Friday, 30 September 2016

Service: Seane Corn

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In our spiritual luminary series, each week we will feature someone who personifies a key spiritual value. In the first installment, we chat with yogi and activist Seane Corn, who exemplifies service like no other.

On your spiritual journey, who have been your most significant teachers in the past and now?

So many people have mentored me and influenced me. Early on my family. As I became more organized in my spiritual practice, David Life and Shannon Gannon. Chuck Miller and Eddie Modestini introduced me to breath work, and helped to launch my physical yoga. From there, Anodea Judith and Carolyn Myss for mind and body connection and the way trauma or unresolved trauma lives within the body, and its impact. Marianne Williamson helped me dive deeper into the spiritual aspect, create a framework with my relationship to God and with other people, being integrated and whole.

You’re obviously passionate about being active in social issues that matter to you. What drives you?

The Mother said, “Without him, I am nothing. Without me, he cannot be made manifest. In human form I make love to manifest in the world.” That’s the role of the activist. To participate. To engage. Without spirit, it can be hierarchal.  It’s a privilege and a direct responsibility. My color, socio-economic, my education. I have to recognize my privilege to help create peace, fairness, and equality wherever I can.

How would you describe the relationship between your yoga practice and your activist work?

Yoga gave me the tools to stay in my body, in a nonreactive way. Without a yoga practice, especially in conflict and practice, we get reactive. It teaches us to be brave in conflict. True to our essence. They are one in the same. Service is the manifestation in the physical world, and service comes from love.

The breadth of your work is wide, but is there an issue right now that is closest to your heart?

I’ve focused on human rights and it‘s taken me many years, to be as vocal as I am now about animal rights. I care about nonviolence and the environment, but it’s my area of real vulnerability. If I see an animal exploited, no matter how much I used my skills for mindfulness, I’d get emotional and reactive. That’s not effective in activism. Only in the past couple years, I finally have developed skills to be proactive and without being reactive. I feel more ready to confront it. I can do it in a way that’s emotionally sustainabile without as much intensity and can be more effective.

I’ve also been involved in Transgender issues with what’s going on in North Carolina. Supporting that community and being an accomplice. As well as voting. The importance of voting.

What do you tell people when they say their vote doesn’t matter?

Get over it! Vote your values and your reps will be interested. They may not be interested in our values, but they are interested in our vote. That’s our power.

It’s clearly been a chaotic election year with many people feeling like their power has been taken away, and there’s a real  sense of hopelessness. How do you remain positive and supportive of the process in light of all this?

Passivity is not possible and has to be challenged.  Our systems are broken. But the systems are made of people. We’re meant to feel disconnected, to not feel, but deal with your stuff and move into the system to make a difference. Stay engaged in the process. I encourage people to run for office.

You just celebrated a milestone birthday, 50. What's your secret to aging with such vitality?

I don’t know what 50 looks like. There’s this negative perception of aging. I have 6 non-negotiables: yoga, prayer, diet, sleep, meditation, and therapy. I better look healthy! I work hard on it. Diet is instrumental in me feeling energized. My body isn’t working hard to process foods, and I try to introduce into my system what my body wants. Gratitude is so important. I have so much to learn and thrilled to have the privilege to have the tools to deepen my wisdom. That’s what gives me vitality.

Go see Seane speak at Together, a multi-city event that unites people across backgrounds and generations to support, inspire and elevate one another to make meaningful change. For more information, visit

from Spirituality & Health Magazine blogs


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from Healing Crystals For You


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Rare Black Moon Rising In Scorpio: Prepare For a Huge Energy Shift On September 30, 2016 | Spiritual


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‘If my team’s research on ME is rejected, the patients will suffer’| Prof Peter White, The Guardian | 30 September 2016

From The Guardian, 30 September 2016. Comment piece by Professor Peter White.

Chronic fatigue syndrome – sometimes called ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) – is a sad tale for everyone involved. It is a debilitating illness that affects about 250,000 children and adults in the UK alone, wrecking lives as people are unable to hold down a job and are sometimes left bed-bound for years on end.

Unfortunately these patients have not been treated well – their illness is often dismissed or belittled, leading to much anger, misinformation and argument. There are claims of foul play, with issues over freedom of information and sharing of trial data; this week it was claimed that sexism is part of the reason those with ME struggle to get the proper treatment. My colleagues, Professors Trudie Chalder and Michael Sharpe, and I have spent our careers trying to improve care for patients with CFS/ME. At the heart of this story is the Pace trial we have been conducting since 2005.

For many years Nice (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which oversees healthcare evidence) recommended just two treatments – graded exercise therapy (GET) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – because it had the best evidence that these therapies worked. However, many patients were not using them, following instead a self-guided treatment called “pacing”: listening to the messages from their bodies and pacing themselves – trying not to do too much, wary of pushing themselves to a point where they might make the illness worse. The idea of doing exercise therapy was scary for some patients, worried that over-exertion would exacerbate their ill-health. The idea that CBT, a talking treatment, might help, raised fears that the illness was regarded as “merely psychological”, or even “all in the mind”.

With so much uncertainty and fear among patients, we wanted to find out which of these treatments worked best and whether they were safe. So we ran a large trial with 640 patients that would seek to replicate earlier studies, but on a much bigger scale. All those who took part were given specialist care and randomly allocated to also receive either pacing therapy, CBT, GET, or nothing extra. We had involvement from CFS/ME community, and the research was overseen by independent committees looking at data, safety and how the trial was run.

The results of our study, published in The Lancet in 2011, were clear – those patients given CBT or GET experienced significantly greater improvements in both symptoms and ability to do things, compared with either pacing therapy or specialist medical care alone. Not only were CBT and GET more effective: crucially, they were just as safe as the other treatments when done correctly.

Our results confirmed the earlier smaller trials, and strengthened the evidence upon which the recommendations of Nice were based. Added to this, a recent Cochrane review (a summary of all the evidence, and considered the gold standard in medical research) also concluded that exercise is a safe and effective treatment. In short, CBT and GET are safe, can definitely help some people and are more effective than other treatments: but, as with all treatments in medicine, they cannot help everyone.

From here on this should have become a happier story. However, some of the ensuing newspaper headlines – such as “Got ME? Just get out and exercise, say scientists” – gave the misleading impression that patients just needed to pull themselves together, or even that they were making it all up. In our clinics we had seen far too much suffering to ever think this illness could be dismissed in this way.

Our research, and that of our colleagues in this field, has attracted its fair share of criticism. Some campaigners have even called for the research to be stopped, the findings retracted, and CBT and GET abandoned completely as they cause harm. One recent focus of criticism has been whether CBT and GET can actually bring about recovery or remission from the illness, not just reduce the symptoms. And by recovery we mean recovery from a patient’s present episode of illness – which is not necessarily the same as being cured, as someone might fall ill again.

To address this we did another test on the data, and found that 22% of people could be considered as recovered with either CBT or GET. Though not a large proportion it was about three times more than the recovery rates achieved by the other two treatments. Other studies showed similar proportions recovering after CBT.

In the latest step in this saga, a blog that hasn’t gone through the rigours of scientific peer-review, or being published in a journal claims that CBT and GET are not as effective as we reported. The authors got their figures by tweaks such as increasing the pass-grade for what counted as recovery, and excluding patients who had reported themselves as “much better”.

Whichever way the data is viewed, patients get better results from CBT and GET – both confirmed as safe – than they do from pacing or medical care alone.

This whole affair is perhaps saddest for the patients themselves, whose suffering has been neglected for far too long. However, there is hope. First, the important message for patients is that it is possible to get treatment that will help them improve and for some to recover. Second, we agree with campaigners that we need more research into the causes and treatments of CFS/ME. However, if their campaign puts people off trying CBT and GET, it will be the patients themselves who will suffer the most.

from ME Association



Update on Brighton conference to be held next Thursday (October 6) | 30 September 2016

A top South Coast community centre – the Brighthelm Centre in North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD – will host Sussex and Kent ME/CFS Society’s medical and scientific conference next Thursday (October 6).

The conference will include a presentation by consultant neurologist Professor Leslie Findley who contributed to the World Health Organisation’s classification of ME as a neurological disorder and Dr Alan Stewart – along with therapists from the NHS Sussex ME/CFS Service based at Haywards Heath, who will discuss treatment approaches currently available.

Dr Neil Harrison, a clinician scientist at Sussex University who is involved in research into the neurological aspects of ME/CFS, will be speaking about a Medical Research Council-funded study he is carrying out in collaboration with London’s St Georges Hospital and giving an update on the study’s recruitment.

Society chairman Colin Barton said: “This study has the potential to identify a brain network that is abnormally and persistently activated in people with ME/CFS. A better understanding of the neurobiological cause of ME/CFS will ultimately allow for the development of better forms of treatment for this debilitating illness.”

He added that the conference will highlight two new studies that will be starting soon in Sussex.


* Dr Alan Stewart, Chairman
* Prof Leslie Findley, Consultant Neurologist
* Dr Neil Harrison, Reader in Neuropsychiatry and Neuroimaging
* Dr Mahinda Yogarajah, Neurologist and Neuroimaging
* Dr Jessica Eccles, Neuroimaging, who is leading an important study investigating fatigue and pain in people with ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia

Society patron, the actress Jenny Seagrove, commented: “Sussex & Kent ME/CFS Society provides absolutely vital support to those people in society who suffer this debilitating and much understood condition. At last research is being done into ME and also into the plasticity of the brain and nervous system, so perhaps hope will be allowed to shine its light into the darkness of some people’s lives.”

Late callers for tickets should phone 01273 674828.

from ME Association



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Black moon tonight! This is also a great time for setting intentions or spell work as the energy tonight will be very powerful! 💜🌜🌙🌛. Happy Friday! Blessings to everyone! #Blackmoon #moonchild #spiritualawakening #spiritualhealing #spirituality #healing #reiki #reikihealing #newmoon #moonmagic #tgif #happyfriday #energyhealing #yoga #yogi #yogini #om #namaste

from Purple Lotus Spiritual Healing


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Volunteers bale out the Worcestershire ME Support Group | 30 September 2016

Volunteers have come forward to save Worcestershire ME Support Group from sinking – but organisers are still looking round for a few more so that informal groups scattered round the county in Droitwich, Malvern and Worcester can keep going.

The rescue of the main committee came at the group’s annual general meeting a week ago on September 23. It followed strenuous efforts to publicise the need to bring new blood on to the committee.

The group chairman Ian Logan, writes:

“Thanks to the publicity received from the ME Association, Action for ME, the Worcestershire local press, and everyone who forwarded our pleas for help – a few volunteers came forward at our AGM last Friday, 23 September. But, we still need more people to run the informal groups throughout the county.

“Current informal meetings in Droitwich, Worcester and Malvern, will run until the end of 2016. There may be changes in 2017, so check this website. Lunches will continue – check for dates and venues.

“If you want informal meetings in all areas of the county – help is needed at the meetings, and we need more people to attend them. If you are able to help the group in any way, please contact email me or phone 01886 888419. Please leave your number if I am not available – many thanks.”

The ME Association last covered this story HERE.

SOS from the Worcestershire M.E. Support Group – help us or we go under! | 3 September 2016

from ME Association



TGI Friday! Our weekly round-up of recently published research abstracts | 30 September 2016

From the Journal of Family Medicine & Community Health, 18 September 2016 (Links to pdf containing the complete text),

Patient Perceptions Regarding Possible Changes to the Name and Criteria for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Leonard A. Jason*, Laura Nicholson, and Madison Sunnquist
Center for Community Research, DePaul University, USA
*Corresponding author
Leonard A Jason, Center for Community Research, DePaul University, 990 W Fullerton Ave #3100, Chicago, Illinois, USA/


For decades, researchers and patients have been debating the terms and criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). This has led to considerable difficulties in clearly communicating to the public the nature of these illnesses, and has produced considerable methodological challenges for researchers who study these illnesses.

If different laboratories do not employ comparable criteria to select patients, this will have negative consequences for understanding epidemiology, etiology, diagnostic and treatment approaches.

In part due to this ongoing controversy, the Institute of Medicine in 2015 recommended new criteria and a new name. The present study surveyed a relatively large sample of patients both in and outside the US to determine attitudes toward the primary names and criteria that have been used to characterize these patients.

Assessing patient opinions is an activity that might help provide gatekeepers (i.e., federal officials, scientific and patient organizations) with valuable input for ultimately clarifying this debate regarding names and criteria.

from ME Association



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from Spiritual Seeker 77



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from Spiritual Seeker 77



5 Reasons to Forgive Yourself (and How to Do Better Going Forward)


“At the end of life, the wish to be forgiven is ultimately the chief desire of almost every human being. In refusing to wait; in extending forgiveness to others now; we begin the long journey of becoming the person who will be large enough, able enough and generous enough to receive, at the very end, that absolution ourselves.” ~David Whyte

The last time I saw my mother she was smiling and laughing at nothing in particular. My mother has had dementia for almost ten years now. Each visit brings an onslaught of guilt and uncomfortable feelings. Could I have done something different to ease this for her?

For years I discounted my heritage and all my ancestors, and in doing so devalued her. How could I have been so heartless? How could I have stayed out all night and worried her to death when I was in my twenties? Why didn’t I stay with her in Boston after I married? The list goes on and on.

I can count each transgression and easily relive the selfishness of a younger version of me. I want to reach back in time and slap that younger self, admonishing her for losing out on caring for the person that loves her most.

I want to send her the warning that time is running out and she is wasting it on trivialities, ego-centric activities, and hurtful behavior. But I cannot reach back in time, and for many years I carried the burden of a wild adolescence that had no regard for the one who cared most about me.

There have been times when, on bent knee, I pleaded silently and tearfully for her forgiveness, but she would have none of it. She simply continued her incoherent storytelling with a smile and eyes that were viewing something in the distant past. The best I could do was to stay present with her in her story, allowing her to share whatever needed to arise unconditionally.

And then it happened.

During one visit I was again listening to her storytelling, laughing with her, sharing her jokes and following the winding path of her conversation when she suddenly stopped. Something in her eyes shifted. It was as if a light turned on for a moment. And then she said it, even using my name, which she had not recalled for years.

“Alicia, I’m fine. Let it go. Focus on your life and move on. I’m fine.”

And with the same suddenness she disappeared into the fog, her eyes coated with the same film that hides the chapters of her life. I burst into tears.

Grace is Found in Forgiveness

We discover grace in forgiveness. We unburden the baggage we carry with us when we are forgiven, and when we forgive. Transgressions, real or perceived, carry an energetic and negative tether that creates a network of dark knots that expands as we continue to carry these transgressions through our relationships and into our lives.

We believe that others hold the ability to release us through their forgiveness. When we surrender the power to forgiveness to someone else we lose the ability to recover our goodness and worth. In truth, we each hold the power to forgive simply because we are the ones that need to forgive ourselves.

In the moment that my mother spoke I felt a release and then an awareness that the forgiveness I attributed to her was really within me. I needed to forgive myself for my behavior and lack of awareness that created the guilt I carried with me. What my mother did was make me aware that I needed to “move on.” And to do so meant to forgive myself.

5 Reasons We Have to Forgive Ourselves

1. The other person may not forgive you.

For years, I was haunted by past transgressions that caused harm to someone else. The sting of the lies of the past and the impact on those that I cared about caused such shame in me that I became rigid about what was right and wrong. There was no one to call for forgiveness. Those relationships existed in the past and have long since moved on.

I had to forgive the teenager and the young woman who foolishly thought the world revolved around her needs.

If you look back into the past you’ll notice you may be carrying shame too. It’s time to forgive the person you were so that the person you are can keep growing.

2. If you don’t forgive yourself then how will you keep going?

You can’t make changes or move forward in your life carrying the weight of your mistakes.

Imagine putting all your past mistakes into a bag, adding to it each time you make a new one. The bag becomes so heavy, the burden so great, that it would be impossible to keep moving forward.

It’s time to put that bag down, take out each item, and forgive and let go of the past so you can move forward, having learned the lessons that will make you a better person than before.

3. You can’t forgive others if you can’t forgive yourself.

You have to learn how to forgive, starting with yourself. If you cannot offer yourself compassion and forgiveness, you will never be able to offer the same to others.

Life’s missteps are an opportunity to learn. These mistakes are useful in that they point you away from the person you do not want to be and reveal the path of growth and authenticity that you can choose for your life.

4. The shame of the past can only be transformed through forgiveness.

I confess that I intentionally caused hurt to others out of ignorance or narcissism before I realized what true connection and love were. I’ve learned that when I lash out, it is a projection of the anger or discomfort I feel toward myself. Unless I forgive myself, I will carry that anger into the world and project it onto others.

Change your anger into a call to attend to something that is hurting within you. Forgiveness is the alchemy that transforms shame into self-love.

5. To accept and value yourself you must embrace both virtues and flaws.

We human beings are flawed. We must accept that we are not perfect. We make mistakes, and sometimes we make mistakes that hurt others. However, our mistakes do not define us. They are opportunities to learn about ourselves, who we are and who we aspire to be. By acknowledging our flaws and our strengths, we can consciously choose how we live our life.

I’ve learned to forgive myself and have adopted practices that help prevent those missteps that cause guilt, regret, and shame. These practices are integrated into my life today because yes, I still mess up.

1. Practice conscious living.

Too often we hurt others due to our sheer ignorance or lack of empathy. We are not caring for others when our lives are so full and busy that we are unable to stop and notice how someone else is feeling.

When you are present to yourself and to those around you, you are conscious of your choices and actions. Your awareness of your environment increases. You will notice the person who is feeling sad or disappointed and offer them a kind word.

So many of our regrets, the things we wish we had done or said, are due to sleepwalking through our lives. Observing yourself, learning about yourself, and choosing your thoughts and actions means you are conscious and present to your life and to others.

2. Accept what you have done without denial or justification.

It’s easy to justify our actions or to blame others for our mistakes. Take responsibility for your decisions and you empower yourself to choose wisely.

This requires that you face your transgressions and tend to that wound so that you can begin to heal. Do this with an open heart and allow self-love to flow so forgiveness may transform the pain into peace.

3. Identify what it feels like when you are angry, resentful, or sad so that those feelings do not hijack you into doing harm to others.

These strong feelings can take us over, and we are left wondering how we could’ve behaved so badly. When you become self-aware, you notice when those feelings begin to arise so you can better manage your emotions. Of course you will feel these emotions at times. This is part of our human nature. Acting on them is what causes regret and shame.

4. Practice meditation and mindful breathing.

Through mindfulness, you begin to recognize the impermanence of things so you can make healthier choices. Nothing lasts forever, whether it’s joy or sadness. Sometimes we have to endure the discomfort of the moment by breathing through it until it passes. And it always passes.

5. Forgive imperfection.

Self-compassion means you accept that some days, you are doing the best you can do at the time. It’s not perfect but it’s good enough, and that’s fine. Perfection is a heroic standard that no one meets. It sabotages your confidence and self-esteem.

How different would our world be if we forgave each other? Begin by forgiving yourself and let the waves of that forgiveness ripple out so that one day, maybe, the compassion and forgiveness you offer yourself can create more peace and tranquility in a world desperate for its own transformation.

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About Alicia Rodriguez

An author, speaker, and Conscious Living expert, Alicia teaches busy executive women how to shift out of overwhelm and enhance their well-being so that they better manage their time and energy, build resiliency, and leverage their passion to lead more effectively. Visit for information. To learn more about her 2017 women’s retreat visit Unlocking the Secrets to Conscious Living.

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The post 5 Reasons to Forgive Yourself (and How to Do Better Going Forward) appeared first on Tiny Buddha.

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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Chalcopyrite, A Mystical Stone That Connects You To Higher Realms

Chalcopyrite links to mystical realms in meditation. Helps you find lost things, increase happiness, joy & belief in yourself. Like most gold stones is powerful to increase abundance & manifest money.

from Healing Crystals For You


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Self Love as a Practice

Woman stretching in morning with sun

We all know there’s great value in loving ourselves. Self acceptance, self esteem, and self compassion can get us through painful times in our lives, help us to bounce back from failure, teach us to love others better, and help us reach our goals.

For many of us, however, self love isn’t a given. We haven’t all learned to hold ourselves with kindness in the wild, unpredictable world. So how do we show up to self love?

Just like anything else, we practice.

When we do yoga or meditation, the major thing we are doing is paying attention. We show up to what’s actually happening. Rather than trying to fix, analyze, or criticize what arises, we practice catching it as if with an open hand: holding without holding on.

The yoga practice isn’t about getting into a certain posture or improving your physical abilities, though that’s an aspect of it for many people. In a lifelong yoga practice, what we learn to do is observe what happens in our minds when we don’t get into a certain pose, or when we show up to our mats with pain and limitation. How do we talk to ourselves in those moments?

It can often feel, further, that we have very little control over the thoughts pinging around in our minds. The internal logic of that mean little voice in our heads that tells us we are not good enough doesn’t always respond to reason. It’s pretty hard to choose our thoughts.

We can, however, choose our actions. When we get better at being mindful, we can show up to what we feel, what we might need, and the different options we have available. When we find ourselves struggling in a yoga posture, gritting our teeth to try to prove to ourselves that we can do it, what if we pause and ask ourselves, “But is this kind?” Choosing to stop and take child’s pose teaches the body that we deserve to rest. That it’s okay to slow down. Pauses are loving.

I’ll never forget the words of a participant in a course I was taking on mental health practices. She said, “I may not always believe I deserve love, but I can behave as if I do.”

It’s challenging to change our thoughts or our emotions, but it is a little bit easier to choose our actions. When the mean thoughts start shouting in our heads, we can notice them and decide to take a walk outside or have a warm shower. As we take actions of kindness towards ourselves, behaving as if we loved ourselves unconditionally, we are sending messages to our subconscious minds that we do actually love ourselves, that we deserve the kindness we are experiencing.

The mindfulness we practice in yoga or meditation helps us to recognize when the voices in our heads are getting cruel. When we learn to practice this in our day to day lives, we can start to see when we are being hard on ourselves and create more opportunities to extend kindness to ourselves. We can catch the emotional spiral before it spins us down the drain and gives us a chance to ask, “wait, have I eaten today? Do I need a nap?” As we slowly learn how to love ourselves better, we start to expect others to treat us with kindness as well. We start to realize that of course we love ourselves. Of course we deserve love.

Self love, for most of us, isn’t innate. It’s a practice. We can start right now.


from Spirituality & Health Magazine blogs


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from Spiritual Seeker 77



Dealing with Postnatal Depression: It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Sad woman on swing

“The light at the end of the tunnel might seem a long way off. But the switch may be very near.” ~ Anonymous

When I think about it now, the ominous signs of postnatal depression were there even while I was pregnant.

What started with worries and anxieties would continue to escalate after the birth of my child, finally coming together like a perfect storm, to become a deep, dark depression that would threaten to take my life away from me.

Eighteen months after my daughter was born, now barely able to function, I found myself alone in the grounds of a mental health unit. I remember quite clearly looking up at the sky and asking aloud a question that would come to change the course of my life.

“How did this happen?”

I’ve spent the last twenty-five years unearthing the answers.

The Landscape Changed Around Me

I had sailed through my first pregnancy. My son was a placid baby and slept so much I sometimes had to prod him awake just to make sure he was fed. Life felt perfect but, between my first and second pregnancy, the landscape of my world began to shift and change around me.

We moved. We took on a much bigger loan, but within a few months interest rates had risen so much we could barely make the payments. The property market had gone from boom to bust, and the value of our house came crashing down around us, threatening to throw us into negative equity. Now we couldn’t move again even if we wanted to.

The financial pressures caused tensions. This was when I found myself pregnant for a second time. I felt a confusing mixture of joy and fear. This second pregnancy would be nothing like the worry-free first.

And there was another problem: I wasn’t sure I even liked our new house, or, more to the point, where it was—right next door to a busy pub. Now pregnant, I began to focus more and more of my frustration and anxiety onto the pub and everything I hated about it.

I hated the way its upstairs window overlooked my garden. I hated the smell of cooking and the sound of people drinking and laughing outside. When I was hot and sleepless at night, if I leaned out of the bedroom window, I could just about hear the extractor fan buzzing relentlessly. How I hated that extractor fan!


I felt trapped and unhappy. All the worrying in the daytime ensured I slept restlessly at night, or not at all, and I grew more tired.

Midway through the pregnancy, I caught shingles. Not only could I not take any medication to ease the pain because of possible side effects, but I grew worried about whether the shingles would affect my unborn child.

But I kept soldiering on, pretending to the outside world that everything was okay. When people greeted me with “Hi, how are you?” I would smile and say, “I’m fine,” as we all do. Nobody wanted the true answer, it seemed to me.

There was another problem in admitting I wasn’t coping: I didn’t want anyone to think I was anything less than a perfect mother, and there was an underlying concern, whether real or imaginary, that my children might be taken away from me.

By the time my daughter was born, I was already running on empty, and perhaps that was partly why she was restless, demanding, and so different from my first child. She had eye problems, joint problems, and, as it later turned out, a hole in the heart too, as a result of the shingles.

By now I felt I was a different person altogether. Hollow-eyed, tired yet wired, I was plagued by a feeling of heaviness, vague aches, pains, and stomach problems. I finally visited my doctor and told him I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. His response was to put me on a four-month waiting list for counseling and to give me a prescription for the antidepressant Seroxat.

I started taking them and felt so much worse. Now I was foggy-headed and confused too, and I started having disturbing nightmares, often, violent ones. I’ve since found out these are common side effects. It was Christmas and I couldn’t even raise the energy to cook a Christmas dinner. When I did eat, I couldn’t taste the food. I felt I was shutting down.

I eventually ground to a halt and had to admit how things were for me. The perfect mother mask had finally slipped, and I had no alternative but to be more real. When people asked me how I felt now, I told the truth and it was a relief. Being fake, as it turns out, is really tiring.

I accepted all the help I was offered. I had no choice.

I was referred to a counselor, which helped a lot. Finally, I could offload all the worries and ruminations to someone who didn’t judge me, who simply allowed me to talk and hear my own thoughts.

Friends and neighbors rallied round. People offered to mind the children so I could take a break. I felt I’d forgotten who I was and had to find myself again.

Months later, feeling calmer, I wandered into the garden and sat down, with my back to the pub, on a swing seat.

From here, I had a view of my home I had not really seen before. A pretty thatched cottage lay before me with roses around the door and colorful flowers tumbling down from its window boxes. Fatman, my cat, laid stretching and dozing on the path in the sun, and my children slept, safe and sound, inside.

And in that moment, my perception shifted. I suddenly saw things from a different angle and realized that nothing in my life needed to change; I simply needed to change the way I was looking at my life. Things had happened to me and around me over which I had no control. Finally it hit me like a speeding train: My real control was over the way I chose to respond to those events.

Nothing, and nobody, could make me unhappy without my permission.

It was a moment of clarity and insight that became the turning point in my recovery. It was also the start of my long quest to uncover the mysteries of depression.

How Antenatal Depression Begins

Being a mother can be the most rewarding, yet the most demanding, of roles. Society has high expectations, especially now with social media piling on the pressure for perfection. Antenatal depression can resolve with the birth of the baby or might evolve, as it did for me, into postnatal depression.

The signs and symptoms of anti, and postnatal, depression are the same as for any depression:

  • Tears and feelings of sadness
  • Restlessness and insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Edginess, anxiety, or panic attacks
  • Irritability with yourself, others, or life in general
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Severe fatigue and wanting to stay in bed
  • Difficulty leaving house or handling social situations
  • Aches and pains
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Loss of hope about the future
  • Feelings of guilt or self loathing

How to Get the Help You Need

Be open.

Communicate with those around you. Explain how you are feeling and ask for support. Talk to friends and family. Other mothers are probably not as confident and upbeat as they appear to be. When you’re honest, it gives others permission to own up to being less than perfect too. Being authentic means you don’t have to pretend, which is such a relief.

Speak to your doctor or health visitor. Many pregnant women and new mothers feel guilty about having negative feelings at a time when they think they should be happy. But being open and sharing your concerns will help you, and others, understand and overcome the problems.

Go online.

There are many forums now that support mothers and parents. There is nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about if you are anxious or down. Plenty of others do. Talking openly to others who understand can relieve the burden and isolation.

Take “me time.”

Self-care is not vanity. You may be busy running around after other children or family, but you do need to take your physical and mental health seriously and support yourself with a healthy diet, plenty of rest, and some fun too.

Keep a journal.

Write down how you feel, to get thoughts from the inside to the outside. However, remember also, to keep a gratitude list rather than just focus on the negatives. Bring to mind the things that have gone well, like a trip out with friends or even a beautiful sunset.

My list grew longer the more I searched for the positives. As I expressed my gratitude for the things I hadn’t previously paid attention to like my home, my health, a good meal, or even a lovely sunset, I started to be more mindfully aware throughout the day.

I began to harvest the good stuff and started to feel better. I now know that when we actively look for the good and express our gratitude and thanks, we are re-setting our internal brain filters and begin to re-wire for positivity.

Practice meditation and mindfulness.

Track down a local yoga or meditation class. If you can’t visit a class, download one of the relaxation apps and downloads that are now available online. Learning to focus on the present moment trains the brain to switch off when you want it to. In this way, you can take a break from all that negative internal chatter.

Get some talking therapy.

Agencies such as MIND or Rethink or the Samaritans offer low cost, or no cost, support, and there are many private therapists too.

Talking to a professional has some real advantages. They are trained to listen and offer support, and they can help you heal your past and identify changes you may need to make to meet more of your emotional needs.

Don’t try to be perfect.

Finally, cut yourself some slack. You don’t have to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect daughter, or perfect anything else for that matter!

Consider the wisdom in the ancient tale of the carpet weavers.

The carpet weavers, who were experts at their trade, would spend many months creating the most beautiful carpets, but just at the point of completion, they would deliberately weave a mistake into the intricate pattern, because, as they said:

“To aspire to be perfect is to aspire to be god-like and who are we, mere mortals, to be as the gods?”

Image here

Editor’s Note: Although the author did not have a positive experience with medication, everyone’s experience is different. Please consult your doctor before considering stopping any prescribed medication.

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About Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist, coach and training consultant. Author of the book PTSD Resolution, she also writes over at In 2009, Frances founded the charity Reclaim Life; training its volunteers to work in the new, dynamic mental health model, Fusion®. That training became accredited by the National College of Further Education as a Therapeutic Coaching Diploma.

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The post Dealing with Postnatal Depression: It’s Okay to Ask for Help appeared first on Tiny Buddha.

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Spiritual awakening mala. Made with ametrine amethyst and...

Spiritual awakening mala. Made with ametrine amethyst and flourite. Available on my etsy store. #etsy #etsyseller #etsysellersofinstagram #etsyjewelry #yoga #yogi #yogaeverydamnday #mala #meditation #amethyst #ametrine #flourite #crystalhealing #healing #crystal #chakra #chakrahealing #reiki #reikihealing #miami #spiritual #spiritualawakening #spiritualhealing #spirituality #om #namaste

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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Goshenite For Clear Thinking, Truth & Lucid Dreams

Goshenite aka White Beryl aids clear thinking, helps inspire truth in both you & others. It boosts analytical mental ability, mathematical mastery & heightened lucid dreams.

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Exercise and therapy cure for ME is ‘seriously flawed’ | The Times | 28 September 2016

From The Times, 28 September 2016. Story by Tom Whipple, Science Editor.

A landmark study suggesting that ME could be treated with exercise and psychological intervention is seriously flawed, scientists have claimed.

If correct, it would mean that treatments recommended on the NHS, which have proved hugely controversial among Britain’s 250,000 sufferers of ME, are ineffective.

However, the study, which, since its publication in the Lancet, has been the focus of bitter dispute, has been defended by its authors and other scientists. The new analysis used the same data but a different definition for what constituted “recovery”. Philip Stark, professor of statistics at Berkeley, argued that this simple change converted a “finding into an unfinding” — showing that there was no benefit from exercise or cognitive behavioural therapy.

He conducted the re-analysis because he said the original authors had weakened the criteria used to judge the severity of symptoms. “It was lax to the point where an individual who would have been deemed ill on entry could have been considered healthy at the end, even if they had deteriorated,” he said.

His paper is the latest salvo in a clash between the scientists behind the trial and patients, many of whom disagree that their condition can be treated with behavioural interventions. At times the dispute has become so bitter that scientists have complained of death threats.

ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, is a mysterious condition in which people experience severe tiredness, often to the extent that they cannot work. Many mechanisms have been proposed for triggering it. Some have suggested it is a maladaptive reaction to viral infection, others that it is psychological.

While the causes are unknown, the disputed trial claimed that its symptoms could be alleviated with exercise and cognitive behavioural therapy. Some sufferers, who saw headlines such as “Got ME? Just get out and exercise, say scientists”, considered this offensive and have disputed both its methodology and conclusions.

Now, independent scientists say they have a point. “It’s an unfortunately common practice to change criteria in trials,” said Professor Stark. “The consequence of this is you can’t really interpret if something is meaningful or not.”

Peter White, one of the original researchers, said he did not dispute Professor Stark’s methods, but added that the argument was about the definition of recovery. “They’ve used more conservative criteria. We thought people who rated their health as ‘much better’ or ‘very much better’ should be included. They used ‘very much better’. We said in the paper one major limitation is it is very difficult to define recovery.”

He was defended by George Lewith, professor of primary care at Southampton University, who was not involved in the original research. He said the field was in danger of becoming politicised. “I’ve worked in the area for ten years, and I’ve been appalled by what has happened. There’s a small group of people with fixed and opposing views, and they want to torture the data until it proves what they believe. I think there’s a great danger people will stop doing research because it’s so confrontational.”

from ME Association



New yoga schedule! #yoga #yogi #yogini #yogaeverydamnday...

New yoga schedule! #yoga #yogi #yogini #yogaeverydamnday #yogachallenge #yogainspiration #yogamiami #miami #wellness #holistic #holistichealth #om #namaste

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#affirmation #healing #healingaffirmation #spiritual...

#affirmation #healing #healingaffirmation #spiritual #spirituality #spiritualhealing #wellness #energyhealing #crystalhealing #reiki #reikihealing #yoga #yogi #intuition #innervoice #divine #goddess #om #namaste

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#MillionsMissing – the Oxford demonstration was top of the news on BBC TV South yesterday | 28 September 2016


Yesterday was #MillionsMissing – round 2, the day of protest about the invisibility of the illness played out in 26 cities round the world. The ME Association helped publicise the event in Oxford which was captured by BBC TV South. They placed the item at the top of their news programme.

The item runs for about three and a half minutes from the beginning of the programme. It features long-term ME sufferer Jo Porter from Witney in Oxfordshire, event co-organiser Lara Strong from Oxford, ME Association medical adviser Dr Charles Shepherd and, of course, loads of empty shoes. Yesterday, the most stylish yet unused collection of footwear in Oxford was to be found outside the Radcliffe Camera.


Lara Strong, co-organiser of the Oxford demonstration

Lara Strong, co-organiser of the Oxford demonstration

Dr Charles Shepherd, medical adviser to The ME Association

Dr Charles Shepherd, medical adviser to The ME Association

from ME Association



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3 Things That Cause Unhealthy Food Cravings and How to Stop Them


“Reminder: food is fuel, not therapy.” ~Unknown

I learned about food cravings at a young age.

My parents divorced when I was six years old. My older brother and I ended up living in another city with our grandmother. We used to spend long hours alone, and we learned soon enough how food could help us lift our mood and suppress our real feelings.

That was when I started having unstoppable food cravings.

Eating would make me feel good and bring me peace and calm. Trying to avoid my favorite foods would make me nervous and unsettled, and would bring my real feelings back.

I was overweight until my teenage years, and I hated it every single day. Over the years, I became afraid that giving into cravings was making me lose control over my relationship with food, my weight, and my body.

In high school, I learned all I could about calories and how eating better could help me lose weight. I put this knowledge into practice and finally dropped some pounds.

And I promised myself that I would never, ever be overweight again.

I decided to learn as much as possible about nutrition so I could find my own my way to manage my weight. That’s why I became a nutrition specialist.

Learning to control my cravings naturally has helped me overcome my fears of gaining weight again. But paying attention only to the numbers on the scale is not enough, and only when you are in control of your weight you can say you made it.

In this article, I’d like to share the knowledge I’ve gained over the years and show you how you can stop food cravings naturally.

It’s Essential to Understand the “Whys”

Have you ever felt an unstoppable food craving that was stronger than you?

You knew you shouldn’t go for it, but you couldn’t resist.

This lack of control is very annoying, isn’t it?

As with many other things in life, weight management related issues are much better approached when you understand what’s going on in your body, why, and the actions you need to take.

In this post, I will explain the causes of those uncontrollable food cravings and the biological processes behind them, and I will give you easy to apply recommendations on how you can stop food cravings naturally.

Just imagine how it feels to be in control of your food cravings and what it would mean for your weight!

But before we dive in, a disclaimer:

This is not a scientific paper on food cravings that aims to cover every single aspect of the topic, but an effort to explain the main reasons for food cravings and how to practically deal with them, in understandable terms without going too deep into science.

The goal of this post is to give you enough information to understand the “whys” behind the food cravings and enough practical means for you to be able to stop food cravings naturally.

What Triggers Food Cravings?

Although food cravings can be caused by hormone imbalance or nutritional deficiencies, I would like to declare those food cravings off topic here.

The way to deal with such food cravings is pretty straightforward: Either accept them and let them pass (pregnancy or PMS cravings, for example), or see a doctor if you suspect a nutrition deficiency.

Instead, I’d like to focus this post on the unhealthy food cravings that you deal with every day.

If you’re craving celery sticks, go for it! But if it’s donuts, chocolate, cheeseburgers, and similar foods that you can’t keep your hands away from, it’s dangerous for your health in the long run and you have to stop them.

So what triggers these unhealthy food cravings that make you feel so powerless?

Three things:

  • Your emotions
  • High-processed food as a product of food engineering
  • Sugar imbalance in your body

Many authors cover the emotional part of food cravings, not considering food engineering and biology, but I’m sure you’ve noticed that you can crave food even without emotions involved.

In this post, I’d like to fill this gap and put the spotlight on food engineering and sugar imbalance as triggers of food cravings.

Let’s look at each trigger in detail.

Trigger 1: Your emotions

You see an apple pie and instantly think about a pie your mom used to make. Your mom lives far away, but that pie is right there.

You feel lonely, but there is no one around. There is, however, chocolate ice cream in the fridge.

Your boss is being unrealistic, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So you jump into a bag of chips, as you do every time you feel stressed.

Many feelings are hard to deal with, and food is an easy way to help you handle them… and there is a physiological explanation for it.

There are areas in your brain responsible for memory and sensing pleasure, which also act as reward centers.

Specific foods can send signals that reach those brain centers and “make you feel good,” which will of course help you deal with those emotional needs, like calming you down and reducing your desire and anxiety, at that particular moment.

The way it works is that the brain recognizes those feelings and knows that certain food can help alleviate them, so the body produces appropriate hormones (for example, cortisol) and other biochemical substances, like the neurotransmitter serotonin to make you crave for the “right” food.

You can read more about biochemistry of food and food cravings here.

Trigger #2: High-processed food as a product of food engineering.

Have you noticed how you go for groceries to pick up “just bread and milk,” but once you’re in the store, you suddenly start craving all this food from the colorful packages aligned so nicely on the shelves?

This would be fine if all this high-processed food was healthy for you.

Except it’s not. It is delicious, though, and this is exactly the problem.

The food manufacturing industry makes a conscientious effort to get people hooked on foods that are inexpensive, but yet tasty.

They hire food engineers and gather tons of data taking an engineering approach to processed food.

Although food engineering has been there for many years, the power it has over the consumers has not really been acknowledged until the most recent research and work of Michael Moss, the author of the best article on this topic you’ll ever read: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food.

Food engineering is manipulating your taste buds.

Food engineers work hard on the food’s taste, which is measured by how much craving this particular food will induce.

With that idea in mind, manufacturers have been adding sugar to many products that didn’t really need it, like tomato sauce, bread, and crackers.

They look for the exact amount of sugar that will make the product highly attractive and desirable without making you feel overwhelmed by the intense flavor (they call it “the bliss point”).

Not only will you crave that product again, but you’ll expect it to taste sweet. As a consequence, your taste preferences will change to prefer food that contains more sugar, and you won’t be satisfied with something that has less sugar.

Food engineering is also turning you into an addict.

You may be thinking I’m exaggerating, but numerous studies (like this one and this one, for example) indicate that sugar has similar effect on our brain as the drugs of abuse.

This is why it is so hard to get off sugar and carbs once you are hooked.

Trigger #3: Sugar imbalance in your body

You can experience food cravings even if you don’t get emotional or eat high-processed food.

In this case, your food cravings will be triggered by sugar imbalance in your body that happened because you’ve been eating your sugar and carbs “the wrong way.” (I’ll explain what I mean by this in a minute.)

Let’s first look at how your body processes sugar and carbs.

How Your Body Processes Sugar and Carbs

The first organ that your biology needs to take care of is your brain. If your brain doesn’t work properly, nothing else will.

The only source of energy that your brain can use is glucose. When your brain can’t find glucose available immediately, it will find a way to get it.

The fastest, easiest, and most effective way your body can get glucose is by releasing the right hormones to make you crave food that contains a lot of it: simple sugars and carbs that break easily into glucose.

But high sugar levels in your bloodstream are toxic, so your body needs to lower those levels. For this, it makes the pancreas release insulin to remove glucose.

This process is called sugar metabolism.

The higher the glucose levels, the more insulin is released and the faster all the glucose will be processed, leaving no glucose in the system again, which will start the cycle from the beginning.

What Causes Sugar Imbalance

As you can see, your sugar metabolism needs equilibrium for you not to get trapped in the vicious cycle of food cravings.

This equilibrium, however, gets disturbed if you, in simple terms, eat your sugar and carbs “the wrong way.”

In this case, eating sugar and carbs “the right way” means making sure the quantity, frequency, combination, and quality of your meals are appropriate.

Quantity: How much sugar and carbs are in your meals?

When you consume large quantities of simple sugars (glucose) or carbs (more or less complex forms of sugars that are transformed into simple sugars) in the same meal, your sugar metabolism will be activated in the emergency mode, removing all glucose suddenly.

As a result, no glucose will be left in your bloodstream, and your brain will activate the mechanism to release the hormones that will make you feel hungry and eat more so it gets glucose again.

Say hi to another food craving!

Frequency: How often are you consuming sugar and carbs?

When you are constantly eating food rich on sugars or carbs, not letting enough time pass between meals to let your sugar metabolism rest, it will end up constantly working, creating a circle of constant eating and hunger.

When you wait enough time between meals (three to four hours), assuming you had a balanced meal, the sugar metabolism gets to rest and does its work properly.

Combination: What are you mixing your sugar or carbs with?

When you eat sugars or carbs alone, with no fiber, protein, or fat, the absorption of glucose will be faster.

You’ll feel hungry sooner, and as a consequence your brain will trigger a food craving.

Quality: How “good” are the sugars and carbs you’re eating?

Simple carbs (like white rice, pasta, and bread, for example) and sugars break down into glucose faster, causing it to be absorbed faster as well.

When you eat complex carbs (like brown rice, whole grain pasta, and whole grain bread, for example), however, glucose is released gradually.

It means that in case of simple carbs, your blood sugar level will rise faster than if you eat complex carbs.

To understand how fast a specific food will break into glucose and how much carbs it contains, you should look at its glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) values.

Eating high GI & GL carbs will generate a fast rise in sugar and therefore a faster metabolic response, which will give you another food craving.

How to Stop Food Cravings Naturally

In the beginning of this post I promised you that I’d show you how to stop food cravings naturally by fighting the cause and not the symptoms.

Now, when you know what triggers food cravings and what keeps them reoccurring (i.e. you understand the cause), it becomes clear that to beat those food cravings, you need to fight the triggers—deal with your emotions and resist the temptation of food manufacturing industry on one side, and keep the equilibrium of your sugar metabolism on the other side.

Let’s look at it step-by-step and identify the practical solutions for each trigger.

Cravings Caused by Emotions: Recognize That Food Doesn’t Change Anything

If you think about it, that pie, ice cream, chips, or anything else you’re craving won’t change the way you feel about things in the long run.

The food that you crave is the specific one that will make you feel better immediately. But the moment you finish your food, those “feel better” compounds will disappear again and you’ll be exactly where you were before, and you’ll probably even having the same cravings again.

You need to realize that satisfying those food cravings helps only for a short period of time, and that this vicious cycle needs to be broken.

Recognizing that food, even the most delicious one, does not change anything is the first step.

Think about what brings up those emotions in you. Learn about yourself so you can predict them. Do your job and fight against them instead of just reaching for a piece of cake.

Don’t give up by thinking there is nothing you can do.

There are many hormones that you can’t really control, like your hormones during pregnancy. But many others are released as a consequence of your emotions. Once you acknowledge that you can do something about it, you’ll be able to handle them much better.

Here are some practical tips on how to stop food cravings that are triggered by emotions:

  • Find other ways to reduce stress. For example, get a relaxing massage instead of hating your boyfriend, boss, and waistline, instead of eating ice cream.
  • Look for ways to manage your emotions (talk to a friend, get a pet, go for a walk or to the movie theater).
  • Eat healthy. It will help you maintain your hormones under control.
  • Call your mom or visit her if you miss her instead of eating her pie.

Cravings Caused by Food Engineering: Don’t Let Them Trick You

The food industry has many tricks to manipulate you into eating food that you’ll end up crave more and more.

Food manufacturing companies are powerful, they hire the best food experts in the field, and they are always one step ahead predicting new trends and developing new ways to hook you on their food.

But you need to be smarter! Learn their game. Don’t let them decide what and how you eat.

Be the one in charge of what food you like by changing your buds’ taste and start craving for healthy food instead.

Here’s how to stop food cravings caused by engineered food:

  • Most probably food engineering has got to your food buds already, so now you need to change your taste preferences back to healthy food. Do it slowly, one change at a time. Otherwise it will be harder to succeed.
  • Cook your own meals, which is the best way to know for sure what your meal consists of exactly. You’ll be able to avoid most of the added sugar and many other undesirable ingredients you will usually find in highly processed food.
  • Find out where the sugar, fat, and salt bombs you are more susceptible to are hiding so you can avoid them. Here are a couple of popular examples: potato chips, crackers, Japanese snacks, sesame sticks, etc.
  • Recognize that the attractive packages can make you desire unhealthy food.
  • Understand that the commercials are there just to trick you into thinking that eating certain foods will improve how you feel about yourself.
  • Visualize:
  • How food engineers are designing new food to hook you on it.
  • How food marketers play with you by making the food they want you to eat look irresistible.
  • How processed food is hurting your liver and adding fat to your abdomen.

Cravings Caused by Sugar Imbalance: Eat Your Sugar and Carbs “the Right Way”

Keeping your blood sugar levels under control and preventing sugar imbalance in your body is an essential way to stop food cravings naturally.

To do so, you need to:

  • Eat only as much as your body really needs (quantity)
  • Let enough time pass between your meals (frequency)
  • Combine your meals properly (combination)
  • Stick to foods with low glycemic index and glycemic load (quality)

This is how you can practically achieve it.

Quantity: What are healthy portion sizes for carbs?

You should learn and stick to healthy portion sizes of any food, not only carbs, of course. But it is especially important for foods that contain a lot of sugar (remember, carbs are a complex form of sugar).

You shouldn’t eat more than a healthy portion size for carbs, which is one cup.

Frequency: How often should you eat?

Don’t eat too often so you are not making your sugar and carbs metabolism work all the time.

You should eat four times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a morning or an afternoon snack, depending on when you need it. Ideally, these meals should be three to four hours apart.

For example, if you have an early breakfast and a late lunch, you need a morning snack. Otherwise you’ll be too hungry at lunch and definitely overeat.

Combination: How to combine your meals properly?

Fiber, protein, and fat make sugar absorption slower and less efficient, therefore reducing the risk of food cravings.

In fact, the right combination of meals will make them healthy yet filling, which will help you with two previous aspects: quantity (you will be able to stick to healthy portion sizes) and frequency (you will stay satiated longer).

Have every single meal with the healthy portion size of protein and fat, and avoid having meals that consist only of sweets or carbs.

Quantity: How to choose what to eat?

Stick to foods with low glycemic load and glycemic index.

Such foods will release glucose slower and help you manage your sugar levels properly so you don’t have food cravings.

To summarize, this is how you prevent food cravings triggered by sugar imbalance in your body:

  • Maintain your healthy portion sizes for carbs, which is one cup.
  • Have four meals a day making a break of three to four hours between them.
  • Compose your meals properly and always have fat and protein with your carbs.
  • Choose foods with low glycemic load and glycemic index values.

Over to you!

Do you believe me when I say you can stop food craving naturally? Do you think it’s doable? What are your personal challenges when it comes to controlling your food cravings? I would love to hear from you!

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About Arantxa Mateo

Arantxa is a trained biologist, nutrition specialist, and weight management coach. Born in Spain, she spent five years in Australia before moving to the US. Her motto is "Food is a pleasure. Nobody deserves to be on a diet." Find out more about Arantxa and 32 Mondays and visit her on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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The post 3 Things That Cause Unhealthy Food Cravings and How to Stop Them appeared first on Tiny Buddha.

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ME affects four times as many women as men. Is that why we’re still disbelieved? | ‘Comment is free’, The Guardian | 27 September 2016

From The Guardian ‘Comment is free’ section, 27 September 2016. Words by Nathalie Wright (pictured).

Natalie Wright ME case study credit Connie Bloomfield-largeToday friends and families of people with myalgic encephalopathy (ME) are taking to the streets of cities around the world to call for more funding for medical research and education about ME. I am joining them at the London demonstration of the Millions Missing campaign, outside the Department of Health.

Many ME patients are too ill to take part the global day of action, so instead they will leave pairs of shoes in public places as a visual symbol of the millions of lives gone unlived, jobs undone, relationships never formed by people with the disease.

I became suddenly ill with ME during my last year of university. It meant I was in constant pain and completely unable to function, struggling to leave my bed once a day to use the toilet. In my 20s, I faced a life in which I was unable to work, or even walk to the other side of the street. But a quarter of the 250,000 people with ME in the UK have more severe symptoms. Some of them are bedridden, for decades, unable to tolerate light or to touch, chew, swallow or talk.

Most people – including many doctors – think ME is just extreme tiredness. Also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, ME can have multiple symptoms, ranging from severe muscle pain to digestive, sleep and autonomic problems. A landmark report in 2015 by the American Institute of Medicine defines ME as “an acquired, chronic multi-systemic disease biological in nature” symptoms of which include “immune, neurological and cognitive impairment”. Yet patients are still being dismissed and disbelieved. In the UK, a survey carried out by the ME Association earlier this year found that 46% of patients thought the care provided by their GP was “poor” or “dreadful”. And 18% have no contact with their GPs, often because they have found their doctors have nothing to offer them, or worse – added to their suffering by not taking them seriously.

ME affects four times as many women as men, which I believe has greatly affected how the disease is thought about. Two psychiatrists in the 1970s even tried to rename ME as Encephalomyletis Nervosa. Because it mainly affected women, they thought it must be a kind of hysteria. This attitude towards mainly female patients is still present. Sexism is part of the reason why diagnosis remains poor and prospects of treatment years away. I waited a year to see a specialist – only to be told by him that my ME was probably the result of being stressed by the “posh boys” at Oxford. That was the sum total of my treatment, and I was turned away after requesting further care at a different hospital.

GPs continue to treat many people with ME as though it were a mental illness, referring patients for cognitive behaviour therapy and exercise. But being pushed to do more physically can make many people with ME worse, and lead to relapses that last for decades. Graded exercise and CBT came to be the standard treatments for patients on the NHS as a result of a hugely controversial £5m trial – known as the Pace trial – which in 2011 claimed that the two treatments could lead to “recovery”. Pace has been internationally condemned, with 42 scientists signing an open letter earlier this year to the editor of The Lancet, stating that the study was “fraught with indefensible methodological problems”. A recent re-analysis of data from the study has shown that graded exercise and CBT did not lead to recovery in patients.

Problems with a lack of adequate medical care are compounded by ME patients being failed by the government in other areas. Despite the fact that 85% of people with ME are too ill to work, many struggle to get any benefits. And only 6% of patients are awarded a care package, despite 97% experiencing two or more difficulties with daily living activities.

While the UK spends very little money on medical research into ME, there have been some hopeful steps forward in the US, with the National Institute of Health announcing new funding last year. What this will amount to remains to be seen.

Breakthroughs are happening. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, recently published a paper that analysed blood molecules – known as metabolites – in healthy people and people with ME. They found a clear pattern of abnormalities, or a chemical signature in the patients with ME which could be used in future to diagnose patients. Currently there is no single test that can diagnose the condition and it is partly due to this that there is so much controversy.

ME patients have been treated with disdain for too long; the institutions that should be there to help and represent us have all too often dismissed our intense physical suffering as hypochondria or hysteria. Yet throughout it all, people with ME have never given up; many have worked (from their beds), exposing bad science and campaigning for their rights. The Millions Missing campaign is calling for the US government to increase funding from $7m to $250m a year. In London, we too are asking for more funding – and better healthcare for the thousands across the UK who are desperately ill.

from ME Association



Tuesday, 27 September 2016

3 Kids Supplements That I Give To My Small Humans

Do I have a kids multivitamin that I love? Not so much. I’m a big believer in serving nutrition on a plate – not in a pill. That said, there are a handful of kids supplements that should be in regular rotation. These three kids supplements will only do a body good. This is true for kids struggling […]

The post 3 Kids Supplements That I Give To My Small Humans appeared first on Holistic Squid.

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Apache Tears Heal Grief, Gives Protection & Grounding

Learn how Apache Tears, strange out-of-shape black Obsidian stones heal grief & clear negative emotions. Excellent crystals for protection, spiritual grounding & emotional healing.

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3 Kids Supplements That I Give To My Small Humans

Do I have a kids multivitamin that I love? Not so much. I’m a big believer in serving nutrition on a plate – not in a pill. That said, there are a handful of kids supplements that should be in regular rotation. These three kids supplements will only do a body good. This is true for kids struggling […]

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ME /CFS and fibromyalgia | Acceptance doesn't mean resignation #ChronicPain

Acceptance doesn't mean resignation #ChronicPain
is now on my pinterest ME /CFS and fibromyalgia board, see more here:


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#MillionsMissing –  round 2 today | Note about ME Association radio and TV interviews | 27 September 2016

BBC interviews about the #MillionsMissing demonstrations were recorded at our office in Buckingham yesterday for BBC Oxford Radio and for BBC TV South and that they should be broadcast today.

Nicki Strong (MEA trustee who is organising the Oxford event) and I were involved.

It may be possible for other BBC local stations where protests are taking place to make use of the medical interview – which concentrates on the key issues – education, research and treatment – rather than the Oxford event which Nicki covered.

Dr Charles Shepherd
Medical Adviser, The ME Association

from ME Association



Photo | Spiritual

from Spiritual Seeker 77



6 Lessons to Remember When Someone Judges or Criticizes You

young man tired sitting at sofa

“Every judgment, all of them, point back to a judgment we hold against ourselves.” ~Lynne Forrest

I sat across from my good friend Anna over a cup of coffee. We had been having issues in our friendship and had finally gotten together to discuss them. I’m not a fan of conflict and call myself a “recovering people pleaser,” so I was very nervous.

I noticed immediately that the conversation didn’t seem to be going very well. I addressed my issues concerning our friendship and tried hard to own my part. But Anna kept saying things like, “There are things that you do that really bother me as well, but I don’t say anything about saying them.”

After hearing a variation of this phrase for a third time, I asked what she was talking about. She had never addressed any of these issues with me.

She took a deep breath and said, “Angela, I don’t think your relationship with your higher power is very strong. Also, you know those Facebook posts you write about peace and mindfulness? I don’t see that reflected in your personality. One more thing: Your relationship with your mother seems poor, and I think that’s why you are emotionally needy.”

I started at her in absolute shock. I felt like I was punched in the face. The worst part is this girl was a very genuine person, so the fact that she saw these qualities in me broke my heart.

My spirituality and my sense of peace are things I have been cultivating intensely since I was sixteen. Here I was sitting across from this girl, who’s supposedly my best friend, and she doesn’t even see these positive qualities in me. I was devastated.

I walked out of that get-together saying I needed some time to be alone and process. I was deeply hurt.

Before we met, I had envisioned us having a positive conversation, fixing our relationship, and spending the rest of the coffee date laughing. Instead, I left feeling like someone had ripped out my heart and like I was going to throw up.

It’s been quite a process wrestling with this event, and I’ve had the opportunity to learn (and relearn) some amazing lessons.

1. Someone’s criticisms and judgments aren’t the problem. Believing them is the problem.

I’ve been criticized before, but these judgments particularly crushed me. I couldn’t stop crying. I felt exposed.

I realized the reason I was having such a hard time with what she had said was because there’s a part of me that believes her judgments about me. For example, if she had told me I was mean, I would have shrugged it off, because I do not believe that about myself.

On the other hand, I do have insecurities concerning my spirituality and sense of peace in the world. While I try to cultivate both of these aspects in my personal life, I’m not perfect. I struggle just like everyone else.

Once I realized I was upset because I believed her accusations to be true, I could stop blaming her. I was in pain because I was torturing myself with these beliefs and blindly believing them.

2. When someone shows us how we’re out of alignment with ourselves, we have an opportunity to change our beliefs.

I’ve seen again and again that the world is a mirror. When I think a thought and believe it, the world will give me an example to prove that thought to be true. Anna showed me the part of me that believed these insecurities. She gave me the beautiful gift of questioning if I wanted to hold onto these beliefs. Remember, we do not have to believe our thoughts.

I heard an example about thoughts once that has stuck with me. Thoughts are like cars zooming on a highway. The highway represents the mind. We get to decide which car we want to jump into. Do we want to jump into the car and believe the negative thought? Or do we want to take the positive route? (Highway pun intended.)

So, I get to decide. Do I really want to hold onto the belief that I don’t have a strong spiritual relationship? That seems like a painful story to believe about me. Instead, I am choosing to reframe the belief. Instead of believing that my spiritual relationship is weak, I choose to believe that it’s a work in progress. It’s beautiful because it’s not perfect, but even still, I spend time cultivating it every day.

3. It’s not our business how other people see us; it’s our business how we see ourselves.

A lot of the time when we are feeling in emotional pain, we are not in our business. It’s not my business what Anna or what other people think of me. My thoughts and assumptions of me are my responsibility, and that’s enough to keep me busy.

Once I get clear on what’s actually my business, it’s amazing how many of my troubles simply vanish. It also gives me the opportunity and the time to change my thinking and take care of myself.

 4. Look for the truth in the criticism and leave behind the rest.

 Take this piece of advice with a grain of salt. If you can interpret what is true about the negative things people tell you, it can be a great tool to strengthen your character. But it’s not an excuse for self-abuse.

For example, some of the things Anna said, I don’t find to be true for me. But I do sense that sometimes I can be emotionally needy with my friends. This doesn’t mean I beat myself up about this character quality. I can reevaluate how I am sharing my emotions and with whom I’m sharing them, and see if I am becoming co-dependent with certain people in my life.

I believe the depth of my emotions makes me beautiful, and sharing it with others has positively deepened many of my relationships. But it’s a good reminder for me to evaluate if I was sharing my emotions in a healthy way or if I was dumping them onto my friends to make me feel better.

5. Find gratitude in every situation.

I believe it’s important to find the gift in every event so we can grow. If we look deep enough, we can find the seed of gratitude in any situation. I realized after sitting with this experience for a week how thankful I was for my friend, for giving me the opportunity to see the painful beliefs I held about myself. Now I had the opportunity to clear them. What a blessing!

I also realized how thankful I am to have a friend who will be honest with me and tell me what she believes to be true. This does not mean that I have to take her judgments on as my own, but her reflections of me are pertinent in my journey to releasing these painful beliefs.

6. Always try your hardest to forgive people and yourself.

Forgiveness is one of the most difficult processes for me. I believe forgiveness is twofold. Not only did I need to forgive her, I needed to forgive myself. While I realized that Anna saying these things was a blessing, letting go of my anger for “exposing me” was hard. I knew intellectually I needed to forgive her, but emotionally doing it is a different story.

Once I realized I needed to forgive myself first, the process of letting go of my anger toward her became easier. I had to forgive myself for blindly believing these judgments about myself and not questioning if they were true. I had been holding myself hostage; she had just shown me that I was the one keeping myself behind bars.

Our relationship is not back to the way it was before we started having issues. While I hold a deep sense of respect and love for Anna, I realized at this point in my life that I didn’t want to be best friends with someone who saw me that way.

This doesn’t mean I don’t love and respect her. I have a deep sense of gratitude for what she has shown me about myself and I have hope that our relationship will be even greater one day, because it will be more honest.

I still have to questions these judgments about myself, because after carrying them for so long, they don’t magically go away.

Once I become secure about these qualities and come into a more loving relationship with myself, I will think about rekindling the friendship, but maybe not. Only time can tell. Till then, I will keep on forgiving myself, questioning these beliefs, and reframing them to come into a more loving relationship with me.

Profile photo of Angela Baucom

About Angela Baucom

Angela Lois is a twenty-year-old musician, writer, and optimist who works for a life coach/personal growth mentor. She has big dreams of combining her love of music and all things mindfulness in a creative business venture. She's working on starting a blog about finding peace, mindfulness, spirituality in her twenties. Email her at to join her mailing list.

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