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Chase away winter colds with some healthy, easy choices!

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My essentials for winter: vegetable puree' soups and diffuser.

My essentials for winter: vegetable puree’ soups and diffuser.

The cold and flu season is upon us, but it doesn’t have to get you down.

Here are some simple, but worthwhile tips for keeping both you and your loved ones healthy and vibrant- super-charged and congestion free!

  • Buy a diffuser, which simply has a gentle heat source and a water chamber where you add a few drops of your favorite anti-bacterial essential oil. Lavender, Thieves, cinnamon, myrrh, and oregano are great ideas! Many warming foods are also aphrodisiacs, and can help spice up your love life – ginger, garlic, cayenne are top choices!
  • Add more nutmeg, garlic, cinnamon, lemon, orange fruits and veggies, and any root- beets, squashes, carrots, garlic, sweet potato, whole white potato, skin-on, garlic, ginseng, parsnips, radish, kohlrabi, wasabi – to your diet. They are full of anti-bacterial properties and nutrients for optimal health.
  • Add a good quality apple-cider vinegar several times a week, by dabbling on fresh salads, or adding 2 Tbl. To 10 ounces of juice in the a.m. it assists the bowels, helps cut down congestion, is full of nutrients, and helps alkaline the pH, keeping bacteria and germs at bay. It also helps one lose weight.
  • Invest in a Ninja processor/blender. It is the easiest way I’ve ever seen to get the full benefit of raw foods with little waste. The smoothie texture is a big draw to get kids to try it, too! If you’re new to this, try a Hamilton Beach juicer or blender. I have used both, and now use the Ninja. The travel cup size is a life save for the high speed, travelling person! Both are also on sale at Wal-Mart.

Resources –

  1. Top quality essential oils – http://www.youngliving.com/en_US – read about them here, and then find a distributor online to save money!
  2. Ninja products, http://www.amazon.com/Ninja-Ultima-Blender-Plus-BL830/dp/B00ESQ5DD6/ref=sr_1_3?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1392125693&sr=1-3&keywords=ninja+professional+blender
  3. Hamilton Beach won’t last near as long, but is a great start – http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-56206-Smoothie-Blender/dp/B00C4RRNEI/ref=sr_1_6?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1392125838&sr=1-6&keywords=hamilton+beach+blender
  4. Diffusers are a great way to fight air-bourne sickness – pictured, https://immabee.scentsy.us/Scentsy/home. Another choice is, http://www.amazon.com/Diffuser-Travel-Essential-Young-Living/dp/B005G4GHCK/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1392126879&sr=8-4&keywords=young+living+oil+diffuser and can go in the car for de-stress on the commute!

Recipe for winter squash soup to follow!

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Food as Medicine – tzatziki

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Our lives are hectic, stressful; depleting us of much needed vitamins, minerals and energy. It is crucial to our well-being, this ability to be fully present and in the moment by incorporating live food to our tables. Being vibrant, joyful, aware and energetic draws those types of relationships to us, allowing more endurance for more fulfilling sexual intimacy, complete health, and a vigor for life in general. Foods like this are also calming and aid the person with autism, who often has digestive issues.

Store bought yogurt is nothing compared  to live, fresh yogurt, but it does have some beneficial cultures when you aren’t near the farm. It is helpful to get the highest quality yogurt you can afford, plain organic is best. I will soon be adding recipes that add life to your food, such as adding buttermilk to your yogurt, and making panir at home.

Making your own tzatziki is an excellent, easy way to add important supplements to your daily diet. I made this, and ate it from a spoon all day long in addition to my weekly juice for my GERD and ulcers.   Cucumber and lemon are very beneficial to an overworked system, and aid in weight loss.

Recipe –
2 c. plain yogurt (drained in cheese cloth for at least 3 hours)in sieve in a cool place    1 medium cucumber   1 tbl. fresh lemon juice
1 t. salt 1/4 t. coarsely ground black pepper   2 t. olive oil  1 tbl. chopped fresh parsley (1/4 t. yellow asafoetida powder)
Semi-peel the cucumber, leaving a little of the green underskin. Slit in half, and scoop out seeds. Grate coarsely, then use a paper towel to remove excess liquid. Put drained yogurt in a bowl, adding the other ingredients, except oil and asaf. powder, if you are using this fragrant seasoning. Otherwise, mix the oil in, as well, chill and then serve. You can put the oil in a pan, warming, and then adding the yellow asaf. until it emits its lovely scent. Quickly remove from the heat, and mix all together. Chill for several hours.

Fun transitions to a healthier you – gluten free doughnuts

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doughnuts

In my quest to be gluten-free (or GMO free), and move towards a completely vegan lifestyle, I will be sharing my experiences with you on the recipes, as well as the results for my family and myself.

As a medicine woman who works with people having both very serious emotional and physical illness, it is crucial that I keep the mHZ of my organs and body as far above 90 as possible, as most of our organs require that level of energy to stay well. The fresher, more raw the food, the higher the energy that we ingest. Avoiding meat as much as possible has many positive ramifications, as well as is an ethical obligation due to the way the majority of our meat makes its way to our table. From an energetic standpoint, the move away from the dense, dead tissue is paramount for intuitives and healers, or those that care to evolve.

(I am curious as to how to bake without eggs, so will keep searching for that remedy)

I want this transition to be as peaceful as possible, and with an 85 year old mother and two teen boys, changing diets can be like pulling teeth. I incorporate as much fun stuff as I can, and yesterday was one of those days. We made mini-doughnuts, gluten-free and chocolate!, which were really yummy and not greasy(no deep fried cholesterol) as we steamed them in a doughnut cooker like a waffle iron, but with holes for the batter. It was a great find! You can also use this as waffle batter, it should make 8 waffle sections. Baking pans for doughnuts are also an option.

Chocolate Rolled/ Chocolate Doughnuts- Ingredients

3 c. Silvana’s All purpose gluten free flour (http://bitylink.info/JGke)

6 TBL. of coconut oil (or whatever you use for oil, but add 2 TBL.)

1 c. each of brown sugar, packed; and granulated sugar

3/4 c. leftover coffee from morning pot (or 3/4 c. of water/instant espresso), cooled

2 large eggs (mine, home grown) room temp and slightly beaten

1 TBL. almond or vanilla flavoring   3 t. baking powder  1-1/2 t. each b.soda  and salt

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (I used gluten free Hersheys)

Recipe

I always mix my fats and sugars first; hand mixing if using a liquid oil.

(In a separate bowl, I presift all of my dry ingredients together. Sifting is essential to well-blended dry ingredients. )

Next, I stir in pre-whisked eggs with my fats/sugars, and then add the coffee, as well as the other liquids, whisking more to combine.

Then, slowly add the above to the dry, sifted ingredients, until just combined. Fill your waffle iron or doughnut cups, and wait for the green ‘ready’ light to come on. Silvana uses doughnut baking pans, so she heats the oven to 350 and checks with a toothpick to test doneness, about 18 minutes.

I then rolled mine in a mixture of 1/4 c. cocoa sifted with 1/2 c. of confectioner’s sugar, but Silvana makes a glaze by stirring together 1/4 c. of boiling water with 6 oz. of Ghirardelli chopped semisweet chocolate. When melted, she added 2-1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar, with 1-1/2 tbl. of corn syrup and 1 t. pure vanilla extract, stirring until smooth.

The Difference between ‘single’ and ‘celibate’, and why it matters (even to guys)

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We've come a long way from the paper cut outs in elementary school, but the excitement is still there...

We’ve come a long way from the paper cut outs in elementary school, but the excitement is still there…

Valentine’s Day; hearts aflutter, tin-foil Cupids dangling from a string tacked to the ceiling, the wonder and anticipation of the anonymous gift left on your desk, the potential text from an old flame, the hope that someone will start a conversation on your online dating profile… …and then the anxiety and sadness that no one will.

Being single again, especially as a single mom, can be a difficult and trying time. The older we get, the slimmer the pickings from the ‘ole gene pool. We often long for a connection, the closeness of snuggling together on the couch, waking up with another’s arm around you, listening to the slow, comfortable breath of another beside you in the waning hours of night.

Being alone and feeling OK about it is quite difficult for some, especially for those for whom a past love has passed on, or the other’s feelings drastically changed after a long relationship. We long to find ways to patch up the hole quickly and easily. However, finding a fulfilling and rewarding relationship can be difficult at this time. When you are single, but wanting to be in a relationship more than anything, even if you are not currently having sex, it does not make you celibate. Your goal is to find another guy, preferably super hot, rich and totally into you so you can settle down and be happy together. The intention is to have sex; deliciously steamy, prolonged and erotic, as much of it as you can get. I am not blaming you, by any means; sex between two consenting, like-minded individuals is a dream come true in certain situations.

Whether you are in a committed relationship, or if you both are looking for a NSA, clear communication and honesty make all the difference. What messes most dating potential up is the lack thereof. I have shared quite a few of my personal past dating experiences with you in these posts, some of which I had to delete, as my occasional foray into the erotic side of humanity upset some poor soul who felt my blog was only for ‘mature’ audiences. Therefore, the best segments were deleted so that I could get full use of tags, etc. So, if you are new to this blog, you can’t see just how much I have enjoyed the single again life in that respect, at times.

On the other side of the coin is the strong desire to express unconditional love of my self by taking quiet time away from the noise and clutter of ‘needing’ a man, or ‘wanting’ this guy or that one due to his hot looks or his persuasive texts, or just craving some hot sex and to be held afterwards.

When I take time to separate myself from the confluxes of text messages from five different PD’s(potential dates) a day, pick up texts from younger guys looking for a ‘cougar’ or a ‘mother figure’, and come to peace with the fact that I am currently alone because I haven’t yet found a mate that meets or excels my current requirements, I can then come to a place of quiet surrender with my existence. This is complete free will, not self-imposed isolation, and can be revoked at any time. What is the value of this, you ask?

If you can take a ‘break’ from this almost addicting need to find the ‘other’, searching under every rock and around every corner in the hopes you will bump into him or her, you may find that there is deep and satisfying gratification in taking time to fully explore ways to develop past talents that were thrown to the side while you furthered your first love’s career, take up new hobbies that you would not have been brave enough to try because a past date didn’t ‘approve’ or ‘enjoy’, and actually start to prioritize and nurture self-development. When you can take a step back from the obsession to do something to  be the ‘right’ one for an ‘ex’ or even a PD, you may actually begin to enjoy life more.

Time with friends become more precious, you find the beauty in things forgotten, and actually experience a deepening and acute awareness of your senses when they are aroused because you aren’t inundated with constant stimuli.

Take a little time to read books by any of the Tibetan monks, whom many of us thought didn’t feel or experience sensually. You would be quite surprised to read some of the more personal memoirs they give after being released from prison. They expressed just how more in tune they were with emotions and feeling, having deep experiences once they were freed from their torture and allowed to live freely.

Time to yourself is crucial if you wish to develop in a way that will draw a strong, mature catch to your net. It is difficult to get quiet and let your heart speak, especially if you are a survivor of deep trauma and/or abuse. However, you must go here if you wish to attract that special ‘other’. As long as you have open emotional wounds, other people will be drawn to you with the same issues, as well as predators who can feel those  weaknesses, taking advantage of your needs because they will be hard to hide.

Taking a break to be celibate because  you are not desperate to find a way to make each one you meet be the ‘one’allows you to take an interested distance in getting to know someone. There is no hurry, no reason to come off as ‘needy’. You don’t have to make the date work, don’t have to pretend to like someone that obviously isn’t a good match. You know there is plenty of time, and the right one is out there. No hurry. No push. Just go easy, and walk away if it doesn’t feel right.

Remind yourself that there  are 100 more where that one came from; because there ARE.

As an aside – I love gardening; especially flowering  plants of beauty. My husband would always bring me lovely bouquets of flowers on my birthday and Valentine’s because he appreciated this about me. Since his wrongful imprisonment, I have not received any flowers for over three years. I have a wonderful friend that’s like a sister to me; we have known each other over 19 years. She knew I was saddened by my struggle to have my husband released, and on my birthday, out of the blue, she sent me a bouquet of flowers. I was so taken aback that it made me cry.

Because of my choice to be celibate these past several months the flowers were like special creations of the finest Japanese silk; the roses tight and full of soft petals, the iridescence of the creamy white Asian lilies emanated the most decadent and lovely scent that I hadn’t smelled in a long time. It touched me to the core of my soul to receive this gift, more than she could know. It reminded me of   happier times, peaceful and loving memories,  and the love of a kind, dear friend who understands that being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely.

 

Create a must-have connection between you and the mature man you crave

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When you learn how to meet his needs, he'll start counting down the minutes until he can leave work to be with you!

When you learn how to meet his needs, he’ll start counting down the minutes until he can leave work to be with you!

A man needs, craves and demands an intense attraction to his partner of choice if he is going to be fulfilled; there’s no doubt about this. Never think that just because you had a dry-panting, heart pounding sweat session that he will become unwaveringly yours.

The opposite is in fact true.

If he doesn’t call you at every chance, drive for miles to see you, go out of his way to make you notice him, then chances are you are nothing more than an appetizer while he’s deciding on his main course.

You deserve better.

Men love to be teased, enticed, and thrilled with anticipation and vibrant physical encounters; but to win his heart you must also nurture, soothe and encourage.

Finding playful ways to draw him in are key; such as provocative texts that leave him breathless, being a little dirty and daring in public – spicing up his senses with exotic scents,  a variety of fabric textures, a willingness to explore and try new things, be bold.

The secret is to also maintain a direct sense of self, maintaining your independence, a reassuring voice of authority that is neither critical or demeaning, while setting clear boundaries and concise lines of communication.

In order for men to feel secure ( a must-have to be a priority), it is crucial that he knows what’s expected of him. Use short, present tense action verbs, with sentences that clearly state how valuable he is when he ‘x’ – arrives a few minutes early, tells you what his favorite foods are, helps you cook the dinner, or washes the dishes afterwards, etc. Always start your request with a descriptive compliment that praises his abilities to make you feel safe, or valued, such as “I love the way your arms flex when you carry in the groceries or the trash, or vacuum or fold clothes” – whatever.

“It makes me feel so safe when you take out the trash at night, because I feel so vulnerable going down to the end of the parking lot, driveway, etc.” A man is hard-wired to be the sole provider, and his lover to be the nurturer – so find ways to ALLOW him to do so, even if you have the more demanding career, or don’t need his income.

With our ever-changing, uncertain economic future adding stress and complexity to finding joy and peace, it is essential that we become more creative and positive in our sexual relationships. Make it your responsibility to look for the gifts your PD(potential date) has been ready to lie at your feet, and praise and re-affirm his manliness and attractiveness by calling attention to them, even if you personally may be agitated by them at first. Paying attention to where PD spends most of time will clue you in to whether he is truly worth the time to catch, instead of just settling for the first one that comes along. Especially when you are re-entering the dating scene after a bitter past.

When a man has a hectic, extensive job, often the first thing he wants to do when he comes home is to lie in front of the t.v. Yes, it aggravates us, but try a different approach. Why not sit at the end of the couch, and pay him some type of physical attention that he enjoys, like a foot or facial massage?

A face or gentle head rub is a  technique that I’ve found to be very relaxing, and will also make a man more receptive to your current need or want, ie. going out to dinner, help with looking over the bills, going out later with friends.

Gentle, firm and circular motions along the middle of the scalp, palms facing downward, cupping the sides of his head while your fingers gently work his scalp along the center of his entire head, top and back, finger tips touching, will relax and soothe the places where the plates in the skull touch. These often hold tension, and are very taut; immediately relaxing at firm, gentle touch. A man’s forehead and ears also benefit from being kneaded and massaged. He will be putty in your hands after a few minutes of a complete head, forehead and ear massage, and more willing to listen to your suggestions. And, make it that – just an opportunity to see old friends, get out for a little while, get tonight’s special at his favorite restaurant – remaining open to his right to decline. Whenever he feels he has a choice, he is usually more open to agreeing to something that you enjoy.

Give him a reason to want to do these things, mainly because you notice and appreciate them. A man has to feel needed, he has to be allowed to provide for you in order to be at ease with himself and the relationship.

If you need further suggestions for softening his resistance, let me know!

“I had NO idea he was like that,”… how we get caught in the dating ‘daydream trap’

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On a lovely little winding road that snakes along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a quaint cottage that I pass almost daily, as it is almost next door to my home. No one lives there, which is not unusual in this area. Many chalets and small houses are vacation rentals; most sit empty or for sale due to our economy.

It looked like the perfect place for us...

It looked like the perfect place for us…

As my lease is nearing a close in the coming summer, I’ve begun the arduous task of searching for something appropriate and affordable. This unusual place keeps coming to mind; I create different scenarios for how I could make the place work for us. The house is back from the road, with a long narrow yard; perfect for a small herd of goats. The back could be cleared and become a most magical garden, with place for a swing, and an arbor.

Even though I haven’t had time to investigate it on a personal basis, it is tempting to day dream about all the things I could do there, how it would be an easy move, especially as the boys are in school, how much fun it would be to decorate, etc.

In this new world of online dating, it is often quite difficult to figure out the rules
so that one has a chance at actually winning. Dating  is a double-edged sword
at best; as we text or email for days on end with very little voice contact or face to face encounters.

It is easy to fall into this trap of thinking things like “he’s too busy to call”, or “he’s shy so I need to give him more time to come around”. Equally questionable is when he only wants to see you at your place or has no desire to go out once you do start dating.

I think that you are quick to catch on to signals like these, but what about the visual cues or illusion a man or woman creates through their appearance?

When we find a profile that visually stimulates us, and the PD(potential date) seems too good to be true, is terribly sexy or attractive, and says all of the ‘right’ things, it is easy to fall into the ‘daydream trap’.

In the beginning phase when we are getting to know someone, understand that PD is only showing you the very best he knows to offer, working hard to say all the things he has had success with in the past, choosing  pictures that show off his best side, even old ones, whatever it takes to get you interested. During those first few days of chatting and meeting after work, it is easy to get so excited that we don’t pay attention to the actual words PD is using, or his tell-tale body language. Yet, it is crucial to our survival in the dating game to step outside of that crazy, hormonal rush and look at PD as one who is interested, yet distant. Let me explain….

After two weeks of fantasizing about all the great things I could do with the little house,  I called the number on the sign by the road. It was almost a week before the owner called me back. (hint #1) She was a little clipped in her conversation, and explained that it was being sold ‘as is’, and that I would need to do any and all work after purchasing.  I hung up, telling her I would check it out more tomorrow.

Well, the next day it was late, so approaching darkness, so I quickly ran over to get a closer look, and got caught up in a bramble, so just looked at the front, and came back home. I started to imagine all sorts of little potted herbs going down the steps, and rocking chairs on the porch, with some landscaped beds along the bottom of the porch, and how the goats could chew this down to the grass in no time! (I don’t have any goats now, mind you) (hint #2)

WIN_20140119_122756

But, this is what we do as women, we are the home makers, the changers of the world, the fixers, no?

No. You must stop this notion when it comes to modern dating. You know NOTHING about this person as yet. All you know is what he is allowing you to, and if you aren’t alert and paying attention to the signs, then you only have yourself to blame when he cheats on you, doesn’t call back after getting you in the sack, or worse, has duped you into letting him move in with you and you are stuck in a crappy relationship as he is either jobless, homeless or an abusive person.

When we don't remain a little detached in the beginning it can be hard to tell what is illusion and what is fact.

When we don’t remain a little detached in the beginning it can be hard to tell what is illusion and what is fact.

As women, we allow our minds to wander with the possibilities of what ‘could be’ or the ‘potential’ of something. However, when it comes to relationships or money, we must be more focused, clear and fully aware of what is happening between the lines. If you practice some tools I’ve learned along the way, and I will teach you in a later post, you will learn to avoid pitfalls, and how to tune in to a really great catch that may have more to him than meets the eye. Looks are definitely not the main consideration to make in determining whether to give a man who shows interest in you a chance.

As I found out when I finally took the time a week later to truly investigate the entire property, look at what was waiting once I got inside…

Don't let your next date drag you into his illusion of being a great catch...

Don’t let your next date drag you into his illusion of being a great catch…

….a completely empty shell or something that had once been a great little place.

Don’t let this happen to you. I’ll explain how, shortly. Stay tuned…

Calm down – help for the violent with nutritional and loving food choices

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7a0ec4959f731693593009cc51b5d39eMy younger son (12) has a history of explosive behavior, related to both trauma

and autism spectrum characteristics.

Labelled as ODD (oppositionally defiant) and ADHD(attention deficit, hyperactive), he has been on a form of both Zoloft and Concerta since he was eight. I have been horrified that we had ‘no hope’ for our son other than this, and began research; lots and lots.

In the past four years, we have experienced extreme loss, horror, suffering and pain. We then moved into acceptance, awareness of mindfulness, and now into peace and greater understanding as I was able to ‘hear’ wisdom on how to help my sons heal.

The past year, Nate and I have come to a place of great discovery, and he began to try new foods and supplements, which have been a great benefit to him. He will actually now ASK for these items, as I have never forced these on him, just asked him to TRY things I have been doing.

Giving your child/special other a CHOICE is key; repeat, always give your child a choice- one that benefits both you and the child.

There are many levels of trauma; but all involve loss of choice or control for the victim.

The more freedom within safe boundaries you can give that child (or adult if it is a spouse or lover), the better the quality of the relationship the two of you will have.

Asking (not telling) the child/special other to try something really new and important, for example – fish oil, and then explaining how it helps you, as well as how it addresses that person’s issues can be a great way to win him over.

“Hey, Nate, I read recently that Norwegian fish oil is really good for aiding pain in the muscles and joints. The article also explains that our brains are mostly made up of DHA, and fish oil is full of the omega 3 oils that has the same stuff. So, not only will it help those awful ankle pains you’ve been having, it will also help you remember all those math formulas. Pretty cool, huh? It also tastes a little like lemons, with no fishy smell. ( I take a big TBL.) You could take this a few times a week, and it could make a difference. I even read that it helps your bowels. Want to try?” As you consistently model the appropriate behavior, the person will eventually copy you. Be patient.

This is a child who scans everything for its expiration date, changed administrative computer passwords at age 7, and put a screensaver on the family computer that looked like a medieval marauder was breaking into the computer. (Typical Asperger’s behavior. We need to be talked to like we’re smart, ’cause, well, we are)

This helps these kids on so many levels. 1. There’s no threat if they disagree. 2. It lets them think about why it could be good. 3. They see a loved one modelling the behavior, so they can trust it.

DO NOT ask these folks to do anything you are not willing to model. If you aren’t willing to do it, it means you don’t trust it (in their mind) and then you force, coerce or push them to do it, there will be issues, and they will not trust you, either.

Here are some other specific food choices we’ve made over a decade that you should consider for your autistic/behavior needs person.

  • Alleviate any and all artificial sweeteners. They are poison  and exacerbate violent behaviors, as well as hurt our bodies. It makes many sensitives sick, and the cause is often masked. Give them regular yogurt, the occasional soda, bake your own cookies. With the push to more natural foods, there are hidden ways companies sneak it unhealthy ingredients that help them sell. You must learn the definitions of the label ingredients.

There is never a good reason to ingest aspartame or similar chemicals like MSG, both of which contain excitotoxins that also lead to addiction. One clue is the phrase, “natural flavors.

  • Add more leafy, dark greens to the diet. These are full of the B vitamins that relieve stress and help one stay calm, as well as aids memory. Start juicing today to get these highly valuable ingredients to your and your loved ones for health.
  • Zinc rich foods like pumpkin/sunflower seeds, red meat, pecans and adzuki bean will keep down explosive behaviors, according to an article at wellbeingjournal.com.  Limit to no more than 12 mg or so, as it is potent, and a small serving of seeds a day is plenty.
  • Add more unprocessed foods to your diet that are dark and robust in color from your produce aisle – reds, oranges and green- squashes, peppers, leafy plants. Make it a game to try new things, like adding one cold soup a week to the menu or a different juice on the weekends when you have more time to prepare.

Over the recent holidays, both of my boys made the informed decision together to stop taking their meds, after much discussion regarding their responsibilities to practice self control techniques, strategies for appropriate ways to expel pent up anger, and my responsibilities to stay in control while being more patient and understanding of their needs. Their psychiatrist was informed, and it’s been a very empowering decision.

Keep calm, and EAT.

Sources for more information –

Great beginner juicing site – http://www.jljuicer.com/juicer-buying-guide/juicing-for-beginners/

Hallelujah Acres – quality supplements, recipes, educational materials – http://www.hacres.com/recipes

Norwegian quality fish oils – http://www.nordicnaturals.com/consumers.php

Vegan friendly source of high quality information and supplements – http://www.planetaryherbals.com/products/search/

 

 

An Autistic Mother speaks on allowing special needs’ kids to ‘be’

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Alex’s drawing of our house, age 3. Sideways, (sorry)

Alex, being a 'plant person' like mommy, drawing sketches for my plant materials lab. He was 11.

Alex, being a ‘plant person’ like mommy, drawing sketches for my plant materials lab. He was 11.

As a single mom who strives to raise two burly, curious teen boys, I have kept to mountainous, rural areas to give them space to ‘be’ autistic. Let it explain what that means if you’re a neurotypical; ’cause most of you really are in the dark about what makes us, well, ‘us’.

For someone with autism, or more specifically, Asperger’s, it is who we are. It’s like being Chinese,
Australian, African or Mexican; when someone says, “Hi, I’m from ‘x'”, there’s an understanding that occurs. Most of us are familiar with different cultures, so once we get the cue word of where that person is from, we can draw some logical conclusions about that individual, and we start to talk about topics that relate to that lifestyle.

Not so with autism. For the neurotypical (AKA someone who doesn’t have autism spectrum characteristics), trying to live with, relate to, work with, teach or other wise have a relationship with us (God forbid marry!) can seem almost impossible.

We are not like you; therefore, we are often considered, hmmm, insert your choice of – weird, dumb, defiant, geeky, stupid, unfriendly, uncaring, obstinate, distant, cold, aloof, particular, narcissistic, selfish, unrealistic, etc. Many of you call as savants. Others can’t stand that we refuse to stay in line, follow orders blindly, or stop asking questions wanting explanations about why we have to stay in a ‘box’.

Hell, many of us refuse to even get in society’s ‘box’, unless, of course, you’re going to get one of those refrigerator sized ones and play with us!

I can’t tell you HOW many times I’ve taken my kids to camps, weekend or day retreats that are FOR kids with autism spectrum and similar behavioral differences, and watched as their parents run frantically around, dragging ‘Bobby’ this way and that, chastising, correcting, and admonishing the child for being, well, ‘Bobby’. He wasn’t at the Inaugural Ball, folks; he was at a camp for his own kind, hello!

After my son was born, it didn’t take long to see (within the first two years), that he had autism. This was in 2000, when NO one was talking about it, but there was research scattered about. Because of my interest in education and love of learning, I began advocacy, and some testing with local intermediate agencies, and had some different therapists come to the house. During this period, I took him to different doctors, one of whom thought my son suffered from sensory deprivation; and, yes, he was a man, poor thing.

Never mind that I had breast fed my son until I became pregnant again, eight months after his birth, and toted him around in a banana sling during the day until he was too big to fit in it, around 6 months. I sang to him while he was in the womb, with one special song he still knows INSTANTLY at 14, and will stop the tantrum or out of control behavior, growling, “MMOoommmm,” because he’s a big boy now. I also read to both boys before they were born. However, neurotypical professionals like to treat us like we as mothers can’t possibly understand how to care for our children.

By the time he was two, Alex could not speak as other children might, and would bang his head on the floor and point or growl at things. He called horses, “hoo-hah’s”, and had a love for unicorns and horse type creatures, as well as rainbow hues, especially pinks and purples. He would scribble the most fascinating scenes, like cave drawings, on the walls and back of doors. By 3, he and his brother, 2, had their own language, and Alex began to dawdle with my art supplies. He was hooked. “Draw, draw, draw, Mommy,” point, point, pull on my clothing.
 One of Alex’s creations while learning the art of claymation at the famous Penland school in the mountains of North Carolina. He was 12.

I drew murals on his walls, so many pictures of so many things…and then I taught him how to trace. Tracing at five opened up a whole new world for him, because it allowed him to find ways to ‘draw’ all manner of animals, especially birds, that his little brain couldn’t get the depth perception and spacial relations to create yet. It gave him a sense of accomplishment, and helped ease his need for perfection.

Even though Alex has perfect pitch, even though I had dreams of three children who had a little string concert trio in my house,  I surrendered to what I had, two very gifted boys with extremely different interests.

Did he receive speech therapy, social skills’ group time, pre-school time, outings? Yes. There were many hellish attempts at ‘fitting in’ that were disastrous and cruel, as there was little, if any, tolerance for the ‘different’ children. We often had to stay at home in the early years. Perhaps I will share some of our stories from both boys, as well as my own experiences in future posts…

With 1 in 88 people now being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, my hope today is just to open a door, if you will,
that I am begging the neurotypical parent of an autistic or behaviorally related child to consider – these children are here to change you, not you change them.
Do we need guidance, nurturing, lessons in social mores – yes. Do we sometimes need extra considerations or accommodations – definitely.

But, Please stop trying to force us to be like you.

Thank God I had a husband who was a Cancer sign. He just bought Alex stuffed unicorns, and Tonka trucks, army men and Hot Wheels. So what if Alex beat the cars with hammers until they exploded, or sat for hours watching the little wheels go round and round? He would give Alex a bear hug when he tantrumed, or wrap me up tight in his strong arms when I was in sensory overload as a ‘new’ mom. He understood how to love ‘all’ of us, even the ‘weird’ parts.

We need help finding our own way to be in this world in a way that works for us, a way that allows us to be as God intended, which means you love ALL parts that make us ‘us’, not just the parts you like. Surrender to the differences, and find the blessings and lessons that parenting us entail. You will gain invaluable gifts as a result. My life has been nothing like I envisioned, but I have been truly rewarded by the experiences. You will be, too.

 

Surrender is the key to open the yearning heart

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77595803-soul-mates

Snow spirals, sacred silence

wind kissed flakes, demure iridescence

glinting in the hazy winter sun.

Lovers dance like this, red-cheeked, glistening in the candle glow of dawn.

As temperatures warm, snow transmutes;

delicate crystals give way to a stronger force –

turn to water, yielding to strong, masculine heat,

rising from the mundane existence on earth to merge again with clouds, stars, the angels.

To become like this, one has only to surrender to what ‘is’,

which is to say, to look at ourselves in the mirror of unconditional love,

releasing what the world spews as dogmatic law, and allowing our whole self –

the true, beautiful complexity of wholeness – to fully experience all that we encounter

as a student of life.