While I'm intrigued by the Morrocco Methods hair products, and actually really enjoy using them, I was very disappointed by this ebook. I expected expWhile I'm intrigued by the Morrocco Methods hair products, and actually really enjoy using them, I was very disappointed by this ebook. I expected explanations as to how Morrocco Methods products work, or how to use them, but instead it was basically one big advertisement, with almost no actual information....more
The Autoimmune Paleo Breakthrough by Anne Angelone is a great little introduction to the autoimmune protocol, it provides a fine overview, but for morThe Autoimmune Paleo Breakthrough by Anne Angelone is a great little introduction to the autoimmune protocol, it provides a fine overview, but for more in-depth I'd recommend The Paleo Approach by Dr Sarah Ballantyne. ...more
Eat the right foods.
Take the right supplements.
Detoxify your body before, during, and after pregnancy.
These things are done based on science showing us that our genes aren't destiny, but rather an interplay of the environment and genes.
Countless factors can cause any of a baby's genes to turn on or off during the time in the womb. Even a mother's thoughts and feelings during pregnancy can play a significant role in determining what personality traits, characteristics, and behaviors her child may inherit. The three most common things that affect gene expression are the mother's diet and nutrition, her environment, and her emotions. Having a healthy father also has a big effect on a baby's genes, much more than many people realize.
While I didn't necessarily agree with everything in The Better Baby Book, it did give me a lot of food for thought (and for the record, no, I am not currently pregnant nor planning on getting pregnant in the near future).
In addition, I would've liked to have seen references in the book itself, but they can be found here....more
Have you ever wanted to just escape the city, suburbs or even a small village in the country side? Just leave it all behind and go out into the wildeHave you ever wanted to just escape the city, suburbs or even a small village in the country side? Just leave it all behind and go out into the wilderness. Well Claire Dunn did just that, she spend a year in the Australian outback building her own shelter and learning how to light a fire without matches. She wrote about her experiences in My Year Without Matches: Escaping the City in Search of the Wild and it is a fascinating and inspirational view into what a year in the wilderness can look like - and how it can help you figure out who you really and what you really need.
Our mission is to build our own shelters, and gradually to acquire skills such as making fire without matches, hunting and trapping, tanning hides, gathering bush food, weaving baskets, making rope and string, moulding pottery, tracking, increasing sensory awareness, learning bird language and navigating in the bush. Visiting instructors will join Kate and Sam to teach a series of workshops over the first half of the year. Then we will be left to fend for ourselves. The rules are few. Apart from no booze, we are limited to thirty days out of camp, and thirty days of visitors in. It is essentially to be a Choose Your Own Adventure story, with equal emphasis on experiencing the changing face of the bush and ourselves, over four full seasons. A cross between the reality-TV show Survivor and the solo wilderness reverie that American poet and naturalist Henry David Thoreau elucidated in his book Walden. "Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!" Thoreau had exclaimed in exaltation of his self-styled life as a forest hermit, words I had inscribed on the inside cover of my journal. To qualify for the program, all we had need to do was study the basics over two week-long courses, and prove that our motivations weren't madness or law evasion.
Even though she'd been working to protect the environment and the Australian forests and thought she knew what the forest was like, actually living there turned out to be quite a different experience...
I thought I knew the forest until we moved in together. And then, as is often the case with flatmates, I realised I barely knew it all. It had been an easy assumption to make. I was a forest campaigner; the forest was my life. All day every day it was what I spoke of, what I thought about, what I loved.
More importantly, I imagine, was learning how to truly listen to yourself. To stop being a human doing, rather than a human being (something I can personally relate to).
"Claire, the messages we receive from our culture run deep. It trains us to be human doings, rather than human beings. Your upbringing was particularly strong in this. "For a woman, in particular, this comes at a great cost - separation from her true self. The most important task for you this year is to return to the feminine." ... "The feminine is guided by feeling and intuition. She learns to listen to the impulses arising within her, and acts according to her own sense of rightness. Her heart, not what the outside world deems to be success, is her map and compass. This is the seat of her power." ... "What I want you to do is simple: I just want you to feel. Feel everything. Unmoor your emotions from the judgments that will arise and come back to your heart. Ask yourself, 'What do I feel like doing now?' And then do that."
I think this is such an important lesson for all of us. Learning to truly listen to ourselves, figure out what is the right next step for us and realizing that we don't need to check of all of the things on our to-do list, before we are "enough", before we can do the things we truly desire.
I pick up the pace, my face red with the knowledge that I am being seduced again by the false promise that there is a magic point in the future when enough will be enough, when I will tick the right number of boxes to give me permission to slow down.
In conclusion she touches upon how most of us could do this, if we really wanted to, but so few of us do in part because we don't truly believe it's possible. In my experience this doesn't just go for spending a year in the wild - it is just as true for our other dreams.
"You could do it, too," I say lightly, as the young guy looks wistfully at my shelter, knowing as soon as I say it that there's plenty of reasons why he can't, or won't. While the few thousand dollars and the luxury of unattached time mightn't seem like much, it's more than most people have. And that's the easy part. Hardest is the belief that it's possible, that you can do the thing you've always wanted to do, the one thing that calls to you more than anything. The thing you'll only regret in its absence.
Lately I've been digging deeper into health looking beyond just diet, and instead embracing the importance of all aspects of our lifestyle. The PrimalLately I've been digging deeper into health looking beyond just diet, and instead embracing the importance of all aspects of our lifestyle. The Primal Connection: Follow Your Genetic Blueprint to Health and Happiness by Mark Sisson is the best guide I've found so far to get started on this. While there's still plenty of things to dig further into, it's an excellent primer on a wealth of topics, such as:
Nature + Wilderness
I'm talking about a life of physical challenge but ample leisure. I'm talking about living by the natural ebb and flow of light and darkness, season to season. I'm talking about living in smaller groups. I'm talking about play and creativity and getting dirt under our fingernails - a life of the raw senses and an overlapping of the self and the natural environment.
Not all of the suggestions might work right now, but there are plenty that help you bring these aspects into your life in little bits and pieces and I love knowing what I can work towards going forward.
I've noticed for a while that taking plenty of time for sleep, spending time in nature and generally slowing down is incredibly important for both my mental and physical health and well-being. The Primal Connection has helped me look at more ways to get these things into my day-to-day life, as well as pointing out other important areas such as playing with dirt - and playing in general. I highly recommend it!
How do you make sure to make time for sleep, play, nature in your life? Have you noticed these things making a difference?
As always I invite you to find me and connect with me on Goodreads.
Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourselfby Lissa Rankin, M.D., is a difficult one for me. On one hand I am a skeptic at heart aMind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin, M.D., is a difficult one for me. On one hand I am a skeptic at heart and I tend to question most things in life – whether that be religion, work, lifestyle and health. As an example I am gluten free, even though I am not (to my knowledge) Celiac. And you know, gluten free is all a fad… Although my decision came after reading about an Italian study that showed 75% of women with Endometriosis do better on a gluten free diet, you could easily - from a skeptical perspective - pick it apart: It wasn't a double-blind study, there was no control that people really stayed gluten free, etc. But I decided that it was a good enough reason for me to give gluten free a proper chance. After I reached my initial goal of 3 months I already felt much better, and since then I have halved my consumption of pain killers. Which is anecdotal evidence, and therefore counts for practically nothing in most skeptical communities.
Furthermore, I know that I do much better when I follow a primal/paleo diet and cut out all grains, legumes, processed/refined sugar and most dairy. I always stay gluten free, but I can tell you when I eat processed food (including processed gluten free foods) and particularly anything rich in sugar, my body reacts. Strongly. Again, this is anecdotal evidence and even though I could link you to hundreds and probably thousands of blog posts from people who are paleo/primal and where these lifestyle changes have improved their health and wellness, it is still “just” anecdotal evidence. Or worse, “all in our head”, a statement which I am particularly sensitive to as I have had several doctors tell me that my period pains were “all in my head” and that I just needed to get over myself. This happened for years until I finally saw an OB/GYN specialized in Endometriosis who straight away recognized my symptoms and had me booked in for a laparoscopy (the only way to diagnose Endometriosis). Turns out, it was not all in my head.
With that being said, I do think our head and our mind can play a massive role on our health, wellness and recovery. We know that our mind can play a huge effect on our body, so that we might get better when given a sugar pill as long as we believe it is the real medicine, aka the placebo effect. Similarly we might experience side effects from medicine – even if we have received no real medicine – this is also known as the nocebo effect. It is a fine line though, I don’t believe in “the law of attraction” – that it is out “fault” if we become ill, but I do think our mind can play a huge role in our getting better. What I don’t understand is how often the conventional medical community will completely disregard the placebo effect as a useful tool in helping people to heal. At the end of the day, if I halved my pain from going gluten free I don’t really care if it’s the placebo effect – I care about how I feel and my health.
While I did not agree with everything that Lissa writes in Mind Over Medicine, I thought it was very thought-provoking and a great read to start thinking about these issues. I really loved her own journey from a more “standard” medical approach, to beginning to look at the role that our mind plays in our health. Her dedication to her dad (who was also a very skeptical doctor) was very heart-warming:
I hugged Mom and mused about what my father would think about this book if he had read it. The whole time I researched it, his voice was the voice in the back of my head, questioning me, prodding me, pushing me to go deeper, serving as the ultimate skeptic I was trying to win over.
I also really appreciated her focus on providing references for her statements:
Throughout this book, I make every effort to back up what might seem like far-out statements with scientific references. Because I know that what I’m about to teach you will raise eyebrows, I’ve written this book just for the people who are skeptical, as I was. I’ve laid out the book to walk you through my argument as if a jury of my physician peers were judging me.
Lissa starts of by talking about the different thoughts around how placebo works; 1) they think they will get better, 2) classical conditioning, 3) emotional support, 4) other treatment and 5) disease resolves itself. She goes on to talk about how negative thinking has been shown to have an effect on our body and how our thoughts can actually change the way our DNA expresses itself.
Lipton says, “When we shift the mind’s interpretation of illness from fear and danger to positive belief, the brain responds biochemically, the blood changes the body’s cell culture, and the cells change on a biological level.”
When our beliefs are hopeful and optimistic, the mind releases chemicals that put the body in a state of physiological rest, controlled primarily by the parasympathetic nervous system, and in this state of rest, the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms are free to get to work fixing what’s broken in the body.
Talking about the use of alternative treatments (this is where I get very skeptical, to be honest):
Instead of dismissing such treatments, I’d like to make the argument that perhaps nontraditional healing modalities work not so much because of the modality being practiced as because of the potent combination of positive belief in the healing method, the nurturing care offered by the practitioner, and the relaxation responses these treatments induce. Perhaps these modalities are, in fact, highly effective— but not via the means we might expect.
In conventional medical wisdom, we call anything that doesn’t outperform placebo “quackery.” But haven’t we lost sight of the real goal? I suggest we reconsider our evaluation standards regarding the efficacy of medical treatments. If the patient is getting better, does it really matter whether the treatment is better than placebo? Is resolution of symptoms and cure of disease not the ultimate goal? Does it really matter how we achieve such a goal?
One thing that turns out to be very important is whether or not we FEEL in control of our health and our lives:
Psychological states can directly affect the outcome of remission from some diseases, at least those that are immune-mediated, as many cancers are. This may explain why optimists are healthier than pessimists. Because of their healthier explanatory styles in the face of negative life events , optimists are more likely to learn healthy adaptations in response to life’s shocks, making them immune to states of helplessness. Pessimists, on the other hand, feel like life’s shocks are inescapable, and like the listless, helpless rats, they get depressed and their immune systems weaken . Over the course of a lifetime, fewer episodes of learned helplessness may keep the immune system stronger, reduce stress responses and their negative health outcomes, and reduce the likelihood of disease.
Radical self-care also involves things like setting boundaries, living in alignment with your truth, surrounding yourself with love and a sense of connection, and spending time doing what you love. You need radical self-care, not just in your health habits, but in the rest of your life.
Merely knowing what needs to change isn’t enough. The hardest part of the process is mustering up the guts to actually do what you know you need to do.
[caption id="attachment_1628" align="aligncenter" width="294"] Whole Health Cairn[/caption]
Lissa goes on to talk about the importance of happiness, how we can deal with our own negative thoughts and beliefs. She also goes into great detail about the importance of balance in our lives, what she calls the ‘whole health cairn’ – if one of the stones/parts in our lives isn’t balanced, our physical health is often the first to go. Lissa ends by giving us suggestions on how we can write our own individual prescription to help us create more balance and vitality in our life. ...more
Excellent overview of a neck training program that can help you deal with sitting all day. I had my own physiotherapist look it over as well, and he rExcellent overview of a neck training program that can help you deal with sitting all day. I had my own physiotherapist look it over as well, and he recommended I use it daily. ...more
Lean In for Graduates(the updated and expanded version of Lean In) by Sheryl Sandberg is a very thought-provoking read. While I might not agree with eLean In for Graduates (the updated and expanded version of Lean In) by Sheryl Sandberg is a very thought-provoking read. While I might not agree with everything in it, it left me with a lot of things to think about.
Lean In has been criticised for being very middle class-centric - and it is. Some women aren't interested in leaning in, other are more than busy making enough money to make ends meet. Sandberg herself addresses some of these criticisms in her introduction to Lean In for Graduates:
This book makes the case for leaning in, for being ambitious in any pursuit. And while I believe that increasing the number of women in positions of power is a necessary element of true equality, I do not believe that there is one definition of success or happiness. Not all women want careers. Not all women want children. Not all women want both. I would never advocate that we should all have the same objectives. Many people are not interested in acquiring power, not because they lack ambition, but because they are living their lives as they desire. Some of the most important contributions to our world are made by caring for one person at a time. We each have to chart our own unique course and define which goals fit our lives, values, and dreams. I am also acutely aware that the vast majority of women are struggling to make ends meet and take care of their families. Parts of this book will be most relevant to women fortunate enough to have choices about how much and when and where to work; other parts apply to situations that women face in every workplace, within every community, and in every home. If we can succeed in adding more female voices at the highest levels, we will expand opportunities and extend fairer treatment to all. ... I know some believe that by focusing on what women can change themselves—pressing them to lean in— it seems like I am letting our institutions off the hook. Or even worse, they accuse me of blaming the victim. Far from blaming the victim, I believe that female leaders are key to the solution. Some critics will also point out that it is much easier for me to lean in, since my financial resources allow me to afford any help I need. My intention is to offer advice that would have been useful to me long before I had heard of Google or Facebook and that will resonate with women in a broad range of circumstances.
While there are definitely other issues that we as feminists, and as people in general, need to address, but in my opinion that doesn't make the topics discussed here less relevant.
Because it is relevant that the way men and women are treated within the professional world is often very different. Sandberg's cover the differences (backed up by studies), and talks about different ways to manage your career:
As you start your career, you should be aware that men are often promoted based on potential, while women are promoted on past performance. You should also be aware that when men are successful, they are often better liked by both men and women, but when women are successful, they are liked less. I have asked audiences around the world to raise their hands if they’ve been told they were too aggressive at work. Time and again, a small fraction of men raise their hands, while a great majority of women shoot a hand into the air … and sometimes two. You should also be aware of the internal barriers that we often impose on ourselves. Too many women sit on the side of the room when they should be sitting at the table. Too many women lower their voices when they should be speaking up. This is not our fault. We internalize messages that say it’s wrong for us to be outspoken, aggressive, and as powerful as— or even more powerful than— men. In response, we alter our actions.
Professional ambition is expected of men but is optional— or worse, sometimes even a negative— for women. “She is very ambitious” is not a compliment in our culture. Aggressive and hard-charging women violate unwritten rules about acceptable social conduct. Men are continually applauded for being ambitious and powerful and successful, but women who display these same traits often pay a social penalty. Female accomplishments come at a cost.
Even worse, the messages sent to girls can move beyond encouraging superficial traits and veer into explicitly discouraging leadership. When a girl tries to lead, she is often labeled bossy. Boys are seldom called bossy because a boy taking the role of a boss does not surprise or offend. As someone who was called this for much of my childhood, I know that it is not a compliment.
From a very early age, boys are encouraged to take charge and offer their opinions. Teachers interact more with boys, call on them more frequently, and ask them more questions. Boys are also more likely to call out answers, and when they do, teachers usually listen to them. When girls call out, teachers often scold them for breaking the rules and remind them to raise their hands if they want to speak.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Peggy McIntosh from the Wellesley Centers for Women, gave a talk called “Feeling Like a Fraud.” She explained that many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can’t seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are— impostors with limited skills or abilities. ... For women , feeling like a fraud is a symptom of a greater problem. We consistently underestimate ourselves. Multiple studies in multiple industries show that women often judge their own performance as worse than it actually is, while men judge their own performance as better than it actually is.
This experiment supports what research has already clearly shown: success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less. This truth is both shocking and unsurprising: shocking because no one would ever admit to stereotyping on the basis of gender and unsurprising because clearly we do.
All through my life, culturally reinforced signals cautioned me against being branded as too smart or too successful. It starts young. As a girl, you know that being smart is good in lots of ways, but it doesn’t make you particularly popular or attractive to boys.
“We believe not only that women are nurturing, but that they should be nurturing above all else. When a woman does anything that signals she might not be nice first and foremost, it creates a negative impression and makes us uncomfortable.”
For women, taking credit comes at a real social and professional cost. In fact, a woman who explains why she is qualified or mentions previous successes in a job interview can lower her chances of getting hired.
When a man helps a colleague, the recipient feels indebted to him and is highly likely to return the favor. But when a woman helps out, the feeling of indebtedness is weaker. She’s communal, right? She wants to help others. Professor Flynn calls this the “gender discount” problem, and it means that women are paying a professional penalty for their presumed desire to be communal. On the other hand, when a man helps a coworker, it’s considered an imposition and he is compensated with more favorable performance evaluations and rewards like salary increases and bonuses. Even more frustrating, when a woman declines to help a colleague, she often receives less favorable reviews and fewer rewards. But a man who declines to help? He pays no penalty.
An internal report at Hewlett-Packard revealed that women only apply for open jobs if they think they meet 100 percent of the criteria listed. Men apply if they think they meet 60 percent of the requirements. This difference has a huge ripple effect. Women need to shift from thinking “I’m not ready to do that” to thinking “I want to do that—and I’ll learn by doing it.”
Most people would agree that gender bias exists … in others. We, however, would never be swayed by such superficial and unenlightened opinions. Except we are. Our preconceived notions about masculinity and femininity influence how we interact with and evaluate colleagues in the workplace. A 2012 study found that when evaluating identical CVs for a lab manager position from a male student and a female student, scientists of both sexes gave better marks to the male applicant. Even though the students had the same qualifications and experience, the scientists deemed the female student less competent and offered her a lower starting salary and less mentoring. Other studies of job applicants, candidates for scholarships, and musicians auditioning for orchestras have come to the same conclusion: gender bias influences how we view performance and typically raises our assessment of men while lowering our assessment of women. Even today , gender-blind evaluations still result in better outcomes for women. Unfortunately, most jobs require face-to-face interviews.
When I hear language like that, I bring up the Heidi/ Howard study and how success and likeability are negatively correlated for women. I ask the evaluator to consider the possibility that this successful female may be paying a gender-based penalty. Usually people find the study credible, nodding their heads in agreement, but then bristle at the suggestion that this might be influencing the reaction of their management team. They will further defend their position by arguing that it cannot be gender related because— aha!— both men and women have problems with that particular female executive. But the success and like-ability penalty is imposed by both men and women. Women perpetuate this bias as well. Of course, not every woman deserves to be well liked. Some women are disliked for behaviors that they would do well to change. In a perfect world, they would receive constructive feedback and the opportunity to make those changes. Still, calling attention to this bias forces people to think about whether there is a real problem or a perception problem. The goal is to give women something men tend to receive automatically— the benefit of the doubt.
I greatly recommend Lean In for Graduates - to both men and women. These topics matter to all of us. I sincerely believe that we will all do better, achieve more - in both our professional and personal lives - if we work together on a fair and equal basis....more
Excellent, powerful and thought-provoking. Own It is all about how you own your own power, finding out what is YOUR message to share and having the coExcellent, powerful and thought-provoking. Own It is all about how you own your own power, finding out what is YOUR message to share and having the confidence to share it....more