Sunday, September 7, 2014

10 Reasons NOT to "EAT CLEAN"

I am a HUGE Pinterest junkie. I'm on there 24/7. My favorite part, of course, is the AMAZING and delicious recipes. It seems, though, that every time I search through the food section I see pin after pin involving something about "Eating Clean," or "The Eat Clean Diet." At first, I thought this just meant eat more fruits and vegetables, less candy, less salty/fatty foods, etc. However, the more I looked into it, the more I realized this had all the signs of just another diet scam written all over it. Before I explain why, I want to make it clear that pursuing a more healthful lifestyle through food is GREAT! You should be pleased with yourself for doing so, because many people never make it past the wishing phase. As I've said before, it's never the PEOPLE on this diet that I have a problem with. No way. They're just normal people like me, trying to find what works for them. It's always the downside of the diet that I hate, and only that. Okay, now let's do this thing.

First, let's look at the pros of the diet:

1. It does emphasize eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables! Always a great thing!
2. It encourages eating whole foods such as whole grains, etc.
2. It encourages buying more organic food if available.
3. If done right, it cuts down majorly on the chemicals, artificial colors/flavors, high sodium, and processed oils in packaged foods.

Now, the list of cons:

1. It fails to officially define "processed food." 
If I were to define the word "processed" when it comes to the foods we buy I would think it means pre-packaged, added chemicals, artificial colors, manufactured, or something along those lines. However, it seems like everything I've seen about the Eat Clean diet just means "don't eat anything that comes from a package." It makes one wonder, what about oats and natural whole grain breakfast cereal? What about whole organic sugar? What about canned foods such as beans and vegetables? All of those foods could be considered whole foods, but may contain a few mild preservatives. Yet I've seen countless "Eat Clean" dieters both use those items and also say they are bad. The guidelines are a bit fuzzy on this one. Still, those are perfectly wholesome foods to eat in my own experience. 

2. It, like all the other fad diets, emphasises calorie restriction. 
I will never understand why people keep lessening their food intake to unhealthy levels and expect to raise their metabolism. Your body needs enough fuel in order to burn fat. When you make yourself hungry and limit your carbs, fruits, or any high-energy foods, you're making your body into a fat-storer instead of a fat burner. Also, many people start exercising right when they start their low calorie diet because they feel it will make the weight come off faster. While exercise is always great, you will actually need MORE calories if you're burning more energy. Your body will crave it because it knows what it needs. Do exercise, but feed your body when it's hungry! As long as you are only eating low fat, whole plant-based foods, your metabolism will go up. Obviously, its not good to go over your daily recommended calories for your height and weight, but there is such thing as going too low. I once tried to have an 800-1000 calorie diet to lose weight. All I did was become starving after one week and gorge myself on too MANY calories later! Trust me, I've already lost almost 30 pounds from eating well on a whole food plant-based diet, and without exercising at all! (Even though I should. ;D)

3. Also like the other fad diets, it vilifies fruit sugar as something that makes you fat.
*Sigh* Oh yes, the sugar distraction. You've heard it all before. "Sugar makes you fat!" "Sugar makes your blood sugar spike and causes diabetes!" Okay, now that we got that out of the way, I'm here to say NO, whole fruit sugar does NOT make you fat and while processed sugar can agitate diabetes, not all types of sugar (such as in fruit, grains, etc) are created equal. Every cell in the body runs on a sugar called glucose. The body converts fruit sugars, called fructose, into glucose while digesting. The brain is especially in need of glucose in order to function properly. The body also uses carbohydrate foods such as grains, beans, and starchy vegetables as glucose in the body to produce energy. You can eat 3-4 balanced meals per day of whole grains, legumes, fruit and lots of veggies (with no fat added) and either lose weight if you need to, or maintain your healthy weight (depending on the volume of your food intake). Processed sugar that you buy to make cakes, cookies, etc. is known as sucrose. It's highly processed, bleached, and stripped of all nutritional value. For this reason, it can cause tooth decay and become an agitation in regard to certain medical conditions, especially someone who has diabetes because the pancreas can't use the sugar correctly to make insulin. However, the reason the diabetic's pancreas doesn't work in the first place is NOT caused by the sugar. It should be able to process any sugar. That's what a pancreas does! Instead the pancreas is weakened by having to filter things that aren't meant to be there (such as high amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol. Animal product foods). So even though processed sugar isn't the greatest, natural sugar (with the fiber of the whole food) does not make someone fat or diabetic. To learn about reversing diabetes, I suggest looking up Doctor Neal Barnard. He's developed an entire program on reversing diabetes through a plant-based diet and explains how and why it works in detail. 

Here Dr. Barnard briefly addresses diabetes in regard to sugar and carbohydrates:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxFai4iVOtk



And here is a full lecture by Dr. Barnard on how to reverse diabetes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqCxVEAUjd0



4. It promotes lean meat, egg whites, and organic milk. But all of those things are HIGHLY PROCESSED and ANYTHING but clean.


When the Eat Clean dieters aren't promoting whole grains, whole beans, and whole produce, they tend to really push the prepackaged yogurt, cheese, milk, eggs, fish, and meat of all kinds. To be honest, this makes zero sense. Animal products are one of the most highly processed grocery items out there. Dairy goes through multiple processes just to make it sanitary (or just enough, because it will always contain small amounts of pus and blood that the factories can't remove), meat has to be injected with an array of chemicals and red food colorings just to look edible (yes, even a lot of the organic meats are treated with chemicals and are often injected with extra salt and flavoring). Eggs have to go through multiple sanitation processes, but since so many eggs are laid by infected chickens, it's difficult to know just what's going to happen after you eat that egg. Plant foods on the other hand, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes are picked, sorted, washed, and shipped. They are fresh and whole, the way nature intended. To me, that is the true definition of "unprocessed." 


5. It is more expensive. 
Let's be honest, a grocery cart full of fruits, vegetables, rice and beans is MUCH cheaper than one full of grass fed meats, free range eggs, and organic dairy products. On top of buying those animal products (that only create cancer and parasites in the body anyway), you still have to buy at least some fruits and vegetables to get in some fiber, vitamins, and minerals. That's a huge grocery bill all together. I'll go with the delicious peasant food, especially when it makes me lose weight and protects me from disease. To know more about this, watch the medical documentary "Forks Over Knives" available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1LUj3kxB9M

Here is the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7ijukNzlUg




6. It flip-flops between what is "allowed" and what is not. 
Sometimes the Eat Clean diet says to only eat organic foods, and sometimes it says that's not necessary. Sometimes it says certain packaged foods are allowed, such as certain kinds of butter or cheese, and sometimes it says that's not allowed. It also is very unclear on the allowable fat intake, but promotes lots of olive oil and coconut oil (the latter of which is extremely high in saturated fat).

7. More cooking time is required. 
When it comes to animal products, especially meat, I find from my own experience that cooking plant-based foods is not only faster, it's much easier as well. Meat seems to take a lot longer to cook and you have to worry about cross-contamination of utensils, etc. All of that is never a problem when cooking rice, vegetables, or any plant foods.

8. You can actually gain fat on this way of eating.
I essentially tried "eating clean" in college before it was given that name. I ate only lean meats, egg whites, "natural" cheeses, used "heart healthy" cooking oils, etc. Guess what? It makes you fat. REALLY fat. There is just no way around it. The fat you eat is the fat you wear, especially when it comes to animal products because then you are literally consuming that animal's body fat and storing it on your own body.  Here's my before and after pictures if you don't believe it. On the left, I was eating animal products, on the right, I'm plant-strong. :)



9. The name of the diet itself is an improper use of grammar. 
It is impossible for one to eat "clean" because that is an adjective. People seem to forget their adverbs these days. It should really be "Eat CLEANLY." (I know, it really has nothing to do with the diet. Just an old English Major pet peeve of mine).

10. It distracts from the real food-based problems we face today.
So many people today are concerned with not eating too much sugar or avoiding white flour, etc. But they're completely ignoring what foods are really causing their illnesses and weight gain: animal products! Again, I would definitely emphasize watching the film "Forks Over Knives" to be fully informed on the medical dangers of consuming animal products. It completely changed my life for the better. <3

When it comes to what we should eat, a whole-food plant-based lifestyle is always the way to go. Just look to what naturally grows from the earth and you'll be just fine. :)



Saturday, August 23, 2014

THE RIGHT WAY TO WEIGH YOURSELF

Hi everyone! I recently made a video about how I lost 25 pounds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1eb1iqyhq0&feature=youtu.be and decided to post a little something extra to go with it. One of the most important parts of weight loss and good health is keeping a positive attitude. Back when I wasn't on a plant-based diet I had no idea how to take care of myself, including how to weigh myself properly. I would usually get on the scale at night which was exactly the opposite of what I should have been doing. I was also using a non-digital scale and would constantly forget to level it before stepping on, so my weight seemed WAY more than it actually was. As we eat throughout the day, of course our weight is going to go up, possibly even by 7 pounds in one day. By the time we go to bed and wake up the next morning, our body has had time to go through the healing and repairing process, so we are back to our normal weight. 

I'm really big on lists, so I thought I would use one here just lay out the best way to know your true weight and see consistent progress.

1. Go to the bathroom before you weigh yourself. It helps. TRUST me. ;)
2. Weigh yourself right after you've just woken up, after you've done step #1, and BEFORE you eat.
3. NEVER weigh yourself after taking a shower.
4. NEVER weigh yourself after eating.
5. NEVER weigh yourself anytime but in the morning.
6. Let's be honest. It's best if you weigh yourself without clothing. Don't be embarrassed. We all shower naked anyway, right?
7. Make sure the scale is leveled and working properly before you step on.

This has really given me a better handle on my own weight loss progress, so I hope maybe it can help someone else too! :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

HEAL CAVITIES, THE VEGAN WAY!!


Yup, I'm a vegan. Yup, after I went vegan I got my first cavities ever. And yup, I now know there IS a way to not only prevent but HEAL one's cavities, and being vegan is actually not the cause of tooth decay. In fact, it can be the very thing that saves our teeth. 

About one week ago, I felt a cavity forming in one of my teeth. It was fairly close to a spot in the back of my mouth where I'd gotten my first 3 fillings ever just a few months prior. I started majorly freaking out, imagining a long, endless road of more pain, drilling, and high dental bills ahead of me for the rest of my life. My family has a history of not-so-great teeth, so I couldn't shake the fear of ending up in the same boat. I looked to Google for some kind of remedy that heals cavities, and I'd heard it can and has been done by many people all over the world since the beginning of time. To be honest, searching for a natural answer from the internet just caused me to worry more. I was bombarded with hoards of un-researched, sarcastic articles about why people on a vegan diet have the worst teeth in the world, how if you want to be cavity-free you have to give up eating fruit and grains, and that to heal cavities you need to drink cod liver oil and/or consume lots of raw milk and animal organs like tongue, liver, and heart. 
UGH!!! Disgusting!! And completely untrue. Perhaps eating lots of those animal products worked to heal cavities for some people, but vegans can get the very same result without the cruelty. Why? Because it's a certain nutrient that's missing, not a certain kind of food. This nutrient is best consumed through time out in the good old sunlight. Yup, it's vitamin D. And I was VERY deficient. 

Specifically, the kind of vitamin we need is D3. The kind we get from fortified foods like orange juice, plant milks (almond, rice,  soy), tofu, and breakfast cereals is vitamin D2, which is quite different than D3 and doesn't really provide us with all we need for strong bones and teeth. The role of vitamin D3 is to aid in the body absorbing calcium. As vegans, we know that calcium is best consumed through dark leafy greens and other vegetables like broccoli. It's never difficult to get enough calcium, at least not for me because I love veggies. :) But even though I knew I was getting enough calcium, it was not being properly absorbed to strengthen my bones and especially my teeth, thereby creating cavities. 
I live in Washington state, so I get about the same amount of sunlight as your friendly neighborhood vampire. I'm pretty much the palest person I know and if I'm in the sun more than 5 or 10 minutes, I turn red as a lobster. If you're able to get your vitamin D3 from the sun, that's great! It's definitely the most natural and safe way to do it. No matter how much vitamin D3 you absorb from the sun, your body will use and distribute all it can, and then just eliminate the rest through waste. If you're like me and you take a plant-based D3 supplement, just be sure you never go over the dosage recommended on the label, because too much of any supplement can be dangerous. 
All right, so back to how I healed my cavity. I was still in a panic over the slight pain that seemed to be growing more and more, so I made an appointment for my dentist to look at it. That same day I rushed over to my local health food store and found a vegan vitamin D3 supplement. It costs a lot more than the D3 gelatin capsules, but I figured animals didn't need to die in order for my teeth to heal, or for my wallet to be fatter. The vegan D3 supplements are also WAY better quality. Here is a picture of the brand I now use:

That night I steamed up a whole bunch of vegetables for dinner, including kale- the powerhouse of vitamins and most importantly, minerals. Getting sufficient minerals from plant foods in the diet is VERY important for dental health. With them I ate an avocado. Those babies are PACKED with minerals and also, healthy whole fats. I don't promote a diet high in fat and I never use oil in my diet, but the occasional whole food sources of fats can be great for teeth, such as avocado, coconut, olives, and nuts.
I waited a few hours after eating to brush my teeth. Many times we may get the urge to brush immediately after eating, but that can often do more harm than good. Our mouths are made to break down and absorb the nutrients from the foods we eat. Our saliva has an enzyme called salivary amylase which naturally breaks down the carbohydrates/sugars that we eat so they are soft enough to swallow. This way, the saliva continues to help clean the teeth after food has been swallowed. Brushing too often or right after a meal can mess with the mouth's natural cleaning process, which is why I felt it best to wait at least an hour.

When I did brush my teeth, I used castile soap instead or regular old toothpaste. You can get castile soap at any Whole Foods or health food store, though you can sometimes find it in department or grocery stores too. Plus, they're dirt-cheap! I use Dr. Bronner's Castile bar soap in peppermint. I will be completely honest. No, it does not taste good. But you spit it out after brushing and everything's fine. You will be okay, LOL. The reason I use castile soap is because it is made naturally from oils and it doesn't contain harsh or abrasive chemicals in even the most natural of commercial toothpastes. Most naturally made toothpastes still contain some type of glycerine, which can wear away at the teeth.






Flossers
I made sure to floss too. To be honest, I think a lot of cavities are just brought on by poor dental hygiene like neglecting to floss. This is why a lot of people think eating grains or fruit are bad for your teeth. If small pieces of fruit or carbohydrates get stuck in the teeth and are not removed, it can quickly cause decay as it remains stuck. Flossing is a beautiful thing, my friends. :) If you're lazy like me and don't want to fight with the old fashioned kind of floss, just use these little flosser gems.
They're super cheap and available at any grocery store.





Lastly, after brushing I brought out my secret weapon. COCONUT OIL!! If you've never heard of the method called "oil pulling" before, it may sound a little weird; even a little gross. Just stay with me on this one. It will SAVE your teeth! And fast too! Oil pulling is an ancient method for healing teeth and gums (as well as whitening the teeth) where you simply take about one tablespoon of oil in your mouth and gently swish it around for 15-20 minutes, then spit it all out. I use coconut oil because it has the most tolerable taste and a thicker texture that is best for cleaning the mouth, but olive and other types of oils work just fine too. DON'T SWALLOW THE OIL. If you accidentally swallow a little bit, don't freak out. It won't kill you or anything. When you swish, the oil is attaching to the toxins and harmful bacteria in the mouth and when you spit it out, all the bad bacteria and toxins come out with the oil! It may sound too easy, but it truly works. Aside from taking vitamin D3, I think this is really what healed my cavity overnight. After you oil pull, don't brush your teeth. You want your teeth to have some moisture from the oil because dryness can cause cavities and cracking in the teeth as well. It's best to oil pull in the morning or right before bed.

So what was my result in all of this? Well, I went to the dentist and told him the pain I'd been feeling, but even as I was talking about it, I realized the pain was no longer there. The dentist took the little air-blower and put some air on my tooth to check it's sensitivity, but I felt nothing. I was shocked, because just the day before my tooth had been very sensitive to air and cold. I couldn't believe it! The dentist concluded that whatever I'd had was now gone. He said it could have been some food that was caught in my teeth that became dislodged later on, but I knew it wasn't that. I think we all KNOW what a cavity feels like. There's nothing quite like that little twinge of pain. I walked out of there that day extremely relieved and also amazed. I'd actually HEALED myself. If I can do it, I know anyone can. You don't even have to do all the methods I mentioned, but just as a reference, here is a summary of the different ways you can have GREAT dental health (especially as a vegan).

1. Be sure to brush teeth twice a day with a soft bristle brush. Go in small, circular strokes to make sure your teeth are properly cleaned.
2. Use castile soap or a tooth soap instead of toothpastes that contain harsh chemicals.
3. Be sure to floss!!! I can't emphasize that enough.
4. Eat plenty of dark leafy greens and vegetables on a regular basis for calcium and minerals.
5. Occasionally eat some whole food fats such as avocado, coconuts, olives, and nuts.
6. Get at least 10-15 minutes per day in the sunlight. If you can't do this, take a vegan D3 supplement in the dosage recommended on the label.
7. Observe your overall health and see if there are other nutrients that may be missing in your diet. If you aren't sure, have your blood tested to see the areas where you may be lacking.
8. For whitening teeth and preventing/healing cavities, do oil pulling several times per week. Even doing it once does wonders.
9. DO NOT EAT HIGH ACID FOODS. These throw off the natural Ph of the body and cause stomach acid to go up into the throat and mouth, causing things like acid reflux, bad breath,  and tooth decay. The highest acid foods are meat (including all red meat, poultry, fish, etc.), dairy, eggs, alcohol, coffee, and black tea. Vegans won't have to worry about some of those, but it's best to stay away from all of them.
10. Get plenty of sleep. If you're doing the right things to heal your body, adequate sleep will help you heal faster and give your body the strength it needs to fight whatever ails it.

I sincerely hope this helps someone else who is as worried as I was about the health of my teeth. There IS a way to have a healthy smile without sacrificing an animals life or the overall health of your body to do it. If you find my advice questionable, that's okay. I know it goes against what a lot of people may say is possible in the dental world. All I can say is that one day I had a cavity, I did these methods, and the next day my cavity was GONE. I truly believe it can work for you too. Take care of yourselves, my friends. :)


Sunday, June 29, 2014

This Mormon Woman's Take on "Ordain Women"



Kate Kelly and the "Ordain Women" group.
Usually my blog posts are more thought-out and well planned. But today I decided to just write something that's been weighing on my heart. I've been hearing a lot of news coverage concerning Kate Kelly, the leader in the "Ordain Women" movement. This group of women have been protesting to receive the exact same types of callings and positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the male members have in the name of "gender equality." I know that many people may read this and disagree with what I have to say, but it simply must be said. I am an active and faithful member of the LDS church and I wish to warn everyone that this group is not only WRONG in what they are telling the press, they are being completely DESTRUCTIVE. 


Before I go any further I must put out a disclaimer. I am the BIGGEST believer in equal rights between men and women that you will ever meet. No act of sexism can get by me, and that includes sexism toward men just as much as it would toward women. I feel that if there are any efforts being made in the world for gender equality, the efforts should be aimed elsewhere than in the LDS religion. How about putting all of that effort into having women be paid the same wages as men for doing the exact same job? Yup, we're still waiting on that one in most of America. Or how about the other day when my mom went to buy a new car; they refused to let her name be on the paperwork, and insisted that it go under my dad's name, and it wasn't even his car! Or better yet, how about we stop the biggest factory of misogyny known to man; the SEXIST MEDIA?! If a large group of people were to rise up against making women look like crazy objects and men look like stupid gluttons, perhaps we wouldn't be bombarded with these kinds of paraphernalia EVERY SINGLE DAY:



Like I said, men are not exempt from sexism in the media either:




And even though I'm a vegan,  I DON'T support Peta, just because of their horribly sexist ads. 


I apologize for these images because I know they are disturbing. But that is exactly the point. There is so much more sexism going on in the world that could be stopped, but instead we're pointing our fingers in the wrong direction.

Yes, that's where Ordain Women comes in. I love everyone and if you truly know me, you will never know the word "hate" to even be part of my vocabulary. I see everyone as my beloved brother or sister and I understand that everyone is on a different walk in life than I am. That's OKAY! That is exactly why we're all here! Life is a test to see if we will use our agency wisely and I am definitely imperfect. That being said, while I don't hate others, I do often experience great frustration at the things they do (as I'm sure is true for everyone). All of those things aside, let me just say this. If you are someone who was unacquainted with the LDS church before hearing about the Ordain Women movement, some things need to be seriously cleared up, so I'm here to set the record straight. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a religion in which the clergy are not paid and instead the church members are given callings to which they volunteer to help in various ways. The Ordain Women group keep telling people (falsely) that men ultimately preside over the women in the LDS church because they are the only ones who "hold the priesthood." The reality is, the women of the church have a calling that is parallell/hand-in hand with the male priesthood of the church and it is called the Relief Society. Mormon.org defines this group as "the oldest and largest women's organization in the world. Relief Society was established in 1842 for women 18 years of age and older. Its purpose is to build faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and help those in need."

Here are the leaders of the Church's current Relief Society Presidency. Linda K. Burton is the Relief Society general president, Carole M. Stephens is first counselor , and Linda S. Reeves is second counselor.

















Here is the general Young Women's presidency of the church. Carol F. McConkie, Bonnie L. Oscarson, and Neill F. Marriott. 

















And here is the church's general presidency over the Primary children. They are
Jean A. Stevens, Rosemary M. Wixom, and Cheryl A. Esplin.















Saying that women have no position of authority in the LDS church is just a flat out LIE. 

I am so grateful to be a member of the Relief Society because I feel that every member truly is someone's answered prayer. We do countless service projects, offer help wherever it is needed, and work to uplift everyone, church member or not. On Sundays The men and women all have a meeting together in which the sacrament is blessed and passed, then we have Sunday School together, and the third hour of church is where the men go to their priesthood meeting and the women go to their Relief Society meeting. One is not more powerful than the other. To be honest, when I heard that women were pushing to be admitted to priesthood meetings, my first thought was "but I don't want men coming to Relief Society!" Heck, I can't even imagine a man being our next Relief Society president. He just wouldn't be able to handle it! LOL. 

All silliness aside, both women and men are equally yoked in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are two sides of the same coin and I believe that without each other, they cannot reach their fullest potential. 

I've been doing a lot of studying lately on the spiritual subject of the "divine feminine" and the "divine masculine" that exist in every human being. This simply means that as a baby, we are each born from part of our father and part of our mother that form into one new creation of life. It's a miracle! Our body and spirit are either on one side of the coin or the other; male or female. Such is what we always have been and always will be spiritually. However, because we are born from both male and female, both energies exist within us. This may sound a little strange, so let me explain with some visual aids.
Here we see the different characteristics of the divine feminine and the divine masculine. Both of which exists within each of us:





























As it says in the description, we need a balance of both energies in order to be complete and at peace with ourselves and with others. For example, if I, as a woman, were leaning too far on the feminine energy side, I would be something like the image of a barbie doll (relying too much on appearance and possibly not in full control of my emotions). Unfortunately, this is how much of the world views women, when in reality, that is just the stereotype based on an INCOMPLETE woman! If I, as a woman, were leaning too far into the masculine energy, I might be too strict, overly practical, aggressive, and rejecting my own feminine nature. This should not be confused with being a "tomboy," however, which just defines little girls who like being girls, but also like to go outside, dig up worms and climb trees. They are probably more in balance than most adult women in this day and age. 

Female and Male Pheasants 
Going along with the subject of the divine feminine and masculine, both have very important roles in the human existence. Women have what amounts to nothing less than a SUPER POWER! We can grow humans with our BODIES! Sometimes two or more at a time! But without joining with the masculine energy, this miracle of human reproduction would not be possible. Likewise, the men, who are born on the side of the divine masculine, have a natural tendency to feel needed. They wish to protect the divine feminine at all costs because of this miracle of life. In nature, this is done through the male of several species (such as types of birds) to be very bright and noticeable in color compared to the plain, dull appearance of the females. This way, predators are drawn to the male as a distraction, so the female and babies can be protected. 

Nowadays, women have a lot more power and influence in the world, which is FANTASTIC!! I wouldn't have it any other way. Yet, because of this, many women have come to feel offended if men show any act of chivalry toward them. Personally, if I'm on a date and the man I'm with opens a door for me or pulls out my chair for me, I don't feel like he's trying to say I need his help. He's saying that I'm special. I'm worth looking out for. Likewise, I know that I should try to help him too.

Overall, we are divine beings with a divine purpose. I fully believe that as a woman I am blessed with the divine power to give life, and this power does not end after mortal death. Men's power does not just include "helping make the baby," which would be fairly pathetic if that's all they got. They are the other side to the coin. Fathers are there to help guide and protect their families, and also to bless them. To do this, the power of the priesthood is needed in the home, and it is given to the man so he will be equally yoked with the woman, and she with him.

It's okay if this is not what you believe. But for me, it makes perfect sense. We are not this way by accident. Our Heavenly Father loves us each individually and knows that the worth of one soul will never outweigh the next.

So should our church ordain LDS women? I say no. That would imply that I feel a lack in who I am just for being a woman and that is definitely not the case. Being a woman means I'm powerful, and so does being a man. Together we are the yin and yang; water, fire. Hot, cold. He is within me and I within him. Why change something so beautiful and perfect?

To close, I would like to suggest reading a wonderful article from another latter-day saint woman about her positive take on the Ordain Women movement and how it allowed her to grow. http://www.mercyrivermusic.com/2014/06/why-im-grateful-for-kate-kelly.html

HIGH VIBRATION FOODS = WITCHCRAFT?!

 I was recently browsing through some LDS Vegan facebook pages and saw that one of the members posted a very aggressive comment in response to another person's post about "high frequency/high vibration foods" (which really means raw foods/ foods with live enzymes still in tact). This was her comment:

"Food does not cause "high vibrations" and raw vegans or fruitarians that try to learn and teach "vibrations" is a very dangerous thing to do. That is like messing with spiritism or channeling, which is very similar to witchcraft. People have tried to make their vibrations high, that is a form of channeling, they are trying to channel other energies and that is very dangerous spiritual ground and not for Latter Day Saints. If you want to be very spiritually clean, you will get there by studying and reading the Holy Scriptures, the ones that the Church has given permission for the missionaries to preach to the whole world. You will get there by being fully obedient to all of God's commandments and being active in Church and visit the Temple often, paying tithing, being as Christ-like to others as you can be. "High vibration foods" is not what the Church leaders teach because the head of the Church which is Jesus Christ did not give any permission to teach that stuff to the members of the Church."

Kirlian Photography
To be honest, I was slightly offended upon first reading this. I've talked a few times in my videos and on this blog about raw foods having a high frequency, meaning they contain a higher amount of energy than cooked food, which is scientifically true. Still, I remembered the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." So my wall of defense has now gone down. However, I do wish to address the true meaning of "vibrations" and also prove that is has absolutely NOTHING to do with witchcraft of any kind. 

When people talk about "high frequency foods" or "high vibrational foods," it is referring to the energy and live enzymes in the food. This requires the food to be raw in order to still have the highest frequency of energy emitted from it. It has been scientifically proven many times that living organisms emit both a light and a vibration of energy. This is not a spiritual energy, but a measurable, physical projection, as you can see in this photo of a raw carrot (left) being compared to a cooked carrot (right) over a special photographic plate.

This was done through something called Kirlian photography; a collection of photographic techniques used to capture the electrical coronal discharges of living organisms. Our bodies, likewise, also emit an energy. We are made up of molecules that are constantly moving, naturally giving off a vibration. So when people talk about "high vibration foods" they really just mean raw/ uncooked/unprocessed foods. Nothing to do with "channeling spirits." Things like meat/dairy/eggs obviously have a counter effect because it is dead flesh of a once living being. Therefore, energy is taken away when consumed.

In the LDS Church, we often talk about the Holy Ghost and feeling the spirit. According to LDS.org the definition of the Holy Ghost is  "A personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones.... The Comforter." It is important to note that the spirit has no body of flesh and bones, because that way, it is able to enter our mortal bodies to comfort and guide us. This is what is referred to in the scriptures as a "burning in the bosom." (See Doctrine and Covenants 9:8). 
Here is what one of the commenters had to say in this online discussion about high-vibration foods:

"When we remove obstruction from our cells our energy will flow at a higher vibration. When I eat low evergy foods I become fatigued and dangerously depressed. When I eat vegan and high raw and do other cleansing practices I can feel a huge difference in how my energy vibrates. When I'm at my best I can feel a very real vibration, a buzzing, through my body and I feel happy and overflowing with love like nothing can get me down. I believe this is the way we're meant to be. It has only to do with our own energy."

In my own experience, I have noticed many times that when I am eating the right way (plant-based, more raw foods) I also have those feelings of love and positivity. It really allows me to feel the spirit and be guided by it more easily. When our bodies are in better health, so can be our alertness to promptings and personal revelation. After all, the body is a temple. Should we not take care of our temple in order to make the Holy Ghost feel welcome within it?

However, the scriptures also tell of the war in Heaven, before our spirits came to Earth. One third of the sons and daughters of God chose to follow Satan's plan and became his "fallen angels" (which could also be considered demons). On  LDS.org in the Bible Dictionary Section (Under "Devil") it has this to say concerning demons: 

"Since the devil and his premortal angels have no physical body of flesh and bones, they often seek to possess the bodies of mortal beings. There are many such instances recorded in scripture (Matt. 9:32; 12:22; Mark 1:24; 5:7;Luke 8:30; Acts 19:15; see also Mosiah 3:6). Such can be evicted by the power of faith in Jesus Christ and the exercise of the holy priesthood. Jesus gave this power to His disciples (Matt. 10:1; Mark 16:17; Luke 10:17; Acts 5:16; D&C 84:67)."

In rituals of paganism/ witchcraft, there is often an effort to "channel spirits" which is indeed very dangerous. It doesn't take any ritual or talisman to feel the spirit of the Holy Ghost; only a pure and open heart. 

However, when it comes to anything with a "high vibration," such as high frequency foods, positive thoughts, positive actions, etc., these are all a physical manifestation of change that can be measured scientifically. 

The vibration of foods is measured in hertz. for example, here are some different foods measured for their vibrational emission and then compared: 

















To read more about this, go to http://www.lexiyoga.com/vibration-of-food

Even our thoughts, words, and actions carry real, measurable vibrations. According to http://www.whatthebleep.com/water-crystals/:

"Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors."

Here are some of the result photographs from his study in correlation with the words used to change the formation of the water molecules:




















Dr. Emoto also tried this experiment using different types of music on the water molecules and compared the results. Here are a few musical genres he tried: 

























It is clear to see that a positive word or sound emits a very different kind of vibration than a negative one.
But what about human beings? Do we have a vibration too?

YES!

According to http://www.world-mysteries.com/sci_cymatics.htm:

"In 1787, the jurist, musician and physicist Ernst Chladni published Entdeckungen über die Theorie des Klangesor: Discoveries Concerning the Theory of Music. In this and other pioneering works, Chladni, who was born in 1756 (the same year as Mozart), and died in 1829 (the same year as Beethoven), laid the foundations for that discipline within physics that came to be called acoustics, the science of sound. Among Chladni´s successes was finding a way to make visible what sound waves generate. With the help of a violin bow which he drew perpendicularly across the edge of flat plates covered with sand, he produced those patterns and shapes which today go by the term Chladni figures. What was the significance of this discovery? Chladni demonstrated once and for all that sound actually does affect physical matter and that it has the quality of creating geometric patterns."




















This experiment has also been done on drops of water instead of sand. Just like the sand, as the water was given a higher frequency of vibration, its pattern became more and more complex (and beautiful). Human beings are likely the most complex beings on the planet (mainly due to our brain power alone). Over 70% of our bodies are made of water, just as 70% of the Earth is water as well. Everything we think emits a frequency, literally changing the molecules of our body, and ultimately changing us in that very moment of thought. 

So yes, humans (and all living things)  carry a vibration, and so does food. When we eat the plant foods from the earth, especially in raw form, we are heightening our own vibration, creating great health and even a more beautiful exterior. When our body temple is clean and at peace, the Holy Ghost is welcomed in without question. As anyone can see, this has absolutely nothing to do with witchcraft or "channeling demons." Our Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he sent us here. We are more complex and amazing than we will ever know in this lifetime. But sometimes, it just takes a little eye-opening to catch a glimpse of the things we, his sons and daughters, are capable of. 

Take care of yourselves, my friends. <3  


Saturday, June 21, 2014

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT THE PALEO DIET!


Okay, first, let's set the record straight here. It's never the PEOPLE on the Paleo diet that I hate, it's definitely the diet/lifestyle itself. Everyone I've known that has tried or wanted to try the Paleo diet had good intentions. They want to improve their health, lose weight, and have more discipline in what they eat. Those are all GREAT goals to set for oneself! However, this diet is NOT the way to go about accomplishing health, weight loss, or discipline of any kind. In fact, it hurts the body more than it helps. 


There do happen to be three things I DO like about the Paleo diet, so for the sake of fair argument, I will list them now:

1. It emphasizes eating a large amount of vegetables, which really is vital to good health.
2. It eliminates dairy products. Let's face it, our bodies have a really hard time digesting dairy, and for a good reason. Is it natural to go up to a cow, goat, sheep, or other mammal and nurse from its udders? I think not.
3. It avoids processed foods. I admit, I have processed (plant-based) foods from time to time, and some of them aren't bad for you. Still, all that salt, processed sugar, and pure fat won't make anything better.

Alright. Now let's get down to the nitty gritty.

10 things I hate about the paleo diet:


1. Villainizing carbohydrates. A HUGE part of the diet industry in our modern age is telling people that carbs make people fat. Yet people can go on a diet of nothing but potatoes for a month or more (yes, it's been done) and actually LOSE weight. If you go to Wikipedia and search "Staple foods" you will see that most of the world is fed on mainly carbs such as grains, corn, and beans. They would starve without them! Yet the western world, who eat more animal products than ever, are heavier and more unhealthy than the people who follow traditional grain-staple diets, such as the traditional Chinese diet which is based on rice and/or potatoes. Carbs are now the staple of my own diet and I've lost over 30 pounds. Still aren't convinced? Watch "Fighting Big Fat Lies With Fad-Free Truth" by Doctor John McDougall. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHKxLTH_R5w


2. Restriction of natural sugars. I agree that processed sugar is unnatural, bad for digestion, and causes tooth decay. I avoid it as much as possible. However, the paleo diet suggests that fruit is good to eat only in small portions or not at all. They say that sugar in anything causes weight gain. If you eat cake every day and gain weight, it's the combination of the sugar with animal fat in the butter, milk, or eggs that gives your body too much energy that is must store! 50% carbs/sugar+ 50% fat= added body fat. But when eating a cake, people taste the sweetness of the sugar, not the other ingredients, so that it what they blame. The natural sugars in fruit are WORLDS different than processed sugar. Fruit holds a lot of water, live enzymes, and sugars that boost energy and actually flush out fat and toxins! Plus, when you eat a whole, unprocessed fruit, the fiber helps keep your blood sugar from spiking.  I know without a doubt that including a piece of fruit with your meals can aid in healthy weight loss. I eat two to three fruits per day. Ever since I switched to a whole-food plant-based diet, my weight loss took off and my clothes are always getting baggier. Need more info on this? Look up Freelee, the Banana Girl on YouTube. She used to be 40 pounds heavier and had a drug problem, but now she's 100% clean, lean, and feeling better than ever! 



3. Oil/fat overload. Saturated fat and trans fat are the kinds of fat responsible for weight gain. Trans fat is found in an animal's body fat, so naturally, eating the meat, milk, or eggs or anything else from an animal will have this kind of fat present, no matter how "lean" the label claims it to be. Saturated fat is also in animal products and is present in all types of cooking oil, especially coconut oil, which everyone is hailing as the healthiest ingredient on the planet. The Paleo diet really emphasises the use of "natural fats" including animal fat (trans fat) and plant fat (saturated fat). In truth, (and I know this from years of fighting with my weight) THE FAT YOU EAT IS THE FAT YOU WEAR. All fruits, grains, legumes and vegetables contain some fat, but usually in very small amounts. This is all we need to consume! For more information on this, watch Doctor Michael Greger's video "Does Coconut Oil Clog Arteries?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZzuPAD0_F8




4. Cholesterol (and a LOT of it). The paleo diet uses this plate visual as a dietary goal:


Even the controversial FDA says that if consuming meat and eggs, they should be consumed in portions that are no bigger than a deck of cards. In reality, even any animal fat or cholesterol is too much. Still this ideal for a diet, half animals and half plants, is completely unrealistic and ridiculous. Also, it is extremely unhealthy. The body already produces its own cholesterol. Consuming it is completely unnecessary. When cholesterol is consumed, the body has nowhere to put it, so it ends up in the lining of our arteries, causing heart disease and a host of other problems. For more info, watch Jerry Casados' video "A Low-Fat, Plant-Based Diet Helps Reduce Cholesterol." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6X3p4yiOVI



5. Cruelty toward animals. This one goes without saying. The Paleo diet is all about increasing our animal product intake to make up for the lack we feel for giving up the necessary carbohydrate energy from grains and legumes. For example, here is what a Paleo food pyramid looks like:


In simpler times, people killed and ate animals because they had nothing else for long periods of time, such as during harsh winters or famines. Also, they killed the animals themselves, one at a time, and didn't rely on factories to do it for them. In our modern reality, we are blessed enough to be able to choose whatever foods we want to eat without worry of not having enough. At the grocery store, there are plenty of foods made from fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes to choose from, and they're even cheaper than the meat, dairy, and eggs. Why should more animals have to suffer and die if we don't need them, and their products are making us more unhealthy?

This is a very powerful video exposing the cruelty of the animal product industry: "The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear" by Gary Yourofsky. Remember, WHAT we eat is a personal choice, but WHOM we eat is not.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4



6. Misinformation about food in the "paleolithic era."Let's be honest, it's a bit hypocritical that those on the diet are not killing/foraging their own food as people would have done in the Paleolithic era. For example, real paleo people would have never eaten ghee, bacon, cow beef, or any fattened up domestic animal. They wouldn't even have had access to olive oil, coconut oil, etc.
Also, archeologists most often shake their heads at any mention of the Paleo diet in that grains have been found multiple times between the teeth of paleolithic skeletons.
Here is what Doctor John McDougall has to say about the Paleo diet and human history:
https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2012nl/jun/paleo2.htm


7. Still high risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. I am no doctor, so I will let real doctors address this one. I would highly suggest watching the documentary "Forks Over Knives." Also, read the book "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell, or watch his lecture on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOEeTJY5zCM


8. Protein overdose. Yes, it IS possible to overdose on any nutrient. People are always saying "too much of anything is bad," but don't seem to apply this to their own diets. I remember back in high school when the wrestlers and football players were trying to "bulk up" so they ate TONS of animal protein such as eggs, meat, and whey supplements, and they all ended up not only gaining excess muscle, but also excess fat. And nowadays people sell protein as a way to lose weight? It is only worsening the problem. Here is a video of  Doctor John Higgins explaining the dangers of protein overdose. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovBFWRCFZGQ


9. It is completely unrealistic to our modern circumstances and way of life. Grocery-wise, it's far more expensive than any other diet I've heard of. Also, it causes constipation and fatigue after just a short time on the diet. Most people who start the Paleo diet either quit it completely later on or continue it through the week with a few "cheat days" here and there. This is because the human body cannot fully sustain itself on this way of eating. Here is an example of a family who tried the paleo diet for four weeks and regretted it after. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_KAJPOOYN4


10. It is just another way for the diet industry to make more money. Isn't it strange that so many people promoting low carb, high fat, high protein diets are either overweight themselves or end up that way later on? Honestly, I have never found that to be true on a whole food, plant-based diet. I myself am still overweight, but I am also new to the lifestyle and am getting closer to my healthy weight every day without even exercising! (That's just because I'm lazy, but exercise is still very important).
Here is an example Doctor John McDougall gives about fad diets and those who make big money from it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N-Gaw3KIag


So what is the ultimate answer to health? Yes, change your diet, but do it the right way. Cut out ALL animal products, meaning all meat, dairy, eggs, gelatin, etc. Eat the whole foods that come from the earth, meaning all kinds of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and small amounts of nuts and seeds.

I truly hope that no one is offended after reading my thoughts on this. My aim is not to hurt feelings, but to help people take control of their health. I hope that this information can help someone else. Take care of yourselves, everyone! <3