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WHOLE FOODS? CHEMICALS? or SOMETHING IN BETWEEN?

1280px-Good_Food_Display_-_NCI_Visuals_Online(File:Good Food Display – NCI Visuals Online.jpg – Wikimedia Commons)

Whole, Unprocessed, Organic Foods offer the Best Nutrition for Healthy Bodies and Healthy Microbiomes.

By:  Dr. Mary Lucero, PhD

People are waking up to the awareness that eating whole, unadulterated foods is a good idea. We are beginning to understand that only whole foods offer the biocomplexity (the diverse mixtures of ecologically balanced biochemical and nutrients) needed to sustain healthy bodies and functional microbiomes. The problem many people face today is that when it is necessary to use processed or packaged foods, it can be challenging to distinguish between whole foods, extracts or other preparations derived from whole foods, and added chemicals. The goal in choosing whole foods should be to maximize whole foods and minimize chemicals.  Extracts and other preparations derived from whole foods can fall anywhere between the two categories, with some extracts being quite complex and balanced, while others are pure enough to behave as synthetic chemicals. If you must use extracts, learn to pick extracts that retain biochemical complexity. Avoid purified chemicals completely.

What standard nutrition labels won’t spell out for you is whether an individual ingredient is a whole food, an extract from a whole food, or a chemical. One reason they won’t tell you this is because the boundary between these categories is not very distinct. Processed foods are almost always mixtures of whole foods, extracts of foods, and chemicals. Whole foods and whole food supplements will have the greatest biocomplexity. Added chemicals (which may be naturally occurring or man-made) will offer the least. The generalizations below are not carved in stone, but they offer general guidelines that can help you distinguish whole foods from other ingredients found on food and supplement labels.

Identifying whole foods.

Most of us easily recognize common dietary staples, such as beef, apples, mushrooms, corn, or fish as whole foods. Difficulty arises when we encounter packaged foods with ingredients whose names we can’t pronounce. If you are lucky, the manufacturer included the scientific name on the label (Panax ginseng or Chlorella vulgaris). When present, the Latin words in the scientific names (eg. Chlorella vulgaris) give you an immediate clue. Scientists give all identified plants, animals, fungi, and microbes a Latin binomial (a name with two words) to represent the genus and species living things belong to. So when you see two words in Latin representing a single ingredient on a packaged food or a supplement label, the odds are good that you are looking at either a whole food or an extract from a whole food, rather than at a chemical. Beware, however, of apparent “binomials” that contain “acid”, as a word or -ate, –ide, -ite as suffixes. More on this under added chemicals. Of course, identification of food items you are not familiar with becomes harder if the label doesn’t show the scientific names. Fortunately, we live in the information age, so when all else fails, so if you really want to consume a food with ingredients you have never heard of, you can always Google it to learn more.

Extracts or Natural Product Preparations Derived from Whole Foods.

Extracts and Natural Product Preparations constitute an enormous grey area because some extracts, like essential oils, retain sufficient biocomplexity to promote balance. For example, a typical essential oil (an extract) may contain hundreds of unique compounds that co-evolved within a plant in ratios compatible with living cells. Other extracts can become so purified that only a single chemical or drug remains. Think of sugar, corn starch, or even cocaine. Purification decreases the nutrition and increases the potency and the toxicity of a compound. For example, a coca leaf (a whole food/herb), is less potent and more nutritious than cocaine (a coca leaf extract and a toxic drug). Highly purified substances can disrupt metabolic balance within your cells and within your microbiome.

Since extracts can run a broad spectrum, ranging from mixtures with remarkable nutritional or biochemical complexity to highly purified compounds, like sugar or corn starch, the term “extract” on an ingredient list, while perfectly legal, does not provide enough information to help you assess whether the ingredient has the biocomplexity and balanced proportions that support microbiomes. Unfortunately, this may be all the information you have access too. Our labeling laws were simply not designed to help us think holistically about food. If you are dealing with a transparent company, you can call their customer service to find out more about their extraction process. When choosing products that contain extracts, look for those that retain biochemical complexity (ex:   choose dehydrated cane juice over white sugar).

Added Chemicals

To support balanced nutrition and a healthy microbiome, minimize exposure to any chemical that has been added in ratios differing from those found in whole foods or natural living systems.   This obviously includes reducing exposure to drugs, chemical preservatives, and pesticides, but it also includes reducing exposure to compounds you might currently view as a food or a nutrient, like white sugar or ascorbic acid (aka Vitamin C).

Because chemicals are often added in soluble forms, they can often be identified on package labels by the word “acid,” or by suffixes like –ide, -ite or –ate. For example, pantothentic acid, magnesium citrate, niacinamide, and monosodium glutamate are all chemicals that can be found on food or supplement labels.

Maximizing your intake of whole organic foods and minimizing intake of chemicals are simple steps anyone can follow to support a healthy microbiome. The guidelines above will help you distinguish between whole foods, extracts, and chemicals when reading labels of packaged foods. Keep in mind that these are very general guidelines. They will help you start looking at labels from a whole foods perspective, but they won’t help you identify every chemical or every whole food you encounter. In the end, your willingness to do your own research and become an informed consumer will be your best guide.   You can learn more about supporting healthy microbiomes at endofite.com

 Mary Lucero, PhD, is a systems biologist who specializes in restoring microbiomes (the microbial communities that interact with all life forms) to promote human and environmental health

http://www.endofite.com

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BLANK AND EMPTY

believe1 smallBy:  Dawn M Cheney

Blank and empty my mind staring at you there, flat white outlined page on the screen. How we look alike at this point and time. And yet I feel your challenge directed at me just as mine is at you, “Go ahead, write.”

We balance each other up and poke each other with keystroke hits and black marks pretending to be doing something creative. Who’s going to give in first? Will you mark your untouchable white surface first or will brilliance surface like bubbles in my mind and appear like magic on your page?

There is no choice here but to look away and grin inside myself, smart, satisfied that I have out smarted you again. I have won.

There it is. The marks upon the page and you haven’t even smudged your surface to make a wave or move. I feel superior, elated that I have made these marks upon your contours and you haven’t thought of your first ripple yet. I am smug.

But then You ask, “But who made those marks, you or I?”

“Well I did, of course.” I exclaim in all my expanded righteousness.

“Are you sure?” You ask with such a mark of reflection in Your voice that I hesitate to adhere to Your remarks.

But I must not be put off. “Well, absolutely. Who else would have the aptitude to put such words to Your surface than me? You can’t mean to think it was You. You haven’t even moved yet.

In soft reverberating tones You blow the challenge my way. “And how did they come upon my surface if not by me?”

“Surely not by You, ha. There is the matter of the keyboard on which I typed MY words and the software that interpreted MY keystrokes into MY intelligence and done all through the machine brain of the computer CPU. But I was the one who first created their original brilliance in front of me now.”

“Na ah, not so fast.” Your voice now rising in my ear like chimes out of sync. “Where did they come from in their origin?”

“From me,” I exclaim in a haughty might.

“I don’t think so my dear friend. How soon you forget where your inspiration came from. Where did you start? Go back to the beginning and think again,” this insolent white surface gleams in mock gesture as I smugly try not to listen.

“I dare say I started at the beginning sitting here staring at You, a blank white outline on a computer screen. Nothing more.”

“And the challenge you felt came from where to find these words you put on me?” You impertinently demand.

“Why from You, of course. We were in rare opposition I’d say to get things done. I won though, of course, in Your defeat.”

And again You demand, “And from what depths and to whose surface have they adhered from such challenge, which makes it whose origin?”

Flabbergasted I explode, “My word are on Your surface because I put them there!”

Calmly stating, You begin, “I am the one you brought your blank mind to, am I not? And I am the one to whose challenge you arose to put those words on my surface. Is that not right? And the marks were stroked on my surface by your fingers from you mind after great contemplation with my help. Is that not right?” And I am the one whose outline they could not have been seen on unless I was there in the first place. Is that not true?

In deflated exasperation I must concede, “Yes, that is true.”

With an imperceptible curl of its edges, as if one would put their hands on their hips in superior satisfaction, You softly whisper, “Touché”.   And with that one word my computer goes inexplicably dead.  And the winner is?

THE END – REFLECTION

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Where will you be when the end comes to see you? Where will you be in your head? Will you face it in justice or harm it in crying defense? Will you see it and smile or turn in denial? How will it harm you? Or can you see a friend?

How will you know who you are in the end if you don’t know who are now? Where will you go to see yourself sleep? In the arms of the Mother, the charms of the nurse, the words of the Father? Where will you reside?

Harmless, unharmed, forgotten memory that comes across you in the end willing to let you go as a friend. Will you call your name and let you go? Where will you go when it’s the end? To peace one hopes. To the battlegrounds end on the other side of the Universe where life begins again in peace and harmony. Love is the end. Love of self to let go and fly. That is the end.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 470 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 8 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

First Art Show – Awaken To Your Dream

First Art Show – Awaken To Your Dream.

Sharing my joy.  Sold 4 pieces on opening night.

First Art Show – Awaken To Your Dream

Awaken To Your Dream

Awaken To Your Dream

AWAKEN TO YOUR DREAMS

DAWN CHENEY

SHOW RUN              JULY 4 – JULY 26, 2014

Has been selected as the guest artist for the month of July at the Quillin-Stephens Gallery

Quillin-Stephens Gallery

317 N Main St, Las Cruces, NM

(behind the Coas Bookstore)

Dawn: dcjaguar@gmail.com

dcjaguar.wordpress.com

Transformational Light Designs – like me Facebook

ARTIST BRIEF:

Dawn M Cheney

Originally from the Midwest, Dawn has been a resident of New Mexico now for 12 years. She began her career in the traditional business world. Through a spiritual encounter in 1994 she began a new direction into energetic healing and reawakened her passion for art. She has been an Artist, Reiki Master, Sekhem Practioner, Intuitive Psychic Channel, and Transformational Spiritual Counselor for over 20 years.

Her love of nature and the outdoors has encouraged her natural creative process to expand and grow to include creating artwork in conjunction with the energetic etheric frequencies of the Universe.

Through the shapes, colors and patterns of her designs she creates continual movement and sensation for the observer to interpret in their own way. The art’s expressive and decorative presence can be used as a meditative tool or for the viewer’s enjoyment. These frequencies are always at work bringing in clarity, calming and healing energies to help enhance the viewer’s environment and self-awareness. Carry them with you or hang them in your favorite spot.

Dawn’s Healing Card Prints work the same as above, but in a more specific manner. They work specifically in conjunction with the various emotional, mental, physical and spiritual frequencies and properties of the cards name; i.e., JOY, FORGIVENESS, CHAKRA, EARTH, etc., if you are using them as healing or meditation tools. Or, again, they can be enjoyed simply in appreciation of the creative art piece itself.

 

Going Within

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We seek outside ourselves for answers that can really only be found within us.  The wisdom of the ages is found within each and every one of us here on earth.  The journey to go within can seem very frightening at the beginning.  It’s so expansive and there is no instruction book explaining exactly how every step will look along the way, like a scientific experiment with guaranteed results every time.  Only hints and recommendations of what happened to this person or that person and what they felt and did while at the same time telling you to trust, that it will work for you too.

And that’s where the BIG leap of faith comes in.  Spirit will push the door open giving you opportunities to step into something new or different.  And when the time is right for you, you will take those first steps into the doorway in a leap of faith that you may not even believe in.  But you will do it because it “feels” like something you are supposed to be doing and it “feels” right for you.  Your GUT, your intuition, your knowing, will KNOW that it is the right thing to do.  And that’s all you have to worry about to get started on the journey within you.

You discover that you do have guideposts inside you from your life experience, from books you’ve read, and people you’ve talked to that point you in the right direction.  And when you get stuck you’ll find that the right people will show up, the right books will come your way or just the right information has landed in front of you to help you to the next step.

It’s not about perfection or doing everything the books say to do.  It’s about how you follow YOUR intuition and knowingness inside you.  It’s all about pure TRUST in yourself and Spirit.  How you walk it your way.  It’s about a leap of faith that you do know what you’re doing, even if you don’t.  You just know you have to do it for YOU.

Channeled information:  Dawn M Cheney

Wisdom is not playing one card against the other.

Wisdom is holding your cards into the unknown.

By RUMI

Empty the glass of your need

So that you won’t be disgraced.

Stop longing for someone out there

And begin seeing within.

 

 

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