Primal Mind, a neuro-feedback practitioner, and her presentation led me to this AHA moment. I will definitely be buying her book, and healing myself in the meantime. Your brain is bio-electric, and your psychiatry emerges from that.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A brief hiatus....

I've been out of commission lately for a few good reasons that will be revealed in the months to come. I'm about to embark on some monumental changes that are long overdue and will certainly impact my life and this blog for the better.
For those few faithful followers, please stay tuned, don't remove me from you rss feed or subscription service. MANY better things are in store. Although I am going to take a brief hiatus, I will be back with a vengeance.

See you in May.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Word You Shouldn't Say Today: Half-Breed

It's 2012 people, if you have words like "half-breed", "octoroon", "mulatto", or "quadroon" in your day to day working vocabulary, you should probably work hard and fast to decrease your vocabulary size. You can replace all of those terms with the words biracial or multiracial, or better yet, don't use those words to describe a person if it isn't relevant.

In this wonderful town that I grew up in and currently live in (Louisville, KY), it is completely acceptable to be a media personality (Mandy Connell) and use the word "half-breed" to refer to our current president. You need only apologize and you will suffer no consequences.

This comes as such a shock to me because I've never actually heard the word used except in a Cher song. (A song that I love by the way.) You would think that if this word were in common usage I would have heard some bigot or ignorant person use it at some point, but I haven't, and I've heard some pretty racist things in my time. She claims, of course, that she didn't mean it in a derogatory way, but that is of course complete bullshit. (Pardon my French.)

There are so many things I love about Kentucky, but the backwards, ignorant complacency is something I can't live with. Thank G-D I'm getting out of this place soon. Now I can't even listen to local radio (except NPR, of course, but is that really local).

Post Script:
After writing this, I went back to the article and discovered that this happened about a year ago....I guess 84 WHAS doesn't update their website enough. I clicked this link from another article about something that happened today. Even though that makes this story old doesn't make it untrue. It happened and there were no consequences. This is Kentucky.