Sunday, September 23, 2007

"Dancing With God"


Although we all like to think we know what is best for our lives, I have found that when I relinquish my personal desires, and am able to totally "give it up", so to speak, for God to handle, my life works out far better than I could ever have imagined.

I actually learned that lesson after I got sick with Rheumatoid Arthritis in late 2003. It was a series of events, over a period of a year, that led me to the epiphany that God is in perfect control of all things. It was such a relief to come to the realizitation that I did not have to be in control of my life. I don't mean to say that I don't take responsibility for my actions, but I have learned that if I do the leg work God will do the rest. I have since ceased to spin my wheels.

So I wanted to share something I came across at middleageramblings, which perfectly describes what it's like to 'let go and let God". Letting God guide our lives is indeed like Dancing With God.

Dancing With God

When I meditated on the word Guidance,
I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word.
I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.
The movement doesn't flow with the music,
and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.
When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead,
both bodies begin to flow with the music.
One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back
or by pressing lightly in one direction or another.
It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.
The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person
and gentle guidance and skill from the other.
My eyes drew back to the word Guidance.

When I saw "G": I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i".
"God, "u" and "i" dance."
God, you, and I dance.
As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust
that I would get guidance about my life.
Once again, I became willing to let God lead.
My prayer for you today is that God's blessings
and mercies are upon you on this day and everyday.
May you abide in God, as God abides in you.
Dance together with God, trusting God to lead
and to guide you through each season of your life.
This prayer is powerful and there is nothing attached.
If God has done anything for you in your life,
please share this message with someone else.
There is no cost but a lot of rewards;
so let's continue to pray for one another.
And I Hope You Dance !

Source Unknown

Saturday, September 22, 2007

There's More to Calcium then Milk!

Dem bones, dem bones.......

So you think that only calcium from milk (and other dairy products or supplements) is good for bone-health? Think again. You'd be surprised at some other foods that are just as good for our bones and teeth. And others (like Vitamin D and K enriched foods) that are very necessary to ensure that the calcium from those foods is absorbed into our system, to maintain those healthy bones.


"Milk, it does a body good". Not so! Well at least, not for those of us who are lactose intolerant, or those who are Vegan, or believe that milk should only be consumed by babies and baby cows. So, these mighty tasty alternatives are good news.

SESAME SEEDS: Although it packs on more calories, an ounce (160 calories) of sesame seeds has the equivalent amount of calcium as a glass of skim milk. Sprinkle some on your cereal, or veggies, or whatever else you fancy.

FIGS: believe it or not, have more calcium than most other fruits - 6 figs supply 15% of the RDA for calcium. I'm not sure how many fig newtons you'd have to eat to gain any benefit, other than pounds, but you might check it out on the packaging.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS: (if you can stand them- personally, they make me gag!) The Vitamin K in Brussels Sprouts helps our bones retain the calcium necessary for bone health, so it is vitally important to make sure you get enough Vitamin K in your diet. It seems that early post-menopausal women don't get enough vitamin K, so just a half cup of these cooked, gag-inducing veggies provides more than the daily requirement. So go ahead and enjoy. I'll find other yummier Vitamin K rich foods like the following:

OTHER LEAFY GREENS: Spinach, Kale, broccoli, all have calcium, but in a form that is unavailable to the body. However, they are chock full of Vitamin K. Other veggies with high levels of Vitamin K are turnip greens, lettuce and cabbage. Now that's more like it. For a list of Vitamin K Rich foods and the amounts per 100 grams of food, click here.

FLAXSEED: a recent study published in Nutrition Journal claims that diets that are high in alpha-linolenic acid A.L.A. (an Omega-3 Fatty Acid which is found in ground flaxseed, soybean and other sources, though it is highest in flaxseed) may actually help slow down bone loss. And 1 tablespoon contains 1.6 grams of ALA (which constitutes more than your daily needs.)

PUMPKIN SEEDS: Magnesium is very important in helping the body metabolize calcium, and most nuts and seeds are a great source of magnesium. All you need is 2 ounces of pumpkin seeds, and you'll have consumed 302 mg of magnesium , the full RDA. You can put them in muffins, or sprinkle on salads and, voila!

TOFU: 1/2 cup provides 250 mg of calcium. The wonderful thing about tofu is that it is so versatile. Because it is essentially tasteless, it takes on the flavors of the spices etc. that it is cooked with. I make a fabulous tofu-carob mousse pie, and people have no clue it is made with tofu. It has probably been my most popular and most requested recipe.

SALMON: and other fatty fish like herring etc. are rich in Vitamin D (in addition to calcium), which is essential for many things including bone health. (I'll be doing a separate post on Vitamin D soon.) Women ingesting enough Vitamin D, plus calcium, have been found to have a 29% reduced risk of hip fracture. 1 ounce of herring contains 193 IU of Vitamin D, the recommended daily requirement, although there is some thought that people might need more. And, a 3 1/2 ounce serving of salmon provides 90% of the RDA.

So, there you go. Lots of interesting and different choices, for both carnivores, pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans, alike.

Oh, and don't forget exercise! It is very important, particularly lifting weights. Sigh.

NOTE: Careful about your caffeine consumption. Drinking too much will, in essence, leach the calcium out of your bones. Besides, there are is no nutritional value, whatsoever in caffeine.

The RDA for calcium is as follows:

Children:

0 to 6 months 210 mg

7 to 1 years 270

1 to 3 years 500

4 to 8 years 800

Women:

9 to 18 years 1300 mg

19 to 50 years 1000

51 plus years 1200

Men:

9 to 18 years 1300 mg

19 to 50 years 1000

over 51 years 1200

For a list of other vegetarian, calcium rich foods, click here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Greenpeople.org - resource for saving dollars on all things green

I came across greenpeople.org in Prevention Magazine today. It's an extensive resource for "eco-friendly and holistic health products", a site I know I'm bookmarking for the future.

If you are looking to save on organic fruits and veggies they list local food buying clubs and co-ops by zip code and state, city and even country.

Food buying clubs, if there are any near you, are a great way to save up to 35% on organic foods. Members purchase the produce in bulk directly from farmers and meet every week or 2 to divide it all up. According to Prevention Magazine the cost ranges from $40 to $50 for 2 weeks. That seems like quite a savings, especially for those who have families. There are supposedly 10,000 buying clubs across the country.

Greenpeople.org doesn't seem to list any of the larger health food chains, like Whole Foods and Wild Oats, but those are easily located via their specific web sites.

They also have listings from clothing to travel to holistic medical practitioners, and it also happens to list the best (and my favourite) website for veggie restaurants (and health food stores) across the nation and the world: happycow.net.

You never know what you'll find on these kinds of sites.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Keys to happiness: Jospeh Addison quote

"The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something
to do, something to love and something to hope for."


Joseph Addison

Saturday, September 1, 2007

It's never too Late!

How many times have we told ourselves it was too late to do something? We feel we're too old to change, or to learn something new. My Dad, although ill health prevented him from finishing, went back to college at the ripe old age of 78 or 79. He went for several semesters until his back went out, and he was in too much pain to continue. He is now fine, but we were so proud of him. My sister changed careers in her mid 40s, ending up with a PhD in Psych. Another friend started her law degree in her mid 40s.

You are as old as you consider yourself, and it is never, ever too late to do anything! All you need is the will and the energy, and even the energy can be manufactured.

There's a wonderful poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, that I wanted to share.

Never Too Late
'It's too late!' Ah, nothing is too late-
Cato learned Greek at eighty, Sophocles
Wrote his grand 'Oedipus'; and Simonides
Bore off the praise of verse from his compeers
When each had numbered more than fourscore years.
And Theophrastus, at fourscore and ten
Had begun his 'Characters of men'.
Chaucer, at Woodstock, with his nightingales,
At sixty wrote the 'Canterbury Tales.'
Goethe, at Weimar, toiling to the last,
Completed 'Faust' when eighty years were past.
What then? Shall we sit idly down and say,
'The night has come, it is no longer day?'
For age is opportunity no less
than youth itself, in another dress.
And as the evening twilight fades away,
The sky is filled with stars, invisibly by day.
It is never too late to start doing what is right.
Never.
Amen to that!