Cancer Truths: “We’ve got it all.” Have you or a loved one been told by a doctor, “we’ve got it all?” Before you start reading any further, I need to warn you my lovely peeps that today I’m going on a rant because I’m sad and I’m pissed off with the lies my peeps are hearing from their doctors. I am about to tell you some home truths about cancer and share a beautiful story of a twin sister’s unconditional love. I hope this story will encourage you to dig…
INSPIRE – INFORM – IGNITE
It Truly is a Wonderful Life
I love this time of year for many reasons, one of which is getting to watch my favorite holiday films. “Miracle on 34th Street” is a favorite, as are “A Christmas Story” and “Holiday Inn” with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. But my very favorite Christmas movie has to be “It’s a Wonderful Life.” And I am not ashamed to admit that every single time I see it, I cry like a baby.
I think most of us cry like babies when we see the film; not just because everyone lives happily ever after, but because deep down, each one of us connects with the film’s real story and the hope it offers: that every life is precious and has purpose.
Remember when Clarence the angel said to George Bailey, “Each man’s life touches so many other lives, and when he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” If George had been successful when he jumped off that bridge, so many things would have been different in his absence. Bedford Falls would have eventually turned into Pottersville, and Zuzu would have never even been born!
But George’s life impacted more than just his immediate small town. Had George not saved his brother when they were boys, his brother wouldn’t have become a war hero and saved other lives.
How often do you stop and think about how your life impacts others? Does your life have meaning and purpose, or are you walking through your days in a daze? When I was told I only had a few months to live, I very quickly stopped taking LIFE for granted and realized how precious mine was. And I quite suddenly had a new, incredible sense of purpose. Well, two senses. My first sense of purpose was to not die. My second sense of purpose was to help others do the same. I am thrilled to greet each day and when my feet hit the ground, they may not always hit it running, but they hit it smiling. Life, when it is valued and has purpose, truly is wonderful. It’s the most incredible gift in the world.
Find Your Purpose in the New Year
Every single human life has purpose. If you are on the planet, your life has purpose. If you are reading these words, your life has purpose. Here’s the tricky thing about finding your purpose – sometimes it comes during a tragedy or period of crisis, and when it comes, it comes with guns blazing – there’s no missing it.
But, those purposes that come in still ways are often sensed but hard to really know or see clearly. Like a songbird in the forest – you hear its call, but no matter how hard you look, you can’t find it amid the surplus of branches.
Sometimes in order to “find” your purpose, you have to stop looking and just get out of your own way so it can make its presence known.
Be an earth angel and go volunteer somewhere. You’ll feel good that you’re doing something important with your time and you’ll get a sense of appreciation for your own life and all you’ve been blessed with.
Move your body more. When we feel stuck spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, it can help tremendously to move the body. Don’t roll your eyes at this. I’m not saying you have to go to the gym every day and workout for an hour. What I am saying is simply move. Walk around the block. Punch a punching bag. Get some rollerblades. Jump on a trampoline. Movement has a magical way of unblocking us so inspiration can flow into our lives.
Find quiet as much as possible. Your soul is trying to speak with you but you can’t hear it above the din of life. As often as you can, find a quiet space, sit, and just BE. You don’t have to chant, you don’t have to focus on your breath, just listen to the sounds around you and let whatever thoughts you have enter but then leave your mind. Don’t obsess over one particular thought. Just be still and listen to your life – you never know what it might tell you.
I am so happy you and I have connected this year and I am honored that you are bringing me along on your personal journey. I hope that the new year brings peace and purpose into your life.
Happy Holidays Lovely You.
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The Bitter Truth about Chocolate:
It’s almost Easter which means soon little chocolate bunnies will be hopping off shelves and hopping into watering mouths all across the country.
I will admit, although I’m a bit too old to believe in the Easter Bunny, I am not immune to the delightful satisfaction of biting off a chocolatey rabbit ear every now and then. And when I’ve bitten off more than I SHOULD chew, I tell myself it’s okay to indulge because chocolate is good for my health. Right?
Well… yes and no.
Here’s a brief overview of how chocolate is manufactured into its various forms:
Seeds from the cocoa tree are fermented and roasted before extracting them from the outer pod. This substance is then ground and heated to produce a chocolate liquid which is extremely bitter. This bitterness comes from the present polyphenols.
This is essentially the stuff made into unsweetened baker’s chocolate, although the actual polyphenols is only about 5% of the total mass – the rest being cocoa butter. The original purified chocolate liquid has polyphenols which are close to 20 times more bitter than the taste of unsweetened baker’s chocolate.
Why is all this talk of bitterness and polyphenols important? Because it’s the polyphenols that give chocolate its health benefits. Research shows that eating enough of these chocolate polyphenols can significantly reduce blood pressure. But how much does a person have to eat to get these benefits?
Studies show that eating roughly 500 mg of polyphenols per day over a 2 week period (the amount typically found in a 100-gram bar of unsweetened baker’s chocolate) will do the trick. There is also scientific evidence that these polyphenols have some anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Now, before you jump for joy and rush out to buy 10 bags of Almond Joy, remember that I said BAKER’s CHOCOLATE. That’s the unsweetened stuff. Normally unsweetened chocolate goes through a sweetening process where sugar is added to make it palatable for people. This sweetening gives us the dark chocolate most people are familiar with.
But this process not only dilutes the beneficial polyphenols, it also adds calories and increases insulin levels. When more sugar and milk are added to the original bitter liquid, milk chocolate is created. It’s delicious but fattening with absolutely no health benefits.
So, if you want the health benefits of eating chocolate, you’d better reach for the unsweetened baker’s chocolate instead of a giant milk chocolate bunny. Sorry Easter Bunny. Seeing as I doubt many people will be stuffing their faces with bitter baker’s chocolate, I suggest you follow Dr. Barry Sears’ recommendation of eating an anti-inflammatory diet and consuming 2.5 grams of EPA and DHA every day. This will reduce cellular inflammation and the consequences of it such as high blood pressure.