Finding Meaning In Existence /

“Your bodies are Temples of the Holy Spirit,
who is in you,
whom you have received from God?
You are not your own.
– 1 Corinthians 6:19

MORE REAL than material objects.

There is something
much more to Life,

than Life.

Now,
put your thinking caps on
and let’s go
for a walk.
Leave the Dog
at home.
He already understands
Love.

The existence of a Cosmic Consciousness
is put forward by Philosophers, Physicists and Theologians
based on the premises of non-materialistic explanations
of the mind,
asserting that consciousness is actually the

“Ground of ALL Being”.

In Quantum Mechanics,
the Grand Unified Field Theory
suggests that Reality
consists of eleven dimensions.
What are the Philosophical implications
of a Multidimensional Universe?
String theory now suggests
that the most basic substance
from which everything else is derived
is CONSCIOUSNESS!
This is a paradigm shift
in understanding the nature
of Ultimate Reality.
“If the Universe is a hologram,
in some sense it suggests
that there may be TWO
very drastically different levels of reality:

the concrete reality that we see when we look at [things],
and at some DEEP level
there’s a level of reality where everything dissolves
into an ocean of energy
that is holographically interconnected.

Consciousness generates a field effect,
similar to an electromagnetic field.
Like a magnet attracting a metal object
without having to touch the object,
consciousness is capable of interacting
with things at a distance. “
Michael Talbot:
Synchronicity and the Holographic Univers
e

An interview with Michael Talbot may be found
on Jeffrey Mishlove’s excellent online resource
Thinking Allowed.
I recommend you indulge your curiosity and visit this site,
or view Jeffrey’s Youtube Channel:
ThinkingAllowedTV.

Spend some time,
My Friend,
getting to know
what we can never
truly understand.

Life is a mystery.
Everyone must stand alone.
I hear you call my name,
And it feels like home.

Just like a prayer,
your voice can take me there.

Just like a muse to me,
YOU
are a mystery

Just like a dream,
you are not what you seem.”
– Madonna Ciccone, Patrick Leonard

ANDREI LINDE,
a Russian-American theoretical physicist,
professor of Physics at Stanford University,
and the father of “Eternal Chaotic Inflation”,
and one of the main authors of the Inflationary Universe Theory,
as well as the theory of the inflationary multiverse.

He considered that consciousness,
like space-time,

might have its own intrinsic degrees of Freedom,
and that one’s perceptions may be as real,
or even “MORE” REAL
than material objects.

Quantum Theory
is now used to explain certain properties
of the mind.
New hypotheses of consciousness and space-time
explain consciousness by describing
a “space of conscious elements“,
often encompassing a number of extra dimensions.
These are dimensions
we are just now becoming aware of.
But Poets
and writers of Song
have long been aware
that there is more to Life,
than Life.
.
“Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there;
I did not die.”
– Mary Elizabeth Frye
Mary never copyrighted the poem. Her explanation:
“I thought it belonged to the world; it didn’t belong to me.
It was written out of Love
.”
  Emanating from a burst of compassion
and deep insight into the
Nature of Ultimate Reality,

it has endured and became famous.

Photo: Paul T. P. Wong

Allow me to recommend:
Paul T. P. Wong, a Canadian clinical psychologist and professor.
His research career has made significant contributions in learning theory, social cognition, existential psychology, and positive psychology. He is most known for his integrative work on death acceptance, meaning therapy, and second wave positive psychology.

Wong’s career straddles psychology and Christian ministry. He first served as the Founding Pastor of the Chinese Gospel Church in Toronto and started the Peterborough Chinese Christian Fellowship while teaching at Trent University. He was involved in resettling the boat people and started the graduate program in counseling psychology at Trinity Western University.

Wong’s integration of existential & positive psychology resulted in Existential Positive Psychology, which recognizes the existential concerns of human existence.
This was broadened and based on the foundation of
the co-existence of opposites
as essential for human development.

Wong has given positive psychology away through his
Meaningful Living MeetUp group.
Participants learn basic principles of meaning
and new ways of relating to each other.
This outreach program was intended
to improve mental health.

“When you’ve experienced everything
that this culture offers,
you will see how
empty it is,”

Pastor Greg Laurie
author of: Steve McQueen: The Salvation of an American Icon

Wong’s emphasis is on the importance
of cross-cultural perspectives
in stress and coping and positive psychology.

His research on death acceptance
and the meaning of Life
impacted Taiwan’s Life and Death Education.
He was awarded the 12th Global Love of Life Medal,
the Lifetime Achievement Award in Life Education,
and the Rising Great Compassion Award.
I invite you to
read more: http://www.drpaulwong.com/

“From this dark, cold hotel room,
and the endlessness that you fear

you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie.

In the arms of an Angel;
may you find some comfort here.”

– by Sarah McLachlan

  Viktor Frankl

Wong developed a pluralistic and integrative meaning therapy. And it was based on Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy, an existential analysis focusing on Kierkegaard’s
will to meaning.

Logotherapy was founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one’s life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in Humans.

A short introduction to this system is given in Frankl’s most famous book, Man’s Search for Meaning,
in which he outlines how his theories
helped him to survive the Holocaust
and how that experience further developed
and reinforced his theories.
There are Logotherapy Institutes around the world.
click here for more information

Logotherapy is a form of existential analysis.
Man’s Search for Meaning
was published under a different title in 1959:
Nevertheless, Say “Yes” to Life:
A Psychologist Experiences the Concentration Camp.

It chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate,
which led him to discover the importance
of finding meaning in all forms of existence,
even the most brutal ones,
and thus, a reason to continue living.

Remembering Olivia Penpraze February 2, 1993 – April 3 2012

I encourage you
to discuss
the meaning of this Life
with your precious children.
If you need a reason
click here.

Every child on Earth
wants to know
that there is deep meaning
for the Gift
of our existence.
The need to know that
Love exists,
and that
YOU
Love them.

Goodnight.
Logotherapeutic views and treatment

“A man hears
what he wants to hear

and disregards the rest.”
– Simon & Garfunkel

“Let me go where’er I will
I hear a sky-born music still:
It sounds from all things old,
It sounds from all things young,
From all that’s fair, from all that’s foul,
Peals out a cheerful song.

Emerson

It is not only in the Rose,
It is not only in the bird,
Not only where the rainbow glows.
Nor in the song of woman heard,
But in the darkest meanest things
There always, always something sings.

’Tis not in the high stars alone,
Nor in the cup of budding flowers,
Nor in the red-breast’s mellow tone,
Nor in the bow that smiles in showers,
                                        But in the mud and scum of things
                                     There always, always
                                      something sings.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research.
Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit,
educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts/paintings are property and copyright of their owners
and provided for educational purposes.

I Am Your Child / Secrets to Longevity / Sept. 6 Fall Semester Begins

“Behold,
Children are a heritage from the LORD, 
the fruit of the womb
a reward.”
– Psalm 127:3-5

    I am the beat of my own lonely Heart.

No.
Your child cannot live
without your Love,
anymore than Life
can be without
the ultimate act of Love,
Birth.

My Dear Friends,
YOU
are always smiling
in the Heart
of your Happy child.

Your child cannot live without your Love.

I am the moments
I search your Heart,
in Hope
of finding you.
I am
the beat of my own
lonely Heart,
waiting
just for you.
The music
of my Life
joins in perfect
Harmony
as Heavens sing
of my Life
with you.

          You, my reason to be.

My Home,
destiny of my dreams,
is in
your Heart.
For within
lie the Seasons
yet to come,
days and moments,
precious moments,
to Dawn
as your own.

All Creation,
through all of Time,
is the World yet to be,
if endless tears
roll by,
toward Suns yet to set,
into a Sea
of you
without me.

        My Home is in your Heart.

Yes,
I am
your Daughter,
I am
your Son.
And you,
my reason to be.

Until
the end of Time,
centuries countless to come,
the Spark
of my Life
will endless
have never begun.

For without Love,
the Dawn of all Time
is a World
I will never see.

The sparkle of your eyes, glorious beyond Belief.

But,
hold me

in your arms
and I feel the Breath
of Life,
God breathed into me.
The sparkle
of your eyes,
glorious
beyond Belief,
pass years endless
in bliss,
remembering.

Hold me in your arms and I feel the Breath of Life.

I call
to a World
in momentary disbelief,
transfigured
  of yesterday’s tomorrow,
of today
in Eternity.

The one
who birthed the Dawn
of all my Time,
gave birth to
me.
But breath of Life
can long pass away,
without the Love
that nurtures me.

I am the moments I search your Heart.

Endless
is the Spark of Life
with Love,
the Song
of all Eternity,
Processions
in Perfect Harmony,
flowing
to the Heart of God,
waiting patiently.

For
Life is Love,
the Desire of God,
Destiny.

               Life is Love.

I am
your Daughter.
I am
your Son.
I am
the Will to be,
a Child of God,
His Sacred Seed.

And Love,
LOVE

is all I want,
all I will ever
need.

Goodnight.

Endless is the Spark of Life with Love.

“People were bringing little children
to Jesus for him to place his hands on them,
but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant.
He said to them, “Let the little children come to me,
and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Truly I tell you,
anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God
like a little child
will never enter it.”
And he took the children in his arms,
placed his hands on them
and Blessed them.”
– Mark 10:13-16

I am the Will to be, a Child of God.

People That Lived to 100 Spill Their Secrets of Longevity
from modernhealthmonk.com

Besse Cooper, 116

“Mind your own business and don’t eat junk food. Treat everyone the way you want to be treated, work hard and love what you do.”

Bel Kaufman, 101

Laughter keeps you healthy. You can survive by seeing the humor in everything. Thumb your nose at sadness; turn the tables on tragedy. You can’t laugh and be angry, you can’t laugh and feel sad, you can’t laugh and feel envious.

Anthony Mancinelli, 101

Do the right thing, don’t smoke, don’t drink, eat right and don’t overdo it. If you need a little extra help, take some vitamins. Going to work is what keeps me going.

Ruth Gruber, 101

Look inside your soul and find your tools. We all have tools and have to live with the help of them. I have two tools, my words and my images. I used my typewriter, computer and my cameras to fight injustice. Whenever I see a possibility of helping people who are in danger, I want to help them.

Dr. Laila Denmark, 114

Eat right and do what you love. Whatever you love to do is play; doing what you don’t like to do is work. I have never worked a day in my life!

Bonita Zigrang, 108

Have a good appetite, lots of friends, and keep busy.

Benjamin Goldfaden, 99

Stay active… even at 100. Eat in a balanced way… Don’t stay mad at anything – you have to get used to the losses, otherwise you can’t win. Lastly, stay close with your family, they keep you thinking.

Irving Kahn, 106

It is very important to have a widespread curiosity about life.

Helen Mulligan, 101

Take it easy, enjoy life, what will be will be. Sleep well.

Ebby Halliday, 101

Don’t smoke, don’t drink, and don’t retire!

Gilbert Herrick, 100

Take one day at a time and go along with the tide.

Lillian Modell, 100

Keep busy! Do things that you’ve never done before.

Gussie Levine, 100

Don’t fight the day, just let it be. Get up and be positive. Avoid any and all drama; I don’t get involved with silly minutiae or difficult personalities; people respect me for that.

Jennie Cascone, 100

Be good, don’t complain, just get up and do. Keep on working, keep on going, and have a good time.

Murray Shusterman, 100

Get involved. You’ll find pleasure and sometimes disappointment but there is a sense of achievement if you participate in a successful undertaking, whether it is organizational or professional. Work hard, it will pay off.

Loretta Hodge, 102

Whatever is hard, you make hard, but if you take it as it comes, it doesn’t come hard. Don’t worry, don’t want so much, and be satisfied with what you’ve got. Be willing to share with your friends and those less fortunate.

Miriam Henson, 105

You must keep active or you will just wither away. Always be involved in some activity.

Barbara Brody, 102

You have to make the best out of your life and have a good attitude.

Winifred Thomas, 101

When you live for God, talk to him, go to church, have nice people around you; that is the best medicine. God provides for you. Sometimes you don’t know when it is coming, but it is coming.

The Secrets Behind All of These Long-Living People Are Surprisingly The Same

There are definitely a few things repeated over and over.

I went back through the list and wrote down the top 5 things that appeared the most frequently. Do you know what they were?

The most commonly cited things:

  1. Keep a calm mind – Stay calm and relaxed and don’t let your feathers get ruffled. This  is the same advice the supposedly 256 year old Li Ching Yuen said, in addition to his three other secrets.
    .
  2. Don’t retire Stay curious about life, do work you love, and continue to do activities and participate in the community.
    .
  3. Eating right and staying active (traditional longevity)
    .
  4. Friends, social networks, and family – One of the longest running Harvard studies of all time follow men from college to the present day. George Vaillant commented that [in regard to happiness and life satisfaction] “There is 70 years of evidence that our relationships with other people matter, and matter more than anything else in this world.”
    .
  5. Have a good time – Just a general love for life, a constant curiosity and desire to learn, grow and live.

What About You?

I think that many of us intuitively know some of the things that contribute to a long life, like relaxing and enjoying life, keeping your mind busy, and obviously eating right and exercising.

One of the craziest things I’ve come across in the past few years is that some people have willed themselves to death. In extreme survival situations, people have been found in safe, secure places, with food and water, who simply gave up. Sometimes there was a journal, but other times these people had no verifiable medical reason for their death. They just didn’t want to fight.

The external is seriously overrated in our society –  people seem to neglect the power of the mind to make a person happy or miserable, successful or unsuccessful, lazy or driven.

IMPORTANT  DATE:
Sept. 5 (TUESDAY)    First Day of Fall Semester, courage being a given.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes.

 

Creating Reality /

“Learning is the beginning of wealth.
Searching and learning is
where the Miracle process all begins.
The great breakthrough in your life
comes when you realize it,
that you can learn anything you need
to learn to accomplish any goal
that you set for yourself.
This means there are no limits
on what you can be,
have or do.”

– Albert Einstein

               Hope is resurrected.

Disquieted by doubt,
we seek answers
to questions we seemingly cannot
formulate,
and guidance from those
we do not yet know exist.
Searching,
ever searching,
we find ourselves
slipping deeper and deeper
into dark despair.
Not knowing
the why
or where.

But we exist,
in dimensions unaware,
now and forever,
here
and everywhere.
The beat
our Heart
is felt
by everyone,
in our every moment
on Earth.
Such is the Nature
of God’s
Love.

Yes,
we are One,
and so very much
more.

Hope
is resurrected
in our fragile Hearts
from Great Truths
that have come from
Above,
from the deep Wellspring of
Eternal Love
found in the Sacred
and Precious Word
of God.

Bring your wandering
Heart Home,
to Him.
Home
is where your Heart
longs to live.

“I fear no foe,
with Thee at hand to Bless;

Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting?
Where, grave, thy victory?

I triumph still,
if Thou abide with me.”

– Henry F. Lyte, Will H. Monk

We never escape
the consequences of our actions.
The hardships and suffering that exists today
seem ever present,
because of our very narrow view
of Human purpose,
of our reason for Being.

My Dear Friends,
the highest form
of intelligence
that exists this day
and evermore,
is Love.
And you are its Embodiment.
You are the Manifestation
of its Being.

And as vast and complex
as is the Universe of Worlds,
YOU
are so much more.
For their reality
is the Creation
of your mind
and Heart
through the Will
of God,
the Father you come from,
not through.

Trust
is the fundamental process
for creating reality.

TRUST
in the Voice of One
who told you the Truth,
long, long ago.

Then Jesus told them,
“I tell you the TRUTH,
if you have Faith and don’t doubt,
you can do things like this and much more.
YOU
can even say to this mountain,
‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’
and it WILL happen.
– Matthew 21:21

Yes!
Jesus knew the TRUTH.
And now,
just now,
science is confirming
what He knew,
and wanted to convey
to YOU.
Reality is centered
in your mind and Heart.
YOU
have the God given ability
to create the World
around you.
Through your Faith
in God,
and in yourself,
you can do anything.

Please click on the link below:
The Role of Trusting in the Process of Creating Reality

If you see the importance of Trust,
of Faith,
YOU can now take the next step forward.
You can create the reality
of your Life,
the Life you desire
and long for others.

More vast and complex than the World outside of you.

The Essence of your “Being”
was Created pure, good, and Eternal,
and more vast and complex
than the World outside of you.

The Intelligence of your Love
can reveal the True inner Nature
of God’s Divine Love.
And your Love
can truly fill the many lives
around you,
and fill the World
with Beauty.

        Fill the World with Beauty.

 When YOU respond
with Love and Compassion,
by advising those around you
to return to the Beautiful Moral Standards
and the uplifting Principles
taught in the Precious Word of God,
you have sown the Wind,
and prevented our Children
from reaping the
whirlwind.

“Whoever is wise,
let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
and the righteous will walk in them.
But transgressors will stumble in them.”

Hosea 14:9

My Dear Friends,
it is not enough
to fight for survival,
to endure day by day.
It is far more important to enjoy it,
to truly live this Life
while you can.

 Breathe deep the sweet air
of compassion
and forgiveness.
The precious stillness
found sitting quietly
and waiting for you,
can be filled
with the sweet victory
found only in
Prayer.

And your Heart
may truly be found
only within
the Being
of another.

Goodnight.

“According to the current doctrines of mysticoscientism, we human animals are really and actually nothing but “organic patterns of nodular energy composed of collocations of infinitesimal points oscillating on the multi-dimensional coordinates of the space-time continuum.”
– Edward Abbey

.

Love Surrounds Us / Heart Healthy Diet / Friday: At School

The Miracle of Life blossoms into Beauty.

Thoughts of love
surround us.
And all around us,
in every moment
of every day,
with every beat
of every Heart,
the Miracle of Life
blossoms
into Beauty that
WE
can behold.

The Eternal Light
of Love

chases away the last vestige
of the dark
of night.

And we come to see
evermore,
the wonder of our Birth
into Hope,
into Love
and Life,
and into the
Light.

All
things become visible

when they are exposed by the Light,
for everything that becomes visible
is Light.”
Ephesians 5:13

We are remote
from the possibility
of comprehension.
But the Human Heart
can
take pleasure and delight

in the magic and the wonder
and the mystery
that is this
Life.

               A Many Splendored Thing.

Life
is at best,
but a brief journey
through Seasons
that come and go,
the passage
through which
few
are ever fully aware,
ever really know.

Yes.
Seasons come
and then they go,
and we are here

and gone.
Your smile,

faint in the glow
of beautiful memory,
much like
your Life,
seemingly long,
glimmering like a Rainbow,
but lasting
like the Dawn.

             Glimmering like a Rainbow.

But the Miracle
of this Life
lies in the Mystery
of the Clear Eternal Light,
that when you Pray,
will find you
and guide you,
and never
let you lose
your way.

“This is the message
we have heard from him
and proclaim to you,

that God is light
and in him is no darkness
at all.”

John 1:5

Let us
Dream the Dream,
and keep on
Living
to Walk
in the Beautiful
Light of God’s
abundant Love.

                      Lasting like the Dawn.

 Yes,
the tides of fortune
are awash and aplenty
upon our shores.
And the initial Life
of material existence
is filled with illusion.

“Our concept of Beauty
suggests a greater Meaning
in a Universe capable of producing beings
that not only appreciate Beauty
but strive to achieve greater and greater Beauty.
You are made to think, know, and create like God,
because God wanted to share
that experience of Being
with some other than Himself.”
Sarah Capello

But deeper
than the Ocean
is God’s Love
for you.

I Pray
you will come to see
the Peace and Hope
and the everlasting Joy
such knowing
will bring.

God’s Love
is truly
a Many Splendored
Thing.

Goodnight.

             Let us dream the dream.

Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease
read more

Ready to start your heart-healthy diet? Here are eight tips to get you started.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are eight heart-healthy diet tips. Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you’ll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.

 1. Control your portion size

How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories than you should. Portions served in restaurants are often more than anyone needs.

Use a small plate or bowl to help control your portions. Eat larger portions of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and smaller portions of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed or fast foods. This strategy can shape up your diet as well as your heart and waistline.

Keep track of the number of servings you eat. A serving size is a specific amount of food, defined by common measurements such as cups, ounces or pieces. For example, one serving of pasta is 1/2 cup, or about the size of a hockey puck. A serving of meat, fish or chicken is about 2 to 3 ounces, or about the size and thickness of a deck of cards. Judging serving size is a learned skill. You may need to use measuring cups and spoons or a scale until you’re comfortable with your judgment.

2. Eat more vegetables and fruits

 Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Vegetables and fruits contain substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods.

Featuring vegetables and fruits in your diet can be easy. Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks. Keep fruit in a bowl in your kitchen so that you’ll remember to eat it. Choose recipes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredients, such as vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruit mixed into salads.

Fruits and vegetables to choose Fruits and vegetables to limit
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits
  • Low-sodium canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit packed in juice or water
  • Coconut
  • Vegetables with creamy sauces
  • Fried or breaded vegetables
  • Canned fruit packed in heavy syrup
  • Frozen fruit with sugar added

3. Select whole grains

 Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products. Or be adventuresome and try a new whole grain, such as whole-grain farro, quinoa or barley.
Grain products to choose Grain products to limit or avoid
  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Whole-grain bread, preferably 100% whole-wheat bread or 100% whole-grain bread
  • High-fiber cereal with 5 g or more of fiber in a serving
  • Whole grains such as brown rice, barley and buckwheat (kasha)
  • Whole-grain pasta
  • Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular)
  • White, refined flour
  • White bread
  • Muffins
  • Frozen waffles
  • Corn bread
  • Doughnuts
  • Biscuits
  • Quick breads
  • Cakes
  • Pies
  • Egg noodles
  • Buttered popcorn
  • High-fat snack crackers

4. Limit unhealthy fats

 Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

The American Heart Association offers these guidelines for how much fat to include in a heart-healthy diet:

Type of fat Recommendation
Saturated fat Less than 7% of your total daily calories, or less than 14 g of saturated fat if you follow a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet
Trans fat Less than 1% of your total daily calories, or less than 2 g of trans fat if you follow a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet

The best way to reduce saturated and trans fats in your diet is to limit the amount of solid fats — butter, margarine and shortening — you add to food when cooking and serving. You can also reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet by trimming fat off your meat or choosing lean meats with less than 10 percent fat.

You can also use low – fat substitutions when possible for a heart – healthy diet. For example, top your baked potato with low-sodium salsa or low-fat yogurt rather than butter, or use sliced whole fruit or low-sugar fruit spread on your toast instead of margarine.

You may also want to check the food labels of some cookies, crackers and chips. Many of these snacks — even those labeled “reduced fat” —  may be made with oils containing trans fats. One clue that a food has some trans fat in it is the phrase “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list.

When you do use fats, choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats, found in certain fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, also are good choices for a heart-healthy diet. When used in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol. But moderation is essential. All types of fat are high in calories.

An easy way to add healthy fat (and fiber) to your diet is ground flaxseed. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have found that flaxseeds may help lower cholesterol in some people. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce or hot cereal.

Fats to choose Fats to limit
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Vegetable and nut oils
  • Margarine, trans fat free
  • Cholesterol-lowering margarine, such as Benecol, Promise Activ or Smart Balance
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Avocados
  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Bacon fat
  • Gravy
  • Cream sauce
  • Nondairy creamers
  • Hydrogenated margarine and shortening
  • Cocoa butter, found in chocolate
  • Coconut, palm, cottonseed and palm-kernel oils

5. Choose low-fat protein sources

 Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs are some of your best sources of protein. But be careful to choose lower fat options, such as skim milk rather than whole milk and skinless chicken breasts rather than fried chicken patties.

Fish is another good alternative to high-fat meats. And certain types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides. You’ll find the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Other sources are flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil.

 Legumes — beans, peas and lentils — also are good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol, making them good substitutes for meat. Substituting plant protein for animal protein — for example, a soy or bean burger for a hamburger — will reduce your fat and cholesterol intake.
Proteins to choose Proteins to limit or avoid
  • Low-fat dairy products such as skim or low-fat (1%) milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Eggs
  • Fish, especially fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon
  • Skinless poultry
  • Legumes
  • Soybeans and soy products, such as soy burgers and tofu
  • Lean ground meats
  • Full-fat milk and other dairy products
  • Organ meats, such as liver
  • Fatty and marbled meats
  • Spareribs
  • Hot dogs and sausages
  • Bacon
  • Fried or breaded meats

6. Reduce the sodium in your food

 Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
  • Healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day (about a teaspoon of salt)
  • People age 51 or older, African-Americans, and people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease have no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day
 Although reducing the amount of salt you add to food at the table or while cooking is a good first step, much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods, such as soups and frozen dinners. Eating fresh foods and making your own soups and stews can reduce the amount of salt you eat.

If you like the convenience of canned soups and prepared meals, look for ones with reduced sodium. Be wary of foods that claim to be lower in sodium because they are seasoned with sea salt instead of regular table salt — sea salt has the same nutritional value as regular salt.

Another way to reduce the amount of salt you eat is to choose your condiments carefully. Many condiments are available in reduced-sodium versions, and salt substitutes can add flavor to your food with less sodium.

Low-salt items to choose High-salt items to avoid
  • Herbs and spices
  • Salt substitutes
  • Reduced-salt canned soups or prepared meals
  • Reduced-salt versions of condiments, such as reduced-salt soy sauce and reduced-salt ketchup
  • Table salt
  • Canned soups and prepared foods, such as frozen dinners
  • Tomato juice
  • Soy sauce

7. Plan ahead: Create daily menus

 You know what foods to feature in your heart-healthy diet and which ones to limit. Now it’s time to put your plans into action.

Create daily menus using the six strategies listed above. When selecting foods for each meal and snack, emphasize vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Choose lean protein sources and healthy fats, and limit salty foods. Watch your portion sizes and add variety to your menu choices.

 For example, if you have grilled salmon one evening, try a black-bean burger the next night. This helps ensure that you’ll get all of the nutrients your body needs. Variety also makes your meals and snacks more interesting.

8. Allow yourself an occasional treat

 Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then. A candy bar or handful of potato chips won’t derail your heart-healthy diet. But don’t let it turn into an excuse for giving up on your healthy eating plan. If overindulgence is the exception, rather than the rule, you’ll balance things out over the long term. What’s important is that you eat healthy foods most of the time.

 Incorporate these eight tips into your life, and you’ll find that heart-healthy eating is both doable and enjoyable. With planning and a few simple substitutions, you can eat with your heart in mind.

Friday:

We will meet at school
on Friday
from 8:30 a.m.
to 3:15 p.m.
and work with our Director,
George Rodriguez,
on our upcoming
Shakespeare production.

IMPORTANT  DATES:

May 5                 At School (Play rehearsal)
May 15 & 16      Shakespeare Production at Stage West Theater
May 22 – 26       Adventure Trip
May 26               Last Day of Semester.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes.

The magic and the wonder and the mystery that is this Life.

 

That’s All I Ask of You / Coping With Workplace Stress / Friday: At School (Shakespeare Play Rehearsal)

“We must know
that we have been created for greater things,
not just to be a number in the world,
not just to go for diplomas and degrees,
this work and that work.
We have been created in order
to Love
and to be Loved.”

–  Mother Teresa

God has been invited to come in.

My Dear Friends,
from this moment
Life can begin
again.

Imagine yourself
as another living Being.
And God
has been invited
to come in
and forgive you
of all your sin,
and rebuild the Life
that housed all your previous
days,
all the moments that for you
did exist.

             Life can begin again.

The first thought
that flies past you,
is that you cannot understand
what He is doing.

No.
No one can ever
really understand.

“Great is our Lord,
and abundant in power; 
his understanding is
beyond measure.”

Psalm 147:5

Because
the past
no longer exists.
Only tomorrow
is real again.

  The pain is no longer here to stay.

The pain,
from so many years,
that never
seemed to go away,
in one moment,
on one precious day,
is no longer
here to stay.

“For which cause we faint not;
but though our outward man perish,
yet the inward man is renewed
day by day.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:16
 .
God is preparing
a place for your
Heart.

Far
beyond forever,
will He stay
in Love with you.
For
He will never
not Love you.
And all
He asks in return,
is that you Love
Him.

Is this
not what we ask
of others
in Life?

“No more talk of darkness
Forget these wide eyed fears.
I’m here, nothing can harm you.
My words will warm and calm you.

Let me be your freedom.
Let daylight dry your tears.
I’m here, with you, beside you,
To guard you and to guide you

Say you Love me
Every waking moment.
Say you Love me
Oh, I do Love you
that’s all I ask of you.

Anywhere you go
let me go too.
Love me,
that’s all I ask of you.”
–  Andrew Lloyd Webber

Yes,
finding a way
to be,
is as simple as
“I Love You.
Please Love Me.”

Goodnight.

               I Love You.

Coping With Workplace Stress
by Diana Louise Carter
read more

 in Esperanza
(Hope to Cope with Anxiety and Depression)

click here for more

Taking steps to strengthen your resilience, plus seeking treatment if necessary, will help you handle cranky customers, toxic co-workers, and other on the job stressors.

After a really stressful day at work, Katie, an RN, spends a little extra drive time in her car.

“Once I leave the office, work stays here. I try absolutely my best not to take it home,” says Katie, who lives in Alabama. “Even if you have to drive around for a few minutes by yourself.”

That’s what professional counselors call a “calming ritual” – something that may come in especially handy for nurses like Katie, home health workers, bus drivers, social workers, and people employed in restaurants, real estate, personal services, and manufacturing.

Those are among occupations with the highest rates of depression, as ranked by two studies – one published in 2010, the other in 2014. Authors of the later study identified “frequent or difficult interactions” with the public or clients, high levels of stress, and low levels of physical activity as characteristics the jobs had in common.

No matter the profession, strains like cranky customers, uncivil bosses, unpredictable work schedules, unreasonable deadlines, and the 24/7 electronic tether of our mobile devices can challenge anyone’s well-being.

In the American Psychological Association’s 2012 annual Stress in America Survey, 65 percent of respondents listed work as their top source of life stress – but only 37 percent said they were “doing an excellent or very good job managing stress.”

Katie says hospital nursing is so demanding it’s sometimes hard to take a break to regroup.

“You’re the person who goes between the doctor and the patient,” she notes. “All of it kind of gets put on your shoulders. If it all goes wrong … nurses just catch most of the blame.”

Katie prefers to practice in a small clinic where the pace and workload are more comfortable. A case manager for an outpatient mental health and substance abuse program, she’s a fan of adult coloring books— “they’re actually very calming” – and journaling for stress relief.

CREATIVE CHANGES

Expert advice for dealing with job stress tends to fall into two categories: steps you can take at work, such as using all your allotted breaks or advocating for different duties, and steps you can take outside work to better your health and enrich your life satisfaction—getting more exercise, for example, or pursuing hobbies that make you happy.

Steven implemented both types of solutions when the demands of his brewery job in upstate New York contributed to an anxiety diagnosis in 2007.

Steven, 57, had to follow complicated and precise recipes to craft huge tanks of “malternatives” like fruit-flavored alcoholic beverages and hard lemonade. Once he was formally reprimanded for using an ingredient from a new supplier that hadn’t been certified yet, which meant the whole batch went down the drain. He found himself overthinking all the steps in making beer coolers.

He was able to implement one creative change in his work flow to reduce his second-guessing: He would line up ingredients before he started and as each was added, he’d remove it from the bench.

There were other aspects of the job came he couldn’t control, however. His schedule rotated through day, evening and night shifts—a documented risk factor in depression and anxiety. He would frequently be called away from one task to attend a process elsewhere in the brewery complex, which made it harder to meet his production deadlines. Cost-cutting layoffs shrank his department from five employees per shift to three.

To counterbalance on-the-job aggravations, Steven pursued nature photography on his own and with a meet-up group.

“Photography helps,” says Steven, who took a disability retirement last year due to a bum knee. “Taking walks, occupying yourself, looking around. Your mind isn’t replaying all that went on in work again.”

RESTORING RESILIENCE

The American Institute of Stress notes that job pressures in and of themselves may be less important than how individuals fit with the work environment. For example, there are people who thrive in pressure-cooker situations while others have a lower tolerance for overload.

What’s happening outside of work can make a difference, too. At times, life stressors plus job stressors may add up to more than an individual’s natural resilience can handle. That’s when buttressing your reserves with activities that strengthen your physical self (especially good sleep), reinforce a positive perspective (such as reframing problems), and dilute tension (yoga, anyone?) become even more important.

Allison got caught in a period of institutional upheaval shortly after starting a new job at a prestigious music conservatory in Rochester, New York.

“We had to downsize my department. I had to fire people to cut costs. I had to outsource services at the same time I was learning the job,” recalls Allison, who was hired to oversee publications and public affairs.

In her personal life, Allison was dealing with her mother’s declining health and her marriage was slowly unraveling. Diagnosed with depression, she worked with her doctor and therapist to come up with coping tools.

“My doctor suggested maybe doing art or exercising. I swam laps. I would sit quietly at night and listen to the radio and draw mandalas. I would paint,” says Allison.

As the environment at work worsened, Allison decided on a more radical solution: Leaving that job to look for opportunities where she could be self-employed.

The “take this job and shove it” approach may be the best option in some circumstances, but for many it feels like an impossible choice. Robert W. McLellarn, PhD, often counsels people who are stressed out because of their jobs.

“They feel like they have to keep going to keep the paycheck,” notes McLellarn, a licensed clinical psychologist in Portland, Oregon, who specializes in treating anxiety.

McLellarn says that taking some sort of action short of leaving a bad job can be a stress reliever. For example, pursue the skills or training needed to get a more fulfilling job. The goal is to feel less stuck.

“Even giving people some strategies, some ideas, some hope that this can change is rewarding,” says McLellarn.

 WORKPLACE ALLIES

Assuming clear guidelines from human resources and a sympathetic supervisor, negotiating accommodations can be an on-the-job option. Opinion varies on whether it’s wise to divulge mental health challenges, and a lot depends on an individual’s particular situation and comfort level.

Genella of Brandon, Manitoba, coaches individuals on managing stress and advises companies on how to establish “psychologically safe” workplaces through her consulting firm Partners in Discovery. Although more employers are recognizing the bottom-line benefits of reducing burnout, she acknowledges that ignorance and stigma haven’t disappeared.

“People understand if you have a cast on your leg, but if you’re stressed, people still think it’s a character flaw,” says Genella, who has dealt with depression and anxiety herself.

Similarly, Genella points out, people can see that someone with a broken leg needs an elevator to go between floors, but they may not know what sort of supports to offer for a person with depression or anxiety. 

Genella says Canadian law acknowledges addiction issues, but hasn’t codified accommodations for mental health.

Protections assured by the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act may come into play if symptoms interfere with job responsibilities, according to Job Accommodations Network, a program of the U.S. Department of Labor and academic and industry partners.

Lisa of Brooklyn found an ally when she went to work part-time as an admissions coordinator at a law school in New York City nine years ago. Lisa, 46, has lived with sometimes disabling anxiety since her teens. Her department head allowed her to switch around her schedule if a panic attack erupted on a day she was due in.

When Lisa feels overwhelmed at the office, she takes a bathroom break to practice deep breathing exercises. She also finds prayer calming.

Having a strong support network at home keeps Lisa fortified for work demands. She finds that in her husband and parents, who live in the same apartment building. Weekly visits with her beloved nephews, ages 5 years old and 4 months old, have become a vital tonic.

“I call them my sunshine boys,” she says. “They should just bottle babies and give that as depression medication.”

Genella, meanwhile, thrives on the “unconditional gratitude, acceptance and love” of her dog, Tucker.

“When you have those, you can’t have a stress response at the same time,” she asserts. “I suggest that a person find out: When you are stressed, what works for you?”

WORKPLACE STRESS: SWITCH GEARS

It’s important to leave work and all its worries behind once you get home. Creating a destressing ritual can help you move into a new frame of mind. That could be something as simple as changing into more comfortable clothes or having a cup of tea while reviewing the mail.

DOLLARS AND SENSE

If it’s not addressed, chronic work stress can have a negative impact on physical health, family relationships, and life satisfaction. It can tip vulnerable individuals into depression or anxiety, or trigger those already dealing with mental health challenges.

Quite apart from the personal toll, there’s a financial backlash for businesses. One widely quoted statistic puts the annual cost of job stress to the American economy at $300 billion.

That includes the estimated burden of accidents due to fatigue and inability to concentrate, employee turnover, and loss of productivity due to absenteeism and “presenteeism”—in attendance bodily but unable to work at normal capacity.

According to the Harvard Business Review, studies show that presenteeism due to chronic illnesses—including conditions like allergies and arthritis – costs employers two to three times more than direct medical care.

Looking specifically at depression in the workplace, the advocacy organization Mental Health American cites a figure of $51 billion annually in indirect costs to the U.S. economy.

In Canada, more than 30 percent of disability claims and 70 percent of disability costs can be traced to mental health issues, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada. However, such payouts may yield a rich payback.

In a 2009 survey of 3,000 Alberta workers found that 255 people (or nearly 10 percent) confirmed they’d had a depressive episode in the year before they were interviewed. Those who had received treatment were significantly more likely to report being able to function at a highly productive level at work compared to those who had not sought help

 TOXIC WORKPLACE ANTITOXINS

Sometimes job stress doesn’t come from the work itself but from the people you work with. In her book Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace, Christine Porath, PhD, chronicles the toll that a toxic workplace can take on employees and employers.

Productivity tends to decrease and work absences tend to increase. If workers burn out and leave, businesses face the expense of replacing them. People are likely to carry workplace stress home at the end of the day, with poisonous effects on their health and relationships.

Whether a single bout of yelling or constant “micro-aggressions” by a difficult supervisor, the effects “can stick with people for decades,” Porath says. “It takes a cognitive toll even if you just observe it.”

Minimizing face-to-face contact can be a legitimate strategy, such as steering clear of committee work with a co-worker who pushes your buttons. Some other recommendations:

For a reality check, discreetly ask co-workers whether they’re having similar problems. Try to evaluate where there’s an objective issue affecting everyone, like unreasonable deadlines or constant disrespect, or whether you are particularly reactive.

Try talking with your supervisor about specific behaviors and situations that are making you feel stressed. Some may welcome the feedback, others may react negatively.

If your supervisor is not receptive to your concerns, consider moving up the chain of command or turning to the human resources department or a union representative.

If unclear job expectations are creating stress, ask to work with your supervisor on developing written guidelines you can both agree upon

 FEEL THE BURN(OUT)

The Mayo Clinic lists these signs of job burnout:

  • Have you become cynical or critical at work?
  • Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started once you arrive?
  • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  • Are you using food, drugs, or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
  • Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
  • Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, backaches or other physical complaints? 

  No one can ever really understand.

Friday:
Our plan to travel this Friday
has been postponed due to
inclement weather.
We will meet at school
on Friday
from 8:30 a.m.
to 3:15 p.m.
and work with our Director,
George Rodriguez,
on our upcoming
Shakespeare production.

IMPORTANT  DATES:

April 28             At School (Play rehearsal)
May 1                TUITION DUE for 2017-18
May 15 & 16      Shakespeare Production at Stage West Theater
May 22 – 26       Adventure Trip
May 26               Last Day of Semester.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes.

A Song Begins to Form / Surprising Mental Benefits of Clean Eating / Friday: at School (Shakespeare Rehearsal)

“Nighttime sharpens,
Heightens each sensation
Darkness stirs,
And wakes imagination
Silently the senses
Abandon their defenses

Slowly, gently
Night unfurls it’s Splendor
Grasp it, sense it
Tremulous and tender.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart,
Richard Henry, Zachary Stilgoe

Remembering my precious “Kirby”.

There’s a whisper in the dark,
as Life comes to be
unafraid
to pierce the night
with imagination
and Love
and Light.
Unfolding in our dreams
we come to be,
where it seems,
there is no end
to what we can see.

Then a song begins to form
from deeply felt memories
that once were we,
echoing Love’s harmony
and joined in endless
flight
heard throughout the World
of our awareness,
on this precious
night.

And intoned we hear,
we shall never be alone,
as Hearts beat as one,
and again we find Love,

joined by cherished voices from the past,
and a deep Abiding Love
from Above.

“Oh Great Spirit,
Whose Voice I hear in the winds,
And whose Breath gives life to all the world,
hear me!
I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in Beauty,
and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength,
not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy –
myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when Life fades,
as the fading sunset
my Spirit

may come to you without shame.”
– Native American Prayer
listen here

Such is
the Miracle of Love,
that it goes
on and on and on.
Not through time,
that may have never really existed,
or space,
not without end,
but through
Grace,
Everlasting to Everlasting.
Such is the Precious Love of
God.

“Grace, amazing Grace,
takes the powerful nature of Love
to the next level.
Grace is the width, and depth, and breadth of Love
reaching out, rippling across the ponds of time
to reach into the Hearts
of the lost and searching.
Grace is the freeing element of Love.”
Antwuan Malone
read more

I am rendered silent
when trying to fathom
the “Grace” of God’s Love.
How great is the Love of our Father?
Were we to spend our entire Life
trying to comprehend,
we could never grasp
its depth.

“Yea,
I have Loved thee

with an everlasting Love;
therefore with Loving kindness
have I drawn thee.”
– Jeremiah 31:3

Day after day
God’s Love
rises like the Dawn,
and always shines
upon you and me.

And through the dark of night
voices from the past
keep calling,
until
the Light of Dawn
chases away
every whisper
of our remembrances and imaginings
that begged to stay.

Annie and Alex, ages 8 and 5 (1992)

Old friends they are,
the rocks I tread upon –
I kick out from
under my bare feet.
Familiar they are,
these old friends
as comforting as the
ground,
belonging to me
as I to them.

My memory
seemingly seeps from the
Sacred soil
and back into me,
giving me
a sense of Peace,
finding some comfort
here.

 The silence is my teacher.
The calming air I breathe,
I find warm and inviting
and free.

Under the comforting warmth
of a beautiful spreading Tree,
I look to the Heavens
through the flickering,
whispering leaves.

This Sacred Place
I can never leave –
It never left me.
I belong here,
beneath the beautiful
canopy
of God’s Eternal Love.
What God provides
in Nature,
nurtures me.
It steals my Heart,
and leaves my Spirit
free.

I Pray
you will find
God’s Love
hidden deep within
the Forest
of your Heart.

“There is One Ultimate Loving Energy
that is present in all that exists.
You may call it whatever you are comfortable with:
God, Spirit, Source, the Great I Am, Allah, Yahweh, etc.
This is not a personality outside of us,
but rather a Presence within each of us.
We are inherently Spiritual Beings
having a Human experience.
We live in an abundant, unlimited Universe
and within us lies all the Wisdom, Love and Power
needed to create full, Joyous
prosperous lives.”
– Rev. Lee Wolak
Agape Center For Spiritual Living

Such moments
as I am with my Mother,
Nature,
truly magnify
the Miracle of Life
in me.

Goodnight

What God provides in Nature, nurtures me.

“Did you ever think
That we could be so close, like brothers.
The future’s in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change.
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the wind of change
Walking down the street
Distant memories
Are buried in the past forever.”
Klaus Meine
listen here

The Surprising Benefits of Clean Eating

by Matthew Solan
read more

Eating unprocessed food is a great way to improve your overall diet, but proponents say it can also do great things for your mental health.

Erica learned the hard way how food affects her physical and mental health. Ten years ago, she worked in the high-pressure, go-go-go TV industry. Meals were devoured in minutes. Drinking two cans of Coke a day was the norm.

The work stress became overwhelming, and she soon left. But it wasn’t until later that she made the connection between what she ate and how it made her feel.

“I was not happy and my job at that time was no longer rewarding,” she says, “but I came to understand how my eating habits and choices had contributed to that.”

Erica realized that her food choices had aggravated her episodes of stress – and, conversely, that her stress had contributed to poor food choices.

“When I adopted a clean eating diet, where I cut out the processed and comfort foods, I immediately noticed a change not only in my mood, but how I reacted when things went wrong,” Erica says.

“No longer was my instinct to reach for the chips, soda, or ice cream.”

Less packaged, more whole

The term “clean eating” is trendy nowadays.

An entire magazine is devoted to the subject. From TV chef Curtis Stone and Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey to actresses Anne Hathaway and Jessica Alba, a slew of personalities and celebrities swear by clean eating.

But what does it mean exactly?

“Without all the excess sugar from processed foods and dairy, I had much less of the mental ups and downs that can happen when faced with daily stress.

“There are a lot of different interpretations, and no one fixed definition,” says

Pamela Fergusson, RD, PhD, a registered dietitian and consultant with Fresh Start Nutrition in Toronto.

“But generally, it refers to eating less processed foods and more whole foods.”

That means food in its natural or near-natural state, with minimal or no added chemicals, additives, or refined sugar. Ideally, what you eat should not be processed, or minimally processed, allowing it to retain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.

One way to approach clean eating is to skip anything that comes in a box, can, or similar packaging.

But there are exceptions.

“For instance, beans come in cans that may add a little extra salt for flavor and preservation, but they are still beans, which are a nutritious whole food,” Fergusson notes.

You can ID processed foods as those that undergo changes from their natural state: think instant oatmeal instead of steel-cut oats, or French fries instead of whole potatoes.

Sound simple?

For the most part, it is.

“Clean eating encourages eating more of the right kind of foods without thinking about low-fat, low-calorie, or low-carb,” says Fergusson.

If you follow a particular eating plan – including a vegetarian, vegan or Paleo diet – you can still incorporate clean eating into your regimen. Just make a point to avoid processed staples.

For instance, vegetarians may enjoy frozen veggie burgers, but they don’t meet the guidelines of clean eating. Vegans may opt for soy cheese, but that’s often made with additives and preservatives.

Food-mood connection 

Clean eating can have a positive impact on your mood. Indeed, research is beginning to demonstrate how our food choices – not just what we eat, but what we don’t eat – can influence how we think and feel.

The scientific connection between our brain and food is an intertwining path, but here’s an abbreviated version:

When you get stressed, the body goes into fight-or-flight mode, releasing the hormones adrenal and cortisol to combat the stressful event. This reaction typically suppresses our appetite.

If stress persists, however, and you find yourself in a constant state of worry, anxiety, or prolonged exposure to stressful situations, these hormones overload the body and cause heightened inflammation and negative emotions.

“The worse someone feels, the more likely they will seek comfort,” explains Eva Selhub, MD, author of the books Your Health Destiny, The Love Response and Your Brain on Nature.

“Food can act as that comfort, which is why we call foods high in fat and sugar ‘comfort foods.’”

While it can make people feel better in the short term, comfort food serves only as a temporary fix, Selhub warns.

“You find yourself craving more feel-good foods to help fight the stress,” she says. “High amounts of these trans fats and high-sugar foods can further flame inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain, which creates more mental fog and depression.”

Healthy diet, enhanced mood

While your diet can contribute to stress, it may also control how your brain responds to them.

That’s why the goal of clean eating is to eliminate unhealthy “feel-good” food and replace it with natural choices that can actually promote greater brain health.

Studies have found that people who follow the Mediterranean diet, for example – which includes plenty of whole vegetables and fruits, unprocessed grains, fish, and other seafood – have a 25%-35% lower risk of depression compared with those who follow a typical “Western” diet high in processed and refined foods.

One reason that a diet abundant in natural-state foods benefits your brain and mood is that these foods contain high amounts of antioxidants, which have been shown to not only soothe inflammation and oxidative stress but help prevent it in the first place.

A “sweeter” outlook, naturally

If you battle unhealthy cravings as part of your stress, clean eating is a way to break free from your dependence.

Taylor, co-owner of St. Pete Strength and Conditioning in Florida, turned to clean eating when he became more dedicated to his weight-training regimen.

His approach: stick with foods close to their natural state, which helped eliminate high amounts of refined sugar in his diet.

Taylor says he noticed an almost instant change for the better.

“I’m detailed-oriented, I sweat the small stuff, and I get stressed easily. But the clean eating helps me stay more focused and not get sidetracked with distractions.”

Taylor pointed to cutting out sugar, a feeder of inflammation, as the main factor for his improved outlook.

“Without all the excess sugar from processed foods and dairy, I have much less of the mental ups and downs that can happen when faced with daily stress. I’m much better able to go with the flow,” he says.

Another advantage to clean eating is that it can expand your palate, so you’re not always stuck in a food rut.

“Clean eating encourages eating more of the right kind of foods without thinking about low-fat, low-calorie, or low-carb.”

“Clean eating is more about what you can have rather than what you can’t have,” says Rebecca Katz, MS, author of The Healthy Mind Cookbook.

“You’ll discover that when you eliminate a lot of processed ingredients, you’ll add more fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats that can turn into Technicolor meals full of bright greens, reds, and yellows.”

For her part, Erica discovered the many wonders of kale through clean eating.

“I learned that it was such a nutrient-rich food, and there were many ways to use it,” she says. “I use it in my breakfast smoothie, on lunchtime sandwiches, and as a side dish for dinner.”

Keep in mind that clean eating is designed to be flexible, so your healthy efforts will not collapse if you take a day off. If anything, the mental benefits of clean eating make it easier to rebound without guilt or stress.

“Now if I slip up, even over a few days, I’m aware of it and can more easily get back on track,” says Erica. “I don’t stress about it. That’s what’s so great about making positive change – it stays with you.”

Tips to Get Started

Here are some tips for making the move into clean eating:

Begin with breakfast. It’s a smaller meal and easier to prepare. Replace processed cereal with oatmeal, or a smoothie made with almond milk, greens, and frozen fruit.

Plan your meals. Organize and prep your meals for the week over the weekend. Have your fruits and vegetables chopped and stored in a container ready to go. It’s easier to reach into the fridge and grab what you need than to feel overwhelmed trying to prepare an entire meal from scratch.

Make a sweep of your kitchen. Get rid of processed foods lurking in your cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer. “This frees up space for you to add healthier alternatives that make cooking much more efficient,” says Katz.

Examples of “Clean Eating” Foods

The focus of clean eating is to consume more whole foods in their natural state and to avoid heavily processed foods.

When in doubt, read the label. “The ingredient list should be short and recognizable,” says Katz. “If you can’t say them, don’t eat them.”

Avoid anything with chemical-sounding names or phrases like “artificial coloring” and “flavors.” Here are a few examples of food staples that make up clean eating, according to Katz:

  • Healthy fats such as olive oil, grass-fed butter, and coconut oil
  • Fresh fruits – or canned, frozen, or dried fruit with no added sugar
  • Fresh vegetables – or canned or frozen vegetables with no added sauces or salt
  • Nuts like almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, and walnuts
  • Organic or vegetarian eggs
  • Unrefined grains, like whole-grain wheat bread and pasta, non-microwave popcorn, steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, and whole-wheat flour
  • Canned beans and legumes with little or no added salt (rinsing can reduce sodium by 35%)
  • Plain yogurt
  • Plain nut butters
  • Unsweetened almond or cashew milk
  • Organic or grass-fed meat, including beef and chicken
  • Fresh or frozen fish, including Pacific cod, salmon, and tilapia
  • Herbs and spices such as turmeric, basil, rosemary, cinnamon, and ginger

Cooking Tip

How you prepare your food can also help you eat clean. Stick with flash-cook methods like stir-frying and steaming, which lock in more vitamins and minerals. Avoid high-fat cooking techniques, like deep frying or stewing your food in animal or vegetable fats.

“Hold on to what is good,
even if it’s a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
even if it’s a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
even if it’s easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
even if I’ve gone away from you.”
Pueblo Indian Prayer

Beneath the beautiful canopy of God’s Eternal Love.

IMPORTANT  DATES:

April 28             Scarborough Renaissance Festival (Weather permitting)
May 1                TUITION DUE for 2017-18
May 15 & 16      Shakespeare Production at Stage West Theater
May 22 – 26       Adventure Trip
May 26               Last Day of Semester.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes.

Deep Peace / What Every Child Needs For Good Mental Health / Good Friday and Easter Holidays (Friday and Monday)

“Let the mountains talk
Let the rivers run
There is Wisdom here
There is much to learn
There is much to know
Much to understand
In this healing time
All across the land.

Through these darker days
On this narrow line
Help me find my way
Help me see the signs
I am not afraid
I am not alone
You have taught me well
You have brought me home.

To the rising sun
In each brand new day
In our own rebirth
In this healing time
Here on our Mother Earth.”
– John Denver

WE are made of the quiet earth,            and Sacred running waters.

Every
moment in time
can redefine
the mystery of
Life.
The deeper knowledge
of who we really are
can gently unfold
in our Sacred Heart,
our troubled mind.

Our thoughts and worries
trouble us so.
But when
our Hearts become
consciously present enough
in this precious moment,
we can recognize an opening
when it occurs,
and step through a door of awareness,
to clearly see
our mind is filled with distractions,
creating the illusions
of Life.

  The illusions of Life

Life
was never meant
to be lived
in the mind
alone,
but in the Sacred Heart
of God’s Love
for you
and me.

Every Sunrise
felt by your fragile Heart,
every thought
of another,
every Blessing your Life bestows
upon someone
less fortunate than you,
is a portal
to a redefining moment –
a moment that can again discern
and distinguish
YOU.

   A portal to a redefining moment

“Be still, my Soul;
the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest Joys restored.
Be still, my Soul;
when change and tears are past,

All safe and Blessed
we shall meet at last.”

Catharine Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel, 1752

listen here

A beautiful Gaelic Blessing
has been set to music,
with lyrics based on the
Blessed Revelations of an
Irish Prayer.
This is one of the most peaceful and relaxing songs
that you will ever hear.
I invite you to
feel your way through the dark
CLICK HERE
(Deep Peace / arr. John Rutter)
and allow the simple and very powerful
message of this Prayer
to enter your precious
Heart.

Yes,
My Friends.
The Great Truths
are simple.
And so are
WE.

WE
are made of
the quiet Earth,
and Sacred running waters,
from the Whirling Flame
of God’s Love.
And one day
soon,
we shall surely return.

“Deep Peace”

“Deep peace of the running wave to you;
Deep peace of the flowing air to you;
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you;
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you;
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you;

Deep peace to you.
Deep peace of the sleeping stones to you;
Deep peace of the wandering wind to you;
Deep peace of the flock of stars to you;
Deep peace, deep peace.
Pure red of the whirling flame to you;
Pure white of the silver moon to you;
Pure green of the emerald grass to you;

Deep peace.
Deep peace of the running wave to you;
Deep peace of the flowing air to you;
Deep peace of the quiet earth
to you;

Deep peace, deep peace.”

Every Sunrise felt by your Sacred Heart

“For the weak and broken down,
For the lost Souls not yet found,
For the hopeful left in doubt.

Peace to you.
Peace.
The peace of Christ to you.

For the wounded child of man.
For the poor who need a hand.
For the humble who understand.

Peace to you.
Peace.”
– Marc Byrd

I wish you
Peace
my Friend.
The deep Peace
that comes from
God’s Love
for you.

Goodnight.

What Every Child Needs For Good Mental Health

Mental Health America (MHA) permits electronic copying and sharing of all portions of its website.

read more

It is easy for parents to identify their child’s physical needs: nutritious food, warm clothes when it’s cold, bedtime at a reasonable hour. However, a child’s mental and emotional needs may not be as obvious. Good mental health allows children to think clearly, develop socially and learn new skills.  Additionally, good friends and  encouraging words from adults are all important for helping children develop self confidence, high self-esteem, and a healthy emotional outlook on life.

A child’s physical and mental health are both important.

Basics for a child’s good physical health:

  • Nutritious food
  • Adequate shelter and sleep
  • Exercise
  • Immunizations
  • Healthy living environment

Basics for a child’s good mental health:

  • Unconditional love from family
  • Self-confidence and high self-esteem
  • The opportunity to play with other children
  • Encouraging teachers and supportive caretakers
  • Safe and secure surroundings
  • Appropriate guidance and discipline

Give children unconditional love.

Love, security and acceptance should be at the heart of family life.  Children need to know that your love does not depend on his or her accomplishments.

Mistakes and/or defeats should be expected and accepted. Confidence grows in a home that is full of unconditional love and affection.

Nurture children’s confidence and self-esteem.

  • Praise Them – Encouraging children’s first steps or their ability to learn a new game helps them develop a desire to explore and learn about their surroundings. Allow children to explore and play in a safe area where they cannot get hurt.  Assure them by smiling and talking to them often. Be an active participant in their activities. Your attention helps build their self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Set Realistic Goals – Young children need realistic goals that match their ambitions with their abilities. With your help, older children can choose activities that test their abilities and increase their self-confidence.
  • Be Honest – Do not hide your failures from your children. It is important for them to know that we all make mistakes. It can be very re-assuring to know that adults are not perfect.
  • Avoid Sarcastic Remarks – If a child loses a game or fails a test, find out how he or she feels about the situation. Children may get discouraged and need a pep talk. Later, when they are ready, talk and offer assurance.
  • Encourage children – To not only strive to do their best, but also to enjoy the process. Trying new activities teaches children about teamwork, self-esteem and new skills.

Make time for play!

Encourage Children to Play

To children, play is just fun. However, playtime is as important to their development as food and good care. Playtime helps children be creative, learn problem-solving skills and learn self-control.  Good, hardy play, which includes running and yelling, is not only fun, but helps children to be physically and mentally healthy.

Children Need Playmates

Sometimes it is important for children to have time with their peers.  By playing with others, children discover their strengths and weaknesses, develop a sense of belonging, and learn how to get along with others. Consider finding a good children’s program through neighbors, local community centers, schools, or your local park and recreation department.

Parents Can be Great Playmates

Join the fun! Playing Monopoly or coloring with a child gives you a great opportunity to share ideas and spend time together in a relaxed setting.

Play for Fun

Winning is not as important as being involved and enjoying the activity. One of the most important questions to ask children is “Did you have fun?’’ not “Did you win?”

In our goal-oriented society, we often acknowledge only success and winning. This attitude can be discouraging and frustrating to children who are learning and experimenting with new activities. It’s more important for children to participate and enjoy themselves.

TV use should be monitored

Try not to use TV as a “baby-sitter” on a regular basis.  Be selective in choosing television shows for children. Some shows can be educational as well as entertaining.

School should be fun!

Starting school is a big event for children. “Playing school” can be a positive way to give them a glimpse of school life.

Try to enroll them in a pre-school, Head Start, or similar community program which provides an opportunity to be with other kids and make new friends. Children can also learn academic basics as well as how to make decisions and cope with problems.

Provide appropriate guidance and instructive discipline

Children need the opportunity to explore and develop new skills and independence. At the same time, children need to learn that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they are responsible for the consequences of their actions.

As members of a family, children need to learn the rules of the family unit. Offer guidance and discipline that is fair and consistent. They will take these social skills and rules of conduct to school and eventually to the workplace.

Suggestions on Guidance and Discipline

  • Be firm, but kind and realistic with your expectations. Children’s development depends on your love and encouragement.
  • Set a good example. You cannot expect self-control and self-discipline from a child if you do not practice this behavior.

Criticize the behavior, not the child.  It is best to say, “That was a bad thing you did,” rather than “You are a bad boy or girl.”

Avoid nagging, threats and bribery. Children will learn to ignore nagging, and threats and bribes are seldom effective.

Give children the reasons “why” you are disciplining them and what the potential consequences of their actions might be.

Talk about your feelings.  We all lose our temper from time to time. If you do “blow your top,” it is important to talk about what happened and why you are angry.  Apologize if you were wrong!

Remember, the goal is not to control the child, but for him or her to learn self-control.

Provide a safe and secure home.

It’s okay for children to feel afraid sometimes.  Everyone is afraid of something at some point in their life. Fear and anxiety grow out of experiences that we do not understand.

If your children have fears that will not go away and affect his or her behavior, the first step is to find out what is frightening them. Be loving, patient and reassuring, not critical. Remember:  the fear may be very real to the child.

Signs of Fear

Nervous mannerisms, shyness, withdrawal and aggressive behavior may be signs of childhood fears. A change in  normal eating and sleeping patterns may also signal an unhealthy fear. Children who “play sick” or feel anxious regularly may have some problems that need attention.

Fear of school can occur following a stressful event such as moving to a new neighborhood, changing schools, or after a bad incident at school.

Children may not want to go to school after a period of being at home because of an illness.

When to seek help

Parents and family members are usually the first to notice if a child has problems with emotions or behavior. Your observations with those of teachers and other caregivers may lead you to seek help for your child. If you suspect a problem or have questions, consult your pediatrician or contact a mental health professional.

Warning Signs

The following signs may indicate the need for professional assistance or evaluation:

  • Decline in school performance
  • Poor grades despite strong efforts
  • Regular worry or anxiety
  • Repeated refusal to go to school or take part in normal children’s activities
  • Hyperactivity or fidgeting
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Persistent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Depression, sadness or irritability

Learn more about specific mental health conditions and children

Where to seek help

Information and referrals regarding the types of services that are available for children may be obtained from:

  • Mental health organizations, hotlines and libraries
  • Other professionals such as the child’s pediatrician or school counselor
  • Other families in the community
  • Family network organizations
  • Community-based psychiatric care
  • Crisis outreach teams
  • Education or special education services
  • Family resource centers and support groups
  • Health services
  • Protection and advocacy groups and organizations
  • Self-help and support groups

Other Resources

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
www.aacap.org

Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
Phone: 703-684-7710
www.ffcmh.org

Family Support America
Phone: 312-338-0900

National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
Phone 800-695-0285
www.nichcy.org

National Association of School Psychologists
Phone 301-657-0270
www.naspweb.org

What Every Child Needs for Good Mental Health is one in a series of pamphlets on children and teen mental health.

Other Mental Health America titles include:

  • Teen Eating Disorders
  • Teen Depression and Suicide
  • Teen Self-esteem Feeling Good About Yourself
  • Teen Stress: A Guide to Surviving Stress

SOURCES

“Facts for Families,” America Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
“Children’s and Adolescent’s Mental Health,” US Dept. of Health and Human Services

IMPORTANT  DATES:

April 14 & 17    (Friday and Monday) Good Friday and Easter Holidays
April 28             Scarborough Renaissance Festival (Weather permitting)
May 1                TUITION DUE for 2017-18
May 15 & 16      Shakespeare Production at Stage West Theater
May 22 – 26       Adventure Trip
May 26               Last Day of Semester.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.