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Archive for the ‘Healthcare for whole self’ Category

rainbow and little angel

Once upon a time, in the land of Kalamazoo, a small princess was born. She was a beautiful baby girl who had come to bring much joy and happiness into the lives of her mother and father, the Queen and King of the land of Kalamazoo.

This little princess’ name was Amy. The King and the Queen took very good of this baby and she grew to be a happy, happy child who truly believed in magic and knew she belonged in the kingdom of princesses.

Princess Amy especially loved her “Baby Bear” who was with her from the time she was born, until now more than six years later. She loved to play pretend and did a lot of this with her GrandQueen Grama.  They built castles together, played hide and seek together, walked on rainbows and climbed mountains together. They loved spending time together.  They often had tea together.

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Princess Amy was very often seen in sparkly dresses and play clothes. If it had sparkles on it, she loved it.

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And Princess Amy loves rainbows. She draws and colors them all the time. She even draws rainbow snowflakes.

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This is a picture of Amy and Grama walking under the rainbow and in the background, Dziadzia is watching us from behind the rainbow.

Then one day, she drew and cut out a rainbow snowflake, encouraging spring to come after this very long, cold winter.

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The very next day the sun shone brightly and melted some of the big piles of snow we have from the winter snowstorms.

Lately, almost every time Amy is playing with Grama, she mentions she is going to have her tonsils out in a short while. Now, with less than a week to go, she even counts down every day until next Monday when the operation is scheduled.

I mentioned to her Queen Mother that we could help Amy’s anxiety a little if she knew she had a special guardian angel looking over her at all times and they could talk about that leading up to the big day.  I told her I would draw her angel and bring it to her and that, of course, her special angel would be a rainbow angel with lots of sparkles on her.

A few nights later, I got a call from the Queen. She said that Amy needed her angel right now, since she knew I was going to find it for her.

With all the graces that angels bring to us, her angel flew right into me in an image I found on the computer.  I had taken a photo of Amy a week earlier as “the sleeping princess” awaiting her prince (me), who would kiss her and wake her up.

So the two pieces went together beautifully on a SoulCollage® card which I was working on at the very moment of the Queen’s phone call. The power and mystery of SoulCollage® works that way.  I finished it up and drove over to see the Princess.

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Princess Amy was thrilled to see her angel. She recognized her right away as her own angel that God sent to her. She said she sees the very sparkles that were on the card already in her room when it is dark.  “Sometimes I even feel a breeze in my hair and that must be the angel’s wings,” she said. “Look, even her hair and wings are rainbows.”

“I am going to keep this forever,” she told me. “I’m going to keep this until I grow up and then I can show my own little girl my guardian angel and tell her about hers.”

She clasped her to her heart and said she wasn’t going to be alone and not so afraid to go to sleep now that she knew all the company she would have: her mom and dad, her baby bear, God in her heart and “Sparkle Rainbow Diamond” guardian angel. She thought she should tell the doctor there was going to be an angel in the room.  And that God was in her heart and would tell the angel everything she needed and for the doctor to do everything right.

Her confidence and courage built by the moment, and my daily prayer is that all that good energy stays with her through her first major medical experience. The angel can do that.

And back in the land of Kalamazoo, we will have the popsicles and ice cream ready.

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Loving Reminders. That is what she calls them. I have paid attention to them since the late 1990s but she has been writing them much longer than that.

Betty Lue Lieber, an energetic, active, happy, funny spiritual leader and activist, and lover of people and all God’s creation, has a stack of professional credentials behind her but she doesn’t need them to live a life where she freely gives of her gifts. Bottom-line, she serves — life and its people, gladly, gleefully, generously and “of-Godly.

How’s that for alliteration!

It is the beginning of February and many people are now struggling with a self-image that is somewhat dented due to once-again failure to live up to their brand new resolutions for 2014. Self-judgment and the inner critic have tarnished the resplendent resolutions once again and makes them in the mood for “settlement”.  “Oh well, this is me,” they say.

The most common fired-up visions are those of losing weight, exercising more, getting organized, spending less money, saving more.  January is a good combustion month to get going on these paths, but soon the paths lead to distracting sideroads and the comfort of the familiar digressions.

I haven’t made any of those resolutions this year. But I have found a comfortable relationship with food that has prevented weight gain from a recent loss of nearly fifty pounds, and that feels good. My natural inclination is to organize in my environment and envision what I want my day and year to look like. So that too provides enough energy and “will” to create some change and order.

The money part is easy. There is little discretionary income to be had, so it is not there to spend or save. This last part I have the fullest, purest intention to allow to change. So I trust that it does.

The reason I am introducing you once again to Betty Lue is that this past week, when clearing paper work and files in my creativity room, I came across one of her Loving Reminder emails that I had printed out ( spontaneous, inspiring pieces are my biggest challenge to keep the paperwork down and save the trees).

She writes these daily from her long-time practice of quiet time, inner listening and writing down what she hears. She does this daily as a guiding practice to which she remains faithful. They most often are “spot-on” for me. This one was written on July 13, 2002.  I have incorporated it into my daily morning prayer practice and it, indeed, is a great loving reminder for how I want my life to look.

The effort to embody these “ways of being” are what I see as a great alternative to making New Year’s Resolutions. With them, we can adapt the St. Benedict’s attitude of “Each day, a new beginning.”

From Betty Lue: July 13, 2002

“What if I really place my future in the hands of God?
What if I really trust that I will be provided for perfectly?
What if I really live in faith, knowing that lal things work together for good?
Few have done it, but those who do share powerful messages of Peace and Joy.

If I place my future in the hands of God:
I will not worry about the future.
I will never be afraid.
I will live in the moment.
I will enjoy what life brings.
I will stop efforting.
I will slow down.
I will not feel pressure.
I will trust all is well.
I will stop trying to control.
I will spend my time on important things.
I will do what really matters to me.
I will sing and dance through life.  (She does)
I will listen to my heart.
I will quit meaningless activities.
I will stop protecting myself.
I will focus on being happy.
I will let go of what I don’t value.
I will feel free.
I would live as a child.
I will play and create goodness.
I will let go of seriousness.
I will breathe fully and freely.
I will know I am totally loved.
I will just be ME!

If I forgive my past with the Love of God
And place my future in the hands of God,
I will be innocent, trusting, faithful, honest, patient, generous, compassionate, defenseless, gentle, open and joyful.

What more could I want?”

Trusting God and Good in All that Is,” Betty Lue

What more, indeed?  In my prayer practice, I affirm that I DO the first three questions: I really place my future in God’s hands; I really trust I Am provided for perfectly, and I really have faith that all things work together for good. I have enough life history behind me to know the Truth of these things in my life, so I don’t have to guess anymore.

When I recite the “I will” affirmations, all of them, I change them to the present tense for me and I say them aloud:  “I DO NOT worry….I AM NOT afraid….I LIVE…I ENJOY……I STOP…..and one of the one I say loudest of all is:

I PLAY and CREATE GOODNESS.

That’s a resolution of life for me. Thank you, Betty Lue.

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Gentle Woman Reiki

Today’s post is a repost of a blog I wrote a couple of years ago. Today, I continue this practice and continue to give Reiki treatments to those who desire them and Reiki attunements to those who wish to add Reiki practice and healing to their lives.

An ongoing update of the blessings of Reiki in my own family life. Many, with medical comments of the belief that Reiki is, in part, and sometimes wholly attributed to the healings experienced. I always treat Tom and he has recovered remarkedly from back pain over the past two years. He had a spinal fusion surgery and a fast recovery as he rehabbed with no further problems and the ability to walk distances with no pain. The previous ten years had been agony.

His skin cancers, especially around his face and scalp, have continued to be challenging, but right along with frequent Reiki treatments, he found excellent care at University of Michigan Cancer Clinic. This past year, he’s had over a half-dozen MOHS surgical procedures and the main doctor on the case said to us, “You are a good healer, in fact, you are the best healer I’ve seen with the amount of recovery you had to do.”  He definitely acknowledged Tom’s role in choosing healthy recovery and encouraged us to  continue the “Raykee” or whatever it was he was doing!

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Her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.”
Proverbs

As a Usui Reiki Master, I give and teach a natural healing method you can do for yourself anytime, anywhere. It comes from the Japanese spiritual and holistic healing tradition and has been practiced in Japan and the United States and around the world since the early 1900s.  The tradition, for a long time, was passed on to another verbally and Reiki practitioners receive “attunements” into Level I, II, or Reiki Master & Master Teacher from another Master who comes from the line of Mikeo Usui, the founder of the healing practice.

One can learn much today from books and the internet about Reiki, but the passing on of the Reiki Universal Life Force powers of healing comes from the hand of another Reiki Master.

Beside the universal desire for love, the two other things I’ve wanted in life were good health and personal, all-abiding peace within. In my search for these, I walked many paths, dipped into many wells of knowledge and wisdom and I’ve had a wide variety of experiences that brought either suffering or healing.

And I guess I would add balance to my life-long “wanted” list for happiness. This explains the draw of Reiki into my life. If Reiki is about one thing- it is most certainly about balancing the body/mind/spirit for the highest good. That includes balancing your physiology and this impacts how you experience your life positively.

When I give a Reiki treatment to a person (hands above or gently on a fully-clothed person), two experiences are common and shared by anyone I treat.  First, they experience an intense heat penetrating where ever my hands are placed above or on them; second, they go into a deep relaxation — deeper than shivasana, experienced at the end of a yoga session.

As a Reiki practitioner, I am doing nothing but acting as a vessel for the Universal Life Force to do its healing of the person on whatever level they need it; spiritual, emotional, physical. The person in deep relaxation is actually drawing the Reiki healing power into their being, I am not “sending” it.

When, as a Reiki Master, I give a Level I attunement, to another person, they now have the Reiki Power, to self-treat or treat others in their presence; Level II, is a higher attunement for Distance Healing and like “Prayer Sent” the energy of Reiki can be sent out over the world for the healing of persons or the planet. A person requesting Master Attunement experiences Reiki as a Calling, and wants to bring more Reiki into the world throught treatments and attuning new practitioners.

Like the popular phrase in the Star War Series, “The Force is with you,” you can be sure It truly is — Reiki just plugs it in and lights it up!

Reiki has gone to bat for me in the healing of emotional disturbance, soulful direction and on the physical plane where you can see it: heart surgery and not only the healing but the disappearance of a brain tumor without surgery and about 1/4 of the drugs they originally ordered.

Cats love Reiki! I’ve had them dash out from hiding and come lay under my Reiki table when I am giving another person a treatment. They stretch out long and expose their belly (the cats). If I put my Reiki hands on their furry belly, I’m afraid they are going to break their purring machine!

Reiki helps me stay rooted just in today. It reminds me by its principles to strive for and surrender to kindness and honesty, to let go of stress and worry, and to be mindful of my blessings.

When I am out of balance and not able to relax or respond to others in kindness, I suffer. I don’t like to suffer. When I include a self-treatment of Reiki for myself in my morning spiritual practice, my day goes better me and for others I come in contact with.

Reiki is one of the wondrous practices that came to me as one of the results of my search for good health, happiness and a support of my spirituality. Reiki is here to be shared.

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Cairn - Bald Mountain Adirondacks

A cairn marking the peak of Bald Mountain, Adirondacks

Do you feel a little off-balance today? I have and it is an uncomfortable feeling. For me today, it is a little off-balance emotionally instead of physically, but it’s still enough to throw my gait off.

However, I was lucky enough to have had my body work massage already scheduled for today and that has me feeling much better at this later time in the day.

My physical body is undergoing a slow,  long-term weight loss pattern too so there is actually a constant rebalancing going on. Yoga and Poolates helps a lot with that.

Last Saturday, I invited my Yoga Class and Poolates class over for a little open-house gathering and I told them to bring a rock! And we were going to be talking about balance – the grace of it and the lack of it.

Tom and I collected rocks from around our property and washed them off to get them ready for the party.

We were going to experience balance through building cairns.

The attendees brought their rocks too.

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A cairn to mark the summit of a mountain in Switzerland

A cairn is a man-made pile (or stack) of stones. It comes from the Scottish Gaelic càrn (plural càirn). Cairns are found all over the world  particularly on mountaintops, near waterways, and on sea cliffs. They also appear in barren desert and tundra areas. They also mark graves.

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One of many cairns marking British mass graves in South Africa

They vary in size from small stone markers to entire artificial hills, and in complexity from loose, conical rock piles to delicately balanced sculptures and elaborate feats of megalithic engineering. Cairns may be painted or otherwise decorated, e.g. for increased visibility or for religious reasons.

So on Saturday afternoon, we were not shy at trying our “magalithic engineering” skills right in the middle of our living room.

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Julius goes first and gets it going. Wife, Leslie holds the vibration for the growing tower.

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The rocks are the star of the party and soon many creations build upwards into the stilled, quieted room filled with concentration and focus.

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Chris builds the beginning base strength of her cairn.

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Sandy builds several cairns of fascinating and balanced structure. They soared high before reaching the collapsing addition of “just one more rock will fit right in here” challenge.

I was working with a new camera and sometimes just missed the best height of a cairn before it crumbled. But some stood too.

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Sharon approached her champion cairn with the utmost of respect and “due diligence”.

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Also note that the cracker plate “cairn” is nicely balancing as long as the stone cairn stands!

“So,” someone asked me, “what does this have to do with balance and calm and becoming serene when we are just hoping like heck, the next rock doesn’t topple our cairn?”

“Good question,” I reply.  “How do you keep balance in your life, what helps it, what goes against it, what makes you become unbalanced, and what happens when you are out of balance, ” thinking this would be the start of a rewarding introspective conversation.

“When I’m out of balance, I fall down,” comes the plain and simple answer, and not much more discussion beyond that. Only laughter and agreement. They go back to building their cairn.

I found that joyful. And I know that a committed practice to both Yoga and Poolates helps me immensely to staying more balanced in my daily life with only a few stumbles here and there.

That’s encouraging. The afternoon came, it seemed, to a quick end and guests were soon on their way. It was a balancing afternoon of friendship and good will…..adding a little more balance to a world rocked with unbalancing acts like the one that would two days later occur at the Boston Marathon.

Life is like a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein.

So divinely is the world organized that every one of us, in our place and time, is in balance with everything else.” Adam Acone.

Note: Photos of worldwide cairns were Wikipedia photos released to the public domain.

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Velveteen Rabbit

Tom’s skin cancer IS under watchful eyes, skilled hands, and caring nurses’ hearts at the University of Michigan Cancer Center and Mohs surgery clinic.

His last procedure was a little-more time consuming than the first few, so as he sat in the waiting room to return for final stitching, his early morning breakfast fuel ran out. So I dashed a floor above and got him a blueberry doughnut to hold him over, returned the elevator to the wrong floor, regrouped and got back to the original starting point, he had been taken back to the operating room.

After some time, the nurse came out to tell me it would be a little while yet, he was doing fine, but had to wait on the doctor (they were doing numerous procedures on many patients throughout the morning), I asked her to tell him his treat would be awaiting him.

She said, “Oh, I will take that back to him. He can have it now.” Tom was pretty grateful for that.

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All the professionals who have treated Tom tell him it is his “early days” in the sun that are responsible for the ongoing challenge he has to keep the skin cancers off him. The times on the baseball field. The times playing outdoors in the hot Michigan summers. Perhaps, the golf course entered into it too, but he wasn’t on the golf course as much as he’d like to be.

That is, until we bought a golf course and tried to make a living from it. Then he was on the golf course a LOT, but not usually with a club. He was busy fixing a plumbing leak, fertilizing the greens, cutting down tree branches in front of one of the ladies’ tees after a sizable feminine insurrection and possible threat to the membership total we needed to hold.

Then there was also that first trip to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and sailboat trips to Virgin Gorda, and times on the beach on St.Croix.  Worst sunburn — best tan in all our lives in that winter of 1970.

Since the advent of sunscreen, however, Tom has been meticulous to be protected by it and use hat and clothing protection and seek the shade when possible.

But the damage had already been done. Now it is up to the best medical care to keep him safe from the spread of this on his skin and in his body. Tom and I are both committed to help stop the growth of this disease.

Ireland from the AirEscapist Waiting Room Literature

The last four weeks have been an aggressive time of diagnosis, treatment and surgery with a two hour travel to the University of Michigan Cancer Specialists who are now in charge of his care. He’s had five spots removed, three of them on his face and side scalp.

He’s been a good patient, and like his father, he always has a little joke or tease for the attending medical personnel.  Plus a word of encouragement to another “first time” patient who seems alarmed at the size of the patch he comes back to the waiting room with.  He assures another woman whose husband has had his first spot removed from his nose, and is sporting a bandaged wound, that he has had several on his nose, and that it is basically all right. She seems comforted. Her husband  just wants to get out of there.

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Me, waiting during surgery.

New treatments for skin cancer are appearing and evolving rapidly in recent years. However, one surgical technique has more than stood the test of time. Developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs in the 1930s, Mohs micrographic surgery has, with a few refinements, come to be embraced over the past decade by an increasing number of surgeons for an ever-widening variety of skin cancers.
Today, Mohs surgery has come to be accepted as the single most effective technique for removing Basil Cell Carcinomas  and Squamous Cell Carcinomas  (BCCs and SCCs), the two most common skin cancers.
It accomplishes the nifty trick of sparing the greatest amount of healthy tissue while also most completely expunging cancer cells; cure rates for BCC and SCC are an unparalleled 98 percent or higher with Mohs, significantly better than the rates for standard excision or any other accepted method.
Last week, a woman having the surgery, told me during her waiting period, that Dr. Frederick Mohs came to the University of Michigan to train the technique personally and so that is one of the reasons it is rated so high as a point of preference.

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Overheard in the UM Skin Cancer Mohs Surgery Waiting Room today: As Tom and I were seated awaiting his surgery, they wheeled in a patient on a hospital transport bed. The man was asking, “Did you say call the nurse or call the hearse? There’s a big difference you know.” To which someone else waiting surgery said, “I have a hearse outside. I’m prepared for anything.” And then a woman responded, “These things are too important to take seriously.” I felt there was great healing and humor energy present in that room. Tom’s surgery was a little involved but completed successfully and we are home doing the healing part.
 
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The reason for the technique’s success is its simple elegance. Mohs differs from other techniques in that microscopic examination of all excised tissues occurs during rather than after the surgery, thereby eliminating the need to “estimate” how far out or deep the roots of the skin cancer go.
This allows the Mohs surgeon to remove all of the cancer cells while sparing as much normal tissue as possible. The procedure entails removing one thin layer of tissue at a time; as each layer is removed, its margins are studied under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells. If the margins are cancer-free, the surgery is ended.
If not, more tissue is removed from the margin where the cancer cells were found, and the procedure is repeated until all the margins of the final tissue sample examined are clear of cancer. In this way, Mohs surgery eliminates the guesswork in skin cancer removal, producing the best therapeutic and cosmetic results.
The waiting part in between for all the patients sitting with patches in various places, visible from the head and neck area, reminds me of the short wait time a woman has at her annual mammography exam….hoping the tech comes out announcing, “All set, you can go.”
It seems the surgeon must be as conservative and compassionate as possible, for more people get called back for a second removal before the all clear happy announcement is made.  Tom got two “one-time’s enough” surgeries, but this last one was a “two-timer.”  He was ready to go home.
But first!  A  stop for lunch, once we hit the highway outside of Ann Arbor.
Exit 169 — Zeeb Road, he awaits his treat. After lunch……PIE!
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Out of the car in no time!
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Hurry up, Sue.
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie.
Now relaxing at home with intermittent ice bag periods on the bandage.
Efforts to improve the Mohs surgeon’s ability to identify melanoma cells have led to special stains that highlight these cells, making them much easier to see under the microscope. Thus, more Mohs surgeons are now using this procedure with certain melanomas. With the rates for melanoma and other skin cancers continuing to skyrocket, Mohs will play an ever more important role in the coming decade.

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Dear God

Today, I admit, I was going to start a blog about a customer service incident I’d had earlier this morning and confess right up front that it was not an inspiring or uplifting tale but I’d tell it anyway.

Instead, I found myself surfing on my Facebook feed and found such an inspiring note that my pettiness of the morning flew right out the window.

Lauren Lane Powell is a lover, a dreamer, one who definitely inspires, a singer, a healer, a drop of love right upon your heart…and Lauren is a fighter!

Over the past year, she has been on the thin thread of a path between life and death, one that required much suffering, much bravery, much personal honesty, and a huge amount of surrender. She did all these things. She was all these things.

As she tangled with her disease, she sought the depths of understanding and union with her Source….she asked and received.  She gave and she was given to. She shared this painful and enlightening journey with us on her Facebook page.

She looked squarely at what was….and what might be…..and what might not be….and on all those paths she never lost herself. Her SELF was there waiting for her just beyond the victory line.

And for all her fight and courage, Lauren was given a large victory which she embraced. You could see her embrace in her light-filled eyes and her wide-angle camera smile which broke across her face. You could see her new-found energies, just as you could see her newly grown hair beginning to grace her once bald head.

At all stages of this journey, Lauren looked beautiful and she was beautiful. And as a normal, sustaining weight returns to her body, so does the voice that she serves so lovingly and faithfully from. So does the angelic music that pours forth from her crystal singing bowls just as the newborn chick comes forth from the egg.

Lauren is in her joy once again and returning to the work and play that she loves so well. The world is much better also,  healing in the same way that Lauren has healed over this long period of time.

One could say that the Earth is in critical shape. It needs critical, loving care to survive. Lauren steps into that challenge.  The Earth is relaxing. I can feel it now.

Lauren Lane Powell

My first event after my wonderful healing! I am so excited to be back in Knoxville!” – Lauren

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The picture of whole wheat bread caught my eye as I glanced through a February back issue of Prevention magazine I had retrieved from my health club reading rack. On my current healthy eating plan, with much hope of losing weight by being faithful to it, whole wheat bread or grains have been removed for now. It is the main thing I can honestly say I miss and have a craving for.

Angst – changing information in nutritional science. The last one was that diet soda still tricks the body into thinking you are giving it sugar, hence these endless super-sized diet drinks are not really “diet” and can still lead to unwanted weight gain. Well, darn….must explain why most of us plus-size people are slurping down the diet drinks, while average or “right-sized” patrons sip away on their fully-sugar-fuelled pop and mysteriously gain not an ounce. Strange.

Now, I wonder,  what are you going to tell me about my coveted whole-wheat toast with my breakfast and lettace- decorated sandwich for lunch?

It seems this renowned cardiologist talks about how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly bulges, and reverse myriad health problems.

According to this Milwaukee, Wisconsin physician and author Dr. William Davis, every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat. As a result, over 100 million of them experience some form of adverse health effect, ranging from minor rashes and high blood sugar to the unattractive stomach bulges.

William Davis MD, a  preventive cardiologist,  calls  these bulges, “wheat bellies.” In his book, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, he says that excess fat has nothing to do with gluttony, sloth, or too much butter. It is due to the whole grain wraps we eat for lunch.

In his 2011 book, he reached a disturbing conclusion after witnessing over 2,000 patients regain their health after giving up wheat.  He came to believe that wheat (including WHOLE-wheat)  is the single largest contributor to the nationwide obesity epidemic— and its elimination in the diet is” key to dramatic weight loss and optimal health”.

Davis exposes the harmful effects of what is actually a product of genetic tinkering and agribusiness being sold to the American public as “wheat”—and provides readers with a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new, wheat-free lifestyle.

He warns that products made from today’s modern strains of wheat contain a type of starch that spurs insulin production and obesity.   Ouch. Whole wheat was my choice of bread. And I thought it was good for me. Not a waist-gainer.

If you ask  the USDA  or the Surgeon General’s Office why Americans are fat and they will tell you  it is because they drink too many soft drinks, eat too many potato chips, drink too much beer and do not exercise enough. And those things may indeed be true.  But that’s hardly the whole story.

When I trained in Curves Fitness and Weight Loss business, we were told to think about the USDA Food Pyramid — with the base being Whole Grains; the same pyramid used to fatten cattle!

Dr. Davis contends that many overweight people are, in fact, quite health conscious.   Ask anyone tipping the scales over 250 pounds: What do you think happened to allow such incredible weight gain?

You may be surprised at how many do NOT say “I drink Big Gulps, eat Pop Tarts and watch TV all day.”  Most will say something like, “I don’t get it.  I exercise five days a week. I’ve cut my fat and increased my healthy whole grains. Yet I can’t seem to stop gaining weight.”

Now that is exactly what my primary care physician and heart specialist have heard from me over the past ten years, at least.  My health seems excellent, yet weight loss attempts yield little success.

Now I know other doctors are hearing the same.  This is why I bristle at the media’s relentless broadcasting of obesity statistics with hidden cameras trained on the fat person’ belly or bum walking down the street.  I stopped “big-gulping” awhile ago, but it might be that the New York governor will have to remove the bread from the shelves along with the extra-large pop if he wants to win the war on obesity.

And no person without a weight maintenance issue, and especially  a government bureaucracy , knows what lengths most obese people have gone to in order  to win the war on obesity for themselves. Not to mention the whole self-esteem issue involved.

How did we get here? The national trend to reduce fat and cholesterol intake and increase carbohydrate calories has created a peculiar situation in which products made from wheat have not just increased their presence in our diets; they have come to DOMINATE our diets. For most Americans, every single meal and snack contains foods made with wheat flour. It might be the main course, it might be the side dish, it might be the dessert, and it’s probably ALL of them.

Wheat has become the national icon of health: “Eat more healthy whole grains,” we’re told, and the food industry happily jumps on board, creating “heart healthy” versions of all our favorite wheat products chock-full of whole grains.

The sad truth is that the proliferation of wheat products in the American diet parallels the expansion of our waists. The advice to cut fat and cholesterol intake and replace the calories with whole grains that was issued by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute through its National Cholesterol Education Program in 1985. It coincides precisely with the start of a sharp  upward climb in body weight for men and women.

Ironically, 1985 also marks the year when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking body weight statistics, tidily documenting the explosion in obesity and diabetes that began that very year.

Of all grains, why pick on wheat? Because wheat is the dominant source of gluten protein in the human diet.  Wheat has unique attributes that other grains do not, that makes it especially destructive to our health.

He says Homo Sapiens, are not old enough as a species to have developed all safeguards needed in the digestive system to process wheat healthily and harmlessly. Witness the gluten-free recoveries for celiac disease sufferers, who found no relief from their life-threatening symptoms until wheat was discovered as the culprit.  And recovery means never going back to wheat for them.

Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, famed expert in wellness and health, and director for the Arizona Center for Integrative Health, is a favorite resource of mine in holistic health and mindful health practices.

He advises that whole wheat bread need not be avoided — just make sure you choose a chewy, dense bread in which you can see whole grains and pieces of grains – the kind you are most likely to find at a bakery rather than a supermarket.

RIGHT!, Like I, as an overweight person, am going to go into a BAKERY on a regular basis to pick up one healthy whole wheat loaf of bread! That would be right after I down my favorite raspberry filled white frosted bismarq, and have my chocolate éclair packaged to take home with me.

The number of times, over the period of a year, that  I go into an honest-to-goodness yummy smelling bakery, I can count on the fingers of one hand. The hand that’s not holding a doughnut.

 

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