Learn More About the Angel Way, Annie and Karen

Sunday, May 31, 2009

what happens when i fall off the Angel wagon?

i'll be the first to admit this isn't always easy.

it requires some planning, some forethought, some patience. it works best for me if i plan my food a few days in advance, if i shop with a list and a sense of a menu. sometimes i forget to eat, sometimes i get pressed for time or hormonal or upset, and if i haven't planned ahead of time, i find myself making... well, let's say call them less than loving choices.

this is why the Angels suggest to begin slowly, to be patient, to expect to eat this way no more than two days at a time. it's not easy to stay practiced and focused and aware.

it's not easy to change the attitudes and beliefs and limitations that have been imposed and created over a lifetime and the older i get, the harder i see it is.

so sometimes, even i fall off the Angel wagon.

and then what happens?

well, first of all, i don't tell myself i'm bad or stupid or fat or undisciplined. i tell myself im human and that i needed the break for whatever reason i had at the time. i tell myself it's okay not to be "perfect." i try to remember if i enjoyed what i ate, and if i didn't, i resolve to have better food available for when i need it next time.

and then i plan to follow the guidelines as closely as i can for at least the next two or three days, or, as soon as i can. the Angels never seem to run out of patience or out of love. the Angels never berate me or make me feel bad. the Angels simply offer loving reassurance of Their presence and may slip in a suggestion or two of what i might have been looking for in my time off the path.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

raising your vibration

everything is energy, and all energy vibrates. our energy bodies have a vibration that varies throughout each day. when our vibration is high, we not only have more energy and feel better, we also feel greater access to spirit as well as equanimity about the challenges we face in our lives.

there are many ways to raise one's vibration, but some of the easiest and best ways are appropriate and loving self-care. spending time out of doors, eating well and indulging in gentle exercise - walking or dancing, for example, nothing too harsh or hard or mean - are all ways to stabilize and begin to raise your own vibratory rate. sleep is also helpful (but stressing about getting enough is not!)

eating a full rainbow - all five colors - at least once each day will help to cleanse, balance and nourish your chakras, or the energy centers of your body. brown foods stabilize and ground, white-light foods infuse your physical body with all the raw materials it requires to function. overeating too much of any one kind of food automatically creates a vibrational imbalance. this is why it is really helpful to pay attention and to be mindful of what you eat, when you eat it, and in what form you eat it in.

other ways include bathing in salt water, working with plants or animals or the creation of any form of art. paying attention to your dreams and working with them - whether through the creation of a dream journal or other form of conceptualization is another way to enhance your connection to your own sense of the Divine.

one of the most effective ways, albeit one of the most potentially painful and difficult, is to allow yourself to confront all the nasty, dark, ugly places of your being. we all experience negative emotions - jealousy, envy, anger, fear - and yet most of us would prefer to pretend we do not.

this saddens the Angels, because They love even our angry selves, our fearful selves, our jealous selves. these parts of us are all part of the human experience and to deny these parts is to deny an integral part of our journey here. there are many techniques - from talk therapy to more indigenous practices such as feeding the demons in tibetan buddhism - which encourage and enable us to make friends with all sides of our Selves.

do not, say the Angels, be afraid to embrace the scared, hurt, lonely, misunderstood, starved, you. the deeper you heal, the higher your vibration goes.

Friday, May 29, 2009

june rainbow challenge

how many rainbows can YOU eat in a day? the Angels suggest - and i CHALLENGE you - to see how many you can fit! the MOST i've EVER been able to fit ... is THREE! so leave a comment here and let me know if you'd like to participate in the JUNE RAINBOW CHALLENGE - the person with the most rainbows at the end of the month... wins an Angel-approved Prize!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

weighing in

another blogger wrote this morning about how stepping on the scale every day affected her mood. if she found herself weighing even ONE pound over what she considered her "ideal weight," her mood and her self-image were affected ALL DAY.

wow. that's a lot of power to give one little number, but how many of us do the same? i grew up watching my mother weigh herself religiously every morning - and i do mean religiously. i started doing it just because i thought it was something people do. then i fell into the same trap as the blogger i read - if i happened to be even a pound or two over what *I* thought i "should" weigh, i worked out even harder and deprived myself even more. at times, i've ditched the scale and at times, i've found myself inevitably lured by its siren call.

so where do the Angels stand - scale or no scale?

the scale, say the Angels, is simply a tool - like a measuring cup or a serving spoon. you wouldn't banish all the spoons from your kitchen simply because you find yourself dishing out too much. if you realize you've given the scale and its number too much power - as the blogger and i did - then it's time to put it away.

on the other hand, you might find the scale a means to help you gauge your progress. if, for example, you have a medical reason to lose weight, and you find it reassuring to see the weight come off, then by all means use the scale. however, understand that weight loss is not slow and steady. many bodies tend to drop a few pounds, then seek an equilibrium. as a body seeks a new balance, one may see a see-sawing of weight in the other direction.

women are also affected by hormonal shifts. it is perfectly normal for some women to fluctuate between several dress sizes over the course of a month. understanding her own range of normal fluctuation will enable a woman to get on the scale at any time of the month and feel perfectly fine about the number. the Angels also recommend that we stop trying to fit into the same size clothing as our bodies ebb and flow. They suggest that instead of sloppy sweats for days when our bodies are fullest, we dress in clothing that flatters our rounder curves.

our bodies are not machines and they don't respond in mechanistic ways. women's bodies are particularly dynamic. learning to understand, appreciate and accept the natural rhythms of our bodies is paramount to loving and healing ourselves.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

how do YOU meditate?

mention meditation, and most people i know get an image of a serene buddha, sitting crosslegged in perfect contemplation, or a roomful of people wearing yoga garb, chanting sanskrit.

but these aren't the only ways to meditate.

repetitive motions of any kind can be a way to meditate. thus, gentle activities that occupy the hands or the feet, can be an excellent way to calm the mind and nourish the soul. kneading clay or bread dough, walking, weeding, folding laundry, washing dishes, or even painting a wall can become forms of meditation.

the technique i use is much the same as the one i use for when im sitting still, but instead of focusing on what's going on internally while i breathe, i focus on what i'm doing. at some point, my awareness unlocks and i experience a sense of being in two places at once - doing whatever it is im doing, and Aware of Something Else. in this way, ordinary activities become opportunties, even if only for a few minutes at a time, to connect to Spirit.

it also (almost) helps me look forward to doing these chores! :)

debts and other perceptions

my dear sister-in-spirit, laura rose posted an interesting message from Spirit yesterday on her blog, suggesting an upside-down look at whatever you might be presently perceiving as a negative. instead of being upset over the amount of debt you have, for example, you might try being happy about it.

hm, i thought to myself. Angels, i'm not sure i understand this. isn't this just calling a sow's ear a silk purse?

i happened to be weeding at the time.

Annie, i heard Them say, how do you feel about the weeds?

well, i replied, not so great. i've been out here almost a whole hour and i've managed to clear a plot the size of the kitchen table. at the rate im weeding and the weeds are growing, i'll be weeding from now til doomsday and i'll never be done.

you could try, They gently pointed out, being grateful for the weeds.

grateful for the weeds, i wondered. how do i do that?

in that instant, i understood exactly how. i could try being grateful i had land to pull weeds out of. i could try being grateful for the lush fertility of that land, of the bounty She so generously spills forth. i could try being grateful that i have so much time available to me that i can revel in being out of doors on one of the most gorgeous days ever created for as long as i please, and to the weeds for providing the purpose to keep me out. the longer i looked around, the more i saw to be grateful for.

i went inside feeling considerably humble and grateful for the weeds.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"brown" foods - a definition

grains and starchy vegetables - corn and potatoes - are included in brown foods. these foods contain necessary vitamins, minerals and plant-proteins essential to a balanced diet, and for many people, "brown" foods form the basis of their diet. bread, in all its myriad forms, is quite literally the staff of life for most people around the world. the energy of "brown" foods is different from the energy of rainbow-colored foods, and from that of "white-light" foods.

you may remember that complete protein foods such as eggs are called "white-light" foods by the Angels because - like white light that contains all the colors of the spectrum - these foods provide the material to enable our to repair and replace dead and damaged cells of all types. rainbow-colored foods - fruits, veggies, herbs and spices - nourish our energy centers, or as many commonly call them - our chakras.

"brown" foods are the foods that nourish the link between our physical bodies and our energy bodies. the energy of brown foods is grounding, and many times when we are not feeling grounded - for any reason at all - we turn to brown foods. brown foods also nourish our boundaries, as well as our ability to both integrate into our environments and to remain apart from it - to be IN the world, but not OF it.

the ability to remain grounded, to be balanced, to feel part of one's environment but not be buffeted by it, are critical to our happiness. cravings for "brown" foods, therefore, can indicate, among other things, a need or a wish to create a boundary or a buffer between ourselves and a world we don't understand, but feel all too intensely.

it is not enough, say the Angels, for most of us to simply understand the role "brown" foods play in our diet. in order to make truly healthy choices about the kinds of foods to eat, we need to understand the energy each food contains and how it nourishes us.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

from lynette: portion control is a good thing!

portion control is a very good thing. we all need to be aware of how much we eat, and more importantly, how much of any given thing we WANT to eat. because it's not the portion part most people have difficulty with - its the control. so how big is a "portion," anyway?

the Angels suggest we think in terms of serving size rather than portions. for example, i can fry up a five pound bag of potatos for my family of four but while my "portion" may feel like it should be a quarter of what's in the pan, a serving size of those fries is considerably less.

the trouble with serving size - at least for me- is that it starts to feel awkward and cumbersome. i mostly dish up meals to the accompaniment of the cries of hungry people and hunting hounds underfoot. i dont always (ha- more like never!) think about how much im dishing out and my criteria for my own plate used to be how much i feel like eating. (and given that until i started listening to the Angels, i was usually ravenous by dinner time, the answer to that question was frequently: Quite a Lot.)

so what can a busy person do? the Angels suggest the answer is in our hands. a general rule of thumb (pun intended - the Angels love them) is to consider that the palm of your hand is a reasonable serving size for meat, that the size of your fist is a reasonable serving size for just about anything else and that what you eat in a meal should fit comfortably on your two hands held out side-by-side before you.

these are rough guides and parameters, of course, and ultimately, how much you choose to eat, like what you choose to eat, is up to you. so this piece of portion control - deciding how much you give yourself and how much of your plate to fill - all involve planning about your food.

what this doesn't address is what happens when i sit down to eat my measly fist-size serving of my favorite potatoes. i really love these potatoes. i make them with red skins, usually, scrubbed clean and sliced thin, then layered in a cast-iron pan with butter, paprika and maybe if im feeling wild, onion. i cook them on top of the stove, covered, for about twenty minutes until all the butter's melted and the potatoes have softened. then i take the cover off and let them fry crispy and brown, while fat and starch and cast iron all meld together into what for me represents a nearly perfect union of flavor, texture and sustenance. i am capable of eating the whole frying pan myself, and since im the cook most of the time, capable of making two frying pans full - one for the family and one for me. (fortunately there aren't many foods i feel this way about!)

but i knew eating a pan-full of potatoes, pleasurable as it could be, wasn't good for me. a more reasonable serving-size, sure - but how could i learn to control myself over something i liked so much?

i asked the Angels for help, and this what They suggested:

begin by dishing out your normal portion size of whatever food you would like to focus on. They suggest you do this one food at a time, in order to pay close attention to it. (for me and my potatoes, it was nearly a full plate.)

then, They said, eat half. when you've finished half of however much you've given yourself, put your eating implements down and focus on how you feel. focus on your stomach, on your tongue, on your tastebuds and nose. breathe in the scent of the food, now that you've eaten some of it. pause and consider the food on your plate is now part of the food in your body. if you choose to continue eating, and you well may, initially, again, eat half of what is left, and then put down your fork. pause again and consider how you feel and how the food feels. in this manner, you continue to eat as long as you feel the urge, stopping each time you eat half, to savor the food and the eating of it.

it took me a few tries to stop wanting to eat a plateful of potatoes, but there came a point when, as i was putting them on my plate, i actually paused and remembered how stuffed i started to feel after eating about half of my usual portion size. and then a minor miracle happened - for me anyway - i CHOSE of my own volition to put a reasonably-sized "serving size" portion - on my plate of a food that previously the only way i could control myself with it was to deny myself. the Angels had helped me to learn what my body felt like when IT had "enough" and i was able to choose THAT feeling over the less-healthy one, not because anyone told me i had to - but because i liked it. and i was satisfied with it.. and, what was even more of a miracle - i didn't go back for seconds.

the Angels acknowledge that for many of us, a need to indulge in certain foods may be indicative of deeper issues that may need to be resolved with the help of allopathic or alternative doctors or therapists. They wish to reassure everyone that They are with us all in our healing.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

a question from martha

Question: Please share re.vitamins, supplements, and Superfoods. I have been using Superfoods x 9 years and some specific supplements for me to assist when I have fall off the Angel wagon. Thank you, GA


supplements are one of those gray areas where the Angels advise us to listen to ourselves and our health care providers with utmost care. on the one hand, it is perfectly theoretically possible to obtain all needed nutrients from the food we eat. on the other, certain situations - for example pregnancy or lactation - may necessitate the use of supplements.

if you have been using food supplements with success, you find your situation is helped by the inclusion of supplements in your diet, then by all means continue to do so. go slowly, however, and with care, before deciding to add megadoses of vitamins, for example. try new regimens for a few days and see how you feel. metallic aftertastes, digestive upsets and other discomforts may indicate a way to find other ways to increase certain nutrients.

for example, iron is frequently prescribed for pregnant women - iron in pill form is very difficult to digest. by cooking in cast iron pots, food not only picks up additional iron from the pots, but also in forms much easier to digest. the addition of a couple new pots may mean the end of anemia. is this a supplement? iron in pill form is.. .but the additional iron from the pots? im not sure.

from time to time, i supplement my smoothies with a whey protein powder - i find the additional protein keeps me satisfied when i know im going to have to go a bit longer than three hours with access to food. on occasion, i use seasonal herbs - dandelion root in spring, astragulus root in fall and winter, oatstraw and lavender all year round. are these supplements, or teas or herbs? i count herbs as green foods or whatever color seems appropriate.

so the answer from the Angels is maybe yes, maybe no. my sense is that you, martha, with your health care background, feel far more at ease identifying what your body needs than some people might. my sense is that you have indeed chosen what works for you.

however, for most, this is an area where the Angels urge everyone to make decisions to add supplements - herbs, teas, vitamins, etc - in concert with health care providers who can help you make the right choices based on your individual needs.

ten reasons diets don't work from kathy

This, I know:

1. I can only lose weight for myself.
2. If I lose weight, I won't suddenly be an extrovert, an organized person, or a ballerina.
3. If something is forbidden, I WANT IT!
4. Starving isn't pretty.
5. There are no bad foods. There are some not so hot foods.
6. I don't want to waste calories on food I don't like.
7. I don't want to eat food that makes me feel like taking a shower afterwards.
8. I LIKE fruits and veggies.
9. Eat your dessert first, if that's what you want.
10. Enjoy every sandwich.

i totally second number three! :)

a comment from Stacie...

"i think the Angel guidelines are definitely more than a diet, it is a way of life. learning to listen to one's body and to love and nurture oneself.

i love it that the Angels don't have a long list of do's and don'ts, no hard and fast rules. they never tell you what to eat, they just offer suggestions. it's very liberating and it's neat to learn to listen to my own body and intuition.

so many of us have negative relationships with food, and have for years. learning to love ourselves is the first step to changing this, and this is what the Angels are trying to tell us.

i agree that the vibrations are so different for food that has been raised and prepared with love, food that is locally grown, in season and especially homemade. i can feel a distinct difference in free range chicken and eggs, and in in season produce."

on empaths and "brown" foods*

empaths are people who are very sensitive to other people's emotions. they are like sponges and can find it very difficult to be around others. personally, i think ALL people have the ability to develop their empathy skills - empathy, after all, is a fundamental part of our human nature. children who have no empathy turn into things like serial killers, narcissists, and sociopaths. part of the Big Waking Up as the Angels sometimes call the process we are all going through is that more and more of us are aware of our empathic abilities. more and more of us are realizing we fit the definition of "empath."

novice empaths will sometimes turn to foods - specifically brown foods* full of cushioning fats and softening sweets - to create a natural buffer between themselves and a world they feel too intensely. this is why many lightworkers, especially as they start to wake up, develop some extra cushioning. its part of why our hormones as we age encourage us to gain weight. women who go through menopause put on a few extra pounds for many reasons and one of them is that psychically, a woman is entering her most sensitive time of life.

so... the energy of brown foods is grounding. there are many indigenous cultures that believe that infants, until they're weaned or turn a certain age, aren't fully "human" and may not even give them names. what this reflects is that until a child eats "brown" food, his energy body is not fully anchored into the flesh.

just as under our skins, we have a kind of spider-man suit called the fascia which holds us all together, there's a similiar layer of energy that connects the energy body into the physical body. this layer is directly nourished by brown foods energetically. so eating brown foods literally grounds us into our own flesh. (no wonder eating too many of them will make us fat faster than any other kind of food!)

again, the key here is balance. an empath has to learn to fill herself not with brown foods or other people's emotions but with an awareness of the Divine Love that emanates from the spark of Spirit within all of us. when the sponge becomes saturated with clean water, it can't pick up much of anything else from anywhere else. that's how evolved empaths are meant to move in the world - as sponges, but so saturated with awareness of love and spirit that it sort of leaks out of them, and so THEY start to affect the negative people around them. an evolved empath is able to shift and lift the energy all around her, and is not brought down by the presence of negative or sad or depressing people. she may never ENJOY such people's company, but she is not affected in a way that impacts her personally. on the other hand, an empath without this awareness is like a dry sponge that's inevitably going to suck up whatever goop in which she finds herself.

therefore, it's especially important for empathic people to pay close attention to the brown foods they eat and to eat brown foods with awareness of the kind of energy they contain. wholesome grains and starches provide not just fuel for what we do in the world, but also energy to nourish the connection between our physical bodies and soul-bodies as well.

the more closely you follow the Angel Way Guidelines, the more you find yourself aware of the emotions of others in this way. you may even begin to feel vibrations from the food you eat - you may, for example, feel some lingering distress from the migrant worker who picked your fruit. there is no need to ingest this distress along with your strawberries - wash the fruit with the intention of purifying it not just physically but energetically as well, thank the person who picked it and packaged it as you prepare it and send them thoughts and prayers of gratitude and lovingkindness and that their suffering may be lessened, and if you are able, do something to alleviate suffering in your community in whatever way you can. these are small actions and may not seem like they could ever amount to much, but it's one grain at a time that ants move mountains.

* "brown" foods or "earth" foods as characterized by the Angels include all grains and starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn.

Friday, May 22, 2009

technical difficulties

im having difficulties opening other blogs - internet explorer keeps aborting the operation. im not sure whats going on - i saw a notice blogger was aware of the problem... please forgive my lack of comments on other blogs! im thinkign of you all and really frustrated i can't catch up!

dieting... the angel way

some people come here looking for a diet, in the sense of losing weight. some people who try the angel guidelines WILL lose weight, because they are carrying more weight than they need or is healthy.

but the Angel Way guidelines are not a "diet" in that sense.

the Angel Way guidelines represent a diet in the most general sense of the word, in that they address what the human body needs for nourishment. but the Angel Way guidelines are more than simply a diet... they can assist you in shaping a lifestyle that will enable you to make healthier - and hopefully more palatable and easily assimilated - foods.

the Angels don't tell you what to eat... at best, They offer suggestions. the Angels never negate or in any way attempt to take away your free will. what the Angels do offer is a way to understand how the choices you make about the food you eat reflect how you truly feel about yourself.

it's only when we really feel love for ourselves - as evinced by a willingness to make the healthier choice most of the time, and forgive the unhealthy choice the rest of the time - that our relationship with this most critical aspect of ourselves can be healed. in our culture, food and body image present difficult challenges for just about all of us, even those of us in relative physical health. it can be very hard to know what to eat in order to feel healthy, it can be harder still to truly allow ourselves to nourish ourselves with this tangible form of love.

for the Angels, all acts associated with eating and food preparation - right down to the raising of the vegetables, the picking of the fruit, or the slaughtering of the animal - are opportunities to show love. This love is shown not just in the form of sharing with those who don't have food, or aren't able to cook it, but in how we raise our foods, in how we treat the people who pick it or prepare or bring it to us, and in how we treat ourselves by what we do and don't choose to eat.

someone asked me yesterday if i thought the Angel Guidelines would "work" for everyone. i don't think "work" is the right term - but in the broadest sense, yes, if applied and followed, they WILL "work" for everyone - just in very individual ways. no two angel-guideline followers are going to have the same diet or eating habits or food preferences. or, a vegan and a meat-eater may choose a similar rainbow-salad, but the "white-light" food accompanying it may be quinoa and forbidden rice for the vegan, and cold sliced beef filet for the meat-eater. a vegetarian may choose cheese. someone on a heart-healthy diet or with other health concerns might choose salmon. someone who wants to lose a couple pounds might choose a hard boiled egg or cottage cheese.

however, the Angel Way guidelines aren't just about WHAT you eat, but how you eat it, prepare it and plan for it. i find it helpful to visualize each chakra as i eat each color, and to imagine myself being filled with clear white light as i eat my "white-light" foods. "brown" foods help me feel grounded, present and fully integrated into my surroundings, engaged with those who surround me, and yet not be over-run or overtaken by others' emotions, or beliefs. limiting the amount of processed or artifical foods helps both my physical body and my energy body feel clean.

have i lost weight when i've concentrated on eating like this? yes, but only when i've exercised at the same time. at fifty, my metabolism needs the boost. one benefit of getting older generally, is that ive become very aware of how much of a conscious choice i've so far gotten to make - and i've become much more aware that i need to make careful conscious choices in order to keep it that way as long as possible!

this is why the first Guideline is "what you eat is up to you."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

the Angels on being outdoors

it's important to spend time every day out of doors. our bodies need sunlight and fresh air. we know this, and yet for many of us, outdoors is something we experience in between rushing from place to place, from house to car to office to school to car to house to store... you get the idea. even i find myself very guilty at times, of not spending time outdoors.

i'm not sure what stops me - maybe it's a sense of all the things i feel i "should" be doing if im out there - maybe it's the sense i "shouldn't" be outside goofing off. but even here in chilly new england it's finally spring.

today the Angels suggest that we turn off our computers, put down our tasks and take as few as five minutes to simply sit outside. close your eyes, feel the light - or the rain - and breathe. if you are fortunate enough to live in a place where you can be relatively undisturbed, take whatever time you can give to yourself to release whatever stress you might feel yourself holding. with every in-breath, imagine yourself breathing in relaxation and love, and with every out-breath, imagine yourself breathing out any worries. do this every day, for at least five minutes if at all possible, and preferably, before engaging in any stressful task.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

the Angels on water

water is what we are mostly made of, and water is an extremely important part of our diets. sometimes what we perceive to be hunger is actually thirst, and factors such as temperature, humidity levels and certain foods or ingested substances, such as caffiene, can dehydrate us without our awareness.

therefore, the Angels suggest we pay attention to how much we drink and what we drink as much as what we eat. while many diets urge us to "drink more water" or to drink a certain amount of water, convenient access to potable water is relatively recent in human history. therefore, it's not so much WATER we should pay attention to as LIQUID.

our bodies require a certain amount of liquid nourishment, just as they do solid nourishment. and as with solid food, there's a range from healthier choices to not-so healthy choices from which to choose. if you enjoy water, if you have access to a source of fresh spring water, for example, or you enjoy the taste of your local or filtered water, then by all means, drink water. however, teas - especially herbal teas, but be wary of any diuretic capablities - coffee, lemon- or limeade, seltzer water or club soda, and fruit juices are all acceptable alternatives for those of us who shudder at the thought of downing gallons of water.

for example, i brew myself a pot of tea every morning, and then another at lunch. i drink the tea throughout the day. my mother used to say i always had a glass in my hand - i still do, but now its usually a mug!

in terms of how much to drink, and when, the standard answer "when you're thirsty" is really the best answer; the trouble is that it can be very hard to know if you're thirsty before you're almost dangerously dehydrated! therefore, plan to drink something nourishing - a glass of water, a cup of tea, a club soda and cranberry - at least every three hours along with your meal or snack. then plan to take at least one extra cup or mug or bottle along with you afterwards to sip between.

and the Angels do gently suggest to avoid, if at all possible, water in plastic bottles. the plastic is not at all healthy and the water absorbs very dangerous chemicals.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

"white food at every meal?" does that mean snacks, too??

yes... ideally all meals and snacks contain some form of "white food," but it doesn't haev to be huge - a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit, a spoonful of almond or peanut butter, a glass of milk, anything that provides some form of complete protein is essential...

some people will find that three meals and three snacks work for them, others three meals and two snacks, depending on how long they are awake. (i get a lot of sleep and so i tend to only eat five times a day - with a cup of tea or hot chocolate between 8 and 9 if i feel i want something.) some people will eat mini meals all day and some will only have one main meal and the rest snacks.

again, it all depends on YOU!

online food diaries

over the time i've been telling people about the Angel Way messages, many of the people who've tried the guidelines tell me about the importance of keeping a food and activities journal (or diary or list or whatever you want to call the means by which you keep track of what you eat!)

i know firsthand it's much easier to follow the guidelines if i'm keeping at least a list of what i eat and what time i eat it. it's also helpful to do so with a community of kindred spirits.

my friend stacie suggested separate blogs may work for some people and could be linked to this one if so desired. so... angel-way-eaters... would anyone care to join in?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hello, Angel Way Sisters from Karen M. Rider

Greetings Angel Way Sisters!

This is Karen Rider, Annie's research assistant/collaborator/co-author. Annie has mentioned my name a few times, so we thought it time for me to formally introduce myself to all of you wonderful gals :)

ETAW is an amazing synthesis of divine guidance on loving your WHOLE BEING and sound nutritional guidance. How do I know this? For one, I trust Annie and the wisdom that comes to her from the celestial realm. Second, my educational and professional background is in the health sciences: A B.S. from Penn State University in Exercise Science (physiology, nutrition, wellness, fitness, sports psych, etc) and an M.A. in Psychology (University of Hartford)-concentrations in research methods and health psych. I've worked as a personal trainer, fitness director, wellness program manager, behavioral health research assistant among others. Third, like Annie (and I gather many of you), I have had many years devoted to the struggle with body image, self image, and disordered eating-- to include a diagnosed eating disorder that I suffered with for more years than I care to think about ..... which lost its power over me some 12 or so years ago.

As you may have read from Annie, whom I've know a few years, I was skeptical about Angels communicating about the nourishment of the human body. Because of the trust I have in Annie and her intuitive skills, I gave a serious look at the messages. At the same time, I was interviewing Caroline Myss, Dean Ornish, MD, and Mark Hyman, MD for articles and interviews I write for various holistic publications (yes, I'm a writer, too... I also write fiction, like Annie).

In conjunction with what I knew from my own experience and education, I was astounded to find that these Angel Way guidelines so remarkably align with current nutrition/health science recommendations for eating, exercise, and self-care. I was hooked. I encouraged Annie to continue, with confidence, spreading the message while I went to work on research and supporting documentation for ETAW. We are synthesizing these facets of ETAW -- celestial wisdom and modern science--to present to an agent/publisher in the next few weeks

This post is long enough... but I don't get to post too often because I am also the mother of two incredible daughters-- under age 4-- wife to a pretty terrific fellow--and trying to write, research and move to a new house. So, if you have specific questions that Annie passes on to or consults about with me, please be patient... I will respond in as timely a manner as is (humanly) possible!

In the mean time, please look for one of our first exposures for ETAW... an article from Inner Tapestry Holistic Journal (you can subscribe to it or check out new issues on line at http://www.innertapestry.org/ my column is Destination Healing Southern New England.
the Angel Way article will be up in june!

a rainbow idea from kathy

this one is too good not to share! thank you so much, kathy... this is a GREAT idea and one i am definitely going to try. i can just imagine all the endless possiblities you could come up for this one!

"One time-saver I do have: the rainbow chopped veggie mix. I chop tomatoes, peppers (more colors if I have them), onions, canned beets & celery. I mix these with corn & shredded carrots. I keep this in the fridge and can throw it in a tuan or chicken salad, an omelete, a breakfast burrito, pasta, lettuces, etc. etc. I hate chopping, so if it's there already I'm more likely to use it."

a rainbow veggie mix sounds so good! a drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt would help this keep... a few herbs and a bit of balsamic vinegar make it a salad all by itself. any other combinations you can think of?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

rainbow recipes

one of the most important steps in following the guidelines is to PLAN what you eat. now, this may sound so basic and obvious to most of us that it hardly seems worth repeating. however, i've found that when i don't plan MY meals with the same care and attention i give my family's, i frequently end up eating things that aren't optimal for ME, or... i don't eat at all.

and that's not good, because a hungry mommy is an unhappy, unnourished, unnurtured mommy.

for myself, i realized that i could combine my love of milkshakes and my need to have relatively quick, easy meals i can prepare on a moment's notice into smoothies. they work for me because they're flexible, i can drink them as often as i'm willing to wash my blender, and i enjoy seeing how many colors i can pack into one.

1/2 frozen banana, sliced (slicing, then freezing, over-ripe bananas is a great way to use them up)
1 container greek yogurt, any flavor
1 cup of almond milk, chilled
1 Tbs almond butter
cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger to taste

this smoothie contains orange (cinnamon and nutmeg) yellow (banana and ginger) and white foods (yogurt, almond milk and almond butter.) i might even count the almond butter as a fat.

sometimes i omit the spices - though i really like cinnamon and ginger and always include them in winter. sometimes i substitute another nut butter, or leave it out entirely. i usually include the banana - sometimes its not frozen. (i count fruit-flavored yogurt as both white food and whatever color the fruit is.) recently, i've liked this combination:

1/2 banana, fresh or frozen (yellow)
5 strawberries, sliced and hulled (red)
1 container greek yogurt in peach (white/orange)
1 cup almond milk (white)

i like this one when im craving something chocolate:

1/2 banana, fresh or frozen
handful blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 container greek yogurt, plain, vanilla, honey or blueberry
1 tbsp almond butter
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop chocolate whey powder

any other smoothie fans out there?

it's summer time ...

(here in the northern hemisphere, anyway) and the eating can be freaky. in the interests of safe hygiene, here's a few tips on keeping food safe:

Raw meat: Meats such as chicken, pork, and beef - especially ground meats - can harbor dangerous bacteria that are capable of causing serious illness or even death. You can avoid this type of food poisoning by using a separate cutting board to prepare meat and by thoroughly washing all surfaces and utensils that have come in contact with the meat. In addition, make sure you thoroughly wash your hands before touching any other foods, utensils, or surfaces.

Eggs: Raw eggs have been associated with salmonella poisoning. To prevent illness, avoid eating raw eggs, keep your eggs refrigerated, and make sure you use your eggs immediately after cracking.

Fruits and vegetables: The surfaces of fruits and vegetables may be contaminated with pesticides and bacteria. Proper cleaning before use can prevent potential health risks. Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables - including the kind that come in the plastic bags all prepped - before eating, and avoid contact with raw meats, seafood, and eggs.

Fish: Fish must be used soon after purchasing. Keep it refrigerated until you're ready to cook it, and never defrost frozen fish under hot water. Instead, submerge frozen fish in cold water for quick defrosting, or allow it to defrost overnight in the refrigerator. In addition, it's a good idea to wash fish before cooking and, as with meat, thoroughly clean surfaces and utensils after preparation.

Friday, May 15, 2009

a report from patrice

"I eat a lot of delicious fruit, and my tastebuds are coming alive (you should put that in your blog) in a way that makes everything taste better. More flavors, fewer artificial ingredients, fewer foods that are mostly sugar and fat — all make eating a more pleasurable experience. And I’m HUNGRY when I eat now... The best way to enjoy a meal. It takes a while to get used to a normal level of hunger (not starving) without panicking, when you’ve been used to having too much most of the time.

I did go out to Starbucks last night with Richard for my favorite kind of soy chai, and split a piece of tea bread. It was perfect, and felt like plenty to me."

exciting news

an article on Eating... the Angel Way will appear in this summer's issue of The Door Opener (a connecticut holistic health and spiritual enlightment magazine and directory) and in the next issue of Inner Tapestry, which is a new-england wide publication!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

how about chocolate?

the ancient greeks believed the gods and goddesses on mount olympus ate ambrosia and drank nectar. for many of us, chocolate qualifies with ambrosia as a food fit for a god.

happily, the Angels agree.

chocolate is derived from the cocoa bean... and therefore, in its purest, unprocessed state is considered a green food. depending on what we add to it, we might also need to consider it a fat or a sweet - but that doesn't necessarily negate the benefits of the nutrients contained in the chocolate.

the reason we crave chocolate, say the Angels, is because it contains things that are good for us. so the next time you find yourself craving chocolate, and you have no medical reason to avoid it, go for the highest quality, purest form of the chocolate you possibly can.

a couple squares of organic, fair trade, high cocoa-content chocolate can indeed taste like bliss. a cup of hot cocoa, made with milk or milk powder and chocolate syrup, even if its not an "organic" brand contains proteins to help balance the sugars and fats and starches, and provides a genuine chocolate taste. a handful of semi-sweet baking morsels does me in a pinch.

your body is not easily fobbed off with substitutes. i don't eat a lot of chocolate, but right before my period i usually get a serious craving. i keep a couple chocolate bars in the house and some hot chocolate mix and when the urge to eat some chocolate strikes, i allow myself to eat what i feel i need. a couple cups or a few squares - not usually more than a bar - seems to do the trick. at some point i realized i'd eat MORE of a substitute, and that the real thing satisfied in far more reasonable portions.

Monday, May 11, 2009

learning to listen

one of the best ways to learn to eat the way that is right for your body is to pay close attention to the things it tells you about itself. for example, many of us - if not all of us - are socialized to continue to eat long after our brains are telling us we've had enough food. our brain sends us signals which we are conditioned to ignore.

to help counteract the affects of a life time of cultural inculcation, the Angels suggest to begin by giving yourself a normal-size portion of your foods - whatever that size is to you.

after you have eaten approximately one half, put down your fork. take a break in your meal. assess your body. how do you feel? if you are still hungry and the food still appears appetizing, especially if it is one of your favorites, by all means, eat it.

if you're not sure, take a couple more bites of everything on your plate, or approximately one half of what's left. now assess. continue to do this - eat half, then pause and assess, eat half then pause and assess, until you begin to recognize when your body tells you it's full. i was astonished to realize i was usually full after i'd eaten a little more than half of the portions i normally served myself. i found this technique to be particularly helpful for foods i really love and have a tendency to overindulge in - like rice pudding or salt and pepper potato chips.

the process of learning to listen to the signals of your body can be a lengthy one, and even when you do listen, it can be very difficult to overcome the resistance to paying attention. therefore, the angels urge you to be gentle and patient with yourself. there is nothing you are doing "wrong." you are discovering your body's wisdom. the body contains deep core wisdom. it will not be discovered, or remembered, or understood overnight.

a message from the Angels

We understand that there are many reasons why it can be difficult to know your own bodies.

today We only wish to reassure you all that you are all beautiful to us.

today We wish to reiterate that your body is a unique and wonderful expression of Divine Source.

much of what you perceive to be imperfections are only culturally-engendered perceptions that have no basis in Our reality.

We ask that you take time today and every day to appreciate your body, to sink into its bones and joints and tendons, its rolls and folds and curves.

We find you dazzling in your humanity...and Our wish for you is to come to share something of the joy We take when contemplating you.

men are like raindrops; women are like snowflakes

one of the first pieces of information the Angels shared with me was the reason why so many women in particular have difficulty sifting through the myriad of information regarding diet, health and exercise currently available. the problem is that most women don't understand how uniquely different our individual body chemistries are, not only from men, but from each other.

because men's bodies do not contain the exquisite systems needed to support the creation of human life, their bodies are not calibrated as acutely or as distinctly as a woman's. It is much easier for traditional science and allopathic medicine to identify what amounts of nutrients support the male metabolism, because men's individual differences vary across a much narrower range of normal than women's do.

men,therefore, are like raindrops - they come bigger or smaller, but they're pretty much the same.

women, on the other hand, are like snowflakes - far more complex, far more unique and varying across a much broader spectrum of what is "normal." just because something "works" for your mother, your sisters, your cousins or best friends doesn't mean it's going to sit quite the same with YOU. certainly you may react to some things in the same way, but even blood relationships aren't necessarily enough to predict that two women will require the same amount of anything on any given day.
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tips on how to meditate

find a place that is quiet. outside is wonderful but only if you don't mind bugs :). i recommend a comfortable chair or sofa. sit comfortably - don't lie down unless you want to fall asleep.

the easiest way to meditate is to first bring your attention to your breathing. you can keep your eyes open, while focusing on a candle flame for example, or tree, a seashell, a crystal, whatever pleases you, really - or you can close them. simply focus on your breathing for maybe 10 to 20 breaths.

if another thought comes into your mind, acknowledge it and allow it to pass. (for example, your mental dialogue may sound something like this - what shall i have for dinner? oh yes, im thinking about dinner. now im going to thnk about my breathing again. did i remember to call so and so? oh yes im thinking aobut so and so. now im going to think about my breathing) bring your attention back to your breath.

after 10 to 20 breaths, begin to check in with your body. start with your toes, and work up... or start with where you feel tension. notice where you are tense or stresses or not relaxed, and breathe relaxation into these areas. then work your way up your body. if intrusive thoughts start to enter, deal with them as described above. usually if you are intensely focused on your body, the thoughts stop, because your brain really gets interested in itself.

your brain NEEDS the infomration from your body like a junkie needs heroin. it THRIVES on the body's wisdom. allowing it to REALLY pay attention should feel good. however, don't let your awareness be highjacked by your brain, either. notice where the tension is, the constriction, the stress, then allow it to pass as you move up or over your body. (for example - maybe i should call the doctor about this funny pain in my knee... yes let's remember that later and now let's think about our thigh.)

when you reach your head, consciously allow your mind to go as blank as you can...,.. visualize a big gray void, or a blank tv screen or a big sky or outer space - whatever stands for BLANK in your head - even a blank sheet of paper or a computer screen for those of us who are writers or internet addicts :).

breathe with the blankness for as long as you can... alllow anything that comes through the blankness to come through - sort of like you're waiting in front of a movie screen for the movie to start. you can also ASK for guidance to come through, or information - (should i call the doctor about the funny pain in my knee? no, just do your yoga more consistently.)

when you are ready... usually your body will start to feel twitchy,,, bring your awareness back to your body.. start with the top of your head and work down. when you reach your feet, take a few deep breaths, open your eyes and stretch - a few yoga stretches are always great if you know them.

this is a fairly simple practice i have done for years. you can buy cd's to help you get started and if you can only do the breathing for a few breaths and then you have to quit, that's okay. try to do a litlte longer every day. i find 20 mintes is as much as i can do at any one time. if i don't come out of it, i fall asleep. (which is why i very seldom have trouble sleeping, i think.. i can always put myself back to sleep.)

you may want to create a small ritual to help prepare your body-mind for this experience. for example, i always turn off the phone, go to the bathroom, wash my hands and rinse them with cold water and salt. then i light a white sage leaf, and as the smoke and scent surround me, i ask that my meditation be filled with love, and any information that the angels need me to know flow freely into me.

you can use an essential oil dabbed onto your wrists, and third eye in a scent you really like - lavendar or even vanilla extract can do ... or cinnamon. in the room i meditate, i light a candle. sometimes i use a meditation CD - there are many on the market. i really like Mara Freeman's Kindling the Celtic Spirit CD. then i settle into a comfortable sitting position - not lying unless i intend to fall asleep. sometimes i use singing bowls or chanting meditation as background, but usually i prefer the sound of the birds and the chuckle of the waterfall.

what about fats?

we all need a little cushioning in our lives and natural fats in reasonable amounts are a necessary nutrient for healthy people with no medical conditions that would require them to limit their fat intake.

be aware that cravings for excessive amounts of fats - beyond the normal amounts called for in recipes and as condiments - may indicate as much of an emotional imbalance or spiritual imbalance as a physical one. however, those who avoid fat altogether without a medically necessary reason to do so are withholding something all bodies require in moderation and in some form.

i limit the fats i ingest to dairy fats, nut oils and olive oil. (as an example of how a food can be placed in a unique category for an individual, i also consider cheese a fat. thus, i eat only very limited quantities of a food that for many people deserves its own group.) because fats are a tricky area for many people and many medical conditions can be affected by one's intake, you may need to consult your medical professional to determine a healthy level and what forms of fats are right for you.

however, a simple way to begin can be by eliminating as much as possible all artifical fats from your diet and using only naturally derived fats instead. you may find a smaller amount of the real thing is sufficient to satisfy your appetite.

questions to ask yourself

as you keep track of your foods, it may be that you notice various patterns emerging. begin to keep track of your mental and emotional states as they relate to the food you eat, what's going on in your world when you eat and prepare your food. in other words, become aware of the state of your body/mind as you nourish it.

is there a color you don't eat a lot of? you might want to take some time and examine the chakra that it relates to. is there a color you seem to crave? i can never get enough blue or purple foods i sometimes feel, for example. i LOVE blueberries and lavendar tea. this makes sense to me because in my work as an intuitive medium, its critical that i keep my upper chakras balanced and clear.

or, you may notice that at certain times of the year, you tend to emphasize certain colors and foods as the seasons change. i always crave orange foods in fall for some reason - i cant seem to get enough sweet potatoes and squash. how do the seasons affect your eating habits, and how do you feel at these times? are these high energy times or low energy times? we all need time for rest and recuperation, so periods of low energy aren't necessarily negative as long as they're balanced by periods of higher energy.

how about cravings? what foods do you crave and when? how do you feel about yourself when you crave them? do you try to substitute something that the culture approves as "more acceptable?" or do you give in to the craving, but make yourself feel bad about doing so?

these are all questions to consider asking yourself as you begin to rebuild the links back to your own core of body wisdom.

seeing your Self the Angel Way

the Angels love our bodies as much as They love any other part of us. where we see division, they see seamless creation. where we see imperfection, They see the infinite diversity of Spirit made manifest. While we tend to focus on what we perceive to be flaws, the Angels are as dazzled by the unique miracle that is our human body as we are by the Angels. because for all that the Angels are, They lack the experience of physical incarnation.

thus, They are saddened when we criticise ourselves or punish ourselves or in any way try to manipulate our bodies with anything but love. when we treat our bodies with respect for its true nature, the Angels rejoice.

this is an exercise the Angels shared with me during a meditation when i was first beginning to pay attention. i found it to be a very powerful experience, and i invite you to try it.

sit comfortably in a quiet place undisturbed. you may play soft music if you wish, burn a candle or light some sage. turn off your phone and minimize all distractions. take your dominant hand, and hold it. begin to breath gently, in and out, rhythmically and slowly. don't force the breath, just allow it to flow in and out of your body according to its own need.

as you breathe, simply observe your hand. look at each finger, at each nail, at each line. consider each scar, each freckle, each fold and wrinkle. imagine the tiny bones and capillaries beneath the skin. imagine how they are connected to the rest of you, how threads of nerves weave across your fingertips, your palms, up your arm into your brain, so that all the various parts of your hand together form an exquisitely seamless symphony of mind and movement.

do not judge your hands, simply allow thoughts to come and go as they enter your mind. remember how competent your hands are, how unthinkingly you use them. imagine all the amazing things your hands have allowed to do in the last twenty four hours, in the last week, in the last month and year.

the last time you gazed on your hand with this much attention was probably when you were less than six months old, a tiny baby, discovering this miracle attached to you. how you have used this hand since has been entirely up to you, but it came to you simply as a gift, a physical manifestation of Spirit. the Angels rejoice in the miracle of your hand, and invite you to rejoice along with them.

the Angels suggest you spend time in this way with each part of your body, slowly, gently, in the order in which you are ready. if you find that this exercise is difficult for you for any reason, the Angels urge you to seek the help of a qualified professional in order to heal and resolve whatever woundings you may have received as fully and as deeply as you can.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

annie's food and activity diary - may 9

6 AM - coffee with light cream

8 AM - half banana

815 - Walk 2.4 miles

900 - breakfast smoothie - 8 oz 1% milk, 6 oz greek-style peach yogurt, 5 strawberries, 1/2 banana, cinnamon

1000 - coffee with light cream, homemade biscuit topped with butter, brown sugar and almonds

130 - nut crisps, blackberries

400 - vodka with cranberry juice

600 - 1 fried chicken breast, one corn-on-the-cob

830 - blueberry tea

can you spot all the colors? can you see the one i missed? :)

why its a good idea to keep a food and activities journal

one of the first things i realized when i began to listen to the Angels was the importance of keeping track of what we eat, when we eat and how we feel when we're eating it.

there are many many reasons why it is helpful to keep such a diary or journal, but the immediate benefit i saw in the beginning was that it gave me a really clear picture of what i was REALLY eating (or not, as the case might have been.)

i always believed i ate a balanced, healthy diet. i knew all about the Four Food Groups and the Food Pyramid. i knew about RDA's and vitamins and minerals and proteins and good carbs and bad carbs. i've raised six children and all of them are healthy. so i thought i knew what i was doing.

it wasn't until i made my first few Angel lists that i began to see that while i might be feeding my chldren a healthy diet, i wasn't necessarily eating it along with them. i saw immediately that there were lots of missing colors in my individual rainbows. i also saw how i tended to deny myself by forgetting to eat - that i could go as long as EIGHT hours a day with nothing more than a banana and a couple pots of coffee in my system. i remember how surprised i was when i laid all my lists out and did my first assessment. i was more than surprised, actually... i was shocked.

this is why, in the beginning, especially, until such things as complete proteins and rainbows are habits, it's very helpful to keep track. you don't have to create a fancy spreadsheet either (let me know and i can send you mine!)... a running list will do.

although from time to time ive tried using the spreadsheet, i found that keeping my food list as part of my daily schedule helps me to get a clearer picture of my days. it also reminds me to include time for exercising and meditating in my list of Stuff To Do.

some people have found that including their food and activities as part of their personal journals can also work. so do experiment with what works for you - there are no right or wrong ways to follow the Angels' Guidelines - there's only what feels right for YOU.

it can also help to post your food and activity lists as part of a community. over the next few days, i will be posting mine in separate blog entries for each day. please feel free to list yours in the comments section if you like. we are all unique individuals, and we will all be drawn to different kinds of foods. our food choices will reflect our diversity, because the Guidelines encourage us to eat what helps us feel good about ourselves, not just what someone says is good for us.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

the throat, third-eye and crown chakras

the Angels group the three remaining chakra colors together into one sub-category - blue/purple/black - mostly because there aren't as many foods in these color categories. Examples of blue/purple/black foods include black olives, blackberries, bilberries, blueberries, eggplants, purple onions and blue potatoes. Lavender and black pepper are examples of a purple herb and a black spice. All of these foods help to cleanse, nourish and restore the fifth, sixth and seventh chakras.

The fifth chakra is located at the throat, and is the primary chakra of communication. its color is blue. this is the chakra that enables us to speak our truths.

When the fifth chakra's balanced, we easily communicate with family and friends, people at work and even perfect strangers. A healthy fifth chakra enables us to speak in front of crowds, and to get our points across in ways that others can understand. a healthy fifth chakra also means we listen well to others. one hallmark of a well balanced fifth chakra is to understand how good a listener you are.

However, a block or imbalance in the fifth chakra can cause us to be shy or even intimidated by such situations, or to feel unable to say what we really mean. Or conversely, we might be too talkative, boisterous or overbearing in situations where we should listen more.

The sixth chakra is located on the center of the forehead between the eyes. It is called the third eye chakra because it sits over the pineal gland, and the color of this chakra is indigo. This is the chakra of intuition, of thought and of spirituality.

When the third-eye chakra is balanced, we feel at peace with ourselves. We're drawn to study spiritual issues and to wish to develop our spiritual sides. We seek out enlightened teachers who seek to help others develop their own unique Selves (not the ones who are interested in creating clones or sheep-ish followers) and we embrace our intuitive abilities.

If, on the other hand, the sixth chakra is unbalanced, it can be hard to focus on tasks at hand. We can also become "close-minded," literally, unable to understand or to hear others' points of view. Another symptom of an unbalanced sixth chakra is fear - fear of the future, fear of one's own intuitive abilities, fear of other ideas. Frequently, this fearful attitude leads one to minimize or even deny one's spiritual gifts, which will then physically manifest as headaches and other mental and brain-related disorders.

The final chakra is the crown chakra, represented by the color violet. It is sometimes also represented by white. This chakra controls wisdom and true understanding. When the seventh chakra is healthy, we're able to handle life's ups and downs with equanimity and flexibility. We feel ourselves to connected to the Divine Source within us, as well as all creation.

When the seventh chakra is unbalanced, we may be easily upset by life's trials, and may turn to outside substances to help us deal with them. Or, we may feel cut-off and alone, apart not just from the people around us, but from Spirit as well. Imbalances here can manifest in any of the major organs or systems of the body.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

herbs and spices and teas (for martha)

herbs, spices and teas all fit into the rainbow spectrum described by the Angels. in order to determine where the plant or substance fits into your chart, just look first of all at its color.

anything that grows is by default green, so if you can't figure it out, assume its a green food. but, for example, orange nasturtiums and yellow dandelion flowers fit into the orange and yellow categories fairly obviously. lavendar is purple - so lavendar goes in the blue/purple/black category. black pepper counts as black. cinnamon's another orange and cayenne pepper is red.

however, you might also consider the part of the plant you're using: herbs or spices that are essentially roots - for example burdock or dandelion root - benefit the root chakra, even though technically they're brown.

some of these will fit into different categories for different people. there are no "right" or "wrong" answers... there's only what feels right for YOU.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

words about wheat

all food, say the Angels, that comes from the Mother is good food. in the same way that a human mother produces breast milk perfectly calibrated to the needs of her infant, so too does the Great Mother produce the nourishment each of her children require.

in their natural state, there are no "bad" foods...it's the processing we subject foods to that turns them into something less than nuitritious.

to the Angels, grains such as wheat and corn are among the most abused of foods, broken down into components that were never meant to be used in ways in which they are. an example is gluten, the gluey part of the wheat fiber that allows cakes and breads to stick together. gluten, in its natural form, is a part of the whole wheat grain. in reasonable amounts and as part of an otherwise healthy diet, gluten was designed to be digested by the human animal with no ill effects.

however, our industrialized society has learned how to extract the gluten from the grain, and now gluten can be found in all sorts of foods, even some where you might least expect it. another form of gluten, monosodium glutamate, continues to be found in all sorts of foods and can be labeled - deceptively, in my opinion - as a "natural flavor." if you are unsure if your food contains msg, check the sodium content. i learned this the hard way when i fell in love with a local yogurt brand that happened to have a plum-honey-lavendar flavor. i thought i had died and gone to heaven. purple yogurt! such bliss!

until i realized that my migraines were happening nearly every day, much of which i attributed to the weather. it was my dear friend laura who reminded me about the possibility of msg lurking as a "natural flavor" and when i checked the sodium content of my new favorite flavor, i found it to be nearly double that of my former favorite brand. i stopped eating the yogurt, the weather pattern eased, and my migraines have returned to trouble me no more for at least a couple months.

in essence, what's happening is that because we are putting these grain by-products in so many other kinds of foods, many of us are developing sensitivies and allergies to foods our families may have traditionally eaten for generations.

this is why the Angels advise us to check the labels, read the ingredients, and to become very aware of the amounts of grain and grain by-products in your diet.

Monday, May 4, 2009

what about will power?

one of the things we're constantly told is that we need to increase our "will power" or that various diet supplements, teas or drugs will help. i don't know about you... but i find i can end up feeling badly about myself when i find myself reaching for the cookie instead of the piece of fruit. and i do that frequently, more frequently at some times than at others. so why was this, i wondered, even after i began to pay attention to what the Angels were telling me to eat. why is it so easy to ignore what i know is better for me to eat? why do we tend to consistently go for the quick and easy sugar rush or carb hit?

a recent article about the nature of the brain seemed to provide at least part of the answer. it seems that the same area of our brains that controls our "will-power" is also the part involved in complex tasks. it's also easy to tire this part out apparently.

as part of an experiment, one group of individuals were asked to memorize a list of random objects, and then offered a cookie. another group was asked to memorize the list, take a rest, and then offered the cookie. a third group was just offered the cookie. it was the first group who ate the most cookies.

so,... what's a busy person to do?

the Angels suggest several strategies. first of all, plan your meals. create a chart, or make a list, and allow spaces for "white" or complete protein foods for every meal, as well as spaces for rainbow, brown, sweets, fats and processed foods. remember to go no longer than 3 hours between meals, so for most of us, that means five or six mini-meals throughout the day, or three meals and three smaller snacks, or some combination of the above. decide what works best for you, just remember never to go more than three hours if you can possibly help it without putting some form of nourishing food into your system.

then, keep a food diary. make a list or a chart, and keep track of how much white, rainbow and other foods you're eating. remember you can eat as many rainbow foods as you wish - i find that the more complete "rainbows" i eat in a day (the most i manage is 3) the better i feel.

and finally, remember that your will-power is a function of your mind's ability to make choices, not a reflection of your personal worth as a human being. it's only as sharp as you are. the better nourished, and more well-rested you allow yourself to be, the easier you'll find it to make healthier decisions.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

the heart chakra

The heart chakra is represented by the color green. In some people who have developed the ability to be unconditionally loving, the heart chakra becomes a rosy pink. This is the chakra of love, romance, relationships and communication.

If the heart chakra is healthy, we are able to empathize with others as well as treat ourselves in a kind and loving way. We have healthy relationships with good friends and nurturing lovers, and we are able to receive and give love in compassionate and loving ways.

When the heart chakra is unbalanced, we can have trouble maintaining healthy relationships, or a tendency to fall into dysfunctional patterns. We may become hard on ourselves, holding ourselves up to standards no one could possibly meet. Or we may appear domineering or "cold-hearted." We may be perceived as stingy or mean (think Scrooge.)

There are numerous diseases which plague this area of the body and this reflects the unloving nature of our culture and the blows we ourselves suffer. it is critical to keep a healthy heart AND a healthy heart chakra, so that physical symptoms can be allievated in later life. This is the area where unresolved emotional woundings will surface most readily, and this is one reason why heart problems and breast cancer are so prevalent in our world.

The foods which will help to balance the heart chakra include all green foods - interestingly, the most plentiful color of the spectrum. This is the central chakra and this color is critical in the diet, from deep dark spinach to palest green scallions and leeks. "white" vegetables are by default green because they grow, and they don't contain complete proteins.

Because the heart chakra also resonates to the vibration of pink, red foods are also of great benefit, but do not substitute for green.

the solar plexus chakra

The third chakra is the solar plexus chakra, located just below the ribs. Interestingly, with the word "solar" in this chakra's name, its color is yellow.

The solar plexus is a group of nerves that has a very 'radiating' appearance to it, which is why it got its name. This chakra is in control of your energies and activities. It controls the things we choose to do and why we choose to do them.

If the solar plexus chakra is healthy, we will make wise decisions in our lives, choose to work on projects that honor our own unique set of gifts and abilities, and will feel content with the results. Our relationships with others will have boundaries that both delineate and respect differences.

If the solar plexus chakra is unbalanced or blocked, we may make poor decisions and engage in neurotic behaviors that drive us not to glory, but to unhappiness and discontent. An example might be a tendency to become a workholic, or to become addicted to exercise, or to give into any number of neurotic compulsions that ultimately create imbalance. Without a healthy solar plexus chakra, we can become subjected to others' wills than our own.

Yellow foods will help to balance and unblock the solar plexus chakra. Examples of these foods are corn-on-the-cob, fresh off the farmstand, grapefruit, lemons, yellow squashes, yellow onions, wax beans and baby gold potatoes. Ginger and saffron are examples of yellow spices. Dandelion flowers and chamomile are common "yellow" herbs.

At least one serving of a yellow food per day is necessary to nourish your solar plexus chakra.

the sacral chakra

The second chakra is the sacral chakra, represented by the color orange. The word sacral relates both to the back of the pelvis, as well as the word "sacred". Looking at the front of a person, the sacral chakra would be located at around the bellybutton.

The sacral chakra governs the creative and relational energies. If your sacral chakra is in balance, then you find yourself on an even keel when you relate to people. You find yourself able to pursue your creative hobbies, to write, paint, sing or dance.

If your sacral chakra is out of balance, this could cause you to have roller coasters of emotions - perhaps being too obsessive about someone, or perhaps falling into deep despair over issues that really are not that bad. It could cause you to have problems feeling or working creatively. fertility or menstrual issues are related to imbalances in this chakra as well.

To balance, refresh and nourish the second chakra, eat orange food. All the orange squashes, including pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots and nasturtium flowers are examples of orange foods, as well as the most obvious, oranges. Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg are examples of "orange" spices. At least one serving of an orange food each day will support the work of your second chakra. If you are feeling unbalanced in any of the areas related to this chakra, try eating more orange food in addition to other types of chakra work.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

the root chakra

The root chakra is the chakra located at the base of your spine. It relates to the first color of the rainbow - red.

The root chakra governs basic instincts for survival. It controls our ability to maintain a home, to earn money to pay the bills, and all our physical needs.

If this chakra is unhealthy, it can cause us to be greedy, feel needy, or unappreciative of what we do have. It can cause you to neglect the steps necessary to maintain your environment - including making unhealthy eating choices.

To help strengthen, nourish, balance and cleanse the root chakra, eat at least one serving of a red food each day. Red foods include tomatos, strawberries, cranberries and raspberries. certain spices, such as paprika and cayenne pepper, are also red foods. red potatos, especially when they are young, are also included as red food for many people.

Friday, May 1, 2009

a question from my friend kathie

i'm a little (a lot) weak on the chakras. can you talk about that in a way i can understand?

the word chakra is from sanskrit word meaning wheel or disk. Chakras are a core belief of yoga, and have been incorporated into many different new age practices. The chakra system was first developed in India in the Mddle Ages. according to some authorities, we have as many as 25.

however, the chakras that concern the Angels are located at points in our physical bodies, or just above our heads. the chakras are the energy centers of the energy body, and the places where our energy bodies are anchored, or attached to our physical bodies. the chakras are the places that store the memories of the physical lifetimes each of us has lived. as energy locations, and as a result of trauma, some even from past lives, the chakras can become blocked or unbalanced.

The major chakras are located along the spinal column of the body - starting at your perineum and going up to the top of your head at your crown. Each chakra is traditionally represented by a different color of the rainbow - starting with red at the bottom up to violet on the crown. Each chakra location represents different emotions and feelings as well as areas within the physical body.

Ideally all the chakras should be balanced- open and spinning at a similar rate to each other. Most of us have some chakras which are overactive or others that are closed down or underactive. Chakras can be balanced and healed, refreshed and restored as the result of eating nourishing foods that correspond to their particular color.

starting tomorrow, i'll post a brief introduction for each chakra... hope that helps, kathie... thank you for the question!