Learn More About the Angel Way, Annie and Karen

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Food Chart Helpful Resources

When I sat down to make my Rainbow Food Charts, I suddenly could not think of all the foods that I enjoy and that fit into each color category... I kept asking myself, "What else is bluish that I eat?" "Surely there is more to orange than oranges and peaches!"

Here are a few resources to help you include all your favorites in your Rainbow Food Chart:
Foods in Color Categories from PBH Foundation
Phytonutrients,Foods and Colors

Don't forget... YOUR chart may look different from anyone else's. Where one person puts cheese for protein, I put it as a fat. If I think of cheese as anything other than a dairy fat, I'm likely to consume way more than I need bec/ I really enjoy cheese. I choose the lower fat/lower salt varieties and save the creamy sharp cheddar or the decadent Havarti or the smooth munster cheese for my most delectable recipees or to have with crackers for a snack that satisfies. You might have garlic on your green foods list but it isn't even on my chart--I'm allergic. Annie has chocolate as both a sweet and a green food, from the earth. My organic dark chocolate is a decadent sweet in my chart. That's sweetness I can live with (a little) every day!
I love soy nuts and certain soy based meatless products by Quorn foods company (chicken nuggets to die for) but as much as one of my doctors wants me to drink soy milk for the phytoestrogens-- there's no way... I have tried and it tastes worse than that stuff my mom gave me as a kid to make my tummy aches go away.. milk omagnesia was it?

the Science Behind Why the Angels emphasize Color--

Annie and I are going into the final innings of getting this book to come together. the researcher that I am, I just went through all of the blog posts from earlier this year to date-- lots of powerful stuff here, as you all know. One query from an ETAW follower caught my eye... this person asked why the Angels are so keen on colors of foods. Annie already discussed the association of colors of foods with the chakras and balancing the energy of the bodymind. 

Here are two more "reasons" the Angels may be so "big" on the color of the foods we eat:
1. Science is beginning to show us that the chemistry that naturally exists in plants, namely the COLORS, are necessary for good health. The chemical that makes grapes PURPLE is natural plant chemical that helps keep cholesterol from building in our arteries. BLUEberries contain a natural chemical they may proect against memory loss and loss of occirdination as our bodies age. The GREEN in broccoli has agents that may protect from cancer. ORANGE in carrots can maintain good eye health.

You might here the term "phytonutrients" or "phytochemicals" when reading about the naturally occuring chemical properties of fruits and veggies. Also, notice I keep saying NATURALLY OCCURING. There is no evidence (or none that I've come across) that genetically altering a fruit or veggie to have more of a phytonutrient, or creating hybrind fruits or veggies, or fortifying the soil with these nutrient will yield more 'powerful' plant chemistry that has a more powerful effect on our health.

Nutritional supplements are an insurance policy for your body. In a day and age when you can't always get the foods you most want or need, or are unsure of the source/growing methods/method of harvesting, a nutritional supplement is like a back-up plan to help your body get key vitamins and minerals. All of the integrative physicians I have interviewed have assured me that there is NOTHING as good as real, wholesome food and the natural symmetry and integration that occurs between foods groups and between food and the body.

2.  Two years ago the PRoduce for beteer health foundation ran a campaign called "Five a Day the Color Way"... emphasizing, you guessed it, "Eat a Rainbow of Colors everyday" they also encouraged eah of us to make our plates and our kids plates as colorful as possible (I no longer feed my kids on those busy cartoon character plates--they can't see what they're eating and how beautiful it is!). to quote "Treat yourself to the colorful variety of ffurits and vegetaables. You deserve this special treatment because you are a special person."  I think the Angels would agree!

One last point... in regards to the question about why emphasize color... it seems to me that so few of the thousands of diets and dietary advise on this planet has actually really worked for most people for any meaningful length of time.. so why NOT plan your meals and quench your palate with the colors of nature... of divine creation?  YOu have nothing to lose, and everything to gain (in a healthy way).... is that an Angel pun that I just channeled, Annie? -- KMR

Resources:  PBH Foundation - Five a Day the Color Way
A more recent campaign:  More Matters: Fruits and Veggies
The Power of Color (in your fruits and veggies): The Power of Color
5 a Day -- for Kids Phytonutrients in KidSpeake from the USDA
Quick Guide to Colorful Foods -- this will help you with your food diaries

Dr. OZ -- Tips that Support the Angel Way

Dr. Oz has the following tips listed in O Magazine January 2010.... page 95 -- The Angels are smiling....

Spoil Your Dinner (eat snacks between meals)
Why? the hormone that gets your tummy growling is called ghrelin. Once you start to eat it takes about 30 minutes for ghrelin levels to drop and for your tummy to begin to feel satisfied or "full"... A 100 calorie snack 30 minutes or so before your main meal will temper those ghrelin levels (I likes say "gremlins"-- KMR). By the time you sit down to eat your main meal, you won't feel famished. What does Dr. Oz suggest for a snack: a handful of nuts like almonds, an apple, walnuts... wise choices!

Reduce or eliminate soda at meal time
Why? Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain "I've had enough. I have stored enough energy from food." Sugary soft drinks interrupt the feedback loop so your brain does not get the message (another brain imaging study, unrelated to this article, shows that sugar substitutes like those found in diet soft drinks also disrupt the message but the mechanism of action is different). So, in all likelihood you could be overeating because the soda you consume with your meal has saturated the area of the brain where the the message needs to get through and you realize "I've eaten enough." Opt for water or, as Dr. Dean Ornish suggests, tea (green oolong white, etc)

Eat with Awareness
Eat at the table, sitting down; not reading, not hypnotized by TV or a magazine or your iphone, or web surfing. Mindful eating increases the satisfaction you get from each bite of food-- the flavor, the texture, the temperature and allows extra time for your gremlins (ghrelin) to subside.

Move Your Body
10,000 steps a day the good Dr. OZ suggest. The Angels love walking, too. Muscle burns a dozen more claories than fat... strengthen your body with weight bearing exercise for both upper and lower extremeties

As always, consult your healthcare providers before embarking on any changes to your physical activity routine or dietary habits.
Happy New Year!  KMR

Thursday, December 24, 2009

a Christmas message from the Angels

"Living against your body clock — as so many of us do — can affect your health and well-being in myriad ways." Olivia Judson, The New York Times - Dec 24, 2009

What gift will you give yourself?

It's the season of Frazzled Women, a friend of mine observed yesterday. And men, too, if my husband is any measure - he's been running around coordinating a Christmas dinner at a Hartford soup kitchen among a myriad of other things, all while fighting a cold.

And yet, in this darkest part of the year, our mammalian bodies are telling us to sleep, to rest, to slow down and dream. It's this living out of synchrony with our bodies and our environment - our real environment, not the ones we attempt to create for ourselves - that leads to so much chronic sickness, to fatigue, and even to weight gain.

science is only now catching up to what everyone's body instinctively and intuitively knows: living out of harmony with our own intrinsic physical rhythms not only makes us tired and stressed, it makes us fat and sick in the long run.

The gift the Angels urge all of us to give ourselves is love...the kind of Love that gives us the strength to say "no" when pushed to the limit of what we can reasonably accomplish or achieve in one day, one hour or even five minutes; the kind of Love that gives us the ability to close the doors, turn off the phones, the lights and the alarms and allows us time to rest, to sleep, to simply do nothing, even as the silent trees outside my window aren't really doing anything in particular, except Being; the kind of Love that enables us to choose what we put into our bodies with the same tender care or sense of responsibility so many of us shower on those around us.

The point, the Angels say, is that without the experience of true Self-Love, a person will have a very difficult time being truly loving to anyone else. how can you know how to treat your neighbor like yourself, after all, if you've become so used to denying, to denigrating, to punishing your own Self, you've become innured to your own pain? if you don't accept your own needs, it can become difficult to understand anyone else's.

it is in this way that we inflict the numerous thoughtless hurts all of us do. we're so used to treating ourselves badly (or allowing ourselves to be treated badly in the name of whatever virtue we think we're serving) that for the most part, we don't recognize when we're being unkind to others. i have seen time and time again that most people i know don't set out intentionally to do harm or to cause pain - it's that so innured are we all by our own pain, our own calluses and scars and missing pieces, we cannot recognize the suffering we inadvertently cause.

if we want peace for the world, say the Angels, we can begin by making peace with every aspect of our Selves - including our appetites, our hungers and all our physical needs. if we would be healers in the world, begin by loving the individual wounds each of us possess. the more we work to accept - not necessarily to heal - our own woundings, the more aware we become to how our actions and our words affect others.

some people - like mother theresa and nelson mandela - are called to work for peace on a global scale. right now, many people i admire and a few i know personally are preparing to go to one of the most historically war-torn and wounded areas of the world and march for peace. however, peace is not something that can really be imposed from outside. real peace, true peace, the peace that leads to not wanting to harm one's neighbor in the first place, comes in some measure from a deep sense of self-acceptance....of one's WHOLE self, not just the socially acceptable or more readily controllable parts.

the Angels urge all of us to take some time in the midst of the lights and the caroling and the gifting and the gratitude and the chaos to do something kind for yourself that no one else knows to do as well as you. sink and relish and revel in that experience ... give to your Self some of the energy you are doubtlessly expending on everyone and everything else on your lists. throughout the days ahead, be kind and gentle to your Self. listen to the Child who lives in you, and allow her or him to have her holiday, too.

the Angels are all around us and we truly are Loved.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More holiday tips

We all have times where we nibble while we prepare. When I realized what I was doing I was appalled. This had never been a problem for me. I examined (using my journal) why I was famished/ stressed/ nervous/rushed). To curtail this UnAngelic eating habit, I started chewing gum during meal preparation, focusing on my breathing or humming. if I want to nibble, its on crunchy veggies rather than startches (which I was "tasting" bec/ I was so darn hungry from not following the guidelines in the first place). When I follow the Angel Way as it is intended to be followed, I don't feel so famished by supper time that I am eating standing up as the meal is being prepared.

This is important around the holidays because it is so easy to nibble while you prep, then sit down to the big meal and find your pants have popped a button or two!

When I've followed the guidelines, I don't feel the urge to do these things. bodyandmind are satisfied.

So, if you do have a day or two where you don't follow the Angel Way... try to plan for it so you can be mindful about it. Enjoy each bite. Express gratitude for the flavors of the season and the celebration with friends and family. And if you have too many slices of apple pie, forgive yourself and get back on the wagon as soon as it is right for you.

Honoring All Family Members Unique Needs

A while back I posted a query about Moms/careproviders of the family balancing their own nutritional needs while feeding the rest of the family. Like Annie says, sometimes you will find yourself preparing differen things for different family members. And as Annie also admitted, when our lives get busy, its easy to lose track and slip into old habits or just not pay attention. The next thing I know I five hours have passed and I'm just noticing the screaming coming from my gut: "feed me properly!"

Annie also makes a good point about the importance of honoring each family members unique needs. The way I approach this is to have choices available around 2 base food items. I'm now using higher protein grains, like wheat berries and barley. Combine these with veggies, beans/nuts / dry fruit for complete protein. I don't worry, then if my kids don't eat the meat my spouse has to have with his supper (we do require they try everything, though).

As a mother, I have to identify when my kids are just being picky and when they really don't like something. If I plan ahead for their plates to be filled with things they like, many colors, and the "new food" to try then I don't hear "make me something else." There is plenty to choose from and that's what's for dinner.
This is why we try to get them to taste two bites. The first bite of a new food still has the mental imprint of "it looks funny and I don't like it." I can tell by my daughter's reaction if she really finds a food unpalatable. I honor that and don't force feed. I know there will be another opportunity for her to try that food. Still, You'd be surprised how  many times that second bite is taken with vim and vigor!
(Taste buds change as children grow so what she did not like three months ago she may like at later time. come to think of it... so do our tastes, due to medications we might be taking, hormonal shifts related to pregnancy and life changes, stress).


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

menu planning the Angel Way

one of the most important aspects of following the Guidelines is planning. not only does menu and meal planning help you to keep track of what you and your family might be eating, you also have a better idea of what you need when you shop - no matter how you shop, even if its via internet and you have your groceries delivered.

planning also helps you see where challenges might lie - an eating extravaganza like thanksgiving is more easily managed if you know in advance you're eating a bigger meal than normal at an unusual time of day.

it's important to plan for all your meals and all your snacks. i can run on empty almost all day, and if i don't have nutritious options available, i'll devour every edible calorie in sight. knowing ahead of time that i have grapes, celery sticks, carrots, almonds and yogurt available, for example, means that i don't find myself staring into an empty fruit bowl when the four oclock munchies hit.

you may find yourself forced to plan different kinds of meals for different family members. people who put too much focus on the needs of the other people they're making meals for, can sometimes find themselves in a state of energetic imbalance for no other reason than that they're not addressing their own nuitritional (or possibly other) needs.

so if you're cooking for someone with a food allergy or a condition that necessitates a special diet, don't always force yourself - or other family members - to conform to those special needs. try, as much as possible, to offer options on occasion that honor and recognize we ALL have unique nutritional requirements.

approaching the holidays... the Angel Way

as some of you may have noticed, this blog has been conspicuously silent for a few weeks. that's because whenever i stop following the guidelines, the writing flow dries up. i find i can still answer questions for others regarding this approach to eating, but i can't write.

so. here i am, back on the Angel Wagon, as a dear friend and Angel-Way practitioner likes to call it. but how did i fall off in the first place?

like everyone else, i got busy. where should i begin on my list of reasons? thanksgiving, extended visits from family, a new novel with compelling characters who keep wanting me to write about them, home improvement projects, my youngest daughter's 16th birthday. for me, it doesn't happen overnight. i don't wake up one morning and decide not to pay attention or to stop eating with awareness. for me... it just sort of... happens.

what's interesting for me is that i can come back to this blog and see where exactly i stopped Listening... just about two weeks before thanksgiving - when my schedule and the demands on my time started to implode.

this has happened before.

the first thing i did was forgive myself. i spent this past weekend being very quiet. i didn't shop, i didn't even go to stores. i ate what i "felt" like eating, paid attention to what it was, and began to keep track. several patterns emerged. i sat and examined what kind of food i'd been drawn to, and what i might be telling myself.

yesterday i asked the Angels for some guidance on menu-planning before i went to the store. today, with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, almond milk and yogurt at my disposal, as well as karen's new Journal charts she's developing for our book, i feel very hopeful and very focused.

if you've been less than mindful of your eating, Gentle Readers, today might be a good day to pay close attention. don't judge, don't require anything of yourself. just write down what you eat... and Pay Attention.