Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gluten-Free and Organic Eating

Last year I went through a bit of a health challenge that caused me to seek out the advice of a naturopathic doctor. I'm glad I did because through this consultation, it became imperative that I switch to organic foods, thus avoiding the consequences of ingesting genetically modified foods and pesticides which destroy intestinal health. For the past three or so months, I have become aware of how ever-increasing numbers people are unable to eat certain foods, due to severe allergic responses.

Happily, I noticed our local grocery stores have an expanding section of organic vegetables, prepared foods — and even meats, containing no antibiotics or growth hormones — which is happy news indeed. In order for me to take charge of my health, a growing awareness of the food monopoly pitfalls was an absolute necessity!

I am simplifying food preparation and finding easier recipes, all gluten-free. As I talk about eating healthy, more and more people are responding to me by saying, "My doctor told me to eat less bread." Or "My doctor advised me to go gluten-free."

Even the fact that regular practitioners are giving advice related to diet is a significant shift, when at an earlier time, they might have suggested a drug to cover up an undesirable symptom — or a cream to cover up an eczema outbreak (for example).

More importantly, once I opted for organics, food began to taste noticeably more delicious. The crisp is crispier, the tang is tangier, the range of taste is enhanced into a new dimension of experience!

Here is an example of a really tasty breakfast pancake, which is grain- and gluten-free. (I originally found it on the internet, but the link has since been blocked by Pinterest, saying the site has spam.) Anyway, I now have it memorized, so here is the recipe, without spam:

Grain- and Gluten-free Banana Pancakes

1/2 organic banana
1 organic egg
1 teaspoon organic Black Chia Seeds (optional — added by me, for fiber)
Pinch of sea salt
Yield: makes 4 small pancakes

Blend together in blender till smooth.
Fry in skillet for 5 minutes on each side on medium-low heat.
Yes, believe it or not, that's it! So simple, it takes ten minutes in the morning to prepare and cook this lovely breakfast consisting of one protein and one starch. On weekends I have also doubled the recipe to share with my partner. I add a bit of butter at the table. I am not crazy about adding syrup, but my partner enhances his breakfast by adding some organic Maple Syrup.

So that's my meal. I use organic ingredients, to assure myself of continued excellent health. My naturopathic doctor says I need plenty of protein and he does not subscribe to the demonization of eggs, as do some doctors. Also, a couple of scrambled eggs go great with this breakfast.

I have been eating gluten-free since 2005, but after going organic over the past three months I am enjoying food much more. As well, my energy has improved by leaps and bounds. I'm thrilled!

My understanding of what has transpired since the transition from gluten-free to organic is that while eating gluten-free foods, the fiber has now cleared out the bloating, resulting in a weight reduction of fifteen pounds. But more was needed. My body was asking for real food, clear of pesticides and genetically modified ingredients. As the years passed, my body asked me in a stronger way, by becoming ill, which in turn implored me yet again to search my way to wellness. The path led me to yet another level of healthy eating, which was the organic route. Again, my body released still another fifteen pounds, without any conscious effort on my part to reduce the weight.

And that's where I'm at now in my quest for excellent health!

Follow on Twitter: @_phoenixoffaith
Copyright © 2014.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Changing Guides

I have found myself in somewhat of a funk lately — kind of disconnected from activity going on around me, kind of in my own world and kind of blue. I’ve never been really good at sharing how I feel, but maybe it's time to come out of my shell. So, as I ever so cautiously confided my sense of vulnerability and withdrawal to a dear wise friend, she suggested it’s nothing serious, since it might be as simple as, “you are changing guides.”

I don’t know how many other people are feeling similarly, but I feel like I did a type of “flip” and I’m no longer the same person that I used to be — anymore.

True, there have been shifts in my life — some big, some not. More people who I thought might be friends turned out to be — not. On the other hand, I have made some beneficial gains. With the new energy upon us, my understanding of my new situation is beginning to make more sense after my friend consoled me about our ever-present, ever-caring, ever-guiding — spiritual guides.

I thought about other times in my life when I felt this funk. It never lasted long, as I gained new awareness around the shifts going on in my life. Most — if not all — of the changes were necessary for my spiritual growth. A true friend was always with me at the right time with just the right words, like Daisy in Chapter 37 of my book, Phoenix of Faith. I still speak of her as an earth angel that appeared at the right moment, with comforting words of wisdom to lift my spirit.

I like to walk in nature, so I fell back to what I know. I meandered to the edge of my favorite stream in a nearby park. There was no one else around, just me and the stream. I have written about some pleasant experiences I had enjoyed at this stream in a past blog.

As the brook excitedly bubbled and chattered along, the most extraordinary urge came over me to sing — something I did very little of throughout my life. Surprisingly, the singing soothed me, especially since the babbling creek seemed to drown out my unsteady and untrained voice. A few moments may have gone by when I began to notice a flurry of activity in a nearby tree. My eyes followed the sounds up the trunk into the branches to observe a flock of chickadees, who apparently did hear me over the din of the flowing water. I became intrigued with their presence as they commenced a sing-along. When I paused — they paused. When I began to sing again, they sang too! Well, at least that’s how it seemed to me.

It didn’t take very long before the sun seemed to shine brighter and warmer. The brook gurgled along more enthusiastically as the birds drew in ever closer to me. Our collective melody certainly found me in my heart, filled with gratitude, as I began to feel “at one” with all that is.

I just love nature! It never fails to fix what ails me!

Follow on Twitter: @_phoenixoffaith
Copyright © 2014.